Every man should own a pressure washer—or maybe I should qualify that to say at least every man who also owns a home. You would be amazed at the multitude of uses you can find for such a wonderful power tool.
I’ve written before what fun it is to undertake a project around the house and have to buy a new power tool to complete said project. In the case of my pressure washer, I can’t even recall when I bought it or for what original purpose I justified its purchase (which could partly be the fault of the aging process). It might have been when we were building our deck and I needed to “rejuvenate” the seven-year old retaining wall wrapping around the pool to better match the new pressure treated wood being added for the deck.
But no matter the original reason, ever since I got it, I have put it to good use.
Just last year, I used it to strip off the old stain from the red cedar decking that had begun to chip and peel so that it could be re-stained.
And this year, I even found a new use, cleaning mold out of a shower. I left the engine outdoors and passed the pressure hose through an open bathroom window. Fortunately the hose just reached into the shower. One word of caution, you WILL get wet if you try this. I wisely chose to don a swimming suit, as I got quite soaked from the pressurized water spraying in such a small, confined space. But it wiped out that old mold.
This fall, I again returned to the primary use my pressure washer has performed, cleaning our aggregate drive way and walkways so they could be sealed with a waterproofing material.
When we first bought our house, we only had small trees near our driveway. But as they grew, sap began to drop from them and stain the driveway an unsightly black. Crepe Myrtles must be particularly known for this and ours have grown as large as trees in our front yard. But probably what got me motivated to not just clean, but to seal it as well was seeing all of the cracked and broken driveways of our neighbors’ homes. And finding long cracks in my own driveway, much like finding wrinkles on my own face, prompted me to immediate action.
Winters are usually not that cold in Memphis, but rainwater or melting ice can seep into the cracks, freeze overnight, and cause the concrete to crumble and break up. In fact this type of cold and then freezing weather is even more common than snow, much to my wife’s chagrin.
So it was with this freeze prevention in mind that I started what has turned into a biennial fall ritual. As I gassed up my little red toy and got her going, I began to think what fun it was to use this tool.
I began to write words and then pressure wipe them out—this wasn’t work, this was play!
And as I swept back and forth with the fine pressure nozzle, I was rewarded with a wet clean finish.
As I worked my way up the walkway to the backyard, I even decided to have some more fun and give the old fence a clean look as well.
Doing the driveway is normally a three consecutive day job. The first day, I pressure wash, the second day, the driveway has to dry thoroughly, and then the third day, I roll gallons of the sealant on using a huge paint-like roller. Unfortunately this year, a business trip interfered with my progress and I ran out of time before I could even finish pressure washing. By the time I got back from my trip, I could see that up by the garage door, the black sap was already marring my freshly cleaned aggregate. Then I began to notice that the half of the driveway I had already pressure washed still looked to be in pretty good shape with no bad cracks.
At that point, I decided that this should become a biennial springtime project when there would be no sap falling from the trees in the middle of the process and no falling leaves to constantly contend with having to pick them from the sticky sealant with every fall breeze.
So the job I did in September of 2013 will just have to last a little longer. And then when the distractions of college football and college basketball are over, I can come out into the warming spring air and have more fun with this power toy, this tool that every man should have.