How (and why) Pressure Washers Damage Concrete – Quick Read

Published by: | Updated: January 21, 2023
JCS Refresh does pressure washing damage concrete

“Concrete is a hard material, can easily stand high water pressure, and there’s no risk of damage.”

Do you agree? 

If yes, then you’re wrong. 

Concrete is rigid but can still be damaged with a pressure washer. In this article, we’ll outline how pressure washing can damage concrete and help you steer clear of this issue.

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About The Author

Meet the expert behind this article. 



Co-owner & Service Director

Hey there, I’m Cody. 

A decade of residential and commercial pressure washing led me to start JCS Refresh. Now I can share my knowledge with folks like you. 

Reading from Washington State?

Contact our team for a quote and you might meet me in person.

Quick Answer – Does pressure washing damage concrete?

Many people have the misconception that pressure washing won’t cause damage to concrete. 

However, they are incorrect. 

Pressure washing can damage concrete, and often the damage is extensive or irreversible. 

The risk with concrete is less than pressure washing windows or vinyl siding, but it can’t be neglected. Concrete can get lines or cracks; believe it or not, high PSI can loosen joints.

JCS Refresh does pressure washing damage concrete (2)

How can concrete be damaged while pressure washing? 

There are a few reasons why concrete might end up damaged.

  • Applying too much pressure 
  • Using the wrong nozzle 
  • Spraying water too close to the surface
  • Not reviewing your concrete’s condition beforehand

All the points here are pretty straightforward but let’s see what we mean by the last one. 

Before pressure washing (anything), you should look at the material’s condition to see how brittle the material is; the same applies to concrete. 

Additionally, some concrete is thinner than others and requires less pressure. On the other hand, if pits and holes are absorbed, water can lead to cracks and lines.

We have a detailed article on how to pressure wash concrete if you would like to learn more. 

JCS Refresh does pressure washing damage concrete

What PSI setting is best for concrete?

The most common mistake beginners make while pressure washing concrete is using too much pressure. 

However, the optimum range is 2500 to 3,200 PSI. While this is a wide range, the decision of what to use (high vs. low) comes down to the condition of your material.

For a more in-depth explanation, read out complete guide about concrete PSI levels.

What nozzle attachment is best for concrete?

The best nozzle for cleaning concrete is 25 to 35 degrees

These are suitable for all types of concrete.

JCS Refresh Pressure Washer Nozzle Chart


Let’s summarize our discussion here. 

Pressure washing can damage concrete if done wrong. 

However, if you take it slow and look at the material beforehand, you can make better decisions about the technique. 

We appreciate you for making it this far and wish you the best! 

Thanks for reading!