As homeowners, we take the time to sweep, mop, and vacuum the floors inside our homes. We dust and wipe down the counters. We take pride in a clean home. When it comes to the exterior of our homes, ‘cleaning’ is usually limited to tidying up the landscaping and yard. We may sweep walkways and decks, but ‘washing’ them like we do with the interior surfaces of our home, is rare.
Maintaining the exterior through pressure washing provides the same benefits:
Pressure washing improves life expectancy – not yours, your property’s! Roofs, decks, walkways, and driveways are collection points for everything from leaves to bird droppings to oil and grime from vehicles. Left uncleaned, that debris can lead to damage and costly repairs.
Leaf debris can clog gutters allowing water to back up and potentially find a path of lesser resistance – into fascia boards, under shingles – where it can damage your home. That leaf debris and backed up water can create a haven for insects attracting birds and other critters.
As moss grows, it’s root-like structures anchor to the roof surface. Over time, it can crack and pull apart shingles creating an opportunity for water to get underneath. Growth will also damage the UV and protective layer of granules
Decks and walkways:
Moss and algae can anchor to concrete and wood surfaces as they do with asphalt shingles. The porous nature of each makes it easier for damage to occur. The result is cracking and expansion of the material and future structural issues. Paved walkways are at risk of the same damage as well as shifting. The dislodged bricks further create a safety risk.
Pressure washing safely removes organic debris from exterior surfaces increasing the life expectancy of exterior surfaces – and is far less expensive long-term than making repairs.
Safety and Health
Dislodged, moved, and loose pavers are a tripping hazard. The safety risks don’t end there.
The weather here in the Pacific Northwest, with its combination the combination of rain and shade means the perfect environment for algae and mildew growth – the green sheen you see on many surfaces. When dry, it’s benign. As soon as it gets wet, it becomes slick and surfaces turn slippery. When covered by new leaf litter, the risk increases.
Like inside, pollen, mold spores, and other pollutants build up on exterior surfaces. As we lean against walls, walk across decks and over other surfaces, we pick them up, bringing them inside with us.
Pressure washing walkways and decks helps eliminate the risk of falls and contributes to improved indoor air quality for a healthier home.
Image and value
A well-maintained home improves it’s curb appeal. Even if you are not planning to sell your home anytime soon, it’s look will have a positive impact on the neighborhood.
Maintenance indicates people care and are active…
“..signaling to criminals the presence of social capital and the active involvement of neighbors in community spaces; and more appealing landscaping draws more “eyes on the street,” which in turn deters criminals.”
Good for the neighborhood and good for you.
There’s the added intangible benefit to pressure washing that comes with arriving home and seeing a clean, maintained property. It can have a significant positive impact, especially at the end of a difficult day or week.
DIY vs Professional Pressure Washing
DIY comes with two major risks:
- Personal injury
- Property damage
Personal injury: Cleaning walkways, deck surfaces, and driveways don’t pose a significant risk to the DIYer, but there is still a risk. With heated water, cleaning agents, and the loose debris created, slipping is a hazard. Hoses pose a tripping hazard. All are relatively minor, but nevertheless, risks.
For roof and gutters, there are the increased potential accidents from ladders and falls.
Property damage: The wrong pressure setting can do more damage than good. It can sheer off roofing shingles, drive water below them or into gaps in walls. Too much pressure and for too long in one spot can damage surfaces. Nearby landscaping can be impacted if directly sprayed.
The benefits of pressure washing?
There are additional considerations – including what chemicals or cleaning agents are applied and how much is used. Professionals may have access to better and safer products, will know how much to use, not to mention have better equipment making the process more efficient reducing time and water usage.
It will increase the longevity of surfaces, lead to fewer repairs, improve the look and feel of your home, and increase it’s value. Maybe most important reason is that it contributes to improved indoor air quality for a healthier home.