Can Pressure Washing Make You Sick?

You may often come across suggestions from homeowners to pressure wash your walkways or driveways. Sure, the pressure cleaning technique clears out accumulated dust, debris, mold, and mildew.

But do you know that pressure washing can affect your health and make you sick? You need to follow the cleaning instructions religiously to avoid exposing yourself to harmful chemicals.

Homeowners recommend hiring a professional pressure cleaning team to clean your desired spots.

But some homeowners want to take the DIY route instead of hiring professionals.

Make sure you take the safety precautions and read the manual of the device before using it. Not using the machine properly may lead to spreading lead paint chips and hazardous lead particles. They may create potential volatile organic compounds if they mix with other materials.

Health impacts of pressure washing

Pressure washing is very helpful, provided you do it right. It makes your home's front and backyard look sparkling clean. But it also leads to various health problems that you may not be aware of.

1. Physical injuries

Suppose you are using a pressure washer for the first time. If you don't check the manual or take appropriate precautions, you may injure yourself severely.

The tip of the hose pipe spits water at a massive speed. It is so fast that it can cut through your skin if you aren't attentive. Many people think that the water's speed is similar to a garden hose.

Don't make the mistake of assuming this. You can change the pressure but don't use the hosepipe near your body.

Some of the most common physical injuries from power washers include blindness, abrasion, high-pressure injections, and cutting through your flesh. Experts recommend wearing gloves, boots, and protective eye-gear to prevent such accidents.

2. Chemical exposure

A big advantage of hiring professionals is they know what chemicals to use and how much to use them. Remember, you need to deal with mildew, mold, and algae. You will notice the experts using the hose pipe far away from their bodies.

This allows them to stay away from molds and mildew. Moreover, the chemicals used to kill these elements are not good for your skin. They may cause allergies or rashes that take time to go away.

In addition to skin problems, the chemicals can also cause respiratory issues. The job of the chemicals is to grind through algae, mold, and mildew and take them out. But their acidic properties may cause respiratory problems.

Professional cleaners ask homeowners and their family members to stay inside while they power wash gardens, driveways, shingles, or walkways. You may not notice the breathing problems right away, but soon, you will observe symptoms like shortness of breath, dry coughs, and dry mouth. Go to the doctor immediately if you notice these symptoms.

3. Electric shock

Pressure washing combines electric power and water to clean surfaces with stubborn debris. The machines contain power cables that you need to attach to a power source to use the washer.

Make sure you don't bring the hose pipe close to the machine. Water shouldn't seep through into the cords. That may lead to short-circuiting, which means you risk sparking a fire. A grounded power source helps to eliminate these risks.

What can go wrong while pressure washing?

Water emits from the nozzle at a very high velocity in pressure washing. It dislodges stubborn debris and makes a surface sparkling clean. But sometimes, things may go wrong and affect your health severely.

CO2 poisoning – A pressure washer's small engine contains gasoline. It is precarious to use these machines in enclosed spaces. This may lead to CO2 poisoning. You may suffocate or feel short of breath.

Nozzle aimed at you – Pressure washers usually cut through thick layers of dust effortlessly. Imagine what will happen if you point the nozzle towards your hands or legs. It will cut through your skin within a split second. This type of accident mainly happens when you want to change the nozzle. Experts always switch off the machine before opening the hose-end and changing the nozzle.

Infection – Over the years, many people have complained that they experienced infections after pressure washing. Some of the infections even turned into disabilities. Therefore, you shouldn't waste time consulting with a doctor if you get injured while using a pressure washer. The doctor can diagnose the problem and provide appropriate treatment to prevent it from getting worse.

Pressure washing safety tips

Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind to prevent health problems caused by pressure washing:

1. Keep the nozzle away from your body

Don't ever point the pressure washer's nozzle towards your face or body. Always point it to the ground. You should only hold the trigger and keep the nozzle away from your hands and skin.

2. Do a test run

You need to check the washer's pressure before using it. A test run allows you to determine whether you need to increase or decrease the pressure.

3. Wear protective gear

You will see professionals wearing long pants, hearing protection, safety glasses, gloves, and boots before pressure washing an area. If you don't have these protective items, buy them. But don't use a pressure washer without wearing these items. They can help prevent severe accidents, infections, and breathing troubles.

Now that you know about the different health problems related to pressure washing, make sure you use the machine properly. Or, you can let professionals do the hard work to ensure your safety.

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