Power washing or pressure washing is often done to strip paint from wooden walls or sidings in preparation for a painting job. This procedure can also remove dirt, mold, and mildew that might have accumulated over the years on your home’s exterior surfaces. While power washing has a lot of benefits, Amy Rodriguez (in an article for homeguides.sfgate.com) reports that a possible downside is the destruction of plants through exposure to power-wash chemicals.
The most common cleaning agents used in power washing are bleach solutions and detergents. Bleach solutions can turn into salts and detergents can cause brown spotting. Both of these can kill plants. Fortunately, some reputable pressure washing companies like Renew Crew have formulated their own proprietary solvents which they guarantee to be safe for plants.
People that prefer to conduct a power washing project on their own need to consider the effects of the cleaning agents they plan on using. Both bleach solutions and detergents have to be diluted using the right water-to-solvent ratio to be effective while still preventing damage to the surface that is being cleaned, as well as the plants surrounding the house. Although these chemicals are manufactured to be safe for plants and animals, they may trigger certain reactions that may end up permanently destroying the plant.
Bleach solution runoffs can raise garden soil salinity, which will make it difficult for plants to absorb water. To avoid this, Ms. Rodriguez recommends watering your plants prior to pressure washing, so that the bleach solution becomes even more diluted after it reaches the ground. Watering the plants after the washing will also help rinse bleach residues away.
Detergents need to be much more diluted than bleach solutions, yet they can still cause brown spotting when they come in contact with the leaves of certain plants. Watering the plants before and after pressure washing may also help prevent plant death. You will need to perform a thorough rinsing after the washing to make sure all traces of detergent are washed off the leaves.
Runoffs and over-sprays can also happen when you are pressure washing your siding. To prevent contact between the chemicals and your garden plants, Ms. Rodriguez suggests removing all plants within the area to be washed. If this is not possible, covering the plants with plastic is a good alternative.
Although you can take the necessary steps to protect your plants from possibly harmful pressure cleaning chemicals, the better alternative would be to employ the services of a reputable pressure cleaning company that cares about your plant’s survival. The safe option is to hire a company like Renew Crew that uses proprietary and eco-friendly cleaning solutions to ensure utmost protection for your plants. These professionals will take the right precautionary steps to protect your plants, while saving you from a lot of back-breaking work and preparation.
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