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Jan 14, 2022 | Blog

Power Washing: An Inexpensive Way To Keep Commercial Buildings Clean

If you own or manage a building, you know how much work it can be to keep the exterior free of dirt and debris. Find out how power washing can help you in this free article.

Did you know that commercial power washing of exteriors is an extremely important step in preventing the buildup of acid rain, dust, and pathogens?

As a facility manager, you don’t need to leave things to chance. Instead, you can schedule power washing by experts and reap all benefits. 

Read all about the benefits and how a commercial power washing company can help you in this free and easy-to-read article.

What Is Power Washing?

Walls, decks, patios, sidewalks, and parking lots can quickly become dirty if not cleaned properly and regularly. 

Mother nature, birds, snow remediation chemicals, guest and employee actions (chewing gums, graffiti, cigarette butts, etc.) can contribute to the gradual deterioration of your landscaping. 

Pressure washing makes use of a special mixture of cleaning solution and water that is expelled under high pressure for cleaning sidewalks and buildings. Detergents may be heated to tackle tough stains. High-pressure forces cleaning agents to go deep into the brick or concrete without causing any damage to the outer aesthetics of the building. 

Power washing results in a more effective cleaning as compared to pressure washing. It removes anything that may result in long-term issues. These causes can lead to major damage if left untreated. It is an important component of building maintenance for this reason.

How Power Washers Work

Pressure and power washing are often used interchangeably. Even the professionals get them mixed up from time to time. Both methods make use of blasts of powerful streams of water for cleaning surfaces. The flow results in the creation of incredible kinetic energy which breaks down deeply seated dirt from building surfaces. 

Power washing can include hot water and steam for cleaning spaces while pressure washing uses plain cold tap water. Pressure washers for exteriors of buildings make use of cold water, hot water, and steam from a pump for completely removing dirt safely and efficiently. 

Sometimes, cleaning agents and soaps may also be used. These are mixed expertly by cleaning professionals in precise ratios with water for freeing up dirt and grime. This is then washed away with powerful streams of water.

Power washing is generally recommended for cleaning serious stains. It is especially effective in removing tough mildew patches from buildings and accumulated salt. The heated cleaning solution is useful in removing deeply embedded grease as well. 

This type of washing should only be used on surfaces that don’t get damaged by heat, such as tile, concrete, and brick.

As a facility manager, you must first consult with commercial pressure washers since all surfaces cannot withstand hot water used in power washing. For instance, vinyl siding is best cleaned with cold water through pressure washing. For tough stains and algae on building exteriors, cold water is combined with green cleaning agents during pressure washing.

When To Power Wash

It can be difficult to clean and maintain a large building if you are not working with a cleaning company. You need special power washers and equipment, including safety gear. 

You might consider building pressure and power wishing to cost a bit initially, but the services are worth it in the long run. 

Buildings are constantly under corrosion from rain, snow, wind, and wildlife. Other incidents can pile up and leave a telling mark on your building. Mold, mildew, pieces of gum, spilled liquids, and graffiti also harm a building’s exterior. 

You should call in the experts before these things begin to add up and turn the building into an eyesore. Your in-house cleaning crew will not be able to reach all crevices or portions of the walls. 

Experienced pressure washing specialists can also advise you on a recommended cleaning schedule based on the environmental factors surrounding your building and other individual needs. 

Typically, experts recommend power washing of building exteriors:

Seasonally

It is a great idea to call in power washing professionals as the seasons change. This can help you maintain the curb appeal of your property and keep the building looking attractive. 

Leaves and dust can accumulate or stick to the outside of the building. Pollen in spring and dust during fall among other allergens can do several on your employees and guests with allergies. 

Seasonal washing also helps you keep on top of your building exteriors. Experienced power washers will let you know if the building requires any repair work.

Routine Maintenance

You should have the entrances, parking lots, sidewalks, dumpster area, and exteriors of an office building power washed at least once every six months. This will be useful in limiting the buildup of grease, dirt, and other seasonal elements mentioned. 

You may require a more frequent and tailored schedule if the facility witnesses a good amount of foot and vehicle traffic. This is generally the case with medical buildings and restaurants. 

After Major Storms

It is recommended to call power washing experts following a major storm. Most people stop at calling HVAC repairmen and roofers for fixing damages. It can be used for roof cleaning, gutter cleaning, and concrete cleaning. However, you should note that storms can leave the exterior of your buildings battered. 

Professional power washing can ensure that your building looks as good as new following a major storm. It can take care of foliage, plant, leaves, dirt, and other types of debris that got whipped on the building during the storm. 

Premises Near Industrial Areas

If your properties are located near or within industrial areas should consider more frequent power washing of the exteriors. This is because factories give off a lot of debris and dust. You can maintain your curb appeal with frequent pressure washing. 

You can also protect the health of your visitors and employees since dirt that gets trapped in windows, sidings and building exterior can act as an allergen. 

 Ideally, you should call the experts whenever you think the exterior of your building is getting dirty, there is a buildup of grime or algae/mildew problem. 

Never wait for a problem to grow worse before calling in the experts. Proactive cleaning can ensure that the building exterior looks new for years, which means more savings for you.

Who Should Have Their Building Power Washed?

Power washing of building exteriors is usually a necessity for large commercial buildings. First impressions are more often than not last impressions. Whether you have a factory, warehouse, retail mall, or office complex, you want to send the right message to people about your brand image. 

The last thing you want is for interested parties to think your business is untidy just because you did not maintain the outside of your building. 

The exteriors of a building play as important a role as keeping the interiors neat and clean. You want your place of business to look appealing and inviting. Investing in power washing is worth it.

Pros Of Power Washing

An abundance of benefits is provided by commercial power washing, as it boasts of a broad range of additional benefits besides saving time and money. 

Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy:

Power Washing Is An Important Exterior Maintenance Step

Dirt and mold can hide within structural cavities and cause maintenance problems that remain unnoticed until they become expensive repairs. 

You can catch aesthetic and quality issues early on by having professionals clean the exterior of the building. This is why power washing is considered an important step in exterior maintenance. Exterior maintenance issues may also result in failed inspection if not taken care of early. 

It is better to clean frequently by following a regular schedule than to wait till the last minute. Regular maintenance can keep the exterior of your building looking new. 

Scheduled power washing can help you save money and time. It can also play a vital role in streamlining monthly inspections. Clean buildings are easier to inspect than dirty ones. 

Power Washing Can Improve Your Building’s Appearance

Power washing is an effective way of removing graffiti from the building’s exterior. This automatically and instantly improves the exterior appearance and aesthetics. The steam used is perfect for removing graffiti without damaging the exteriors. Power washers can handle sidewalks as well.

Public sidewalks tend to become filthy over time with garbage stains, old gum, and grime, and will negatively impact your curb appeal. Rather than waiting for the city to do something, you can get a company to maintain the sidewalks in front of the building. 

Power Washing Can Add Value To Your Building

As a facility manager, you should pay attention to the curb appeal of your building. It can benefit businesses since customers are more inclined to visit when a building looks new and inviting.

Regular pressure washing can help keep the façade of the building clean and fresh by removing dirt, grime, mildew, and other concerns. Even older buildings can improve their curb appeal by getting regular power washing. Professionals know how to scrub off stains without damaging the exteriors. 

Power Washing Can Improve The Energy Efficiency Of Your Building

Algae, mold, and bird droppings wear a building down. In particular, bird droppings are highly acidic. They can weaken the structure and cause health problems. Mold spores and dust may get inside the HVAC vents and slow down the system.

Regular power washing can go a long way in improving the energy efficiency of your building. You might think of it as an unnecessary cost. However, the amount of money you save in the long run will make it a worthwhile cost. 

Power Washing Can Draw Customers To Your Building

The outdoor pollutants can affect the indoor quality of air as well to become a major health hazard. Additionally, allergies can affect workers leading to serious health concerns in the form of asthma and breathing problems. You can promote good hygiene and air quality for your workers with regular pressure washing. 

Algae, mold, and mildew can build up on the sidewalk as well. These can create a dangerously smooth surface where people may slip, fall and injure themselves. 

Power washing can help in removing these dangers. Customers and visitors will automatically get attracted to your building when you take care of hazards and cleanliness issues. 

Cons Of Power Washing

There are no disadvantages of power washing as long as it is done right by experts. You may end up damaging your commercial property or hurting yourself by performing this as a DIY task or getting it done by amateurs. 

These are a few things that can go wrong  when the process is not done by experts:

You Could Get Injured If You Do Not Use It Properly

Facility managers with an already stressed budget may find commercial power washing as an added chore. However, without adequate experience and the right workmanship, this cleaning technique can cause more harm than good. 

The wrong settings can easily blow holes in the roof, damage walls, peel away materials, and contaminate the grounds with corrosive cleaning agents. This is why it is recommended to outsource the job to experienced companies. 

Effective commercial power washing programs should take into account the potential hazards of using electric pressure washers. 

The job needs specialized training and professional-grade equipment to prevent injury. The use of correct detergent in the right quantity is important as well. By outsourcing the task to experienced workers, you can eliminate the risks while enhancing the benefits. 

Pressure Washers Can Be Too Powerful For Some Surface Areas

Power washing involves high pressure and steaming water. It is not meant for every part of the building. For instance, the technique should not be used for removing grime from painted surfaces, laminar sandstone, asphalt roofing, or stained wood. 

The surface could be destroyed even if the stains are removed. This is why power washing should be trusted by experts that have in-depth knowledge of the right surfaces. 

The equipment is complicated and the technique dangerous, since it involves pressurized and hot water. You can reduce the associated risks by outsourcing the work to a quality outdoor power washing service.

Power washing nozzles are equipped with several tips and the technician needs to choose the right tip for maximum benefit. An ideal technician would be able to clean the exteriors by tweaking the heat and temperature settings without the need for using chemicals. 

Common Cleaning Solutions

Power washing is a useful way of having your property cleaned to perfection. The technique ensures the exteriors are not damaged or compromised in any way. However, the professional you hire must make use of the right cleaning solutions.

Four chemical agents are generally used in all commercial washing. These are labeled as per surface computability and intended use. There are different cleaners for concrete, wood, and driveways. 

These are a few purposes of using chemicals in the process:

  • Graffiti removal
  • Hoods and ducts
  • Concrete degreasing
  • House and deck washing
  • Masonry restoration
  • Paint and coatings removal
  • Vehicle washing
  • General-purpose cleaning

Power washing experts make use of different chemicals for different concerns. This is because what might, for one thing, may not necessarily work for another. Getting an appropriate cleaner for the job is the best way to go. 

Things That Should Not be Power Washed

Property owners cause extensive damages to the sidewalk, paintwork, outdoor furniture, and façade among other things because of using incorrect power washing equipment. This is one of the major reasons for hiring a professional company. However, windows, screens, and lounge chairs are just a few things that should not be power washed. 

You should never ask your cleaner to power wash the following things:

Crumbling Brick or Old Mortar

You will often find discoloration or water stains on brick structures. Power washing at the right temperature and pressure will do a great job of cleaning the exteriors. However, when bricks are old, they tend to be fragile. These surfaces should be fixed before being power or pressure washed. 

Windows and Screens

There is a setting called soft washing for taking care of windows and screens. However, if possible, it is best to avoid having your windows and screens power washed. Power washing can easily strip away mildew, algae, and salts when done correctly by professionals. However, if you are performing a DIY cleaning you should stay away from glass and screens. 

You risk using an incorrect spray pattern, too much water, or an incorrect spray head. Incorrect power washing will result in broken windows and torn screens because of high pressure. Water may end up penetrating the walls too resulting in crumbling plaster, rotting wood, and mold. 

Gutters

Gutter are fragile fixtures on the side of buildings. They are designed to collect water from the roof and not be hit with jet streams from the ground. In addition, most gutter systems have deteriorating wood and rusted fasteners placing them more at risk. You should never use power washing for cleaning the insides of a gutter system. 

Gutter debris should always be cleaned manually and sprayed down with a hose afterward. The underside of the gutters can be pressure washed using low pressure and a wide spray pattern if necessary. 

Vegetation and Landscape

You should not power wash vegetation and landscaping for obvious reasons. You may end up destroying shrubs, plants, and even young trees with the wrong pressure washing equipment. 

Power washing equipment is difficult to control and can cause unintentional damage. However, professional power washers can clean sidewalks and concrete pavements since they are aware of the right techniques to use. 

HVAC Unit

Condenser units or outdoor units should be cleaned periodically and kept free from dust, debris and vegetation. However, you should never clean it using power washing equipment. AC units are designed to withstand hose cleaning and rains, but they are not meant for the pressure of power washing equipment. 

Hiring Professionals vs. DIY

The actual cost of cleaning is a major deterrent for the majority of facility managers and building owners. However, you shouldn’t let costs come in the way of increasing business by attracting more clientele. 

There are several other factors you must consider while deciding to hire professionals for power washing. You may believe your handyman is up for the job. But, handymen are essentially a jack of all trades and masters of none. 

They don’t have the required training, experience, or skills to get the job done. Amateur cleaners don’t have the necessary insurance to cover damages if things go wrong. The insurance won’t cover damages inflicted on the building because of improper equipment and negligence. 

On the other hand, professional contractors have the necessary insurance, experience, equipment, and knowledge. They make use of specialized cleaning solutions and pressure washers to get the job done quickly and seamlessly. 

Before Hiring A Contractor, Consider These Things

Commercial power washing is not just about keeping the exterior of a facility clean. It helps in extending the life expectancy of the roof, parking lot, and landscaping. It also helps in maintaining the building’s exterior. 

There are several benefits of hiring a power washing contractor. However, you should consider the following things before you settle on one:

Insurance

Anything can happen when you work with heavy equipment. This makes it important to ensure that the company you hire has adequate insurance. Their insurance should also cover damages done to your building’s exterior while performing the job. 

Apart from the right insurance, the cleaning company must be certified and licensed to work in your area. You can ask them to show you all the necessary paperwork. You should also ask the company to show workers’ compensation insurance to protect yourself from any liability. 

Training

Contractors that train their employees usually have a more responsible and accountable workforce. Training also helps in developing the right skillset in workers. 

Besides training, the company should also hire the right employees vetted through extensive background checks. They should know how to use professional standard materials, equipment, and accessories. 

Trained employees are not amateurs. Companies that invest in their human resource don’t experience a high rate of employee turnover as well. This means the cleaning crew will do everything possible to get the job done right. 

The Process

You mustn’t choose the cheapest company that comes your way even though considering cost is a factor. You should make sure the company is professional and follows a well-developed process. 

By following the process, you can be confident the cleaning crew is doing the work as promised. They should also stand behind their work by offering a satisfaction guarantee. 

You should ask the contractor about the cleaning process before you hire them. This will give you a fair idea about whether the company knows what they are doing. 

Safeguarding Landscapes

Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about the steps taken to maintain and protect your landscape. There are special techniques that can be used for cleaning laminar sandstone, painted surfaces, asphalt roofing, and other things without damage. 

Stained wood and old things can also be power washed if done properly by an experienced contractor. However, you must never force a cleaning crew to use power washing methods to clean something they are uncomfortable with. It may result in irreversible damage. 

Don’t Do It Yourself – Hire Professional Power Washers

Running your business and taking care of operations should be your priority. You shouldn’t have to worry about maintaining the building’s exterior. Having a top washing company handle the maintenance of your property’s exterior can go a long way in taking the burden off your shoulders. You will be able to focus solely on your customers and business that way.

Servi-Tek has helped hundreds of businesses attain a more appealing and beautiful exterior. Our commercial technicians are experienced in cleaning all types of buildings. We are known for providing timely and excellent power washing services. 

Do you want to know more about power washing and how we can help you? 

Give us a call or use our online form today

We’ll answer all your questions and offer a free estimate, tailored to your business and needs.

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