The Do’s And Dont's Of Water Blasting

Water blasting, or pressure washing as it’s more commonly known outside New Zealand, is an excellent way to thoroughly clean the exterior and outdoor area of your home. A high-pressure jet of water sweeps away the most stubborn grime, and results in a freshly scrubbed look that’s very difficult to achieve with soft washing alone.

Using a water blaster isn’t child’s play, however, and incorrect techniques can result in permanent damage to various parts of your house. It’s important to know how to use them safely, and which surfaces are too brittle to withstand the powerful force of a water blaster.

So without further ado, here are the key do’s and don’ts of water blasting:

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Don’t water blast everything indiscriminately. 

It’s quite common for people to get carried away when they see how effective a water blaster is at cleaning various surfaces. You shouldn’t test your water blaster on a new surface without being sure it’ll withstand the force. The “clean” look you’re seeing might in fact be the surface itself being stripped away.

Do wear proper equipment. 

Make sure you wear protection for your eyes, face, hands, and feet. It’s easier than you’d think to lose control of the water blaster or accidentally move your hand into the danger zone.

Do keep well clear of electric wires. 

As you know, combining water and electricity is a bad idea. But it’s quite easy to forget this when you’re intent on blasting all the hidden recesses of your property.

Don’t use a ladder. 

As tempting as it may be to water blast your upper storey, it’s incredibly dangerous to do this from a ladder. The latest NZ health and safety regulations require contractors to use professional-grade scaffolding, and for good reason.

Don’t use too much pressure.

Most damage caused by water blasters results from the use of too much pressure, or being too close. Check material-specific guidelines before cleaning, and don’t let the jet linger on any area for longer than a few seconds. It’s best to start with a very small corner before you continue with the rest of the surface, just to be safe.

Do spray downwards. 

If you spray the jet upwards, wood siding can be damaged and filthy water will flow upwards into recesses of your home. The water arc should always be below 90 degrees.

Do consider adding detergent. 

Pure water is sometimes less effective than water mixed with detergent, so try adding some for even better results. Alternatively, you could try soaking the surface in watered-down detergent before using the pressure washer.

It’s perfectly acceptable to use a pressure washer yourself, if you’re confident that you know what you’re doing and won’t cause any damage to yourself or your home. On the other hand, if you want to ensure the job is done safely and effectively, you can ask a professional for help.

At EP Services, we know when to say ‘no’ to water blasting. We’ll only ever blast surfaces that we know can withstand it – and this can end up saving you money and hassle in the long run. For a free assessment and quote anywhere in the Auckland region, contact us today!

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