Searching to find what the differences between pressure cleaning (aka Power washing) and soft washing are? Simply answer, soft washing is a method of cleaning anything from a tile roof to stucco on the exterior of a home in which the pressure is no more stronger than that of the average gardening hose. Meanwhile, “pressure cleaning” refers to the usage of high pressure to clean dirt, grime and algae from hard surfaces like brick and concrete.
Is Soft Washing or Pressure Cleaning Better for my Roof?
Ongoing roof maintenance for your home is essential to maintaining and increasing your home’s equity. Keeping the siding and roof clean clean helps the longevity and makes it easier to identify needed repairs. An important aspect of cleaning the roof or siding is in the process. Most people understand what pressure washing means but don’t realize the real difference in soft washing. Just because you may have seen what looks like a pressure washing company on your neighbors roof, possibly even holding what looks like a power washing wand, don’t assume that roof was being cleaned with high pressure. Most likely, and hopefully, their pressure settings were set extremely low, yielding an effect that is no more harmful to surfaces then a regular garden hose.
The Truth About Pressure Washing
Regardless of the company doing the work, pressure washing uses high-pressure water to remove substances from a surface. At 1,300 to 4,000 PSI (pounds per square inch), even the lowest level setting of a pressure washer can cause lasting damage to roof shingles and tiles. It is generally considered an additional level of risk when the roof is older or in less-than-optimal condition. That’s not to say that pressure washing is terrible. It is very effective for washing other surfaces and the preferred method to remove paint, and clean concrete surfaces, paved areas, brick, stone, and other highly durable surfaces where dirt and grime are hard to move with regular pressure and chemicals.
The Difference in Soft Washing
Soft washing is the process of using water under pressure at a rate of less than 1,000 PSI with low-pressure nozzles. The washing gun or wand for a true soft washing method is an extremely gentle cleansing process combined with specially formulated cleaning detergent for a longer-lasting and effective cleaning. Unlike power washing, soft washing also retains the surface texture of surfaces. This process can be used on any roofing surface from tile to shingle and even metal roofs. It is also specifically recommended for cedar shake, wood paneling, stucco, coquina, screened enclosures, and window screens. Certain types of high end pavers are also recommended to only be cleaned via soft washing methods to avoid discoloring. Soft washing is also less likely to cause accidental damage to siding, gutters, window screens, or painted surfaces, which quickly occurs with high pressure power washing services.
Summary and Conclusions
Eliminating the mold, fungi, dirt, and grime from external surfaces like your home or businesses roof is always good for maintaining equity and extending the life of the roof. As noted above, pressure and soft washing have great value when used properly but must be used according to the type of surface being cleaned. For roofing, in general, the best practice is to obtain soft washing to ensure the longevity of your roof.
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