Like any good homeowner, you know that keeping the exterior of your home in good condition is equally as important as what’s going on inside your home. While some people feel that high-end kitchens with granite countertops and massive soaking tubs in the master bathroom make the home luxurious, the truth is no one is going to be too impressed with your home if your siding is dirty and your wooden front or back porch is rotting. Neglecting the exterior of your home can be costly, so it’s best to do a little work all year round than have to do a ton of work for months at a time to replace and repair everything.
You’ve probably heard the terms soft washing and pressure washing and wondered what’s the difference between the two. Is it just a matter of how much water pressure you’re using or is there something more to it? Can you, the homeowner, do a soft washing on your own and leave pressure washing services to the professionals?
Whether you’re a new homeowner or you’ve been in the same home for many years, it never hurts to get a crash course in pressure washing services. Here’s what you need to know about the difference between soft washing and pressure washing — and how our experts in pressure washing services can help you get your home squeaky clean.
Soft washing v. pressure washing: What’s the difference?
When you think of pressure washing, you might have some misconceptions about what it actually is. You might think of chipped paint or cracked siding, but the truth is, pressure washing doesn’t involve a seriously powerful stream of water.
While that may be true for those who have tried to pressure wash their own homes and not known how much pressure to use, it is not the same for experts. Pressure washing services involve a skilled professional coming to your home and using commercial equipment to clean your home, deck and driveway with the appropriate amount of pressure. An expert in pressure washing services will know how much pressure to use on each surface and how to use it effectively to get rid of dirt and mold.
So where does soft washing come in? Is it just a light sprinkle of water compared with pressure washing?
Not quite. While soft washing does use a lower pressure, it also uses a nozzle that mixes a biodegradable chemical into the water as it’s being sprayed onto the surface. This chemical works to kill mold, algae and other pests that might be growing on your wooden deck or on the siding on your home. The chemical is safe, and it won’t harm the plants around your home or damaging any surfaces.
Rather than trying to blast the mold or moss away at full speed, soft washing gets the surface clean with damaging the paint, finish or materials of your property. When working together, soft washing and pressure washing can get every surface around your home clean without damaging surfaces or harming the plants and wildlife.
How soft washing and power washing work together
Think about the floors in your home, your carpet, hardwood floors and tile. When you want to clean your carpet, you get out the vacuum. When you clean your tile, you probably vacuum it first, but then you scrub it with a floor cleaner. With hardwoods, you would vacuum first and then use a floor cleaner safe for hardwood floors.
What you definitely wouldn’t do is take your bucket of soapy water and try to clean the carpet with it, right? And you wouldn’t try to vacuum up scuff marks on your kitchen floor. The same goes for your surfaces outside. Just because you would use a strong pressure on your driveway doesn’t mean you should use the same pressure on your siding or near your windows.
All of the surfaces on the outside of your home are different and they require different techniques to keep them clean.
If you live in a home that is 50 years or older, then you know how years — decades really — of dirt and grime can build up on a home and damage the materials. Since moving in, you might have had to replace wooden structures or repainted the exterior — hopefully with lead-free paint. These older homes can be more susceptible to damage, and you might even chip the paint just by bumping a rake into the side of your home.
But older homes can be beautiful, and they’re worth the extra care and upkeep. That’s why a good combination of soft washing and pressure washing services can help keep an older home from looking broken down or decrepid. Some homeowners with older homes worry that too much water pressure will damage their homes, so they avoid doing any pressure washing on your home.
That may be okay for a short amount of time, but if dirt, mold and other irritants aren’t wash away, they can break down the house. The mold can rot away the wood framing on the house, creating holes where pests and insects can infiltrate the attic or garage. This can lead to major repairs, such as new roofs or siding, and those won’t be cheap, especially for an older home.
But with a combination of soft washing and pressure washing services, you can be gentle on your older home while still keeping it clean. The soft washing will help drive away the mold and moss growing on the roof or near windows while pressure washing can be used on the driveway and the sturdier places of the home.
Soft washing and pressure washing for wooded homes
While living near downtown Houston and other city hotspots can be great for the nightlife, many people prefer to live a little ways out of the city where they can have land and plenty of green space. In some wooded areas with lots of tall trees, your home may be slightly more at risk for mold and rot, especially if it’s not soft washed or pressure washed regularly.
Trees that dangle over your home drop more leaves, sticks and moisture on top of your home, which can create problems in your gutters and on the wooden framing of your home. Mold, mildew and moss love to grow in damp places, and if your gutters are constantly getting clogged from the leaves and sticks, then standing water can build up in your gutters and spill over onto your roof.
Now regular gutter cleanings can help alleviate this problem, but a combination of soft and pressure washing services can also help get rid of mold that’s forming on your home. If you’re diligent about it, then you should be able to enjoy the beautiful trees that surround your home without worrying about how they may damage your roof.
How to do soft washing and pressure washing on your own
Some homeowners are do-it-yourselfers or DIYers, as we like to call them. They like working with their hands, and they take pride in fixing repairs around their homes. While they know to call in a professional for the major repairs, like needing a new roof, they’re happy to paint their own walls and fix leaks around their homes as needed. Even household chores like mowing the lawn or cleaning the gutters isn’t so bad to them.
For the DIYers, it is possible to soft wash and pressure wash the house without a professional. First, you will need to purchase all the equipment from a home improvement store, which means you’ll need a commercial-grade pressure washer along with the soft wash nozzle, which will add the biodegradable chemicals into your low-pressure stream. In addition, you will also need to purchase the correct biodegradable chemicals, and be sure to get the right ones. If you don’t you might end up killing your plants.
Some DIYers will just rent pressure washers from home improvement stores, but this can be time-consuming, and you have to be certain that one will be available to you.
Once you have all your equipment, then you need to do the work yourself. Most of the home itself will need to be soft washed while the driveway, sidewalk, deck, patio and fence can handle the pressure wash. But there are different settings on your pressure washer, and if you’re using too much or not enough pressure, you could run into some serious problems.
If the stream you’re using is too powerful on your home, you could crack the siding or even break a window on accident. That could cause water to get into your home and cause serious damage to the interior, which will need to be repaired by a professional.
If the pressure washing stream is too low for your driveway or patio, then the surfaces won’t get clean as quickly. You’ll end up spending more time trying to wash your driveway on the wrong pressure, and you’ll use much more water than you might have otherwise used. On the flip side, there may be weaker spots on your fence that shouldn’t be pressure washed, and you could break part of your fence if you’re not careful.
Even when you’re finished, you’re not really finished. If you rented equipment, you need to return it. If you own the pressure washer, then you need to change the oil, clean it and replace your biodegradable chemicals for your next soft wash. Then of course, you need to store it.
Sounds like a lot of work, right? That’s why pressure washing services may be a better alternative overall
Your home needs to be soft washed and pressure washed about once or twice a year depending on where you live and what your property is like. While you could go at it alone, it’s better to hire an expert in pressure washing services to get the job done right the first time.
First off, a pressure washing company has all the right equipment and chemicals needed for your home. They’ve already purchased the heavy commercial-grade equipment, and they have the right nozzle for each part of your home. The company’s experts are trained on the equipment, so they know just the right pressure to be used around your home. Best of all, you don’t have to move all that heavy equipment around your home.
Experts in pressure washing services know how to do their job well, and they’ve worked on all different types of houses. They know the right settings to be used around the home, and they can adapt when something isn’t working just right. This can be especially important if you have an older home. An expert in pressure washing services will understand the balance of getting your home clean without risking any damage to it.
Because experts in pressure washing services have seen so much, they know how to spot potential problems on your home. They may be able to identify places where water is leaking into your home or where you may have rotting wood on your house frame or fence. Having an expert around to spot these problems can help you catch problems early, before you need more professional help.
Finally, when all is said and done, you get to rest, relax and know that your home is being well cared for. You can spend those precious weekend hours hanging by the pool or spending time with your family. Though you will want to be home when your experts in pressure washing services stop by, you can continue to enjoy your weekend time however you see fit. When the job is done, your experts will pack up and leave, and you can enjoy your nice, clean home.
Tell us: What questions do you have about soft washing and pressure washing services? Share with us in the comments and let us know how we can help.