THE DANGERS OF PRESSURE WASHING YOUR WINDOWS
Pressure washing is a popular technique when it comes to cleaning cars, sidewalks and building facades, but is it the right choice for cleaning your windows? That’s an important question with some complexity attached to it, especially for those who aren’t familiar with how it works.
Before deciding on pressure washing to clean your windows, it’s best to understand how the process works, and the inherent risks attached. Then, and only then will you be armed with the knowledge needed to know when to use pressure washing on your own windows.
UNDERSTANDING ACTUAL PRESSURE
Pressure washing is a somewhat generic term that does not come with a fixed PSI amount. That means most windows can withstand a certain amount of water pressure, but the risk increases as that pressure goes up. Generally, a PSI of 2,000 is considered strong enough to damage, or outright destroy a window, so it’s best to avoid this range.
To understand how water pressure works, think of certain firearms that fire in higher calibers to produce greater stopping power. Pressure washers have a similar function. The higher the pressure, the more dirt, grime and residue can be stripped off of target objects, but that also means greater risk of damage.
When it’s time to actually apply pressure washing to windows, many people use incorrect spray patterns and technique, which can damage windows. For instance, the uninitiated may think it’s fine to spray a window with the nozzle aimed directly at the glass, but this can concentrate much of the PSI in one area, weakening the material. Others may focus on one area for too long in an effort to try and rid it of dirt and grime.
Only by continually moving the pressure washer nozzle around at a 45-degree angle can one avoid direct damage to a window. That’s still no guarantee of an issue-free cleaning, but it does go a long way.
CLEANING SOLUTION-TO-WATER RATIO
Another problem area many people face when using pressure washers is the correct ratio of cleaning solution-to-water. Many times, people get this ratio wrong, which means the pressure washer is effectively handicapped, causing a less effective cleaning cycle. To compensate, many people tend to ratchet up the PSI, which in turn leads to the original problem of too much pressure, and a risk of damaging windows.
Also, many people tend to clean their windows following an incorrect order. First, they give the windows a traditional cleaning, then follow it up with a pressure wash to try and get excess residue and dirt off the surface. Even when done in the correct order, there are better and more efficient ways to clean windows that do not involve pressure washing.
WHEN & WHERE TO USE PRESSURE WASHERS
For ultimate safety, it’s best to keep pressure washers away from your windows, and instead focus on areas where they’ll do the most good. Pressure washers are fantastic for cleaning parking lots, sidewalks, fences, outdoor furniture, and exterior building facades where dirt and grime really build up.
However, when it comes to cleaning windows, it’s best to rely on the services of a professional window cleaning crew who know all the best, and safest tricks in the industry. In their world, pressure washers aren’t just inefficient; they’re actually a hazard. To prevent damage to your windows and building exteriors, professional window washers will take the time to clean your windows thoroughly, without any risky shortcuts.
CLEANING WINDOWS THE RIGHT WAY
It can be daunting to even consider cleaning all the windows of your home or office building yourself, and in some cases, it’s downright impossible without professional help. However, you can clean many windows with the right techniques that don’t involve pressure washers.
All it takes is some soap and water, and a soft cloth to get the job done. Rinse off the excess soap with a garden hose, then douse your window in a vinegar and water mixture to give your windows one final wipe down. Use a clean towel to dry, and voila – your windows will sparkle, and remain intact for years to come!
If your home or office building is in need of professional window cleaning, we’d like to hear from you. We’ll schedule an appointment to come out and examine your needs, then produce an accurate quote and cleaning schedule that will bring peace of mind. Make sure they’re spotless at all times, and you’ll send a positive message to your employees, clients, and neighbors.