Power Wash Siding (Streakless)
There are basically four different types of siding; vinyl, aluminum, wood, and masonry. Each material requires a unique cleaning process with respect to chemicals used and the power washing process. Green and black mold, dirt and grime, and stains (e.g., aluminum oxidation, rust, lime, grease, chimney soot, etc.) all require different techniques for safe removal. There is no instruction manual on this and only experience counts. Only approved non-toxic, biodegradable cleaners are used which are safe for grass, plants, shrubs, animals, and humans. The cleaning concentrate we use is an actual mildewcide, which not only removes the mold and mildew but kills it. Additionally, it is absolutely safe to use on virtually any exterior surface whether it is painted or not. The product is designed for use near plants and shrubs. MSDS sheets are available upon request.
Wood SidingThis material should be low pressure sprayed from the bottom up with an environmentally friendly cleaner to loosen up any mold, mildew, dirt, or grime. Low pressure power washing, possibly supplemented by soft-bristle brushing to eliminate any damage to the delicate wood fibers, can then be employed. Pulping the wood and/or flushing out the natural resins within the wood material due to excessive irresponsible use of high pressure must never occur. The natural resins found in wood help prevent wood decomposition. Keep in mind that thorough cleaning of any surface must be done prior to painting. Regardless of how expensive a gallon of paint may be, the paint job is only as good as the paint prep.
Vinyl SidingWe use essentially the same cleaning process as that used for wood with a few precautions. Again, lower pressure and high water volume is essential since, in many cases, the vinyl siding is not attached to the plywood as strongly as it should be in many cases. The objective should be to clean safely without getting water behind the siding or around window frames, vents, or air conditioning openings. Soft bristle brushing around fixtures, window frames, doors, vents, and air conditioning frames is generally employed.
Aluminum SidingMost existing aluminum-sided homes are older. Therefore, the likelihood of the paint being oxidized is fairly high. We highly recommend that if the paint is showing signs of being translucent, it should be left alone and that cleaning (unless it is just a careful touchup) be avoided. If the paint is in fairly good shape, a safe gentle cleaning will go a long way toward enhancing the appearance and longevity of the painted finish. Another option would be to remove most of the finish with a high pressure wash and then spray painting a new finish. Generally, this is a great low-cost option to avoid re-siding the entire house, which can be very expensive.
MasonryThere are various types of masonry, each of which requires a different cleaning technique. Generally, the techniques are similar to those of wood but with the use of different cleaners and higher pressures. Often, masonry becomes blemished with mineral deposits; i.e., lime and calcium, which need to be cleaned with special chemicals. Rust and soot often seep out of the tops of brick chimneys and run down the sides onto the roof. Again, this involves special cleaners, higher pressures, hot water/steam, and possibly some stiff bristle brushing.
We stress lower pressure/higher water volume cleaning with soft bristle brushing, as required, to maximize cleaning effectiveness while eliminating any damage. We never use more than is necessary to do the job; i.e., excessive pressure or harsh chemicals.
Additionally, we can provide hot or cold filtered, mineral-free, soft water to further eliminate streaks or spotting, especially on glass surfaces. A tank truck is available to bring water to the job site. This treated water is an especially valuable service if you have a well or are concerned about streaking on your windows.
We use commercial grade power washers (hot or cold) with variable pressure and volume; i.e., 0-4,000 psi, 0-5 gpm. We stress that although our equipment is commercial grade, we use the CT Panoramic “gentle process” to do the cleaning. This process insures optimum cleaning with absolutely no damage to the surface.
With the use of extension wands, we have the capability to clean a three- story structure from ground level. However, when ladders are required due to the specific architecture of the house, we use “stabilizers” to insure the safety of the technician and eliminate damage to roofs and gutters. Prior to starting the actual cleaning of any surface, some prep work needs to be done. First, we tape outside electrical outlets, as required, to prevent any water from shorting out the outdoor electrical system. Second, we water down and/or cover glass or plantings to minimize any streaking or damage. Third, any personal property adjacent or near the work area is removed or covered.