How Does Pressure Washing Work?

Ahhh, spring! What a beautiful time of year. The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and those tough driveway stains are showing. As you tackle your spring-cleaning chores, you’ve probably tried using soapy water, chemicals and good old-fashioned elbow grease to get the exterior of your home looking like new. That doesn’t always cut it. When the dirt gets tough and dug-in grime can no longer be ignored, it’s pressure washing to the rescue.

Pressure washers are excellent at cleaning driveways, patios, home exteriors, and other grime magnets. Let’s take a closer look at how these devices work!

The Science Behind Pressure Washing

To explain why pressure washers are such effective cleaners, let’s look at the science.

First, water is a great solvent. It breaks down dirt and grime, so it’s easy to wipe away. Adding water pressure to the mix can further help dislodge and clean tough stains. When water travels at high speeds with lots of force behind it,, dirt and grime break apart as surfaces are hit with kinetic energy.

The working scientific principle here is Pascal’s Law: pressure in a fluid has infinite direction. When a pressure washer goes to work, it builds up pressure as high as 4200 psi (pounds per square inch). When the nozzle is opened, it allows the water to release this built-up pressure.

The power with which the water escapes is inversely related to the size of the nozzle. Basically — the smaller the nozzle, the more pressure is created.

The nozzle’s shape also affects the pressure washer’s power. Most pressure washers have nozzles that range from 0 to 40 degrees for either a tight and robust blast, or a more gentle fan of water that’s better for delicate surfaces. To prevent damaging the surface you’re trying to clean, it’s essential to select the right nozzle for the job.

It takes experience to know the ideal level of pressure for different surfaces. Too little and it won’t clean. Too much and you could damage the surface of the material.

At IMAGINE, we have the equipment and experience to get the exterior of your home looking great. We also have different kinds of pressure washing equipment and nozzles to clean just about any surface. To make things better from the outside in, give us a call or send us a message for a free pressure washing quote.