Things That Need to be Prepped Prior To Our Cleaning Appointment

IMG_2871.jpg

We are delighted that you have chosen us to take care of your exterior cleaning needs!  As a small business owner nothing makes me happier than a satisfied customer after seeing their home or deck brought back to life.  Your home is your castle, where you feel safe, raise your family, entertain, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Your home is also most likely your biggest investment and we appreciate you trusting us to keep it looking it's best.

We do need your help in ensuring our appointment goes smoothly.  For our low pressure house washing service we need all windows shut, your outside water turned on, and any furniture or decorative items moved away from the house or front patio space.

For our deck washing and staining service we need the deck as clear as possible of furniture, planters, decorative items, potted plants, etc.  Larger items such as Grills and tables in some cases can be left on the deck and we can move them around as we work if they are unable to be moved. 

These steps ensure that we are able to properly and thoroughly clean your home efficiently without that chance of anything being damaged. The chances of anything breaking or being damaged are very slim, however we like to always be cautious of the homeowner's property and belongings.  We treat every customer's home as if it were our own, ensuring the highest standard of professionalism in this industry.  Keeping your home Pristine

 

Why does the foundation of my home still look dirty after a house wash?

 Discoloration remaining after power washing and scrubbing alone.

Discoloration remaining after power washing and scrubbing alone.

Red clay is a dominant soil type in the southern United States as well as found in other parts of the U.S. Red clay stains occur after heavy rains when water carries the clay deep into the pores of concrete, brick or stucco. Home foundation walls are often susceptible to this via splash build up, but even the simple act of walking on a concrete driveway with muddy shoes will do its damage. Power washing alone does not take the red dirt stains out.

Why are red clay stains so hard to clean from concrete and masonry? Possibly because what gives the reddish color of the dirt is iron oxide or better known as rust, which is highly insoluble in water.

We have found that the best preventative steps that can be taken are to properly landscape around your home by applying mulch beds, decorative river rock, or some other type of turf over the ground so that the clay mud doesn't splash back on your home every time it rains causing discoloration.  

One solution is to hand applying an acidic cleaner to the areas through a pump sprayer, then power washing off the discoloration. This is a service that is not included in our standard house wash process but can be added on if the homeowner chooses to.  It seems to me that by the time this has happened, most of the paint on the foundation is chipping or faded and needs to be re painted anyway.  After we have thoroughly cleaned the house and removed any loose dirt from the surface the area is prepped to be re painted and then preventative measures can be taken to ensure this does not happen again. 

Gutter Scrubbing (removal of black lines and oxidation)

 Hand scrubbing with specialized detergent

Hand scrubbing with specialized detergent

Tiger stripes, those dark vertical stripes that appear on aluminum rain gutters. Customers sometimes call us about these dark stripes that will not wash off. The first assumption is that the paint has gone bad. This is usually not the case.

Naturally, pollution and dirt build up on the top lip of the gutter. When moisture combines with these pollutants, it streams down the face of the gutter. Future precipitation will continuously follow the same path. Over time, the buildup becomes alternating light and dark stripes

During a normal house wash these marks may lighten depending on how discolored the gutters are, for heavily discolored gutters a more thorough scrubbing is usually necessary with a degreasing solution that needs to be hand applied and scrubbed with an extendable brush.  This service is not included in our $249 house wash rate due to the increased labor, time, and special cleaning solution.   This service is an add on to house washes depending on what the customer's expectation is for the end result, the service ranges from $200 for most townhouses up to $350 for larger single family homes. 

 

The problem with Deck-Over and Deck Restore Products

deckoverpeel.jpg
deckoverpeel2.jpg

Homeowners are always looking for an alternative to a deck replacement. When wood is neglected, it can be expensive to have it restored or replaced. A few companies like Behr and Rust-Oleum are selling a deck resurface product. They claim it is the smart alternative to deck replacement. It can be applied to wood surfaces such as decks, stairs, docks, composite decking, and more. So is it a good alternative or is it just a waste of time and money?

What tests are showing is that these products are prone to peeling despite what the manufacturers are claiming. With any film-forming product, peeling is always an issue. It still seems to stand true that anything subjected to the elements will not hold up for more than a couple of years.

Another issue with the deck resurfacing products is that they create a whole host of maintenance and removal issues. With conventional wood restoration, the ease of maintenance using a wood stain is what helps the deck look so good for many years. It also allows you to easily remove the product if you want a different look. With deck resurfacing, maintenance is almost non-existent and good luck trying to remove such a thick heavy product. Basically, once the product is on the deck you are stuck with it.

 

Why use a low pressure (soft wash) method to clean your siding?

Mold removal with soft wash technique

We often get asked questions like "do you have a tall enough ladder to reach the top of my house?" and "how do you clean the siding without forcing water behind the siding and damaging it?"  The answer is that we use a low pressure soft wash technique. We are essentially applying a mold inhibiting cleaning solution that loosens up the mold, mildew, dust, pollen, etc. so that it can be gently washed away. 

Do you wash your dishes in the dishwasher with no soap or detergent, or run your car through a car wash without it? Why would you use just pressure and water to clean your home? You don’t get a good clean. If you’re trying to remove algae or grime, just plain water won’t do it.  Our special nozzles can gently apply our solution up to four stories high with no more pressure than a garden hose.  For the final rinse we use low-pressure water that effectively cleans without causing damage.

Pressure washing is an art, you have to know about different scenarios, different types of siding, oxidation and how it reacts to pressure, it is important to do your research or hire a professional when it comes to cleaning your biggest investment.