Pressure washing is a popular way to clean windows, but can cause major damage if you don’t know what you’re doing. It can shatter glass all over the place. A pressure washer can strip away mildew and algae, clean away acidic salt used in winter, and remove all kinds of dirt.
The dangers of pressure washing windows come from:
- High pressure water: A PSI of over 2,000 is too high and can easily cause damage.
- Incorrect spray patterns: Too concentrated a spray puts pressure on one spot, potentially weakening and breaking a window.
- Spraying head on: Hitting the window directly with the spray puts too much pressure on the glass; if a pressure washer is used, the nozzle should be at a 45-degree angle.
The risks of DIY window pressure washing come from inexperience with handling such equipment. High pressure jets of water can shatter glass, carve out pieces of wood, and even damage the siding of your home. People also often forget to load the pressure washer with the proper ratio of water to cleaning solution. Without this, washing is less effective, so people often increase water pressure to make up for it.
Not cleaning windows in the correct order is another risk. Some people try to clean their windows first, but following that with pressure washing can leave behind residue. A thorough cleaning should be done after pressure washing. A professional window cleaner will use proven, safer methods, and ensure their cleaning equipment is working properly.
Chemicals make pressure washing risky as well. They can harm plants and soils near your windows; wetting them down with water can help break down these compounds. Professional window cleaners also have the equipment to protect themselves, including proper gloves and safety glasses.
Pressure Washing Puts Your Home at Risk
Other reasons pressure washing your windows is a bad idea include water getting into the walls. High pressure streams of water can blast through solid wood and concrete. Water can shoot up underneath the siding, especially if you have a wood frame house. The water can easily get into wall cavities, under flooring, and soak through insulation, leading to mold, rotted wood, and crumbled plaster.
Lead paint is a risk as well. If a pressure washer breaks away lead paint chips, these can mix in the soil and even be blasted into your home. These chips may be too small to see, yet be extremely dangerous for kids who play near them and potentially ingest lead.
Pressure washers are best for use on patios, decks, outdoor furniture, fences, asphalt, concrete driveways/sidewalks, and cars. But it is not a good idea for windows.
The Best Way to Clean Windows
The best option is to use soap and water and an old-fashioned cloth. A soft cloth is best, but for higher windows you can use a sponge mop attached to a pole. Rinsing can be accomplished with a regular garden hose. Then you can apply vinegar and water to the mop and wipe the window, and dry it with a clean, rubber-bladed squeegee, working from top to bottom as you angle the squeegee towards the bottom. Dry the window with a clean towel.
Considering Replacement Windows? Call Window World of Boston
Located in Shrewsbury, Pembroke, and Woburn, Window World of Boston specializes in the latest energy-efficient windows and lead-safe, cold-weather installation. We also offer financing via the Window World Credit Card Program and a lifetime limited warranty. Contact us today for a free estimate.