Soft Washing vs. Pressure Washing: What You Need to Know

When hiring professional exterior home cleaning services, you will come across soft and pressure washing services. Common questions that many have is what is the difference between the two methods and when should you use one over the other? The truth is, there is a very big difference, and it’s vital to understand that to make sure you don’t damage your property.

Pressure Washing & Power Washing

Pressure and power washing use high pounds per square inch (PSI) levels to effectively blast away all contaminants around your property. Professional contractors often use between 2000 to 3000 PSI depending on the surface material and amount of dirt and grime that need to be removed. There is a difference between these two methods – power washing uses hot water to not only eliminate dirt and other buildup but to sanitize the surfaces as well. Pressure washing, on the other hand, does not use hot water. 

What is Soft Washing

Soft washing is another effective method; however, it does not use high PSI. The secret to eliminating mold and mildew with this technique is the powerful, eco-friendly detergents. Professionals who specialize in this technique will apply solvents to the contaminated surfaces and allow them to sit and break down the tough stains. Then, once the chemicals are done their job, they are gently rinsed away with water pressure that is less than 500 PSI. To lower the water pressure, professionals use a wider spray tip. This allows for a thorough cleaning job that is safe for fragile home surfaces. 

What Surfaces Can You Pressure Wash?

So, you might be wondering what surfaces can you pressure wash. Hard, porous material like concrete, brick, and stone walkways and driveways require powerful cleaning to fully remove grime, oil, and organisms from the surface. When it comes to driveways and walkways, it’s important to keep them clean as they are typically the first thing people notice when looking at your home. Dirty walkways and pavement can have a significant impact on your property’s overall curb appeal, so it’s vital to regularly maintain these surfaces. If not cleaned routinely, the oil and contaminants that build up on your driveway and walkway can also create a slipping hazard when they are wet. 

When to Soft Wash

You need to be careful not to damage more fragile surfaces like stucco, outdoor wood furniture, shingle roofs, or cedar shake, vinyl, and wood panel siding. High water pressure could create cracks and dents in your home’s exterior and siding, loosen and deteriorate roof shingles, or cause splintering on wood surfaces. These could lead to expensive repairs later on. 

When you soft wash, you not only eliminate the dirt and grime but you also sanitize the surfaces with chemicals. This keeps your home clean for a longer period of time. Surfaces like shingles, siding, and wood decks can be soft washed every 1-3 years depending on how porous the material is and the amount of foot traffic and/or exposure they have to the elements. Wood, for example, likely needs to be cleaned more often than siding does as it is more porous and can trap dirt and contaminants.

Why Hire Professional Cleaning Services?

While it’s true that you can handle these jobs on your own, it requires thorough research to make sure you’re using the right techniques and equipment. DIY projects can also be dangerous for you and your family or pets. If you don’t have the necessary experience, you can accidentally harm yourself or others around you, especially if you’re dealing with more difficult jobs like roof cleaning. Let Seven Brothers Pressure Washing take care of you! We have the experience and equipment needed to get the job done efficiently with zero damage to your property. Our contractors are licensed and fully insured for a variety of jobs including gutter, window, driveway, siding, soffit, and patio cleaning and even exterior painting! Call us today.


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