Pressure washing is an ideal way to clean stuck-on dirt buildup in order to make your exterior surfaces look as good as new. However, while the chemicals used in pressure washing detergents may be safe for use around people and for the surfaces being pressure washed, your plants are another story.
Chemicals from pressure washing can indeed hurt or kill your plants. That said, there are steps that you can take in order to protect your plants so that you can have both sparkling clean exterior surfaces and lush landscaping.
Here is what you need to know about how chemicals from pressure washing can hurt or kill your plants and what you can do to prevent this from happening.
How Can Chemicals From Pressure Washing Hurt Or Kill Your Plants?
While the chemicals used in pressure washing are safe for the surfaces being pressure washed, such is not the case for your plants. Runoff into your flower beds can lead to plant death due to how the chemicals dehydrate your plants and make it difficult for them to absorb water.
As long as the pressure washer is not sprayed directly onto the plants – which no professional pressure washer would do! – your plants should be fine. Even if some chemicals do get on them, most plants bounce back quickly, as long as they weren’t sprayed directly.
How To Protect Your Plants During A Pressure Wash
The steps that you take to protect your plants from chemicals from pressure washing depend on the type of plants you have and how many of them you have.
Just Move Potted Plants
If you have potted plants, you’re in luck. Protecting them from the dangers of pressure washing chemicals is as easy as moving them somewhere else while the job is being done.
However, if your plants are planted in the ground, you can’t transport them to safety. Fortunately, there are measures you can take in order to protect your planted greenery in addition to your potted darlings.
Prewet Your Plants, Then Rinse Them Off Afterwards
Prewetting plants fill them up on water so that they are less likely to absorb chemicals. You need to have a mind to the types of plants around, as some are more sensitive than others. Watering and pre-wetting the plants before pressure washes dilutes bleach and detergent runoff. This prevents bleach from dehydrating your plants.
Rinsing them off after a pressure wash removes chemicals that would have gotten on them. Even a small amount of chemicals left in your garden can lead to plant death, so ensure that you’re thorough with rinsing your plants off after a pressure wash.
Cover Them Up
Another option to protect your plants from pressure washing chemicals is to cover them up with a plastic sheet. You only want to cover your plants during the pressure wash, because covering them for too long can cut off their air supply. Depending on what you’re having pressure washed, the job can take some time to complete.
For instance, if you are getting house washing, you don’t want to leave all of your plants covered the entire time. Rather, you can move the sheet as the pressure washers move so that only the plants that are in imminent danger are covered while the others get to breathe freely.
Watch The Weather
Keep an eye on the weather, as well. This is something that your pressure washer should already be doing, due to how weather can impact the effectiveness of a pressure wash. If it rains soon after your service, this means that the chemicals will stay active for longer and that your plants are at risk of runoff.
Professional pressure washers will reschedule as needed in order to ensure that your pressure wash is as effective as possible. You want clear skies for at least 24 hours.
What About Environmentally Friendly Pressure Washing?
Detergent-based pressure washes are more environmentally friendly than bleach, as they are less likely to cause damage to your plants. You still need to exercise caution because less likely doesn’t mean that it won’t, just that the damage won’t be as bad if it happens.
While soft washing is gentler than pressure washing, you still need to be mindful of the chemicals in detergents and how they can impact your plants. While we here at True Clean Power Wash & Seal use green cleaners, this doesn’t mean that your plants are home-free. Even environmentally friendly detergents can hurt plants, as plants aren’t meant to be exposed to these things.
Again, watering your plants before a pressure wash and rinsing them off after or covering your plants with a plastic sheet during the process is recommended in order to keep your plants protected.
Professional Pressure Washers Who Care
True Clean Power Wash & Seal provides professional pressure washing services to revitalize your commercial or residential property in North Carolina. We know how important it is to protect your plants. We don’t want to hurt or kill your plants!
Contact us today for more information about how you can protect your plants from the chemicals from pressure washing or for more information about our services.