You’ve Got the Power (Washing)

You’ve Got the Power (Washing)

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You wash your dishes, vacuum the carpets, dust the furniture and even weed the garden. But do you clean the first part of your house that you and your guests see: The house itself?


Whether they don’t look beyond the obvious or they are afraid to tackle such a large project, many homeowners fail to maintain a clean exterior of their house. But the project doesn’t have to be so daunting because you can power wash (a.k.a. pressure wash).


A pressure washer cleans with high-pressure water and sometimes a cleaning agent. Everyday, your house is subjected to the elements, including harsh winds, damaging sunlight and acid rain. Under the high pressure mixed with some cleaning solutions, water can help repair the destruction caused by the elements while removing dirt, grime, mold, mildew, car exhaust, industrial pollution and the list goes on.


Cleaning For Appearance’ Sake

Because they see their house every day, many homeowners don’t realize how truly ugly their house becomes gradually over the course of several years, or even just a couple of months. While a house suffers some general wear and tear that cannot be fixed, power washing a house can help restore a house’s original, beautiful appearance.120108INSTORY_SIEGEL.gif


“Oxidation — or chalking — is a chemical reaction between a painted surface, air and sunlight. This chalk film causes the finish of your house to appear dull or the color to fade,” according to the SparkleWash International Web site. Power washing can remove this dullness to restore the house’s vibrant color.


Power washing can also be used to restore the color and appearance of sidewalks, driveways and decks.


Preventing Destruction

By removing harmful fungi like mildew and other molds, power washing prevents further wear and tear on the home. Mildew and other molds need sources of water and food to grow, and the house is their food. So as long as these unwelcome house guests are allowed to stay, they will continue to eat away at the house. Power washing, however, can remove these pests and prevent further house munching.


Most professional power washing companies offer preventative solutions beyond just removing the mildew and other molds. For example, SparkleWash uses specific solutions so that the newly cleaned house “is not readily hospitable to mildew and mold spores and therefore will slow their re-appearance,” according to the SparkleWash Web site. SparkleWash also offers a special treatment to further slow the return of mildew and mold.


Keeping the Treasure in the Chest

Every homeowner has wealth in their abode, and nobody wants her wealth to deteriorate. As the buildup of dirt and grime continues on a house, the house’s value continues to decrease. That’s where power washing comes in.


Power washing can wash away years off a house’s appearance. (Oh, if only power washers had the same effect on humans!) As the grime washes out, a higher property value washes in.


Because of this push-and-pull effect, realtors often recommend that their clients power wash their properties, including the siding and decks, Star One Realtor Sandy Sieve says.0708DEGROOT_FASHION.gif


“It’s going to make it look nice and clean for a prospective buyer. They want everything to be in great shape. They don’t want to have to come in and start cleaning and painting,” Sieve says. “This way it has a nice, fresh appearance.”


While homeowners can buy or rent a personal pressure washer at places like Lowe’s and Home Depot and take on the job themselves, hiring a professional might be the better choice, depending on the project. Brick and wood houses can be damaged by power washing if not done correctly.


Licensed professionals also know the proper way to handle particular problems such as mildew and other molds so that they can eliminate them rather than merely spreading them to other locations.


But whether they rely on their own expertise or that of a professional, homeowners can beautify their homes, prevent further deterioration and increase the value of their home. Just add water.


Photo: Courtesy of
SparkleWash International Web site