Hazards of mold and algae. Mold? Algae? What’s the difference? Most times, the unsightly stuff on your roof is algae. Algae is pretty much benign. It thrives in humid areas of the country and loves to park itself where there are asphalt roof shingles. Most shingles in the Cedar Park/Leander area are asphalt. Algae will not harm your roof, but does not add natural beauty to your home. Mold is a whole other scenario. Black mold is a big problem here in the Cedar Park/Leander area. It appears on stonework, roofs and inside the home where there is a warm, moist environment. Mold can be a health threat. Allergies, watery eyes, headache, sore throat, sneezing and coughing can all be symptoms of a mold problem. Usually, the roof shows the first signs of mold. This is not a situation calling for a DIY solution. Leave this to the pros who have the expertise, experience, equipment and needed chemicals to do the job with care and as little interruption to the homeowner as possible. Check your roof today for signs of any problems.
How to clean mold and algae from concrete. Mold and algae. Ugly stuff on your concrete patio and driveway. Cracks in your pavers or bricks sprouting little growths? You can take care of these problems safely and without harsh chemicals with items you probably have in your home. The only thing you need to offer are time and energy. You will need:
Mix the borax and vinegar in a cup of warm water and put the mixture in a spray bottle. Hose down the area to be cleaned. Spray the solution on a manageable section - do a little at a time – and let the solution soak in as much as needed to saturate the area. Then, scrub. Suggest using protective gloves. Keep wetting your brush and keep scrubbing until the entire area needing cleaning has been done. It is work but the results will be well worth it. Now rinse thoroughly using the “Power” nozzle attachment on your hose. Try to do your job when the sun will dry off your work area when you finish.
Other methods to remove mold, algae, etc., from concrete, flagstone and stone walkways, cement driveways would involve using mold and algae removers available at better hardware stores and big box home improvement stores. If you choose to use these products, be sure to carefully follow all directions. There are spray away mold and algae remover products on the market that will take care of these problems. As with any commercial product, wear protective gear. Even if a product claims to be “Safe,” take care near plants and gardens, covering them with a protective cover and taking care not to overspray. However, if your landscape rocks are in need of cleaning, there are ways to remove mold and algae from rocks in a garden. A little dish detergent in a bucket of water, generously applied and then give the rocks a good scrubbing with a stiff brush to remove any surface dirt. You can also use a pressure washer (On lowest setting) and spray rocks with just plain water. If you want to add a cleaner to the water, find one that is biodegradable. However, with a pressure washer, take care not to chip the rocks. Another method is, mix a solution of one part bleach to one part water and put in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the rocks. If you accidentally overspray onto plants or vegetation, rinse visible foliage and soak the soil with 3” of water to saturate and disperse any bleach in the mix. If needed, scrub again after three or four days to finish up any missed spots and water again.
Removing mold and algae from stonework. Here in the Cedar Park/Leander area, our majority stone is limestone. Care must be taken not to chip this soft, porous, but beautiful stone. Soft washing to the rescue here. Pressure washing is to be avoided as too much “Pressure” could easily damage limestone. Our local, unsightly black mold can quickly ruin the appearance of a home’s stone siding. This is a big job that some may want to tackle as a DIY project. However, we strongly recommend leaving this task to the pros. Supplies and equipment needed, various chemical mixes and uses of each can be overwhelming to a homeowner and quite costly. Technique to do this job properly only comes with experience.
How to clean mold and algae from vinyl siding. Yes. Vinyl siding can be hit by black mold and algae from rainwater and condensation. A solution of bleach or vinegar will handle the problem. 30% vinegar to 70% water or 20% bleach to 80% water. Then scrub with a soft bristle brush. These same mixes can be used in a pressure washer or the preferred low pressure pump sprayer. A pressure washer might be quicker but if water gets behind the siding it could cause any exposed wood to rot. Take care not to get the liquid under the siding. Cover any nearby plants and shrubs to protect them from any overspray. Also, make sure any outside electrical connections are “Off” and covered.
For information on how we can help you with this and get your home looking amazing again, give us a call or contact us online.
It comes around every year… Spring Cleaning. Where to start. Indoors? Outdoors? The weather is getting nicer, so let’s get started. Roof? Gutters and downspouts? Stone surfaces? Windows? Screen repair? Driveway? Patio? Fence?
Decisions. Decisions. Let’s start at the top, the roof and gutters. Mold, mildew, spores on the roof and yucky stuff in the gutters……and all that equipment needed to do the job. To say nothing of the dangers of ladder and roof work. There is an easy solution to this dirty and dangerous task. A+ Window Cleaning Services. They have the expertise and equipment to get this job done quickly and safely. Gutters and downspouts can be done at the same time as the roof. Clogged downspouts and gutters can cause water to back up under shingles leading to water damage. Cleaning them out will prevent this.
Stone surfaces showing signs of black mold? Mildew? A+ Window Cleaning Services will soft wash your stonework to remove all traces of mold, mildew and algae and bring it back to its beautiful original color. We do soft washing to clean and protect the soft stone surfaces we have here in Texas. We carefully cover your plants and shrubs to protect them from any overspray.
A+ Window Cleaning Services does windows, inside and out. Sills are cleaned along with the frames and window tracks. Screens are removed, washed and replaced. If screens need repair, We can do that as well.
Driveway and patio looking like it’s time for a cleaning? Pressure Washing can return these surfaces to their original beauty and sealing will help to preserve. This can be done quickly and with a minimum of interruption to the homeowner.
Fences need to be cared for. Has your fence turned gray, blackened sections showing mold, mildew, algae? Texas weather can quickly discolor your fence. Hot Summers can dry out the wood and the unseen UV rays can wreak havoc on your fence. A+ Window Cleaning Services can clean, stain and seal your fence using tarps where needed to protect plants and lawn. There will be a variety of stain colors for you to choose from to bring your fence back to prime appearance. These processes will protect your fence from discoloring and will give protection from heat and UV rays. Your fence can look beautiful once again
The holidays are almost here. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years will be here before we know it. A time for friends and family. Get out the good china. Iron that special tablecloth. Put those new towels in the guest bathroom. Plan those special menus. So much to do.
But, is your home ready for these important days? A+ Window Cleaning Services is ready to help home owners in Cedar Park, Leander, Austin, Georgetown and Liberty Hill.
Are your windows looking “Filmy” from the outside? Finger marks and dog nose smudges on the inside? Windowsills need cleaning? Window channels need some attention? Hard water stains need removal? A+ Window Cleaning Services can handle all your home’s inside and outside glass needs – windows, mirrors, glass shower doors, can be brought back to their shiny, crystal clear condition quickly and with a minimum of intrusion on your lifestyle. Do your windows have screens? A+ Window Cleaning Services can clean, repair or replace your screens as needed.
Does your home have a stone exterior? Sections of the stone turning black? Mold is at work here. Soft washing will remove this unsightly stuff quickly and bring your beautiful stone work back to the beauty expected of a stone exterior.
Driveway and patio looking dirty? A power washing will thoroughly clean off dirt and algae to bring these areas back to a pristine look. Also, A+ Window Cleaning Services will take care of any needed cleaning of patio furniture. Has your wooden fence turned grey? Discolored? We also have the equipment needed to clean and care for your wood fence and return it to prime appearance.
Family or friends staying over for a “Long weekend” will probably have some laundry needing to be done. Has your dryer vent been cleaned lately? Dryer vent clogging is a leading cause of home fires. A+ Window Cleaning Services can thoroughly clean your dryer vent tube from the back of the dryer to the outside vent. This is not a do it yourself project. A thorough, professional vent cleaning will eliminate any potential hazard, let your dryer run more efficiently, dry items more quickly and use less energy.
Let’s not forget the top of your home, the roof. Cleaning/soft washing (Low pressure) can get rid of unsightly mold and moss and vastly improve the appearance of your roof. This can be a hazardous job so it is best left to the professionals who have the proper equipment and are used to using ladders, being up on a roof, etc. We can also handle the very dirty job of cleaning and servicing your gutters.
We would be pleased to assist in any way to help get your home ready for the holidays. Please go to our website www.apluswcs.com to read our blogs and see photos of our work. The photos of window cleaning, pressure washing and dryer vent cleaning have videos – just click on the picture.
Read our reviews to see what customers say about our services. We are proud of our five star status.
Contact us by phone at (512) 535-4308 or text us at (512) 318-8877 to schedule a service, or receive a free estimate. Please contact us as early as possible to schedule since we are going into a very busy season.
From our Family to yours have a Happy and safe holiday season..
Is your beautiful fence turning grey? Covered with mildew? Mold? Algae?
Time for a good cleaning. Soft and or pressure washing?
To get started, Cover/protect your plants and shrubs from damage by covering with a plastic tarp and cover the tarp with an absorbable second layer of protection (Old sheets) to prevent any of the cleaning liquid(s) from soaking through. Additional needed supplies are a large bucket, Chlorine bleach, garden hose with sprayer attachment, mild soap, stiff bristle brush. Protective eyewear rubber gloves and long sleeves are highly recommended. Safety first. Spray your cleaning mixture onto the fence then scrub down the fence giving extra elbow grease to areas heavily discolored. Once you’ve eliminated the stains, follow up with a thorough spraying down of the fence. Let fence dry. Once dry, check carefully for any damage, loose screws/nails and sandpaper any rough spots. This would be a good time to seal/stain your fence which we will discuss in a future blog.
Another cleaning method is soft washing your fence. (High) pressure washing can damage your fence. Low pressure only. Cover and protect plants and shrubs – and yourself – as above. Chemicals to do this job may be used in place of vinegar and are available at any supply store. TSP, Tri Sodium Phosphate is a commonly used chemical, but take extra care when using or mixing with bleach. Extra care should be taken, no matter which chemical is used and don’t forget to wear protective eyewear, gloves and be sure to cover any exposed skin. A TSP and bleach pre -mixed solution can be purchased, along with renting a sprayer. Renting a sprayer will save you the time and effort of doing the fence by hand. When applying the cleaner, be sure the fence is dry and remember, LOW pressure. Once the fence is sprayed, let the cleaner “Work” for a few minutes. Them scrub down the fence giving extra attention to the badly discolored areas. Rinse fence thoroughly with plain water using your garden hose.
Switch out your absorb-able materials (Sheets) covering your plastic drop cloths as they become saturated. You don’t want runoff from the cleaning liquids getting near your vegetation. Remember, chlorine bleach, TSP etc., are chemicals. Please be careful.
Fence cleaning is a time consuming, messy job. Why not let the pros do it for you? They have all the needed materials, the know how and most importantly, the experience to care for your fence no matter what the age or condition of your wood fence. A+ Window Cleaning Services can clean your fence quickly and efficiently to make it look like new. 512 535 4308
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An often overlooked but very important part of home maintenance is keeping gutters and downspouts clean and free of debris. This is a dirty and potentially dangerous undertaking. First, we’ll cover the cleaning aspect of this task and then the safety measures that should be taken.
Cleaning is a pretty straightforward job. Get on a ladder and (Wearing gloves) clean out all the slime, muddy mildew, leaves and whatever else you discover in the gutters. While on the ladder, check all the gutter connectors going into the fascia. If any of these connecting spikes have worked loose, or the hole in the fascia has rotted out, time to repair/replace. You want to make sure your gutter is securely fastened to the fascia wherever it is connected. Check the gutter for any holes or rusted out areas. Older gutters that rust can be a recurring problem. You can go to the trouble of chipping, caulking, sanding, priming and painting the rusted sections. However, odds are that rust will show up in other areas of the older gutters. Best to look into replacing them with more modern gutters of aluminum or vinyl. A gutter must function properly to protect your home. Gutter, downspout and splash blocks work as a team to keep water away from your home’s foundation. Periodically, check for signs of mold, water damage and mildew. Look for fascia wood rot and water not draining properly. Keep your “Gutter team” running as they should. You can rent a pressure washer to clean gutters. You should be “OK” if you have made sure that your gutters are 100% correctly and securely attached to the fascia. Take care not to damage any of the shingles. The key word here is “Pressure.” Use just enough pressure to do the job. Now your gutter is clean, your downspouts are running clear and your splash blocks are properly placed and facing away from your home.
Safety. We must always be mindful of safety. Safety first should always be uppermost in our minds. Gutter cleaning can be dangerous. To start, always wear gloves, protective eyewear and wear a pair of good rubber soled shoes. Gloves will protect from contact with debris in the gutter that could be a carrier of bacteria. Also, insects could be nesting in your gutters. The necessity of eyewear is self-explanatory. Proper footwear is a must when climbing ladders. Ladder rungs will get wet and slippery, so take necessary precautions. You want a safe, strong ladder, preferably one with a shelf to hold a bucket to put the gutter debris in. Make sure you place the ladder at a safe angle in relation to the roof. Do NOT try to reach too far when cleaning out the gutter to avoid another trip down and up the ladder. NEVER try to “Hop” the ladder over to the next section to be cleaned. A very dangerous practice. If there are electrical lines coming into your home close to where you are working, be doubly careful.
If you plan to tackle this job yourself, please be careful. However, there is an option out there that will alleviate you of this dirty, dangerous chore. Let the pros do the work. They have the latest equipment to do the job quickly, thoroughly and with minimum interference with your daily schedule. They will clean and inspect your gutters and downspouts and check your roof while up on the ladder. There are special gutter cleaning tools and accessories the pros use that would be very costly for a homeowner to purchase.
A+ Window Cleaning Services can handle all your gutter cleaning needs along with interior and exterior window and glass cleaning, roof cleaning, fence cleaning, soft washing, dryer vent cleaning, hard water stain removal, pressure washing and mold removal to clean your home’s stone surfaces.
Contact A+ Window Cleaning Services at (512) 535-4308. To view before and after pictures and see videos of A+ Window Cleaning Services, go to the website at www.apluswcs.com
Nearly everyone has cleaned out the little lint screen in their dryer. Cleaning the small lint screen in your dryer is a good practice, but does not clear the duct running from your home to the outside. Over time, this plastic or foil tube can become clogged with accumulated lint and pet hair or over time, bend or crimp causing an unseen clog. This clogging of this tube can lead to a build up of hot air which, if enough heat builds up, could ignite the accumulated lint. Dryer fires are all too common today. A thorough vent cleaning will help prevent this.
Both electric and gas dryers benefit from a professional vent cleaning. Keeping the vent of a gas dryer clean and venting properly has the added benefit of preventing carbon monoxide from escaping from a clogged vent and leaking back into the home.
If clothes are taking longer to dry, the problem is usually a clogged duct which slows venting to the outdoors. The dryer needs to run longer, putting extra wear on the unit and using more energy. The screen at the outside exhaust port can also clog affecting the function of the dryer. A clean dryer vent helps your dryer perform more efficiently. Clothes will dry more quickly and help control utility costs.
Is this a “Do it yourself” project? Not really. Aside from the dangers of climbing a ladder to reach a second story dryer vent cover, you would need the following supplies:
Let the pros do the ladder climbing. They will safely remove the outside dryer vent cover and thoroughly vacuum out all lint and debris from the vent tube using the proper equipment. Your dryer will run more efficiently giving it longer life, saving on energy, safe indoor air quality and the elimination of conditions leading to a dryer fire.
Here in Texas, most roofs are asphalt shingles. Soft washing, also known as low pressure washing is used for roof cleaning. No (High) pressure washing here. Soft washing will get the chemicals into all needed areas of the roof and allow the chemicals to do their job. Soft washing is a must as is careful scrubbing, if needed, to prevent loosening of the mineral granules from the shingles. Your roof protects your home from the elements and needs care just like the rest of your home. Black mold and harmful bacteria can grow and eat away at shingles, eventually damaging the roof.
According to a recent article in The American window Cleaning magazine, “Roofing shingles typically consist of three parts: fiberglass sheets, petroleum adhesive, and ceramic or stone aggregate. The most important portion of the roofing shingle is the aggregate, which protects the rest of the system from degradation caused by both weather and UV rays.
Over the past 30 years, shingle manufacturers have significantly reduced the amount of asphalt in shingles, adding other ingredients instead, such as limestone. Gloeocapsa Magma feast on limestone, which is why roof algae has become such a widespread problem. Left untreated, the algae literally eats away at the roof until the only option left is roof replacement, which typically costs several thousands of dollars.
Additionally, shingle granules are designed to help deflect UV rays and heat away from the roof’s surface. When the granules have deteriorated or are covered in algae, the attic get hotter and electric bills rise.”
What’s the Solution?
“The good news is that in many cases, a good cleaning using the proper techniques can eliminate the algae, prolong the roof’s life, and potentially lower electric bills. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) recommends that shingles be cleaned using non-pressure, chemical methods. Using too high of pressure may remove the algae, but it can also remove granules from the shingles, which again will degrade the roof’s lifespan. In fact, using high pressure often voids any roofing manufacturer’s warranty.
Finally, in addition to killing the destructive algae from roofs, a clean roof is much more attractive than a dirty roof. A clean roof instantly increases a home’s curb appeal, and in turn, is one of the most cost-effective improvements a home or building owner can make.”
So, after clearing away any roof debris, soft washing with proper equipment and using appropriate chemicals will kill harmful bacteria and clean your roof of mold without damage to the shingles. After the application of cleaning products, the roof is left to dry, then rinsed with clean water. If mold or algae is heavily imbedded in your shingles, a gentle scrubbing should do the job, being careful not to loosen the mineral granules on the shingles. After the roof dries and has been rinsed. if needed, the soft washing process is repeated. The last step in the cleaning process is a thorough rinsing .
Plants and shrubs near the work site can be protected from chemicals dripping off the roof by being treated with a special liquid protectant or, watered and covered with a tarp.
Anyone doing this job must be safety conscious for all concerned at all times. Safety equipment will be used 100% of the time.
SOFT WASHING is a safe and effective low pressure process that gently applies products containing mildewcides, surfactants, rinsing agents and bleach that loosen and eliminate unsightly stains such as mildew, mold and algae. Lower pressure will safely and completely clean surfaces without the potential damage to surfaces and roofs from high pressure methods. Pressure washing might damage the soft stone surfaces we have here in Texas, and will only take away the top surface of the problem allowing the Algae to come back sooner. Soft washing eliminates this potential damage, and last 5 to 7 times longer than pressure washing. Using the low pressure soft washing method, your home or commercial building will be free of any unsightly buildup of dirt and debris. Clean water and a neutralizer is the final step in this process that will leave the surface on a home or commercial building reflecting a long lasting clean.
Soft washing is also used to clean roofs, both asphalt and metal which can also harbor unsightly stains and spores. We spray your plants near the work site with a neutralizer to keep them safe during the cleaning process. We also wash them down again after the job is finished and finally rinse with water.
You will need a complete array of tools needed for the job, ladder, water tank, pump, hoses, expanding pole, sprayer, mildewcides, surfactants and an assortment of mops, squeegees, brushes.
Welcome to our blog post about Exterior Window Cleaning. In our last post we discussed cleaning the inside of a homes’ windows and today we will discuss how to safely clean the exterior windows of your home safely.
Like the interior of your home you can clean your interior glass with traditional methods using a mop and a squeegee but how do you get the best results and what challenges will you face.
So, let’s look at some of the items you will need to do a professional job on the exterior glass.
· Ladder with stand off
· Mop and squeegee
· Right mix of detergent
· Hard water remover
· Steel wool 0000
· White scrubbing pad
· Tool belt
· Track brush
· Screen removal tool
· Microfiber Towels
Starting off with the ladders, as you noticed I also put a standoff in there. A standoff, attaches to the top of the ladder giving you room to push away from the glass so you are not right up against it tight. The problem with just laying your ladder against a wall is you have a very tight angle to try to get to the glass once you reach the top. This can make it unsafe and can leave you feeling a little vulnerable up there as you try to reach your equipment. The stand off really is a huge help and gives you room to work. Make sure though you purchase the right standoff for the ladder, after all it is holding you against the wall. The standoff is essential for the home owner to reach high windows safely. You would also want to have a leg leveler built into or included in the ladders for uneven ground as you make your way around the home.
Next a tool belt kitted out with your mop and squeegee, additional water, hard water remover, steel wool and track brush. When climbing your ladder, you will need to have everything on hand but put away within easy access, so you can leave your hands free for safety as you go up and down the ladder.
When you reach the level of the glass, you will need to remove the screen this can be done from either inside (safer way to do this) or the outside. You will first want to assess if you need hard water remover to take of the mineral build up left on the glass from rain. Hard water remover comes in different forms, the most popular being either a liquid that you can spray on or in a paste which you use a white scrubbing pad to polish in. You can tell you have hard water deposits as it leaves a white milky film on the glass which cannot be washed off with soap and water alone. Apply the product to the glass and use your scrubbing pad in a circular motion to remove the stains. You will then need to wash down the glass using your mop and squeegee off the water, once you have done this check to make sure you have gotten all the hard water stains off and then wash again as the hard water remover can leave a residue which will show up in sunlight.
You then need to wipe down the frame and clean out the track using your track brush and then you can exit down the ladder.
Often cleaning first floor homes you will need to have an extension pole handy to reach over plants and bushes. Washing the glass with a pole is simple enough but you must take care not to force the water and soap up in the frame. This is a common mistake, you will squeegee the glass walk away and then you will get runs on the glass. We call these tears. Now you have done the easy part washing down the glass the next part is not so easy especially when using a pole to reach over obstacles. Squeegeeing off the glass is really an art form, doing it with a squeegee, by hand is tough enough but doing it on a pole can be very difficult and will require a lot of practice to make sure you get into all the corners. Next you can close out with the squeegee either at the side of or at the bottom of the glass. Remember to go around the frame with a dry piece of microfiber cloth when you are done to pick up any excess water. You must use a clean dry piece each time you wipe, or you will leave lines.
A+ Window Cleaning uses a variety of techniques to get your glass gleaming and looking like new again. We use a combination of traditional mop and squeegee and a water fed pole. The water fed pole uses filtered water shooting through a small diameter hose up to a brush head to clean the glass and rinse leaving a spot free finish. This is a much safer way to clean glass at high levels from the ground as no ladders are needed. The operator uses a telescopic carbon fiber pole to get to the exact height and washes across the top of the glass cleaning the frames as we go. We use a special solution which leaves the glass streak free with traditional window cleaning methods and remove all the hard water from the glass.
Stay tuned to this channel for more tips and hints for keeping up with the ‘Joneses’, as we talk about shower door cleaning, broken seals, soft-washing and more.
So today I wanted to share with you some thoughts on traditional window cleaning and the methods we use at A+ window cleaning.
Our goal is to leave your home totally spot free with sparkling glass to make your neighbors envious.
One of the methods we use is traditional window cleaning but just what does that mean?
Traditional methods are done using a mop (applicator to put water on and scrub the glass) and a Squeegee to take off the dirty water. It is basically washing your windows by hand to leave a spot free finish.
So just using a window cleaning product from the store has the advantage that you can do it yourself in a relatively short amount of time. The downside to this is you are not really removing the dirt off the windows, more moving it around and taking some of the dirt away on the cloth. This tends to leave a haze and wipe marks on the glass often leaving the glass looking worse than it did before. Some brave souls with all good intentions head off to the hardware store and buy a squeegee off the shelf to get the results they are looking for. Using a squeegee takes practice and you need to keep your rubber clean of debris which can leave lines that you do not notice until the water dries. Any slight nick in the rubber will leave a line and if you are not at the correct angle, water can leak over the edge and again leave a swish mark that you will not notice until the glass dries. You then need to ensure you detail the windows around the top of the frame and edges, so you do not get what we call tears (runs) on the glass after you move away. The other thing people do not consider is the amount of time it takes to do a full clean on your glass.
So! what is the A+ way and why is hiring a window cleaning company a good investment in your home maintenance schedule?
Here is a list of the tools we use to give you that professional result every time:
To finish we wipe down all the sills to do a complete job in your home and then get ready to go outside and tackle the glass out there to be covered in another post.