Pressure Washing vs. Power Washing vs. Soft Washing: Which one is right for you?
What’s the difference between pressure washing and soft washing?
When exterior stains and grime build up beyond what can be cleaned with the basic scrubbing and rinsing it may be time to hire a professional exterior cleaning service. But which one and what exactly should you be searching for? With pressure washing, power washing, and soft washing all being advertised as the best way to clean your house or business it can easily get confusing trying to figure out which solution is right for you. The quick breakdown is simple, pressure washing and power washing both use high pressure water (usually 3000-4000 psi) to physically remove dirt and grime from porous surfaces while soft washing uses a much lower pressure mix of water and chemicals (typically 75-250 psi) to clean more delicate, non-porous surfaces.
Soft Washing Explained:
Soft washing has been around for a while but the term is just recently starting to become common to anyone outside of the cleaning industry. Soft washing uses a low pressure pump to deliver a mix of chemicals and water to a surface through a hose and spray wand. Whereas pressure washing uses a physical means (high pressure water) to remove the dirt, soft washing uses a chemical process to break the bond the dirt has with the surface material allowing the technician to then use low pressure water to rinse away the grime. There are also hybrid systems that can be incorporated into a pressure washer but these devices are far less effective than a dedicated soft wash system. A proper soft wash system will have the ability to change the ratio of chemical output on the fly without having to remix and entire batch of chemicals. It is important to remember than any system is only as effective as the technician operating it
Pressure Washing Explained:
At one point pressure washing and power washing had slightly different meanings in that power washing was used to refer to a pressure washer with heated water. These days the two terms are used interchangeably with one another. Depending on your region of the country you may see one, the other, or both. Hot water will clean more effectively and you can always ask your service provider if they offer hot water washing just to make sure they have the right equipment for the project. The basic principle of pressure washing is simple. Pressurized water is sprayed from a wand or surface cleaner through a specially designed tip to create a fan blade of water used to safely and effectively remove buildup of unwanted materials by cleaning both the surface and the pores of masonry surfaces. A professional company will also incorporate proper cleaning chemicals in a pressure washing services. Compared to soft washing, the chemical applications for pressure washing are typically a pre-treatment and/or post-treatment to the surfaces being cleaned in order to make sure all areas receive the optimal level of clean.
Ideal Areas for Pressure Washing:
Ideal Areas for Soft Washing:
Which One Do You Need?
So which one of these services does your property need? The main consideration is the materials used on your exterior and many times the answer is both. At Titan Pressure Washing we have dedicated hot water pressure washers and dedicated soft wash systems on our trucks. This allows us to avoid the compromise of trying to shoehorn one system into multiple solutions. We keep a variety of chemicals and spray tips on each truck in order to adapt any surface regardless of how delicate or durable. A complete exterior cleaning service will typically incorporate both systems. For example: A brick and stone house that has painted wood soffits and eaves will need higher pressure to clean the pores of the brick, medium pressure for the stone, and soft washing for the painted wood trim.
Can’t I just softwash my brick exterior to be safe?
While you could hire someone to softwash a brick or stone area this wouldn’t be considered a complete solution. It’s true, soft washing would kill and lighten any unsightly organic stains but without following this with pressure washing you wouldn’t actually be removing the dirt from the pores. Because brick and other stone surfaces are porous, they can trap organic spores beneath the surface. This is where organic stains take root and begin to grow. While soft washing brick and stone can be an effective way to make an area look cleaner it is always best to remove as much of the source of the growth as possible to ensure a longer lasting and more thorough clean.
If you are going to hire a pressure washing company, then it’s important to do your research. Anyone can buy a pressure washer and claim to be an expert. But hiring a reputable team is essential to protect your property and ensure the long-term results of your investment. As you are evaluating your options for soft washing or pressure washing, learn about the companies that offer this service. Talk to the team for information about your specific situation. Also, you should only hire a company with insurance coverage. If something goes wrong, an insurance policy can offer the coverage you need for repairs or replacement. Not only are pressure washing services available for large jobs like commercial sites. But we are also here to assist with the small jobs that tend to pile up over time. If you have a long list of home improvements that need to be handled, then talk to our experienced team to get the help that you need. We believe that no job is too big or too small – we’re here to help with anything that you need. At Titan Pressure Washing we work hard to offer quality services and the safety our customers need. If you’d like to learn more about pressure washing or soft washing, then contact us at your convenience. We’ll schedule a consultation to discuss the scope of work and the potential results. We are also happy to offer a free estimate so you know the anticipated cost of cleaning.