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Pressure Washing vs Softwashing. Which Solution Is Right For You?

Have you noticed a build-up of moss on your roof or renders? Is your driveway getting slippery from surface algae? Wondering what to do about it?

Here we’ll be looking at pressure washing vs softwashing. While pressure washing is the common go-to, the lesser-known softwashing could be the answer you’re looking for.

If you don’t really know what softwashing is, or are looking for more information on the pressure washing vs softwashing conundrum, you’re in the right place. Read on for a breakdown of the differences between the two cleaning methods so you can make an informed decision on which works best for you.

What is Pressure Washing?

Pressure washing involves using highly pressurised water to help remove dirt from hard surfaces. Unlike power washing, it doesn’t use heated water, but the pressure of the water is enough to remove the surface dirt.

It is effective for cleaning masonry, brick and concrete. Though moss, mould or other stuck-on substances can still be difficult to remove. However, this method allows regrowth from your surfaces – the rooted algae, bacteria and other unwelcome organisms will simply return thicker than before.

What is Softwashing?

Softwashing uses a much lower water pressure along with a mixture of special cleaning solutions to break down dirt on surfaces. The cleaning solution is left on the surface to settle into the layers of dirt, eliminating any fungal and bacterial life from the surface and preventing regrowth.

It can be used to clean, sanitise and disinfect the exterior of your property against moss, mould and algae.

The equipment used is much the same as pressure washing equipment. Just the nozzle expels a wider spray, reducing the pressure.

The Environmental Impact

When comparing pressure washing vs softwashing, the environmental impact is worth considering.

If the term ‘cleaning solutions’ is ringing alarm bells in your head, when it comes to softwashing, there’s no need to worry. The chemicals used in softwashing are all eco-friendly, natural chemicals. They don’t cause any damage to surrounding plants when used by a trained professional and are pet and child-friendly.

Pressure washing is usually carried out without chemicals. While this might sound like a better solution, a water-only wash will remove just the surface dirt. It won’t kill the algae, mould or other nuisance growth below; in fact, it’ll only increase its grow-back time. It’s a bit like cutting hair in that respect: the more often it’s treated, the more quickly it will grow, until you can’t keep up with it!

The Damage Risk

For those of you who’ve ever used a pressure washer, you’ll know how satisfying it is to blast the dirt away with the high-power jet. However, this satisfaction comes with its risks! The high pressure of the water can cause damage to certain surfaces such as windows, wooden panelling, vinyl and roof shingles.

The sheer power of pressure washers can also cause debris to fly up into the operator’s face or body, causing harm. Especially dangerous without the right protective gear. And even with that in mind, pressure washing won’t necessarily remove stubborn black spots from concrete. It seems more power isn’t the answer to everything…

Softwashing avoids these risks altogether. The pressure is less than that of a hose pipe, so it can be used on a much wider variety of surfaces without the worry of causing any damage. Any personal risk is avoided altogether, making it a much safer option.

So, in considering pressure washing vs softwashing, you can see that the personal risk and damage risk involved in pressure washing is a lot higher than that of softwashing.

The Cost

Cost is something that also needs to be considered in a comparison of pressure washing vs softwashing.

When it comes to the difference in cost, it will all depend on the size of the property or area that is being cleaned. Softwashing can be the more expensive option initially. However, you can guarantee that the overall cost will be less in terms of the collateral damage that pressure washing can do to a property and its surroundings.

Additionally, softwashing gets to the root of the problem, meaning less risk of regrowth. Pressure washing only cleans the surface, meaning regrowth is more common. Cleaning will need to be more frequent, making soft washing a more cost-effective solution in the long run.

Many softwashing companies even offer a warranty on roof and render cleaning for any moss or algae regrowth. That’s how sure they are of the technique.

Pressure Washing vs Softwashing: The Lowdown

Hopefully, this comparison of pressure washing vs softwashing gives you all the info you need to decide which cleaning solution works best for you.

Softwashing is a great alternative to pressure washing and is preferential in many circumstances. It is just as effective as pressure washing without the environmental and damage risks. If you want to learn more about the procedure involved in softwashing and how it works, check out the brief: What Is Softwashing?

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