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John Peters

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How To Clean An Entire House From Top To Bottom

Tackling a full house cleaning project means cleaning many substrates using different cleaning techniques, chemicals and tools. In this project we are going to break it down from top to bottom.

It’s important to approach any project by preplanning how you’re going to clean each substrate, before you start cleaning.

 

PRO TIP – Test a small portion of each surface with the chemicals you plan on using. This will help you adjust mix ratios, give you the needed dwell time and provide you with information on what areas will require more attention.

Before You Start

Always start by wetting each surface before you apply chemicals. This allows the chemical to have the appropriate residence time and cools the surface. Hot surfaces will flash water off faster than chemical which leaves behind residue. This can cause spotting and streaking on most surfaces.

Vertical Surfaces

We started this project with the vertical surfaces and used a house blend of sodium hypochlorite and SB 40. SB 40 is a bleach additive that contains surfactant for cleaning and foaming also, it contains a fragrance for masking. We recommend eight ounces of SB 40 to five gallons of bleach solution.

 

PRO TIP – It’s imperative that you keep all vegetation wet. During the cleaning process, this will help minimize any potential damage the house wash solution could have on plants.

 

Chemical Breakdown – Vertical Surfaces

Bleach (sodium hypochlorite)

TCHEM SB 40 – Bleach additive that assists with cleaning, foaming, fragrance.

Mix Ratio – 5 Gallons of Bleach Solution + 8 oz SB40

The Driveway

Next, we move on to the driveway surface. This concrete slab is older and has visible rust stains on it. We are using F9 Restoration Barc and Double Eagle for both rush removal and general cleaning. The goal is to remove the rust stains and get the slab to a uniform white. First, we lightly wet the surface to allow the concrete to cool and allow for optimal chemical penetration. Next, we chose to apply double Eagle via a pump sprayer to heavy soiled areas. We also spot sprayed the rust stains with Barc. After we allowed the surface to dry, we coated the entire slab with Barc. We chose to use a surface cleaner with hot water for rinsing an added cleaning.

 

PRO TIP – A surface cleaner is not a necessary tool in the process, but allows you to finish a large flat surface faster, which in turn saves you money.

 

Chemical Breakdown – Driveway

F9 Barc – Rust removal and orange battery acid remover for masonry surfaces

F9 Double Eagle – Degreaser and general cleaner

Wood Surfaces

For the wood surfaces we use the house mix, which is sodium hypochlorite & SB40. And as before, pretreat any mold and mildew. Here is an important reason to preplan each job. During our pre-cleaning walkthrough with the client, we uncovered the long-term plan for the wood surfaces, which changed our cleaning protocol. We chose to use aggressive pressure on the wood surfaces, which is not something you do under normal circumstances, because the long-term plan is to resurface the decks.

PRO TIP – Make sure to discuss the client’s ultimate goals and needs. This will help you to correctly approach the project so your client is most satisfied.

 

Chemical Breakdown – Wood Surfaces

Bleach (sodium hypochlorite)

TCHEM SB 40 – Bleach additive that assists with cleaning, foaming, fragrance.

Mix Ratio – 5 Gallons of Bleach Solution + 8 oz SB40

The Roof

Logic tells you to clean from the top down, but in this house project, the roof is last. The main reason for this is you don’t have to rinse. Let me stress the importance of a soft wash system. When you use pressure on a roof, you can damage the shingles or other substrates.

PRO TIP – A soft wash system allows you to properly clean surfaces like a roof without damaging the shingles. This is one of the most important tools a professional washing contractor can have.

 

For Chemical we use a different mix than the house wash that includes a stronger mix of bleach and Hangout roof surfactant which includes an apple scented masking agent. Hangout allows the roof mix to dwell on the roof substrate and continue the cleaning process for days after completion. The subsequent rainfall in the following days allows for a thorough rinse and leaves your roof looking brand new.

Chemical Breakdown – The Roof

Bleach

TCHEM Hangout – Roof Surfactant (bleach additive)

Mix Ratio: 10oz Hangout to 5 Gallons of Bleach Solution

Bonus Tip – Using a soap tip like an X-Jet allows you to spray the entire roof without leaving the safety your ladder.  

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