Choose Wisely: To Pressure Wash or To Soft Wash

HomeBlogChoose Wisely: To Pressure Wash or To Soft Wash

Choose Wisely: To Pressure Wash or To Soft WashOur owner, Denver Klassen, recently wrote an article for Professional Property Managers Association on the differences between soft washing and power washing. We appreciated the opportunity to share this information about the advantages of soft washing with their audience. We also wanted to share the information with you, so we are including his complete article below in this blog post.

Winnipeg is a beautiful city. We have buildings with interesting architecture, and some with a long history. There are also some buildings that have both history and are interesting. For example, there is the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. It was built in 2008. Then, there is our Legislative Building, which was built in 1913. I believe these two buildings are great representatives of new and old architecture. What do they have in common? They are both beautiful to look at, yes, but they are also both being infested by black algae (Gloeocapsa magma).

Why do I bring this up? Take a look around Winnipeg. You don’t have to go very far to see a roof, a wall, or sometimes a whole building that is in the process of being covered in black algae. Curb appeal is a HUGE influence in how people make decisions about a building. When a building looks dirty, it is often thought of as “rundown or not very nice.” When a potential renter or buyer sees a “rundown” building, they are more likely to haggle on the price or maybe continue looking for a different place to rent.

When was the last time you, the property manager, really looked at the buildings you manage? Do you have any algae, moss, or mold on your buildings?

What can you do about this infestation of black algae? Most people might consider calling a pressure washing company to take care of it. To be honest, that is a normal reaction. Everybody knows about pressure washing. Pressure washing has been around since 1926, which is almost 100 years. How many things can you think of that are 100 years old and might still be the best choice? I can’t think of any either. Pressure washing has a purpose, and it does some things well, but it does NOT do a good job at cleaning buildings or sensitive surfaces. I have provided pressure washing services for many years, and I know from experience that it is impossible to use a pressure washer without leaving lines (I call them zebra striping) in concrete or wood. There is also the high possibility of furring or gouging wood when trying to remove a stain or algae growth. Then, there is limestone. A large part of Winnipeg is built with limestone. This is a beautiful, soft rock. Algae thrives on limestone. The roots go deep, and it is very difficult to clean this rock properly with a pressure washer without damaging the surface. Let’s not forget about red brick. This material is beautiful and classy, but when the exterior surface is damaged, the brick will often crumble. There are also other surfaces like hardy board, vinyl siding, metal roof or siding, and the list goes on. Algae grows on all of them. Pressure washing is not the best choice.

Pressure washing the algae from any surface is like giving the surface a haircut, leaving the roots behind and giving them the perfect environment to blossom again, thicker and darker than before.

The safe, gentle alternative is soft washing. Soft washing uses water-based, biodegradable solutions. They emulsify dirt and grime, break down bug nests and webs, as well as kill mold, mildew, algae, and bacteria, sanitizing the surface being cleaned. Soft washing uses only one-third the water of pressure washing, lasts 4 to 6 times longer, and doesn’t erode the surface like a pressure washer often can. True soft washing uses about 100 PSI of water pressure in comparison to a pressure washer that can use from 2500 PSI to 4000 PSI.

Soft washing kills the growth right down to the roots. When the roots are dead, it takes a lot longer for the growth to return. This will ensure that the building is clean and healthy.

There are many companies that claim to do soft washing, but very few are trained properly, and most companies still use a pressure washer to do the washing. For your best results, choose a SoftWash Systems trained Authorized Professional with a plan, knowledge, and a guarantee. Ask questions before hiring and get a scope of work.

Be sure to choose wisely.