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Pressure washing stands out as an incredibly satisfying and efficient method for rejuvenating your driveway, walkways, and other concrete areas. From blasting away dirt and grime to restoring the original colour of your surfaces to enhancing safety by removing slippery pollutants, the benefits are clear. But you may be wondering: Can pressure washing damage concrete?

The short answer is yes, pressure washing can damage a concrete surface.

While the power of a high pressure washer can work wonders in cleaning and maintaining your outdoor spaces, it also carries some risks. Without the proper technique, equipment, settings, or understanding of your surface’s resilience, pressure washing could cause damage to your property. But don’t stress! In this article, we share our expert tips and advice on what to avoid and how to safely pressure wash your concrete surfaces.

What Can Cause Concrete Damage When Pressure Washing & How To Avoid It?

Pressure washing, when not executed properly, can cause major damage to your home and lead to costly repairs. We’ve compiled a list of some of the common causes of damage and our expert recommendations on how to prevent these issues from occurring.

1. Excessive Pressure

Using a pressure washer with too high of a PSI setting can erode or wear away your concrete surfaces.

To be safe we recommend you start by using the lowest effective pressure setting and increasing gradually as needed. A 2,000-3,000 PSI is ideal for safe concrete cleaning.

2. Incorrect Nozzle Choice

The type of nozzle and its spray pattern can concentrate too much pressure on a single point, which can lead to cracking or chipping in your concrete.

We recommend you use a nozzle that distributes water evenly, like a wider-angle nozzle, to reduce the impact on the concrete. Testing the nozzle on a less visible area can help determine the safest distance and angle.

3. Improper Technique

Holding the nozzle too close to your concrete surface or spraying at an incorrect angle can also result in damage.

To prevent this keep the nozzle moving in a consistent sweeping motion and maintain a distance. Practice on an inconspicuous area to get a feel for the washer’s power before tackling larger sections.

4. Prolonged Exposure

Keeping the water stream focused on one area for too long can erode your concrete, stripping away its protective layer and exposing the aggregate underneath.

Make sure you move the spray continuously over the surface, ensuring no single area is focused on for too long.

5. Use of Harsh Chemicals

Some pressure washing solutions may contain chemicals that can weaken or discolour concrete if it’s not specifically designed for use on such surfaces.

Take the time and research what cleaners are specifically designed for your concrete surfaces. These products clean effectively without harsh effects, preserving the surface integrity and colour.

6. Unsealed Concrete

Concrete that hasn’t been sealed or whose sealant has worn off is more vulnerable to damage, as water can penetrate more deeply.

For these kinds of surfaces, we recommend you apply a high-quality sealant after cleaning to protect against water penetration, stains, and wear and tear. Regularly check and reapply sealant as necessary.

7. Existing Cracks or Damage

Using too high of a water pressure on existing cracks or damaged areas in the concrete can cause the cracks to widen or even lead to further chipping and flaking.

Before you even begin the pressure washing process, you should start by assessing the area you want to clean. If there are any areas that may require repairs you should either skip those areas or get it repaired first.

Still unsure about how to pressure wash your concrete without avoiding damage? Read our article on How To Safely Pressure Wash Your Concrete for more detailed steps and information.

Will Pressure Washing Damage Concrete

Want Professional Concrete Cleaning Services?

Avoiding damage while pressure washing concrete requires knowledge, the right equipment, and a careful approach. At The Jet Co Pressure Cleaning Sydney, we combine our expertise with meticulous care to ensure that your concrete surfaces are not only thoroughly cleaned but also preserved during the process.

Whether you’re seeking professional pressure washing concrete services to clean and maintain your driveway, pathway, patio or other areas, we’re here to help!

Call us on 02 9072 1991 or make an online enquiry to get your free quote!

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