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  • Writer's pictureChris Martin

Dangers of DIY High Pressure Cleaning

The affordability of high pressure cleaners (aka high pressure washers) to buy and rent over the past few years have led to an increasing number of home owners attempting DIY pressure washing to clean their driveways, decks, patios, roofs, house bricks and sidings and even cars. This in turn, has led to an increased number of accidents – over 6,000 people each year get admitted to Emergency with high pressure injuries according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Inexperience in using both high pressure and incorrect chemicals can cause serious injuries to the user (and innocent bystanders such as kids and pets) as well as damage to the property being cleaned in the first place. This article outlines some of the most common dangers that occur as a result of people trying to undertake high pressure cleaning themselves.

Can you get injured using a pressure cleaner?

Regardless of any damage you may cause to your possessions or residence, the most important thing to note is that high pressure cleaners, if used incorrectly, can cause serious injury and even death. A professional high pressure cleaner has on average 50 times more pressure than a normal garden hose. The force of this, combined with incorrect use of pressure washer chemicals (that assist in the long-term removal of mould and grime) can cause severe skin lacerations, bruising and punctures. Any open cuts then see the chemicals directly enter the bloodstream which cause bacterial infections that in some cases, require surgery and ongoing therapy to fix the damage to tissue and muscle.

Along with the injuries caused by coming into direct contact with the high pressure spray and chemicals, another common accident comes with being unprepared for the kickback. This is particularly relevant when DIYers get pushed off ladders trying to clean their gutters and roofs.

It’s important that anybody attempting high pressure cleaning wear appropriate protective footwear and clothing, as well as exercise extreme caution and read all instruction manuals and chemical labels to help minimise the risk of injury.

DJL high-pressure cleaning

Can pressure washing damage windows?

Broken windows and seals are one of the most common issues caused by inexperienced high pressure washing DIYers. Using the incorrect amount of force at the wrong angle can easily cause the glass to crack or smash completely, as well as any mesh to tear. And when the glass smashes, there is nothing protecting the inside of your house from the water and chemicals coming out in force from the high pressure cleaner. The potential clean up should be enough to convince any person unsure of DIY pressure washing to hire a professional!

As well as the glass and mesh, if not careful, high pressure washers can easily damage the seals between the glass and walls. This then causes mould, allows water (and chemicals) to leak into your home, and even causes fogging between layers of glass which then requires a full replacement of the windows.

Can you damage your house with high pressure cleaning?

As well as injuring yourself and breaking glass windows, high pressure washers can also cause extensive damage to a number of different surfaces. The below is just a small list of the potential problems caused by incorrect high pressure washer and chemical use.

  • Paint can be blasted off in strips or completely removed.

  • House siding can be knocked loose or damaged.

  • Tiles can be damaged or blown off.

  • Strips can be carved out of wood decks and patios, resulting in uneven surfaces and splinters.

  • Fly screens can have their mesh torn, and can be ripped from their hinges.

  • Electrical outlets, if not covered, can be damaged by the water.

  • Sandstone and limestone can easily have chunks etched out of it from the pressure.

The above are very commonly experience by DIYers, and the money saved on renting or purchasing their own pressure washers can easily result in high bills to replace the damage caused.

Best tips for safe high pressure cleaning

Due to the experience and expertise required to operate high pressure cleaners to get effective results without causing any damage to self or property, it’s highly recommended that local professionals are called in. As mentioned before, the cost of renting or purchasing pressure washers and chemicals can be greatly outweighed by the cost of fixing and replacing damaged property. Pressure washing companies such as DJL Services provide affordable, high quality pressure cleaning to all homes and businesses in the Perth, WA area – contact them today at for your free quote and to see how their experienced services can transform your property and save you money in the long-run!


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