How to Properly Use a House Wash

A house wash removes dirt from the exterior of a home and can help prevent mildew and mold from developing. It is a great way to give your home a fresh new look.

The first step is to apply a bio-degradable cleaning detergent (also called an algaecide) to the surface being cleaned. The typical solution strength is 1.5% sodium hypochlorite combined with surfactant or soap.

A house cleaner performs a wide variety of heavy and light cleaning duties, using a variety of equipment to vacuum and sweep floors of all types, scrub and mop bathrooms, wash dishes and wipe surfaces. They also change linens, run errands and maintain the cleanliness of household furnishings and fixtures. They may work full or part-time, and must be physically able to do manual labor for long periods of time.

Some cleaners specialize in a particular area of house wash, such as windows or flooring, and require specialized chemicals, ladders and squeegees. Others use cleaning chemicals to clean outdoor spaces, such as driveways and sidewalks. Many commercial cleaning products are toxic and can irritate the skin, eyes and nose. Some can be harmful if swallowed, and most require special disposal procedures. Cleaners often wear masks to protect themselves from these chemicals. They also take care to rinse surfaces properly to minimize the amount of cleaner washed directly into natural or manmade waterways.

Detergents are made from petrochemicals and do the work that soap cannot. They lower the surface tension of water to allow it to mix with oily grime and dissolve it. They also act as emulsifiers, which helps the dirt and oil to bind to one another so that it can be easily washed away during rinsing.

Liquid detergent is sold in heavy-duty plastic bottles and it is usually diluted with lots of water, which is wasteful and has a negative effect on the environment. These jugs, often advertised as recyclable, end up in oceans, waterways and landfills around the world every year.

These chemicals contain surfactants, which remove dirt from a soiled surface and chelating agents that surround unwanted metal ions in the solution. The most harmful of these additives is 1,4 Dioxane, which has been known to cause vertigo, drowsiness, anorexia, and irritation of the eyes, skin, nose and lungs. The other big offenders are fillers, which can be anything from sodium sulfate to carboxymethyl cellulose.

The agitation and force of high water pressure provides the power needed to break up stains, dirt and grime. However, it can damage surfaces if not used properly. Pressure washing requires knowledge of how different materials react, what to do in unexpected scenarios, and more. It is a job best left to the professionals.

Typically, a house wash cleaning solution is made with sodium hypochlorite combined with a surfactant or soap. The concentration of the mixture is dependent on the surface material — Hardie siding, brick, EIFIS, stone, wood, vinyl and Stucco all require a different mix ratio. The agitation of the cleaner and dwell time are also dependent on the surface.

In addition, a tarp and surrounding landscaping should be covered to protect against the spread of overspray. Once the job is completed, a high-volume rinse should be conducted to flush away all chemicals and dirt. The surface will then be able to dry and reseal.

Whether you do your own house wash or solicit the services of professional cleaning companies, there are a few things you must consider to avoid unnecessary damage and potential harm. First and foremost, make sure to remove plants, flowers and other outdoor features that may be effected by overspray. Additionally, make sure to tarp and cover any electrical outlets, lights, doorbells or other items that are in the path of water pressure to prevent a dangerous mix of water and electricity.

Next, determine the surface material to be cleaned, as this will dictate the algaecide detergent strength or mixture ratio used for a house wash. Smooth surfaces such as Hardie siding and vinyl will require a lower solution strength, while brick or Stucco will require a higher ratio of sodium hypochlorite (commonly known as SH) to water. Our bio-friendly house wash solution is safe for most Texas plants and flowers with a concentration of 1.5% SH and is harmless to most landscaping and paving materials.

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