The Dangers of DIY Pressure Washing

In the hands of experienced cleaners, power pressure washing tools offer remarkable utility. Unfortunately, naive do-it-yourself hobbyists sometimes venture into the pressure washing field without a comprehensive appreciation of the risks involved. This brief article touches upon some of the hazards inherent in the use of this equipment.
Environmental Damage
Today, many regulatory agencies recognize lingering harmful impacts from some types of cleaning products. Since power washing tools possess the capability to deface painted surfaces and degrade potentially hazardous materials, the dirty water generated from a power washing session falls within the purview of regulated waste water. For example, anyone using power washing equipment to strip away lead-based paint from a metal surface should consult Environmental Protection Agency regulations beforehand. By law, companies engaging in certain types of power washing activities must employ approved waste water disposal methods or risk stiff penalties. Hefty fines sometimes bring financial pain to ignorant pressure washing entrepreneurs.
Property Damage
Probably the most widespread regret associated with DIY pressure washing involves the accidental infliction of property damage. Many popular consumer power washing machines include settings capable of abrading certain surfaces, for instance. A homeowner who sets out to clean a dirty deck may sustain costly repair bills if a do-it-yourself cleaning session involves the use of too powerful a spray. Accidentally stripping away a wood finish or removing the mortar from a brick pathway pleases no one. Careless power washing easily destroys landscaping, breaks windows, and shreds cloth awnings.
Personal Injury
Of course, the use of too high a power washing setting on real estate pales in comparison to the potential harm inflicted when pressurized water jets sprayed from this tool physically strike people or animals. At some settings, a power washing machine may blind or even kill a youngster. This cleaning tool reportedly caused 6,000 visits to medical facilities in the United States during 2014, for instance. One common pressure washer injury seen in hospital emergency rooms involves DIY enthusiasts who fail to use recommended protective footwear during a cleaning session. Beautifying the driveway while wearing flip flops and a bathing suit appeals to many people during hot weather. Yet this casual approach to the use of a pressure washing machine sometimes results in tragic consequences. Other common injuries involve attempting to power wash a residence while standing atop a ladder. The force of the water ejected from the machine all too easily causes slips and falls. Most manufacturers admonish consumers to never perform pressure washing at heights. Yet untrained DIY cleaners sometimes ignore this instruction. Serious injuries have resulted from the irresponsible use of this equipment.
Finally, anyone undertaking pressure washing should consider liability issues carefully. Speaking with a qualified insurance agent frequently assists property owners in evaluating home improvement and maintenance risks in realistic terms. Will your homeowners insurance policy protect you and your loved ones adequately if an unfortunate DIY accident occurs? Stumbling while using this tool or dropping the pressure washer nozzle without turning off the water flow first have resulted in regrettable mishaps in some cases. A water spray intended for one location may inadvertently strike somewhere else. The stream may damage bystanders (or their property). Accidents using this equipment in residential settings potentially carry significant legal risks.
Pressure Washing: Dangerous in Some Circumstances
Responsible, experienced cleaning technicians appreciate the impressive capabilities of modern pressure washing equipment. The notion that a simple jet of pressurized water may remove embedded debris, sticky materials, resistant stains, and years of accumulated dirt in a matter of minutes contributes to the enduring appeal of this form of cleaning. Yet no one should place this potent technology in untrained hands. Young children and careless adults may sustain (or inflict) grievous, life-altering injuries by using this equipment incorrectly. Like any other power tool, a pressure washer deserves respect!

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