Is Pressure Washing a Good Idea for Roofs?

In our industry, we hear the same questions pretty frequently. One of them: “Is pressure washing a good idea for roofs?” Our answer is “yes and no.” Although most people talk about pressure washing as if it is the only way to get things cleaned, pressure washing typically combines pressure with soft washing, depending on what you are trying to tackle. Soft washing is an excellent and safe method for roof washing in Charleston, WV, but pressure washing may not be!

What is Pressure Washing?

Although people usually use the terms “power washing” and “pressure washing” interchangeably, they are not. Pressure washing uses a high-powered water spray that works by removing dirt, debris, and algae build-up. Power washing uses the same high-powered spray, but it is combined with warm water. They are both excellent washing methods for the exterior of your home or office and can be used on many waterproof and durable surfaces. Things that are safe for pressure washing are things like driveways, most patios, and sidewalks.

What is Soft Washing?

Soft washing is a technique similar to pressure washing, but it uses a gentler spray combined with industrial solvents and cleaners to get surfaces clean. Surfaces like painted wood and roof shingles are not always durable enough to withstand pressure washing. That runs the risk of causing extensive and costly damage. Soft washing solvents work wonders to remove algae, dirt, and debris, and they are also eco-friendly and biodegradable. Areas that should be soft washed are roofs, painted furniture, stained decks, and any other surface that is not waterproof.

So Why is Soft Washing Better for Roofs?

Roof washing is a must to maintain your roof’s material and to extend its life cycle – but not if you use pressure washing and harm the shingles or the underlayment. The high power of pressure washing can be too much and get up under the shingle, where it can lead to mold, rot, and other water and moisture issues. Over time, it can also wear away the granules on top of the shingles. This will break down the integrity of your roof and lead to needing a premature roof replacement. In the pressure washing industry, it is always better to err on the side of caution than to use a method that is too harsh and inadvertently causes damage.

When it comes to extending the life of your exterior materials, keeping them free from dirt, debris, and algae build-up is a must, but that doesn’t mean that you can blindly hit everything with a pressure washer. Although most people think pressure washing is a great do-it-yourself project, the results really depend on knowing the industry and having the right knowledge to get things as clean as can be – while also ensuring that you don’t cause any damage.

At Power Wash Specialties, we have the proper training, experience, education, and equipment to get all your outdoor areas as clean as can be. And we also have the know-how to keep everything safe from damage. Contact us today to set up your pressure washing and soft washing appointment, and let us determine the best method for the greatest results!

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