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Roof And Siding Cleaning Can Be Done Without High Pressure

Updated on March 23, 2011

As the owner and operator of a residential exterior cleaning service, it never ceases to amaze me how much terrible information there is floating around out there. Many people are of the incorrect opinion that there is no better way to remove roof stains or wash a house than with very high pressure. Educated consumers, however, understand that in the vast majority of situations high power is simply not necessary, and will always go out of their way to find a truly qualified roof cleaning contractor.

High pressure can work to remove the mold and mildew from your home's exterior surfaces, but if it causes damage in the process then what's the bloody point to begin with?  If it has the power to blast away years of accumulated muck then it surely has the power to blast away things that should remain in place!  Just as persuasion is better than force, there is a better alternative to super-high pressure.

I realize that this idea most likely runs counter to everything you've ever been told aboutcle exterior cleaning. It's important to keep in mind, though, that the source of this bad information is precisely those who stand to gain the most from consumer ignorance: pressure washer manufacturing companies. These people have worked hard and spent tons of money to feed the public the bogus notion that nothing but very high pressure can effectively clean your home's roof and siding.

Don't get me wrong here. High pressure cleaning has its time and place. It works wonderfully for hard surfaces such as concrete, pavers, and brick.

House siding and roof shingles, however, don't react very favorably to extremely high pressure. I've personally seen blown-off siding and asphalt shingle damage in scenarios where an exterior cleaning contractor or homeowner had absolutely no clue what they were doing. I've even seen crazy situations where cleaning was done with such high pressure that there was water damage inside the house!

The dirty little secret that industry insiders don't want you to know is that chemical cleaning is a far superior alternative to pressure cleaning. It's of the utmost importance, though, that the proper chemicals are utilized. More specifically, you should make an effort to use chlorine bleach in your roof cleaning or house washing solution.

Perhaps somebody has told you at some point that bleach-based exterior cleaning is a bad idea or ineffective, but this just isn't true. The reality is that the safest and most effective method for cleaning roofs and siding is with a mixture that contains bleach. Those who take shots at bleach (also known as sodium hypochlorite) do so because it can't be made and shipped in a profitable way.

Roof cleaning will require a strong ratio of bleach to water, but you can get away with a much weaker formula for house washing and siding cleaning. When cleaning a roof just be sure to have a rinse helper in place who can dilute any chemicals that might land on grass or landscaping. Additionally, make sure to use common sense when dealing with bleach. Skin, eyes, and lungs should never come into direct contact with this chemical mixture.

So the next time a cleaning contractor tells you he or she wants to clean your roof or house with high pressure make sure to send them down the road. There are loads of qualified cleaning professionals in every major metropolis that know how to do the job correctly. Your house is likely your largest investment, so be sure it is maintained in a manner that is consistent with long-term integrity and durability.


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    • mizwoody profile image

      Heidi Woodruff 

      5 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      Thank you for the informative post. That makes it so much easier for my husband and I. Especially since the majority of the stains I can reach.


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