You can keep your house looking its best by properly conducting home cleaning in a cost-effective way. But there are many misconceptions about home cleaning that you should be aware of before attempting it. That’s why we have dedicated this page to providing you with all the information you need for DIY home cleaning, as well as the full extent of our professional property maintenance services to keep your home looking beautiful.
The Benefits of Home Cleaning
Home cleaning removes organic growths like mold and algae to keep you and your family safe and the air around your home clean. It removes the dirt and debris that dulls the color of your home so that your house looks much more appealing to neighbors and guests. It also saves you unnecessary expenditure by removing harmful substances and elements that degrade the materials of your roof and siding, thereby increasing the lifespan of the materials that make up your home. a large part of cleaning a home is also conducting gutter cleaning and roof cleaning.
Best Home Cleaning Practices
We have compiled numerous articles on a range of aspects concerning the most effective, safest, and easiest cleaning practices for the outside of your home. These include:
- Cleaning the outside of your house with pressure washing.
- The best exterior house cleaning products.
- The benefits of soft power washing of your house.
- Maintenance, care, and cleaning a brick house.
- Practices that save energy and money when cleaning the exterior of your home.
Carlton Cleans can efficiently and effectively clean and improve your home’s exterior. We offer deck cleaning and staining, exterior house washing, exterior home painting, home siding repair, sidewalk cleaning, and more. Contact us for services or fill out our online form to get a free quote now.
How to wash a house?
A professional will look at the material of the house being cleaned. Is it a brick house, plastic siding, or maybe purely wood siding? Here are some key points of cleaning each of these materials.
Some things to keep in mind when washing a house siding made of bricks are:
- Power washing must be handled with care.
- Brick requires detergents.
- Washing bricks improperly can leave behind residual dirt and grime.
Read more about power washing bricks by clicking the link above.
Key points to help you when washing a house with plastic or Vinyl Siding:
- Make sure the plastic or Vinyl is in good condition.
- Use soap concentrate.
- Do not use high pressure.
Make sure you remember that high pressure on even the best condition plastic or Vinyl could cause damage! Using low pressure and being careful are two necessities of washing plastic or Vinyl.
Moreover wooden siding or any kind of wood has a few special requirements.
- Never power wash a deck with high pressure.
- Oxygenated cleaners are the best cleaners for older woods.
- Scrubbing wood always gets you that extra clean look you’re looking for.
Please make sure you consult a professional if you are unsure of the procedures to use when washing your house. Moreover keep your house clean and choose a professional pressure washer. Contact Carlton Cleans today for Maryland house washing services at 301-906-4446 or fill out our contact form.
In this article, we will address how to use the pressure washing equipment for diy deck cleaning. Before a proper deck restoration is completed a deck cleaning must be done first. Proper use of power washing machines is pivotal to achieve your desired results without damaging your deck. Before beginning, be sure to remove all grills, furniture, planters and other items from your deck. Any grease spills from your grill should be pre-treated with a solution of dish soap.
DIY Deck Cleaning
Applying Deck Cleaning Cleansers
Before applying cleanser to the deck, rinse the deck with water. This will aid the cleanser in spreading easily once it is applied. Then, use the scrub brush to apply cleanser to the deck. Most of the work of cleaning the deck will be done by the cleanser, not the pressure washer itself. Many cleaning solutions should not be allowed to dry on the wood. In a DIY deck cleaning it is important to closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions and periodically mist if necessary. Typically the manufacturer will recommend a soaking time of 20 minutes to enable the cleanser to adhere to the embedded dirt.
Rinsing the Deck
After waiting the recommended time for the cleanser to soak, it is time to rinse the deck with your pressure washer. In a DIY deck cleaning, it is important to not let the cleanser soak too long, as this can cause damage to the wood. When first engaging the trigger of the pressure washer, point it away from the deck, people and other objects. If the sprayer is pointed directly at the deck when first engaged, scarring on the deck surface can result.
DIY Deck Cleaning Technique
Cleaning is typically started where the deck is adjacent to the house. Begin sweeping by starting from the edge, then sweep the sprayer out from the house and then back toward it, being careful to maintain a consistent distance between the nozzle tip and the deck to ensure an even result. A typical sweeping section might be about 3 feet wide. Once the first 3 foot section along the length of the house is completed, the next 3 foot strip can be begun.
A technique called “feathering” can be used to prevent lines from appearing between two sweeping sections. To do this, make sure the second sweep overlaps the first sweep, working with the grain or length of the board. An alternative to the sweeping technique is the long sweep, whereby you walk the entire length of a board, making sure to hold the nozzle at a consistent length from the surface. It will typically take a few sweeps to complete one board in this manner. After the whole deck has been washed, allow it to dry for 24 hours, and then re-inspect. Imperfections that were invisible when the deck is wet may appear, and it may be necessary to re-clean some areas.
Contact Carlton Cleans
Although a DIY deck cleaning can be done it is best to leave a project like this to the professionals with years of experience to avoid permanent damages to your deck in a DIY deck cleaning. Contact Carlton Cleans today to schedule your deck cleaning.
Spring has officially arrived and it’s time for spring cleaning as well as spring pressure washing. This past winter was harsh and has probably caused quite a bit of damage to your home’s exterior. Between fall’s leaves, winter’s snow and ice, and spring’s pollen, you could probably use some outdoor spring cleaning tips.
- Cleaning Up the Siding/Spring Pressure Washing
The siding of your home is what the majority of people notice when they first look at your home, and the primary color of your home is directly influenced by the color and condition of the siding. In rare cases, the siding may need to be replaced, but that’s only necessary if it’s damaged or missing. In other cases, spring pressure washing will do just fine. Spring pressure washing your home is a quick, easy way to bring your home back to life and give it that color that it was lacking.
A power washer can reach where hoses and sponges just can’t. The power that comes from the tip of the pressure washing hose is around 3000 PSI and can even get those moldy spots underneath the panels that creep out unexpectedly.
- Yard Work
We all dread the thought of cleaning up the yard, but just picture the results! Giving your yard that beautiful view back can make all the difference in the world, especially when you have guests over for a cookout. It’s a good idea to trim your trees as well to clear out any spots that may be blocking your view. Clean up the leaves and check for bald spots in your grass. If you find any bald spots (you likely will), then just plant some more grass seeds there and help it grow back. Keeping a healthy yard is one of the most time-consuming and tiresome parts about spring. At least you only have to do this part once a year, though.
- Deck Cleaning
Clear off the deck of any furniture and other objects and get ready for a hard scrubbing for some deck cleaning. We recommend not spring pressure washing your deck to preserve its health and keep it in good shape, because spring pressure washing can damage the wood fibers. Instead, grab a brush and some wood cleaner. Once it’s all soaked up and scrubbed down, it’s time for some deck stain. Staining your deck can preserve it for the months or years to come. Deck staining can protect against heavy foot traffic, severe weather conditions, pet scratches, and general wear-and-tear.
- Clear out the Gutters
Gutter cleaning oftentimes can be overlooked because we can’t actually see what’s in them. Hop on a ladder and head up there to see what we’re talking about. It can get pretty nasty, but it can also cause damage to your home if not cleared out regularly. The best way to do this is the old fashioned way: rubber gloves and a trash bag. Once you clean the vast majority of debris out of the gutters, the water should wash the rest down. Feel free to test and observe your gutters by spraying the hose up there and see where the water goes.
- Clean the Windows
The windows are always there and can get pretty dirty and cloudy if not cleaned regularly, especially during the beginning of spring. Winter moisture builds up around the edges and can even create a mold residue. To make matters worse, pollen stacks up on top of it all in the spring. Always be sure to keep your windows clean and sparkling, just like the rest of your house. Spring pressure washing can make a huge difference.
In order to keep your home in top-notch condition, it’s important to keep it maintained. Here’s a quick checklist of the most important things to do:
✓ Clean out the gutters of debris
✓ Spring pressure washing the siding and other exteriors of your home
✓ Scrub and stain your deck
✓ Trim the trees, if possible
✓ Clean up the yard of leaves and other miscellaneous debris
✓ Clean your windows to give them a sleek shine
Pressure Washing Services – Using Low Pressure
Low Pressure Washing
One of the common misconceptions with the pressure washing services industry is that using high pressure power washers is best. Many homeowners believe it’s a good idea to power wash your home yourself. Unfortunately, doing so may cause more harm than good. You will likely remove all of the dirt and grime, but you’re also likely to remove some of the siding and paint. Homes naturally get moldy and dirty over time, but a good pressure wash should remove any and all stains on your home. When dealing with homes, it’s always best to use low pressure power washers, but why?
The most important factor of all is that low pressure washing causes significantly less damage. In fact, a professional should be able to finish up your entire home with no damage to the siding, paint, concrete, or wood anywhere on your home. When power washing with a high pressure power washer, you risk pulling the siding right off the home. Any paint and protectants you had on your siding will soon be removed or significantly (and noticeably) damaged.
High pressure power washers can cause other damages, such as:
Damaging your vinyl siding could result in the need for replacement entirely, which is significantly more costly than a cleaning.
Your home is exposed to the elements year-round and over time they will start eating away at your home, causing long-term damage. Most commonly, homes have mold and mildew buildups in their siding. This mold can cause damage to your home and even your health. A low pressure washer can get mold out of the smallest spaces without causing damage. This can improve the health and, in turn, the lifespan of your home.
Just like when you clean your car, your home will seem brand new from the outside after a thorough cleaning. When the exterior of your home looks dirty and worn, it gives the implication that the inside is the same way. Making an impression is as simple as your appearance, and this extends all the way to your home’s exterior.
Improved Property Value
Following up with the appearance, more buyers are likely to look at your house if it is sparkly clean. It gives the impression that you take good care of your home and that can go a long way in the eyes of a buyer. More buyers can mean a higher selling price. Also, when you have you property refinanced, it’s important to keep your home in the best condition possible. Doing so will get the most out of your refinancing. Keep in mind that mold build-ups are a health hazard. Banks and inspectors will take note of this.
Believe it or not, low pressure power washing can even save you money on your energy bills. Darker surfaces attract more sunlight, causing that surface to heat up. When homes are painted – especially siding – they are painted a light color to counteract this heat attraction. A surface covered in mold, mildew, and general dirt is darker. The entire exterior of your home is vulnerable to this darkening.
Another primary way that you can save energy (and money) is to keep your roof clean. If your roof has shingles and has never been power washed before, just imagine the mold that’s eating away at your shingles. Eventually, the shingles will be too weak to hold on. The mold will actually push the shingles up and wind from a rainstorm will easily tear them away. Without roof shingles, your home is vulnerable to the sun’s heat.
Pressure Washing Services – Carlton Cleans
Low pressure power washing provides numerous benefits to your home, such as:
- Energy savings
- Protection from mold
- A cleaner appearance
- Higher property value
- Protection from high pressure damages
If you’re in the Maryland area and are in need of pressure washing services, contact us today and see how we can improve your home.
How to Clean Brick
“How to clean brick? Can brick be pressure washed?” Many homeowners of brick homes ask these questions. Brick can be pressure washed, however, great care is needed when cleaning brick. Brick requires a bit more care and attention than your traditional vinyl siding.
Brick’s Greatest Downfall
Over time brick, as with all building materials, degrades and becomes dirty with mold, mildew, and moss. Brick is commonly ignored when cleaning the exterior of homes because of its greatest downfall: degradation. The mortar holding the bricks together can crack. The bricks can also become cracked. Generally, brick holds up strong for a lifetime.
As brick ages, it becomes more fragile. You can visibly tell the difference between a new and clean brick wall versus an old and dirty wall. The color fades and it becomes vulnerable to damage from high pressure power washers.
How to Clean Brick: The Carlton Way
When Carlton Cleans cleans brick and mortar homes, we make sure the brick has no cracks in the mortar. Before power washing can begin any cracks must be patched. We keep a good distance between us and the home and we do not use high pressure when power washing.
Unlike most surfaces, brick requires a detergent to do all of the heavy lifting. A power washer will remove everything from the surface; however, it will also enlarge cracks and chip pieces out of the brick. How to clean brick the correct way is to use a lower pressure to prevent cracks and chips. Using lower pressure unfortunately means less power while cleaning. Detergents break up the grime and dirt enough to remove it with a quick, low pressure power wash.
How to Clean Brick: The Carlton Way
We use a strong detergent that’s specifically designed to clean bricks. A professional power washing company will know what detergent is needed to clean your home.
Brick is Resilient, Even When Cleaning
Power washing is an effective way to clean, but with bricks lower pressure can leave behind some resilient dirt spots that refuse to come off. After a thorough cleaning, bricks tend to have heavy dirt spots that don’t come off easily. A good scrubbing with some extra detergent may be necessary.
How to Clean Brick: The Carlton Way
Once the brick is cleaned, we examine the whole surface to ensure it’s as clean as it can get. If there’s a spot that doesn’t quite match the rest of the wall, we’ll scrub it off. Extra detergent may be necessary to eat away at the dirt and grime.
Final Stages: Protecting the Brick
Once washing is finished the brick should be nice and clean. It’s now time to protect the brick from future damages. There are 2 stages to protecting your brick that you should take note of:
- Use a sealer. A brick sealant can save your bricks and mortar from cracking in the future. This will remove the step of patching cracks next time you have to clena.
- Future cleanings. The best way to maintain your bricks natural beauty is to have a professional evaluate and clean your bricks. It’s easy for us to say “It’s brick…It’ll hold up.” Brick is just as vulnerable as vinyl siding. Power wash brick whenever it starts looking dirty. A buildup of mold can lead to future deterioration. It is best to clean mold before it causes problems.
Contact us to power wash your brick today!
Improving Your Homes Appearance
Exterior home cleaning is one of the quickest and most effective ways to improve the appearance of your home and increase your properties curb appeal. Who doesn’t like to spend time outside during the summer? Things are heating up, and so are the barbeques. Do you enjoy hosting great backyard parties or just having a backyard getaway? Following these five easy recommendations will ensure your home is looking it’s best this summer!
Exterior Home Cleaning
Powerwashing the exterior of your home
After the long winter, there is bound to be a lot of dirt and grime that has collected on your outdoor abode, and now is the best time to get things done. Power washing your deck, railings, or patio furniture is a great place to start. Power washing allows a quick and easy alternative to cleaning everything by hand. It is as simple as taking the power washer to the deck itself to make it shine like any other beautiful deck out there. Power washing is also safe to use on all exterior parts of your home. By power washing your deck, windows, sidewalks and/or driveways your home will begin to sparkle in no time!
Improving the appeal of your deck
If your deck doesn’t quite have that razzle-dazzle appeal that you were hoping for after cleaning away the grime build-up, applying a fresh coat of stain can help revitalize it and really make it stand out. Deciding on the best time to stain your deck is very important as the weather must cooperate to ensure the best results. To boost the color scheme, you could consider applying a fresh coat of paint to all your patio furniture as well. Additionally, if you find that there are parts of your home’s exterior that could use some touch-up paint, it would not be too much to go ahead and add a little extra pizzazz.
Sprucing up with some greenery
It never hurts to add some flowers. To improve the ambiance of the deck itself, simply add some hanging plants to add some color to your surroundings. Additionally, some basic shrubbery or potted trees or plants can add additional privacy for you and your guests while enjoying your time in the sun. By performing some basic landscaping (i.e., trimming the hedges, mowing the lawn, or planting new flowers) will allow for a more soothing and relaxing time spent outdoors.
Add additional lighting
If you live in an older home, you could better accentuate the beautiful architecture by adding some additional lighting to the porch and sidewalk areas. Additional lighting allows you and your friends to extend your time spent outside well into the twilight hours of the day. Furthermore, additional lighting is a very simple DIY task and will give a more comforting feel to your outdoor area.
Over time, gutters fill with leaves, branches, and debris that can be visible from the street. Make it a habit to clean out your gutters regularly and during dry weather. Clean gutters will allow for the water to flow properly through the downspout and not overflow onto your deck or other parts of your home exterior, minimizing the likelihood of damage.
$199 Hot Water Vinyl Siding Cleaning Special for June 2012. Up to 2000 sqft. Hand scrubbing of gutters is not included.
$199 for Professional Hot Water House Wash (vinyl siding only) Up to 2500sqft of surface area. Call Carlton Cleans 301-906-4446 or complete our contact form. Gutter black mark removal is not included. Black marks on the gutters are oxidized into to the paint and require harsh chemicals and hand scrubbing for removal. Gutter cleaning is an additional fee.
Pressure washing is one of those services that many homeowners forget is important to maintaining the exterior surfaces of their home. Understanding pressure washing and the benefits of it are important for homeowners who want to increase curb appeal, lengthen the lifetime of their decks or other surfaces, or even raise the property value of their home.
Part of understanding pressure washing is understanding how a pressure washer works and what they are able to accomplish with their equipment. A pressure washer must be careful to apply the appropriate amount of water pressure required by the surface being cleaned. That means a pressure washer doesn’t just come and haphazardly spray a home or building. A pressure washer will inspect the surface to be cleaned to determine the extent of the job. It may become necessary for the pressure washer to suggest the use of a detergent. In most cases cleaning solutions are used to aid in the cleaning process. With cleaning solutions the pressure washer can use less pressure while cleaning to ensure no damage to the surface and facilitate uniform cleaning . Careful application also requires walking around the home or building after the initial cleaning checking for areas that need to be spot-washed. Carlton Cleans, an experienced pressure washer wants to ensure that your building is clean contributing to it’s curb appeal and providing good value for your service dollar.
Understanding Pressure Washing Effects
Pressure washing is an effective way to ensure that your home or building’s surface is cleared of grimy materials like soot, dirt, ash, liquid stains, bugs, and other materials. Other effects that you will see from regular pressure washings include:
- Increased curb appeal.
- Longer life of a wooden deck or patio.
- Increased property value.
- Pride in your homes appearence.