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  • Writer's pictureDrew Dykes

Surface Cleaning your Volusia Home or Business

Using a Surface Cleaner While Pressure Washing a New Smyrna Beach Home - Dykes Pressure Cleaning

Why Surface Cleaning is So Important and What to Consider

Surface cleaning is a common and effective method for cleaning driveways, pool decks, sidewalks, and basically any flat surface that can withstand the pressure. As with most tools, there are assorted brands whose products vary slightly, but for all intents and purposes, they pretty much do the same job.

I will be going over what equipment to use, when to use it, and how to use it in the most efficient way when surface cleaning your home or business. Surface cleaners, or “scrubbers” as some call them, do a quality job and can literally cut your cleaning time in half with the proper set up.

Considering Time and Money When Pressure Washing

The first things to consider when deciding how you will complete your pressure washing job are time and money.

The average homeowner doing DIY pressure washing around the house will not have the top of the line equipment to work with. Most residential pressure washers are bought at one of the big box stores and may be a good working piece of equipment, but usually are limited on what they offer in terms of Pressure Per Square-Ince (PSI) and Gallons Per Minute (GPM) machines. These machines usually cost about $200, but can go up to more than $800 depending on the store, quality, and if it's gasoline or electric-powered.

I have never used an electric washers, but I hear they do not have the same power as a gas pressure washer. I would imagine it would be comparable to the difference between a gas and electric-powered lawn equipment.

Buying Additional Tools - The Surface Cleaner

A surface cleaner is an additional tool which must be purchased separately. These attachments range in sizes from as small as 12-inch all the way up to 36-inch. There are some industrial sizes that go even larger, but would never be necessary or make sense to use on your standard home driveway. You can purchase an average sized surface cleaner at one of the box stores for somewhere around $70-80. These are not brand-name high quality machines, but for someone just looking to do the driveway occasionally, it would be sufficient.

At Dykes Pressure Cleaning, we use a 24-inch surface cleaner with a Honda motor and Pressure Pro pump putting out 3500 PSI and 5.5 GMP. I find this to be the ideal set up for our business needs because it has enough pressure and water flow to get the job done right but isn’t so powerful that you must constantly worry about damaging the areas being cleaned.

With higher quality comes higher price. Our setup costs a few thousand dollars instead of a few hundred dollars; which wouldn’t be a justified expense for the average household.

Choosing the Correct Surface Cleaner Nozzle

After you have a surface cleaner and a pressure washer, you will still need to get the correct nozzle(s). The surface cleaner will most likely come with nozzles installed, but that doesn’t mean they are the right ones for your pressure washer. The nozzle size and spray pattern make a tremendous difference here. The larger the size, the more area you can cover at a time. But without the correct nozzles allowing a flow rate to match your machine’s output, the surface cleaner will not thoroughly clean the surface.

You may have seen driveways with either the horizontal stripes from using a wand, or the swirls which are a dead giveaway that your surface cleaner is not working properly. This unsightly problem can happen even with the correct nozzle setup if you are moving too fast. You should be going at a slow and steady pace to allow the scrubber to do its job. If you have a 4 GPM machine with a 2-nozzle surface cleaner, then you would need a 2-gallon nozzle on each side. With a 3 GPM pressure washer, you would need a 1.5-gallon nozzle on each side, and so on.

unsightly pressure wash stripes - dykes pressure cleaning

The purpose of the surface cleaner is to clean surfaces not only quicker, but also at a higher level of satisfaction. When set up the right way, you will have a clean, even surface without all the ugly stripes left behind by using a wand.

The surface cleaner is usually circle shaped and has a bar that spins underneath (or multiple bars, depending on size) with nozzles at each end. The water pressure causes the bar to spin at a very high rate of speed. This allows for your spray patterns to be even the whole way through the cleaning process and eliminates unsightly striping.

The surface cleaner is a huge asset when pressure washing. When it comes to cleaning flat surfaces, it's our preferred method--no question about that. The only question to ask yourself is whether it makes sense for your situation to go buy the equipment and spend the time doing the work? Or if you would prefer, you can call the pros at Dykes Pressure Cleaning and let us worry about the work and the equipment.

The average home and driveway would cost less to have it cleaned by us than if you went and bought even mediocre equipment yourself. If you combine that cost with laboring in the brutal Florida heat, it really begins to add up.

At Dykes Pressure Cleaning, we support the idea of a homeowner taking control of their home and business and doing what's right for them; the choice is yours. But if you decide you would rather have us handle the mess, just give us a call at (386) 847-3626 or visit our contact page.

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