Having a clean exterior is great, but not if the process of making it clean damages the surface. Soft washing is a technique that uses a high volume of low pressure water with powerful cleaning agents to remove dirt, grime, algae, mold, mildew, and other unwanted and unsightly substances.
Though soft washing looks similar to pressure washing it uses different techniques, equipment, pressure, and specialized cleaners. Initially designed to remove algae from roof shingles, soft washing has become an indispensable technique for exterior cleaning professionals. Soft washing is ideal for surfaces that could be damaged with a high pressure stream. Shingles, windows, screens, wood, and mortar are ideal surfaces for soft washing.
Prior to soft washing, the surrounding area is prepared to protect gardens and lawns. Though the cleaning agents are environmentally friendly, the volume of water cascading down could damage plants. The cleaning agent is then prepared. The cleaning agent used will depend on the surface being cleaned and what is being removed from that surface. The cleaning agent is applied using a pump and hose with very little pressurization – typically less pressure than what comes out of a garden hose. The solution is left to soak for a bit to break down the offending matter then rinsed off. Some cleaning agents for roof shingles are actually not rinsed off. They are left on so they may physically kill the algae, mold, mildew, lichen, or moss and their “root” systems.
The cleaning agent is typically a combination of three liquids – water, bleach, and a cleaning surfactant. The bleach kills plants and fungi such as mold, mildew, and algae. It is used to be sure any root systems are also killed to prevent regrowth and further damage to your roof or siding. Water is needed to dilute the bleach. A cleaning surfactant is the catalyst that breaks the bond between the surface being cleaned and whatever is sticking to it and lifting away the offending materials. When you are washing your dishes, the dish soap is cleaning surfactant – it lifts the grease and food particles off of the dishes. Cleaning surfactants also help the bleach cling to the surface being cleaned by limiting run-off and increasing its cleaning effectiveness.
A-1 Window Washers have the latest soft washing equipment, are experts in mixing the proper cleaning agent to achieve the desired results, and well-trained in soft washing techniques. We were one of the first professional exterior cleaners to use soft washing in Slidell and the greater Gulf coast region. If you are not sure if you need a pressure wash or a soft wash, please give us a call so we can help you determine the most appropriate method to clean your exterior surfaces. We guarantee you will be pleased with the results.