Pressure Washing vs. Soft Washing: When Is the Right Time for Each?

Posted July 29, 2020 by in Lifestyle
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A home is a family’s largest and most important investment, so it’s important for homeowners to keep their properties in good shape and looking their best. Exterior cleaning helps to extend the longevity of roofs, siding, and landscaping features, improves a property’s curb appeal, reduces problems with mold, pollen, and other allergens, and makes a better impression on guests, neighbors, and passers-by.

Professional exterior cleaning companies know what it takes to safely clean a variety of surfaces. They have all the tools, experience, and knowledge required to keep homes looking their best, but many homeowners are confused about what this process entails. They can read on to find out about soft washing, pressure washing, and which will be the best fit for each type of exterior cleaning project for help with deciding who to call.

What Is Soft Washing?

Soft washing uses eco-friendly cleaning solutions to remove dirt, mold, and grime from exterior surfaces with low-pressure spray systems. The cleaning solution loosens dirt and debris to make it easier to remove, which reduces the need for high-pressured sprays. Just make sure to work with a contractor that uses biodegradable cleaning products, as harsh chemical cleaners can damage some materials and kill nearby plants.

Visit aplussoftwash.com to learn about one local company that is committed to using green technology to safely and effectively clean a wide variety of surfaces.

What Is Pressure Washing?

Pressure washing uses highly pressurized water to remove dirt and debris to minimize the need for cleaning solutions. Some homeowners assume that it is healthier or safer for the ecosystem since it doesn’t require cleaning chemicals, but what they don’t realize is that it can be damaging to their homes.

Pressure washing has a time and a place, but it’s not ideal for cleaning wood siding, shingles, shakes, fencing, or decking, metal buildings, asphalt shingles, or stucco. The high pressure can damage these materials and leave homeowners dealing with unnecessary repairs.

What Materials Can Be Pressure Washed?

Pressure washing should be reserved for hard materials like concrete and brick. It’s a fine solution for cleaning driveways, walkways, and stone patios since these materials can hold up to the high-pressure spray. Pressure washing can be used to remove dirt, mud, mold, mildew, algae, and other similar contaminants.

What Materials Should Be Soft Washed?

Pressure washing is a good cleaning method for hard materials that will not be damaged by the application of heavy pressure and, if necessary, heat. All other materials should be soft-washed.

Soft washing is a better solution for any kind of wooden structure than pressure washing since it won’t cause damage. Homes with wood siding, wood trim, or wood shingle or shake roofs should only be soft washed using eco-friendly cleaning solutions, as pressure washing them can damage the wood or cause shingles or siding to come loose. Wood fences, decks, gazebos, and other hardscaping features all fall into the soft wash-only category, as well.

Wood isn’t the only building material that needs to be soft washed instead of pressure washed. Stucco houses should never be pressure washed, and neither should metal buildings. The pressure can damage these materials and cause the need for expensive repairs.

Finally, most forms of roofing are best cleaned using soft washing. Asphalt shingle roofs should never be pressure washed, as pressure washing can remove granules from the shingles or even cause them to come loose. Homeowners dealing with a lot of algae, moss, or mildew on their asphalt shingle roofs are much better off hiring a soft washing company that has access to tailored cleaning solutions designed to remove these materials safely.

Benefits of Soft Washing a Home’s Exterior

As has already been noted, the primary benefit of soft washing over pressure washing is that it preserves delicate materials and surrounding landscaping features. Some homeowners may still be wondering if it’s worth soft washing their homes’ exteriors, though. Here’s why it’s worth the money:

  • A clean home makes a better impression on guests and neighbors.
  • Keeping siding, trim, and roofing materials clean can help to extend their longevity.
  • Regular washing helps to prevent rodent and insect infestations.
  • Removing mold and mildew helps to prevent health problems.
  • Maintaining a home’s exterior surfaces can help to prevent unnecessary repairs and premature replacements.

While materials like brick, concrete, and asphalt pavement can be pressure washed, soft washing works to remove dirt, debris, and even stains from these materials, as well, making it a more versatile solution.

Reasons to Hire a Professional

Just because soft washing doesn’t require the kind of highly pressurized water spray that pressure washers use, that doesn’t mean homeowners can just pull out their garden hoses and spray any old cleaning chemical on their homes’ exteriors and expect positive results. Professional soft washing contractors have access to specialized equipment and eco-friendly cleaning solutions designed for use on homes’ exteriors.

These specialized cleaning products don’t just protect the home’s siding, trim, or roof or the property’s hardscaping features. They’re also designed to protect nearby landscaping plants, lawns, trees, and gardens. Since 100% of the runoff from soft washing will be released directly onto the ground, it’s important to avoid harsh chemical cleaners that could damage the ecosystem or contaminate the groundwater.

Soft washing companies also carry comprehensive insurance policies. That means in the unlikely event that a contractor is injured on the job or a client’s property sustains damage, homeowners won’t have to worry about footing the bills. Professional soft washing contractors will also get the job done safely as quickly as possible, saving homeowners time and a lot of hassle.


Ready to make some home improvements? Hiring a professional soft washing contractor is one of the most affordable ways for homeowners to keep their properties looking great and extend the longevity of their siding, roofing, fences, and accessory structures. Find a local company that specializes in soft washing and uses eco-friendly materials to ensure the best results, then let the expert contractors take care of the rest.