The Importance of Washing Your Home

By Bradford King   •   Old Charleston Painting Company

We wash our cars, our clothes, our floors, and yes…ourselves. Often, we forget the importance of washing our largest investment – our home. People often avoid this task as it seems daunting. Or they feel it requires bulky equipment such as ladders and power washers. Or they simply don’t think about it.

What is the current condition of your home’s exterior? Did you know that properly washing your home can extend the life of your paint coatings, vinyl surfaces, and metal soffits? Often people only wash their homes when they see mildew. Mold and mildew spores normally live below the surface. This means they have likely been growing for quite some time when it is visible. Properly cleaning your home will kill the spores, preventing the return of mold and mildew in the future.

You may ask, “How can this be done?” Yes, you can call a professional service and have them soft wash your home. However, you can wash your home without power washers or large ladders, and with minimal bleach. First, a little bit about bleach. Do not spray, or allow a professional washer to spray, straight bleach on your home. Bleach is NOT a mildew killer. Bleach is corrosive and harms your paint and vinyl surfaces, as well as your foliage. Bleach simply removes the color from the mildew, like it does your clothes. Yes, bleach can help clean, but it needs to be diluted and used properly. When washing your home you’ll need a garden sprayer, a mildew killer (such as JOMAX), bleach, Ajax, TSP (trisodium phosphate), water, and a garden hose with a spray nozzle.  JOMAX is a green-friendly cleaner that kills mold/mildew spores, and the manufacturer guarantees they won’t return for at least one year. Ajax helps the solution stick and not run off the surface. TSP helps remove oxidation buildup, which is also harmful to coatings. (JOMAX and TSP are readily available at your local hardware store)

Mix the ratio as directed on the JO-MAX bottle (the bleach needs to be at least 6.7% in strength) and then add 8 oz. of TSP, and 4 oz. of Ajax. Once these items are mixed, allow them to activate for 15 minutes before pouring them into your garden sprayer. Then in small, controlled sections, apply the solution using the garden sprayer. Allow the solution to sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, simply rinse the solution off with your garden hose using plain water and a spray nozzle. Now repeat these steps on the entire home until it is clean.

You will remove mildew, and you will remove dirt and other contaminants. In cases where a home has been neglected for an extended amount of time, you will need to call a professional service, like Old Charleston Painting Company. Once your home is clean be sure to maintain it yearly by simply completing the process outlined here. With a bit of sweat equity, you can ensure the longevity and beauty of your home.

Bradford King is the Owner of Old Charleston Painting Company

This article was featured in the October 2022 issue of Carolina Bay Neighbors magazine.


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