6 Things You Should Never Pressure Wash

Pressure Wash

Nobody wants their home to look shabby and outdated, but pressure washing isn’t always the answer. It’s a great tool for cleaning outdoor surfaces but when used improperly, it can end up doing more harm than good. 

To save you from any unwanted headaches or dangerous situations, we’ve put together this list of 6 things you should never pressure wash. From brick surfaces to delicate plants and trees, these dos and don’ts will help ensure your home looks its best without compromising its condition in any way!

#1 Electrical Outlets, Cables, and Wires

It may seem like a quick solution to a dirty problem, but pressure washing these items is a serious hazard. The forceful spray of water can cause the protective insulation to wear off, increasing the risk of a short circuit. 

Furthermore, water penetration can lead to long-term damage, deteriorating the functionality of these electrical components and potentially causing electrical fires. It is strongly advised to clean these areas with a soft, damp cloth and mild detergent, ensuring that water does not seep into the internal parts. 

Always make sure to switch off the power supply before attempting any cleaning to avoid electrical shock.

#2 Wooden Surfaces Such as Decks, Fences, and Siding

Wooden surfaces like decks, fences, and siding are particularly susceptible to the damaging effects of pressure washing. The high-intensity spray can force water into the tiny crevices between boards, which can then become a breeding ground for rot and mildew. 

Over time, this moisture accumulation can compromise the structural integrity of the wood, leading to decay, discoloration, and weakening. Instead of pressure washing, consider using a soft brush or cloth with a gentle cleaning solution to maintain the cleanliness and longevity of your wooden surfaces. 

Always remember to let them dry thoroughly to prevent moisture buildup.

#3 Roofs

Roofs, particularly those with asphalt shingles, are another area where pressure washing should be avoided at all costs. The powerful spray of a pressure washer can strip the granules off the shingles, leaving them exposed and vulnerable to the elements. 

Over time, this can lead to premature aging, curling, or even complete failure of the roofing system, requiring expensive repairs or replacement. Worse yet, the water may be driven under the shingles, leading to leaks inside your home. 

Instead of pressure washing, consider having your roof professionally cleaned or using a soft wash method that relies on special cleaning solutions rather than force to remove dirt, algae, and moss.

#4 Plants and Vegetation

Plants and vegetation in your garden are not designed to withstand the force of a pressure washer. The powerful jet of water can strip away the essential nutrients from the leaves and stems, disrupting their growth process and causing damage. More delicate plants may even be uprooted or killed due to the intense water pressure. 

Additionally, the high-velocity spray can scatter mulch or soil, leading to erosion, nutrient loss in the soil, and an unkempt appearance. Therefore, it’s best to protect your plants and vegetation when pressure washing nearby surfaces. 

Instead, clean your plants with a gentle spray of water from a regular garden hose and use your hands or a soft brush to remove visible dirt or pests.

#5 Windows

Windows are a delicate part of your home that should be kept away from the high-pressure jet of a pressure washer. The forceful stream of water can potentially damage the seals around windows, compromising their integrity and leading to water leaks. 

These leaks can cause a multitude of problems, including damage to your home’s interior, increased heating and cooling costs due to inefficient insulation, and the potential for mold growth. Furthermore, the high pressure can also damage glass panes, leading to cracks or even shattering. 

To clean windows, it’s best to use a soft sponge or cloth with a gentle cleaning solution. Always rinse thoroughly and dry to avoid streaks and water spots, giving your windows a sparkling clean finish.

#6 Masonry Walls

Masonry walls, made of bricks, stones, concrete blocks, or tiles, are particularly susceptible to damage from pressure washing. These materials are porous by nature, meaning they can easily absorb water if exposed for too long. The forceful jet of water can penetrate these pores, saturating the masonry and leading to potential issues like efflorescence, spalling, and freeze-thaw damage. 

These issues not only compromise the aesthetics of the wall but also its structural integrity. Therefore, it’s best to opt for gentler cleaning methods when dealing with masonry walls. These may include low-pressure washing or using a soft brush and mild detergent. 

Always ensure the wall has ample time to dry after cleaning to prevent moisture-related problems.


Pressure washing can be a valuable tool when used correctly. But remember, while it might seem like an easy solution to your cleaning needs, not all surfaces can handle the raw power of a pressure washer. 

Always err on the side of caution when deciding what to clean. It pays to do a bit of research and maybe even call a professional if you’re unsure. Safety, after all, should always be your priority.

About Us

Kendall Roof and Exterior Cleaning should be your one-stop destination if you need soft washing services in the Maryland region. We are a team of professionals who understand the necessity of having a clean exterior for every home. We focus on providing safe, reliable, and cost-effective exterior cleaning services. You can reach us at 4107265650 or fill out our contact form to know more.

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