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Concrete slabs make a durable flooring choice for basements, garages, patios, and driveways. They’re difficult to damage, easy to maintain, and easy to cover up should you decide you’d rather have another flooring type.

Depending on what you’re using the area for, however, it is possible that your concrete floor will start to look a bit grimy as dirt, grease, and other debris piles up over time. If you’ve already tried common cleaning methods such as sweeping, mopping, or spot-cleaning and your concrete floor still looks dirty, it’s time for a deep clean with a pressure washer.

Pressure washers effectively lift grime from surfaces by blasting narrow high-pressure water jets that loosen the dirt. While pressure washers are relatively easy to use, here are some general tips to help ensure that your cement floor is as clean as possible.

Preparing the floor

To effectively clean your cement floors, you’re going to want to remove any furniture and any loose dirt. Not only does this allow you to clean all parts of the floor, but this also helps keep you safe. The jets on pressure washers are powerful enough to send loose debris flying in the air, which could accidentally strike somebody in the face.

Completely remove any furniture from the area you’re going to clean. Keep in mind that you’re going to need to allow time for the floor to dry, so if you’re removing valuables from the room, put them in a secure location where they can stay for the entire cleaning. If there are any plants in the room that can’t be removed, cover them up with a waterproof tarp.  After the furniture is removed, give the floor a good sweeping to get rid of any loose dirt, leaves, pet fur, and other debris. Finally, cover any electrical outlets with outlet covers or electrical tape.

While most pressure washers will require you to put the cleaning solution in the reservoir of the machine, some washers may require you to put a cleaning solution on your floors as well. If your machine requires you to put a solution on your floors, always do this step after you’ve prepped the rest of the room.

Choosing the nozzle

Similar to vacuums, pressure washers have different attachments that you can use for different purposes. For a cement floor, you’re going to want to use a surface cleaner attachment, which is a circular disc with smaller nozzles on the inside that spin rapidly around. Click here to find the best pressure washer surface cleaners.

The reason you want to go with the surface cleaner attachment instead of the standard hose is that the attachment will cover a larger area at once and will also provide an even clean. Often times when using a pressure washer hose on floors, you’ll notice that there are streaks leftover from where part of the floor was missed. A surface cleaner attachment will prevent these streaks.

Another bonus of using a surface cleaner attachment is that it will lessen the chances of the pressure washer denting or scratching your floor. Any time you’re working with a high-pressure stream of water, you run the risk of accidentally damaging your floor if the machine isn’t on the right setting. The surface cleaner attachment helps to better distribute the water pressure.

Working your way down

After preparing your floors and putting your attachment on, it’s time to get rid of all that dirt and grime! While you might be tempted to immediately start washing the entire surface, always test a small section of the floor first. This will allow you to check to see if the power of the spray is too high. Remember, if the pressure is too high, it can cause scratches and dents. You don’t want to do your entire floor and then realize your floor was damaged.

When you start washing the floor, take your time and steadily wash one small section at a time to avoid streaks. Start towards one end of the room and work your way forward. If you have an incline in the room, follow the slope of the concrete downwards to allow for the water to drain properly.

Allow time for the area to dry before moving furniture back onto it. If you’re looking to seal your concrete, now is the perfect opportunity to do so.

Storing your pressure washer

Pressure washers aren’t only for cleaning cement floors. They can also clean a number of other surfaces such as wooden decks, siding, bricks, and more. If you opt to buy a pressure washer instead of renting one, you’re going to need to properly store it. While it’s okay to store it in your shed or garage during warmer months without any special treatment, you’re going to need to winterize it during the colder months when you’re not using it. Completely empty the machine and hoses of any water, drain any gas, and run an antifreeze solution throughout the machine. If you leave water in the machine, there’s a chance that it will freeze and expand, which can crack components of the pressure washer.

General safety tips

Any time that you use a pressure washer, make sure that you remain aware of your surroundings. Watch out for children, pets, and slipping hazards such as uneven surfaces.

If you are in the same room with someone else, never aim the hose of the pressure washer in their direction. The high-pressure from the jets can cause can cut through skin and cause serious injuries.

To keep yourself safe, wear protective gear. Wear waterproof boots with traction to prevent falls and safety goggles to prevent projectiles from entering your eyes. If you’re sensitive to noise, you might also want to wear noise-canceling headphones.

Conclusion

Take a look at your concrete floors. If they’re starting to look dingy and grimy and your normal cleaning methods aren’t working, it could be time for a deep clean. If used properly, a pressure washer can quickly and safely get your concrete looking new again.