Is pressure washing the same as power washing? While many people use the terms interchangeably, there is a slight difference for exterior cleaning. Power washing uses chemicals to lift the dirt, while pressure washing uses water pressure.
For example, you wouldn’t want to use high pressure for roof cleaning, because it can damage the materials. In this post, Puget Power Washing, your power washing specialists explain more about this topic.
What Is Pressure Washing?
Pressure washing uses water pressure to remove ingrained grime from robust surfaces like concrete. It also works well to prepare your home for a deck or wall for refinishing or repainting, as it clears away loose varnish or paint.
The downside is that the jet of water exits the machine under extremely high pressure. If you stand too close to the surface or lose control of the nozzle, you can damage it quite easily. That concentrated spray can chip concrete, warp metal, crack vinyl siding, or gouge wood. It can also remove the asphalt that waterproofs shingles.
This is why most washing companies choose a soft-washing technique instead. Pressure washing is better for:
- Removing old wood fibers or loose paint or varnish
- Preparing a surface for renovation
- Cleaning concrete that is more than three years old
What Is Power or Soft Washing?
Power washing takes a gentler approach. Our team still uses the same state-of-the-art pressure washing machine but turns the setting to its lowest level. To make up for the reduced pressure, we apply a highly effective cleaning agent.
Depending on your needs, this may include compounds that kill organic growth, such as algae and mold. We spray on the solution and then let it sit for a little so it can get to work. It kills the plant matter and then loosens the grip that dirt has on the surface.
We then simply rinse the residue away and, where necessary, clean any stubborn dirt off with a soft-bristled brush. The process uses a bit more water but very little pressure, making it safe for fragile surfaces.
Soft washing is better for many types of projects but crucial for:
- Roof cleaning, where we use an even gentler version
- Windows, where you cannot afford to use great pressure
- Concrete in the first three years of its lifespan
A good rule of thumb is that you should softwash any surface if you feel concerned about its structural integrity. Alternatively, you can err on the side of caution and always use soft washing. Even though it’s gentler, it is still highly effective.
If you’re unsure, our team can advise you of your best options and develop a custom strategy for your home or business.