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March 1, 2019

Pro Tips for Exterior House Cleaning

Regular exterior house cleaning is vital for keeping your home in tiptop shape and protected from damaging dirt, mud, grit, grime, and other residues. Power washing a home's exterior walls, roof, windows, and other such outside surfaces restores their appearance and allows you a thorough inspection, for needed repairs.

Pro tips for exterior house cleaning include:

  • Use the right detergent for each surface material.
  • Avoid using too much pressure on any surface.
  • Never let detergents dry on a surface.
  • Don't overlook eaves, overhangs, and other obscure areas.
  • Brush concrete rather than just rinsing it.

Hiring a professional power washing company is the best choice for ensuring your home's exterior is spotlessly clean. If you're a homeowner, and especially if you live in areas with intense storms that tend to deposit lots of grit, grime, and other debris onto your home's exterior surfaces, note some reasons why you need the services of a professional power washing contractor. You might also note some tips on managing everyday, light pressure cleaning of your house, and on how to keep it clean throughout the year.

How to Clean Your Home's Exterior

Outside house cleaning and washing a home's exterior is not as simple as you might assume, and often requires more than just a good spray with a rented washer. To manage light cleaning of your home's outside walls, note a few tips:

exterior power washing
  • First, broom off any residual dust, dirt, cobwebs, and other such residues. Use a low-pressure rinse on debris you cannot reach with a broom or other such tools, to gently rinse away as much dirt and dust as possible.
  • Note the best detergent to use in a pressure washer for the dirt you're tackling. Mold and mildew need specialty cleansers to kill their spores and roots, while thick dirt and mud need detergents that dissolve these substances as much as possible.
  • You'll also need to note the nozzle to use with a pressure washer. Nozzles are usually graded or numbered, and a low letter or number typically indicates a very narrow, concentrated stream of water.
  • Cover plants and landscaping with plastic sheeting or tarps before you begin working. Even if you assume you can work around that greenery, you don't want your flowers and shrubs to absorb soapy or dirty water while you clean your house!
  • Spray downward as you work. Note that your home's siding or brick is meant to allow rainwater to wash down its side, and rain comes from above, not below! Working downward is also vitally important for roof washing, as spraying shingles from below can loosen them from their connectors and increase the risk of losing some tiles during a storm.
  • Keep the pressure washing wand moving as you work. Remember that a high-powered, concentrated spray of water can chip brick, dent aluminum siding, splinter wood, and outright shatter a window.
  • Never let detergents dry on any surface, especially timber. Many exterior materials absorb excess soap, leaving behind unsightly streaks. Rinse an area quickly before moving on to wash another spot, to avoid this mess and potential damage.

Why Call a Professional for Exterior House Cleaning Services

While outside house cleaning, roof washing, and other such pressure washing might seem simple, there are many reasons to rely on the service of a pro when your home and property need cleaning. Note a few reasons why it's good to call a professional exterior house washing service when your home's exterior walls, roof, concrete driveway and walkways, and other such surfaces need a thorough, deep cleaning:

residential power washing
  • It's quite easy to damage outer surfaces with a pressure washer. Too much pressure can shatter windows, chip or splinter soft brick, split timber decking, and peel exterior paint. A power washer can also shred window screens, patio door screens, and vent or chimney screens.
  • Not all dirt and debris is the same! Different detergents and cleansers will kill mold and mildew, as said, while other soaps dissolve packed dirt, mud, silt, and other such grime. Trying to determine the right cleanser for each type of dirt and surface outside your home can be challenging, whereas an experienced power washing contractor will know the best surfactants to use for every surface and type of dust and debris.
  • Washing outside surfaces during a hot summer day often causes detergents to dry against those materials, whereas warm weather ensures rinse water dries before timber and brick absorb that added moisture. Professional contractors will know the right weather conditions for proper exterior house cleaning, timber deck cleaning, and so on.
  • Directly spraying pitted concrete and paver stones is often insufficient for proper cleaning, as dirt, dust, sand, silt, and other debris tend to work their way into those nooks and crannies. A power washing expert knows when surfaces need brushing, a squeegee, and other such tools and methods for a deep, thorough clean.
  • Soft wash systems are an excellent choice for roof washing, gutter cleaning, window washing, and other such surfaces. A power washing professional providing exterior house cleaning services near St. Petersburg knows when to recommend soft cleaning, so that old and fragile materials are not damaged and to ensure a thorough clean of thick, built-up grime and silt.

How to Keep Your Home and Property Clean Throughout the Year

Having an exterior house cleaning contractor wash your home and outside surfaces is the best way to keep everything clean throughout the year, but there are also many steps homeowners can take to keep their house and its surroundings clean and pristine. Note a few tips you might discuss with a professional power washing contractor, to ensure your property is always in its best condition:

gutter cleaning
  • Invest in gutter guards. Gutter guards are screens that are cut and placed over gutters, to capture leaves, twigs, and other such debris, and reduce the risk of clogs and overflows. Brush guards are also available and work to keep gutters clean; brush guards are long, rounded brushes that you place inside the gutters, to keep out leaves and other residues, filter thick silt so that it runs freely to the connected downspouts, and keep the gutters clean and free of clogs.
  • Trim tree branches that hang over the house. Trees shed leaves, twigs, seeds, sap, and other damaging debris and residue. Tree branches also provide a place for birds to perch, and bird droppings can be quite caustic and harmful to roofing shingles and tiles!
  • Invest in solid panel fencing, as solid panels block dirt, dust, sand, silt, and other debris from blowing into your yard and settling onto concrete, exterior brick, and other such surfaces.
  • If you have a pool, ensure its filter and pump are always functional, so that sand, silt, and other debris are filtered from the pool as needed. In turn, you might need to use less chlorine and fewer chemicals that might get splashed onto the pool deck and nearby fencing.
  • Be sure you have wood decks and fences as well as concrete driveways and walkways sealed as needed. Sealcoating protects those materials from damage due to dirt and other debris and provides a protective barrier around pits, pores, cracks, and other crevices that harbor dirt, mud, and the like.
  • If sand, silt, dust, and other residues are always covering your home’s windows, invest in awnings. Awnings, even decorative styles that don't close over windows or extend too far from the house's outside walls, will direct rainwater and airborne pollution away from outside windows so the glass will stay as clean as possible, even during a strong storm.
  • Invest in a bagged mower or ensure you use a leaf blower to remove grass clippings, leaves, and other debris from your house and driveway. Grass clippings and other such debris hold moisture as well as fertilizer and lawn care chemicals against exterior walls and pavement, causing damage to those materials and surfaces.

How Often Should You Power Wash a House?

Just about every home should be washed annually, as quite a bit of dust, dirt, mud, silt, grime, and other debris can settle on a home's outside walls and roof throughout a year. However, homes in tropical areas or those prone to intense, frequent storms need more frequent washing, as storms often deposit more residue onto a home's outside surfaces, and can also brush any gritty residue clinging to a home against its outside windows and walls.

soft wash roof cleaning

Homes located near any coast or beach area also need exterior house cleaning services more often throughout the year, as sand and silt from the beach become airborne and settles onto nearby structures. Airplane traffic, heavy vehicle traffic, and even boat traffic also result in thick, airborne engine soot settling onto the roofs of buildings in the area. If your home is near an airport, busy roadway, or coastal city with lots of boats, have its exterior cleaned more than annually.

Related Questions

Why power wash an old roof?

Have an old roof washed so that you can give its surface a proper inspection. Professional power washing removes soot, water stains, and other debris that often obscure soft spots, broken shingles, and other roof damage. After washing, you can then more readily decide on needed roof repair.

Is power washing safe for old, clogged gutters?

A soft wash system is an excellent choice for gutter cleanouts, as the surfactants used for soft washing dissolve thick mud and other debris. Low-pressure rinsing prevents splashing and splattering, and won't pull old or damaged gutters away from their connectors.

What if professional house washing doesn't get the home clean?

A professional exterior house cleaning should remove all surface dirt. However, this cleaning can also reveal water stains on walls or the roof, areas of discolored brick, and the like. These types of stains typically indicate that those materials need repair or replacing, not further cleaning.

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