Is Soft Washing Safe?

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.

Soft Washing vs Power Washing

Best House Cleaning Service Method

Deciding to have your house siding cleaned is a big step for improving the appearance of your home, and there are often misconceptions on what a house wash service entails. Unlike plumbing or heating and cooling, having your house or roof cleaned is primarily to increase curb appeal.

Two Primary Pressure Washing Methods

There are two ways that a surface can be cleaned by pressure washing. The first method is high-pressure washing, also known as “power washing.” This is commonly used on concrete and other hard surfaces to remove dirt, grease, gum, and oil. Until recent years, this was the primary way to clean any surface, including roofs and siding.

Low-pressure washing, commonly referred to as “soft washing,” is a method that uses low pressure in conjunction with a cleaning solution to gently wash the surface. Various soaps and cleaning solutions are used in lieu of high pressure, making for a less volatile method of cleaning.

Soft washing versus Power Washing

The difference between soft washing and power washing may seem obvious, but some might assume that the difference is negligible since the outcome is the same: the removal of dirt, mold, and mildew. It’s true, the end result appears to be the same, but looks are deceptive.

In the midwest, mold and mildew are the most common growths on vinyl and stucco siding. They are spore-based parasites, spreading through the air and landing on various surfaces. They tend to prefer moisture and shade. When traditional power washing is used on a house, the spores are blasted into the air, settle, and begin to regrow. It isn’t uncommon for houses that have been power washed to have mold and mildew growing again within a matter of days or weeks.

Soft washing uses a mild chlorinated solution, around 1%, to kill the mold and mildew. This, coupled with low pressure water, essentially treats the siding and helps prevent regrowth by eradicating the problem. The solution is mild enough to not harm plants and animals, but strong enough to get rid of mold and mildew on siding.

Power washing also presents a risk to vinyl and stucco, as pounds per square inch (PSI) can be in the 3,000 to 5,000 range, high enough to put holes in your siding. Power washing also requires every square inch of the siding to be cleaned using a narrow stream. It is time consuming and expends a high volume of water.</p> <p>Soft washing uses much lower pressure, less than 1,000 PSI, and can be applied in a cone or fan, covering more area faster. This uses less water and takes far less time than traditional power washing. Add in the substantially reduced risk of damage to siding, soft washing is the clear choice when looking for a professional exterior house cleaning service.

Power Washing Services

Pressure Washing Services

If you’re a homeowner, you know that taking care of one of your biggest investments is an important task. Your home is your castle, and the exterior should be as healthy as the interior. Our pressure washing services are ideal for cleaning up the hard surfaces around your home.

Concrete sidewalks and driveways are susceptible to oil stains, mold, and mildew. Agent Clean uses both soft washing and power washing methods to tackle concrete and hard surface cleaning.

Driveway Cleaning

If you have a concrete driveway, oil and grease will eventually stain your driveway. Whether you’re selling your home or just want to clean up the exterior, Agent Clean can get rid of the stains with ease. For oil and grease, surface cleaners and a quality degreaser is used to lift the stains the pressure wash the area.

Sidewalk Concrete Cleaning

Sidewalks often become overgrown with mold and mildew. For mold and mildew, the concrete can be soft wash treated first with a solution designed to eradicate the mold and mildew. Then a concrete sealer can be applied, filling in the porous surface of the concrete and inhibiting future growth.

Agent Clean offers a full suite of exterior cleaning options, including the best pressure washing service near you.

The Power of Clean

Professional Exterior Cleaning Service

Keeping the exterior of your home clean can be an exhausting effort as it’s constantly being exposed to the elements. Dirt is a persistent problem with keeping your windows clean, and nearby trees fill your gutters with leaves causing them to clog and not drain properly. The equipment required to maintain a clean exterior properly is heavy, expensive, and only used periodically. Why not let an exterior cleaning expert take care of the dirty work for you?

Quality House Cleaning Service

Agent Clean excels at a variety of cleaning services and offers custom cleaning packages for your home or business. Take advantage of our roof cleaning, power washing, window washing, and gutter cleaning services. We offer custom recurring scheduling for business looking to have window cleaning, dumpster pad cleaning, and concrete cleaning performed regularly.

Soft Washing and Pressure Washing Service

Agent Clean does more than blast surfaces with high pressure water. Our soft washing method uses low pressure and a cleaning solution to gently wash the surface, getting rid of mold, mildew, dirt, and algae in the process. The benefit of soft washing is that it eliminates mold and mildew spores, thus stopping regrowth.

For the best power washing service near you, find a location or give us call. We'll get you a free estimate before you can say Agent Clean!