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Pressure Washing

Pressure Washing vs. Soft Washing: Which Is Right for You

Are you in the process of having your home professionally washed but you're wondering whether soft washing vs. pressure washing is right for you? That's a valid concern to have before making such a big decision. In this article, we will thoroughly go through the main differences between pressure washing and soft washing in an effort to help you make the best decision for your home.

The best way to make the right decision comes down to the surface of your home that needs cleaning. The exterior of your home can benefit from both pressure washing and soft washing. Each type of wash has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right method depends on your specific needs.

What Is Pressure Washing?

Pressure washing, also known as power washing, is an outdoor cleaning method that uses high-pressure water to remove dirt, grime, mold, and other debris from various surfaces.

This method of washing is versatile and suitable for a wide variety of outdoor surfaces, including concrete driveways, sidewalks, decks, and even some types of siding. The high pressure of the washer surpasses that of a regular water pressure from a regular faucet.

Key Things to Know About Pressure Washing

Here are key things to learn about pressure washing as you look forward to your cleaning session for your home.

  1. Specialized Equipment Needed: Pressure washing is a method of cleaning that uses a power washer to pressure wash your home. There are various types of pressure washers, including gas-powered and electric models that will ensure the job done is exceptional.
  2. Safety Is Critical: Safety is extremely important when using a pressure washer. At all times appropriate protective gear should be worn when embarking on power washing activities. Protective gear includes safety glasses, gloves, and protection for your hearing.
  3. Surfaces: Pressure washing is suitable for a wide range of surfaces. Some of these surfaces include driveways, sidewalks, decks, fences, and siding. A more extensive list will be discussed below. However, it’s essential to know the right pressure setting and nozzle to avoid causing damage to surfaces.
  4. Importance of Pressure Settings: Pressure washers typically have adjustable pressure settings. The lower pressure settings are suitable for more delicate surfaces, while higher pressure is needed for tougher cleaning tasks on surfaces that are not as delicate. Always start with the lowest pressure and gradually increase it as needed.
  5. Understanding Nozzles: Pressure washer nozzles tend to come in different colors, each indicating a specific spray pattern and pressure level. This helps to guide the entire process to prevent damage.
  6. Cleaning Agents: Using a cleaning agent or detergent can enhance the cleaning process even for pressure washing. Cleaning agents are often just reserved for softwash sessions. Make sure to use appropriate, eco-friendly cleaning solutions, and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  7. Maintenance Helps: Regular maintenance helps to ensure your pressure washer is always offering the best service. A professional will ensure maintenance is up-to-date by cleaning filters, inspecting hoses, and storing them properly.

Though you now understand the above, always ensure that for complex or large-scale pressure washing jobs, hire a professional pressure washing service. The experience and equipment are critical to handle a wide range of tasks safely and effectively.

When you start out with a professional pressure washing company, you can expect an effective and safe cleaning session without damage.

Benefits of Pressure Washing

Here are some benefits to keep in mind when trying to make a decision to have areas of your home soft-washed:

  1. Thorough Cleaning: Pressure washing is highly effective at removing build-up from algae, and mold. It is also great at removing stains. This is best for hard surfaces.
  2. Time-Efficient: Pressure washing lets you spend less time cleaning large, hard surfaces like concrete or brick.
  3. Versatile: Suitable for a variety of surfaces, from driveways to fences.
  4. Minimizes Damage: You might be saying it's outside the home so dirt won't be much of a threat. The truth is, that dirt can build up on outside surfaces and lead to a complete breakdown of the paint or material. By pressure washing, you are able to prevent the breakdown of your outdoor space areas. The buildup of dirt, grime, and other remains can also cause bacteria to accumulate and cause your space to easily become unsanitary.
  5. Aids in the Home Renovation Process: Preparing for the Christmas holiday for many people means doing a fresh paint job on the exterior of the home. Did you know a pressure wash before doing so will improve the overall outcome? When the area being renovated is first pressure-washed, it will act as the perfect primer before the process as it helps to get rid of old/peeling paint.

Safe Surface Home Areas That Can Manage Pressure Washing

There are many areas that can benefit from a pressure washing session. Some of these areas include:

  • Fencing
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Grills
  • Garage Doors
  • Garage Floors
  • Curbs
  • Decks
  • Driveways
  • Patios
  • Walkways
  • Gutters
  • Roofs
  • Shingles
  • Soffits
  • Sidewalks
  • Garbage Bins/ Area
  • Awnings
  • Bird Bath/Fountain

Some of the above might change based on professional assessment for the best maintenance of your surfaces.

What Is Soft Washing?

Soft washing is a gentler approach in comparison to pressure washing. Soft washing doesn't rely only on a pressure wash to remove unwanted debris but instead uses low-pressure water mixed with biodegradable detergents and chemicals to clean surfaces.

This method is ideal for more delicate surfaces, such as some roofing, stucco, vinyl siding, and wood.

Benefits of Soft Washing

Here are some key benefits to keep in mind when trying to make a decision to have areas of your home soft-washed:

  1. Safe for Delicate Surfaces: Soft washing is best for more fragile surfaces thus making it less likely to damage or harm the surfaces. This method of washing makes it suitable for most of your home’s exterior.
  2. Lasting Results: Other than providing a deep clean with water, the detergents used in soft washing play an integral role in preventing the return of algae and mold, thus providing longer-lasting results.
  3. Eco-Friendly: Soft washing detergents are usually environmentally friendly and won’t harm you, your landscaping, or nearby vegetation.

Pressure Washing or Soft Washing: How to Choose the Right Method for Your Home Exterior

Selecting the right method for your home doesn't have to be a complicated process. Spend the time to consider the following factors:

  • Surface Material: If the areas you are trying to wash are durable surfaces like concrete, pressure washing may be more suitable. For softer surfaces like siding or roofing, opt for soft washing.
  • Desired Outcome: It's essential that your decision process includes assessing the level of dirt, stains, or mold you need to remove. For heavy-duty cleaning, pressure washing may be best, while soft washing is better for general maintenance and preventing future unwanted growth.
  • Environmental Concerns: Soft washing will provide a more eco-friendly approach due to its use of biodegradable detergents and lower pressure.

Safety comes first. Always consider safety, for yourself, your loved ones, and your property. If you’re uncertain, it’s best to hire a professional who can first assess the situation and choose the appropriate method without guessing.

Areas That Should Be Soft Washed Instead of Pressure Washed

We have been discussing the difference between pressure washing and soft washing. Let's now look at the areas that should be soft-washed as opposed to pressure-washed.

  • Windows
  • Glass Doors
  • Siding
  • Surfaces like Vinyl, Wood, Stucco, Cedar Shake, Coquina
  • Screens
  • Lanais

Let Window Genie in Austin Help You Choose the Right Outdoor Washing Method

Pressure washing and soft washing are two effective methods for cleaning the exterior of your home. Your choice truly depends on the type of surface you need to clean, your cleaning goals, and your environmental concerns. Regardless of your choice, regular maintenance of your home’s exterior will help preserve its beauty and integrity for years to come. One thing to keep in mind is that though the job of pressure or soft washing might now sound simple with the above tips given, it's always best to have professional help in this activity. Window Genie of W Austin, San Marcos, and Dripping Springs is here to help. Our expertise will prove beneficial in choosing the right pressure levels for each surface to ensure that your property receives the best care without damage. For greater insight into pressure washing for outdoor surfaces and other upkeep measures take a look at this YouTube video.

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