Have a deck can bring about amazing experiences at your home. It's the perfect hangout spot for spring parties, summer evenings, fall gatherings, and winter views. A deck provides a convenience that ground level patios don't always achieve.
Having a deck also means maintaining it. Wood decks are susceptible to deterioration and decay, which not only makes them unsightly, it can create a hazard for family or guests.
Mold and Algae
One of the most common ailments of wooden decks is mold and algae growth. Most new decks have a coating and seal to help prevent this, but as the outer finish wears off and the wood becomes exposed to the elements, mold and algae begin to form. If left unchecked, these parasitic spores can grow deep into the wood, making them hard to eradicate and creating a slipping hazard. Since mold and algae retain moisture, it can be particularly dangers on steps.
Older decks are especially susceptible to growths, and if left unchecked it can quickly become a daunting task to remove ingrown mold.
The best way to treat mold and algae on wooden decks is to apply light to medium pressure and treat with a soft washing solution. The chlorinated solution will target the mold and algae, killing it and releasing it's hold on the wood. Because wood is fibrous and porous in nature, extra pressure is sometimes applied to help penetrate the surface. Too much pressure can cause fuzzing, which is detrimental to the wood.
After cleaning and treating the mold and algae, often times a brightener is applied to neutralize any old stain, and help the wood open up and be ready to receive a new finish. It also brightens the grain of the wood, bringing it to a more natural state. Then a stain/seal can be applied. A natural oil based stain is semi transparent, and is best if you want to see the grain of the wood. If you prefer color, a solid stain is more like a paint and can be applied easily. This is a good option if the wood is in bad condition, or if the old stain couldn't be completely removed.
As decks age, the other common issue is wood deterioration. This can come in the form of rotting wood, loose boards, warped boards, or protruding hardware like screws and nails. Over time, the changing temperature and changes in moisture can cause wood to warp and deform. This leads to a myriad of problems, both cosmetic and hazardous.
If you're having your deck cleaned, sealed and stained, it's the perfect opportunity to have warped and damaged boards replaced, and hardware secured. This ensures that the deck is in top-shape to be stained and sealed. It will also eliminate any tripping hazards due to loose and uneven boards.
A deck is a great addition to your home. Keeping it maintained ensures that it will be a source of entertainment and relaxing evenings. Deck restoration is a good DIY project, but it takes time and special care to do right. Agent Clean offers deck and building restoration services. Find a location near you and ask for a free deck restoration consultation and estimate.
Five Tips to Increase Curb Appeal
With spring in full swing, houses going on market, and apartment complexes looking for renters, curb appeal is more important than ever. Having a clean, well-kept exterior helps potential tenants make a value-judgement on the space. Here are five tips to increase curb appeal.
One of the best ways to increase curb appeal is through proper landscaping. A well-maintained lawn and garden is eye catching to those fond of outdoor activities. On the flip side, a poorly maintained garden or lawn is extremely noticeable, and tends to make a building feel more dilapidated.
Quick Fix: Cut the grass and pull pesky weeds from the gardens for a quick fix if you don't have time or resources for a landscaping company.
2) Patios and Driveway
Another way to increase curb appeal is to clean up patios and driveways. If there is outdoor patio furniture, make sure it's relatively clean. Replace or remove any broken furniture. Check for rust spots under metal furniture legs. Most power washing or exterior cleaning companies can restore concrete and perform rust removal services. Also check the concrete for mold and grease; grease is unsightly, and mold can be a slipping hazard as it collects moisture and becomes slick when wet.
Pro Tip: Have the concrete cleaned and sealed. Sealing concrete helps prevent mold growth as well as chips and cracks caused by expanding water and ice during the winter.
3) Deck Restoration
A beautiful deck adds value to any house. Backyard gatherings are popular in spring, summer, and autumn, and having a stunning deck is sure to catch the eye of any potential buyers or tenants. If you're handy, you can do the deck restoration yourself, or hire an exterior cleaning company or painting company to do the work. They will look for loose or rotting boards, and can strip, stain, and seal the deck.
Pro Tip: Sometimes a deck just needs a good wash. Be sure to find a company that can do a soft wash to avoid damaging the wood.
4) Window Cleaning
Clean glass is essential for transforming a gloomy home into a bright and happy place. Dirty glass stands out like a sore thumb, especially on sunny days. Doing a quick spray and wipe on the interior side of the window is an easy DIY, while the exterior may need professional help. Modern window cleaners can use pure water technology and water fed poles to reach up to four stories from the ground, and leave windows sparkling.
Quick Fix: If the house is only one or two stories, you can clean windows yourself. Just be sure to use caution when cleaning windows above the first story and have someone spot you on your ladder.
5) Siding and Roof Wash
One of the best ways to increase curb appeal is having the siding and roof soft washed. Many houses and residential buildings have mold, algae and mildew on the roof and siding. This often looks like greenish brown slime on siding, and black streaks on the roof.
Soft washing uses low pressure and a cleaning solution to gently wash the surface, removing and eliminating mold, mildew, algae, and other organic growths. This helps prolong the life and look of the surface, especially the roof, as algae gathers moisture and heat and leads to a faster deterioration of the shingles. Agent Clean offers house cleaning services at all locations.
Pro Tip: Make sure the company you hire uses soft washing and not traditional power washing, as high pressure water can leave streaks and damage the surface.
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.
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.
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.