What’s the Difference Between Power Washing, Pressure Washing, and Soft Washing?

If you’ve looked into getting your roof or other areas of your home’s exterior cleaned by a professional, then you may have heard the terms “power washing,” “pressure washing,” and “soft washing” tossed around. While they may all sound fairly similar, they aren’t all the same thing. Each of these is used to describe a specific type of power cleaning technique useful in different situations — each with its own distinct advantages.

What Is Power Washing?

Power washing is not the same as pressure washing, although the wash equipment used for each looks very alike. The most significant difference between power washing and pressure washing is heat; power washing requires heated water — usually warm but sometimes hot. Power washing equipment allows the cleaning professional to change water temps as they work. A power washing machine includes pumps for pressurizing and heating the water used for cleaning. As you might imagine, hot water can be a more effective cleaning medium than cold, but it can also damage vinyl siding and some other exterior surfaces.

Power washing is best for:

  • Stubborn stains, such as from oil and grease
  • Removing gum from surfaces
  • Removing mold and mildew when heat is required
  • Cleaning durable surfaces
  • Getting rid of stuck-on grime and debris

What Is Pressure Washing?

Like power washing, pressure washing relies on high-pressure water to remove dirt, grime, and other gunk from surfaces — save for the heat. Pressure washing is an excellent option for many home exteriors, but pressure can be too much for some of the more delicate surfaces you may need cleaned. This includes those that are fragile or porous, such as wicker or bamboo. Professional pressure washers are more powerful than their hardware-store counterparts.

Pressure washing is best for:

  • Hard, solid surfaces
  • Stone, tile, fencing, and concrete
  • Some types of roof cleaning

What Is Soft Washing?

Soft washing is a type of cleaning method that uses a soft spray with a low PSI and a soft washing nozzle that reduces the force of typical pressure washing. Additionally, soft washing involves using special chemical agents in the water to help provide a thorough clean by breaking down biological materials such as moss, algae, and mold. Soft washing methods are usually recommended for delicate surfaces, including asphalt roofs where black streaks resulting from algae develop. The lowered pressure (and special cleaning agents) remove these invasive algae without damaging the granular surface of the shingles or causing harm to plants in the yard, masonry, and painted surfaces.

Soft washing is best for:

  • Painted, aluminum, and vinyl sidings
  • Brick, stone, masonry, or stucco
  • Fiberboard
  • Glass and windows

Contact Us for Professional Power Washing, Pressure Washing, and Soft Washing

Ready for professional cleaning solutions for your home’s exterior? Count on EcoTek Power Wash for all of your pressure, soft, and power washing needs. For more information about our services or the best time of the year to power wash a house, reach out to us today!