Cleanliness of a buildings exterior is an important part of curb appeal. But if not done properly, power washing your roof, siding or gutters can cause expensive damage.
One of the many examples is that too much pressure or the wrong chemicals can cause loss of protective ceramic coated granules from asphalt shingles, thus invalidating your roof warranty. The right algaecides with low pressure soft wash can clean many roof surfaces.
Another risk is that use of overly hot water during cold weather can cause warping and destruction of vinyl siding - this is because vinyl siding expands and contracts with weather changes.
A competent power washing company knows what is appropriate for different surfaces, i.e. which chemicals should be used, how much pressure should be applied and what temperature the water should be.
Ask you professional about warranties. Make sure to check references. Repairs and replacement of building structure require Home Improvement License with New Jersey Division of Consumer Services. Confirm license with New Jersey.
The 8 Things to Know When in Need of Exterior Cleaning
1. Pressure cleaning of no more than 1200 PSI combined with proper chemicals may be appropriate in the case of a concrete tile roof. A reputable pressure cleaning company will not use more than recommended PSI.
2. Some types of siding are porous i.e. stucco, dryvit and EIFS and some are non-porous i.e. vinyl, painted wood, aluminum. Different cleaning solutions are appropriate for different types of siding. Some non-porous materials should be waxed to prevent future mold growth.
3. Using very hot water to clean shingles during cold weather can cause warping. In general, try to have surfaces cleaned when temperature is above 50 degrees. If it is a very hot day, the contractor should spray water on the surface before cleaning. Otherwise, the solution will evaporate before it has a chance to penetrate.
4. Gloeocapsa Magma, the most common mold that attaches to asphalt shingles, is a type of black mold. Molds that attached to many surfaces are allergans that you dont want inside your house. You probably dont want them on your building exterior either.
5. Soft wash solutions can be harmful to plants. It is usually advisable to generously water surrounding vegetation prior to or during soft washing. Ask your soft wash contractor if he has an employee water vegetation during the soft wash. Some soft wash companies use green products that may be less damaging to plants and shrubs.
6. Gutters and downspouts need to be cleaned regularly. Why even have gutters if you are allowing them to remain clogged? Clogged gutters cause rotting of fascia, wood trim, wood decks under the gutter. Of course, clogged gutters are a perfect breeding ground for allergens and molds as well as mosquito larva, wasp nests and other pests.
7. Chemical mixtures with higher pressure are typically the best ways to clean parking lots, driveways, sidewalks and decks. Heavy duty machines are usually cost effective only for professional power washing contractors. When considering the extra labor required when using a smaller machine and lack of professional knowledge, it is typically cheaper to hire a professional.
8. Sealants can be used on concrete and asphalt surfaces to retard or prevent future mold growth. Wax products can be used on some non-porous siding. In the long term, these products can save you money. You can also be saved the embarrassment of having your HOA notify you that your exterior is an eyesore!
Is it Important That I Hire Only an Insured Pressure Cleaning Company in New Jersey?
Even though a professional power washing company should be able to avoid damaging your property, accidents sometimes occur. The single most important difference between a professional power washing company and a fly-by-nite power washer is insurance.