Should You Have Your House Soft Washed Or Power Washed?
If your siding is looking nasty, it’s probably time for a house wash. Troy, MI residents typically deal with green stains caused by algae, black stains caused by mold, cobwebs, and other general dirt and debris. Many people immediately think “power washing” when it comes to removing these unsightly eyesores. But there is an alternative cleaning method that may be more appropriate for your home: Soft Washing.
What Is Soft Washing?
Soft washing has become a popular method for many Troy, MI homeowners who are looking to have their house washed. Soft washing is an exterior cleaning method that combines the use of powerful cleaning agents and low pressure, high volume water application. Put simply, a bio-degradable cleaning solution is gently applied to siding, allowed to work for a few minutes, and then gently rinsed off with clean water. Soft washing work occurs at low pressure (think “spraying your flowers with a garden hose nozzle”) and relies on the power of the cleaning detergent to do most of the work.
Soft Washing Vs. Power Washing
Power washing relies heavily on pressure to do the work. Power washing machines compress water and deliver it to the surface at a PSI. The idea is that this force will remove contaminates, leaving behind a clean surface. When it comes to house washing, this forceful process can have some serious drawbacks. Many home siding products are delicate and can’t hold up to the extreme force of a high pressure spray. The likelihood of damage and water intrusion is high.
Another drawback to power washing is in the nature of it’s cleaning effect. Power washing often only removes the surface layer of contaminates, leaving the roots of the organic growth behind. The organic growth begins…well…growing again, and the stains return quickly.
Because of it’s gentle nature, soft washing is often much safer for a home’s siding, as there is less risk of damage to surfaces when compared to high pressure cleaning. Another advantage to soft washing often results in a longer lasting clean appearance as well. This is because the cleaning detergent works deep into the surface, completely removing the organic material that is causing the stains in the first place.
What Should I Look For When Hiring A Troy, MI House Washing Contractor?
If your home’s siding consists of vinyl, Hardi board or other composite planking, wood, EIFS or Dryvit, plaster or other delicate products, you definitely need a soft wash-capable contractor. Here are a few questions you can ask that will help you determine if you are choosing the right contractor to clean your most valuable investment:
- What level of pressure do you use to clean siding? (It should be no more that 400-500PSI)
- Do you just use water, or do you use a soap/detergent too? (Water alone is not an effective cleaning agent for siding.)
- Do you use ladders to reach the high spots of my house with your wand? (Soft washing pros can clean 95% of most home’s surfaces from the ground. Remember, they are relying on a detergent and gently water application, not pressure, to do the cleaning. So they don’t need to get up close to every inch of your home’s siding.)
- Do you use an extension wand to reach the high spots of my house? (See above. Same answer.)
- Are you insured for power washing and house washing? (Many handyman and painting services offer power washing, but their general liability policies probably don’t cover it. Request a certificate of insurance and confirmation in writing that they have the coverage they need.)
- Do you specialize in exterior cleaning? (This is a specialty service, and not everyone has the skill and experience required to give you what you need. Watch out for landscapers, painters and handymen. They typically aren’t aware of soft washing and will rely on high pressure to do the job.)
The Importance Of Choosing The Right Contractor For Your House Washing Service
When it’s time to have your house washed, you have lots of options. But not every contractor can give you the service you need. Avoid the risk of permanent damage to your home’s siding. Do your homework and only select a contractor that meets the qualifications you are looking for. In most cases, your Troy, MI house should be washed with the soft washing method.