While having shade trees in your front yard may have seemed like a good idea when they were smaller, your front steps or sidewalk may be in constant shade now. When brick or concrete can't get any sun, algae can grow and turn the entry to your home to a stained and unattractive mess. Fortunately, pressure washing can make the steps, sidewalk, or porch area clean again. Here's a look at the process.
Fill In Missing Mortar First
If your steps are made of bricks and mortar, fill in missing or damaged mortar before you set an appointment to have the pressure washing done. If mortar is cracked or missing, water can get behind the bricks. Filling in the mortar and giving it several days to dry will prevent this. If your steps or sidewalk are made of concrete, then you won't have to worry about filling in mortar, but you may want to fill in any cracks that are present with concrete filler.
Wet The Area
The area to be pressure washed should be swept and cleaned first to get loose debris out of the way. Then, the surface is usually washed on mild pressure just to get everything wet before work begins. Once cleaning begins, the pressure on the washer is turned up, but with have brick or concrete, full force usually isn't used since that can cause damage. Instead, cleaning products and scrubbing could be part of the process.
Algae stains can sometimes be removed with a power washer only. When the stains are stubborn, the power washing company might add special algae cleaners to the power washer or apply them separately and use a brush to loosen the stains. Water under pressure works well for removing general dirt and grime. If you're also having the parking area in front of your entry pressure washed, chemical degreasers may be necessary to help break up oil stains.
Wash And Rinse
Pressure washing requires good technique, which is why it might be best to hire a professional rather than do the job yourself. Pressure and movement need to be consistent, or there will be streaks on the concrete of lighter areas on darker and dirtier concrete. Plus, care has to be taken not to cause damage to bricks, concrete, and the plants nearby. A pressure washing company may use a wand that sprays water out in a fan fashion, or they may use a pressure washer they push that looks a little like a floor sweeper. Both are effective at removing dirt and stains so the concrete or brick looks clean, fresh, and newer. The final step is a rinse that clears off cleaning products or grime that was worked loose so there is no residue left behind.
For more information, contact a company like Clean America.