Can You Power Wash Historical Buildings?


Power washing for both residential and commercial properties is a great way to keep them looking clean, presentable, and can cut down on costly repairs later on due to unchecked mold and mildew. But what about if you have a historic building or property? Is power washing historical building still a safe and effective method for cleaning and care?

The short answer is yes, but with a few rules to follow.

Before we dive into that, let’s talk about what ISN’T acceptable when it comes to historic buildings. Any company that wants to offer an abrasive cleaning method such as sandblasting,¬† using any sort of tool such as rotary sanders (or sanders in general) or wire brushes should be avoided at all costs. The reason for this is simple, it’s abrasive and it uses the process of “forced removal” to get rid of things like dirt and grime. In the process, however, it will also strip paint, damage wood, and potentially scratch metal surfaces that should be protected.

The effects of these abrasive cleaning methods can be permanent and truly damaging to your historic home or commercial building. Therefore, we suggest a much gentler and holistic cleaning approach.

How We’re Different

Sparkling Clean Exteriors of East Texas uses a “soft-wash” approach to cleaning exteriors. While our process does use chemicals, they are generally eco-friendly and non-abrasive. They don’t strip paints and they have no grit or particulate encased in the solution. The use of chemicals in cleaning exterior surfaces may sound harsh, but it can actually be quite gentle. While processes vary, we take every precaution to use only the safest and most gentle means possible to clean your building.

When it comes to cleaning things like marble, copper (or any metal with a patina), bronze, etc. the possibilities are endless. The general rule of thumb, however, is to use as little pressure as possible, soft bristle brushes for difficult to reach areas (you don’t want to end up shooting pressurized water up into delicate cracks and crevices where it won’t be able to dry, thus causing more of an issue down the road).

When dealing with organic surfaces like marble, it’s important to take into consideration the chemical interactions that can happen between the type of cleaning you’re using and the material itself.¬† If used improperly, some chemicals and cleaners can leave streaks and potentially damage the structural integrity of the building itself.

Owning a historical home or building takes a lot of work and it’s important that you do your homework and hire the right experts for the job. Sparkling Clean Exteriors of East Texas has the experience, insurance, and staff to make sure your building stays looking its best, whether it’s 100 years old or 20. We’re here to provide the best service possible for the best price. Reach out and we’ll give you an estimate on power washing your historical building, church, home or monument.




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