We start this how to pressure wash your patio guide with your personal safety in mind, after all water and electricity don’t mix.
We then move on to tell you how to clean your patio in the shortest time as possible before we cover how to clean concrete and brick patios.
Finally we show you which pressure washers we recommend for cleaning patios.
If you have any questions after reading this guide please let us know in the comment section below. Enjoy!
If you think cleaning your patio isn’t at all risky, you might have exposed yourself to different risks without knowing. Pressure washing is not particularly risky, but you should always be careful, nonetheless.
- The first thing you should be aware of is that pressure washing your patio mixes water and electricity. This can lead to dangerous, even life-threatening scenarios. Make sure you stay at a safe distance from the power outlet once you start washing your patio, so it won’t get wet by accident.
- If you have to use an extension cable, make sure it’s not longer than 10 meters and that it has a constant rating of 13 AMPS.
- Remove everything from the area you intend to wash. Move the furniture to a different part of the yard, and remove all the flower pots and garden ornaments in your path.
- Make sure the water runs freely after connecting the hose. After you unwound the hose, make sure it stays free of kinks so the water flow remains constant at all times.
- Always wear safety goggles when you’re pressure washing. The force of the water hitting the ground can dislodge pebbles and grime that can accidentally rise to eye level.
- Don’t use the pressure washer to water your plants, even if it’s set on its lowest water pressure setting. This can do permanent damage to the plants.
- Avoid using a high-pressure nozzle when you’re cleaning chipped paving. This can cause more damage to the pavement.
Make A Long Job Shorter
Pressure washing your patio might not be very difficult, but it’s definitely time-consuming. Here are some tips that can shorten that time.
- Thoroughly sweep the area you’re planning to pressure wash before you start. Leaves and dirt are easier and quicker removed using a brush.
- Detergents can help with dissolving dirt and grime from weathered surfaces. Some detergents can also protect the surface from dirt build-ups, so it will look better over time.
- Use different detergents for different surfaces. Some of them are specially designed for stone, while others will work on wood. Make sure the one you use is suited for the task.
- If the surface you’re trying to clean is covered with lichens, it might be easier and quicker to clean it using the high-powered lance. Most pressure washers come with a pencil jet nozzle that can produce higher pressures. However, you shouldn’t use this nozzle on wooden surfaces.
- If weeds are growing between some tiles, it might be quicker and better to use a chemical to remove them. More often than not, the chemicals used for killing weeds also prevent others from growing in their place.
- Sweep the driveway to remove the larger debris like leaves, pebbles, or branches.
- Use the lowest water pressure setting to remove what’s left of the larger debris.
- Thoroughly apply detergent on the driveway. If your pressure washer has a detergent application feature, use it. You should read the washer’s instructions manual to see which detergent is safe to use with your particular washer. If your washer has a detergent application feature, you should attach the right nozzle for this task. If it doesn’t, mix the detergent with water in a bucket and spread it evenly over the surface. Make sure the detergent should be used on pavement.
- You should allow the detergent some time to work on the grime. 5 – 10 minutes should be enough, but you should be able to find out more from the product’s label.
- Now that most of the tougher stains have been broken down by the detergent, you can blast them away. This is where a patio cleaner attachment comes in handy. This type of attachment will cover a wider surface quicker, and it will also do it without splashing. The patio cleaner accessory also disperses more water over a certain area, reducing the risk of concrete damage a high-pressure nozzle might induce.
- If some stains are still visible, use a high-pressure nozzle to remove them. The higher water pressure should peel the grime from the concrete.
- If the driveway is clean, rinse it thoroughly to flush away the detergent.
- You should first swipe the driveway to remove the larger debris.
- Soak the driveway. Make sure you use your lowest pressure nozzle when you do this. You should make sure the bricks are wet, so it won’t absorb the detergent.
- It is extremely important that you choose a special detergent when you’re cleaning a brick driveway. Using one which isn’t suitable to use on brick can lead to discoloration, or it can even stain the bricks.
- Let the detergent work. Most of the detergents you should use on this surface shouldn’t be left to work for more than 5 minutes.
- Use a medium powered nozzle to remove all the grime, mildew, and dirt from the bricks, as well as the detergent. You shouldn’t use a high-powered nozzle when you’re cleaning bricks because you can damage them or the mortar between them.
- If the bricks in your driveway are separated by sand and not by mortar, make sure you replace the sand from time to time. Pressure washing the driveway can lead to the loss of the joining sand, making the paving weaker. Even though the sand you replace will not be compacted and it won’t be as good as the original one, it will still lock the block paving together.
- If the bricks in your driveway are separated by sand, and you have a problem with weed growth, you should not remove them with a pressure washer alone. This constant removal can lead to a greater loss of the joint sand, so it will actually be more damaging over time. Use a weed killer chemical instead, as the chemical will both kill the weed and prevent others from growing in their place.
There are several things that you should watch out for when buying a pressure washer to clean a patio. These include
- Long Lead (if using an electric pressure washer)
- Patio Size
As with most things in life you pay for quality. This goes for buying pressure washers too. Although initial specs such as bar pressure, water flow and price might be the same the internal parts can vary enormously. For example cheaply build pressure washers often contain plastic pumps which can crack much more easily than aluminium pumps.
Many well-known brands often have authorised dealerships dotted around the country where you can get a cheap service or repair.
Currently the leading pressure washer brand in the UK and Ireland is Karcher.
There’s an inverse relationship between the power of your pressure washer and the time it takes to clean a patio.
The larger the power, the less time it takes to clean a patio and vice-versa.
However bigger isn’t necessarily better as a very powerful water jet can dislodge the mortar between bricks.
For a great guide on pressure washers and power you might like to have a quick look at our Ultimate Karcher Pressure Washer Guide.
Attachments and Detergents
As mentioned previously a good patio cleaner attachment is great help. Patio cleaners disperse water over a wider area than a jet spray of water and this can save the mortar between the bricks as well as from damaging any chipped bricks.
Other benefits include very limited splashing and covering a wide area faster than without using a patio cleaner.
5 Best Patio Pressure Washers
The Karcher K2 Full Control is an ideal pressure washer for small to medium patios.
The K2 Full Control comes with wheels for easy transportation as well as a Karcher patio cleaner and detergent.
This pressure washer cleans at a rate of 20 square meters per hour and features a max pressure of 110 bar.
While Karcher is the leading pressure washer brand in the UK Nilfisk is not that far behind.
The Nilfisk C110 4-5 PC Xtra is an obvious choice for small to medium sized patios. due to its solid construction, great parts (the pump is aluminium not plastic), and the patio cleaner.
If you are wondering whether to buy a Karcher K2 or Nilfisk C110 you’ll want to read this comparison article.
If you have a medium to large patio or driveway then you should definitely check out the Karcher Full Control Plus pressure washer. The K5 Full Control covers twice the area in the same time as the Karcher K2 which is ideal if you are time pressed (or don’t want a pain in your hand from holding the trigger down for several hours!).
There are many other advantages of the K5 Full Control and these include a water suction capability, larger flow, larger bar pressure, a water-cooled motor and many other cool features.
Kranzle is a german pressure washer brand and you can be sure that this is a quality pressure washer as the forged brass pump has a 10 year guarantee! The Chasis is also said to be virtualy indestructible.
The Kranzle K 1152 TS T does not come with a patio cleaner however with pressure of 150 bar and 101 litre p/m of water flow you can rest assured that this is a powerful unit which will get you through your patio cleaning pronto.
While this unit is fairly expensive the benefits include a solidly contructed pressure washer that will last for years, German parts engineering, UK customer support, a long 15 meter high pressure hose, and a leakage return system.
Wolf pressure washers are one of the best pressure washers that you can buy and while the previous 4 pressure washers are electric models the Wolf 220 bar is a petrol pressure washer which means no pesky lead to watch out for.
This pressure washer features 220 bar pressure and is therefore suitable for large and very large patios, driveways and farm yards.
The range of nozzles for the Wolf pressure washer is great as they range from 0° for a fine pinpoint jet to a wider 40° spray for a softer touch. A detergent nozzle is also included.
At time of writing every Wolf 220 bar review on Amazon has a 100% satisfaction rating (although of course that can change at any minute).
How To Pressure Wash Your Patio Video
Here is a great little video by Karcher UK which shows you how to pressure wash your patio.
Pressure washing your driveway is not a difficult task, but it can be time-consuming. Following the instructions presented in this how to pressure wash your patio guide will allow you to finish the task quicker and more efficiently.
Generally speaking the larger your pressure washer is the faster it will do the job.
Did you enjoy this how to pressure wash your patio guide? Let us know in the comments below.