What is Soft Washing? A Pressure Washing Alternative

A regular cleaning schedule for your building exterior can help maintain hygiene, aesthetics and curb value. However, you will still require the expertise of professional exterior cleaners who come along with specialised tools to eradicate dirt, debris and mould growth from your premises.

When researching professional cleaning processes, soft washing and pressure washing are the two names that will constantly appear in your search. Most of us are aware of pressure washing as a method that uses high-pressure streams of water to clean surfaces such as buildings, driveways, and vehicles. What we do not know is that soft washing is another exterior cleaning process that can effectively remove debris from your building without damaging the surface. So, with this blog, let’s learn about soft washing and how it can aid you in making your residential and commercial exteriors blemish-free.

Understanding the Soft Washing Process: How It Works?

Soft washing, as the word suggests, is a gentle cleaning process that cleans surfaces without damaging them. It relies on mould & mildew cleaners and surfactants along with low-pressure water to remove dirt, grime, mould, mildew and algae formation. It’s a gentle, methodical approach that prioritises surface preservation.

The soft wash solutions comprising mould & mildew cleaners and surfactants break down contaminants and organic growth like mould, algae, and lichen. Afterwards, the low-pressure water rinse removes the disintegrated particles, renewing the cleaned surface. The surfactants used in soft washing do not just remove the debris. Rather, they also stick to the surface, acting as a deterrent and keeping dirt and mould away.

Is Soft Washing Best for Exterior House Cleaning?

Numerous exterior surfaces around your home necessitate gentle cleaning methods to remove dust without causing any harm. Soft wash house cleaning uses cleaning agents with 150-300 PSI (pounds per square inch) pressure, which is relatively gentle to clean the surface. It makes the process one of the best to eliminate grime, mould, algae, discolouration etc from the home exteriors. Here are some examples of surfaces that need soft washing to achieve the desired cleanliness without risking damage:

  • Render: comprises sand, cement, lime and water that requires less pressure for cleaning, and soft washing is the best option Polycarbonate Roofs: regular build up of algae and mould on these roofs are cleaned beautifully through soft washing.
  • Wood Panelling: Mild stream, along with surfactants, eliminates the fungus and dirt without causing harm.
  • Wooden Decks: Softwash cleans it without cutting through the paint, safeguarding the deck against climatic conditions.
  • Stucco: Stucco comprises sand, cement, lime and water that requires less pressure for cleaning, and soft washing is the best option.
  • Windows: High pressure can cause scratches and even break the glass, while soft washing cleans and sanitises effectively without harm.
  • Roofs: Asphalt or slate shingles, clay or concrete tiles, copper, and corrugated/long-run steel are common roofing materials that can wither with high pressure, so the roof soft washing process cleans them while keeping them intact.
  • Driveway: Whether concrete or asphalt, both the driveways will experience breakage on the sides with the high pressure cleaning, so soft washing is an effective way to clean it.

Pressure Washing VS Soft Washing – Key Differences

When it comes to cleaning the exteriors of your home, you might often find yourself pondering the choice between soft washing vs. pressure washing. Here, we make things easy for you by clearly defining the differences between pressure wash and soft wash house cleaning services.

  • Water Pressure: Pressure washing uses a water stream of 1000 to 4000 PSI. In industrial pressure cleaning it can also go beyond 4000 PSI. In comparison, soft washing maintains a PSI of 500 or lower for all cleaning purposes.
  • Cleaning Agents: Pressure washing uses mostly water to clean the surface, while soft washing comprises mould & mildew treatments, surfactants and odour masking agents.
  • After-effects: Mould and mildew will continue to grow almost immediately after pressure washing because water does not kill the spores of the mould & mildew, whereas the surfactant used in soft wash acts as a deterrent, preventing regrowth for at least a year.
  • Results: Pressure washing with its extreme PSI can harm fragile surfaces such as Render, decks, windows, stucco, etc. In contrast, softwash cleans every place, including the roofs, without causing harm to the surface

Pros & Cons of Soft Washing and Pressure Washing

Soft wash house cleaning services surely hold the upper hand due to the various properties of the process. However, it doesn’t come with a set of cons. Here, we elaborate on both the pros and cons of soft washing and pressure washing so you find the best choice for your building:

Pros of Soft Washing:

  • Gentle on Surfaces: Soft washing is a mild cleaning process that handles delicate portions, such as facades, cladding, roofing, paints, etc
  • Kills Organic Growth: It functions effectively against mould, algae, and other gross things growing in your home. Soft washing cleans and disinfects.
  • No Damage: You won’t end up with chips, cracks, or dents on your surfaces because soft washing uses gentle pressure, causing no harm.
  • Conserve Water: Soft washing uses less water compared to pressure cleaning.
  • Lasting Clean: Your home stays cleaner for a longer time because soft washing cleans deeper and acts as a deterrent rather than just blasting the dirt away.

Cons of Soft Washing:

  • Not Super Fast: Soft washing can be a little slower than power washing, especially if you have stubborn stains and multiple treatments can be required to kill organic growth.
  • Need Pros: You’ll usually need to call in the experts for soft washing, as it’s not really a DIY thing. You will need powerful pumps to spray the application to height and for large areas. They have the right gear and chemicals.

Pros of Pressure Washing:

  • Effective Cleaning: It removes dirt, grime, and tough stains from various surfaces, like driveways, concrete and most hard surfaces . It can make things look brand new.
  • Time Saver: You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can clean things. With pressure washing, there is no need for elbow grease and scrubbing for hours.
  • DIY Friendly: You don’t need to be a professional to use a pressure washer.

Cons of Pressure Washing:

  • Damage Risk: If you’re not careful or use too much pressure, you can harm surfaces – like render, facades, delicate tiles, paint or eroding wood.
  • Safety Concerns: High-pressure water can harm you and your property.
  • Cost: Buying a pressure washer can be an investment, and renting one might be costly if you use it often.
  • Environmental Impact: Using pressure washers for large areas can still consume a fair amount of water and will take a long time unless you are using commercial machines.
  • Noise: They can be pretty loud, so you might not make friends with your neighbours while using one.

Is Soft Washing the Best Alternative to Pressure Washing?

Soft and pressure washing are both ways to clean your home exteriors, but they are two different procedures that provide different results. Therefore, you must consider a few things before determining if soft washing can be an alternative to pressure washing. Here’s how:

  • Surface Sensitivity: Pressure washing may harm surfaces with its strong pressure of water, while soft washing will clean without causing damage. Therefore, consider what you’re cleaning before you decide on the process.
  • Stains and Grime: What are you trying to get rid of? Soft wash is better for organic stains like mould, algae, or lichen. Pressure washing is your go-to for more hard surfaces that may have grime like oil stains or heavy dirt buildup.
  • Equipment and Skill: Soft washing often requires specialised equipment and expertise. Pressure washing machines are more common and user-friendly. Consider what you have or are willing to invest in.
  • Water Usage: Pressure washing can use much more water than soft washing. So, if you’re environmentally conscious or have water restrictions, this is something to remember.
  • Local Regulations: Check for any local regulations or restrictions on water usage or the use of chemicals.
  • Safety: Pressure washers can be powerful and potentially dangerous if improperly used. Make sure you know how to operate the equipment safely, regardless of your chosen method.

DIY vs Professional Soft Washing Services

When it comes to soft-wash exterior house cleaning, you might be tempted to save some money by going the DIY route. While it can seem like a cost-effective choice, it’s essential to understand the value professionals bring.

  • Safety: Soft washing often involves climbing ladders and working with chemicals. Pros are trained to do it safely. They won’t risk life and limb (or your limbs, for that matter) while working on your project.
  • Proper Equipment: Professionals use specialised soft washing equipment that regulates the pressure and mixes the cleaning solutions. DIYers most likely won’t have access to these pumps & tools, and improvising can lead to disaster.
  • Chemical Know-How: Professionals are well-versed in the types and proportions of chemicals needed for each job. DIYers might accidentally damage their property or harm the environment with the wrong chemicals.
  • Experience Matters: Expert soft washing companies know how to adapt to different surfaces and issues. DIYers might not have that experience and could make mistakes.
  • Save Time: Pros can get the job done faster, so you can enjoy your clean space sooner.
  • Better Results: Pros have the skills and experience to get surfaces cleaner than a DIYer. They can make your property look almost brand new, which is especially important if you’re planning to sell or just want your home to shine.
  • Assurance: Opt for softwash exterior house cleaning services that have Insurance; a track record & reviews and quality websites. If something goes wrong, you’re not left footing the bill.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Pros use eco-friendly cleaning solutions and know how to handle them responsibly. DIYers might inadvertently harm their gardens, ponds, animals & environment.

How Much Does Soft Washing Cost?

Soft wash house cleaning can vary in cost, depending on multiple factors.

  • Size of Your Property: Bigger houses or surfaces will naturally cost more because the surface areas are larger require more time and cleaning solutions.
  • Level of Dirt and Stains: If your home is really dirty or has significant organic mould/mildew build up, it might take more effort and time, hence increasing the cost.
  • Additional Services: Sometimes, professionals might offer extra services like roof cleaning, solar panel cleaning, gutter cleaning, skylight cleaning which can combined & save you money.

Key Takeaways

Soft washing is an effective procedure to clean your building’s exteriors and increase its curb value. However, it’s also a process that requires the expertise of professionals so that you can get the desired results. Therefore, never try to attempt it yourself and seek out the experts.

Exterior Clean Melbourne is your expert team of professionals offering high-grade exterior cleaning services. We employ the latest tools and techniques to give the best results for your residential, commercial and industrial properties.

Frequently Asked Questions Soft Washing

A soft wash on a house can last about 3-5 years. However, the climatic conditions and the location of your house will determine if it will last that long. Some places are more prone to algae and mildew, and therefore, you may need to redo the process within a couple of years.

Soft wash is a highly skill-based procedure. You must know the right cleaning agents and the ratio along with the suitable pressure to achieve desired results. You will also need the pumps to spray the chemicals to height without impacting your garden/environment. Therefore, it’s best to let the professionals handle it. Soft washing can be a bit tricky, and experts know the right chemicals and techniques to keep your home safe and sparkling.

Deciding on whether to soft wash or pressure wash requires you to consider the surface and the dirt. Pressure washing may damage fragile spaces like windows and decks, while soft washing may seem like a slow process. Therefore, it’s best to approach professionals who can use both processes to provide gleaming exteriors.

Softwashing a roof can be safe if done by pros who use the right methods and products. It extends the lifespan between cleans and will kill any mould & mildew which often appears as black/grey stains/streaks. Pros know how to do it without damaging your roof.

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