How Long Does It Take For Pressure Washing Services?

July 17, 2023

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how long does pressure washing take

Pressure washing, also known as power washing, is a cleaning method that uses high-pressure water spray to remove dirt, mold, grime, and other contaminants from surfaces like siding, concrete, decks, and more. Professional power washers use industrial-strength equipment that generates pressures between 1,500-4,000 PSI or more and delivers between 2-4 gallons per minute.

The high-pressure water allows cleaning solutions to penetrate and dislodge buildup very quickly. It's much more effective and efficient than cleaning by hand with regular garden hoses or scrub brushes. Power washing can clean areas that are difficult or even impossible to clean any other way.

How long does pressure washing take? The answer isn't cut and dry, as every job is different. It truly depends on the surfaces needing to be cleaned, how dirty they are, and the method of washing that's being used.

Are you ready to dive a bit deeper into the time it takes to wrap up a power-washing project? Great! Let's get to it.

Factors That Affect Time Required

Several key factors determine how long pressure washing a particular property or item will take:

Size of Area

The total square footage and number of structures or surfaces to be washed is a major determinant of time required. A small patio or sidewalk area of 200-500 square feet may only take 30 minutes to an hour. A two-story house with siding, deck, driveway, and walkways could take 2-5 hours or more.

Type of Surface Material

Some surfaces need more time and work to pressure wash effectively. Brick or wood siding takes longer than vinyl. Concrete sidewalks with years of built-up dirt, oil stains, or chewing gum will require more time than a newer driveway. Greasy fast-food parking lots need extensive degreasing work.

Extent of Dirt and Damage

Surfaces that are extremely dirty with layers of thick grime, mold, mildew, and other contaminants will need more time to pressure wash thoroughly versus lightly soiled areas. Damaged surfaces like peeling paint will also take longer.

Accessibility of Area

Ease of access to the areas needing washing impacts the time needed. A two-story home with only front access will take less time than a large ranch-style home where the washer has to walk around the entire perimeter. Areas with lots of landscaping or obstructions require more time too.

How Long Does Pressure Washing Take - Typical Time Requirements

Here are some estimates for common pressure-washing jobs:

  • Small house siding (1,200 sq ft or less): 2-3 hours
  • Medium house siding (1,200-2,000 sq ft): 3-5 hours
  • Large 2-story house siding (2,000+ sq ft): 4-8 hours
  • Driveway (average 2-3 car, under 500 sq ft): 45 minutes - 1.5 hours
  • Patio or deck (200-500 sq feet): 1-2 hours
  • Sidewalk (normal residential, under 200 sq ft): 30-45 minutes
  • Commercial storefronts (under 500 sq ft): 1-3 hours
  • Fast food parking lot cleaning: 8-16 hours
  • Graffiti removal from commercial building: 4-8 hours
  • Cleaning stadium seating or bleachers: 16-40 hours

Note these are general estimates only. Times can vary significantly depending on specific conditions. Get an onsite estimate from pressure washing companies prior to starting any big jobs.

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Process of Pressure Washing

Does pressure washing take a long time? Understanding the full power washing process provides a better idea of the investment involved:

Setup

  • Parking and unloading equipment
  • Connecting hoses, wands, nozzles, water supply

Pre-Wash Treatment

  • Applying degreaser, mold remover, or other solutions
  • Letting dwell 5-10 minutes

Washing

  • Systematically washing from top to bottom
  • Changing nozzles or reapplying solutions as needed
  • Washing same spots multiple times if very dirty

Secondary Cleaning

  • Using brushes to scrub certain areas by hand
  • Rinsing and rewashing spots that need more work

Post-Wash Treatment

  • Applying protective treatments, rust removers, brighteners, etc
  • Letting dwell 5-10 minutes before final rinse

Rinsing

  • Removing all soap residue and chemicals

Site Cleanup

  • Disconnecting all equipment
  • Draining hoses, storing gear
  • Sweeping away excess water

This full process must be completed for each area or structure being pressure washed. Setup, breakdown, pre-wash, and post-wash steps add time even if the washing itself goes quickly.

Soft Washing. Is it Faster?

Professional soft washing is an alternative method to pressure washing that has grown in popularity in recent years. Soft washing utilizes lower-pressure water, typically under 500 PSI, along with surfactants and other chemicals to clean surfaces. The main benefit of soft washing is it's gentler than high-pressure methods, making it ideal for more delicate surfaces like wood, brick, and vinyl siding. The lower pressure helps avoid damage issues like stripped paint, warped boards, and loosened grout that can occur with standard power washing.

Another advantage of soft washing is that the cleaning solutions do more of the work compared to just the high-pressure water. Surfactants allow the water to penetrate and lift dirt, while specialty products like sodium hypochlorite brighten, oxidize stains, and kill mold and mildew. Soft washing solutions can target specific cleaning challenges better than just pressure alone. The combination of chemical action and low PSI rinses surfaces extremely effectively but gently.

In terms of time required, soft washing often takes less time compared to pressure washing. Less PSI means faster cleaning of any loose dirt and debris. And letting targeted detergents sit and work also speeds up the process before rinsing. The overall top-to-bottom wash process is typically 25% to 50% faster with soft washing versus pressure washing for many residential projects. Plus there is less concern about damage, which also saves time.

For homeowners and businesses that want fast, safe, and effective exterior cleaning, professional soft washing services are a great option. The gentle but thorough process cleans perfectly in less time compared to standard pressure washing methods. Knowing the differences allows owners to choose the best approach for their specific needs.

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What About Mold, Mildew, & Algae?

Mold, mildew, and algae growth are common issues that can stain and damage the outside of homes and buildings. These contaminants thrive in wet, shaded areas and can quickly spread across siding, roofs, decks, and other surfaces. Removing established growth requires professional pressure washing methods for the best results.

Power washing with pressures of 2000-3000 PSI is ideal for dislodging and extracting mold, mildew, and algae from wood, concrete, stucco, and other solid materials. Specialty cleaning agents containing ingredients like bleach, sodium hydroxide, or sodium hypochlorite help break down and dissolve the organisms further. Applying these solutions, letting them sit for 10-15 minutes, then power rinsing is very effective.

The time required depends on the extent of growth and overall area that needs cleaned. Small areas of mildew on a patio or front porch can take less than an hour. For a whole two-story home that has been neglected for seasons, a thorough mold removal washing could take 4-6 hours or more. Porous surfaces like unfinished wood often need the most time and repeated application of cleaning agents.

Hiring an expert is highly recommended for mold cleanup. Their expertise and industrial equipment safely and efficiently eradicate spores and stains in a reasonable timeframe. Do you know that moss and algae leave brown, black, and green discoloration on surfaces like concrete and wood? Wood is especially difficult to remove stains from as it is highly absorbent. 

Attempting exterior mold removal is a recipe for organisms returning quickly if the washing is not done properly. It's always wise to seek professional help when dealing with any type of mold or mildew on your property. Plus, mold is very hazardous to the health, and coming into contact with it, even for a small amount of time, can be unsafe.

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Efficiency Tips to Reduce Time

There are ways to cut costs and time when pressure washing:

  • Clean areas before they get extremely dirty. Light soil is quicker to remove.
  • Remove loose debris, leaves, and dirt before washing.
  • Provide easy access to areas needing cleaning.
  • Be flexible on schedule - let the company pick ideal weather conditions.
  • Wash house and driveway together rather than separately.
  • For interiors, declutter areas and protect vulnerable surfaces.
  • Provide a convenient water supply hookup.
  • Have a dump tank on site for drainage rather than street runoff.

Discuss your specific needs with pressure washing pros to get an accurate time estimate. They can also suggest the most efficient methods for your individual property. Proper planning and preparation can significantly speed up the process!

Most companies offer whole exterior house or commercial property cleaning packages. The rates for these types of jobs are typically more affordable than going at it ala cart. Sure, it may take longer to complete the project, and you'll have a pressure-washing crew on your property for a few days. However, it all pays off in the end.

Hiring Professional Pressure Washing Services

Given the specialized equipment and expertise required, most homeowners and businesses opt to hire pressure-washing contractors to handle bigger jobs. Pros can complete washing much faster than DIY efforts.

When choosing a pro company:

  • Ask for references and review their portfolio of work
  • Verify they are licensed, insured, and bonded
  • Get a written estimate on-site for total time and pricing
  • Make sure they follow safe cleaning methods
  • Check if they offer satisfaction guarantees in case of damage

Professional services may cost more upfront but deliver superior results in less time. Their knowledge and efficiency make it well worth the price for most pressure washing needs.

Following the recommendations in this guide will give you a better understanding of the time needed to properly pressure wash any home or business. Proper planning and preparation can help reduce cleaning times. And hiring experienced professionals will ensure the job gets done quickly and safely.

how long does pressure washing take

Wrapping Things Up

Knowing what goes into a complete pressure washing job allows you to better understand the time investment needed. The size of the area, type of surfaces, and extent of dirt all factor into the hours required. Typical residential homes often fall into the 2 to 8-hour range, while larger commercial projects can take multiple days.

The good news is that professional pressure washing companies can work significantly faster than do-it-yourself efforts. Their expertise and equipment help optimize the cleaning process. While pressure washing does take considerable time, hiring experienced contractors ensures it gets done efficiently while achieving top-quality results. Planning properly and having realistic time expectations will lead to a smooth and satisfactory pressure washing service experience.

About ProClean Pressure Washing Palm Harbor

For over two decades, ProClean Pressure Washing Palm Harbor has removed grit and grime from residential and business exteriors. The company uses all types of pressure, power, and soft washing techniques to get the job done right. To learn more about the company, please visit the website HERE or call the team at (727) 361-9331.

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