Skip to content
Power Washing and Dirty Buildings

Power Washing and Dirty Buildings

One of the most exceptional pieces of equipment ever created is the power washer.  Nothing out there give us as much satisfaction and can offer such instant gratification as the power washer.  It is a magnificent machine.  It is a time machine.  After months or even years of dirt and grime, any building or structure will look old and drab.  The worst part is that the dirt accumulates so slowly over time you do not even realize how dirty your walls are getting.  One day, you look up to look at your property, and you wonder where the beauty and personality of your building went.  It is still there, but it is hidden from the dirt in the air.

Why are your buildings getting so dirty?  There are several reasons from environmental to possible clues as to things that are not functioning correctly in and around your building.

Defective Rain Water Systems and Pipes

Your building has gutters and drain pipes that move water safely and harmlessly away from the building.  It is necessary to move water away from your building as water can be extremely corrosive and damaging to your structure.  If there are cracks in your foundation, water will find it.  If drainage is not working, water can puddle up, leading to leaks and erosion.  Standing water can also attract mosquitoes and other bugs.  Water also carries dirt that settles everywhere the water has been.

Water that runs down the side of your building, as opposed to through the drain, can lead to corrosion, flaking, discoloration, and large amounts of dirt and grime to be left behind.  Water can also leave a white powdery substance behind that is practically impossible to remove.

Damaged Pointing

Pointing is the finish in between the rocks, brick, stones used in building a structure.  If the pointing is defective or breaking, water can get into the cracks and the masonry.  Even if you fix the pointing, but it is done incorrectly, rainwater can be locked in and still cause oversaturation of the masonry leading to discoloration and dirt.  When masonry becomes over-saturated, the salts start to come out of the stones on to the surface. The salt and its residue is called efflorescence.

Metal Parts of a Building

Many buildings, especially older ones, have many metal parts.  These may be working components, such as the gutter and drains, or they may be decorative or ornamental.  Either way, if they are ferrous, they need to be cleaned regularly, or they can start to rust and corrode, leading to the rust and debris running down the side of the building, leaving impossible stains.  These stains just make buildings look old and run down.

Environmental Factors

Then there are the things that you cannot control.  Heavily trafficked areas have exhaust from vehicles in the air that lands on everything in sight.  Even planes flying drop the soot from the exhaust on everything they fly over.  Then there is the regular dust and dirt blown through the air.  There is also pollen from trees and plants.  The rain that falls is also not always as clean as we think it would be, so when the rain falls, the dirt and pollution in the water are deposited on whatever it lands on.  Other natural features, such as ivy, causes dust to settle into your building. If you have ivy, trees, or any foliage touching your building, your building will have a building up of moisture and dirt that can lead to all sorts of issues, such as moisture, bugs or rodents.

All of this brings us back to power washing and how we love to see a building being brought back to its original splendor.  As you go through your spring cleaning tasks and take out the power washer to clean a year’s worth of buildup off of your buildings, look to see where the dirt might be coming.  If you have broken gutters or leaky drains, then dirt might be the least of your problems.  Check the air conditioners that are in the windows and through the walls.  If they are not mounted properly, water can be running off of them down the side of your building.  Remember that water always finds a way.  The smallest of cracks can lead to massive problems.

Check your masonry and pointing.  Look for issues on your roof and watch how the water runs during a rainstorm.  If you have an old building with metal components, then you may want to consider changing them to more updated materials.  If the metal is decorative and cannot be removed, then you may want to consider professional care and maintenance to protect your building’s surfaces.

For any of these issues, please feel free to call us to discuss what you need to get your building cleaned and repaired.  We are One Source Supply.  A family business that treats you like family.

Next article All Business is Personal