Using a pressure washer can be a convenient, effective way to remove unwanted stains, dirt, and grime from homes, patios, and even driveways. They multiply the power of a simple household hose up to 80 times its original PSI, and rarely damage the existing surface underneath the stain.
Pressure washing can turn an entire day of chores into an hour or two long task, and it is for this reason pressure washers are so prevalent in the painting industry. However, with that ease and convenience comes a certain amount of risk that homeowners rarely assess when using commercial pressure washing equipment.
Pressure and power washing mishaps sent over 6,000 people to the emergency room in 2014, and injury can occur in a flash with the force generated by pressure washers. There are some things to take into account that can greatly reduce ones risk of injury, and knowledge is always a great tool when hazardous equipment is being put to use.
Handle A Pressure Washer With Respect
The first thing to do, is to know what you are dealing with. The pressure generated by a pressure washer is enough to erode and etch into concrete and “softer” rock material. That’s nothing to mess around with. The human skin can be a great casualty when care isn’t used with such a powerful tool, and even when hospitalization or professional medical treatment isn’t deemed necessary, there can be lingering scarring, abrasions, and infections caused by the spray coming out of a powerful tip.
When you rent a machine, it is imperative to be focused and use great caution, as the experience gained through ownership of a pressure washer is completely missed. Many rental units on the market are made for commercial and industrial use, making them much more powerful than a standard electric powered pressure washer intended for residential use.
Renting may be easy to do, but don’t overestimate your own ability to handle equipment that you may be unfamiliar with. Renting a pressure washing unit can be cost effective, but for safety, do not skimp on protective equipment, such as gloves or goggles. The unit may be a fast alternative to an afternoons worth of cleaning, but don’t rush and put yourself at risk.
Hidden Dangers Not To Be Ignored
One major issue with many injuries caused by pressure washers is that the wound can be very deep without
seeming as such. Infections caused by pressure washing aren’t easily washed out, as they are instantly forced deeper into the wound by the 3-4,000psi behind an industrial spray.
Medical attention is the only way to ensure that you are in the clear, and that can get expensive and time consuming (remember that thing you were trying to bypass by using a pressure washer in the first place?). The kickback generated by the pressure washer and the chemicals that you are using are two major components to avoiding an injury or incident, along with the presence of electrical outlets (even covered outlets on the exterior of a house or building), and wearing proper safety equipment, such as gloves and goggles, can greatly reduce the odds of mishap.
The best way to go? Trust a professional. If you aren’t going to put in the time to become an experienced pressure washer, put your faith in someone with the experience to ensure that the safety of your person and your property aren’t at risk when using this powerful equipment.