There are few things in life as instantly gratifying as seeing pressurized water blast away years of grime. If you’ve ever seen a good compilation of before and after pictures of exteriors cleaned by pressure washing, you may be eager to see how much dirt you can clean off your own house.
Before you run out to buy or rent a pressure washer, there are a few things you need to know. There are two main types of pressurized water cleaning systems: pressure washing and soft washing. Choosing the wrong one can cause expensive damage or serious injury.
So which type is best? Soft washing vs pressure washing? We’ll go over the basics and pros and cons of each type of exterior cleaning so you can decide which one is best suited for your needs.
Pressure washing is cleaning with cold water pressurized to 15-4000 PSIs (pounds per square inch). Pressure washing machines can be bought or rented from hardware stores and are easy enough to operate. Just like hedge trimmers or a chainsaw, proper handling is necessary to protect yourself, others, and your property.
Pressure washing is best suited for removing dirt, grime, and mildew in the grooves or texture of hard, durable surfaces. Sidewalks, driveways, masonry, and patio furniture are the best candidates for good pressure washing.
You have to be careful what you pressure wash. Pressure washing can cause irreparable damage to softer surfaces like wood, roofing shingles, old mortar, and vinyl. This earns it a check in the cons column when determining soft washing vs pressure washing.
Soft washing is pressure washing with a wider nozzle, resulting in a lower PSI. Lower pressure doesn’t mean it doesn’t clean just as effectively, though.
While pressure washing relies only on high pressured water, soft washing uses water pressure and a cleaning solution to get the job done. This cleaning solution is usually anti-bacterial so what gets cleaned stays clean.
Soft washing is ideal for softer surfaces such as roofs, vinyl, wooden decking and furniture, stucco, and screens for doors and windows. Soft washing isn’t limited to these, however. Any surfaces pressure washing can clean, soft washing can do as well.
The only possible downside to soft washing is that its cleaning agent is not available to the general public. This means only professionals can perform soft washing. If you’re a DIYer, this may count against it when considering soft washing vs pressure washing.
Soft Washing Vs Pressure Washing
Soft washing vs pressure washing doesn’t necessarily have a winner or loser. When it comes to cleaning your house exterior, both washing systems are effective for the surfaces they are designed for. What you have to determine is what exactly your needs are.
Enjoyed this article? For the best in construction news, check out our Construction and Architecture archives.