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How Often Should I Pressure Wash my Home/Business?

4 Factors To Help You Determine How Often to Pressure Wash

Environment, traffic, shade, water exposure, and setting are all factors that determine how often you should pressure wash your home or business.


While there may be more factors to consider, these are some of the key factors that will help you determine when and how often to pressure wash or soft wash.


Environment

Thankfully, most of my customers do not experience the environment of this picture. There is of course the occasional air advisory alert and random Canadian wildfire smog in Ohio, but for many around the country, this is an all too familiar reality. Environmental factors should be considered when deciding how often to pressure wash. In dusty environments out West, dust buildup can begin to degrade the siding leading to a shorter life span as well as a decrease in quality.


Homeowners ought to consider 1-2 house washes a year for the siding and business owners ought to consider 2-5 cleanings a year to maintain a professional and clean appearance.


Traffic

Traffic refers to the number of people/animals that traverse a sidewalk, driveway, or area. Just like your floors and carpets at home, dirt, among other things, is tracked on sidewalks and creates build-up much like the thumbnail picture above. Put simply, the more traffic, the dirtier the surface.


I cleaned a strip mall walkway last month that had heavy traffic at the entrance to the restaurants and stores. Here is one such entrance with a before/after mid-cleaning.

As you can see, this strip got some heavy traffic and the pictures don't quite do it justice. There is a clear difference in how the cleaning helped to lighten the wear but given the length of time since the last cleaning, not all the dirt can be removed. This is a risk question each owner/renter/property manager must consider:

"While I can get by without cleaning (aka - the structure likely will not fall down), is it worth the risk of damage/wear to the property to prolong the interval between cleanings?"


Occasionally I have a hard conversation with a homeowner before and after a house wash. I have to explain to them that due to the length of time since the last cleaning (30yrs for one home), the dirt will likely not all come off and the siding needs to be replaced.


Here is another example of 30+ years of dirt buildup (due to traffic, environment, and excess water) on an outside stone patio. While a lot did come off, a lot didn't come off.



Here is another example of a high-traffic walkway that did clean up nicely.

This walkway had been cleaned fairly recently and therefore cleaned up nicely. The owner shared with me that he was considering ripping up and replacing the walkway as it looked so bad. He decided to keep it after the cleaning. It is good to have a maintenance cleaning in high-traffic areas before blue stone turns black in order to maximize its lifespan.


Shade

North America is in the Northern Hemisphere, which means we get less sun than at the equator. It also means that the further North you are, the less sun there is on the North side of the house. Less sun means more shade. More shade means more opportunistic green things (algae, mold, mildew, lichens, moss, etc) growing on siding, roofs, walkways, and bricks. You don't need to be in the northern hemisphere to have shade as a forest, hillside, or dense city environment can produce shade.


In my neighborhood in Ohio, I recommend a minimum of one house wash a year but I have a customer who prefers two cleanings a year as he wants to keep his house in excellent shape. Here is a good example of north-facing siding with before/after from one of my customers:




This house likely hadn't been washed in 3-5 years. Over time, this buildup can begin to degrade and discolor the siding which reduces the lifespan meaning a $5,000-$15,000 siding replacement begins to appear soon on the horizon.


Water Exposure

If you have ever had a gutter leak onto the driveway or an air conditioner drip on a cement slab, you know that green stuff grows in moist environments. From driveways to gutters, decks to roofs, the more moisture on the surface, the more often the surface needs to be cleaned. Those in wetter coastal states should consider home/property cleaning more often than those in states with less average moisture. When you have multiple factors present (shade, water exposure, environmental factors like trees) like this house I cleaned, you get some serious buildup and growth that could be challenging to clean by oneself.


Here is the dirtiest project I have done. Even after cleaning, it is possible to notice the dark streaks left on the white paint due to years of exposure to growth and discoloration from water runoff. All in all, cleaning can make a big difference. The homeowner was pleased and able to sell the house pretty quickly thereafter.


Conclusion

So, "How often should I Pressure Wash my Home/Business?" Well, it depends. The setting is very important as trees, water exposure, shade, and the environment can increase the biologic growth thus decreasing the life of the surface/material. It certainly wouldn't hurt to clean your house once a year, and if there are budget constraints, a minimum of once every two years. However, if you have a higher-end home, twice a year might not be a bad idea. At the end of the day, only you can decide how to upkeep your property. If you would like a second opinion, my business Blue Solutions offers free estimates year-round to give you the homeowner an idea of how much it will cost.


Just as a good rule of thumb is "A stitch in time saves nine", it also is true that

"Nine house cleanings are cheaper than a full siding replacement." And that is free :)

For more information, questions, or to get in touch for a free quote, you can read more on our BLOG or contact us HERE.


Blue Solutions is Your Solution!!!




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