Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Seal Concrete & Driveways to Prevent Winter Damage

Just like any other feature of your home, concrete and driveways need regular maintenance. To extend the life of your concrete, you should follow a routine schedule that includes power washing, sealer application, and expansion joint sealing. Fall is an ideal time to clean and seal your concrete walkways, driveway, patio, pool deck, and porch in preparation for the harsh Winter elements. 
Concrete is a porous material that allows it to absorb water, which becomes an issue once temperatures dip below freezing. Water expands by approximately 9-percent when it freezes, therefore any water trapped inside the concrete produces pressure as expansion occurs. Repeated freezing and thawing eventually cause the cavities to rupture, resulting in cracking, chipping, scaling, and pitting.
The problem is accelerated during Winter as car and foot traffic bring salt and de-icing agents onto the concrete and driveway. Salt is water absorbent, so it traps even more moisture into the concrete. The acidic properties of salt also weaken the chemical bonds that hold concrete together. 
Another potential issue to inspect and prevent is the deterioration of the expansion joints. The expansion joints are the spaces between concrete slabs filled with some kind of material. When the caulk, self-leveling sand, or other fill materials break down and disappear, the joints become filled with weeds, grass, and water. If the fill material has failed, then water and moisture will fill and freeze in the joints and under the slabs. Water getting underneath the slabs disrupts the soil, freezes, and extensive movement and cracking leaves the slabs uneven. 
Eventually, all of the damage will require expensive repairs. Concrete is not lifetime guaranteed by any means, but having it cleaned, sealed, and repaired regularly can greatly extend it's life and improve appearance.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Low-Pressure, Steam Power Washing vs High-Pressure Washing

Why should you choose low-pressure, steam power washing over regular pressure washing?
As an experienced power washing professional, I often hear people say they don't need my services, because "I have my own pressure washer at home." So, what is the difference between low-pressure, steam power washing and regular pressure washing?
Power washing is the process of removing dirt, mildew, mold, debris and other sticky substances that could potentially be hazardous to your health, damaging to your home and property, or simply an eyesore. Power washing uses a steady, pressurized flow of hot water to clean the surface with the added element of steam. The addition of heat and steam allows surfaces to be cleaned at lower pressure, and results in less potential for damage. Power washing is safer and more effective for:
Cleaning vinyl, aluminum or wood siding
Getting rid of mold and mildew
Brightening your deck or patio
Refreshing your driveway or walkway
Removing debris and black streaks from gutters and awnings

Pressure washing is the application of high-pressure water to a surface in order to remove dirt, mildew or other stubborn residue. Water from a pressure washer comes out of a specially-designed pump that is 100 times more powerful than a garden hose. Oftentimes, pressure washing is done with cold water.

Power washing your home can protect you and your family from harmful mold and other dirt that could trigger allergic reactions. The benefits of power washing are in the high temperature, heated water that can more easily, safely, and efficiently break down contaminants than regular, cold water alone.