power washed

5 Things that Can Be Power Washed

Ready to give your property a top-to-bottom clean? Not everything that can be power washed is a good candidate for pressure washing, but anything you can pressure wash can also be cleaned as effectively through power washing. Constant exposure to the elements leaves just about all your exterior surfaces stained, discolored, and looking far from their best. A few minutes on YouTube can make it seem as if a pressure washer is the answer to all of your problems, but not so fast. Before you start blasting away with aggressively high-PSI jets of water, though, it pays to learn a lesson. 

“Power-wash” and “pressure wash” are often used interchangeably, but there is a distinct difference between these two methods. 

  1. Roof – Aiming a pressure washer nozzle at your roof is a terrific way to take everything off, shingles and all. Soft power washing, on the other hand, gently and effectively removes organic debris, microbial growth, stains, and fallen limbs or leaves without damaging your roofing. If your roof has seen better days, power washing can restore it to its former glory, boosting your curb appeal without the risk of damage.
  2. Siding – Siding is a low-cost, low-maintenance exterior home covering capable of withstanding much abuse from the elements. One drawback of vinyl siding is that it will oxidize under UV rays. This chalky residue isn’t always easy to see, but it’ll definitely become prominent if you attempt to attack it with a pressure washer. At first blush, the idea of blasting away a powdery residue seems likely to be effective and, at the very least, not risking costly damage. The truth is, disturbing oxidation growth with high-pressure cleaning only disturbs and discolors that oxidation, leaving grimy streaks ironically called “clean marks.” If you’ve ever seen vinyl siding with dark streaks marring the surface, these are the result of trying to forcefully remove an inevitable byproduct of exposing vinyl to the sun’s rays. Because soft washing relies on knowledgeable use of various surfactants, detergents, and cleansers rather than sheer force, this method leaves no expensive-to-remove wand marks behind. 
  3. Patios – Patios can be a magnet for all manner of stains, grime, and discoloration. Whether your space is stamped concrete, brick, or stone, a pressure washer is more likely to cause permanent damage than fully removing stubborn stains. However, power washing with low pressure allows service providers with expert knowledge to apply the right kind of cleanser for any kind of stain or mark without etching or damage.
  4. Fences – No one likes cleaning a fence, but it’s even less fun to repair one after a particularly aggressive cleaning session. Soft power washing is ideal for removing streaky algae, lichen, and other organic growth, random stains, and discolorations. Wooden fences, delicate trim work, and other relatively fragile surfaces are protected and deep cleaned in one fell swoop.
  5. Concrete – Sure, pressure washing isn’t ideal for shingled roofs or vinyl siding. Surely concrete should be able to withstand the pressure, right? In a word, no. Pointing a pressure washer at concrete patios, walkways, and driveways can not only etch the surface visibly and permanently; it can also disturb joins and mortar, damaging the structure. Disturbed mortar and joins invite plant growth in these areas, creating a battle of the weeds you’ll be fighting all spring, summer, and early autumn. Power washing with soft wash methods, on the other hand, means your concrete surfaces are getting exactly the attention they need to shine like the day they were poured.

You want to restore your exterior surfaces, not peel the top layers away entirely. Soft power washing is a great way to bring back the sparkle without creating the need for expensive repairs and refinishing. If you’re ready to power wash your property the right way, Carolina Power Wash can help.