Frequently Asked Question’s

Frequently Asked Questions

 

General Questions

What’s Included In Your Standard House Wash?

After being in the house wash industry for over 10 years now, it still amazes me that there is a lot of confusion about what is included in a standard house wash.

So when you work with AWL we specify clearly and exactly what you can expect. That way everyone is working on the same page and no-one is left thinking, “I’m sure that was included as part of the job.”

Our Standard House Wash includes the following;

 

    • Everything from the gutters to the ground.
    • All exterior walls.
    • All outsides of gutters and downpipes.
    • All eaves, soffits and barge-boards.
    • All windows, doors and entrance alcoves.

 

Standard House Wash Does NOT include the following;

 

  • Cleaning Out The Gutters.
  • Any Decks.
  • Any Paths or Walkways.
  • Any Patio’s or Pergola’s.
  • Any Courtyard areas.
  • Any Out Buildings either attached or detached from the main building.
  • Anything above the roof line; i.e; Chimneys and Sky-lites.

 

Each of the items listed above can of course be washed…

but…

they are not automatically included in a standard house wash and would need to be priced separately.

One of the main reasons we prefer to meet our prospective customers on site is to avoid any confusion and to discuss your requirements, your expectations and the best way to approach the project.

Hopefully you find this information clear, easy to follow and it has helped to remove any confusion around the term ‘standard house wash’. It’s very important, for the success of the project, and for your 100% satisfaction that all parties clearly understand exactly what has been agreed to.

If you have any further questions regarding a potential house wash of your desired property please feel free to either call us on either 0800-259-468 or 027-476-5514  alternatively you can request a quote or simply ask your question here.

What Do You Mean By Soft Wash?

 Soft Wash Exterior Surface Cleaning

soft washMany people are under the misconception that the secret to effectively cleaning any exterior surface is all about either the chemicals used or the pressure of the water blaster used.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Our soft wash system relies on good old fashioned physical effort combined with knowledge, skill and the appropriate equipment.

soft wash in action

We carry a range of specialist equipment which enables us to soft wash any surface and achieve an almost perfect result, without the need for harsh chemicals.

We operate our machinery at approximately 1200 to 1400 psi at the pump and we lose pressure at a rate of 4-6 psi/metre of hose. With over 60 metres of hose – actual pressure at the gun end is between 1000 to 1200 psi.

Pressure is further reduced through the use of specialised ‘wide-span’ nozzles. Different nozzles are used for different surfaces depending on what is appropriate.

The need for pressure is further reduced by the fact that most surfaces are brushed with soft bristle house wash brooms prior to rinsing off.

Combine this with our bio-degradable detergents and you have the perfect soft wash solution.

Will Waterblasting Damage My Home?
waterblasting damage


Waterblasting damage caused by inexperienced operator.

In the hands of inexperienced operators the simple answer is YES!

Avoid Waterblasting Damage By;

  • Using a reputable company.
  • Check references before agreeing to hire.
  • Ask for proof of past completed work.

Anyone can purchase a water blaster these days but that doesn’t mean you should. Proper training should be undertaken before attempting any water blasting around your home.

The safest way to avoid the risk of waterblasting damage is to rely on the skills of trained operators.

AT AWL, we have over 20 years experience. We use purpose built equipment operating at low pressures. Combined with the use of fully bio-degradable citrus detergents to break down dirt, grease and grime we are able to soft wash surfaces gently.

Exterior cleaning does involve a great deal of skill and control to avoid the possibility of waterblasting damage.

AWL holds a 97% customer satisfaction rating with the NoCowBoys Trade Services ratings company online so you can be assured that your valuable asset is in very safe hands.

Will Your Cleaning Products Damage My Plants or Affect My Pets or Me?

Absolutely not!  The Cleaning Products we use are predominantly a Citrus based Detergent which has been tested and graded as  ‘Marine Safe’. We are very conscious of the need for safe cleaning products and do our best to ensure we uphold our environmental responsibility.

 

Cleaning Products Citrus

 

Why We Chose To Use Citrus Cleaning Products?

After extensive research with professional tradesmen we’ve discovered chemical washes can have a significant negative impact on your home:

  • Chemical/bleach washes can take a microscopic layer of paint off your house and this effectively thins the protective layer which paint provides. Long term use of chemical/bleach based products negates the advantages of washing in the first place.
  • Painters regularly complain that chemical washing leaves a powdery residue on paintwork. This is because bleach/salt based products continue to work for up to 24 hours after their application. Before paint can be applied, the surface needs to be washed again, and this can be costly to the homeowner. If paint is applied without a second wash, the low-grade surface area results in a poor outcome, with new paint bubbling and peeling within a short period of time.
  • Several people have reported expensive plants suffering extensive, sometimes fatal damage, through chemical washing.
  • There have been numerous reports of fish and other pets becoming sick, or dying, following chemical washing.
  • Many people who suffer from allergies and asthma have reported severe reactions from chemical washing.
  • The environmental damage of powerful chemicals entering our storm water system has a significant, long term, negative impact on the planet.

 

AWL’s Biodegradable Citrus Detergent ensures that your property, plants, pets and loved ones are 100% safe, providing total peace of mind.

 

If we do need to use any other chemical cleaning products, we do so in a very controlled manner, meaning we either brush or wipe them onto areas where extra cleaning strength is required.

 

How Often Should We Really Get The Exterior Washed?

Most paint professionals recommend exterior washing on an annual basis to get the most life out of your paint. But it is fair to say we might be a little biased so why not ring someone who isn’t?

Try ringing your nearest paint manufacturer and ask them the question. Most will tell you that, by washing the exterior of your building annually, you can extend the life of your paint by as much as 20-25%.

Due to the quality of our exterior wash process most of our clients repeat the exercise every second, and in some cases every 3rd year. A lot depends on the position of the house, how much sun you get and the number of trees and bushes around the property. All of these factors influence how readily the exterior becomes dirty. Every home is unique and different factors will determine the frequency with which it needs to be cleaned.

One thing that should always be kept in mind when considering how often to clean the exterior surfaces of your property is to check the Terms & Conditions of any building or roofing guarantees which you have on your property. Some companies will not honour their product warranties unless the required level of exterior cleaning is maintained.

Will I Lose Paint During The Wash?

Whenever I hear the question, “Will I lose paint during the wash?”, I know that I’m dealing with someone who has either had a bad experience with a previous company or they’ve tried to do the job themselves with an overpowered domestic machine.

One of the first things we do during the quoting process is to examine the condition of the paintwork and what we’re looking for are signs of blistering, cracking, flaking or pealing. In the event that we find any of these elements we will highlight them to the client and we discuss how they want us to proceed.

We are happy to advise on how best to handle each individual case.

 

lose paint due to blistering

Blistering can be caused by a number of factors
but can be handled so as not to lose paint.

Low pressure washing will not cause you to lose paint during the wash process.

If the paint is bubbled or blistered, as in the photo to the left, but not actually broken then you will not lose paint at all.

Paint blisters or bubbles can occur when there is loss of adhesion between the paint film and the underlying surface.

 

Blistering is usually caused by

  • Painting a damp, dirty, or hot surface
  • Applying oil-based or alkyd paint over latex paint
  • Improper surface preparation

In situations like this we gently brush the area with soft bristled brooms to soften and break down dirt and then rinse the area leaving the surface clean and the paint in tact.

 

Sometimes It Is Impossible NOT to Lose Paint.

lose paint due to flaky paint

When paint reaches this point it is almost impossible not to lose paint – BUT we can do it.

in very poor condition and there are clear visible signs of loose, flaky or bubbled areas then some loss may occur due to the fact that we use soft-bristled house-wash brooms during the cleaning process.

If you can’t run your hands over it without removing the paint then you will lose a little. Any obvious areas we identify during the quoting process are pointed out and discussed with our clients prior to accepting the job. In most cases the end result always looks better than it did previously with the flaky paint in tact.

Can You Strip Paint If and When Requested?

strip paint

 

Everyone knows the key to a quality paint job is all in the preparation and sometimes that may require us to strip paint from exterior surfaces. So the simple answer is Yes we can but it depends on the condition of the existing paint work. If it is anything like the image above then it is quite easy to strip paint.

We are not painters but we do work with a lot of painters and they tell us the most important thing for them is ensuring they have a completely clean surface to work with.

strip paint by waterblasting

Their preference is for us to strip paint in all areas where the existing paint is loose, bubbled or flaking. This ensures that the painter has a nice clean, smooth surface to work with.

The other thing we can to do to assist your preparation is to expose areas of weak paint which may not be visible to the eye. We have the appropriate equipment and know how to achieve the result you’re looking for. Sanding is still required but this clearly identifies areas in need of attention.

If we can not get the result you’re after we will tell you before we agree to undertake any work on your property.

Not Always Possible to Strip Paint

Not all surfaces are the same and in some circumstances it would be virtually impossible to strip paint cleanly without the need for some pretty heavy duty chemicals.

In those circumstances you would probably need to speak to a specialist company as we prefer not to work with chemicals unless it is absolutely necessary.

If you are looking for a complete paint strip then that becomes dependent on the overall condition of the existing paint job and we would need to discuss that on a case by case basis, preferably with both owner and painter onsite to ensure full agreement and understanding of requirements.