Power Washing vs. Pressure Washing; Which is Right For You?

Are Power Washing & Pressure Washing Different?

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Many times, the terms power washing and pressure washing are used interchangeably because people think they’re one and the same. But, when you get beneath the surface, you begin to notice that there is a big difference between the two.

Pressure washing and power washing serve different purposes so you want to make sure you’re doing the right one to get the result you’re looking for. If you don’t, you may be disappointed in the outcome.

What is Power Washing?

When you look at the differences between power washing and pressure washing, the big difference is that power washing uses very hot water where a pressure washer does not. A power washer uses very hot water at a high-pressure stream to get rid of dirt. The hot water makes it useful to get rid of things that are really stuck on outdoor surfaces. 

Because of the heat and the high pressure of the water, power washers are good to clean things like:

  • Salt, mildew, and mold from outdoor patios, decks, and other surfaces
  • Chewing gum from sidewalks
  • Grease stains on driveways

Turn to power washing for any heavy-duty stains that you want to get out. Power washing can be used on concrete and cement without any issues. It’s also useful to control weeds and moss because the hot water can kill them and prevent them from growing back too soon.

Bottom line? Turn to power washing when you have any heavy-duty cleaning to do.

What is Pressure Washing?

Unlike power washing, there is no heat involved in pressure washing. You still get a high-pressure stream of water, but the water is room temperature so it’s not always best for extremely grimy surfaces. It’s also not the best for mold, moss, or other really tough stains that are stuck on concrete.

Pressure washing is best for household cleaning projects like:

  • Cars and trucks
  • Sidewalks
  • Patios 
  • Driveways
  • Exterior facades of homes

Pressure washing is an easy and inexpensive way to give the exterior of a home a facelift. Many property owners do it weekly just to keep the exterior looking fresh. Just remember, because no heat is involved, pressure washing won’t get rid of any extreme dirt or grime. You’ll want to save that for the power washer.

The Takeaway

When you’re trying to decide whether power washing or pressure washing is best suited for your project ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the surface heavily soiled?
  • Is there moss?
  • Is there something sticky?
  • Am I cleaning concrete or another hard surface that can handle the heat of a power washer?
  • Do I just want to give my home a quick facelift?

Your answers to these questions will determine whether power washing or pressure washing is best for you. A good guideline is to look at the grime. If you know the stains have been around for a while or the area is heavily soiled, go for the power washing. If the surface isn’t sturdy enough to handle the heat, opt for the pressure washer. 

Once you know and understand the differences between power washing and pressure washing, you’ll be sure to use the right one for your next cleaning project.