What is pressure washing?

Pressure washing, is the growing application of high pressure water spray. Produced by specially designed pumps, this spray is a hundred times more powerful than the typical garden hose. On concrete it is used to remove unsightly mold, bubble gum, and other dirt stains. Wooden decks are returned to the look of new wood, void of graying and fatigued finishes. On houses, the appearance of siding (namely aluminum and vinyl), is greatly improved by removing pollution, mildew, and other signs of neglect.

What is PSI (Pounds per Square Inch)?

Pounds per square inch. A unit of measurement referring to the pressure exerted on one square inch of an object's surface. In the case of pressure washers, the measurement of the strength of the spray coming out of the nozzle.

A typical garden hose releases water at a pressure of about 40 PSI, a light-duty electric washer runs about 1000 to 1200 PSI and a heavier-duty consumer-grade gas model operates from about 2800 to 3500 PSI. Industrial-strength washers can exceed 5000 PSI.

What is GPM (Gallons per Minute)?

This is also termed the "water flow rate", or the measure of the volume of water going through the system and out the nozzle. GPM is a vital measurement in the equation that determines a pressure washer's cleaning power. A rate of 3 or more is a good GPM rate, though anything above a 2 is fully adequate for most residential jobs.

Why would I need hot water pressure washing?

Heated water is important because it creates a faster abrasive action, which combined with the cleaning chemicals breaks down the dirt more effectively while the water pressure loosens it and the water flow carries it away.

How long will an exterior house cleaning take?

Depending on the size and square footage of your building, times will vary. On average a typical residential property will take about one day to clean all walls, grounds and patios.

How far in advance should I book P.S.I. Factor's cleaning services?

Although a scheduled maintenance program is preferred, you can expect your estimate within a few days, and work to be completed within one week to ten days following an approved estimate.

What do I need to do to prepare for pressure washing?

In order to complete each job as quickly as possible, we ask that you:

  • Access to electricity is not needed.
  • Leave all water taps turned on.
  • Close and secure all windows and doors
  • Unlock gates or any entrances that might prevent access to the property.
  • Place a towel under door frames if cleaning is to be done directly in that area.
  • Report any leaks and concerns at the time of estimation.

What can I do to prevent moss buildup on my roof?

Moss and debris should be removed first. Then a preventative spray can be applied to slow future growth. Zinc flashing or stripping can also be installed. If the area accumulating moss is always in the shade and is moist or damp, regular visits or a scheduled maintenance program is recommended. This prevents any permanent and harmful damage. Branches and vines should also be trimmed or removed from the roof as often as possible.

Is it possible to not use chemicals or soaps while cleaning?

Yes, concerns regarding pets, gardens, and children are noted during the estimating process. Hot water cleaning is a great substitute for soaps and algaecides.

I am concerned about West Nile Virus. How can P.S.I. Factor help?

Standing water and debris built up on roofs, in gutters, and around the house act as breeding grounds for mosquitoes, which are carriers of the West Nile Virus. Thorough cleaning and sanitizing will help prevent this, creating a cleaner, safer environment for your family.

I have oil stains in my car park and garage. Can these areas be cleaned?

Yes, and with a de-grease treatment and pressure washing these areas can be cleaned and stains removed.

My deck is built with pressure treated wood. How is this cleaned and best maintained?

Regular cleaning and sealing extends the life of your deck or fence. This will save you money in the long run.

Obvious signs of trouble are:

  • Grayed surface (sun or U.V. damage)
  • Warped or cracking (water damage)
  • Loose nails (a sign of excessive swelling & shrinking)
  • Before sealing, the wood must be clean, and dry. Consult P.S.I. Factor for specific solutions to your wood related concerns.

When is the best time to pressure wash?

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it"

This saying should not apply when trying to maintain ones property value. A pro-active approach is highly recommended when it's related to home maintenance and water based cleaning. The more frequent the cleaning, the less pressure needed during cleaning.

Preventative cleaning takes less time and is more gentile. This will save you money in the long run, and preserve the integrity of the material being cleaned.

Is a higher PSI better when pressure washing?

Blasting high-pressure water might remove surface dirt, but can also weather the surface, only damaging it in the long term. The proper washing technique is to use a light pressure (PSI), the right cleaning agents, and large amounts of water.

A higher GPM (gallons per minute) rating is much more important than the PSI (pounds per square inch) rating.

Note: P.S.I. Factor uses equipment rated at 5 GPM - over double the regular GPM used by most available pressure washers.

We rented a pressure washer to clean our cement. After finishing, streaks and marks were visible and left an uneven look. Why is this?

Flat surface cleaners are the preferred choice used by professionals to eliminate "wand marks" or streaks. Flat surface cleaners provide a more even and gentle clean. Flat surface cleaners are also less likely to "lift" edges around tiles, cause flaking on slate and damage previously repaired areas.

I have used P.S.I. Factor every year for our springtime power washing needs on our home, porch and patio for the past 5 years. Chris is professional, punctual and reliable and his eye for detail is top notch. Highly recommended.

Sharon, Vancouver, BC