We frequently hear the terms pressure washing and power washing being used interchangeably. And sometimes you wonder, are they the same thing? Or do they mean entirely different things? Sometimes, it doesn’t seem very clear, but we’ll clear things up with this article.

Short answer: yes, they are the same thing, though with slight differences.

I know, right? That’s really not helping. Well, let’s take a better look and get this cleared up once and for all!

 The primary function is the same; they both make use of highly pressurized water to help remove dirt and other materials from hard surfaces. Even though they are similar processes, there are little vital differences that determine how you use each service. Once you know these differences, it will help you decide which service you need to help get your property looking clean and fresh again. However, before we look at the differences between both terms, let’s highlight their meaning.

What is Pressure Washing?

You’ve most likely used pressure washing at your home before, and if not that’s fine. It uses the same high-pressure water blast as power washing, except it doesn’t use heated water. The regular temperature water still does a wonderful job at clearing dirt but doesn’t always perform as well against mold, moss, or other tough stains on surfaces.

What is Power Washing?

Power washing uses a high-pressure stream of hot water to clear dirt and stains, and other materials from outdoor surfaces. The combination of the water temperature and high pressure makes it better at removing all those tough stuck materials from surfaces. It’s perfect for removing residues such as mildew, salt, and mold from outdoor patios, driveways, decks, and more. The heat also makes it specifically suitable for removing things like stuck chewing gum from sidewalks. Power washing is also exceptional for handling grease smocks on garage floors or driveways.

The Difference Between Pressure Washing and Power Washing 

As long as we are talking about water pressure, they both use similar levels of force. The amount of pressure from both methods basically depends on the type of machine. Household machines won’t offer up as much as industrial machines.

There is also another key element that differentiates a pressure washer from a power washer – the heating element. Both of them create a powerful stream of high-pressure water, but a power washer uses heated water. The difference might not be all too significant, but it determines how each is being used.

 Some Applications Best Suited Based on the Job

Since you now know the difference between pressure washing and power washing, it’s also important to note that whichever method you are to use depends on the type of job.

For the typical household use, pressure washing is the best way to go. That’s because it’s less harsh on the surface, which makes it ideal for use on things like brick, masonry, and concrete.

For a large commercial space or a large driveway and patio space, power washing is the way to go. The heated water enables you to make the job go quicker since heat helps loosen dirt.


The difference between pressure washing and power washing helps to decide which to use for any surface. And whichever type of cleaning method you choose, you should note that it’s always best to hire a professional to handle it the right way. 

Contact us today at Sussex County Roof Cleaning for a free quote! (973-948-2700)