Pressure Washing Vs. Softwashing (and can I do this on my own?)

Here are the major differences between pressure washing and soft washing: With pressure cleaning, the water comes out of the wand (or gun) highly pressurized. Utilizing a high pressure system has its advantages: the ability to get harder substrates cleaned, like driveways and other concrete surfaces.

Soft washing still uses a pump, but the water comes out with not much more than garden hose pressure. Soft Washing uses higher concentrations of chemicals or cleaning solutions when cleaning a home. Soft washing is great for: vinyl, hardiplank, asphalt and metal roofs. So, a pressure washer uses high pressure to get areas clean and soft washing uses chemicals to clean surfaces. 

Ready to Try Soft-Washing on Your Own? 

Mix Sodium Hypochlorite (generally referred to as bleach) and your surfactant (you can use laundry soap), then  add water. About 1 oz per gallon of soap works best. Then, pre-soak the landscape with water to avoid damaging the plants or surrounding vegetation. Now, allow the solution to dwell on the siding for around 5 minutes. Check to make sure it is not drying on the siding (hot weather can cause bleach streaks). Harder and porous surfaces will likely require stronger mix and longer dwell times.  Apply as many times as you need to in order to get the desired result, then turn all chemicals off and rinse with pure water. Lastly, rinse the surface and the surrounding vegetation for best results. 

The bottom line on great results is to know and trust your knowledge, chemicals and equipment

Hardware stores and grocery stores sell chemicals that can do a decent job of removing organic and inorganic problem areas. However, professional pressure and soft washing companies have access to industrial and top-tier vendors and chemicals. In addition, professional companies have the ability to manage and change ratios and mixtures with a valve system. They can, in fact, clean a roof and a house by turning a knob. Note: roof cleaning utilizes more bleach and subsequently has a higher ratio of bleach to water. The mix needs to be strong in order to ‘release’ the organic growth after it decays via the salt in the bleach. 

Before you hire a company ensure the following: insurance specific to the trade, knowledge about the chemicals they are spraying, whether they intend to do the work themselves or subcontract the project, if they plan to use pressure washing or soft-washing. If they satisfy these areas and you are comfortable with their answers, get ready for a clean house that sparkles and a lasting relationship for years to come!

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