Soft washing vs. pressure washing

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: ExteriorRoofing

When considering a professional exterior cleaning service, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? If you are like most, it’s pressure washing or power washing.

Just as innovation and technology has improved every other form of industry, the realm of professional contract cleaners has made huge leaps in advanced cleaning techniques as well.

Without a doubt, the most substantial growth in the exterior cleaning trade has been the introduction of soft washing. The soft wash process has been used for more than 25 years and is quickly becoming a preferred method of cleaning throughout the industry. Below are the pros and cons of the contenders.

Soft washing

The title says it all. Soft washing is a term used to describe a safe, gentle approach to a well-proven roof and exterior cleaning method. It utilizes low pressure (like the pressure from a garden hose) to deliver a customized cleaning solution. This solution not only kills 100 percent of all mold, mildew and bacteria by displacing the oxygen they require to survive, but it also allows the soft wash certified cleaner to rinse with as little pressure as a garden hose.

There are no harmful effects like those associated with pressure washing, and it does not void your roof warranty. In fact, it is the recommended roof cleaning method by The American Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA). Effects last 4-6 times longer than pressure washing alone. It even achieves a 100 percent kill rate on molds, mildews, lichens, moss and bacteria.

Power washing

Pressure or power washing uses force to clean a surface and remove molds, mildews and other contaminants. The first problem is that it does not kill these contaminants. It simply shears them off at the surface, allowing them to grow back thicker, stronger and fuller in (usually) less than six months.

The second, and perhaps most important problem, is the potential for extensive damages when pressure washing, such as striping or scarring on delicate surfaces, blasting off of protective granules from your shingle roof or the color from your tile roof, peeling, etching and chipping the paint off your home or business, or forcing water into troublesome areas. These damages could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Mike Wedge of Envirowash Hawaii LLC said that there are situations in which a pressure wash may be the best method of cleaning. For instance, cleaning concrete, brick and most flat surfaces (which the company highly suggests you spray with a soft wash mix, to kill off the remaining contaminants left below the surface). Also, in paint prep, where it is essential to expose any problem areas, as well as anywhere hot water may be required, such as with tire marks, stains, oil or grease.

Envirowash Hawaii LLC, Hawaii’s only SoftWash Systems certified contractor, highly recommends that regardless of the method you choose for your cleaning needs, you pick a professional cleaning contractor that is both licensed and insured. And remember, if you think a professional contractor is too expensive, wait until you see what an amateur can cost you.

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