Pressure Washing FAQs
1. Is there a difference between power washing and pressure washing?
The terms “power wash” and “pressure wash” are completely synonymous. The fact is these terms are used interchangeably to describe the process of using high pressure water to clean surfaces. We use 3,000 PSI pressure washing machines, both hot and cold water units.
2. How often should I pressure wash my parking garage?
Typically, it is recommended to have your garage pressure washed AT LEAST once per year to maintain cleanliness. It is also common to pressure wash once in the spring, usually April (post winter) and once in the fall, late September-October.
There is also the option to do a power rinse down of your garage which is about 65% of the total price of a standard garage power washing. The difference lies in the treatment of oil/grease spots in the garage. The rinse down targets loose contaminants on the deck surface but will not treat any of the staining. Therefore, if you wanted to do a standard wash once per year, you could always follow with a rinse down later in the year to target the excess dirt/loose contaminants which will undoubtedly find itself on the surface through the seasons. Obviously, the amount of traffic your garage receives affects the above.
3. What can I expect my parking garage to look like after you pressure wash it?
Cleaner! When pressure washing garage floors we have two levels of cleaning – we either use the high pressure wands to do what we call a “pressure rinse” or we use a device called a “walk behind” or “surface washer” to scrub a little deeper. You can expect the surface washer to get your garage a newer look than just the pressure rinse.
4. Is there a difference between cold water and hot water pressure washing?
We get this question all the time. Yes. There are several advantages to offering hot water pressure washing capabilities, which we do.
Hot water is a natural disinfectant. Therefore, when cleaning a surface with hot water, it does not only clean the surface, but it also kills bacteria such as algae. This keeps the surface cleaner for a longer period of time. Imagine cleaning your dishes with cold water – much less effective.
Additionally, hot water has the ability to cut grease. This makes hot water pressure washing very useful in places such as parking garages where cars tend to leave behind greasy fluids from things like oil or transmission leaks.
Unlike cold water pressure washing, hot water can remove gum by melting it off the surface and it makes it possible to pressure wash in colder weather. As long as the temperature is above 32 degrees, the surface can be cleaned with hot water.
5. Can you remove graffiti and efflorescence?
Absolutely. Not only can we remove all paint-based graffiti, but we do it safely. In some instances, graffiti may be found near vegetation or other sensitive surfaces. With our environmentally friendly graffiti removal products, we can get rid of the graffiti without damaging the surrounding area.
As for efflorescence, we can clean affected surfaces, but as this condition typically is a sign of other underlying water intrusion related issues, this condition often can reappear if the source(s) are left unidentified and untreated. Our Exterior Building Services professionals can assist with helping to identify and address these issues. To learn more about efflorescence, click here.
6. Do you perform large façade cleaning and sealing work?
Certainly. One of our largest projects was the cleaning and sealing of the National Archives II building in College Park, MD. This 1.7 million square foot building consists of 11 buildings linked together as one.
We have the ability to perform façade cleaning and sealing projects using suspended scaffolding, bosun chairs, and boom lifts. That being said, we do plenty of smaller scale pressure washing and sealing as well.
Prior to sealing a building we perform a water absorption test to determine how porous the surface is. This allows us to calculate the amount of sealer needed for the project. We offer a variety of water repellent solutions, some with manufacturer warranties lasting up to 10 years.
7. Is it true my garage can experience severe damage from a lack of pressure washing?
Pressure washing horizontal surfaces is crucial in areas that experience colder climates and require salt application on the roads and sidewalks during the winter. Salt is extremely corrosive and can cause surfaces, such as concrete, to quickly deteriorate.
In examples such as parking garages where there is rebar or tension cables within the concrete, the salt can actually compromise the integrity of the floors as it deteriorates the metal and causes the concrete to crack. This can be prevented with a regular pressure washing maintenance cleaning every year. We also recommend applying water repellent to concrete floors in order to further protect the surface and prevent water penetration issues.
To learn more about garage pressure washing, click here.