7 tips for managing chemical overspray when pressure washing
If you use a detergent in your pressure washer, it’s important to be mindful of overspray. The chemicals used in pressure washer detergents can damage surfaces and harm people, pets and plants. Here are seven pro tips for managing overspray.
- Know your detergent
Learn about the detergent you’re using. In particular, find out if there are materials it shouldn’t come into contact with. Speak with a team member at Hotsy Water Blast to determine which of our 50-plus pressure washer detergents is right for your cleaning task
All Hotsy detergents come with a safety data sheet that offers key information, including instructions on what to do if the product is accidently ingested or comes into contact with the skin or eyes.
- Learn about the site
Familiarize yourself with the environment where you’ll be working and determine which surfaces you’re cleaning. This will allow you to protect vulnerable surfaces against overspray. You also need to know where all HVAC intakes are located so as to ensure you don’t introduce chemicals into the indoor air supply.
- Cover vulnerable surfaces
Protect nearby surfaces against overspray with plastic sheeting, drop cloths, tarps, or install Hotsy curtains. However, note that clear plastic isn’t ideal for covering plants on hot days, as it traps heat and moisture, resulting in high temperatures that can kill plants.
- Move things out of range
Transport objects such as potted plants and decorative items away from the area where you’re spraying. Certain types of tools and equipment should also be moved.
- Mind the weather
If you’re spraying outdoors, wind is a factor you’ll need to consider. If it’s strong enough, it will carry the spray. Check the direction of the wind and establish where the spray is likely to travel. You may need to protect certain plants, surfaces or objects that are downwind.
When it’s very windy out, it’s best to postpone pressure washing. Otherwise, not only do you risk damaging nearby materials, but you may also get sprayed yourself.
- Block off foot traffic
To protect passersby from chemical overspray, section off the zone you’re spraying using cones, caution tape or other barrier. As an extra precaution, consider putting up signage.
- Water plants beforehand
If you’re unable to cover the surrounding vegetation, consider watering it before you start pressure washing. By doing so, you’ll limit absorption of the chemicals as the plants won’t seek out more moisture. When done spraying, rinse the plants with water.