Home maintenance is an annual must-do task every homeowner should undertake. Roof keep is one of the most crucial tasks to be performed. As an essential part of the home envelope, the roof is a barrier from the elements, an energy efficiency agent, and much more.

Soft Wash Roof Cleaning vs. Pressure Washing: What's Best?

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Neglecting a roof can lead to severe consequences such as untimely repair, costly replacements, leaks, and other troubling issues. A leaking roof can undermine the structure’s integrity and lead to mold growth or other health hazards.

Yes, a roof cleaning is necessary, but what’s the best method to ensure a healthy roof? Two main result-driven ways to ensure the job is well done are soft wash cleaning or using a pressure washer.

Both of these approaches have their advantages and limitations. They are different in many ways. However, in some situations, only one or the other is possible. 

When and why pressure washing might be preferable, what risks are associated with each cleaning technique, and what is the best option in your case are some of the questions we will answer in this article.

Differences Between Soft Wash Roof Cleaning and Pressure Washing

Several main differences between the two methods determine which might be more beneficial in various cleaning scenarios. It is worth noting early on that the right application of roof cleaning methods depends on the qualifications of the professionals who apply them.

Water pressure

One of the main differences between pressure washing and soft wash cleaning is the pressure applied in the process.

Pressure washing machines generate high pressure and eject water with a minimum of 500PSI. On the other hand, washing is gentler, and the pressure used to spray water and solution is minimal. While more pressure affects the blasting of accumulated dirt and debris, soft washing roofs to remove algae, mold, and other microorganisms is preferred.

Generally, both systems work with hoses (some can even attach a garden hose), but the pressure level and the amount of water differ in each cleaning method.

Soft Wash Roof Cleaning vs. Pressure Washing: What's Best?

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Cleaning Solution

Heavy-duty pressure washers rely on power and are designed to apply that power effectively. However, soft wash cleaning machines have special containers where cleaning agents and water are mixed with professional soft washing solutions. This cleaning solution is sprayed onto the roof and left to soak and remove all moss and algae. 

Because these microorganisms are very stubborn, they have to be treated in advance to ensure they die. Otherwise, they will be able to regrow quite quickly. In this regard, soft washing involves using detergents that ensure a healthy roof and sidings.

Roofing Material Compatibility

One of the critical factors in deciding which cleaning technique is more suitable for your roof is considering roof surfaces. Usually, professionals assess your roof condition, roofing materials, and more before they advise on a particular cleaning method.

Soft wash cleaning uses low pressure and is more suitable for delicate roofing materials like asphalt shingles, cedar shake, and clay tiles. In contrast, pressure wash is better suited for more challenging surfaces like concrete tiles.

Factors to Consider for Roof Cleaning Projects

Choosing between soft-wash roof cleaning and pressure washing must be done based on several factors. They can also determine the roof cleaning cost. Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors.

Roof Material

As we mentioned above, roof type and surface material are crucial when considering the method of cleaning. The risk of damage to more delicate materials caused by pressure washing should be evaluated before cleaning.

Condition of the Roof

Another important consideration is the condition of the roof. If there is excess mold, mildew, or algae, cleaning solutions used in roof soft washing might be more beneficial. On the other hand, accumulated dirt or roof stains might be more effectively tackled by high-pressure washing because it dissolves dirt quite well.

Age of the Roof

Roof age is also essential when considering the right cleaning approach. Old roofs might be more susceptible to damage because of wear, and thus, soft wash cleaning could be the better option. Newer roofs, in turn, can also be cleaned by pressure washing depending on their type and the materials they are made of.

Soft Wash Roof Cleaning vs. Pressure Washing: What's Best?

Image source: Canva

DIY vs. Professional Services

Many homeowners probe DIY cleaning because they think it saves them cleaning costs. Unfortunately, without the training, expertise, and appropriate equipment, DIY cleaning might generate more problems than benefits.

While pressure washing might seem easier and only dependable on a good machine, if you don’t know the specifics of the process or cannot evaluate the risks, you better seek professional cleaning services.

Soft-wash roof cleaning often requires specialized gear and a good understanding of the cleaning process. The chemicals used are hazardous, and to prevent any uncontrolled damage to vegetation around the house, consult professional cleaners.

Soft Wash Roof Cleaning Benefits

To decide what is best for your рооф, you must consult a trustworthy and reputable cleaning company, but you must also be informed of the benefits and shortcomings of each cleaning method.

Soft washing possesses several advantages over pressure washing. Generally, low-pressure cleaning is more delicate on roofing surfaces and preserves them better. Cleaning roofs is an intricate task that requires knowledge of materials and conditions.

Gentle on Roofing Materials

Soft wash cleaning is unlikely to cause damage or replace your roof shingles because it applies a combination of water and a biodegradable cleaning solution under low pressure. Unlike pressure washing, the blast from low-pressure soft wash cannot harm those roofing materials.

Choosing the right method doesn’t only mean you get a clean roof but also ensures your roof stays healthy and does its job properly. Proper care prolongs the lifespan of your roof.

Effective for Stains and Mold

Some stains, mainly algae, mildew, and mold, are treated more effectively by soft washing. The bleach used to spray the contaminated areas dries the microorganisms, which are easily removed from the roof.

Preventative Maintenance

Another advantage of a soft washing system is that it creates a protective layer over the roof surface, preventing microorganisms’ reappearance. Biological growth can be very stubborn and very damaging to roofs. 

Environmentally Friendly

One of the key reasons to choose professional cleaning services for your roof over DIY is that specialists know exactly what specialized cleaning solutions to use that are both effective and harmless for the environment. 

You don’t want to wake up to dry patches of grass on your lawn because of the inappropriate use of a cleaning solution on the roof. 

Situations Where Pressure Washing May Be Preferable

Despite the numerous advantages of soft wash cleaning, there are some cases when pressure washing might be more effective. Once again, the roof type and the seriousness of the cleaning task should be considered.

Hard Surfaces

If you are sure that the roofing material can endure pressure washing, this is a quick and effective way to get your roof cleaned. The method works well on concrete, metal, and other hard surfaces that withstand high pressure.

Heavy Debris

Due to the specifics of some regions, roofs can accumulate heavy debris. Negligence can also lead to your tile roof being soaked and stained. If your house is near trees, leaves and twigs can pile up, causing decay.

In all of these situations, pressure washing systems can be applied effectively. Stains, debris, bird droppings – pressure washing tackles all these issues. Additionally, you might require gutter cleaning, and pressure washing will suffice well.

Beware that pressure washing will use a lot of water to clean every square foot of your roof. When employing professional services, enquire about the features of the pressure washing machines they use. Some are equipped to minimize the waste of water.

Immediate Results

Unlike soft wash cleaning, pressure washing provides more immediate results. Applying higher pressure during cleaning allows for easier and quicker removal of all dirt, so your roof will return its shine in the shortest time. This visible gain is a determining factor for a lot of people.

Potential Risks of Each Cleaning Technique

Many people put more emphasis on the advantages. However, you must carefully weigh each option’s shortcomings to make an informed choice. What are the potential risks associated with each cleaning technique?

Soft Wash Roof Cleaning vs. Pressure Washing: What's Best?

Image source: Canva

Soft Wash Risks

The cleaning solution used in the soft wash system may cause certain roof materials to pale or discolor surrounding surfaces if not applied professionally. 

It is also possible for non-eco-friendly solutions to harm nearby vegetation. These risks can be prevented by choosing reliable cleaning services.

Pressure Washing Risks

Pressure washing, one the other hand, can be harmful to certain materials, such as roof tiles. It can dislodge granules, and the pressure can cause leaks and water penetration. If water enters, it creates risks of mold and structural damage.

Pressure washing hides safety risks, especially if not applied by a professional. Reputable companies have every guarantee and insurance to deal with possible injuries on your premises.

Determining the Best Method

There are several steps to be followed to determine what the best method for roof cleaning is. Firstly, get informed on the advantages and disadvantages of each technique.

Secondly, it is essential to evaluate each particular cleaning job. That is why employing professional cleaning services is critical.

Consider all the factors in this article and note the basic differences between soft cleaning and power washing.

Consulting Professionals

Even if you have undertaken severe research, consulting with professionals specializing in cleaning exterior surfaces (roof washing, window cleaning, etc.) is still advisable.

They have the expertise and training to assess your particular situation and, based on a combination of factors, determine the best cleaning approach. Moreover, roof-cleaning technicians have the necessary equipment and know-how to provide effectiveness.

They consider safety and have all the legal permissions to operate in the trade. They are trained in the specifics of each method and can ensure your peace of mind. Start soft washing your exterior to keep a good appearance and ensure the prolonged life of the surfaces.

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