Renting a pressure washer to clean your siding, driveway or patio seems like a simple enough task. But before you do, you may want to consider hiring a professional who has experience dealing with such dangerous equipment. With the electric models, there is the very real danger of short circuiting caused by crinkled and pinched cables. For the gas models, flammable fuel vapor is a risk.
Personal injury and property damage
Because you can rent a power washer at most home improvement and hardware stores, you may not be aware of just how hazardous they can be. But, consider that pressure washers can exceed 40,000 psi (pounds per square inch) in pressure. That's enough pressure to cause severe injuries, or death, if a person or pet is hit by the stream of water directly.
Besides the risk of personal injury, there is also the very real possibility of property damage. Using high-pressure water indiscriminately can strip away plants and paint. Significant damage to your home's siding, whether it be vinyl, aluminum, or wood, is also likely.
Even if you're paying attention to your machine's output and target area, you should consider the environmental impact that using a pressure washer can have. Runoff from the pressure washer can contain toxic chemicals from paint, pesticides used in gardening, or oil from your garage floor. Lead paint, used on older homes, can also leach into the soil and make its way into your area's water table.
A professional trained in pressure washing will be properly trained in the use of cleaning equipment and is the best choice for getting the job done quickly and safely.