It’s no secret that keeping exterior siding, windows, gutters, and roofing clean is an essential aspect of routine maintenance for homes and businesses. The most typical choice for quickly and efficiently tidying up the exterior of your home from the roof to the deck and patio and everything in between is professional pressure washing.
While pressure washing is the best option in most cases, it can jeopardize the health of nearby shrubs, plants, grass, and other foliage if they aren’t protected during any type of cleaning process. Here’s how to avoid damaging plants during pressure washing.
Prioritize Plant Preservation
Landscaping is also a part of a home’s curb appeal, whether it’s a residential or commercial property. Time, money, and effort go into creating these spaces, so why destroy these lovely elements in the process of pressure washing siding and other exterior surfaces?
Even though some hearty plants are resilient to the elements, they aren’t likely to survive highly pressurized sprays of water or the direct application of chemicals. While soft washing is different than pressure washing and is more gentle, you must take precautions to keep greenery alive and thriving.
If you think a basic covering over of plants is enough, you’re about to find out that there are additional factors such as ground seepage that affect root systems to address. Here are some tips for protecting plants during pressure washing services.
Tips for Keeping Plants Happy and Healthy When Pressure Washing
One of the most important aspects of protecting plants is using the most environmentally friendly products possible that will effectively remove grime and growths like mildew, fungus, and lichens. Even when potentially harmful chemicals are employed, following up the cleaning with neutralizing agents can help to minimize their effects on soil and plants.
While solvents and cleaning solutions are important steps to plant protection, here are some additional measures professional pressure washing companies take to safeguard greenery.
Pre-Wet Shrubs and Plants Before Pressure Washing or Soft Washing
Before starting any pressure washing around landscaping, plants and shrubs should be coated with water using a gentle flow through a water hose. Particular attention should be paid to any foliage that lies directly below the roofline or open gutter ends. Moisture will help prevent chemical burns that cleaners like bleach can cause. Taking this step is vital if you are planning on pressure washing roofing or solar panels.
Tarp Your Landscaping Before Pressure Washing
Small shrubs and ground plants can be protected using tarps that shield them from direct hits by chemicals and water from pressure washing or soft washing. It’s best not to hit plants directly to prevent bruising during the washing process. However, don’t leave them covered too long, as the tarps can result in a greenhouse effect that overheats the greenery.
When Pressure Washing – Watch Downspout Runoff
Unfortunately, tarps over the top of plants can’t protect the root system of those amid soil near any gutter downspouts. During roof, siding, solar panel, or routine gutter cleaning, water along with the chemicals will pour through the downspouts and must be contained. Bags can be taped around ground-level spouts. However, if no downspout is present, a large bucket can be used to capture the overflow from pressure or soft washing.
Watch The Weather During and After Pressure Washing and Soft Washing
The surfactants and other solutions employed during professional pressure or soft washing services will generally be inert within a day of drying. This means that if it rains soon after cleaning, the chemicals will stay active longer and run off into the landscaping. After 24 hours, hosing down the plants and surrounding ground will wash away bleach in the form of a non-toxic salt. Professional pressure washing services will use the safest methods possible while being mindful of any upcoming weather that might require rescheduling to prevent premature run-off that can harm plants and shrubs.
Need Pressure Washing and Have Concerns About Plant Safety?
Worry no longer! Find a location near you that can handle all of your exterior pressure washing needs with plant wellness and protection in mind. Contact us today to learn more about our residential and commercial pressure washing services for your home’s siding, roofing, patios, decks, retaining walls, and much more. We can also add on other services such as window cleaning, solar panel cleaning, and gutter cleaning to make your home sparkle from top to bottom!