Power Washing vs Pressure Washing

Power Washing vs Pressure Washing: 11 Differences

In this post you will have a power washing vs pressure washing comparison on the basis of difference. Power washing and pressure washing are two very different methods for cleaning surfaces. Power washing uses a high-pressure spray of water to remove dirt, mold, mildew and other contaminants from a surface. Pressure washing, on the other hand, uses hot water or steam to clean a surface. 

1) Appearance

Pressure washing results in a smoother appearance but power washing will leave texture. If the finish needs to be preserved, then pressure washing is generally preferred because it does not damage or roughen a surface as much as power washing.

2) Texture

Pressure washing uses high-pressure sprayers to remove mold and mildew from lawn furniture, decks and other surfaces leaving behind a smooth appearance.

Power washing, on the other hand, uses low-pressure sprays to clean paved surfaces, outdoor furniture and siding leaving behind a slightly rougher appearance.

3) Materials

Pressure washers are generally used on non-porous surfaces that will not be damaged by high water pressure levels.

Power washers are best suited for cleaning concrete, asphalt or paver stones because these types of surfaces can stand up to higher water pressure levels and do not require specialized nozzles.

Power Washing vs Pressure Washing
Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding

4) Method

Pressure washers are most often used to clean patio furniture, siding and outdoor carpets.

Power washers are intended for cleaning paved outdoor areas like driveways, walkways, garage floors and parking lots.

5) Stains

Pressure washing is not suitable for removing concrete stains like oil stains or gasoline spills on concrete patios or black streaks from roofing materials.

Power washers can easily remove dirt, mold, mildew and other surface contaminants but may not effectively remove oil stains or black streaks from concrete surfaces.

6) Cleaning Power 

Pressure washing can easily remove mold, mildew, dirt and other common outdoor contaminants but may not be able to remove very stubborn stains.

Power washing can effectively remove stubborn stains like oil and gas spills on concrete patios but it cannot completely clean off mold, mildew or dirt.

7) Costs

Pressure washers are generally less expensive than power washers so they are better suited for light-duty jobs around the house while a power washer may be more cost-effective for demanding jobs with tougher surface contaminants that require a high level of cleaning power to them.

8) Environmental Concerns

Pressure washing with hot or extremely cold water can have an adverse effect on the environment so it should only be used when necessary.

Power washing has little negative effect on the local ecosystem as long as no chemicals are added to the cleaning solution.

9) Cleaning Time

Pressure washing takes less time to clean a surface than power washing because the pressure washer uses a high-pressure spray of water to remove dirt and debris from a large area in a short period of time.

Power washing takes more time to clean a surface due to the size of the cleaning nozzle that restricts water flow resulting in less powerful sprays and slower cleaning speeds.

10) Effectiveness

Pressure washers deliver a high-pressure spray of water that can remove dirt and other surface contaminants from large areas in a short period of time; power washers use a smaller, more focused stream of water that is not as effective for removing stubborn stains like oil or gas spills on concrete surfaces.

Wood Pressure Washing
Wood Pressure Washing

11) Surface Compatibility

Pressure washers can damage surfaces like plastic, vinyl and some types of stone by causing them to crack or become scratched.

Power washing alone does not cause surface damage unless chemicals are added to the cleaning solution; however it is always best to test a small portion of the surface before cleaning the entire area in question.

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