Saturday, December 29, 2012

So Fresh and So Clean

For some reason, the driveways on our side of the street look pretty mossy compared to the other side of the street. I think it must have to do with how the sun hits our side. These pictures just don't do it justice, but here's where we started:

I promise you it looked so much worse in person. The stairs were the worst part, and the cluster of bird poop on the left side of the walkway was a close second. Seriously disgusting. There must be an oh-so-comfy branch right above that spot that the birds flock to. I may have to cut it down just so my walkway won't be a pile of poo. 

I was trying to figure out how to get a power washer when I randomly mentioned it to my mom and she said that she actually owned one! What good luck. I don't know why, but I envisioned some monster of a machine with tons of complicated equipment. Turns out that it's actually a very straightforward setup.

The plug goes to a power source, your hose goes to the machine, and you screw on the gun. That simple. 

First up was the walkway. Look how much cleaner that bottom square looks!

If you're not careful and patient, things will get streaky. You can see it a little bit in this picture. The power washer does a pretty narrow strip, so you have to go very slowly and make sure you don't leave tiny lines of un-washed strips between each run. They're kind of hard to notice while you're in the middle of it, so I'd suggest stepping back every so often to look at what you've done as a whole to see if you're getting streaky. 

I decided to go to the top of the steps next so that the machine would be up high and water wouldn't be running down into it. Electricity + water all over the ground that you're standing in = good potential for electrocution. 

Just look at how nasty those steps were. I still can't believe it.

Doing the entryway was really tricky because all of the three sided corners (like where a step/the ground meets two walls at a 90 degree angle) caused the water to spray up and hit me in the face. Mmmmm... algae water. I wasn't expecting it the first time either, so I got a mouth full. Luckily I've lived to tell the tale. On top of that, I was going to a Christmas party at work right after this project and I was sooo paranoid about having chunks of algae in my hair. I think I must have asked at least 10 people if they saw any.

After I did the top of the steps I went on to the front of them. Boy was that pretty.

After it dried it looked nice and clean! You'd never know it used to be a mossy wonderland, except for the fact that I've immortalized it on the internet.

After the entryway I moved on to the driveway. I'm not sure if it was worse, but it was certainly just as bad. I think some of that has to do with the fact that the gutter drains right at the top so it's probably one of the wettest areas.

Here's an action shot of how narrow the strips are. Just imagine doing that about 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times. 

Top square: done!

Look at the difference! Sick.

After I finished and let it dry... so fresh. So clean. So fresh and so clean... clean... sing it. 


Of course now we're getting tire marks which just make me want to power wash it again, but I'm resisting. Just barely.

And seriously,  you can't even imagine what it smelled like when all of that algae was loosened up. As it ran down to the street and then to the gutter, I kid you not it looked like a stagnant pond. And smelled like one too.

Sadly I don't feel like these before and afters are as striking in picture form as they are in real life, but hey. 

Next up was the back patio. Luckily, it wasn't nearly as bad as the steps or driveway.

Action shot!

And the nice, dry result (with annoying tree shadow).

Wahoo! This was a fantastic project because it was instant gratification every step of the way. Seeing a glistening square of concrete next to a nasty green one was exciting. Or was that just me being weird? I'm not sure, but either way, I really enjoyed this. I had some serious forearm muscle soreness and hand cramps from holding the gun steady, but hey, that just means I burned calories while checking something off my to do list.

The only thing I have left to power wash is the garage, because my dad says I need to spray it down and then seal it. I have to resist rolling my eyes every time I see it on my to do list because I know he's usually right... but come on. Power wash and then seal the garage? Has anyone (aside from him) ever done that before? Worth it or not?

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