Never Pressure Wash Your House

Ahhh, Spring. That time of year we get to enjoy the great outdoors in Atlanta… and do a little spring cleaning, wash your house. Even though you know it’s a chore, in some weird way, you kind of look forward to it. Or, perhaps more likely, you look forward to it being over.

As you tidy up the inside, and drag the junk out from the basement to the garbage can outside, you notice something odd on the house. Yikes. There it is… staring at you… some nasty green and grey matter has taken over the side of your once beautiful house. “Well,” you think, “I guess I need to pressure wash my house… add that to my list.”

Should I pressure wash my house?

Well, in a word. No.

What’s wrong with pressure washing a house? Nothing, really… as long as your house is made out of concrete, brick, or stone. But most aren’t. Today’s home’s exteriors generally have siding – built of hardie board, vinyl, or some other painted composite. And even brick homes have painted wood trim, soffits, and gutters. Those surfaces were never meant to be hit by high pressure water. And, unfortunately, they are also a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus.

High pressure water can damage your home. It will:

  • Chip paint
  • Knock off vinyl panels
  • Blasting under window and door seals, getting in small cracks, and leaving moisture behind – a potential breeding ground for mold.

Also, if your home is higher than one story, cleaning it this way means getting up on a ladder to get up close to the wall with enough pressure. Have you ever tried to pull a trigger gun on a 3500 PSI power wash machine with one hand, with a heavy duty hose weighing you down, and holding on precariously with the other hand while dangling 25 feet up in the air? Trust me, not fun. In fact it is very dangerous.

The worst part? Pressure washing doesn’t even get your house truly clean. (OK, well, if you fall off the ladder, that is probably worse. But let’s hope you don’t.)

Why pressure washing a house doesn’t work?

Because those green and grey spots you see are living organisms – fungus, mold, mildew, algae. Yuk! Pressure washing only blasts off the surface stuff. However, these little critters (like any living plant) have roots. And pressure washing doesn’t remove them – not fully.

What you need to do is kill the underlying fungus and root system. The most effective way to do this is with a method called “Soft-washing”.

What is Soft-washing?

Soft-washing uses low pressure and the right combination of cleansers to completely remove the mold, mildew, and fungus. Think of it more like a treatment – not just superficial cleaning. The base chemical of most Soft-washing is bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite or SH). The key is using the right combination of SH and a surfactant, combined with the right ratio of water.

The other benefit of Soft-washing is that there’s no chance of damage to the home, because as the name implies, it is a low-pressure system. Soft-washing is also extremely effective at removing the dark streaks (algae) from roofs.

But you have to have the proper equipment and chemical knowledge to do Soft-washing the right way. At Aqua-Nomics, we use Soft-washing machines which can spray up to 40 ft of Soft-wash detergent. We also take care of the plants around your house (the good kind) by watering them liberally throughout the process. So the only thing you are left with is a spot-free shine on the home.

Remember, if your house is made out of concrete, brick, or stone you can pressure wash it in most cases. If your home uses siding, like majority of homeowners in North Atlanta, than you need to hire professional exterior cleaning provider to soft-wash your house and eliminate harmful bacteria at its root.