Soft Washing vs. Pressure Washing

soft washing gutters on a roof

It’s surprising how dirty the siding, wood or brick of your house can get during a year. Some of the most common stains include dirt or mud splatter, algae, mold and mildew. These things will give your house an unkempt, messy appearance, regardless of whether you invest a lot of time and maintenance into it.

Some of these materials, like dirt or mud, don’t do much harm, but algae and mold can be destructive to your health and your house. These contaminants produce allergens that can affect your family, and some, like algae, can even grow underneath vinyl or roofing material and enter your house.

As a professional power washing company in Miramar, we recommend you have your home’s exterior cleaned once every 12 months. Spring is the most common time of the year to do an extreme home exterior cleaning, but you can do it any time throughout the year as 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, brick and painted home surfaces. Now in 2021, homeowners in Miramar have another option for exterior house cleaning: soft washing.

As the names imply, one method is a lot gentler than the other, but there’s more to it than that. Let’s look at the features of each method to help you decide 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 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 a mixture of soap, bleach and water in some combination to get rid of organic matter from your home, roof and other outdoor surfaces. The solution used in a soft washing process can include algaecides and residual inhibitors to help prevent further growth of these organisms in the future.

Because chemicals, not pressure, are responsible for cleaning the exterior surfaces, no powerful water is required. This means that soft washing should be used for delicate surfaces that might otherwise be harmed by more powerful pressure washing.

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

Soft washing offers the advantage of reaching down into small cracks to kill even unseen bacteria, meaning that its impact can last longer than power washing.

WHAT IS PRESSURE WASHING?

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

This particular cleaning system uses water only, there are no chemicals, to eliminate stains and mold from home exterior surfaces. The use of plain water is a big plus to home and business owners that don’t want to use chemicals, either for the sake of the environment or to avoid zoning violations.

The pressure washing process can be used on many different materials. Home owners often prefer power washing for cleaning their driveway, patio, decks, sidewalks and outdoor furniture because it is fast, efficient and cost-effective.

Pressure washing needs somewhere from 1300 to 3100 PSI water pressure with water being sprayed out from a small nozzle for the most power. Both organic and inorganic materials are sprayed from your home’s exterior surface, prohibiting their growth and renewing the curb appeal of your house.

One negative about power washing is that the water can sometimes be too powerful and lead to damaging the surfaces of your home you want to clean. Pressure washing is powerful enough to cut deep grooves into wood and plastic, and it can get into cracks, breaking off pieces of brick or stone.

IS PRESSURE WASHING OR SOFT WASHING BETTER?

The real question for most homeowners is, “Is pressure washing or soft washing better?”

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

Soft washing is excellent for outdoor toys, yard equipment, shingle roofs, decks, gutters, patios and painted surfaces because it is less likely to damage plastic and wood. It’s also a safe and smart choice for vinyl siding.

It kills organisms currently present on the exterior surface, and it prevents future growth for longer than power washing can.

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

Pressure washing is considered the preferred method for difficult stains, and harder surfaces like concrete, brick and stone. Pressure washing is the recommended choice for commercial properties. A professional pressure washing company in Miramar may use a combination of chemicals and water pressure to clean offf difficult stains, but they need to tell you if they are going to be using chemicals during your consultation.

It can be used on siding too (and has been for several years) as long as it is done carefully. Powerful water pressure can break fragile or smaller pieces of the vinyl. A company that does power washing all the time are going to know how to protect weak areas, but a first-timer might do a lot of damage.

Your home’s roof is definitely off limits for power washing if you have slate, tile or asphalt shingles. The high pressure of the water might ruin these materials and require you to replace your roof far earlier 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 Miramar Pressure Washing a call at 754-220-5918 and we will send an experienced technician over to take a look!