Power washers are tremendously helpful pieces of equipment. They can blow away gunk and grime in a matter of minutes and save you time and energy. Unfortunately, they can also cause harm if used incorrectly. If you are aware of the dangers of pressure washers, avoiding that danger is a more likely outcome.
Sometimes you simply need more “umph” than an ordinary garden hose can provide, and in such cases, a pressure washer is an excellent tool. It is important to remember that it is not always the right tool for every job. This can be tricky to remember when the sense of power a pressure washer provides kicks in.
The Dangers of Pressure Washers
A pressure washer, also called a power washer, is a machine designed to spray highly pressurized (and often hot) water or cleaning solution to clean various surfaces. The amount of power behind the powerful jet of water can make the actual machine difficult to control. Those who use a pressure washer should be well aware of its risks and the relevant safety precautions before starting.
Direct contact with the spray from a pressure washer can lead to dramatic injuries, including abrasions, burns, and blindness. In a worst-case scenario, the same pressure that can peel paint can also peel flesh from bone. The pressurized spray can also launch other objects in its wake, creating dangerous projectiles. The copious amount of liquid produced can also lead to falls.
Danger is always nearby when you mix water and electricity. Both standing and running water pose a threat when an electric power washer is in use, and electrocution is one of the most frightening dangers of pressure washers. If the safety instructions are not followed properly, electric shock is possible.
The chemicals used during a power wash can cause skin or eye irritation or damage if it comes into contact with things it isn’t meant to touch. Cuts and abrasions can allow chemicals to enter the bloodstream directly and cause major damage. In fact, the chemical danger doesn’t just apply to people. Without the proper steps to cover plants, bleach and other compounds can kill the flora in the area.
Damage To Surfaces
Powerful jets of steaming water can peel paint or even etch into wood if the wrong settings are used. They can also mutilate roofing materials. Shingles are not usually durable enough to withstand regular pressure washing settings. The specialized soft washing technique should be used when working near the roof, otherwise water can blow up under the shingles and cause water damage inside the building.
Take the Necessary Precautions
Luck favors the prepared, and if the right precautions are taken, the dangers of pressure washers can be minimized dramatically.
- Absolutely never point a pressure washer at a person or animal. Keep children and pets secured away from an area being power washed.
- Wear protective gear when handling a pressure washer. This includes proper eye protection and sturdy close-toed shoes (preferably with rubber soles).
- If you have cuts or nicks on your hands or arms, it is wise to cover them before starting to power wash.
- Do not attempt to move things with the stream of water.
- Ensure that the outlet you are using is correctly grounded, and make sure to plug in the pressure washer all the way.
- Keep power cords out of standing water.
- Never use a pressure washer with a frayed or spliced power cord.
- Never use a gasoline powered washer in an enclosed space.
- Be very familiar with which settings are appropriate for the surface you are cleaning. Always test them on a hidden spot.
In the Event of an Injury
Wounding from a pressure washer’s spray may appear minor initially. This can cause those injured to delay treatment at first, exacerbating the problem. If you have an encounter with the wrong end of a pressure washer, seek professional medical care immediately. If there is bleeding but no glass, put pressure on the wound until proper medical measures can be taken.
Avoiding Danger with Liberty Power Wash
While pressure washers are safe when used correctly, some would rather not risk it. That is understandable, and if you are not completely sure about operating one, never fear. Professional power washing services can cut the risks in half. Our team has used pressure washers hundreds of times, and that level of familiarity makes the dangers of pressure washers significantly less threatening.
At Liberty Power Wash, we have the necessary tools and experience to ensure the safety of your household and our crew during any power washing project and avoid the big dangers of pressure washers. You can protect yourself, your property, and those you love by enlisting our services for your next power wash.