It may not seem like it, but concrete has changed in recent decades. Unfortunately, our approach to modern hard surface and concrete cleaning has not kept pace. Use of pigmenting, different aggregates and various finishes have allowed concrete to become a decorative material, rather than solely a durable one. Today’s concrete patios, features, and buildings are as much works of art as they are construction pieces!
But with a new era of decorative concrete comes the need to reevaluate how we clean and restore the material. Since the beauty of modern decorative concrete can be attributed to its surface finish, power washing is no longer the best cleaning method. In fact, it has quickly become one of the most damaging. Instead, soft washing or non- pressure detergent based concrete cleaning is the ideal method for cleaning modern hard surfaces, thanks to its gentle cleaning action.
Examining Modern Concrete
The appeal of today’s finished concrete is all at the surface. Fine aggregate (usually sand) and any of the pigmentation or finishing treatments exist at the surface of the concrete. Because of this, finished concrete is known for its hard, smooth texture. Unfortunately, many also equate this to extreme durability, forgetting that power washing concentrates and accentuates the effects of natural weathering.
The Problem With Power Washing
The reason power washing has so quickly fallen out of favor when it comes to concrete cleaning is due to its abrasiveness. High-pressure water jetting from a few inches away absolutely has the power to remove dirt, debris, and organic growth… however, it also strips away the surface finish of decorative concrete.
The results may look good at first, but lasting damage is often the result. Owners may eventually have to pay for resurfacing as the affected surface does not have the same appeal. Worse still, power washed concrete becomes porous, inviting organic growth and other detractors.
A Gentler Alternative To Decorative Concrete Cleaning
Soft washing has quickly supplanted power washing because it removes pressurization from the equation. Instead of using high pressure to remove debris, soft washing instead utilizes powerful cleaning agents, which can be gently washed away after cleaning is complete. It’s safe on surface treatments, aggregates, and concrete pigmentation.
That said, some inexperienced cleaning companies have begun to offer soft washing services, without the knowledge or experience to deliver.
Always Opt For ‘Safe Washing’
At Pacific Exterior, we have developed the ‘safe wash‘ technique. our approach restores the appeal of modern hard surfaces, without causing damage or wear to the surface finish. ‘Safe washing’ is soft washing done right, using proprietary cleaning agents and best-practice cleaning methods. ‘Safe washing’ passes the eye-test, delivering a superior level of cleanliness to modern hard surfaces in a lasting way, without the harsh effects of power washing or improper soft washing.