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Cleaning Different Types of Exterior Finishes on a Home

Standout knows when it comes to keeping your home looking its best, regular exterior cleaning is essential. As time moves along, grime, mold, dirt, and other contaminants can accumulate on various exterior surfaces, taking away your home's curb appeal and even causing damage. There are two popular methods for cleaning the exterior of your home and ensuring that it is being properly clean are soft washing and pressure washing. In this blog, we will explore these methods and how they can be used to clean different types of exterior finishes on a home.

Soft Wash vs. Pressure Wash: What's the Difference?

Before we rush into the specifics of cleaning different exterior finishes, let us explain the fundamental differences between soft washing and pressure washing:

1. Soft Wash:

• Soft washing is a gentle, low-pressure method for cleaning exterior surfaces.

• It typically involves using a specialized cleaning solution, such as a biodegradable detergent, along with low-pressure water to remove dirt, algae, mildew, and other contaminants.

• Soft washing is ideal for delicate surfaces, such as stucco, wood, painted surfaces, and roofing materials.

• It is effective at killing and preventing the regrowth of mold and algae.

2. Pressure Wash:

• Pressure washing uses highly pressurized water to blast away dirt, grime, and stains from surfaces.

• This method is suitable for tougher surfaces like concrete, brick, stone, and some types of siding.

• Pressure washing is excellent for removing stubborn stains, such as oil or grease on driveways and decks.

• It is essential to adjust the pressure to avoid damaging more delicate surfaces.

Cleaning Different Exterior Finishes

Now that we understand the basic principles of soft washing and pressure washing, let us explore how these methods can be used to clean various exterior finishes on a home:

1. Brick: Pressure washing is an excellent choice for cleaning brick exteriors. The high-pressure water can effectively remove dirt, algae, and stains from the porous surface. However, be cautious not to use excessive pressure, as it can damage the mortar between bricks. 

2. Wood: Soft washing is the preferred method for cleaning wood siding, decks, and fences. The low-pressure approach ensures that the wood is not damaged, while the cleaning solution helps eliminate mold and mildew, preserving the wood's integrity.

3. Stucco: Stucco is a delicate exterior finish that can be easily damaged by high-pressure washing. Soft washing is the safest option for stucco surfaces, as it cleans without causing cracks or chipping.

4. Vinyl Siding: Pressure washing can be used on vinyl siding but must be done with care. Lower pressure settings should be used to prevent damage or water intrusion. Soft washing can also be a good alternative for vinyl siding, especially if mold or algae growth is a concern.

5. Concrete: Pressure washing is highly effective for cleaning concrete driveways, walkways, and patios. It can remove oil stains, dirt, and even graffiti from concrete surfaces.

6. Roofing: Soft washing is the recommended method for cleaning roofing materials like asphalt shingles. Pressure washing can strip away the protective granules and cause damage. Soft washing is gentle on the roof while effectively removing algae and moss.

Safety Precautions

Regardless of the method chosen, it is essential to follow safety precautions when cleaning the exterior of your home:

• Wear appropriate protective gear, including eye protection and non-slip footwear.

• Be cautious around electrical fixtures and outlets.

• Avoid pressure washing windows, as it can break the glass.

• When using chemicals or cleaning solutions, follow the manufacturer's instructions and take environmental considerations into account.

In conclusion, maintaining the exterior of your home is crucial for both aesthetic and structural reasons. Soft washing and pressure washing are valuable tools in your cleaning arsenal, each with its specific applications. By understanding the differences between these methods and their suitability for different exterior finishes, you can keep your home looking its best for years to come. If you are unsure which method to use or have concerns about tackling specific cleaning tasks, consider consulting a professional exterior cleaning service for expert guidance and assistance.

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