First What is a Soft Wash?
Soft wash is a cleaning method that uses a low pressure washing technique, along with a mixture of algaecides, bleach, surfactants and water, to safely clean exterior surfaces of organic stains, mildew and algae.
What is the difference between the Term Soft Wash and Power Washing/Pressure Washing?
Although soft wash, power washing and pressure washing seem similar they all use different techniques, equipment, pressure and chemicals.
Power washing and pressure washing use a much more powerful water pressure than soft washing and power washing is typically done with much hotter water than pressure washing. The Soft Washing method is combined with a biodegradable disinfecting cleaning solution to kill the mold, mildew, bacteria, algae, fungus, moss and more.
When should you use the Soft Wash method?
Soft Wash should be used on surfaces that are notoriously hard to get clean with pressure or would be damaged if one were to use high pressure on them such as windows, roof shingles, screens, wood paneling, etc. Soft washing was originally designed for the purpose of cleaning algae off of roof shingles.
Why should you Soft Wash your roof?
Gloeocapsa Magma (algae) is common on roofs and often leaves signature black streaks all over your shingles. This substance thrives in humidity and hot temperatures and spreads out, having a destructive effect on your roof. It feeds off the moisture that certain types of shingles hold on to.
While the roof is effected, it begins to lose its ability to reflect UV rays and eventually rots the shingles. This has been said to effect roofs severely and can take up to 10 years off the life of a roof. Soft washing is the only way to effectively remove this algae without damaging the shingles and voiding any warranty.
The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Associationrecommends low-pressure bleach or detergent assisted washing as the preferred method for cleaning asphalt roofs in order to prevent damage to the shingles.
Pressure washing a roof, even at low pressure, can and will void your warranty and cause granular loss. This means that the integrity of the roof tiles will be compromised due to damage from the intense pressure of the water.
In addition, power-washing only scrubs the surface of the roof without removing the root systems that have grown in, around, and under the tiles.
The Soft Wash technique eliminates all plant, fungal, and bacterial life and any dirt and grime from the roof safely, returning it to its original color with no risk of damage to the roofing materials
How do you Soft Wash?
Here at Miller Soft Wash we use a more gentle approach to washing a house then a normal pressure washing service does. We only use pressure on concrete otherwise we use a gas roof pump to do our cleaning with.
How Do You Soft Wash A House?
We will first soak down the plants and bushes with water to ensure plant safety before applying any solution.
Step 2. We then spray the biodegradable solution on to the house with a very soapy solution that clings to the siding and any dirt, cobwebs, etc. All our soaps are biodegradable meaning it will turn back to water. Also all our products are environmentally friendly.
Step 3. We will then rinse the house down after applying the soaps, waiting for a estimated time of 15 minutes usually to let the algaecide kill off any mold and/or algae all with the gas roof pump with a max three to five hundred psi where a pressure washer has usually four thousand psi.
My gas roof pump does however spray 11 gallons per minute whereas a pressure washer is usually about 4 gallons per minute.
Ww can shoot water about 70 feet when on jet mode allowing us to get up to three stories from the ground.
Our gas roof pump has a high volume of water so that to dilute the solution before causing any damages to landscape and to rinse the soap we apply off of windows and all other surfaces.
With a house wash mix I can clean the exterior of Gutters, soffits, window sills and all other exterior surfaces.
Our solution will melt cobwebs and kill all mildew, algae and lichen at the root not just blasting off the surface creating a deeper longer lasting clean.
How Do You Soft Wash A Roof?
For a Roof Softwash We use the same method as house wash just a much stronger mix of solution.
A roof softwash will bring back the original color of your roof and is recommended by the Shingle Manufacturers to maintain your roof.
A roof wash will remove all the black streaks that are a algae based growth and kill any moss that is on the roof, making the moss turn white instantly but we will not forcefully remove the moss.
We will let the moss let go of the roof on its own so it will not damage the shingles. This process will take about six weeks but eventually the moss will wither up into a ball and tumble off with a heavy rain fall.
Step 2. If the moss does not come off with a heavy rainfall you can call us again to schedule the next appointment to actually scrub the dead moss off which will be a extra charge.
How do you Soft Wash Concrete
Step 1. We pretreat the concrete with a biodegradable solution to kill the black mold growing on the concrete.
This step is a very important step but one step a lot of pressure washer service techs fail to do.
Pretreating the concrete will keep the concrete clean for longer and will give the concrete that extra shine a pressure washer alone can not do.
Step 2. We then pressure wash the concrete with a surface cleaner to remove the dirt and dead mold.
MILLER SOFT WASH
First you prepare your surrounding area and protect any plants or grass you have around the surface area you are cleaning. Then, you prepare the solution (more on that below).
Once the solution is prepared, load it into an agricultural sprayer to apply to the surface you are cleaning. Soft washing runs water through a pump and hose with very little pressurization.
The pump can also direct the cleaning solution mixture through the hose. Then the hose is directed at the surface being cleaned and the water mixture is sprayed out.
The soft wash system normally consists of higher concentration of cleaning solutions and a higher volume of water versus pressure. Application is gentle, with less pressure than what comes out of your garden hose.
Once you are done, depending on the surface-like a roof, the solution is left on the surface in order to kill everything down to the roots versus if you have applied it to siding, then it is typically rinsed off. Roof concentrations are typically higher than siding.
What equipment is used to Soft Wash?
In order to Soft Wash, you will need a soft wash system as pictured below which can be obtained from several different retailers such as SIMPSON and JN Equipment. You will also need to use the right nozzles depending on what pressure you are using.
Soft Wash House Mix
Typically, a cleaning solution for residential house washing will include Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach) and a surfactant or foaming agent.
Sodium Hypochlorite is very safe and effective when used properly. It is used in the treatment of drinking water, to disinfect swimming pools and many other sanitary applications. By the time the cleaning solution is mixed with water and applied to the surface of the house, the bleach content is just a tad more than a swimming pools normal operating level.
When the foamy mixture is applied to the exterior of the home, the bleach dissolves any mold, mildew or algae. Dust, dirt, spider webs, and other debris are suspended in this foamy mixture which allows the debris to be rinsed away easily with a low pressure water stream.
SOFT WASH BENEFITS:
- LOW PRESSURE REDUCES CHANCES FOR DAMAGE AND WATER PENETRATION INTO THE STRUCTURE.
- A CLEANER END PRODUCT DUE TO THE CLEANING AGENTS.
- COST EFFICIANCY-REDUCED LABOR AND SETUP TIMES BY ELIMINATING THE NEED FOR LADDERS OR SCAFFOLDING.
- ALGAE, MILDEW AND MOLD ARE KILLED AT A MOLECULAR LEVEL, WHICH ALLOWS THE HOME TO STAY CLEANER LONGER.
- THE STRUCTURES EXTERIOR IS DISINFECTED AS WELL AS CLEANED.