Do You Really NEED to Power Wash Your Home?
I could have come up with a very long list of reasons for power washing your home. But so many seemed superfluous. For example, if you are going to sell your home, I don’t need to tell you that no one wants to come over for an open house and find your house covered in mold and mildew. If you can’t bother to address something they CAN see, what haven’t you addressed that they CANNOT see? It would be obvious to them that you haven’t taken care of your home. So, this post is about the reasons that I think really matter to most of us. But, before we get to them, let’s just cover a couple of quick things regarding mold and mildew.
Problems with mold and mildew will usually be found on the north-facing side of the house and in areas with lots of shade. Why? Because the north side never receives direct sunlight. This is true at least if you live in the northern hemisphere as we do here in Rhode Island. Mold and mildew need moisture to grow and spread. The mold is allowed to propagate without direct sunlight to keep the surface dry. This is why areas with a lot of shade will also have this issue. Once again, the key is moisture. Without further ado, here are the four main reasons for power washing your home:
Reason #1: A little regular maintenance now prevents costly repairs later.
Some may think of power washing as just a cosmetic service, but it can do wonders in many ways to prevent costly repairs down the road. We will consider a couple of examples below.
If you have painted wood clapboard siding on your home, you may have noticed areas with mold and mildew developing. The mold and mildew will continue to penetrate the wood more deeply and compromise its condition if it is allowed to develop. If left unchecked, it can lead to the premature replacement of wood clapboard. Hiring a contractor to remove and replace clapboard siding, even if you just replace select boards in the worst condition, can be quite costly. And then there’s the challenge of matching the paint color to the existing faded boards.
As another example, take Azek, or similar composite, trim boards. Your contractor or builder no doubt told you that they do not need to be painted and that they are mold and mildew resistant. That is technically, but not entirely, true. When Azek boards are cut across the grain (think of a long board that you cut in half), it exposes the grain end. This exposed end is susceptible to mold and mildew. In fact, it is extremely common for these areas of the trim boards to develop mold and mildew. And unfortunately, if it is allowed to fester, the mold and mildew penetrate further and further into the board. This makes it very difficult, if even possible, to completely rid the trim boards of mold and mildew.
As can be seen by just these two examples, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A good power washing can prevent costly repairs down the road.
Reason #2: Power Washing your home will make it safer.
What do we mean by “safer”? There may be health benefits to eliminating the mold, mildew, and pollen covering your home; we’ll cover more of that below. But here we are talking about another aspect of safety. This has to do with your flat surfaces. Think of things like your deck, porch, or patio. The reality is that most personal injury accidents are due to trips and slips. This becomes obvious when you think about how many commercials of local lawyers (at least here in Rhode Island) we see in the morning referencing slips and falls. If you have a deck, porch, or patio covered in algae or mildew, it is an accident waiting to happen. It could be you, a child, or someone visiting your home (hopefully not grandma). A thorough power washing of the offending surface will instantly take care of the problem.
Reason #3: It just looks awesome and makes you feel great too.
This is, admittedly, not a practical reason. But don’t we deserve to just feel good about how our home looks? Have you ever had friends over, sat in a chair out on the deck/patio/lawn, looked up at your house, and realized that it’s covered in mold, mildew, and algae? How’d that feel? Every spring I power wash and soft wash (depending on the surface being cleaned) every single part of my home. We wash everything including the house, porch, patio, pergola, trellis, concrete surfaces, and fence. There is no better feeling than kicking off the spring and summer with everything gleaming and squeaky clean.
Reason #4: Your home will be healthier.
The reality is that mold spores are in the air around us and our homes. It is the presence of constant moisture that allows them to grow and spread. This is why the most common room in many homes to have mold is the bathroom due to the persistent presence of moisture. Of course, mold inside your home presents a far greater danger than mold on the exterior of your home, but allowing mold spores to propagate on the exterior of your home is only making matters worse.
If your home was properly built and the exterior envelope is properly sealed, it is unlikely that mold would find a way to migrate from the exterior of the building to inside the walls. But, as with many things, it is certainly possible depending on the situation. In addition, airborne mold spores can enter your home through open windows, doors, vents, and HVAC systems. If you have allergies to mold, mildew, and pollen, ridding your home’s exterior of these pollutants would be the wise thing to do. Of course, the house needs to be power washed properly since a power washer in the hands of the wrong person could do more harm than good in this case. Rather than ridding your home of mold, they could make the situation worse.
There you have it. Four solid reasons for power washing your home. There are even more reasons, but this is a good place to start. Now the question of whether to buy or rent a pressure washer and do it yourself or hire a professional. You can see one of our other posts on that subject 😊
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