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!
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Potomac exterior house cleaning by Carlton Cleans. No project is too large or complex.
Pressure washing is one of those services that many homeowners forget is important to maintaining the exterior surfaces of their home. Call Carlton at Carlton Cleans for a professional pressure washing estimate 301-906-4446.
A pressure washer must be careful to apply the appropriate amount of water pressure required by the surface being cleaned. That means a pressure washer doesn’t just come and haphazardly spray a home or building. In most cases cleaning solutions are used to aid in the cleaning process. With cleaning solutions the pressure washer can use less pressure while cleaning to ensure no damage to the surface and facilitate uniform cleaning . Careful application also requires walking around the home or building after the initial cleaning checking for areas that need to be spot-washed. Carlton Cleans, an experienced pressure washer wants to ensure that your building is clean contributing to it’s curb appeal and providing good value for your service dollar.
Pressure washing is an effective way to ensure that your home or building’s surface is cleared of grimy materials like soot, dirt, ash, liquid stains, bugs, and other materials. A pressure washer will inspect the surface to be cleaned to determine the extent of the job. It may become necessary for the pressure washer to suggest the use of a detergent.