Soft Washing vs. Pressure Washing

soft washing gutters on a roof

It is shocking just how dirty the siding, wood or brick of your home can get over a year. Some of the most typical stains include dirt or mud splatter, algae, mold and mildew. These stains will give your home an unkempt, messy appearance, even though you invest time and maintenance into it.

Some materials, like dirt, don’t do much harm, but algae and mildew can be damaging to both your health and your home. These contaminants produce allergens and bacteria that can impact your family, and some of them, like algae, can grow underneath vinyl or roofing material and enter into your home.

As a professional pressure washing service in Coral Springs, we recommend that you have your home’s exterior cleaned once every 12 months. Spring is typically the most popular time to do an extreme home cleaning, but you can really do it any time as long as the weather permits.

WHAT NEEDS PRESSURE WASHING?

All of the following home surfaces need to be pressure washed from time to time:

• Vinyl siding
• Rock and stone
• Brick
• Concrete and asphalt

Power washing used to be the only method to thoroughly clean vinyl, brick and painted home surfaces. Now in 2021, homeowners in Coral Springs have a second option for exterior home cleaning: soft washing.

As the names suggest, one method is a lot gentler than the other, but there’s more to it than just that. Let’s cover the features of each method to help you decide which is best for your home.

WHAT IS SOFT WASHING?

The soft wash method uses less pressure than a typical pressure washer, hence the name. The maximum water pressure in a soft washing system is 500 PSI. This lighter spray is produced from a nozzle with a wider spray option, only a little more powerful than your typical backyard hose.

Soft washing uses detergent, bleach and water in some combination to eliminate organic matter from your home, roof and other outdoor surfaces. The cleaning mixture used in a soft washing process can also include algaecides and residual inhibitors which will slow further growth of these organisms in the future.

Because chemicals, not pressure, are key to cleaning the surfaces, no powerful water pressure is necessary. This means that soft washing should be used for more fragile surfaces that could otherwise be harmed by harsher pressure washing equipment.

The soft wash solution is sometimes rinsed off, but not all of the time. This just depends on what type of solution is used in the process, if there’s plant or animal life that can be affected by the runoff, and if the chemicals are strong enough to harm surfaces over time.

Soft washing provides the distinct advantage of getting down into cracks and crevices to eliminate unseen bacteria, meaning that its effects can last much longer than traditional pressure washing.

WHAT IS PRESSURE WASHING?

Pressure washing has always been the standard for cleaning home exterior surfaces. It is very effective and quick, which is why a lot of home and business owners prefer it.

This cleaning method uses water only, there are no chemicals, to eliminate stains and mildew from home exterior surfaces. The use of chemical-free water is a big advantage to property owners that don’t want to use cleaning chemicals, either for the environment’s sake or to avoid zoning violations.

It can be used on a lot of different materials. Home and business owners frequently choose pressure washing for cleaning their driveway, porches, decks, walkways and outdoor furniture because it is quick, more efficient and affordable.

Pressure washing requires anywhere from 1300 to 3100 PSI water pressure with water sprayed out of a tiny nozzle for the most power. Both organic and inorganic materials are sprayed from your home’s surface, stopping their growth and restoring the appearance of your home.

One drawback to pressure washing is that the water can sometimes be too powerful and lead to damaging the surfaces you’re attempting to clean. Pressure washing is strong enough to put grooves in wood and plastic, and it can push into cracks, breaking off chunks of stone or brick.

IS PRESSURE WASHING OR SOFT WASHING BETTER?

The ultimate question for most homeowners is, “Which one should I choose?”

Both soft washing and pressure washing are good choices for your home’s exterior, as well as sidewalks, driveways and more. Both cleaning systems can be done by a professional – and honestly, are more correctly done when left to the experts.

Soft washing is great for outdoor toys, gardening equipment, shingle roofs, decks, gutters, patios and painted surfaces because it is less likely to harm wood and plastic. It’s also a safe choice for vinyl siding.

It eliminates organisms that are present on the surface, and it prevents future growth for much longer than pressure washing can.

A disadvantage of soft washing is that it can kill plants under the surface that you’re cleaning. Remember to spray them down with water right before spraying the soft wash solution on your home or roof, and it won’t be a problem.

Pressure washing is the preferred choice for difficult stains, and harder surfaces like asphalt, stone and brick. Pressure washing is the recommended process for commercial surfaces. A local pressure washing service in Coral Springs might use a combination of chemicals and water pressure to remove difficult stains, but they should tell you if they are going to be spraying chemicals after your estimate.

It can also be used for siding too (and has been for decades) as long as it is done safely. High water pressure can break off weak or smaller pieces of vinyl. A company that does pressure washing often are going to know how to protect fragile areas, but a amateur could do a lot of harm.

Your home’s roof is definitely off limits for pressure washing if you have slate, tile or asphalt shingles. The pressure of the water could ruin these materials and cause you to replace your home’s roof a lot sooner than expected.

Choosing between pressure washing or soft washing is best left for a professional pressure washing service. Which process is right for your home? Give GPW Coral Springs Pressure Washing a call at 954-231-0828 and we will send an experienced technician over to take a look!