Friday 28 July 2023

What is soft wash render cleaning?

 * Collaborative post 

Render cleaning is not a simple job, but it can make your entire home look completely different. It's important, when cleaning render to ensure that you know what you're doing, otherwise you could find that you damage your property during the cleaning process!

One of the most commonly recommended methods of cleaning render is soft washing. If you're looking to clean your render soon, you're likely wondering what exactly soft washing is. Here's what you need to know about soft washing, and how (and why) it's different from pressure washing.

What is soft washing?

Soft washing is an environmentally friendly way of removing organic growth and atmospheric pollutants from exterior walls and render. Many rendered walls suffer from mould spores, algae growth, mildew stains, and dirt stains from pollutants in the air, and soft washing is a simple way to remove this. It uses low pressure water jet sprays alongside biocides or detergents in order to remove things like green algae and to clean render.

Why is soft washing better than pressure washing?

You may have considered pressure washing your render, only to be advised against it. This is because pressure washing is a form of render cleaning that involves an extremely high pressure technique. The high pressure water is pushed through a spray nozzle, and onto the render, with the hopes of cleaning render effectively.

However, this does not effectively clean render, and instead it tends to damage the render surface. The high pressure stream of water can chip the render and cause it to peel and flake off. This can then lead to further damage, when water or mould gets in under the render surface and freeze or grow, causing more cracks. This kind of damage can even lead to penetrating damp.

Instead, softwash render cleaning is much more gentle. It uses safe chemicals to help support the cleaning process and to kill algae growth and remove stains. It does not damage the rendered surface, and is arguably one of the leading cleaning services offered by a render cleaning company.

Can you soft wash your own render?

With the right equipment, you can do your own render cleaning rather than hiring cleaning services. Since soft washing render is much less risky than pressure washing, there's little risk that you're going to damage your property or yourself, except for if you have to use a ladder - in which case you should be sure to be careful.

In order to clean render this way on your own, you'll need:

  • soft washing equipment or low pressure equipment

  • a brush (a water-fed brush will help)

  • render cleaning solution or cleaning chemicals

  • safety goggles and gloves

  • a ladder

Be sure to be careful when soft washing, as while there is much less risk with low pressure render cleaning, there is still the danger of misusing the chemicals.

Generally speaking, the process should go something like this:

  • Apply treatment

  • Rinse

  • Apply treatment

  • Scrub

  • Rinse

But with each type of cleaning solution there will be different rules, so it's best to follow the manufacturer's instructions when you're cleaning exterior surfaces. That way you're less likely to damage the render surfaces as you clean render.

How long does a softwash take?

With most cleaning solutions designed for soft washing, your rendered surfaces will be clean within 24 hours. For example, Benz Lightning Cleanse, a leading cleaning product, will have green algae stains gone within 60 minutes, red stains gone in 24 hours, and black stains disappear after a second treatment.

Is there any form of high pressure washing that is safe for rendered walls?

The closest thing to high pressure washing that is relatively safe on rendered surfaces is jet washing. Jet washing involves using high powered steam cleaning to clean render. The steam cleaning can be used to clean all sorts off of render, such as bird droppings, organic growth and even stubborn stains.

That being said, while jet washing is considered a relatively safe way to clean render, it should only be done by professionals. If you think your render needs jet washing, you should contact local render cleaning services to ensure the safety of your wall.

Why does render need cleaning?

You might not think that render cleaning is important, and that hiring render cleaning services is pointless. But actually, cleaning the exterior rendered surface of your home is crucial!

Render is more than just the surface of your home. It provides another protective layer against the elements. But if mould growth and algae growth are left alone, they can cause the minerals in the render to rot prematurely. This can lead to your render needing to be replaced much earlier than it would otherwise require. It can also cause the render to crack and blow, which can lead to penetrating damp.

When your render is damaged, organic material and water can get into it. When these freeze and thaw over and over again as the weather changes, this can blow your render completely, disconnecting it from the wall.

In order to avoid this, it's best to hire render cleaning services when you see that your render needs freshening up. Or, if you're happy to, clean your render yourself regularly. You can do so with simple soapy water, as long as you're careful and gentle. Then every few months, or around once a year, do a proper soft wash or hire somebody to.

Is there anything you can do to protect your render?

Your render is an exterior surface, so there is not a whole lot that can be done. However, using biocides and fungicides when you clean your property will kill any spores and prevent regrowth.

Additionally, keeping your gutters in good condition will help to prevent moisture collecting on your render, which can save it from damp and organic growth.


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