Today I had the great privilege of restoring the eaves on a home in Pickering. And, using the SOFT WASH METHOD! Oooooo, how exciting, right? Okay, so you may be asking: “Dan, what is ‘soft wash’ and why should I care?” Fair question.
Soft washing is a safer alternative to pressure washing. While soft washing still utilizes a pressure washer (generally), the tips used are much wider and rely on volume more than pressure to accomplish the result. Also, soft washing requires professional application of the appropriate chemicals to clean the eaves or siding or concrete or whatever needs cleaning.
The chemicals do the work, and the soft wash essentially rinses away debris and any chemical residue.
Why is it safer? Relying on pressure alone to blast dirt away can damage painted surfaces, break window seals, damage siding and leave permanent marks on asphalt, concrete, brick and wood. While pressure washing does have its place, be very wary of any company that claims to be able to clean eaves or siding without chemicals, and only high pressure water. Chances are that they are inexperienced.
Here is a picture of the 2nd story eaves at this house in Pickering. The eaves are so blackened that the home owners were considering replacing the eaves entirely. After I had finished cleaning their windows, I mentioned that for a fraction of the price, I could restore their eaves to like-new condition, saving them thousands of dollars. They were skeptical at first. You have to understand that after a long time, the staining and dirt looks like it is permanent and would be impossible to remove. Many home owners simply have the eaves replaced. OUCH! $$$
Here is a close up of the eaves at the Pickering House, with a small test cleaning spot. To put the home owners mind at ease that it was even possible to clean the eaves, I did a test area for them. They booked an appointment for Eaves Restoration immediately.
After applying my chemicals to the eaves and fascia, I decided to fire up my pressure washer to finish the final wash and rinse. The pressure washer with the Soft Wash tips allows me to wash and rinse very quickly, and avoids ladders, since they can reach 2nd stories quite easily.
Unfortunately, I made a big mistake. When installing the unloader on my water pump, I must have over tightened one of the bolt connections. They are made of brass, over tightening is a big no no.
When I turned on the water, I noticed a tiny spray of water coming from the connection. Initially, I thought it was too loose, so I tightened it some more… the spray got worse! So I tightened it some more… the connection broke off!!!
It is not an expensive fix at all, but it meant that I could not use my pressure washer to finish this job.
However, because I used the right chemicals, and did not rely on pressure alone to get the job done, I was able to restore the eaves at this house in Pickering.
The job took a little longer, but with my telescoping pole and a soft brush, I helped the chemicals work their way in. After a bit of light scrubbing, I rinsed the eaves with the garden hose and a nozzle.
Here is the lesson:
A pressure washer is just another tool in the belt of any house washer or window cleaner. However, the right chemicals, and understanding of how to use them is indispensable to getting the job done right.