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DIY vs Professional Pressure Washing

pressure washer cleaning concrete
Pressure washer cleaning concrete

The exterior of our homes are constantly exposed to the elements, from dust and dirt to rain and sunlight. Over time, this can lead to a build-up of grime, reducing the aesthetic appeal of your property. Enter pressure washing - a powerful cleaning method that can rejuvenate the appearance of our homes, making them look as good as new. But with the rise of DIY tutorials and the availability of rental equipment, a dilemma emerges for homeowners: Should you grab a pressure washer and embark on a DIY journey, or should you call in the professionals?

Key Takeaways

  • Basics Demystified: Differences between pressure and power washing.

  • Equipment Insights: DIY vs Professional pressure washing equipment.

  • DIY Pressure Washing: Is It Worth It?: Advantages and challenges of DIY approach.

  • The Professional Edge: Benefits of hiring professional services.

  • Decision-making Guide: Factors influencing DIY vs professional choice.

  • Safety is Paramount: Importance of safety in pressure washing.

  • Cost Considerations: Economic aspects of DIY and professional services.

  • Alternative Methods: Pressure washing isn't the only choice.

Let's dive deeper into the world of pressure washing and equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions for your home.

Understanding the Basics

What is a Pressure Washer?

A pressure washer is a powerful cleaning tool designed to tackle tough grime and dirt. At its core, it's a machine that pumps water at high velocity, effectively blasting away accumulated dirt, mould, and other contaminants from various surfaces. The force of the water is measured in PSI (pounds per square inch), and different tasks may require different pressure levels. But wait, you might have also heard of a power washer. Is there a difference? Indeed, while both machines operate on the principle of high-pressure water, a power washer also heats the water, making it particularly effective against stubborn grime like oil or grease.

The Rise of DIY Pressure Washing

With the advent of the internet and a plethora of DIY tutorials available at our fingertips, many homeowners have been inspired to undertake DIY pressure washing projects. It's not hard to see why. The thought of rejuvenating your home's exterior, all while saving some money, is enticing. Moreover, with pressure washers available for rent or purchase from a local home improvement store, the barriers to entry have been significantly reduced. But as with all DIY projects, while the rewards can be great, there are also challenges and risks to consider.

DIY vs Professional Pressure Washing Equipment

When considering pressure washing, whether as a DIY project or by hiring a professional pressure washing service, it's essential to understand the equipment involved. Not all pressure washers are equal, and the distinction between professional and domestic equipment can significantly impact the outcome of your cleaning project.

Power and Performance

Professional pressure washing equipment is designed for heavy-duty tasks and prolonged use. These machines typically have a higher PSI (pounds per square inch) rating, allowing them to deliver a more forceful water stream. The high pressured water is crucial for tackling stubborn grime, built-up dirt, and large areas. In contrast, domestic or home-use pressure washers are more suited for smaller tasks, such as cleaning garden furniture, cars or bicycles, and may not be as powerful. Typically, the cheaper a pressure washer is the less capable it will be at tackling large complex tasks such as driveways or patios.

Durability and Lifespan

Professional equipment is built to withstand the rigors of daily, intensive use. They are often constructed with robust materials, ensuring longevity and reliability. Domestic pressure washers, while still durable, might not be built for frequent, intensive use and might wear out faster if used heavily.

Features and Customisation

A Professional pressure washer often comes with a range of features and customisable options. From adjustable pressure settings to various nozzle types and the ability to use different cleaning solutions, professionals have tools tailored for specific tasks. Domestic models, while versatile, might not offer the same level of customisation.

Size and Portability

Domestic pressure washers are typically designed for easy storage and portability, suitable for home use. They're often compact and lightweight. Professional models, on the other hand, are larger and may be mounted on trailers or trucks. While they might not be as easily stored, their design ensures they can handle larger, more complex pressure washing projects.


Given the enhanced features, durability, and power, professional pressure washing equipment tends to be more expensive than domestic models. However, for professionals, this is an investment that pays off over time. Homeowners might find domestic models more budget-friendly and adequate for their needs.

DIY Pressure Washing

Pros of DIY Pressure Washing

Cost-Effective: One of the primary attractions of DIY pressure washing is the potential for savings. Renting a pressure washer for a day or even a weekend might be more affordable than hiring a professional service, especially for smaller projects.

Complete Control: There's a certain satisfaction in undertaking a home project yourself. Going the DIY route means you have total control over every aspect of the pressure washing project. From choosing the areas to focus on, to deciding the intensity of the wash, the reins are entirely in your hands.

Cons of DIY Pressure Washing

Time and Effort: While the idea of the DIY approach might sound appealing, the reality can be quite time-consuming. Preparing the equipment, treating different areas of the house, and then the actual washing can take up a whole day or even more, especially for larger projects.

Potential Risks: Pressure washing might seem straightforward, but it comes with its set of challenges. There's a risk of damaging delicate surfaces if the pressure is too high or the nozzle is held too close. Moreover, personal safety is a concern, especially when dealing with ladders or hard to reach areas. A slip or misstep when handling a high-pressure hose can lead to injuries.

diy pressure washing gone wrong
DIY pressure washing gone wrong

Hidden Costs: While the upfront costs of DIY might seem lower, there are other expenses to consider. These include the cost of equipment rental, purchasing cleaning solutions, increased water usage, and the often overlooked cost of the time you spend on the project.

Professional Pressure Washing: The Expert Approach

Pros of Hiring a Professional

Efficiency: One of the standout benefits of hiring a professional pressure washing company is their efficiency. With years of experience and the right tools at their disposal, professionals can complete the job in a fraction of the time it might take an amateur. This means your home gets a fresh look faster, with minimal disruption.

Safety: Pressure washing, especially at high pressures or on elevated surfaces, can be risky. Professionals are trained to handle these challenges safely. They use professional grade equipment and know the right amount of pressure to apply on different surfaces, significantly reducing the risk of damage or injury.

Comprehensive Cleaning: Professionals don't just wash; they treat surfaces based on their type and the kind of grime they're dealing with. Whether it's mould on your wooden deck or oil stains on your driveway, a professional pressure washing service knows the best techniques and solutions for each scenario, ensuring a thorough and effective clean.

Cons of Hiring a Professional

Cost: While the results are often superior, hiring a professional service might be more expensive upfront than renting a machine and doing it yourself. However, when you factor in the potential risks and hidden costs of DIY, the price difference might not be as significant as it first appears.

Finding the Right Service: Not all pressure washing services available are equal. It's essential to do your research and choose a reputable professional pressure washing company. Look for reviews, ask for recommendations, and ensure they are fully insured. Some companies might offer services at suspiciously low rates, which could be a red flag for subpar service or even potential scams.

Hot Water Power Washing: An Advanced Cleaning Solution

Hot water power washing is a step above standard pressure washing techniques. By utilising heated water, a power wash effectively cuts through grime and grease, making it a preferred choice for tougher cleaning jobs. Many professional power washing services offer hot water power washing due to its enhanced cleaning capability.

Power washing companies equipped with advanced technology can deliver superior cleaning results with a power wash. Professional power washers are trained to handle the equipment safely, ensuring a thorough clean without any damage. So, when considering a deep clean, opting for professional power washing services that provide hot water power washing can be a wise choice.

Key Considerations When Making a Decision

The Scope of the Project

Before deciding between DIY pressure washing and hiring a professional, it's crucial to evaluate the scope of your project. Are you looking to clean a small patio or the entire exterior of a two-story house? Understanding the size and complexity of the pressure washing project can help you gauge the time, effort, and equipment required. For instance, hard to reach areas or intricate designs might pose challenges for DIY enthusiasts but are routine for professionals.

Cost Analysis

While the initial costs of DIY might seem lower, it's essential to consider all potential expenses. These include equipment rental, cleaning solutions, water usage, and even potential repairs if something goes wrong. On the other hand, while hiring a professional might have a higher upfront cost, it often includes insurance, better results and the peace of mind that comes with expertise. Weighing these costs against each other can provide a clearer picture of the more economical option in the long run.

Safety Concerns

Pressure washing, especially when dealing with high pressures, can be hazardous. From the risk of falling off ladders to the potential harm from the high-pressure water stream, safety should be a top priority. Professionals are trained to handle these risks, often using professional grade equipment and safety gear. If you're considering the DIY route, ensure you're well-informed about the potential dangers and are equipped to handle them.

The Soft Wash Method: A Gentle Alternative to Pressure Washing

While pressure washing stands out for its robust cleaning prowess, soft washing is an alternative that homeowners should consider. Here's why:

  • Gentle Yet Effective: Distinct from the high pressure of pressure washing, soft washing employs a milder pressure paired with specialised cleaning solutions. This ensures surfaces are cleaned without the risk of damage, making it ideal for delicate surfaces like render, vinyl siding or wood surfaces.

  • Deep Cleaning Benefits: The cleaning agents in soft washing are formulated to combat and eliminate organic nuisances like mould, algae, and mildew. This method not only cleans the surface but also addresses the root of these growths, ensuring a cleaning job that lasts longer.

  • Safety and Preservation: The reduced pressure in the soft wash method minimises potential hazards and the chance of inflicting harm on exterior surfaces, offering a safer cleaning alternative. It's especially beneficial for surfaces that might be damaged by the intense water pressure of traditional methods.

  • Eco-friendly Approach: Many soft washing solutions are designed with the environment in mind, ensuring your cleaning process is both effective and eco-conscious.

  • Cost Considerations: While DIY pressure washing might seem economical, the professional soft wash method can be more cost-effective in the long run. It reduces the risk of damage, which might lead to expensive repairs, and its effects last longer, reducing the frequency of washes.

For a deeper dive into the differences between pressure washing and the soft wash method, this detailed article offers a comprehensive perspective. And if you're leaning towards adopting the soft wash method for your pressure washing project, our soft washing guide provides all the information you'll need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you pressure wash yourself?

Undertaking a DIY pressure washing project can be tempting, especially with the availability of pressure washers at local home improvement stores. However, it's essential to be well-acquainted with the equipment and the right techniques. The high water pressure can damage delicate surfaces or lead to injuries if not handled correctly. If you're unsure or if the pressure washing project involves extensive or challenging areas, considering a professional pressure washing service might be a safer and more efficient choice.

Is there a difference between pressure washing and power washing?

Absolutely. While both pressure washing and power washing use high-pressure water to cleanse surfaces, power washing incorporates heated water. This heated approach in power washing is particularly adept at tackling stubborn contaminants like grease. On the other hand, pressure washing relies on the sheer force of the water at ambient temperature to achieve its cleaning effect. Read our "What's the difference between Power Washing and Pressure Washing" article where we cover this topic in greater detail.

Can I do the power washing on my own?

With the right pressure washing equipment, you can embark on DIY power washing. However, given the complexity of power washers, especially the heating element, caution is paramount. Mistakes can lead to burns or other injuries. If you're not well-versed with the intricacies of the equipment or the specific requirements of the task, it might be better to hire a professional power washing company.

Is a pressure washing business worth it?

Venturing into a professional pressure washing company can be lucrative, especially in regions where the demand for such services is high. However, the key to success lies in effective marketing, impeccable customer service, and delivering quality work. It's also pivotal to navigate local regulations, ensure you're fully insured, and prioritise safety training. With the right strategy, a pressure washing business can yield substantial returns.


Pressure washing is a transformative process that can breathe new life into the exterior of your home. Whether you're preparing for a sale, hosting an event, or simply want to enjoy a cleaner home, the results are undeniably impressive. The decision between choosing the DIY route or to hire a professional company boils down to personal preferences, budget, and the scope of the project. While the DIY approach offers a sense of accomplishment and potential cost savings, hiring a professional brings expertise, efficiency, and peace of mind. By weighing the pros and cons outlined in this guide, homeowners can make an informed decision that best suits their needs and ensures the safety and beauty of their property.

Unlock the Power of Professional Cleaning with Elite Jetting

DIY cleaning methods might offer a temporary fix, but without the right equipment and expertise, you risk causing damage or not thoroughly addressing the root of the problem.

Our professional pressure washing services are tailored to bring back the sparkle to your property. With state-of-the-art equipment, eco-friendly cleaning solutions, and a wealth of knowledge and experience, we can help to get your property looking its best.

Get your free quote today and rejuvenate your home's exterior!


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