“ Brand: Lakeland „
If you have ever used a pressure washer you will know that at some points you can look round and think you are actually doing more harm than good! The splash back is ridiculous, I even managed to get it on the upstairs windows (do not ask!) the shed was covered in mud, my shoes, my boyfriend, the bench, the plant pots! Everything! I saw the Lakeland Splash guard and I had to have one.
==Price and availability==
The cost of the guard is £9.99. The pressure washers should really come with one but nevermind. I was really glad when I found this.
The shield is designed to fit on to any pressure washer lance in order to prevent mud flying everywhere and to make it easier to control the water flow. The guard measures 40cm x 30 cm and it is made from thick plastic. It comes with a plastic brace and bolts for you to attach it to the pressure washer. It will slot over nozzles or thick lances and it can be adjusted by height. I like to have it fitted so that the rubber rim is just touching the floor; this makes sure that the splash back does not escape underneath.
The guard is made from thick plastic but I do find that it feels quite flimsy, especially as there is only one place to fasten it to the lance. When the water is pounding out, I do worry that the guard may give in!
This gadget saves so much time when I am in the garden blasting away at the algae moss and mud that seems to collect on the patio. It allows me to get really close to the door and windows and not worry about the mud spreading. The downside is that the shield needs a really good wash after use as it gets filthy, you also struggle to see what you are doing with it. You have to sense whether you have completed an area or not as it obscures your view.
The other downside is that the mud comes back the other way and bounces off the guard and over my feet! This is much better than it getting the windows but it is annoying that I end up with wet feet.
I would recommend it as it does work, but it may frustrate you as well as impress you.
When I set out to buy a pressure washer I had several ideas of extra attachments I wanted to purchase to further extend the use of the pressure washer in question. Quite why Karcher and other companies who produce Pressure Washers don't make a plastic shield is beyond me, and the very reason I wanted this shield was simply because I've seen one in action and knew that Lakeland amongst a limited number of suppliers have been selling this product for some time now. At £9-99 it remains to be a good price amidst attachments for pressure washers brand new that are costlier.
The problem with any Pressure washer however isn't the fact that it may not come with many accessories but in normal use, a problem which surfaces early on is copious amounts of water spray which flies up into the air and hits the nearest vertical surface. In terms of shifting weeds between paving stones, whilst I adore my Karcher machine, I can't stand the fact that the forceful Dirt Blaster lance may well remove weeds and growth easily and quickly - the problem is that it also throws up a lot of wet mud and sand everywhere else and casts nearby doors and windows with polka dots of mud and soil; excess waste that has been blasted outwards. This isn't particularly handy if you are blasting weeds near a parked car in a driveway or garden furniture for example.
The " 'Andy Plastic Shield," however combats this problem. Although originally designed to lightly scrape patio and paving stones, this Shield is supposed to be a universal design which can be used with virtually any pressure washer system. Or so the makers would have you believe.
In reality if you have an older Karcher or pressure washer system that lacks the very latest "Dirt Blaster" lance, you won't have many problems fitting this shield onto the lances. I've seen it being used for example with an old JCB washer as well as a Sealey pressure washer system. Using a double steel brace, a plastic brace that fits onto the back of the shield and two strong steel bolts with accompanying finger screw bolts it is infinitely easy to adjust both for height and angle onto any cylindrical lance you may own with your pressure washer. The 60cm by 40cm size ensures quite a large area of shielding against forceful and flying water spray and dirt when the lance and your chosen pressure washer is used whilst being able to cover quite a large space of stone work that is being cleaned at the time of use.
In terms of its design, the plastic shield is made of thick frosted white PVC and has a small central thick black bumper fitted at the bottom which is designed either to be pushed along by the force of the water from the lance, or adds some mild scrubbing action. Although Lakeland has limited review opportunities based on purchases generally, a previous buyer of this product did get a chance to state that they didn't find the shield to be satisfactory because of its shape or the fact that it didn't have a clear appearance. Quite how you are supposed to see through a film of thick mud and sand is beyond me, but I can understand the comment if the reviewer couldn't see the shielding action let alone where the point of the lance is.
I don't find I need a clear acrylic to see what I'm doing- although the plastic is reasonably thick, it is easy to see the blackness of the Dirt Blaster lance through the plastic, if not by the shape or shadow then certainly by the fact that it is set right onto the middle of the shield thus you get a fair idea of where the lance is and the shield can be adjusted for height. Because of the Dirt Blaster's slightly thicker rim however I did face problems putting the shield on initially and still am unable to lower the shield any further down the dirt blaster head without either breaking the lance or breaking the shield. Thus the Dirt Blaster head will sit happily at the top of the shield, but in use, this is no great thing to be able to lower the dirt blaster any further to the ground. On other lances however the Shield can be adjusted lower or higher; its just that the Dirt Blaster has a wider head and the curved section at the top of the shield doesn't fully accomodate the lance's thicker design.
The moment the pressure washer comes on and the water starts to spray through Karcher's Dirt Blaster lance, I was immediately and instantly impressed by the shield; hovering over the edges of paving stones where previously the kitchen windows sustained the brunt of flying mud (and then had to be washed later) the shield could be dragged backwards over the edges removing the dirt/weeds/excess soil and moss between the cracks whilst flying up and hitting the shield meant the only excess water was the lance itself spreading the water out to the sides rather than up in the air and everywhere else.
Because of its very nature however the plastic shield does have some weaknesses. As the brace is located at the top, the attachment remains completely lightweight in use and only serves as a shield for flying water into the air. By trying to exert pressure onto the lance forcing the shield down onto the paving stones doesn't result in much of an improved cleaning performance but rather a bouncy nature of the shield protesting with the forcefulness of the water and thanks to the brace at the top, the shield can feel weak early on before the water is turned on. Although the double black strip in the middle of the shield's bottom is of use, it can only scrape so much in terms of keeping back mud and stones it prevents flying into the air. Of a better design and use however, the double plastic bumper can remove excess moss dried into paving stones generally and can be used to bring up stone looking new as if it had just been laid; a much better attachment than most that even Karcher supply not just because it cleans a bigger surface area but also in light of its actual weight, remains very lightweight and bouncy during the whole water cleaning process.
Another consideration that I adore about this product is that usually without this shield, I'm reduced to now putting on old clothing that I'm never likely to worry about staining or getting dirty. My next door neighbour however does the whole process of dressing up in water proofs, welly boots, protective eye wear, gloves and water proofs to the point that he looks like he is about to go deep sea diving! In terms of the water spray I find the shield is invaluable; not only does it prevent flying dirt, but it also reduces any need for me to change my clothing other than foot wear - now for the preparation of cleaning outdoors I also find that I have reduced the cleaning and prep time by half.
Once you're finished all you need to do is wash down the shield after use; I usually wash the shield down directly into my garden so that all nature of soil and sand can be put back in. And with the fact that it has finger bolts, it can simply be unscrewed and taken off the lance if you need your pressure washer attachments for other uses.
For the price this is one attachment that is worth considering if you have a lot of paving stones with weeds and the inevitable question of facing what you have to do as well as being dressed for the event. The 'Andy Shield is a befitting title to a product I've been looking for many years now; I don't think I could live without one now when it comes to pressure washing outdoors because put simply, its very handy and quick to help out without taking up the whole day. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2008
Product code: 9018
Pressure Washer Accessories