Soft Washing vs. Pressure Washing

soft washing gutters on a roof

It’s amazing just how dirty the outside of your house can get over a year. Some of the most typical stains include dirt or mud splatter, algae, mold and mildew. These types of stains can give any house an unkempt, uncared for appearance, regardless of if you invest time, money and maintenance into it.

Some materials, like dirt, are harmless, but algae and mildew can be harmful to both your health and to your house. These contaminants produce allergens that can impact your family, and some of them, like algae, can even grow underneath vinyl or roofing and enter your house.

As a professional power washing company in Mesquite, we recommend that you have your home’s exterior cleaned once every 12 months. The spring season is the most popular time of the year to do an extreme home washing, but you can really do it any time so long as the weather allows.

WHAT NEEDS PRESSURE WASHING?

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

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

Power washing used to be the only option to thoroughly clean vinyl siding, brick and painted home surfaces. Now in 2021, homeowners in Mesquite have another option for exterior house cleaning: soft washing.

Like the names imply, one method is much gentler than the other, but there’s a little more to it than just that. Let’s cover the features of each method to help you determine which one is best for your house.

WHAT IS SOFT WASHING?

The soft wash system uses less power than a typical pressure washer, hence the name. The highest water pressure used in a soft washing system is 500 PSI. This lower spray is created from a nozzle with a wider spray setting, only slightly more powerful than your backyard lawn hose.

Soft washing uses soap, bleach and water in some combination to remove organic matter from your home, roof and other surfaces. The mixture used in a soft washing system can also include algaecides and residual inhibitors to help deter further growth of these types of organisms in the future.

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

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

Soft washing provides the distinct advantage of reaching down into cracks and crevices to kill even unseen organisms, meaning that its impact can last a lot longer than standard power washing.

WHAT IS PRESSURE WASHING?

Pressure washing has always been the standard for cleaning home exterior surfaces. It is highly effective and efficient, which is why many home and business owners prefer it.

This cleaning system uses water only, no chemicals, to remove stains and mildew from home exterior surfaces. The use of plain water is a significant plus to property owners that don’t want to use chemicals, either for the environment’s sake or to avoid zoning violations.

It can be used on a lot of different materials. Home owners choose power washing for cleaning their driveway, porches, decks, walkways and outdoor furniture because it is fast, more efficient and cost-effective.

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

One drawback to power washing is that the water is sometimes too powerful and can harm the surfaces of your home you’re attempting to clean. Pressure washing is strong enough to cut deep grooves in wood and plastic, and it can get into cracks, breaking off pieces of stone or brick.

IS PRESSURE WASHING OR SOFT WASHING BETTER?

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

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

Soft washing is excellent for outdoor play sets, gardening equipment, roof shingles, decks, gutters, patios and painted surfaces because it is unlikely to damage wood and plastic. It’s also a safe and smart choice for vinyl siding.

It removes organisms currently present on the surface, and it stops future growth for a lot longer than power washing can.

A disadvantage of soft washing is that it can kill plant life underneath the surface that you’re cleaning. Remember to spray them down with water before applying the soft wash chemicals on your house or roof, and it probably won’t be a problem.

Pressure washing is considered the preferred method for difficult stains, and hard surfaces like asphalt, stone and brick. Pressure washing is the preferred process for commercial surfaces. A local pressure washing company in Mesquite might use a mix of detergents and water pressure to clean offf problematic stains, but they need to tell you if they are going to be using chemicals during your estimate.

It can be used for siding too (and has been for several years) so long as it is done correctly. High water pressure can break off weak or small pieces of the vinyl. A local service that does power washing often are going to know how to protect fragile areas, but a DIYer might do a lot of damage.

Your home’s roof is off limits for power washing if you have slate, tile or asphalt shingles. The high pressure of the water will likely ruin these materials and require you to replace your home’s roof much faster than expected.

Deciding between pressure washing or soft washing is best left for a pressure washing company. Which process is right for your house? Give Mesquite Pressure Washing a call at 214-393-7316 and we will send a trained technician over to take a look!