Window Shine are often faced with patios that require soft washing, the main reason for this being that lichen can grow into the block paving and lichen presents itself in a way that is not something water pressure alone will remove. If you ever notice white or black speckles on your patio then this is very likely to be lichen.
Lichens can be described as two or more organisms that include a fungus and one or more partners, living in a symbiotic relationship with each other. They are low growing plants that in this case stain patios and look unsightly, and we find that black lichen is extremely difficult to shift due to the time it has now been living on the paving.
Process of Soft Washing Patios in Edinburgh
Soft washing means exactly that, the use of non-pressurized procedures designed to clean a surface as it is intended. In this respect we use sodium hypochlorite to rid the paving surface of lichen and other biological stains, and this is applied after we have gave the patio an initial water only pressure wash. We find that this allows us to remove surface grime first and enables the chemical to later target the stains that it was proposed for. For rust stains and other non-biological stains there are other products available but for this blog we shall focus on the most common patio stains we come across, which are biological.
When applying sodium hypochlorite we have to firstly mix it with a surfactant, this gives it a texture similar to washing up soap which allows the chemical to sit on the surfaces of paving rather than just draining away between the joints. We want it to act on the surfaces themselves, where the stains are.
This chemical is now spread over the patio surface but not before we have wetted any nearby plant life, so they cannot absorb any of the chemical. Please do not be alarmed by this, although sodium hypochlorite is a bleach based chemical; we use it regularly and have not damaged any plantation or put anyone at risk through its usage. A dwell time of at least half an hour is essential when laying sodium hypochlorite to your patio in Edinburgh; this gives the chemical components time to actually act against the stubborn lichen before we begin pressure washing again.
When pressure washing patios in Edinburgh for a second time, a dramatic lightening of the whole blocks or slabbed area has now occurred. The chemical not only removes lichen but also returns the paving to its naturally intended colour, more so than a pressure washer can often achieve alone.
Safe Use of Patio Washing Edinburgh Chemicals
We always give customers the option to have this treatment, and some are against chemical use for many reasons-some environmental. We understand and respect that, but when we do use this we ensure all pets are kept indoors until the job is finished and that we rinse nearby plantation thoroughly with tap water before and after using sodium hypochlorite. It is important for our operatives’ wellbeing to wear goggles and safety gloves during the clean, and all empty chemical containers are disposed of by us at the end
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