The quick answer is yes, pressure washing can degrade a concrete surface. You can see visible damage caused by water pressure at the level at which even light-duty pressure washers can operate. Therefore, if you are not careful, it can cause irreversible damage to the entrance or patio. Yes, a pressure washer can damage concrete.
Of course, this depends on the hardness of the concrete, if it is damaged, how often it does so, the water pressure and the nozzle you use. Make sure you use the correct nozzle and do not adjust the water pressure to a level higher than necessary. Even with a lightweight pressure washer, the concrete surface can sometimes be damaged. When the surface begins to be damaged, the concrete begins to develop lines, pits, and other common surface imperfections.
Sometimes you can experience joint deterioration if the mortar is washed throughout the process. For those homeowners who only pressure wash once or twice a year, renting a pressure washer is probably the best idea in this case. This type of damage prevails in slabs that are covered with a screed of a different color than the base concrete. This is because concrete needs at least a year to be able to withstand the type of pressure of a pressure washer.
Instead of the usual process of supplying water through a high-pressure sprayer, mixing water with cleaning fluids can also be very useful. A pressure washer also has the ability to remove the protective layer on concrete and, once removed, the surface will be even more exposed to natural elements. Pressure washers are easy to find to rent or buy, and almost anyone can figure out how to turn one on, point it, and pull the trigger. Pressure washing is an effective cleaning regimen for concrete, provided that the concrete is in good condition and is more than a year old.
You may lose control while washing and the pressure washer destroys your car; you may end up chipping the paint. Give concrete time to cure and settle before hitting it with a pressure washer, or start with a gentle wash and work your way up as the concrete ages. Damage caused by pressure washers is often the result of choosing the wrong nozzle, using a higher pressure than the task requires, keeping the rod too close to the hard surface, or directing the spray to a point for too long. There are many horror stories that are pressure washed and that focus on a well-intentioned homeowner who accidentally damages his wooden deck, removes paint from his house, destroys the paint on his car, rips tiles off his roof or siding on the side of the house, and even causes serious injuries to themselves or others.
In general, pressure washing is safe for concrete, but only a trained professional can make sure to take steps to avoid damaging the concrete. If the water supply is not adequate, your pressure washer will not be able to work efficiently and effectively. Look carefully at the concrete surface you just cleaned; you may see traces of dirt or debris that didn't come off while you were washing under pressure. The first thing to know is that, if done correctly, cleaning concrete with a pressure washer can make your patio, walkway, or driveway look like new in just a few hours.
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