What Is Soft Washing? An Essential Guide to Low Pressure Washing


Did you know the average homeowner spends between 1-4% of the price of their home on maintenance per year? Another calculation is about $1 per square foot per year.

What does that mean?

It means that you have a lot of maintenance to keep up with inside your home. That's not including your roof and exterior.

As the first line of defense for your home, it's important to keep it in good repair. Mildew, and other bacteria and fungus, eat away at the exterior and roof and make it unsightly.

What are you to do, then? Soft washing and pressure washing are common avenues for cleaning your exteriors.

Which is better, and why? What is soft washing, anyway? We'll cover those questions and more, so you'll definitely want to keep reading!

Soft Washing vs Pressure Washing

The question of "better" between soft or pressure washing is a good one because while both use water, they use it in very different ways.

For a shingle roof, the aggregate on top does the most work. It isn't recommended to use a pressure washer on them because it strips it of that essential, protective layer. Similarly, ceramic tile roofs are also difficult to clean due to being prone to breakage.

Pressure washing uses water pressure to scrub and remove material. This is fine on most concrete or stone surfaces, but can still cause damage or excess wear. A typical pressure washer has anywhere between 1000 to 2800 psi, or pounds per square inch. Industrial washers can go all the way up to 4000 psi or more.

It's great for metals roofs, concrete, and other applications with sturdy materials. But what if you have wood, or something easily damaged such as a window seal?

In most roof applications, pressure washing is not the solution you're looking for because the materials are not rugged enough. Rather, environmentally friendly chemicals provide the best and long-lasting cleaning solution you want.

This is especially true on porous materials that will break down or soften, such as wood. Also, thin materials such as stucco can be blasted away on accident if there's a hidden crack the water can blow open.

Your local trained professional can guide you best on what you need.

More Than "Just Bleach"

For soffits, delicate materials, and most roofs, chemicals in soft washing are more than adequate. Soft washing works best on organic stains, fungus, moss, and mildews.

Soft washing is more than bleach and water. First of all, you need bleach with more than 6% Sodium Hypochlorite, as in residential strength bleach.

Along with bleach, there are algaecides and fungicides. Without those, bleaching will only make the bacteria, fungus, and stains clear for a short time. Eventually, it will come back.

What Is Soft Washing? Now You Know

If someone asks, "What is soft washing?" now you can tell them it's more than bleach and water sprayed on your house. You also know that it's not so cut and dry with pressure vs soft washing.

The toughness of the material and its construction play a large part in whether you can pressure wash. Soft washing is versatile and can be used on all surfaces.

Do you need to get your roof cleaned? Contact us today and do your roof a favor!