House washing, also known as home exterior cleaning or house pressure washing, is the process of thoroughly cleaning the exterior surfaces of a house to remove dirt, grime, mold, mildew, algae, and other contaminants. This process not only enhances the appearance of the home but also helps maintain its structural integrity and prolongs the lifespan of the exterior materials. Here are the steps involved in house washing:
1. **Preparation:** Before beginning the house washing process, it's important to prepare the area. This may involve covering nearby plants, disconnecting electrical outlets and outdoor fixtures, and removing any items or obstacles that could get in the way of the cleaning process.
2. **Assessment:** Examine the exterior of the house to identify areas with heavy staining, mold, mildew, or other contaminants. This assessment will help determine the appropriate cleaning methods and solutions needed for each surface.
3. **Cleaning Solutions:** Depending on the type of contaminants and the surfaces being cleaned, various cleaning solutions may be used. For example, a mixture of water, detergent, and house washing bleach may be effective for removing mold and mildew.
4. **Pressure Washing:** The primary method for cleaning the exterior of a house is pressure washing. This involves using a high-pressure water spray to dislodge and remove dirt and contaminants from surfaces. The pressure washer typically has adjustable pressure settings to ensure that it doesn't damage more delicate surfaces, such as wood siding.
5. **Soft Washing:** In some cases, a softer approach known as "soft washing" may be used, especially on more delicate surfaces like wood or painted surfaces. Soft washing involves lower pressure and relies more on specialized cleaning solutions to remove contaminants.
6. **Rinsing:** After the cleaning solution has been applied and contaminants have been loosened, the surfaces are thoroughly rinsed with clean water. This step removes the cleaning agents and any remaining dirt or contaminants.
7. **Spot Treatment:** Stubborn stains or areas with heavy mold or mildew may require additional spot treatment. This involves applying cleaning solutions directly to the affected areas and allowing them to sit before rinsing.
8. **Final Inspection:** After rinsing and allowing the exterior to dry, a final inspection is performed to ensure that all contaminants have been removed, and the exterior of the house is clean and presentable.
9. **Optional Sealing or Painting:** Depending on the type of exterior materials (e.g., wood, brick, stucco), homeowners may choose to seal or paint the surfaces after cleaning to provide additional protection and improve the appearance.
House washing can be a DIY project for some homeowners, but it's often recommended to hire professional house washing services, especially for larger homes or if the surfaces are delicate. Professionals have the expertise, equipment, and cleaning agents necessary to ensure a thorough and safe cleaning process while minimizing the risk of damage to the home's exterior. Additionally, professionals can complete the job more quickly and efficiently.