With the current state of the world, you may rightfully be concerned about keeping the inside of your home sanitized — but have you ever thought about the sanitary conditions on the exterior of your home? Cleaning the outside of your house helps keep your home looking fresh, while also preventing potentially harmful organisms like mold from working their way inside. If you’re staying at home much more often lately, it might be a good time to work on your house cleaning projects, including your exterior surfaces. Keep reading our latest Daniel’s Lawn Service blog post to learn more about what unhealthy substances to scrub off of your home, the best exterior cleaning products and how to safely clean your home’s exterior.
Algae, Mold, Mildew — and How to Eliminate Them
In Central Florida’s warm and humid subtropical climate, it’s easy for green stuff to build up on the side of your house and other outdoor surfaces. Common forms can include algae, mold and mildew. When it comes to algae, the only thing you’ll have to worry about if left untreated for a long period of time is the algae deeply embedding itself and creating a difficult-to-remove stain. Buildup of mold and mildew can lead to more serious health concerns, however, especially for the interior of your home. Algae, mold and mildew thrive in damp, dark environments, which is why you’re more likely to find these substances growing on the north side of your home or any spot consistently covered in shade. The combination of regular dirt building up can feed your growing green stuff problem.
So, what can you do to get rid of green buildup on your home’s exterior, and what can you do to keep it from spreading in the first place? The first step is having the outside of your house thoroughly cleaned at a minimum of once yearly. However, you may also want to keep up your exterior house cleaning on a more frequent and regular basis.
Know Your Cleaning Options
Cleaning the exterior of your home isn’t the same as cleaning the interior. It’s important to understand the differences between your cleaning solution options, as well as cleaning methods. Different cleaners exist for different purposes and different surfaces. Purposes of exterior cleaning solutions include dirt removal, sanitization and disinfection. Exterior surfaces will also require different cleaning techniques and tools to effectively clean them without also causing damage. Siding on your home can’t be cleaned in the same way as your driveway, for example.
This also leads to the differences between pressure washing and power washing. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, they actually refer to different cleaning methods and equipment. Pressure washing is generally the safer choice in terms of damage risk for softer or smaller surfaces. Larger and more hard surfaces, especially those which have a thick buildup of that green stuff, will require the more intense power washing.
Stay Safe if You DIY
There are many extra precautions to take if you plan to attempt cleaning your home’s exterior surfaces. For your surfaces, you will need to thoroughly check that your cleaning products are appropriate for your surface’s needs and won’t cause damage. For pressure washing, you will need to ensure that you are using the proper equipment and know how to safely operate it, for the sake of your surfaces, yourself and any others who may be nearby when you are pressure washing.
Keep these surfaces in mind for what not to pressure or power wash:
- Painted surfaces — Only use professional power washing surfaces in order to not damage the paint.
- Old surfaces — These are naturally more delicate and could easily break down under pressure washing.
- Laminar sandstone — This surface is simply too soft to pressure wash without disintegrating.
- Stained wood — While wood surfaces can be pressure washed, you’ll need to expect any staining to wash off.
- Asphalt roofing — This type of roofing can easily be destroyed by pressure washing.
We highly recommend choosing an experienced professional to pressure wash and power wash your surfaces. This will ensure both the highest safety for yourself, others, the equipment and your exterior surfaces. The misuse of pressure washing equipment can have serious consequences, as the pressure comes out up to a full 2,000 pounds of force. If you need more time to study up, our blog post – “Seven Mistakes to Avoid While Pressure Washing Your House” – covers the basics.
While we do not recommend pressure washing on your own for the sake of safety, it is advised to adhere to these safety points should you decide to pressure wash on your own:
- Do not spray a pressure washer towards another person, as this can cause serious injury or even death.
- Securely cover all electrical and water outlets before starting.
- Protect your face with either safety glasses, goggles or a full face shield.
- Keep a safe distance of five to six feet away from surfaces.
- Test the equipment on the lowest setting followed by hard surfaces before spraying soft surfaces or windows.
- For sanitation, spray your cleaning solution first and allow it to soak for five to 10 minutes, directly followed by rinsing with clean water. Keep the surface wet with a regular garden hose during soaking, and do not let your cleaning solution dry.
- For vertical surfaces, start at the top and work your way down to effectively remove dirt.
- Use the proper nozzle for your surfaces and cleaning needs. Examples include using a 0-degree nozzle for the hardest spray that will break up algae, clumped up dirt, mud or stains, or using a 40-degree nozzle to widely clean house siding, patios, sidewalks, etc.
- Request a demonstration, not just an explanation, on how to properly use the equipment if renting from a store.
Cleaning and Pressure Washing Done Right
The best way to guarantee that your exterior surfaces will be cleaned safely, thoroughly and without damage is to enlist the help of professional pressure washing services. At Daniel’s Lawn Service & Pressure Washing, it’s right in our name! Our trained professionals have the skill and experience to ensure the exterior of your Central Florida home is thoroughly cleaned. To learn more about our pressure washing services, contact us through our website or give us a call at 321-282-9731.