Exterior cleaning 101

Siding, stone, or brick—whatever the surface of your building, it will need cleaning at some point. A clean surface enables you to see areas in need of repair and enhances the look of your facility.

Before you break out the pressure washer, you need to determine the correct cleaning method for your surface.

Inspect the outside surface of your building and ask the following questions:

  • What materials compose the outer surface of the building?
  • Are there areas of visible deterioration or staining?
  • Is the seal around windows and doors in good repair?
  • Are there awnings or other removable features to consider?

Once these questions are answered, you can move on to the next step of determining the correct method of cleaning. Here are some possible methods and suitable surfaces.

  • Ferrous stain removal is the use of an organic compound specially formulated to remove metallic oxides from masonry and concrete surfaces.
  • High pressure water blasting uses water at high pressure to remove grime, dirt, and other debris from the outside surface.
  • Low pressure chemical cleaning is the combination of low pressure with specific chemicals formulated for the building surface and stain type.
  • Dry ice blasting uses dry ice propelled at a high pressure onto a surface. It is less abrasive than other methods and leaves no residue.

The cleaning method you chose will vary greatly based upon the surface to be cleaned and the type of staining. Special considerations should be made for historic buildings or unique exterior surfaces. Work should always be done when temperatures are well above freezing.

Any cleaning should be performed using the least abrasive method to remove stains. Since every surface is different, it is essential the method be discussed and planned in detail prior to cleaning.

For specifics regarding application of these methods for your facility, please contact us.

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