If you’re looking to have your roof or siding cleaned up you’ve likely heard or seen the term “soft washing” a few times. Wondering what the fuss is about? Is it safe for your home? It can be off putting to learn that soft washing uses chemical solutions to do the cleaning instead of high pressure, but don’t worry, it’s not as bad or as dangerous as it sounds. In fact, you’re far less likely to have any damage from soft washing than you are with high pressure washing, and soft washing will get rid of mildew and those black streaks on the roof faster than traditional power washing.
Soft Washing FAQ
Q: How is soft washing different from power washing
A: Soft washing uses low pressure and a cleaning solution to gently wash siding. Power washing uses high pressure water to blast dirt, mold, and mildew from the surface and can cause physical damage to vinyl, brick, stucco, and other siding materials.
Q: What is in a soft washing solution?
A: Common soft washing solution contains mostly water and mild chlorination. The sodium hypochlorite found in the mix is what removes mold, mildew, algae, and other organic growths from the siding. Cleaning solutions often contain soap additives as well, such as surfactants and foaming agents to help the solution “cling” to the surface and work more efficiently.
Q: Will the chemicals in soft washing damage my yard or plants?
A: Soft washing contains only a small amount of sodium hypochlorite (SH), which is the compound that could cause harm to plants. Higher levels are found in roof washing mixtures, but care is taken to ensure the risk of damage is mitigated. SH damages plants by sucking nutrients from the plant and soil. The best way to prevent this is through water saturation. Plants can only absorb so much water at a time. By pre-rinsing and wetting the plants during the cleaning process, any SH that lands on the plant or on the ground is diluted to levels that are safe. Products such as Agent Halt are also used to neutralize any SH that could be harmful after the washing process.
Q: What are the benefits of soft washing over power washing?
A: While both methods can yield similar results, soft washing is overall a more efficient method of cleaning siding and roofs. When power washing a surface, full coverage is required to clean, which is time consuming due to the relatively narrow stream used when power washing. With soft washing, since the cleaning solution does the work, it allows for a wider coverage using either a misting or a wide fan spray. This means that soft washing is faster and uses less water to clean. Soft washing also eliminates mold, mildew, and algae where as power washing simply blasts the spores into the air.
Soft washing is widely considered the superior method of performing house washing services. Ask your cleaning company about the process to see if it is right for your home.