How To Pressure Wash a Patio

Patios and decking are a simple, effective way to create a dedicated dining or relaxation area in your garden. But after a long, dark, and wet winter, they can often be covered in dirt, moss, weeds and algae.

Not to worry. You can hire a pressure washer to remove all of this in no time, making it ready to use again once the nicer weather is in full swing. Using a pressure washer regularly can also keep dirt and grime at bay.

Using a pressure washer may sound like an easy task, but there is a knack for removing moss, weeds, and dirt properly, rather than just moving it around.

Hiring a pressure washer from Speedy means you will receive a product that has been checked, cleaned, and tested before every new hire. All products also come with safety and operating instructions. Hiring a high-end pressure washer will also be more effective than buying a cheaper model.


Tools you will need

  • Pressure washer
  • Hosepipe
  • Hosepipe connector fitting
  • Broom
  • Detergent (optional)


Before you use a pressure washer it’s really important that you wear the correct PPE. Eye protection, safety boots, gloves and a dust mask are essential, and something to protect your legs, long trousers are ideal as the force of the water could be painful (plus it can be a mucky job). Any PPE you do require can be purchased from Speedy.

Keep children and animals away from the work area and always keep the lance pointed away from you as water under pressure is powerful enough to cause injury.


How to prepare for pressure washing

First, if you haven't used a pressure washer before, read our guide on how to use a pressure washer to familiarise yourself with the machine.


Step 1: Clear the patio

For more effective results, firstly clear your garden of all removable items. Any furniture, pots and decorative items should be moved away to give you a larger surface area to work with. This also ensures thorough cleaning.


Step 2: Remove debris

Sweep away any loose debris from your patio using your broom. This includes leaves, dust and soil. If you have any bedding plants, you may also wish to cover them or protect them to prevent damage. Doing this will give you more uniform results and prevent the risk of debris.


Step 3: Prepare the hosepipe

Prepare your hosepipe. If you’re using it for the first time after winter, allow water to flow through before connecting it to your pressure washer. Ensure it is also free of kinks and is completely unwound from any hose reel.


Step 4: Connect to the hosepipe

Connect your hosepipe to the pressure washer by following the instructions that come with your hire. Turn on the tap and pull the trigger gun, letting the water run freely to expel any air. Plug your pressure washer into a mains socket then leave it to run for a few minutes to pressurise the system.


Step 5: Use a detergent

If you’re using a detergent, follow the instructions and apply this to your patio. You may have to wet your patio first on a low setting. A detergent can help tackle tough dirt, so they’re ideal if you’re power washing for the first time and there will be years of dirt to remove. Some detergents can also reduce dirt build-up in future, which is perfect if you’re only looking to hire a power washer once or twice per year.


Step 6: Start pressure washing

Ensure everything is connected properly, including your chosen nozzle. Press the trigger to start the process. The water should be powerful. Work from one edge or corner of the patio towards the opposite end. If you have a grate or drain, work towards this as an easy way to get rid of the excess water.


Step 7: Dry

Leave to dry, and then go over any sections which still need a bit more attention.


Step 8: Safely disconnect the pressure washer

When you've finished cleaning the patio turn off the pressure washer, unplug it from the mains and disconnect the water, aim it at the floor and just give the trigger a squeeze to release any pressure that may have built up in the system.


Speedy Top Tip!

Most pressure washers come with a choice of nozzles or lances, designed for different tasks. The regular nozzle is often good for routine cleaning, or more sensitive items such as furniture and fencing. You can even clean barbecues with a pressure washer. It’s usually adjustable in terms of power and targeted action, too.

So, if you feel the pressure washer isn’t quite doing a tough enough job on your paving slabs, try a rotary pencil jet nozzle. This could provide up to 80% more power, and is ideal for paving or brickwork. Don’t use this nozzle on sensitive surfaces such as wood or paintwork as it could cause damage.


Should I hire a cold or hot pressure washer?

Through Speedy, you have a choice of either hiring a hot or a cold pressure washer. What is the difference?

Cold pressure washers are the most common types you will find. They are often the most compact and simple to use, and the force of the cold water is enough to budge everyday dirt and grime in a garden.

A hot pressure washer heats up the water. Adding heat into the mix means particles of dirt are softened, loosening them from the patio with greater ease. Tougher stains, such as oil and grease, are removed much quicker. But all this added functionality means they can be bulkier and less portable.

Think about what you need the pressure washer for. If you are hiring the appliance for a longer period because you also want to clean your driveway and workshop or garage floor, a hot pressure washer could make these jobs much easier. But it can be unnecessary for a large garden area: a cold pressure washer is just fine for patio or decking.


Ready for more DIY inspiration?

Thank you for reading the Speedy blog, we hope you found this how to clean your patio with a pressure washer guide useful, start to transform your garden today ready to enjoy the summer.

Speedy Hire, the UK's number one hire company has over 3000 different tools for you to choose from, including daily, weekend and weekly tool hire available at over 200 service centres nationwide, online and in selected B&Q stores. With 4-hour delivery on many of our products, it's safe to say, we've got you covered.

  • Please visit our Skills and Projects page for more inspiration and help with your DIY projects. 
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