13 January 2022

Is Power Washing Better Than Pressure Washing? (Pros & Cons)

Towards the end of fall, you probably noticed that your home and patio areas have become dingy and dirty throughout the season. Like any homeowner, you want to keep your home clean, and you start thinking about doing it yourself or hiring a professional to get rid of stains and algae growth. When having the outside of your home cleaned, there are two main types of cleaning methods people choose: power washing and pressure washing.

Did you know that power washing and pressure washing aren't the same things? If not, don’t worry. You’re not alone. The two are often used as if they are, even in marketing campaigns. They are very similar as they both use high pressure to clean surfaces; however, there are a few differences for one power washing uses a heating element to heat the water and pressure washer doesn’t. 

Many people wonder about the differences between the two and if one method is better than the other. If you’re interested in learning more about pressure and power washing services, click here annarborpowerwashingpros.com.

Power Washer vs. Pressure Washer

The main difference between the two is how they clean and what they clean. Power washing is best for cleaning algae, moss, mold, stains, and dirt. Because of the heat, it is better at killing bacteria and mold spores, so it doesn’t spread. Pressure washers are a bit more powerful than power washers. They are great for doing large jobs and blowing away moss, weeds, dirt, and debris.  

Pros and Cons of Power Washing


  • High pressure - power washers have higher pressure than pressure washers. A power washer typically has a PSI between 500 to 4,000, so you know even the dirtiest areas are easily cleaned. For example, vehicles, sidewalks, stairs, fencing, driveways, and garage doors need heavy-duty pressure from 3,330 PSI or above, so a pressure washer is perfect for them. 
  • Weeds and moss - power washers heat up to roughly 150 degrees, effectively killing weeds and moss. It limits their regrowth due to the heat that it puts out. For weeds, the spray's power eliminates the weeds' roots. 
  • Deep cleans - power washing is an excellent choice for cleaning large areas that are hard to clean. The heat quickly cleans stains, oil plus quickly breaks down and removes dirt and debris.  
  • Best for large jobs - if you’re cleaning the outside of a commercial building or a stadium, a power washer is the best choice. You’ll finish the job quicker. The heated water ensures that stains and other chemicals are removed, so you won’t have to redo the job. 


  • The cost - power washers are more expensive than power washers. The heating element in these machines makes them expensive, and you can expect to pay thousands for one. 
  • Can cause damage - Water can get into the surface, increasing the chance of mold growth. This generally only happens if the surface being washed has not been treated. Another thing is that because of the heat. It can damage some surfaces. The best surfaces to power wash are concrete and cement. If you have other areas washed, you need to test a small area or talk to a professional to ensure it holds up under the heat. 
  • Best for specific jobs - These aren't as versatile as pressure washers because of their high pressure and heat. These are best at certain jobs and not a good idea for small jobs with very little debris. 

Pros and Cons of Pressure Washing


  • Versatile - pressure washers come in a wide range of PSI, so you can easily choose the one that works best for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to wash your car, bike, or second story. You’ll be able to. 
  • Options - You can choose if you want gas or electric powered pressure washers, although gas usually is stronger than electric powered ones. We recommend electric-powered ones for home use. 
  • It fits easily into your budget - pressure comes in a wide range of prices, so you can easily choose one that will work for you. 
  • Difficult to damage your property - Because of the vast choices of PSI, you can clean many surfaces without damaging them. You can use it on your house, siding, garage floors, and paving stones without worry. 
  • Easy of use - pressure washers are easy to use, and once you read the instructions and get the basics down, you’ll be cleaning your dirty patio in no time. 


  • Damage - while it is more difficult to damage surfaces, it can still happen. They still go up to 4,000, and if you choose the wrong one, you can still damage certain surfaces. 
  • Potential for injury - Pressure washers are powerful and, if not used properly, can cause injury to you, your pets, or your family. This is especially true depending on whether you are using a high PSI.
  • Cleaning limitation - because it uses cold water instead of hot water, it doesn’t do well when getting rid of stains, moss, mold, and chemicals.

Is Power Washing or Pressure Washing a DIY project? 

It’s important to remember that both of these machines are very powerful and can cause damage to your property or your family. Before deciding if you should attempt it on your own or hire a professional, there are things you should consider. Some things to consider are what you should and should not wash, the size of the area you need to be cleaned, plus ask yourself if you know the suitable soaps and chemicals to use. 

The most obvious pro of DIY power washing is to save money. They are relatively inexpensive to rent, and it’s very cost-effective for smaller jobs. The cons of doing it yourself are it can be time-consuming and dangerous. Most homes have hard-to-reach areas, and if you have a two-story house, your first instinct is to grab a ladder. This is a bad idea because the high pressure will likely knock over the ladder leading to injury. 

Is Power Washing or Pressure Washing Better?

One is not better than the other. However, you need to know which is better for the job you need to do. Most of the time, a pressure washer is the better choice for homes unless you have stains, moss, algae, or mold growing. When in doubt, make sure to talk to a qualified professional pressure washer. 

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