After living for a few years in a residence the homeowner may begin to notice that the exterior of the home has become faded and appears to be dirty, and start to research pressure washing. There are many techniques for pressure washing a home, but the owner must choose a system that cleans the home and property using proven methods. Pressure Washing a home is an exact science, choosing the incorrect methods could result in costly damage to the home and the environment. Pressure washing a home isn’t something that should be considered lightly, you can do a lot of damage ruining windows and more.
A common mistake made during the pressure washing is the use of a cleaner that contains phosphates such as Tri-Sodium phosphate or TSP. TSP is occasionally used to remove dirt and grime from a home’s exterior. A major cause of concern is the unintended side effects of using phosphate based cleaners when pressure washing. These cleaners can leave a harmful residue on the home if not completely rinsed off. This residue can damage the paint on the house by causing it to blister and peel. It also prevents adhesion of any paint in the future, resulting in a waste of time and money for the homeowner. Pressure washing using phosphate cleaners should be carefully considered.
Additional concerns with using phosphate based cleaners include a possible reaction with lead based paints, typically found on older homes. When lead based paints come in contact with phosphates a compound called lead-phosphate can be created. This compound poses a health risk to people exposed to it, it could be a carcinogen. Another problem associated with phosphates occurs when they enter various water sources. They can be washed into lakes, streams, rivers, and ponds which could result in eutrophication. This causes multiple problems such as: a decrease in biodiversity, death of aquatic animals, destruction of habitat, degradation of water quality, toxic algal blooms, and anoxic water.
Using a high-powered pressure washing to clean a home’s exterior is another mistake that is often made. The high pressure is strong enough to strip paint off the surface and damage soft grain woods. When used improperly pressure washing can also result in significant damage to stucco and hardboard siding by penetrating the surface which causes wood rot. For homes that were painted before 1978 using a high-powered pressure washing can cause many other problems because it could strip off lead based paint. For someone living in a multiple story home, using a pressure washer can be very challenging. Typically it is best to call on a professional who has the right tools, equipment, and materials to get the job done right.
Professionals in exterior home cleaning use specialized cleaners and equipment that will not damage the home or the environment. Specialized cleaners can be used that are biodegradable; these naturally break down in the environment without polluting various water sources. A large number of natural cleaners are derived from plant based sources and use citrus and coconut oil to clean. Another benefit of using natural cleaner is that they are much safer for families with pets. With proper precautions in place the natural cleaners will not kill surrounding plants and grass.
An expert in exterior home cleaning will be accustomed with advancements in low-pressure soft water technology and use it over using a high-powered pressure washer. The use of this technology will ensure that the home is properly cleaned without causing unnecessary damage. An added bonus to using this technology is that it will extend the lifespan of the existing paint. Soft water is used because it does not contain minerals such as calcium and magnesium which can leave an unwelcome residue on surfaces. Before attempting to clean the exterior of a home always think about the problems that can be caused by using improper equipment and cleaners. No one wants to use cleaners that can injure their pet and degrade the environment or a pressure washer that will damage their home.