Soffits can be hard to reach areas of your house, but they require cleaning just as much as any other part. However, you don’t need to get out a ladder and sponge bucket to wash down dirty soffits.
Soffits can be pressure washed to clear off dirt, grime, and other debris that may be built up under the roof’s overhang. Pressure washing can be the most effective method of cleaning soffits since they are hard to reach and usually have a lot of nooks and crannies to clean out.
How do you pressure wash soffits?
Pressure washing soffits is the easiest way to clean them; however, there are special considerations to take into account so that you don’t damage the soffits. Soffits should be cleaned with a low pressure nozzle on a soft pressure washer. Spray the detergent first and then rinse off with clean water.
While high pressure washers can still effectively clean your soffits, they can also cause water leaks into your attic which can lead to structural damage in your house. With a low pressure washer, you may need to use a ladder depending on how high your soffits are.
If you are unsure about pressure washing yourself because of safety concerns, call a professional pressure washer to take care of your soffits as they are equipped to clean any outside home space.
Can you pressure wash vented soffits?
If you have vented soffits in or around your house, you should only pressure wash them with a soft pressure washer to avoid introducing water into your house. Vented soffits are typically made of aluminum which can withstand the pressure washer without warping.
Alternatively, vented soffits can be hand scrubbed with soapy water and a rag if they are dirty. If the soffits are clogged with dust, dirt, or debris, compressed air can help blast out the unwanted particles and clear up the air flow through the soffits. Swiping the vents with a broom or dust mop is also useful for vented soffits that aren’t too filthy.
Will pressure washing remove black mold from soffits?
Mold can be removed from soffits with a pressure washer; however, it may require high pressure which is not recommended. An alternative method that is much safer for your soffits is to scrub the black mold off first and then do a soft pressure washer rinse.
With a mixture of bleach and warm water, use a stiff bristled brush to scrub away the mold on your soffits. You may need to use a few different size brushes to get into the cracks and hard to reach places in your soffits.
Once the mold has been completely scrubbed off, use a soft pressure washer with a low pressure nozzle to spray another layer of detergent to ensure that any loosely clinging mold is lifted off the soffits. Rinse with clean water.
Make sure to do this on a dry sunny day so that the soffits can completely dry out. Any retained moisture from the washing may invite the mold to grow all over again.
What are alternative methods to pressuring washing soffits?
Instead of pressure washing your soffits, you can scrub them by hand using a ladder, a detergent solution, and a scrub brush. This method can ensure that you are getting all the caked-on dirt and grime off that a soft pressure washer might miss. Once you are done scrubbing, use your garden hose to rinse the soffits down.
There are also detergents that can attach directly to your garden hose so that you don’t have to use a ladder at all. Simply spray the detergent with the hose, then remove it to rinse with clean water.
Alternatively, you can use an air compressor to blast away loosely clinging debris such as dust or spider webs. This way you don’t have to introduce any water and the possibility of introducing damp conditions into your attic.
What type of soffits is best to pressure wash?
All soffits can be pressure washed whether they are vented or solid. Aluminum and vinyl soffits are perfect for pressure washing because they can withstand pressure and can be effectively cleaned with detergent and water.
Any type of soffit should be cleaned with a soft pressure washer, however, to avoid getting water into your attic. Additionally, high pressure washers could cause vinyl soffits to crack especially if the soffits are brittle from constant sun exposure.
Aluminum soffits are more durable and may be able to withstand high pressures; however, most aluminum soffits are vented and have a greater chance of allowing water into your house. When considering how to pressure wash your soffits, take into account the placement of your soffits, the materials from which they are made, as well as the level of cleaning needed.