The first step to any good paint job is a clean surface – whether that be your walls, your car, or some DIY furniture. When it comes to exterior painting, most people reach for the pressure washer to make sure the surface they are painting is fresh and clean. But before you dig out your pressure washer, what if we told you that pressure washing wasn’t the recommended method for exterior painting prep?
Before any exterior painting job, our team prefers to soft wash rather than pressure wash. Soft washing is a cleaning method that uses low pressure and a special solution to safely clear a surface of bacteria, mildew, algae, cobwebs, dirt, and other stains. Soft washing uses chemical reactions to remove dirt and grime, while pressure washing uses force to blast away dirt instead.
Here are three reasons why we recommend soft washing exterior surfaces to our clients:
- No risk of water damage
Since pressure washing operates at such an intense pressure, there is a high risk of causing damage to your home. Pressure washing can easily cause gouges in wood, chipped paint, or tears in window seals. The high pressure stream of water may also find its way into cracks or underneath siding, which can cause moisture buildup in the wrong places. Soft washing is much gentler, which means it is much less likely to cause damage and get into places that it shouldn’t.
- Kills plant matter and algae
The special solution used in soft washing is made to kill algae and mildew, while a pressure washer will just move it around. This ensures that your surface is left completely clean. Many soft washes also use a biodegradable solution that is specially made to kill algae while still being safe for your yard, family, and pets.
- Lasts longer than power washing
A soft wash process takes the same amount of time as pressure washing, but the results can last up to six times longer. Because soft washing actually kills the bacteria and algae on the surface, it will take much longer to grow back than if it were just pushed around with a pressure washer.
By spending the time to properly prep your surface, you are making sure that your exterior paint job lasts for years to come! If you would like to learn more about how to best prep your exterior surfaces before painting, contact us to chat.