How to Clean Concrete With a Pressure Washer

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Cleaning concrete with a pressure washer is one of the easiest types of work you can do with a pressures washer. Almost invariably the work is below you at your feet, which is much easier than working over your head or even at eye level. Sometimes it's important to clean concrete, since under certain conditions slippery mold and/or mildew grows on it. That's to say nothing of the aesthetic success that comes from pressure-washing concrete. Not only does most concrete clean up really well, some concrete actually looks brand new after pressure-washing it.

Things You'll Need

  • Pressure washer assembly
  • Concrete surface cleaner
  • Rotary nozzle
  • Fan tips (15 and 40 degree F)

Preparation

  • Place the pressure washer so that not only is it out of the way, but is also positioned in such as way as to minimize having to move it too often, if at all. Clear away anything that may encumber your ability to pressure-wash freely, especially any objects on the concrete your are cleaning.

  • Connect the pressure-washing hoses, pressure-washing gun and wand, and inlet water hose. Turn on the water and start the pressure washer.

  • Wet down as much as possible of the concrete without getting so far ahead that the concrete will dry before you get to pressure-wash it. This is not pressure-washing--you are simply pre-soaking the concrete so that whatever dirt is in the concrete will loosen up and clean easier. Turn off the pressure washer.

Pressure-Washing

  • Return to your starting position and connect the concrete surface cleaner. If you're not going to use a concrete surface cleaner, then the next best concrete-cleaning apparatus is a rotary nozzle. After that it's a 15-degree fan tip, then a 25-degree fan tip. Connect it to your gun and wand.

  • Position yourself and whatever apparatus you're using at the topmost level of any unleveled concrete. This is so the water easily sheds away while you're pressure-washing the concrete. Turn on the water and start the pressure washer.

  • Pressure-wash in a broken back-and-forth pattern down toward wherever you are finishing when using a concrete surface cleaner. Many concrete surface cleaners clean unevenly, and the unevenness of the pressure cleaning will show up after the concrete dries. Pressure-wash with a smooth back-and-forth motion when using a rotary nozzle or fan tips, being careful not to get too close to the concrete so as not to etch too hard into the concrete surface.

  • Return to your starting position again once you're finished pressure-washing. Rinse down the concrete from start to finish with a 25- or 40-degree fan tip.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rinse down each completed section of concrete if the concrete will dry before you finish pressure-washing all of the concrete. Once the concrete dries again, the residual dirt has to be pressure-washed back out, albeit not with as much pressure as when you first cleaned it.
  • Do not allow the pressure washer to run without water flowing through the system and out of the pressure washer hoses for more than 10 to 20 seconds. Without the continuous flow of water through the pump, water heats up and can damage parts of the pump.
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