Curb Appeal Ideas – Cleaning Exterior
Use these curb appeal ideas from Carlton Cleans to keep your house looking its best. Cleaning the exterior of your home is important because it adds to your curb appeal.
How often do you look at the exterior of a house and think, “that is one old home”? If the home exterior is not inviting, nobody will even consider looking at what you have inside, which could be where you plan to make your positive impression. A cleaner home is a healthier home, and everyone is trying to go green now. Over time your home receives buildup of mold, mildew, dirt, and grime. Each of these results in a much less attractive and less healthy home.
Exterior Home Cleaning – What’s Available?
After you have decided to use our curb appeal ideas and decide that your home needs to be cleaned, how do you clean your house’s exterior? Most people assume a hose will do the job. There are ways to do the entire exterior of a house with a hose, but it requires scrubbing and much more physical labor than you need. Also, scrubbing a house can only reach so much of the exterior. For those of you with plants and vegetation around your home, keep in mind that the cleaning chemicals used can affect them. Some of the buildup can get in deep crevices, especially on older houses. These can only be reached by a power washeer or pressure washer.
Curb Appeal Ideas
The best of curb appeal ideas is to clean your house’s exterior by power washing it. A good power wash can get in the deep crevices on some surfaces that you can’t reach with other methods. Pressure washing is perfect for cleaning brick, stone, vinyl, and other materials. As opposed to methods such as a hose with scrubbing, pressure washing can take significantly less time. Pressure washing houses restores them to looking like new again.
Focus on the Outside
If you’re considering selling your home, or just having some guests over, it will be of high value for you to use our curb appeal ideas and pretty-up the exterior of your house. Most people tend to ignore the outside of the house and just focus on the inside of the house. Cleaning the inside is important, but let’s be honest here: we see the outside before we even step foot on the inside.
Contact Carlton Cleans
Finally, it is a good idea to hire a professional to clean your home’s exterior. This is mostly because pressure washing can cause severe damage to your home and, more importantly, you if done improperly.
Pressure Washing Services – Using Low Pressure
Low Pressure Washing
One of the common misconceptions with the pressure washing services industry is that using high pressure power washers is best. Many homeowners believe it’s a good idea to power wash your home yourself. Unfortunately, doing so may cause more harm than good. You will likely remove all of the dirt and grime, but you’re also likely to remove some of the siding and paint. Homes naturally get moldy and dirty over time, but a good pressure wash should remove any and all stains on your home. When dealing with homes, it’s always best to use low pressure power washers, but why?
The most important factor of all is that low pressure washing causes significantly less damage. In fact, a professional should be able to finish up your entire home with no damage to the siding, paint, concrete, or wood anywhere on your home. When power washing with a high pressure power washer, you risk pulling the siding right off the home. Any paint and protectants you had on your siding will soon be removed or significantly (and noticeably) damaged.
High pressure power washers can cause other damages, such as:
Damaging your vinyl siding could result in the need for replacement entirely, which is significantly more costly than a cleaning.
Your home is exposed to the elements year-round and over time they will start eating away at your home, causing long-term damage. Most commonly, homes have mold and mildew buildups in their siding. This mold can cause damage to your home and even your health. A low pressure washer can get mold out of the smallest spaces without causing damage. This can improve the health and, in turn, the lifespan of your home.
Just like when you clean your car, your home will seem brand new from the outside after a thorough cleaning. When the exterior of your home looks dirty and worn, it gives the implication that the inside is the same way. Making an impression is as simple as your appearance, and this extends all the way to your home’s exterior.
Improved Property Value
Following up with the appearance, more buyers are likely to look at your house if it is sparkly clean. It gives the impression that you take good care of your home and that can go a long way in the eyes of a buyer. More buyers can mean a higher selling price. Also, when you have you property refinanced, it’s important to keep your home in the best condition possible. Doing so will get the most out of your refinancing. Keep in mind that mold build-ups are a health hazard. Banks and inspectors will take note of this.
Believe it or not, low pressure power washing can even save you money on your energy bills. Darker surfaces attract more sunlight, causing that surface to heat up. When homes are painted – especially siding – they are painted a light color to counteract this heat attraction. A surface covered in mold, mildew, and general dirt is darker. The entire exterior of your home is vulnerable to this darkening.
Another primary way that you can save energy (and money) is to keep your roof clean. If your roof has shingles and has never been power washed before, just imagine the mold that’s eating away at your shingles. Eventually, the shingles will be too weak to hold on. The mold will actually push the shingles up and wind from a rainstorm will easily tear them away. Without roof shingles, your home is vulnerable to the sun’s heat.
Pressure Washing Services – Carlton Cleans
Low pressure power washing provides numerous benefits to your home, such as:
- Energy savings
- Protection from mold
- A cleaner appearance
- Higher property value
- Protection from high pressure damages
If you’re in the Maryland area and are in need of pressure washing services, contact us today and see how we can improve your home.
How to Clean Brick
“How to clean brick? Can brick be pressure washed?” Many homeowners of brick homes ask these questions. Brick can be pressure washed, however, great care is needed when cleaning brick. Brick requires a bit more care and attention than your traditional vinyl siding.
Brick’s Greatest Downfall
Over time brick, as with all building materials, degrades and becomes dirty with mold, mildew, and moss. Brick is commonly ignored when cleaning the exterior of homes because of its greatest downfall: degradation. The mortar holding the bricks together can crack. The bricks can also become cracked. Generally, brick holds up strong for a lifetime.
As brick ages, it becomes more fragile. You can visibly tell the difference between a new and clean brick wall versus an old and dirty wall. The color fades and it becomes vulnerable to damage from high pressure power washers.
How to Clean Brick: The Carlton Way
When Carlton Cleans cleans brick and mortar homes, we make sure the brick has no cracks in the mortar. Before power washing can begin any cracks must be patched. We keep a good distance between us and the home and we do not use high pressure when power washing.
Unlike most surfaces, brick requires a detergent to do all of the heavy lifting. A power washer will remove everything from the surface; however, it will also enlarge cracks and chip pieces out of the brick. How to clean brick the correct way is to use a lower pressure to prevent cracks and chips. Using lower pressure unfortunately means less power while cleaning. Detergents break up the grime and dirt enough to remove it with a quick, low pressure power wash.
How to Clean Brick: The Carlton Way
We use a strong detergent that’s specifically designed to clean bricks. A professional power washing company will know what detergent is needed to clean your home.
Brick is Resilient, Even When Cleaning
Power washing is an effective way to clean, but with bricks lower pressure can leave behind some resilient dirt spots that refuse to come off. After a thorough cleaning, bricks tend to have heavy dirt spots that don’t come off easily. A good scrubbing with some extra detergent may be necessary.
How to Clean Brick: The Carlton Way
Once the brick is cleaned, we examine the whole surface to ensure it’s as clean as it can get. If there’s a spot that doesn’t quite match the rest of the wall, we’ll scrub it off. Extra detergent may be necessary to eat away at the dirt and grime.
Final Stages: Protecting the Brick
Once washing is finished the brick should be nice and clean. It’s now time to protect the brick from future damages. There are 2 stages to protecting your brick that you should take note of:
- Use a sealer. A brick sealant can save your bricks and mortar from cracking in the future. This will remove the step of patching cracks next time you have to clena.
- Future cleanings. The best way to maintain your bricks natural beauty is to have a professional evaluate and clean your bricks. It’s easy for us to say “It’s brick…It’ll hold up.” Brick is just as vulnerable as vinyl siding. Power wash brick whenever it starts looking dirty. A buildup of mold can lead to future deterioration. It is best to clean mold before it causes problems.
Contact us to power wash your brick today!
Remember these Key Points on how to pressure wash a deck
- Never power wash a deck with high pressure
- Low pressure should be used minimally
- Oxygenated cleaners are the best cleaners for older decks
- Decks will not be “bright” or “blonde” without a brightening solution
- For best results, always use a professional deck cleaning company
Many homeowners want to know how to pressure wash a deck. The simple answer is not to. Scrubbing the deck is a better option. Pressure washing can and will take everything off of whatever you are washing. When it comes to washing a deck, this sounds like a great idea, but pressure washing really works against you in this case.
High Pressure Power Washing
So why is it a bad idea to pressure wash a deck? The same reason you would pressure wash it. Pressure washing takes everything off. All decks contain loose fibers of wood. Due to these fibers, the high pressure will pull up and leave splinters in the deck. Older decks notice the effects of pressure washing more severely than a newer deck, but the effects still exist. So what does high pressure power washing do exactly?
- Gets under the wood and raises splinters.
- Causes noticeable gaps in the grain that will expand and contract with the weather conditions.
- Damages the wood, lowering its expected lifetime.
- Makes the wood more vulnerable to the Sun.
One answer to the question how to pressure wash a deck is lowering the PSI of the washer so it protects from the damages. However this method still requires scrubbing to get that true deep clean you’re looking for.
Scrubbing a Deck
Carlton Cleans scrubs all of our clients’ decks to get in deep and get the deck back to looking like new. Scrubbing with a deck cleaner is the best way to prepare the deck for staining and get any dirt, algae, and any other nasty substances that may have soaked into the wood.
Cleaners come in a variety of options, such as:
- Oxalic Acid-based
Carlton Cleans prefers oxygenated cleaners because of the existence of sodium percarbonate. If your deck is covered in mold or mildew then you’ll see a significant difference in the appearance of your deck using an oxygenated cleaner.
Using a low pressure washer, Carlton Cleans removes a good bit of dirt, mold, and mildew. For example, here is a customer’s deck in the middle of a cleaning. Just after a low pressure wash:
You can also see that the deck doesn’t really have that fresh, clean color to it yet. This is because a pressure washer, when used at a lower pressure, does not go as deep as you need.
Second, Carlton Cleans then scrubs the deck with oxygenated cleaners for the best treatment possible. The oxygenated cleaner also has a natural tendency to strengthen the wood, protecting it from some of the Sun’s UV rays. However oxygenated cleaners and a thorough deck scrubbing is not enough to give your deck that beautiful blonde-colored look, like this one.
In order to get your deck bright and clean like the one here, you’ll need a brightener. The oxygenated cleaners raise the pH and the brightener will neutralize the pH levels and give you that blonde-colored look you’re looking for, all the while being as clean as the day it was installed. Lastly, once it’s dry and ready, Carlton Cleans stains the deck to protect it from the Sun.
Professional Deck Cleaning
Finally, a deck cleaning can transform your deck from a rotting, gray plank of wood to a bright, clean, and ready-to-use deck. Unfortunately, if not done by a professional deck cleaner, such as Carlton Cleans, the deck will not turn out like the pictures above. Carlton Cleans knows exactly what pressure is right for your deck, when it’s okay to use a pressure washer, what angle to use when power washing, and what cleaning solutions will work best for your deck. Carlton Cleans hopes that it has answered your question of how to pressure wash a deck. Make sure you contact Carlton Cleans today to get your deck it’s like new look back!
Spring has officially arrived and it’s time for spring cleaning. This past winter was harsh and has probably caused quite a bit of damage to your home’s exterior. Between fall’s leaves, winter’s snow and ice, and spring’s pollen, you could probably use some outdoor spring cleaning tips.
- Cleaning Up the Siding – The siding of your home is what the majority of people notice when they first look at your home, and the primary color of your home is directly influenced by the color and condition of the siding. In rare cases, the siding may need to be replaced, but that’s only necessary if it’s damaged or missing. In other cases, a quick power wash will do just fine. Power washing your home is a quick, easy way to bring your home back to life and give it that color that it was lacking.
A power washer can reach where hoses and sponges just can’t. The power that comes from the tip of the pressure washing hose is around 3000 PSI and can even get those moldy spots underneath the panels that creep out unexpectedly.
- Yard Work – We all dread the thought of cleaning up the yard, but just picture the results! Giving your yard that beautiful view back can make all the difference in the world, especially when you have guests over for a cookout. It’s a good idea to trim your trees as well to clear out any spots that may be blocking your view. Clean up the leaves and check for bald spots in your grass. If you find any bald spots (you likely will), then just plant some more grass seeds there and help it grow back. Keeping a healthy yard is one of the most time-consuming and tiresome parts about spring. At least you only have to do this part once a year, though.
- Deck Cleaning – Clear off the deck of any furniture and other objects and get ready for a hard scrubbing. We recommend not pressure washing your deck to preserve its health and keep it in good shape, because a pressure washer can damage the wood fibers. Instead, grab a brush and some wood cleaner. Once it’s all soaked up and scrubbed down, it’s time for some deck stain. Staining your deck can preserve it for the months or years to come. Deck staining can protect against heavy foot traffic, severe weather conditions, pet scratches, and general wear-and-tear.
- Clear out the Gutters – Oftentimes we forget about the gutters because we can’t actually see what’s in them. Hop on a ladder and head up there to see what we’re talking about. It can get pretty nasty, but it can also cause damage to your home if not cleared out regularly. The best way to do this is the old fashioned way: rubber gloves and a trash bag. Once you clean the vast majority of debris out of the gutters, the water should wash the rest down. Feel free to test and observe your gutters by spraying the hose up there and see where the water goes.
- Clean the Windows – The windows are always there and can get pretty dirty and cloudy if not cleaned regularly, especially during the beginning of spring. Winter moisture builds up around the edges and can even create a mold residue. To make matters worse, pollen stacks up on top of it all in the spring. Always be sure to keep your windows clean and sparkling, just like the rest of your house.
Spring Cleaning Checklist
In order to keep your home in top-notch condition, it’s important to keep it maintained. Here’s a quick checklist of the most important things to do:
✓ Clean out the gutters of debris
✓ Power wash the siding and other exteriors of your home
✓ Scrub and stain your deck
✓ Trim the trees, if possible
✓ Clean up the yard of leaves and other miscellaneous debris
✓ Clean your windows to give them a sleek shine
Who doesn’t like to spend time outside during the summer? Things are heating up, and so are the barbeques. Don’t you want to be prepared to host that great backyard party or just have a backyard get away?
- Cleaning the exterior of your home
After the long winter, there is bound to be a lot of dirt and grime that has collected on your outdoor abode, and now is the best time to get things done. Power washing your deck, railings, patio furniture, etc. is always a great start to this process. Power washing allows a quick and easy alternative to cleaning everything by hand. It is as simple as taking the power washer to the deck itself to make it shine like any other beautiful deck out there. Power washing is also safe to use on all parts of the exterior of any home. You could easily clean all of your windows, sidewalk, and/or driveways.
- Improving the appeal of your deck or exterior
If the deck doesn’t quite have that razzle-dazzle appeal that you were hoping for after cleaning away the grime build-up, you could always put a stain on your deck to revitalize it and really make it stand out. To boost the color scheme, you could also apply a fresh coat of paint to all your patio furniture. Also, if you find that there are parts of your home’s exterior that could use some touch up, it would not be too much to go ahead and add a little extra pizzazz.
- Sprucing up with some greenery
It never hurts to add some flowers. To improve the ambiance of the deck itself, you could just simply add some hanging plants to add some color to your surroundings. You can also get some basic shrubbery or potted trees/plants to add additional privacy for you and your guests while enjoying your time in the sun. Also, doing some basic landscaping (i.e. trimming the hedges, mowing the lawn, planting new flowers, and other DIY activities) allows for a more soothing and relaxing time spent outdoors.
- Add additional lighting
If you live in an older home, you could better accentuate the beautiful architecture by adding some additional lighting to the porch and sidewalk areas. This allows you and your friends to extent your time spent outside well into the twilight hours of the day. Also, additional lighting gives a more comforting feel to your outdoor area and is a very simple DIY task.
- Clean Gutters
Over time, gutters fill with leaves, branches, and debris that can be visible from the street. Make it a habit to clean out your gutters regularly and during dry weather. With clean gutters, it allows for the water to flow properly through the downspout and not overflow onto your deck or other parts of the home exterior, minimizing the likelihood of damage.
Interestingly enough, Carlton Cleans can assist in your needs for improving your home’s exterior. Carlton Cleaners can offer you most everything in exterior home needs. Carlton Cleans offers deck cleaning and staining, exterior house washing, exterior home painting, home siding repair, and sidewalk cleaning. So if you lack the time for those pesky DIY jobs that you have to do to prepare for the summer, than contact Carlton Cleans to get the job done.
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Potomac exterior house cleaning by Carlton Cleans. No project is too large or complex.
Summer is quickly approaching and I think we are all ready for a break from the cold weather! Summertime is a time for family and friends to get together, have fun, and hang around outside. Many people tend to have cookouts on Saturday or Sunday afternoon, which requires a lot of preparations. Cleaning up beforehand is usually one of the longest parts because the house still needs to be cleaned as well, even though it’s not indoors (I hope). If you think you’ll be someone who will host a cookout this summer, then you should be considering cleaning the exterior of your home.
The first thought in your mind will be a hose, and hopefully the next thought will be a pressure washer. Now pressure washing is, as with most home improvements, possible to do yourself…but it’s not recommended. Pressure washers can be dangerous if used improperly, and will produce the best results if done by a professional. If you want to show your house off (or impress the step-parents!), make sure your house looks it’s best in time for your barbecue. So, you want to pressure wash your house, but now you want to know how to choose a pressure washer. There are 3 main factors to look for:
- Quality of Their Work. Most pressure washing companies have a website that shows their past work in some form of a gallery or blog. Check this page for some evidence of them. It’s likely that if they do not have something like this on their site, they don’t want you to know. Look for signs of dirt, mold, mildew, and any other form of grime you can find. Green and brown are common colors, but it’s easy to tell what the color of the house is supposed to be, so find any marks that stand out. On top of quality is speed of the company. In general, most pressure washing businesses are somewhat similar in speed, but if they are done too fast, they likely did a poor-quality job. Quality is extremely important in your quest for the perfect power washer, followed by what everyone always checks for: the cost.
- Cost of the Pressure Washing. As always, set a budget and stick to it. Call up some pressure washing companies, compare their prices and find out which one looks best to you. Keep in mind that if the price is too good to be true, it is. If a company charges what you consider to be too much, see if they do more than just pressure washing. For example, they may charge a decent price for power washing the siding, but offer a full-service gutter and siding cleaning for double that of another company that would do both the gutter and siding separately.
- Reputation of the Company. When you windle your choices down to one or two, it’s time to do some real research. Check out the company’s reputation on Google and find some reviews. Make sure the reviews you’re reading are real people. If the first review on the page is 5 stars, all around perfect review but the other 8 are 1 or 2 stars, then the first review was likely a fake. Just try to keep an eye out and see if the company lives up to what they claim to be. Make sure you check more than one review site to get a more rounded view.
Sometimes figuring out the seating arrangements, who is invited, and how to choose a pressure washer can seem daunting, but choosing a pressure washer is painless. After you’ve chosen a pressure washing company, you’re ready to figure out the menu without worrying about your house and deck’s cleanliness!
The main benefit of living in the city is that everything is close, no matter what or who you may need. If you need to go to the store, there is likely a grocery store within 10 minutes from your door. Unfortunately, the city also has many downfalls, which to some are the reason they avoid it. If living in the city was anything close to what people made it out to be, nobody would live there. One of the problems with living in a city is vandalism; more specifically: graffiti.
Some people view graffiti as art, while others view it as bored teens defacing property. Regardless, the owner of the property is never pleased to find it spray painted on the side of their wall. In some cases the graffiti removal job can be so large that doing it by hand would be more than a hassle: it would be a pain…literally. So if you fall into this category you may be wondering how to remove graffiti from your building.
Removing Graffiti – Method 1
Removing graffiti is generally not as simple as grabbing a hose and washcloth and washing it off like it’s a water soluble marker on a whiteboard. Spray paint is meant to be permanent, but permanent is a loose term, especially in the case of graffiti. In order to remove graffiti you need to have some form of power. The first way, and often the most common, is to buy yourself some graffiti remover, which eats away at the paint, making it easier to wash off. Using this method can be tiresome and takes a long time. Most of the time when someone decides to spray your wall, they are not looking to spray this small section of it. No; they want the whole thing! If you’re like me, method one is not the best way to remove graffiti.
Graffiti Removal Services – Method 2
Removing spray paint can be as easy as washing it away. “But I thought scrubbing was not the best way?” It isn’t. Today we are fortunate enough to have graffiti removal services from businesses that revolve around power washing and pressure washing. Power washing the graffiti is the best way to remove the graffiti, and the best way to clean concrete. Not to mention it’s more environmentally friendly than cleaning chemicals. Removing graffiti from concrete with a pressure washer is extremely fast when compared to your alternatives, but comes with its own risks. Pressure washing can cause you injuries if used improperly, which is why it’s best left to the professionals. After all, they do it for a living!
Whether you are a business owner, resident, or property manager, if you live in a city, you will most likely have to deal with this unfortunate circumstance at some point in your life. Removing graffiti can be a tedious chore, or a minor inconvenience, depending on your method of removal.
This rig is used to clean all hardscape, driveway surfaces and exterior building cleaning. If you need cleaning services on a parking garage, apartment building to residential house Carlton Cleans, LLC is ready to provide an estimate in the Washington Dc area. We provide low water pressure cleaning and hot water high pressure cleaning when appropriate.