Frequently Asked Questions
Answers To Some Common Queries
Pressure washing and power washing are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference between the two techniques:
Pressure Washing: Pressure washing involves using a high-pressure water spray to clean surfaces. The water used in pressure washing is typically regular tap water, which is pressurized to forcefully remove dirt, grime, mildew, mold, loose paint, and other debris from various surfaces. The pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (psi), and pressure washers can be adjusted to different pressure levels depending on the cleaning task.
Power washing: on the other hand, is similar to pressure washing but uses hot water instead of regular water. The water is heated, either by an onboard heater in the power washer or through an external water heater, before being sprayed onto the surfaces. The hot water helps to break down stubborn stains, grease, oil, and other contaminants more effectively than cold water alone. Power washing is especially useful for cleaning surfaces with heavy-duty stains or when dealing with grease and oil buildup.
In summary, the main difference between pressure washing and power washing lies in the temperature of the water used. Pressure washing uses regular tap water at high pressure, while power washing utilizes hot water at high pressure. Both methods are effective for cleaning various surfaces, but power washing can offer added benefits when dealing with certain types of tough stains and grime. However, it’s worth noting that some pressure washers can also heat the water, blurring the line between the two techniques.
Using a professional to pressure wash your house offers several benefits compared to attempting the task yourself:
- Expertise and Experience: Professional pressure washers have the knowledge and experience to handle various types of surfaces and stains effectively. They understand the right pressure levels, water temperatures, and cleaning solutions needed for different materials without causing damage.
- Proper Equipment: Professional pressure washing companies use commercial-grade equipment that is more powerful and efficient than consumer-grade pressure washers. This equipment can produce higher water pressure and flow rates, resulting in a more thorough and faster cleaning process.
- Safety: Pressure washing can be dangerous, especially when working at heights or using high-pressure equipment. Professional pressure washers are trained to operate the equipment safely and have the necessary safety gear to protect themselves and your property.
- Preventing Damage: Using the wrong pressure or cleaning techniques can cause damage to your home’s exterior, such as stripping paint, chipping siding, or etching concrete. Professionals know how to adjust pressure levels and use appropriate nozzles to prevent damage.
- Time and Convenience: Pressure washing can be time-consuming, especially if you’re not experienced. Hiring professionals allows you to save time and effort while ensuring the job is done efficiently and effectively.
- Quality Results: Professionals can achieve a higher level of cleanliness and remove stubborn stains that might be challenging to tackle on your own. This can significantly improve your home’s curb appeal and overall appearance.
- Environmental Considerations: Professional pressure washing companies are aware of environmental regulations and guidelines. They use eco-friendly cleaning solutions and know how to dispose of wastewater properly to minimize environmental impact.
- Cost-Effectiveness: While hiring a professional may seem more expensive upfront, it can be cost-effective in the long run. DIY pressure washing mistakes could lead to costly repairs or replacements, whereas professionals can prevent these issues.
- Insurance Coverage: Reputable pressure washing companies carry liability insurance, protecting you and your property in case of any accidental damage during the cleaning process.
Remember to choose a reputable and experienced pressure washing company to ensure you receive the best results and avoid potential problems. Look for reviews, ask for recommendations, and request quotes from multiple companies before making a decision.
The frequency of pressure washing your house depends on several factors, including the climate, the level of pollution in your area, the type of siding or exterior material your house has, and the general condition of your home’s exterior. Here are some general guidelines to help you determine how often you should pressure wash your house:
- Annually or Bi-Annually: In most cases, it is recommended to pressure wash your house at least once a year or every two years. This regular maintenance can help prevent the buildup of dirt, grime, mold, and mildew, keeping your home looking fresh and well-maintained.
- High-Pollen Areas: If you live in an area with a lot of pollen, such as near trees or flowering plants, you may need to pressure wash more frequently, especially during peak pollen seasons, to remove the yellowish residue that can accumulate on surfaces.
- Humid or Wet Climates: Homes in humid or wet climates are more prone to mold and mildew growth. In such areas, it may be beneficial to pressure wash more frequently to prevent these issues from becoming severe.
- Before Painting or Staining: If you plan to paint or stain your house, it’s a good idea to pressure wash it beforehand to ensure a clean and smooth surface for better paint adhesion.
- Special Circumstances: There might be specific events or incidents that necessitate more frequent pressure washing, such as after a heavy storm or if your house is located near a construction site.
- Regular Inspection: Regularly inspect your house’s exterior for signs of dirt, mold, mildew, or discoloration. If you notice significant buildup or staining, consider pressure washing your house sooner than your usual schedule.
It’s essential to use the proper technique and equipment when pressure washing your house to avoid damage to the siding, paint, or other materials. If you’re unsure about the appropriate frequency or how to perform pressure washing correctly, you can seek advice from a professional power washing service. They can assess your house’s specific needs and provide recommendations tailored to your situation.
Yes, pressure washing can potentially damage your driveway if not done correctly. Pressure washing is a powerful cleaning method that uses high-pressure water to remove dirt, grime, stains, and other contaminants from various surfaces, including driveways. Here are some potential ways in which pressure washing can damage your driveway:
- Surface Erosion: Excessive pressure or holding the nozzle too close to the surface can erode the top layer of your driveway, especially if it’s made of softer materials like asphalt or certain types of concrete. This can result in a rough or pitted texture on the surface.
- Cracks and Chips: If your driveway already has cracks or chips, high-pressure water can worsen these imperfections, causing them to become deeper or wider.
- Dislodging Joint Sand: For interlocking paver driveways, excessive pressure can dislodge the joint sand that holds the pavers in place, leading to an uneven or unstable surface.
- Water Intrusion: High-pressure water can force water into cracks and crevices in your driveway, potentially causing water damage over time.
- Paint or Sealer Removal: If your driveway has been painted or sealed, pressure washing may strip away the paint or sealer if the pressure is too high or the nozzle is too close to the surface.
To avoid damaging your driveway while pressure washing, follow these guidelines:
- Use the Right Pressure: Adjust the pressure washer to an appropriate level for your driveway’s material. Lower pressure is often safer for delicate surfaces.
- Maintain Proper Distance: Keep the nozzle at a safe distance from the surface (usually 6-12 inches) to prevent damage.
- Use the Right Nozzle: Choose a nozzle with a wide spray pattern to distribute pressure evenly. A 25- or 40-degree nozzle is generally a good choice for driveways.
- Test in an Inconspicuous Area: Before starting, test a small, hidden area of your driveway to ensure that the pressure and nozzle you’re using won’t cause damage.
- Move the Nozzle Consistently: Keep the nozzle in motion while pressure washing to avoid concentrating pressure in one area for too long.
- Seal or Paint After Cleaning: If your driveway has been sealed or painted, consider reapplying the sealant or paint after cleaning to protect it.
If you’re unsure about pressure washing your driveway or concerned about potential damage, it’s often a good idea to consult a professional pressure washing service. They have the experience and equipment to clean your driveway safely and effectively.
Pressure washing a roof can be a risky and potentially damaging task, and it is generally not recommended by roofing experts. Roofing materials are designed to shed water and protect your home, but they are not typically designed to withstand the high-pressure water spray used in pressure washing.
Here are some reasons why pressure washing a roof is not advisable:
- Risk of Damage: High-pressure water can dislodge or damage shingles, tiles, or other roofing materials. This can lead to leaks, water infiltration, and expensive repairs.
- Voiding Warranty: Many roofing warranties explicitly state that pressure washing is not allowed. Using a pressure washer on your roof could void any existing warranty you have with the roofing manufacturer.
- Safety Concerns: Climbing on a roof and operating a pressure washer can be dangerous, particularly if you are not experienced in roofing or pressure washing. Slipping or falling from the roof can result in serious injuries.
- Moss and Algae Growth: If your main concern is moss or algae growth on the roof, pressure washing may not be the best solution. High-pressure water can remove the surface growth, but it may not address the underlying issue, and the moss or algae could return quickly.
If you have concerns about moss or algae growth on your roof, it’s better to consult with a professional a roof cleaning specialist such as Bird Dog Power Washing. They can assess the situation and recommend appropriate and safe cleaning methods, which may include using gentle cleaning solutions or manual cleaning techniques.
Regular roof maintenance, such as keeping gutters clean and removing debris, can help prevent moss and algae growth. If you notice significant roof discoloration or growth, it’s best to have it inspected by a professional to determine the appropriate course of action without risking damage to your roof.
One of the primary cleaners we use does have a mix of Sodium Hypochlorite in it which is the main ingredient in Bleach. Yes, if this chemical isn’t used properly, it could cause damage not only to your landscape but also items on and around your house. However, we take multiple safety measure to protect your property from all the different cleaners we use. We take the time to water your landscape before and after applying any cleaner to your house. Our cleaner has >1% of Sodium Hypochlorite mixed with surfactants again reducing the chance of harming the landscape. We cannot express how important protecting your property is to all of us at Bird Dog Power Washing.
Protecting your property is one of our top priorities. We ask that you move items such as patio furniture, rugs, plants, ect away from the house and off the concrete if possible. If it is a very large or heavy item, we can work around we certainly will try our best. We want to get your property as clean as we can, and this helps. If you’re unable to move these items just let us know in advance.
Pressure washing can indeed increase the value of your home, especially when it comes to enhancing its curb appeal. Curb appeal refers to the overall attractiveness of a property when viewed from the street, and it plays a crucial role in influencing potential buyers’ first impressions.
Here are some ways pressure washing can contribute to increased home value:
- Enhanced Appearance: Pressure washing can remove dirt, grime, algae, mold, mildew, and other stains from the exterior surfaces of your home, such as siding, driveway, sidewalks, and fences. This deep cleaning can make your home look fresh, well-maintained, and more visually appealing to potential buyers.
- Increased Marketability: A clean and well-maintained exterior can make your home more marketable and desirable to potential buyers. It can set your property apart from others in the neighborhood that may not have received the same level of care.
- Potential Higher Selling Price: When a home looks well-cared-for and visually appealing, it can create a positive impression on buyers. This positive perception may lead buyers to be willing to pay a higher price for a property they perceive as having been well-maintained.
- Faster Sale: A home with better curb appeal tends to attract more attention from potential buyers, which can lead to a faster sale. Buyers are more likely to schedule a viewing and make offers on a property that looks inviting and well-taken-care-of.
- Preventative Maintenance: Regularly pressure washing your home’s exterior can also help in maintaining the integrity of the surfaces. Removing mold, mildew, and other contaminants can prevent potential long-term damage, which may otherwise reduce the value of your property.
While pressure washing can enhance your home’s value, it’s essential to use the service responsibly and not overdo it. Improper pressure washing techniques or excessive pressure can lead to damage to your home’s exterior surfaces, which may end up lowering its value instead. If you’re not familiar with pressure washing or the appropriate techniques, it’s best to hire a professional to ensure the job is done correctly and safely.
The main difference between pressure washing and soft washing lies in the cleaning methods and the water pressure used:
- Pressure Washing: Pressure washing involves using high-pressure water spray to clean surfaces. The pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (psi) and can range from around 1,500 to 4,000 psi, depending on the equipment and the task. Pressure washing is typically used for tougher cleaning jobs, such as removing heavy dirt, grime, loose paint, and stubborn stains from hard surfaces like concrete, brick, or metal.
While pressure washing is highly effective for certain tasks, it can be too harsh for more delicate surfaces like roofing materials, siding, wood, or stucco. High-pressure water can cause damage to these surfaces, leading to costly repairs and replacements.
- Soft Washing: Soft washing, on the other hand, is a gentler cleaning method that uses low-pressure water spray combined with specialized cleaning solutions. The pressure used in soft washing is usually around 500 to 1,000 psi or even lower, depending on the surface and the specific cleaning needs.
Soft washing is particularly suitable for more delicate surfaces and materials, including roofs, siding, painted surfaces, wood, and stucco. The use of low-pressure and the addition of cleaning agents allow for a thorough and effective cleaning without risking damage to the surfaces.
Additionally, soft washing solutions often include environmentally-friendly cleaning agents that not only remove dirt and grime but also kill and inhibit the growth of mold, mildew, and algae, providing longer-lasting results.
In summary, pressure washing is ideal for tough cleaning tasks on durable surfaces, while soft washing is a safer and more appropriate method for cleaning delicate surfaces and materials. Choosing the right method depends on the specific surfaces you want to clean and the types of contaminants you need to remove. When in doubt or dealing with delicate surfaces, it’s best to consult with a professional to determine the most suitable cleaning approach.
The pressure washing industry in our area does not require a contractor’s license. However, we’re still required to carry a business license for the areas we service. We’re licensed to work in Horry County, City of Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, North Myrtle Beach, City of Georgetown, and City of Conway. Failing to have a business license in this area can result in a large fine.
Unfortunately, many businesses all over fail to carry insurance and many fail to carry the proper insurance to protect your property. At Bird Dog Power Washing we carry both general liability but also care, custody, and control which is really important. We can provide this information to any of our potential customers to see we’re properly covered. We recommend you do the same also to any company you hire. The last thing you want to do is have damage and find out they didn’t have any coverage. We understand trying to save money, but your home is a large investment, so we recommend you always do your research.
Pressure washing is the process of using high-pressure water spray to remove dirt, grime, and other materials from surfaces such as buildings, vehicles, and concrete surfaces.
Pressure washing can be used on a variety of surfaces including concrete, brick, vinyl siding, wood, and vehicles.
No, pressure washing is not safe for all surfaces. It can damage surfaces such as delicate wood, stucco, and some types of siding if done incorrectly. That’s why it’s important to hire a professional pressure washing service like Bird Dog Power Washing who has experience and knowledge in handling different surfaces.
Yes, we will do everything we can to get the job done on the day it is scheduled. Rain won’t prevent us from cleaning unless it is coming down heavily or lightening. High winds tend to cause more issues and could lead to rescheduling for certain services.
Yes, pressure washing your house before painting it is generally a recommended step in the painting process. Pressure washing helps prepare the surface by removing dirt, dust, debris, mold, mildew, and other contaminants that can hinder the adhesion of paint and affect the quality of the paint job. Here’s why pressure washing before painting is a good idea:
- Clean Surface: Pressure washing thoroughly cleans the exterior surfaces of your house, ensuring that the paint adheres properly. Paint applied to a clean surface is more likely to last longer and look better.
- Remove Contaminants: Pressure washing removes pollutants such as dirt, grime, cobwebs, pollen, and bird droppings. These contaminants can negatively impact the paint’s adhesion and lead to a less uniform finish.
- Mold and Mildew Removal: If your house has areas with mold or mildew growth, pressure washing can effectively remove these fungi, preventing them from affecting the new paint.
- Smooth Surface: Pressure washing can reveal any areas of loose or peeling paint, allowing you to address these issues before applying the new paint.
- Save Time and Effort: Cleaning the surface manually would be much more time-consuming and physically demanding compared to using a pressure washer. Pressure washing can cover a larger area quickly and efficiently.
- Better Adhesion: A clean and well-prepared surface ensures better adhesion of the new paint, reducing the likelihood of peeling or chipping in the future.
However, it’s important to use the right pressure and techniques when pressure washing. High-pressure settings or improper angles can damage the siding or other surfaces. If you’re not familiar with pressure washing, it might be a good idea to hire a professional pressure washing service to ensure the job is done safely and effectively.
After pressure washing, make sure to allow sufficient time for the surfaces to dry completely before starting the painting process. This is especially important, as applying paint to damp surfaces can lead to adhesion problems and premature peeling.
In summary, pressure washing your house before painting is a crucial step to achieve a clean and smooth surface for optimal paint adhesion and a professional, long-lasting finish.