The terms power washing and pressure washing are often used to mean the same thing. But are they different? Or do they mean the same thing? If not, which one is better? 

The function of both is fundamentally the same. They both use water that’s pressurized to remove dirt and debris from solid surfaces; however, while they operate similarly, there are principal differences that will direct how you use each. Knowing these distinctions will help you decide which method you want to use to get your home looking clean and brand new again.

The Distinction Between Power Washing and Pressure Washing

Regarding water pressure, power washing and pressure washing both utilize forceful streams of high-pressure water. However, the pressure amount is contingent on the machine type. For example, household units won’t supply the amount of power that an industrial machine can. 

Additionally, the thing that separates the two machine types is the heating element:

  • A power washer heats up the water
  • A pressure washer uses normal temperature water

This distinction may seem trivial, yet it will make a significant difference in how each machine is used.

What Is Power Washing?

Power washing is a method of removing surface materials including mud, mildew, mold, bird droppings, and other contaminants from the outside of your home using heated, pressurized water. The temperature and pressure combination make it better at separating extremely stuck-on materials from property surfaces. 

Water that’s been heated to a particular temperature works to break down and remove contaminated materials easier than normal water. Plus, it’s often done with heavy-duty power wash solutions. The added heat for power washing makes it exceptional at removing:

  • Chewing gum from sidewalks
  • Grease stains from driveways or garage floors 
  • Mildew, mold, and salt buildup from decks, patios, sidewalks, and driveways

A power washer’s ability to blast how water is also helpful for controlling moss or weeds. It immediately kills them and prevents them from growing back. 

Power Washers Aren’t for Every Surface

Because power washing is performed with force, to avoid damaging your property, we highly recommend that a power washer only be used on driveways, fences, decks, patios, and other hard surfaces. The dirt and grime buildup on these surfaces require the high pressure and heat of power washing.  

What Is Pressure Washing?

Since pressure washing uses normal water temperatures, it relies entirely on the force of its water. If you’ve rented a machine to clean your gutters or siding home, this is likely what you’ve used. Pressure washers are generally electric or gas-driven and generate pressure of 1,300 to 2,000 pounds per square inch (psi).

It performs well at blasting dirt and grime away, but not as well as a power washer at destroying mold, moss, or stuck-on materials, or cleaning away grease from concrete. Similar to a power washer, pressure washing is done with heavy machinery and should be done by a trained professional. 

Because a pressure washer’s water velocity is the same as a power washer, it’s crucial to only let these services be performed on exterior surfaces that are hard. If you or somebody you hire pressure washes the outside of your home, you run the risk of damage to your home’s paint or siding.

Which Application Best Suits Your Home’s Requirements?

Now that you understand the primary distinctions between pressure washing and power washing, you can better decide which one you choose for your home. The job you need it for will determine the method you use. 

For Household Use, Choose a Pressure Washer

For everyday household use, you’ll likely choose pressure washing. It can be less harsh on surfaces, making it the ideal choice for concrete, brick, and masonry. A pressure washer may be what you need when you want to quickly clean leaves, bird droppings, or other material from your patio or deck. 

Larger Jobs May Need a Power Washer

For extra-large patios, commercial spaces, or driveways, power washing is likely a better choice. The heat from the water loosens up the deep ground in dirt and makes the job go faster. 

Additionally, if you have algae, mold, or other fungi, a power washer’s high heat is better suited for destroying this type of growth, preventing it from affecting your family’s health.

Select a Low-Pressure Wash to Safely Clean Your Home

A low-pressure power wash is different from power washing and pressure washing. It’s a process that uses lower pressure water mixed with a mildly chlorinated cleaning solution to clean your home thoroughly, yet gently.

If regular pressure washing or power washing is not performed correctly, it can damage the surface of your home. Low-pressure washing minimizes this risk using gentler water pressure. 

A skilled pressure washing service like First Coast Home Pros uses quality equipment combined with safe cleansing solutions to handle even the most challenging job with remarkable success. 

Surfaces that Are Safe to Pressure Wash

First Coast will clean your home effectively without using harsh chemicals or potentially damaging high-pressure water. Our pressure washing service is perfect for:

  • Decks and wood fences
  • Screened enclosures and pool decks
  • Home exteriors of all types (including coquina)
  • Stone, pavers, brick, and concrete
  • Patios, walkways, and driveways

Experience the First Coast Difference Today

Whether you choose power washing or pressure washing to clean your home’s exterior, this is a household chore that should be left to the professionals. At First Coast Home Pros, our experienced cleaning technicians know how to get the job done safely and effectively. 

We’re so confident in your satisfaction that we guarantee our pressure washing services for a full week to give you time to inspect our work. If you’re not completely happy with the results, just let us know and we’ll come back to correct them. Contact us today to get started!