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What type of power washer or pressure washer do you use and is it safe?

I have been asked this question lots over the years.  Or a customer might say, ” Well, I heard so and so on the radio saying it’s terrible and shouldn’t be done – it damages your house.”

Power washing as I call it, or pressure washing, pressure cleaning, etc started taking off in the 80’s in the residential markets here in Vamcouver.  Power washers come in different HP (horse power), usually range from 500 – 5000 PSI (pounds of pressure per square inch) and have a GPM number (gallons of water per minute).  Your typical electric power washer from Canadian Tire to clean your car for 99 bucks might be a smaller unit at 2 HP,  500 PSI and 1 GPM.  The standard unit used by most power washing companies would be an 11 HP unit with 3000 psi and 4 GPM.  These power washers will normally get the job done.  We use these type and can clean concrete sidewalks and driveways, patios, interlocking pavers, vinyl siding, vinyl decking, alluminum railings, cedar decking, stucco, etc.  Most of these types of surfaces are fine to pressure wash for your average user.

I do believe some problems have risen from inexperienced operators of power washers.  When customers ask me if pressure washing will do any damage – I tell them what I have learned:  If something (loose paint, crumbling mortar, section of siding)  will come off if I rub it with my fingers, it will come off when you power wash.  Power washing is dangerous aound windows – period.  I have seen (and damaged) window seals broken when powerwashed.  (Thats when you get the foggy window between the panes.)  I stay away from windows.  Another problem area on any house or commercial building is doors.  Although a house should be sealed up tight, doors tend to leak along the bottom and into the house, after years of the bottom rubber seal being slowly worn out.  Again I know – I once paid $ 600 buck to replace my customers inside hand done door mat.  I stay away from doors.  The other areas to avoid power washing if you are inexperienced is wood decking as it might rip if you power wash to close – asphalt driveways -you can draw your name in it quickly if your not carefull, and roof cleaning – expecially asphalt shingles.  Roof cleaning comes with its own issues -skylights, flashing, etc –  but asphalt shingles will crumble if you power wash too close.  I have learned the proper distance to power wash without removing the little granules, but it took years to learn.  If your new at it – have someone show you how, or better yet call your local power washing company!

Hope that helps answer some questions you might have had.

Keep sending me questions, and I’ll try to answer them here when I have time.

Cheers,

Troy Thompson

troy@northshorehomeservices.com

604-988-5294

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Had a job in a sketchy part of town, for a dirty and difficult clean. The people at North Shore were very helpful, the technician did a great job, and we are very happy with the way it all turned out. Everything was handled professionally and skillfully. I'm thrilled with the result. Will happily recommend them to anyone
Daniel Jones
Daniel Jones
19:55 14 Aug 18
Quick response, easy to deal with and quality work. I highly recommend them. They did a great job!
James Palmer
James Palmer
15:05 14 Sep 18
They did a great job for the downpipes replacement, it looks awesome and professional. There were a small issues for one of the downpipes, they came back the next day and changed a new one for me after I called them. The price is reasonable and the material is a great quality, the installers are their own guys, not subcontract. I am happy about my experience.
Mingwei Liu
Mingwei Liu
06:18 09 Jun 18
North Shore has taken care of a great deal of our maintenance and they always do a great job. Service is fantastic and there have never been any issues with them returning if we needed a touch up after a service. Pricing is always fair and scheduling always on point.
Jooles Dub
Jooles Dub
00:42 04 Jul 18
I have been using this service on behalf of our townhouse complex in Burnaby for the past 3 years. Roof cleaning, gutter repair, and other roofline repairs and maintenance have all been done promptly, quickly and carefully. It was worth it to search for this company and this result, as we have been treated poorly by other more local companies. Prices are reasonable despite the extra travel they do to get here. Invoices and responses to requests are always reliable.
Eric Mulholland
Eric Mulholland
16:27 20 Sep 18
I have switched to North Shore Home Services because of the over the top customer service. Everyone from the men who came to do the repairs to the man in charge of customer service was as professional and understanding as is possible. Best of all, they fixed the leak!! I will recommend these people and call them whenever is necessary.
suzetteccc
suzetteccc
22:02 27 Dec 18

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