If that famous groundhog is clairvoyant after all, spring might be here sooner than we think. Of course, in some areas of the United States, like Raleigh, NC, that warmer weather has already arrived. This time of the year is known for renewal, and for many, spring cleaning is a major part of that process.
In many states, the winter months take their toll on home exteriors. Wind blows around ground salt, snow and ice do their damage, and cold air can cause paint to crack and fall away. In the spirit of spring cleaning, you may decide to pressure wash your home’s exterior this coming season. It’s a great way to really get the grime off and make your home shine again. But before you break out the pressure washer or hire a Raleigh power washing service, here are some things you should know.
To Heat or Not to Heat?
Pressure washing and power washing are very similar processes with one key difference: heat. While both processes pressurize water and send it forcefully through a nozzle, power washing adds heat while pressure washing does not. This difference may seem arbitrary at first, but that extra heat makes for a more powerful clean. After all, most of us wash our hands and shower with hot water, as the heat helps kill bacteria and remove excess dirt and dead skin.
However, the heating component afforded by power washing isn’t necessarily the best option in every situation. In fact, it should be avoided on certain surfaces. Concrete and brick, for instance, can actually take damage from this pressure combined with heat. For these and other fragile surfaces, pressure washing is the safer option that still gets the job done. Power washing is great for getting rid of areas caked with dirt, mold, and/or moss, however.
A truly deep cleaning takes more than just water, even when heated and blasted through a small nozzle. Pressure and power washers also include a compartment for cleaning solutions. Ideally, one type of detergent would do for all home surfaces. Unfortunately, different chemical compositions have different effects on certain surfaces, so you have to keep in mind the material you’re cleaning and which solution is optimized and safest for that material. For instance, solutions that contain Sporex are useful on wooden decks, fences, and siding for killing mold, mildew, and moss. Of course, more chemicals than one make up a single detergent, and other factors must also be taken into consideration, such as environmental impact.
Don’t Power Wash Certain Surfaces
Heat or no heat, too much water pressure is harmful for certain surfaces. Know that pressure washing asphalt shingles, for instance, will destroy their texture and possibly rip them off your roof entirely. Wood that is softened by moisture or rot may also be destroyed by pressure washing, so it’s best to carefully examine your wooden features beforehand.
Pressure washing is also bound to remove paint and stain from your home’s exterior surfaces, so keep this in mind if you’re planning on hiring Raleigh house painters this spring. This is, of course, not a problem if you’re planning on applying a new coat anyway. Anderson Painting contractors power wash a home’s exterior before painting it. This allows the new coat of paint to adhere better to the surface.
Protect Yourself Properly (Or Call the Pros)
Lastly, you shouldn’t use a pressure washer without knowing exactly how it works and what it can do. Water might not seem dangerous, but these machines can dish out 2,000 pounds of force. You don’t want to be hit directly by the stream or by any shrapnel that might come your away. Add heat to the equation and the process becomes even more hazardous.
Because of this, it’s best to invest in personal protective equipment, including proper goggles, gloves, boots, and protective clothing while using a pressure washer. Also, learn proper technique for aiming and distance, know which nozzles are best for which situation, and avoid blasting power outlets. If this is all too much to worry about, hire professional pressure washing services, like Anderson Painting and Power Washing. We’ll clean your entire exterior before painting it with a fresh coat.