Are you preparing to put your home on the market or just wanting to amp up the curb appeal? Since the first thing people see when they pull up in front of your property is the exterior, it makes sense to start there. But how do you go about cleaning the outside of your house?
You can, of course, do it the “old-fashioned” way using a garden hose, soap, and lots of scrubbing. But after an hour of work and realizing you’re not accomplishing much, it’s now time to google, and you get search results “Soft wash vs Pressure wash.”
Soft washing and pressure washing are the two most common wall, roof, and exterior cleaning methods. While one isn’t necessarily better than the other, the scope and applications can be very different.
To understand your options, let’s learn more about pressure washing and soft washing.
The concept of pressure washing is simple. All pressure washers jettison water out of a nozzle at a high pressure to clean surfaces. The water pressure can range from 1000 to 3000 PSI (pressure per square inch) or more.
It relies solely on the force of the water pounding on the surface to remove unwanted elements. It’s very effective at breaking down and washing away dirt, mold, and other heavily embedded contaminants. A pressure wash can even remove loose paint to get the siding ready for painting or staining.
While no one’s stopping you from buying or renting a machine for DIY cleaning, you should exercise caution, or better yet, leave it to the pros. If you don’t know what pressures to use, you can easily damage fragile materials such as wood, vinyl, and stucco. You might even end up hurting yourself in the process.
By contrast, a soft wash uses low-pressure water but magnifies cleaning power by using a specialized solution. There’s still some amount of pressure, but it’s usually less than 1000 psi. It’s not as rough nor as abrasive as a pressure wash.
What performs the magic is the cleaning solution, made of high-quality soaps, bleach, and antibacterial agents.
It’s a versatile cleaning technique since you can use it on surfaces that are too fragile for regular pressure washing. According to the pros at 19 Power Facilities Maintenance, jet washing might be too extreme for the following:
- Glass doors
- Siding materials like vinyl, cedar, shake, wood, and glass
For these types of surfaces, soft washing can achieve effective cleaning without the risk of damage.
As a general rule of thumb, if high water pressure poses a significant risk for damaging a surface, you should opt for soft washing. Higher pressures are best for rigid surfaces with stubborn deposits, such as dirt or unwelcome loose paint. For delicate surfaces, choose soft washing.
Any time you’re unsure between soft wash vs pressure wash, consult a professional for help. Pros have the proper equipment and the expertise to determine the best cleaning method for the job.
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