Power Washing / Pressure Washing:
Power washing uses mechanical equipment to create a high pressure stream of water to remove mold, algae, lichen, moss, and other contaminants from a surface. This jet of water is used for cleaning a wide variety of surfaces and objects. Cleaning agents are not always used when power washing; however, when they are used they are applied with low pressure and followed by a high pressure rinse. Most power washers have interchangeable tips that give the technician more versatility with the ability to change the spray angle as well as water pressure. This is very beneficial when it comes to cleaning multiple surfaces on the same service trip. Although power washing seems like an easy enough proposition, it is a task that is best performed by a qualified professional.
The term and technique of "soft washing" is a growing trend that is becoming much more commonly used in the pressure washing and roof cleaning industries. Basically, it means to clean surfaces using softer pressure than most people would associate with a pressure washing service. In fact, most of the "power washing" services offered by professionals today fall under the soft washing definition.
Soft washing is seen by many professionals as the superior method for cleaning the exterior of homes. It is safer than power washing and also provides better results. Soft washing is essentially the use of cleaning agents to clean surfaces rather than using sheer pressure. Once the site has been prepared for cleaning (ie: moving furniture and plants) the technician will gently apply a mixture of professional grade cleaning agents to the affected area, usually siding. This mixture is designed to kill the mold and mildew, as well as lift the dirt off of your siding. The cleaning mixture is applied thoroughly with low pressure, allowed time to dwell on the surfaces, and then rinsed with low pressure. The low pressure application and rinse is similar to that of a garden hose. Instead of using high pressure to rinse the surfaces, the technician should focus on volume of water.
Soft washing is gentle and non-abrasive yet highly effective. Not only is it safer for your home, but it is also more efficient than power washing. Soft washing allows professionals to clean your home better and faster while using less water in the process. A qualified professional in the pressure washing or roof cleaning trade should have a good working knowledge of many different kinds of cleaning solutions and how to safely and effectively use them in the soft washing process.
Cleaning a home properly is not about how much pressure you can use; it’s about using the proper cleaners with the proper procedures to clean it. To ensure that no damage is caused, major pressure washing or soft washing tasks are best left for the professionals. Professionals have the right equipment and cleaning agents to safely and effectively clean your home, while ensuring that your property is left free of any damage. Please be advised that owning a power washer does not mean that you have the right tool for every job.
For the do-it-yourselfer out there that has his/her own pressure washer...simple tasks such as pressure washing sidewalks, outdoor furniture, or cars are great tasks for amateurs. As you become more comfortable you may decide to expand your skill level and try cleaning other areas of your home. However, if you do attempt to use a pressure washer around your property we suggest that you practice in an inconspicuous area before diving in to the whole project. It is also important to understand that when using a pressure washer it is very hard to see a potential danger before it is too late. Most of the time homeowners cause irreversible damage to their property before they even know that they are in danger.
Save your own time and energy, hire a professional!