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Power washing and pressure washing are terms that are often used interchangeably when used to describe the process of using jetted, pressurized water to clean exterior surfaces. Up until now, you may have assumed they really were the same process that just went by a couple of names. But are they really the same thing? And if not, how are they different?

While they may be the same in that they both utilize highly pressurized water to remove dirt, mold, mildew, and stains from hard surfaces, power washing is different from pressure washing. Both, however, are powerful machines that use various water pressures as well as a wide variety of nozzles, sprays, and even angles to achieve a beautiful, thorough clean of driveways, decks, house siding, and more.

So what makes them different? And how do you know which is right for you? When can you tell that it is time to have your house pressure washed and how much can you expect to pay a professional for such a service? Let’s find out.

What is Power Washing?

Power washing works by using a pressurized stream of steam to clean hard outdoor surfaces. The combination of hot water and pressure makes power washing perfect for heavy-duty jobs and removes residues like mildew, mold, salt, and even grease stains from hard surfaces. It can clean patios, decks, driveways, and commercial cleanings. Power washing is also effective for cutting back weed growth on pavements, the powerful hot water killing weeds and slowing down the speed at which they grow back. Power washing is a more harsh and heavy duty form of cleaning and should be utilized by professionals to ensure there is no damage to any surfaces.

What is Pressure Washing?

The difference between power washing and pressure washing is that pressure washing does not use any heating element. It is just cold water sprayed at high pressure to clean hard surfaces for a quicker, gentler clean. Pressure washing can be used on all the same surfaces as power washing can, though it may be less effective against tough materials, heavy mold or mildew, and heavily stained concrete. Pressure washing can be used to clean decks, patios, driveways, brick siding, vinyl siding, masonry, and in some cases, roofing though special care has to be taken not to damage roofing.

How to Choose

Choosing which service you need, power washing or pressure washing all depends on the job you need to be done. Power washing is great for commercial cleaning or heavy-duty work on concrete or pavement. Power washing is perfect for heavy dirt cleaning, moss overgrowth, mold, and mildew staining. The heat from power washing speeds cleaning up as it more easily loosens up dirt and debris and offers a deeper and more thorough polish-up. However, as a very powerful and even harsh cleaning method, it is not often ideal for residential use and should only be used on very hard surfaces, like concrete.

That’s where pressure washing comes in. Pressure washing is powerful enough to provide a decent and quick clean while not being so harsh that it will ruin house siding or wooden decks or porches. Pressure washing is safe to use on all kinds of outdoor residential projects.

When is it Time to Consider Pressure Washing Your House?

So when do you know if it is time to consider a pressure wash for your house? House siding should be washed once a year or so to keep serious mold growth or staining under control, but also to keep your house looking nice to maintain curb appeal. Regular washing helps structures and elements of your house to last longer and will be easier to clean in the long run. You should consider a pressure wash for your house if you notice mildew or staining on the shady sides of your house, or if the siding seems particularly dirty or dusty. You may also want to consider a thorough pressure wash for your house if you are planning on selling it since it can greatly improve a house’s overall appearance.

However, power washing and pressure washing is not a job that you want to DIY, and hiring professionals is a must if you don’t want to risk damaging your house. Pressurized water can be a great way to clean hard surfaces but if used incorrectly will damage siding or roofing. Professional power washers or pressure washers will know what kinds of spray nozzles to use and at what angles and degrees to ensure the safest and most thorough cleaning of your house. Such companies as Pressure Washing in Pittsburgh PA provide professional-level pressure washing along with a wide array of other services for both residential and commercial cleanings.

How Much Does Pressure Washing Cost?

The cost of pressure washing or power washing depends a great deal on the size of the project or house and the area in which you live. However, professional pressure washers font charge by the square foot and you can expect to pay anywhere between $100-$650 for a clean. The time it will take also depends on the size of the house and the difficulty of the cleaning and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. However, it is a price worth paying since a clean house is more appealing and helps preserve the elements of your house so that they do not have to be replaced as often.

Final Thoughts

In summary, the main difference between power washing and pressure washing is that power washing uses hot pressurize water and steam whereas pressure washing just uses water without any heating element. Power washing is ideal for heavy-duty cleaning, hard surfaces, driveways, and commercial jobs. Pressure washing is better for the residential cleaning of house siding, decks, patios, fences, roofing, and more. It is always recommended to hire a professional cleaning service rather than attempting to do it yourself as pressurized water used incorrectly can cause a lot of damage to a house. Finding and hiring a quality pressure washing company is well worth it for a clean and fresh exterior of your house.