If you’re struggling to keep slate floor tiles clean, or it’s taking up too much time to do so, high pressure cleaning your tiles is an option. High-pressure cleaners are a popular choice for removing stains and cleaning driveways, bricks, and all manner of flooring because the process is so efficient. In this article, we speak with Ben Louden, a professional working in the industry who shares with us a few key pointers on high-pressure cleaning.
There are high-pressure water cleaner systems available for hire; it’s not recommended they be operated by anyone who is not correctly trained in their use. If you don’t have experience or safety training, you’re putting yourself at risk. The risk of high-pressure water usage is real. If the spray is misdirected, you can damage your eyes, skin, or bruise and cut your skin.
So, how do they work? The washers boost water pressure, either using a gas hose or electric motor. One method professionals use is a truck mount machine. This comes with a specialized tool and attachment that applies high-pressure steam and extracts dirty water at the same time.
To clean floor tiles effectively, a professional would follow the following steps.
- The floor would be stripped of old sealant that remained on the surface.
- It should be swept to get rid of large particles of soil that have collected in the process.
- An alkaline cleaning solution would then be applied.
- A grout broom and other tools would be used to agitate the grout. This process brings dirt and grime to the surface of the tiles.
- Extraction using high-pressure cleaning is then undertaken.
- The area is dry mopped.
- High-speed dryers are positioned to dry the area to prepare for sealing.
Once your floor tiles are clean, it’s advisable to discuss with the technician what kind of finish you want to achieve. If you want a high gloss effect, for example, at this point, they would apply three coats of wet look sealer.
What are the Advantages?
There are advantages to using high-pressure cleaning. Using hot water under high pressure makes it easy to break down the dirt and dust particles so you can avoid having to rely on chemicals to clean your tiles. Even sticky or oily materials and stains can be removed more quickly than other methods. It’s also a hygienic option as it will remove the buildup of mold and mildew in bathrooms, for example,
Compared to manual cleaning methods, pressure cleaning is also a great timesaver. You will need less staff to achieve the same results and also cut down on drying time. But, importantly, it’s also a better option for the planet. You can cut down on water usage for cleaning flooring by two thirds by choosing to go with the high-pressure cleaning method.
What Are Some Safety Tips?
If you are using a professional cleaner, you can rest assured they have safety training. If you choose to hire a high-pressure cleaner, these are the main safety guidelines to follow:
- Use eye protection to prevent damage from debris shot up from the water damaging your eyes.
- Wear the correct shoes and protective gloves. Note the pressure of the water can blast water through shoes and damage your feet.
- Always start with the nozzle roughly a meter’s distance from the surface you are cleaning, and then slowly move it closer until you reach your desired distance, avoiding getting too close. If not, this could damage the surface or put you at risk by spraying back at you.
- First practice, so you get a sense of how it feels.
- Place the wand at a slightly downward angle and work horizontally, guiding it from side to side with both hands.
- Don’t linger in one spot and move consistently to prevent streaking.
- Never point the hose at other people or pets, or place your hands in front of the hose to test it. The pressure is very strong and can cause injury.
- Don’t use the equipment while standing on a ladder.
- Don’t spray anywhere near electrical outlets, or within three meters of any source of power.
- When finished, ensure the pressure is relieved by squeezing the trigger and then place the safety lock on.
With the success of high pressure cleaning your tiled floors, you may be inspired to use it elsewhere in your home. Here are areas it’s NOT advised for use:
- If you use it on laminate sandstone, which is a relatively soft material, you risk washing it away or washing grooves into it.
- Painted items can be washed but the paint can easily be destroyed if you lack experience or training.
- Used on an asphalt roof, a high-pressure cleaner will remove the granules and destroy it.
- Old wood items, such as furniture and decking, may not be able to withstand the pressure if they are old or have dry rot. If the wood is stained, you also risk removing the stain.