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Boost your cottage’s lifespan with exterior wash services

Muskoka is beautiful, but it also comes with a challenge: nature doesn’t always grow where we’d like it.

Moss can accumulate on cedar shakes, mould can grow on exterior siding and trim, and mildew can hide on hard-to-reach surfaces that harbour added moisture.

While high-pressure washers are often used to combat organic growth, Chad Gilchrist, owner of MuskokaSoftwash.com, says there’s another effective option that combines low-pressure washing with diluted chemicals to kill organic growth without harming surrounding vegetation.

Chad’s soft wash system began with a desire for better, faster cleaning systems for his painting business, Roll-On Painting. “Organic matter must be removed before painting,” he explains. “If not, it will grow and permeate until it leaves an unsightly stain on the painted surface.”

With the tools, training, and staff in place, it only made sense to offer the cleaning service to other clients who weren’t looking to have anything painted.

Soft washing is excellent for all exterior surfaces, but it’s particularly effective on cedar shakes. “All roofs – whether asphalt or cedar – last longer when they’re cleaned regularly,” says Chad, noting that moss keeps the roof damp, causing it to deteriorate much faster than if it’s clean and dry.

Soft washing removes organic growth and brightens the wood surface to its original colour.

The soft wash system uses a low-pressure spray – comparable to that of a garden hose – to disperse a mix of diluted cleaning solution and a surfactant that helps the solution to stick to surfaces.

“A typical power washer has a pressure of 3,000 PSI, where our soft wash has essentially the same level of pressure as a garden hose, allowing us to treat the exterior without risking any surface damage.”

Within minutes, the solution kills organic material, removes stains, and brightens wood surfaces. It’s then rinsed off, leaving the exterior sparkling clean.

The cleaning solution is effective but is much weaker than you might expect.

“We are using 1.5 percent chlorine solution,” says Chad. “By comparison, household bleach is around 6 percent.”

Still, Chad and his team take every step possible to protect the gardens, grass and greenery surrounding every cottage they wash, thoroughly watering the surrounding foliage before applying the soft wash solution and spraying the greenery with clean water after.

“Once roots have had a good watering, they’re like a saturated sponge – they won’t be able to absorb the solution. Then any solution is simply washed off the leaves afterward.”

To keep your cottage’s exterior clean season after season, MuskokaSoftWash.com has crafted a subscription soft wash service, which allows cottagers to opt in for an annual or twice-per-year maintenance program.

“Let us help you keep your cottage’s exterior clean and healthy for years to come.”

TEXT SHELANNE AUGUSTINE
PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN

www.MuskokaSoftWash.com

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