4 Signs Your House Washing Company Has No Idea What They're Doing
House washes are great for renewing the exterior of your home, removing algae and mold, preventing damage to soffits and ventilation systems, and removing years of dirt and grime to raise your curb appeal. House washing solutions allow for low pressure cleaning of brick, stone, vinyl, concrete, and painted surfaces in residential and commercial settings.
As an exterior cleaning company founded in 2017, we've seen and been called to clean up the results of many DIYers and non professionals' attempts at exterior cleaning over the years. Here are 4 signs of inexperience to look out for when a cleaning company advertises a house wash.
They plan to use pressure on the exterior of your home. Although pressure washers are great for applying soaps and surfactants, cleaning concrete, and removing stains, using high pressure to clean the outside of your home is a big no! Pressure washing on soft materials like vinyl siding, wood, and paint can result in etching, stripping, streaking, and uneven removal of oxidation across the exterior of your home. Aside from unsightly results, pressure washing siding and windows can result in property damage, leaks, and water ingress which can lead to mold growth and further damage.
They fail to pre soak or apply neutralizing treatment to plants and surrounding vegetation. Since house washes rely on application of solution under 500 psi, we use specialized chemical solutions to remove all biological growth and grime instead of pressure. These chemicals are designed to lift and trap dirt, and to kill mold, moss, and mildew growing on the side of your home. As a result of their biocidal properties, we have to pre soak all surrounding vegetation before chemical application in order to protect any nearby plants. Pre soaking dilutes any chemical runoff and protects any surrounding plants from chemical burning. Failing to do so can result in dead plants and brown lawns.
They don't check for or inform you about oxidation before beginning a house wash. Oxidation will happen in some capacity to every property over its lifetime. The sun's rays degrade and damage paint over time, it's an unfortunate fact. As a result of this, oxidation forms on the surface of painted and vinyl surfaces. It blends in well and typically only manifests itself if pressure is applied eg. pressure washing or brushing. Application of pressure can result in scarring, streaking, or uneven lightening of painted surfaces across your home: leaving it looking blotchy and patchy. In order to combat this, house washing techs should check any sun facing sides of your home for oxidation before beginning the job. If oxidation is present, the tech should inform you before starting the job of possible uniform lightening and they should refrain from using any pressure to prevent splotchy results.
They don't use personal protective equipment (PPE) when applying house wash mix. House wash mixes vary in chemical makeup depending on the type of dirt that needs removing, but almost always contain 1% to 2% sodium hypochlorite (SH), a biocidal chemical that breaks down organic structures and dirt. Even at these low percentages, SH is extremely strong and can cause damage to skin, eyes and respiratory systems. If your tech isn't wearing gloves and eye protection while applying chemicals it can lead to serious health repercussions on site with possible high intensity situations or legal ramifications for yourself. Techs should also make it clear that all pets and children should stay inside while house wash mix is being applied and for at least an hour afterwards.
Bonus! They don't clean or rinse your windows after a house wash. House washing solution is great for removing organic contaminants and dirt, but when it comes to windows, even hose water can leave mineral spotting that looks horrible when the sun shines through. In order to combat this, exterior cleaning should work top to bottom and at the very least include a pure water rinse of all windows to prevent streaking from solutions or spotting from hard water during the rinsing process.
We hope these tips help you find a company that provides a quality house wash! Feel free to leave any additional questions or concerns in the comments below!