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Archive for the ‘Surface Cleaning’ Category

We like to say, “Buyer Beware,” but a lot of consumers just pick what is cheapest. This can royally screw the pooch, so to speak. Check the manufacturer bulletins before proceeding with any home improvement. When it comes to cleaning your house, deck or roof; not every surface can be cleaned the same way. Make sure you hire the most knowledgeable company. In this article, I examine two technical bulletins: Ashpalt Roofing Manufacturer Bulletin (ARMA) Trex Deck Cleaning Guide and the Dryvit Technical Bulletin.

Ashpalt Roofing Manufacturer Bulletin

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) is a trade organization made up of roofers in North America. They spearhead the research and development within the asphalt roofing industry and as such, has created a cleaning bulletin for informational purposes. ARMA works with shingle manufacturers, lobbyists, the EPA local government to help the asphalt shingle industry grow and thrive.Formed in 1915, ARMA has been involved in the fire resistant shingle trend in the 1970s and the recyclable shingle movement of the 1990s.Today, asphalt shingles make up about 80% of American roofs.

One of ARMA’s publications it the “Algae Discoloration of Roofs,” where the explain what is growing on the shingles and recommend treatment procedures. Gloeocapsa Magma grows on many surfaces, asphalt shingles being an important one, causing dark discoloration and unsightly streaking. Some advancement in algae resistant shingles has been made, but just like gutter guards, each house is its own micro-environment. That means that the pitch, location and age of the roofing material all contribute to how bad the infestation will get. Algae resistant shingles are more expensive than regular shingles and come with a thick warranty detailing ways the manufacturer will not reimburse you if the Gloeocaps magma grows on the roof. ARMA recommends a cleaning method they call temporary and suggest buying algae resistant shingles.

Now, I would compare the cost difference between shingle types and get a quote from a reputable roof cleaner to see which path is right for the house. We live in nature and as such, cannot completely keep life from forming on dwellings. Between the wind and the rain, a shingle roof will only last about 25 years. ARMA is in the business of helping roof shingle manufacturers, not in keeping those shingles free and clear of algae. There must be a community or organization of roof cleaners that has cropped up to tackle this problem!

Dryvit Bulletin: Cleaning and Maintenance

A step down from the roof, after the gutters, are the house walls. Whether it is vinyl, wood, metal, brick, stucco or composite, the long term appearance is due to care and maintenance. Dryvit is a relatively new coating with an acrylic finish that does not require pressure washing. In fact, Dryvit specifically recommends that no pressure is used to clean the surface as high pressurized water can strip away the protective coating. Dryvit helps to insulate a building, which is good for the environment and your pocket.

Trex Deck

One of the most popular decking alternative, Trex Deck is a composite material that holds up better than wood. Like any porous material, it will trap moisture, dirt and grime. Unlike other manufacturers, Trex supplies a detailed cleaning guide based on the type of stain/dirt. They specifically do not recommend the use of a pressure washer or sandblasting as this will put lines in the material.

For More Information

Visit these links for more information about the manufacturers profiled in this article.
Roof Cleaning Technical Bulletins
List of Technical Bulletins from various manufacturers under research page.
Drvit Bulletin: Care and Maintenance
Direct link to the Drvit Technical Bulletin
Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer Association
ARMAs Website
Trex Deck
Trex Decking Website
Morgan Clickner

Office: 410-482-4367

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Garage interiors can get pretty dirty, but the worse is the mildew and mold that can grow. Moisture stays trapped in many garages as homeowners do not regularly clean the inside of their garage.  Small patches start out, hidden from view behind boxes and before you know it – one entire wall is green or black! Never just paint over it, never! Trapping the organism in a moisture rich environment just help promote growth. The paint will flake off and the original problem will be ten times larger.

The first step is to clean it with a bleach solution. House-hold bleach, water and a scrub brush doesn’t sound like my idea of a fun weekend.  An exterior cleaning company can take of that problem for you. We are treating the inside of a garage today, prepping it to be painted with a mildew resistant paint. A strong sodium hypochlorite based solution will rid the entire space of the pest without any pressure washing or major scrubbing. We found that Sherwin-Williams exterior paint already has a mildewcide in it, but they sell individual packets to mix into any paint.  This costs less than the interior bath paint that also already has their mildewcide mixed in.
For the floor, Drylok is one of the best products out there. An epoxy, this stuff lasts for years. We cleaned and epoxed a front walkway in white and three years later, it looked as good as new. To view this exterior cleaning, visit our Gallery page on our website.

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