Pressure washing vs. power washing: What’s the difference?

Pressure washing vs. power washing: What’s the difference?

Matt Crawford
By Matt Crawford
Dec 28, 2020
4 min read

The terms pressure washing and power washing are often used interchangeably. So even if you’re a pro in the power washing domain, you might not be clear on the question of pressure washing vs. power washing.

At first glance, it may seem that pressure washing is actually the same as power washing. However, when digging deeper, there are some small differences between the two. But before we go into detail on those difference, it helps to better understand the basics behind high-pressure water cleaning and what a high pressure washer is for.

Best uses for a pressure washer

A pressure cleaner is the actual machine used in pressure washing. While it might seem like a niche market, the truth is that almost everyone is a potential pressure washing client.

Think of what a pressure cleaner does — with its high-pressure water spray, it is uniquely able to clean large surfaces, effectively removing dirt, dust, mud, grime, stains, salt, mold and even chewing gum.

This makes an electric pressure washer perfect for cleaning:

  • Exterior facades of buildings, both residential and commercial
  • Sidewalks, stairways, walkways, patios and driveways
  • Public spaces like stadiums, open air plazas and parking garages
  • Vehicles of all types, including cars, busses, trucks and boats

Using a pressure cleaner is one of the most effective ways to give a building a face-lift at a relatively low cost. It’s also one of the easiest ways to keep properties clean, on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Even private homeowners could use a blast from a pressure cleaner every now and then to spruce up their place, and give it a nice new look (which is, of course, also excellent for maintaining property value).

Pressure washing vs. power washing

The main difference with power washing vs. pressure washing is the heat. The jet wash in a power washing machine uses heated water, whereas the water in a pressure washer is not heated.

The advantage of a power washer’s heated water is felt most clearly in tough to clean spaces with serious grime, especially mildew, salt and grease. The heated water makes it easier to clean surfaces — just as it does when doing dishes or washing your hands.

Since it can more easily wash spaces clean, it is the preferred option for jobs where surfaces are heavily soiled that can handle the warmer spray. It is particularly recommended on surfaces, such as concrete or cement, which will not be damaged by power washing.

Understanding pressure and power washing

Does pressure washing require insurance?

For most small business owners, it's a good idea to take out business insurance, and pressure washers are no exception. Customized pressure washing insurance can protect your business from the specific risks you face every day, including:

• Accidental property damage
• Injuries
• Auto accidents
• Damage or theft of your equipment

The level of insurance, however, is up to your evaluation of your business' risks and needs, and how much you would like to pay for business insurance.

It's a good idea to get quotes from an insurance company that offers different options based on the size of your business and what sort of coverage you will require.

How Next Insurance helps pressure and power washing businesses

We specialize in business insurance for power and pressure washing businesses. Since we only work with small business owners — we don't sell life insurance or other types of coverage — we can quickly get you the right coverage for you needs at an affordable price.

Simply start an online quote, review your options, purchase coverage and access your certificate of insurance. The whole process can take less than 10 minutes. If you have any questions you can talk to one of our U.S.-based advisors.

Start a free instant quote today.

Pressure washing vs. power washing: What’s the difference?


matt crawford
About the author

Matt Crawford leads NEXT's content team. He's a small business insurance specialist and has worked with business owners throughout his career as a community journalist and content marketer.

You can find him at one of his many favorite local restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area when he's not at work.

Pressure Washing Business Ideas to Drive your Business Forward

Pressure Washing Business Ideas to Drive your Business Forward

Starting a Pressure Washing Business

Starting a Pressure Washing Business

How to start a janitorial business: Top questions answered

How to start a janitorial business: Top questions answered

What we cover
Chat with Us

Mon – Fri | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. CT

© 2024 Next Insurance, Inc. 975 California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304, United States
Better Business Bureau
Issuance of coverage is subject to underwriting. Not available in all states. Please see the policy for full terms, conditions and exclusions. Coverage examples are for illustrative purposes only. Your policy documents govern, terms and exclusions apply. Coverage is dependent on actual facts and circumstances giving rise to a claim. Next Insurance, Inc. and/or its affiliates is an insurance agency licensed to sell certain insurance products and may receive compensation from insurance companies for such sales. Policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the issuing insurance company. Refer to Legal Notices section for additional information.

Any starting prices or premiums represented before an actual customer quote are not guaranteed and are representations of existing premiums of active policies as of December 6, 2023. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten, not all applicants may qualify. Individual rates and savings vary and are subject to change. Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only.