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Wait! There is a Safer Alternative to Pressure Washing

soft washing before and after

Pressure washing might be the first solution that comes to mind when you see dirt or mold around your home. Be aware! Pressure washers can reach up to 4,000 PSI. When pressure is too high, it can lead to permanent scarring of your surfaces. Additionally, pressure washing mold or algae can be a band-aid solution. Alas, there is a safe solution to clean your home or business! Soft washing lasts longer, uses low pressure, and less water.

What is soft washing?

Soft washing is a safe alternative to pressure washing. It uses water-based, biodegradable solutions that suspend dirt and grime. This process dissolves cobwebs and kills mold, bacteria, and algae while sanitizing the surface. It uses one-third the water of pressure washing and lasts four-to-six times longer. Why does it last longer? Pressure washing pushes and spreads mold spores to other areas. These organics are likely to reappear in a short period. However, soft washing kills mold spores before rinsing them away.

What is the process?

First, plan and prepare. We cover all electrical outlets, remove small items, assess the plants, put up caution signs, and run the lines required. Next, a certified soft washing technician will spray affected areas with solutions. These solutions are fed through lines using low-pressure pumps. The first application is a wake-up coat required to open the organic spores. After dwell time, the technician will rinse and apply another application or use a new chemical, depending on the stain type. This process is repeated as many times as needed.

Finally, preserving plant life during the soft washing process is vital. Plant washes and soaking methods must be used before, during, and after the service to neutralize cleaning agents. This ensures your grass, shrubbery, and plants are protected. 

Who is qualified to perform soft washing?

When hiring a soft washing company, it is essential to hire a company requiring all their technicians to undergo a comprehensive training and certification program. Soft washing is chemical-based, so technicians must learn how to protect plant life, understand where chemicals flow, and how to neutralize chemicals adequately. In addition, remember to protect your family by hiring a company that provides proof of insurance (liability and worker’s compensation), a list of references, and professionalism. 

Interested in soft washing? Don’t hesitate, call the professionals at Paneless Home Services today. Paneless is a SoftWash Systems authorized company. Our technicians are certified and receive proper hands-on training. We have the expereince for projects big and small.

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Roof Washing

The Best Time for Roof Washing is Coming Soon!

The best time for roof washing is at the start of Fall and before Winter. Soft washing is the safest solution for cleaning all roof styles, such as asphalt shingles, terra cotta, slate, stone, and metal.

Roof washing benefits are:

  • Preventative Care
  • Extend Longevity
  • Restore Natural Appearance
  • Lower Energy Cost

What are common problems found on roofs?

In Texas, the most popular roof style is asphalt shingles due to the economical pricing. However, competitive pricing means manufacturers use fillers such as wood chips and cardboard. Due to these fillers, 80% of shingled roofs will develop moss, mold, and fungus growth problems. These organisms deteriorate your roof, which results in water damage when left unaddressed. Another common problem on roofs is rust and corrosion caused by iron in metal and some natural stones. It is unsightly but can also spread and cause decay.

What is soft washing? Why can’t I pressure wash?

Soft washing is the safe alternative to pressure washing using water-based, biodegradable solutions that emulsify dirt and grime. Soft washing dissolves cobwebs and kills mold, bacteria, and algae while sanitizing the surfaces. It uses one-third the water of pressure washing and lasts four to six times longer. Pressure washing can damage many roof surfaces and cause more problems.

So, what’s the process?

Soft washing uses low pressure and a high-water flow with added cleaning agents and surfactants. Rather than using a pressure washer that may clean but not kill algae, low-pressure pumps spray cleaning solutions. The solutions dwell giving them time to activate. Then a tech will rinse and repeat as many times as needed.

Are my plants affected?

Possibly. However, reputable companies take precautions to help prevent this by watering before, during, and after the process. When the work is complete, a plant wash solution is applied that contains Gypsum. Gypsum neutralizes the effects of sodium hypochlorite and gives the plants nutrients. Covering plants creates a greenhouse effect, so this solution is an option in ideal circumstances only. Plants directly in the roof’s drip line, where no rain gutters are present, are most likely to defoliate or turn brown. This condition, though unsightly, is often temporary.

What if my plants die?

90% of the affected plants usually recover within 90 days. Professionals cover the replacement cost when plants do not return to life after the recovery period.

Is it safe to clean my roof?

Soft washing is the safest solution. Professionals will dilute, divert, and decontaminate any runoff from the roof. Normally, everything is reachable from the edge of the roof. However, walking the roof to access hard-to-reach areas like a chimney may be necessary. In this case, make sure who you hire has safety harnesses, ropes, and lanyards to reduce your liability. Though not required in Texas, worker’s comp further protects you from a home insurance claim if someone is injured on your property.

Get a second opinion before you replace a roof due to discoloration. A local expert in your area is Paneless Home Services. Call (214) 662-2300 for a complimentary consultation.

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Soft Washing 101


Educational material, like books for dummies, exist on so many topics. However, hiring for home services is not one of them. Learn-as-you go or hindsight is twenty-twenty is usually the outcome. Uncommon services, or services new to you, are particularly hard to manage expectations without a guideline. Since soft washing is a very different procedure than traditional pressure washing, these frequently asked questions are a good place to start. These answers address common concerns and equip you to hire with confidence.

Q-What is soft washing?

A-Soft washing is the alternative to pressure washing using water-based, biodegradable solutions that emulsify dirt and grime. Soft washing dissolves cobwebs and kills mold, bacteria, and algae while sanitizing surfaces. It uses one-third the water of pressure washing and last four-to-six times longer.

Q-What is the best time to soft wash?

A-Spring and summer are the most popular times to soft wash pool decks, stone, and siding. However, any sunny day works. Colder or cloudy days may require more applications or longer dwell times. Roof washing is ideal during fall or sunny winter days. If it’s too hot cleaning smaller sections at a time is a must.

Q – Is soft washing safe for plants?

A Professionals take precautions to help prevent damage. Watering before, during, and after greatly reduces the chance of damage. Spraying a plant wash solution containing Gypsum is smart. This neutralizes the effects of sodium hypochlorite and gives the plants a good feeding. In some instances, covering plants is an option . However, this does create a greenhouse effect, so it is only done in ideal circumstances. Plants directly in the drip line of roofs, where no rain gutters are present, are most likely to defoliate or turn brown. This condition, though unsightly, is often temporary. Ninety percent of plants usually recover within ninety days. Seek a reputable company who covers their replacement if necessary.

Q – Is soft washing safe for paint?

A The stream of solution is lighter than the stream from a garden hose. However, while having your roof or home cleaned you could experience some paint flaking. This is a result of poor surface preparation before painting or normal deterioration from weather exposure.

Another rare condition is a change of paint pigment on the painted surface. Paint colors of brown and blue are most susceptible to turning green. Due to this potential problem, a small colorfast test on your paint should be done before cleaning.

Q – How are driveways cleaned?

A When soft washing driveways and walkways, it is imperative to let solutions dwell. Not rinsing achieves a one-hundred percent kill-rate. Rain showers reactivate the solution. Allowing this process keeps your driveway clean four-to six times longer than pressure washing.

Q – Are brass fixtures an issue?

A To prevent damage, techs cover all brass fixtures and rinse thoroughly (if sprayed). Soft washing solutions will not react adversely if the brass is properly maintained. Brass that is already tarnishing, will turn green in some areas.

Q – Is it safe to clean my roof?

AAbsolutely! Soft washing is the best solution for cleaning asphalt shingles, terra cotta, slate, and stone. Professionals dilute, divert, and decontaminate any runoff from the roof. Normally, everything is reachable from the edge of the roof. However, walking the roof to access hard-to-reach areas like a chimney may be necessary. In this case, make sure who you hire has safety harnesses, ropes, and lanyards to reduce your liability. Though not mandatory in Texas, worker’s comp further protects you from a home insurance claim if someone is injured on your property.

QWill my windows have water spots?

A Most professionals include a quote for cleaning windows soft washing affects. This alleviates water spots. Window cleaning is a separate service so be sure to clarify this during the estimate. Hardwater removal is a pre-existing condition caused by sprinklers, pool sweeps, or A/C drip lines, and involves window restoration. Window restoration is an additional service.

QWill water leak inside through my doors and windows?

ANot always, but it is possible if the weather stripping is worn or missing. Place old towels in front of doors and windows while soft washing is in process.   

QIs it safe to swim in the pool afterwards?

A Wait twenty-four hours and monitor chemical levels before swimming. Sodium hypochlorite, the main ingredient for soft washing, is the same chemical in pool shock. Checking the pH and chlorine range in your pool before swimming is exercising an anabundance of caution.

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Scratching the Surface on Marble Care

Like many esthetics in your home, natural stone and marble care require upkeep. It is important to not let too much time pass between maintenance visits to prevent costly stone restoration. Here is a little information on common stones found on counters or floors:

 

Granite

Granite is an igneous rock made of quartz and feldspar. It is the most common stone builders use due to its durability and low maintenance for homeowners. The stone is porous and very dense which makes it possible to resist scratches but requires sealing every three to five years.

Marble

  

Marble is a metamorphic rock that forms when limestone alters by intense pressure and heat with the earth. The colors and veins in marble come from layers of different minerals and impurities that crystalize together, these minerals include calcite, pyrite, feldspar, iron, magnesium, and serpentine. Marble is very porous and high maintenance. It is prone to scratches and etch marks. Polishing and sealing are a must to maintain the shine. Occasionally, it requires honing to remove scratches and etch marks.

Limestone

Limestone is a sedimentary rock made of calcite with a variable amount of silica. In addition, it includes clay, silt, and sand. Like marble, it is very porous and because most of the naturally occurring colors are light, stains are easily seen. This stone requires more maintenance than most.

 

Travertine 

Travertine is a type of limestone. It is a soft stone more porous than marble or granite. This stone has bands of calcite, formed by evaporation of river and spring waters. It is prone to scratches and staining but also presents a unique problem of small holes or craters. They are created when acid reacts with calcium in the stone. These should be filled periodically to slow-down deterioration. If you want the fill to be less noticeable, attend to them before the holes become large. Polishing and sealing is required to maintain the appearance. Honing is also sometimes required to remove scratches and surface staining; it is known to absorb deep stains.

How experts perform Natural Stone and Marble Care

Although each stone is unique, they are all treated the same when it comes to restoration. Here is a little more about natural stone honing, polishing, and sealing:

Honing

If there are not any etch marks or a need for honing a trained technician would proceed using either a powder polish, paste polish, or crystallizer. If etching and scratches are present, the floor or counter will require honing to the depth of the damage and polishing to bring back its original luster. Some etch marks can require honing all the way down with a 50-grit diamond pad, although it is rare.

Polishing

Bathroom counter polishing Dallas, TXBringing back the shine can only be done using a buffer, diamond grit pads, and a polish or powder solution. Depending on the desired finish, your marble technician can start with a 200 grit and go up to 3500 grit. It really depends on the desired appearance. Finish choices are satin, semi-gloss, gloss, mirror, or even a honed finish.

 

Sealing

Sealing every three years or when the sealer breaks-down is the standard recommendation. Sealers work by penetrating through the natural pores of the stone to create a long-lasting breathable layer. A topical sealer prevents the stone from breathing and is a big mistake. Sealing protects the stone from wear and tear as well as staining and water absorption.

Helpful Tips for Natural Stone and Marble Care

  • A simple test used to indicate the need for sealing is to place a small amount of water on the floor or counter. It should bead up and not be absorbed. If it does absorb quickly, or leaves a dark area indicating absorption, it is time to seal.
  • Protect your stone by placing absorbent pads or mats where soap dispensers and cooking oils sit.
  • Always clean your natural stone with a neutral PH. Never use acidic household cleaners as they etch the stone and result it expensive repairs. If you hire a maid, be sure to test their knowledge on natural stone and marble care. Most importantly review their products or provide your own.
  • Be mindful of acidic fruits, always use a cutting board.
  • Hiring a professional to inspect, clean, and seal can prevent costly repairs. Be sure to use someone certified in stone care, like Paneless Home Services (214) 662-2300.

Surface on Marble Care

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Cleaning Tips & Tricks for all Floor Surfaces

Wondering how often you should have your floors professionally cleaned? What about the maintenance in between services? The following cleaning tips and tricks should help you avoid common pitfalls caring for all types of floor surfaces.cleaning tips and tricks for floor surfaces

Hardwood, Engineered Wood or Laminate Wood Floors

  • For wood floors, use a light mist of water and flat mop with a micro fiber pad to clean for routine maintenance.
  • Stay away from any products that mention “leave a shine” on the label; these products leave coatings that embed dirt on floors and can open doors for expensive refinishing.
  • Schedule a professional cleaning once a year to prolong cleanliness and healthy floors. Be sure to perform routine maintenance to prevent dirt and particles from scratching the floors.
  • Place furniture protectors on the feet of all heavy furniture so if it’s bumped or scooted across the floor no damage will be done.
  • Keep rugs at doorways to help protect floors from grit and debris.

Carpet

  • For carpet, the recommendation is to vacuum once a week per person in the household to maintain floors. Ex: A family of 4 should vacuum 4 times a week.
  • Use a company that does a steam cleaning and extraction for carpet cleaning. Most manufacturer warranties require a professional cleaning at least once a year.
  • For spills, blot the affected area with water only. Don’t use over the counter stain removal products.
  • Keep a damp towel on a stain until a professional can arrive, it will keep the stain from setting.
  • Apply carpet protectant at least once every year to keep it protected and preserve the life of your carpet.
  • To remove candle wax, place a paper towel over the wax, and place a warm iron on top of the paper towel. The wax will melt into the paper towel. Repeat with clean paper towels until the wax is gone.

Tile & Grout

  • Don’t over use mop bucket water, it just spreads and leaves soil deposits. Always rinse with plain water to clear up any soap residue.
  • Sweep tile and grout at least twice a week.
  • Steam clean at least once a year to keep floor and grout lines looking their best.
  • Seal grout lines to protect from staining every three years.

If you ever have any questions concerning maintenance or cleaning process we are only a phone call away (214) 662-2300. Paneless is bonded and insured, licensed for both carpet and all stone cleaning and has twenty three years of experience to handle all your floor care needs.

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Purified Water is not Just for Drinking

Purified Water To Clean WindowsWhat is Reverse Osmosis Technology, or Purified Water?

Allergies are a battle in Dallas, TX. The treatment is eliminating exposure to irritants. This can mean prepping homes and watching what you consume. In general, the recommendation is to use natural products and the least amount of them necessary. Many homeowners are investing in water purifying systems. Initially, the investment may be made for drinking water but reverse osmosis water is useful beyond human consumption. Consequently, homeowners will benefit from softer clothes, less residue while bathing, and zero smell.

Similarly, service companies realize the benefits of using purified water to clean. The science behind it is interesting. Reverse osmosis water is filtered through a five-stage process. Then the water pushes through a semi-permeable membrane. This filtering process removes all total dissolved solids that cause water to spot. The purification is extensive and removes up to 99% of organic material, nitrates, and iron. Pure water is a cleaning agent itself. Water loves minerals so when we remove those minerals, it wants them back. It is called “thirsty water.” Purified water is the healthiest cleaning solution available.

Benefits of RO Water

  • Reduce allergens
  • Eliminate or reduce cleaning agents
  • Surfaces stay clean longer
  • Clean easier, contaminants removed

Purified Water For Cleaning

Reverse osmosis water eliminates the need for additional cleaning solutions.  The list of household chores that benefit from purified water is extensive. Window cleaning is at the top of the list. Flushing windows with purified water removes any dirt and leaves the glass streak-free. Windows stay clean longer because no soap residue is left behind to attract dust. Additionally, pure water is particularly healthy for carpet cleaning. Have you ever had your carpets cleaned and noticed stains reappear quickly? This phenomenon is called wicking. It happens when stains reach the padding.  It also happens when carpets do not dry properly. Using reverse osmosis water extracts soaps left in the carpet. Therefore, carpets are left softer, dry faster, and are bacteria free. Finally, extracting contaminants protects carpet fibers. This prolongs the lifespan of the carpet.

In summary, all cleaning benefits by removing dissolved minerals from water. As we like to say, “Seeing is believing.” Call Paneless to learn more about the benefits of using purified water to clean.

Zero Residue Carpet Cleaning Dallas, TX.

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What is soft washing, can’t I just pressure wash?

Soft washing from of home in Dallas, TX So, what is soft washing? It uses low pressure and a high-water flow with added cleaning agents and surfactant to dissolve webs, dirt, and algae. Rather than using pressure washing that may clean but not kill algae, low pressure pumps are used to spray cleaning solutions. They are allowed a dwell time to activate, and then are rinsed thoroughly with soft pressure. Paneless has a multitude of formulas to handle a variety of stains including rust, grease, and mold. Don’t replace siding, stucco, and roofs due to discoloration without consulting a trusted provider on the possibility of soft washing.

Benefits are:

  • Kill mold & algae
  • Remove rust and stains
  • Disintegrate cobwebs & dirt daubers
  • No damage to wood or siding
  • Safe for all roof rinsing
  • Surfaces stay clean longer

Surfaces Best Cleaned by Soft Washing

Soft washing is best for softer surfaces like slate, limestone, and stucco due to their porous composition. Additionally, these softer surfaces are easily scarred by pressure washing too close or using the wrong tips. The safest solution is soft washing.

Surfaces commonly soft washed are:

  • Stucco
  • Limestone
  • Cast stone
  • Whole home rinsing
  • Roof cleaning & chimneys
  • Natural stones

Preserve Plants, Grass, and Trees

Last but not least, it is necessary to preserve plant life. Plant washes and soaking methods before, during, and after service neutralize cleaning agents. This ensures your grass, shrubbery, and plants are not harmed. If this is something you feel unequipped to handle, we can make the experience “Paneless”.  Paneless Home Services is located in Dallas, Texas. Call (214) 662-2300.

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Spring Cleaning Tips, Tricks & Checklist

Turning your to do list into a ta-done list!

Spring is the time of year to clean out closets, shred documents, and refresh your home. Nothing feels as great, or is more relaxing than a sparkling clean home. Spring cleaning tips and checklists make this a less daunting task.

Did you know that mirrors and glass tables can be treated with a product that allows them to be dusted with just a microfiber towel to leave them with a streak-free clean for months?  Have you woken up to  smoke detectors that need new batteries and realize you don’t have a ladder to reach them?

Let us help organize a schedule of maintenance for your home that will make your life easier. Some commSpring Cleaning and High Dustingon items that don’t usually get regular attention because they require ladders, scaffolding, or back pack vacs are chandeliers, fans, and high dusting of ceilings. Paneless located in Dallas, Texas has all the equipment, certifications, and manpower to take these items off your to do list. Please find a checklist of services for your home below and wash away those winter blues with these Spring cleaning checklist!

Exterior Maintenance Checklist:

Window cleaning and screens

Gutter cleaning and flush of downspouts

Cobwebbing

Porch Lamps

Rust removal

Power or soft  washing patios, driveways, pool decks

Interior Maintenance Checklist:

Interior windows

Chandelier polishing

Light bulb and battery changes

High Dusting

Mirrors and glass

Shower restoration and sealing

Blind and shutter cleaning

Natural stone countertops

 

Floor Maintenance Checklist:

Tile and grout cleaning and sealing

Hardwood floor cleaning and coating

Carpet cleaning

Garage floor cleaning

Marble honing and polishing

Natural stone cleaning

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The Dirt on Tile & Grout Cleaning

Tile and Grout CleaningHere’s the dirt on tile and grout cleaning. Dirty grout lines can change the overall appearance of your floors. Did you know that dirt, bacteria, and mold can penetrate through grout and lie within the pores? Like carpet, tile and grout should be professionally steam cleaned to sanitize and preserve appearance.

Benefits Are:

  • Prevent Grout Stains
  • Sanitization
  • Prolong Life
  • Maintain Original Appearance

Hiring a Pro

It is important to hire a professional company that can confidently explain their products and equipment. Never forget to protect your family and household by asking for proof of insurance, a list of references, and most importantly how long the company has been cleaning tile and grout. Online reviews like google or the BBB are a great resource to turn to.

How Often Should I Steam Clean?

Clean tile and grout once a year and seal every three years to protect the grout and natural stone.

Helpful Tips

1. Avoid painting grout lines, this will work short-term for appearances only and will result in costly solutions to remove the paint. It will eventually flake and bubble up sporadically. Ultimately, if the floor can’t be cleaned and sealed for protection, it may be time to start over with fresh grout or proceed with a nice remodel.
2. Never use bleach to mop grout, this will result with yellowing of your grout lines and permanent staining. Acid etching is a better solution.
3. Steam clean prior to grout repair. This ensures the grout color matches accurately to your true grout line colors.

Surfaces We Steam Clean:

Ceramic
Porcelain
Travertine
Marble
Limestone
Terra Cotta

Truck Mount Steam Cleaning

The Paneless cleaning process begins with applying an alkaline grout treatment that emulsifies dirt to lift it to the top for extraction. Our certified technician uses a counter rotating brush machine to scrub the floors or showers. The truck mount works at a high pressure of 900psi, heats to 230˚ steam, and suctions simultaneously.

Stained Grout Lines

Occasionally, specified areas, usually around commodes, kitchens, or heavy foot traffic will have stained grout lines. Paneless can acid treat to etch out the staining. The success rate is highly dependent on what the stain is, how long it has been there, and if it has been painted over.

Sealer Is Important

After investing in a professional clean, we recommend sealing the grout. The sealer is breathable, but waterproof, which allows moisture that comes up through the foundation to evaporate. This formula creates a long-lasting and durable layer of protection that makes maintaining your floors or showers “Paneless”.

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Gutter Cleaning: To Clean Or Not To Clean

Gutter Cleaning Dallas, TXGutter Cleaning to Prevent Damage

You may not notice gutters until there is a problem. Mature trees, roof shingles, and occasionally animals can all cause issues in gutters. Any large amount of debris that gets wet and builds over time can eventually cause sagging and displacement of gutters.

Watch out for nesting, if you see birds it is a good idea to bird proof. Bird waste can build up and become compacted in your gutters. Bird waste is unsightly, and left to build will smell. Products safe for birds and the environment will encourage nesting elsewhere.

Lastly, downspouts with a clog will cause water to run over the top. Overflow causes streaks on the gutter face that stain. Additionally, standing water will back up causing damage to surrounding wood or structual damage to  the gutter system itself.

Gutter cleaning is recommended twice a year before fall and early winter. This clears the way for fall and then cleans them out before freezing and expansion present a problem in winter.

Gutter Protection Systems

Tired of worrying about gutter cleaning? Then consider a gutter protection system. They are expensive but most have a 20 year warranty. Gutter protection systems are a fan favorite because they are unseen and save the cost of routine cleaning. The science behind the product is that only the smallest of particles are allowed through the screens. Larger debris sit on top and should dry up and blow off leaving your gutters free flowing and protected. They prevent nesting, and keep other critters out as well. If you would like to see a demo of the product or want to keep it simple and just have routine maintenance, give Paneless a call for a free consultation.

RO technology is reverse osmosis water that is filtered through a five-stage process. This process removes all total dissolved solids and chlorine that cause water to spot or dry hard because of minerals. Since the water is pure, it acts as a cleaning agent itself. Water loves minerals so when we remove those minerals, it wants them back. We refer to it as thirsty water. So ask yourself, what is in soil? Minerals. Now you have water that wants minerals. So we use this RO water to adsorb the soil on a window or floor surfaces. This RO water is incorporated into the majority of the services we provide.