What is a House Wash?
In pressure cleaning a House Wash refers to the disinfecting and cleaning of the gutter trim, walls, doors and cleans up the windows nicely with a streak free shine.
A house wash primarily uses low pressure chemicals and water. Not as low as a typical garden hose but not as high as a professional high grade pressure washer. Depending on the level of dirt and mildew built up will determine what concentration of chemical we must use to rid the surface of bacteria. For normal bacteria's such as algae and light mildew a low concentration of chlorine and soaps should be used but if we see lichen and orange mildew it is best to go for a high mix to cut down on the dwell time but just be sure to rinse off any surrounding plants during the House Washing process.
Above are perfect picture examples of the mold and mildew that build up day after day on south florida homes. This specific picture was taken at a house wash cleaning we did in Boca Raton Florida a few months back. With the right amount of chemicals these ugly stains will lift up and leave behind a clear bright window. After applying the chemicals to the homes affected area you must rinse off very well to prevent any paint damage such as oxidization.
The best part about cleaning a homes exterior with low pressure is there is zero chances that the paint will be damaged. Hard pressure on a home exterior will wear it away and can risk paint damage. With a low pressure chemical cleaning it is the chemicals that do the cleaning, not the dangerous high presure. Once the solution has done the cleaning you may then rinse off with high volume and low pressure water. This also helps take care of the chemicals smell.
We recommend a house wash be done every 6 months to keep your home looking its best.
What is Gloeocapsa Magma?
Ever wonder what those black streaks are on your roof but seem to be missing on other areas of the roof? We are sure although you dont know what they are, that you have seem them when driving by a home.
The scientific term for the black streaks on your roof are Gloeocapsa Magma. It is a type of algae or organic growth usually found on composition shingles.
To the naked eye they look like black stripes or streaks coming down from the roof which can be seen from several homes away but when looked at closely we can see they are mold spores. Mold spores that can travel through the air and grow on other neighboring homes or exterior surfaces. Just one unsightly and unclean home can ruin the longevity of the surrounding clean homes.
A recently constructed new home can show signs of these unclean black streaks in as little as three years with the growth progression moving faster if not treated promptly.
The next question you may ask is "why does this matter"?
The answer is simple but varies depending on your situation. The answer may be to keep your homes curb appeal up to give off a respectable impression, it may be to prepare for a sale or it may be to save you the added cost of replacing to a new roof because the gloeocapsa magma slowly but surely has been eating away at the shingles fillers such as the limestone to stay healthy and growing.
In preparation to buying a new home the biggest factor aside from plumbing and electrical is the roof. With the average cost of replacing a roof being around $16,000 it is a worth while decision to look into. If no proper documentation is kept to show when the roof was replaced then the inspector can do so by looking at the cleanliness of the shingles. If relatively clean we can conclude the roof is somewhat new, if the roof has heavy dark black stains we can conclude it is very old and going to need replacing soon. As a seller this may ding your asking price greatly as a buyer you may want to ask for a credit in regards to the roof or keep searching for another home. This can be compared to a car for sale, by giving it a good cleaning which adds more perceived value when behind the wheel therefore raising the chances at a better selling price.
If left unclean the bacteria will not only spread but continue to degrade your roofs lifespan by eating away at its fillers.
In recent years roof shingle manufactures have added more fillers to composition shingles in order to save on cost. The big downside is that gloeocapsa magma love to eat these up all day long. To them its all you can eat buffet, to us it is money down the drain. Aside from fillers the shingles have petroleum based oils to increase durability, this is in part why soft washing is a great solution to cleaning off the black streaks. The chemicals used do not degrade the fillers or oils only attack the organic growth on the shingles surface.
As stated before the limestone is eaten by the organisms. Limestone is most often used in composition shingle because it is very inexpensive and there is an abundant supply. The reason why gloeocapsa magma streaks always come down in the same manner is due to gravity and the way rain water drips down.
So now that we have gone over what gloeocapsa magma are and how they can slowly damage your home, we must figure out a way to clean up this unsanitary bacteria.
By far the best and safest way to clean this up is by the professional application of algacides to your home at low pressure and coated over the bacteria. When a low pressure cleaning method is used we are safe from any tile granules being stripped away and lowering a roofs lifespan by years. Please note that high pressure washing on roofs can often times void the roofs warranty. The low pressure applied to the roof is similiar to a rain shower in terms of force. When soft washing it is the chemical algaecide that does all the work. The gloeocapsa magma has no choice but to drink up the chemical cleaning solution and dissipate off the shingles. This method of cleaning does have to be handled with caution by a reputable professional because the chemical can create poisonous vapors when touching the hot shingle tiles, a professional will carry a chemical gas mask and the proper eye protection to avoid any workplace accidents. We must also take into account plant and property protection to ensure no damage occurs while cleaning.
If done properly and safely your roof will be clean for years to come. Typically two years at the least but this depends on varying factors such as the weather conditions in the up coming months, if other growth is still on your homes surfaces that can carry up to the roof and lastly other surrounding homes that remain dirty and unsanitary will carry mold spores through the air and attach to your clean roof, lowering its time of cleanliness.
To conclude soft washing is the best method of cleaning roofs. This method delivers lasting results for years to come with no damage that conventional high pressure cleaning will do to a roofs delicate fillers. We recommend you contact a professional is you would like this service.
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