Can Pressure Washing Your Windows Cause Damage?
We all want our windows clean, although we don’t necessarily want to clean them. So, anything we can do to speed up the process sounds like a good idea…
Pressure washing may sound like a good idea to to get the work done, and done quickly and easily. But is it really?
Consider how a pressure washer works…it shoots a high pressure, concentrated jet of water at its target. If you’ve ever used a pressure washer and accidentally pointed it off target, you’ve probably seen the damage it can do. So, yes, if not done correctly, pressure washing can damage your windows.
How can a pressure washer cause damage?
Most homeowners are inexperienced when it comes to using a pressure washer, and this is how incorrect handling can cause damage:
- Aiming the nozzle straight into the window puts too much pressure on the glass.
- Many people don’t understand the intensity of the pressure, thinking higher PSI (pounds per square inch) would do a better job, when in fact, it’s too high.
- Using incorrect spraying patterns can weaken and break the glass.
The damage that can be caused…
Obviously, a pressure washer can cause damage to your windows, but it can cause damage to your home that you may not realize it’s doing, and it does it so quickly.
- For windows with wooden frames, pressure washing can remove paint, and if there is already peeling or chipped paint, the wood that is exposed can be shredded.
- If the pressure is too high, it can break the seals on double-paned windows and cause them to allow moisture and fogging between the glass.
- If the weather stripping or caulking around your windows is not in good shape, a pressure washer can force water to leak into your home.
- If you’re not careful where you shoot, water could get forced into cracks, crevices or underneath your siding where it can leach into your insulation, flooring and possibly your walls where rotting wood, mold or mildew can develop and cause a major problem.
- If your home still has lead paint on the outside, your pressure washer could chip off paint that could end up inside your home or in the soil outside your home, where it can be potentially dangerous for children who may come into contact with it.
- Pressure washing can shred your screens.
If you have decided that you want to try using a pressure washer on your windows, make sure you read the manual first.
Typically, professionals don’t use pressure washers, they prefer a cloth and a squeegee to get the job done right.
I have been cleaning windows in the Seattle area for nearly 30 years, and quite frankly, I enjoy it! I can also help you with your gutters and other outside tasks. I will be happy to answer all of your questions, and I know the mistakes to avoid. I clean private homes or apartment complexes.