Posted on Aug 03, 2017
Pressure Washing Purchasing Guide in Atlanta
If you’ve discovered this blog, you’re seriously considering making your cleaning jobs faster, easier, and more efficient. The following pressure washing purchasing guide will lay out the specs, versatility, and applications of the pressure washer, giving you information you need to make your purchase decision. The following guide breaks down 5 important factors to consider when you’re looking for pressure washers in Atlanta.
The versatility of the pressure washer makes it the most useful and effective cleaning tool for your business, shop, or in your home. With little more than water and soap you can clean an extremely wide range of surfaces with ease, saving you time, sweat, and money along the way! Some of the most common applications are as follows:
- Residential – Cut down on the elbow-grease required to clean homes, driveways, roofs, wood decking.
- Commercial – Clean buildings and make it look more inviting to clients and customers. Give stained windows and parking lots new life by washing away the dirt and grime that accumulates over time.
- Construction – Prevent heavy equipment from breaking down or malfunctioning by clearing away dirt and grime buildup. Pressure washing equipment will give it a full range of motion, and make it easier to detect any issues by allowing all surfaces to be properly inspected.
- Manufacturing – Extend the life of capital investments through proper cleaning and maintenance.
- Transportation – Prevent rust and keep fleets on the road longer by removing salt, chemicals, and road film both under the hood and around the trailer.
- Agriculture – Sanitize barns/sheds to keep livestock healthy, and make the equipment last longer by regularly removing dirt and buildup.
- Food Processing – Easily remove grease and grime from floors, workspaces, and equipment, ensuring a quality product, and meeting regulatory sanitation requirements.
The amount of washing power a pressure washer generates is determined by pounds per square inch (PSI) of pressurized water produced, multiplied by the number of gallons per minute (GPM) consumed and expelled. The amount of washing power you’ll need depends on the type of surface you plan on cleaning, the type of soils you are removing, the length of time needed to use the washer and if you are using any chemicals to aid in the cleaning process Here is how to determine the best pressure washer to fit your needs.
Gas vs Electric
Gas powered pressure washers are the most versatile variety of pressure washer since they are not tied down to a power source they are well suited for mobile commercial and industrial applications.
Electric washers are typically less expensive and require less maintenance, they are best suited for stationary industrial applications, like a permanent wash bay area. Electric can be better for the home owner where it is easier to move from plug to plug and the power requirement for a smaller unit is more cost effective than gas.
Belt drive pumps are ideal for cleaning more than 20+ hours per week in a commercial or industrial setting. This system spins at a lower RPM which extends the life of the pump, due to less wear and tear.
Direct drive pumps are ideal when cleaning for less than 20 hours per week in a residential or commercial setting. This system is lighter and generally more compact which makes it easier to transport.
Pounds per square inch (PSI)
- 1400-2000 PSI – Best for infrequent residential applications for home owners such as washing cars, decking, patios, driveways, and outdoor furniture.
- 2400-3000 PSI – Semi-frequent residential or commercial use on, cars, decking, patios, driveways, and outdoor furniture.
- 2500-4000 PSI – Can be used more frequently. This size of pressure washer can be used for all residential, commercial and industrial cleaning needs.
Gallons Per Minute (GPM)
The more water that is flowing from the machine will increase the amount of cleaning that can be done due to volume of water alone. GPM is usually proportional to the PSI for each model of machine, as one is higher so is the other one. For instance a 1400 PSI model may have a 1.5-3 GPM volume where a 4000 PSI may have a 4-8 GPM of volume. GMP is also a factor in what accessories can be used with the machine. Equipment like surface cleaners need higher GPM as the water volume is what turns the spinning cleaning bar. The bigger the surface cleaner the more GPM is needed.
Skid or Portable
Skid mounts are used mainly for larger, heavier machines and for stationary set ups either at a location or mounted on a mobile unit like a trailer or vehicle and can be cold or hot water. Portable units come with wheels built into a case or are mounted on to a platform with wheels so it can easily be moved from one cleaning area to another. These can be used anywhere, from residential, commercial and industrial locations and are mostly cold water only units.
Pressure washing at a higher temperature generally produces a better result, as long as the surface can take the heat, especially if the surface you are cleaning is greasy or oily. Soaps work better with warmer water and can cut the amount of soap needed up to half.
Pressure washing with a cold-water temperature is less expensive since you aren’t heating the water, but may not clean surfaces as well without using chemicals and additional physical force, like with brushing.
Choosing appropriate accessories for the jobs you will perform with a pressure washer is very important. Depending on the type of surfaces you clean, there is usually an accessory that will make the job easier.
- Interior Walls, Floors, Ceilings – Surface Cleaners, Brooms, Brushes
- Exterior Walls, Driveways, Walkways - Surface Cleaners, Hand pumps
- Hoods, Ducts, Vents, Filters, Exhausts – Duct cleaner, Scrapers, Spinners
- Roofs – Soft Wash Pump, Extension poles, Foamers
- Cars/Trucks – Extension poles, Brushes, Undercarriage cleaner
Using chemical detergents while pressure washing can get surfaces cleaner and take less time to complete. There are appropriate types of chemical detergent that will clean the type of soil that is present, that will avoid damaging the surface you are working on, and help you get the job done faster.
Cleaning with a concentrated formula requires mixing the solution with water (diluting) prior to use. Concentrates are a cost-effective choice since they are cheaper to ship and are mainly sold for commercial and industrial uses.
Ready-to-Use formulas can be added directly to a detergent tank without dilution and are more common for consumer, home owner, use.
Cleaning transportation vehicles such as tractor trailers, commercial fleets, airplanes, rail cars, and construction equipment requires specialized, heavy-duty, industrial strength chemicals, including:
- Truck wash soap including two-step soap
- Aircraft soap
- Car wash soap
- Car Wash Bay soap
- Heavy Duty Equipment soap
- Detailing soap
Industrial degreasers are commonly used when you need to effectively remove greases, oils, or dirt from industrial workspaces and equipment. Proper formulation and proper concentration is very important for these applications to ensure all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned.
For residential exterior maintenance jobs like washing a house, shed or deck, opt for a professional house or deck wash. There are also stronger products for larger commercial jobs, like restoring the exterior of a historic brick building.
Georgia Chemical offers chemical detergents and soaps to help you tackle any job. From all-purpose cleaners or for specific stain removal, like for rust, we can help you find the chemical that meets your pressure washing need.
Georgia Chemical’s detergents are compatible with pressure washing and industrial cleaning equipment. Most of the chemicals detergents we carry are effective and may be used with both hot and cold water pressure washers. Note that when you are using higher temperatures of water you will be able to use less soap than if washing with colder water.
Georgia Chemical is here to answer any questions and to help you find the right pressure washer and washing products for your business. Contact us today for more information or to get a quote.