Pressure washing is the use of high pressure water to remove caked on grime from a multitude of surfaces. You can choose from a variety of offerings electric or gas, cold water or hot water depending on what you are looking to clean. For smaller areas and occasional cleaning such as patio furniture you could use a cold water Electric pressure washer available at any good home store.
For tackling something a little larger like patios, a gas cold water pressure washer will work better giving you more power and so more cleaning power. You will get a variety of tips that come with these types of pressure washers allowing you to get more aggressive with your cleaning. The tips are color coded, the black tip will be used to dispense soap giving you a good coverage area with a light spray. Next you will have the green tip which is again a wider spray pattern, next you have a white tip, yellow tip and then a red tip. Each nozzle gets smaller giving you a tighter jet of water. The white tip is usually the most used. Take care with the red tip as this is a very aggressive tip for stubborn stains.
When using your wand to clean surfaces make sure you keep the wand moving at all times so as not to damage the surface you are cleaning, concentrating the nozzle on a single spot for too long can cause damage. You will also need to make sure you overlap with each pass, this is not to be rushed otherwise you will leave track lines.
Next for larger areas you would really want to hire someone with a larger more commercial machine that is built for the task. At A+ Window Cleaning we use a 4.5 gallon per minute hot water pressure washing system. The pressure washer itself has a heating coil which can take the water up to 220 degrees for maximum cleaning power. The advantage of having hot over a cold-water system is you use a lot less water and get the job done faster and more efficiently as the hot water cuts through the dirt. When we are cleaning larger surfaces such as driveways we use a surface cleaner rather than a standard wand. The surface cleaner covers a larger area and ensures we do not leave any lines giving the home owner or business owner guaranteed results. We also use a floor squeegee to remove excess water which leaves a great finish.
Pressure washing will give you amazing results if it is used on the right surface with the right tip and a regulated pressure. If you are unsure you should ask a professional or hire someone to get the job done right. You should never use a pressure washer on soft stone surfaces which we have a lot of here in Texas. The pressure on the machine is just too high and can chip the stone away causing a mess and damage. If you are trying to remove mold etc, a pressure washer is really going to remove the top surface and not be very effective at killing the mold. You will need to use a soft-washing service, which A+ Window Cleaning has and are happy to provide you with a quote. We will look at soft-washing and its many advantages in another blog post.
So this is our first blog post, something we have wanted to do to share our stories and work with everyone. I wanted to use this first entry to help everyone understand who we are and what we are all about.
A+ Window Cleaning came about because we saw a need in our local area for Window Cleaning. We were simply out walking our dogs one night and noticed that we could provide a fantastic service at a very reasonable price. When we began we went door to door and started to pick up clients for residential cleaning only. We have since moved in both residential and commercial cleaning of windows and added additional services like pressure washing, soft washing, screen repair, shower door cleaning and gutter cleaning.
The business is family run, and the posts you will see are going to come from myself Phil, my wife Lisa, and our daughter Ashley. We arrive at your home business together usually or Lisa and Ashley will arrive first. When we get to your home we will have already done a quote which you will have approved and you will receive a notification VIA text message to let you know we are on our way with an estimated time of arrival. We have a uniform on blue shirts with our logo and khaki pants.
Upon arrival at your home we will use shoe covers to protect your floors. Our first step is to remove any screens you have, usually from the inside. Many different types of screens are available but the usual two we find here in Cedar park, Leander, Round Rock, Liberty Hill and Austin are spring loaded at the top with black tabs at the bottom, to remove these it is a case of grabbing onto the lower black tabs and gently lifting to depress the spring at the top of the screen and pushing outwards to remove the screen. Next we brush out and wash down your tracks, dirt and bugs collect in here so we use a stiff track brush and soap solution or steam cleaner to get the track looking like new. Once the tracks have been cleaned it is onto the glass.
A+ window cleaning uses traditional methods when cleaning interior windows. Traditional methods are a mop, this is used to apply the cleaning solution to the glass and then a squeegee to remove the cleaning solution. The mops and cleaning solution agitate the dirt not the glass and the Squeegee then removes everything from the glass. Depending on how long it has been since cleans we will uses either magic erasers to remove finger prints, nose prints from animals, scrapers and 0000 steel wool so marks are gone. Finally we detail the glass using microfibre towels to ensure that we have no runs and wipe down your sill and onto the next window.
Once all the interior windows are clean we will then start on the outside, Cobwebs and bugs are first brushed away on your frames. Once this has been completed we use a variety of traditional and new Window Cleaning methods to get the outside looking amazing. One of the problems we come up against in Texas is hard water, this is where the mineral deposits build up on the glass causing a white residue. Washing alone is not going to remove this residue which generally builds up along the tops of the glass and comes about a quarter of the way down. So we use a hard water remover which is either sprayed on or put on with a white scrubbing pad designed for cleaning glass. We apply the product, leave it to dwell for a few minutes and then use a scrubbing action to remove the hard water and then apply a rinse. For additional detail work, scrapers, 0000 steel wool or magic erasers will be used.
Once the glass has had the hard water staining removed we now set about cleaning the glass and use a couple of methods. Safety is utmost for us and when cleaning a second story home we will either use ladders but mainly what is known as a water Fed Pole. Water Fed Poles have been around for a number of years and the systems keep getting better. Basically you have minerals in your water at home and just using plain water without squeegeeing it off will leave water spots on your glass. So a water fed pole system basically filters out the minerals from the water giving us what we call pure water allowing us to wash off the glass leaving it spot free with the use of a squeegee. We bring our water onsite in a 125 gallon holding tank pre filtered. The tank runs into a pump system and through a small diameter hose into the head of a brush.
Now, there are many different types of brushes that we can use which we will discuss in another post. So the brush then fits onto a carbon fiber telescopic pole, the pole can extend up to thee stories. The great part about this is not only does it leave the glass spot free and looking amazing but we can clean up to three stories from the ground, with no ladders keeping us safe on your property. Pure water flows through the pole to the brush head washing and rinsing as we go. The other advantage to using the water fed pole is we can wash down your frames at the same time. We generally use the water fed pole for second and third story work and ground but we will also use traditional methods for single story or off of patios etc.
The final step is the get your screens done, we check all of the screens for any rips, cuts and bent frames and can repair those onsite or return fixed within a couple of days if it is multiple screens that need repair. Once the screens have been inspected we then wash the screens and run them through a screen bath. A cleaning solution is applied to the screen and left to dwell. Next we have a portable screen cleaner which we run the screen through to remove dust, pollen and grime. The excess water is tapped out of the screen and the frames and then wiped down with a cloth and left to dry. Once the screens are dry they are replaced and your home is now complete. The end result is your glass is left looking like new, your screens have been removed washed and replaced, your tracks and sills have been cleaned and your glass is sparkling leaving you the envy of your neighbors. We will cover commercial cleaning and be sharing photos of our residential work on a weekly basis.
Coming soon we are about to launch our new Youtube channel are are currently working on some how to videos. Thanks for reading and remember to check back and keep up to date with us.