When properly maintained, render offers a modern and attractive finish to your home that will last for more than 20 years. While render is fairly low maintenance, you’ll need to wash it from time to time to keep it looking great.
When it comes to washing large outdoor surfaces, pressure washers often come in handy. They’re ideal for blasting patios, driveways, and sidewalks, but can you pressure wash rendering?
The short answer to that is no.
While pressure washing is superb for many things, it’s no recommended on something as delicate as render. While the product seems hardwearing, it can’t usually handle the 2000+ PSI power of a pressure washer.
Below, we explore a few of the reasons why you should avoid pressure washing rendering and discuss the best alternative methods to remove dirt, grime, and green algae.
Strips the Surface
When render starts to look dirty, many people turn to the pressure washer. Although power washing is ideal for concrete and stone surfaces, it’s not a good idea to pressure wash render.
In many cases, pressure washing rendering strips the surface off the wall. As most rendering is less than 10mm thick, taking a few millimeters off each time it’s cleaned will cause big problems later down the line. Over time, pressure washing your render will cause it to become thinner which can lead to pieces falling off, cracks forming, and an uneven finish.
Etches the Surface
Pressure washing rendering with a fan or pencil jet can etch the surface of the render. Once the surface is etched it will always appear damaged; unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to bring it back.
While render may look lovely and clean after power washing, it won’t last. As the grime rebuilds on the surface, the etching will become more prominent. This means that not only will the surface be damaged, but the render will show the lines of the etches and appear patchy.
When this happens, the only solution is to re-render the property. If you’ve had your home rendered in the past, you’ll know that this comes at a considerable cost.
Doesn’t Address the Root Cause
Unfortunately, most types of render suffer from the same problems. While they look great when they’re clean, they’re a breeding ground for moss, mold, lichen, and algae. These microorganisms grow on the render and not only make it look dirty but also damage the surface.
If you pressure wash your render, the roots of the microorganisms will remain in place. While the render may look great to start with, a few months later the moss, algae, and bacteria will grow back.
So, not only will pressure washing your render cause potential damage but also it won’t address the root of the problem. For a long-term solution, you need to remove the dirt, grime, and the roots of the microorganisms.
What’s the Solution?
While there are various ways to clean render safely, the most effective seems to be low-pressure steam cleaning with chemicals.
By using the right cleaning method on your render, no damage will be done to the surface and the render will stay sparkling for longer. By addressing the root cause and killing the microorganisms living on the surface, your home will stay cleaner much longer.
One of the best ways to clean render is to apply chemicals to the surface under low pressure. Most often, this is applied from the ground using telescopic cleaning equipment. The pressure of this should be similar to a domestic hose pipe.
Certain areas, such as stone ledges and areas close to the ground, may need low-pressure steam to get them clean. This is usually because a buildup has formed from splash up.
Instead of risking damage to your render by pressure washing it, stick to a low-pressure option that delivers lasting results.
Unless you’re experienced with chemical low-pressure steam cleaning, you’re best off hiring a company to clean your render. Not only will this save you the trouble, but the job will get done properly by professionals that know what they’re doing.
If you don’t want to invest in a chemical clean, there are a few other ways you can keep your render looking clean. The first, and easiest method, is it watch out for vegetation. Obviously, vegetation isn’t the only cause of dirt and grime, but it plays a major factor.
Any organic growth on the render will make your home start to look dirty. To avoid this, carefully remove any moss, ivy, or other vegetation using a brush, and then treat the area with a render cleaner.
Even if there’s no sign of greenery on your render, it can be a good idea to give it an occasional rinse with render cleaner. This will help to kill some of the fungal, algal, and bacterial species living on the surface – including green algae.
Essentially, this is a low-cost alternative to getting your render professionally chemically cleaned. While the chemicals won’t be as effective as a professional-grade cleaner, they will slow down the build-up before it becomes visible.
Wash it Down
If you want to remove stains from your render, or if it’s looking a bit dirty, wipe the surface down with a mild detergent. Depending on the size of your property, this might not be feasible. However, you’ll definitely notice a difference on areas that you can reach.
If you want to clean your render regularly, you might like to invest in some telescopic cleaning tools. This will help you to clean any hard-to-reach areas from the comfort of the floor.
In summary, you should avoid pressure washing rendering. Instead, get it professionally steam cleaned or invest in some home cleaning tools to do the job yourself. There’s no set rule as to how often you should wash your render – just as and when required to keep it looking great.