With spring just getting started here in our beautiful city, the flowers are finally blooming (along with I-40 traffic), and my running coffee tab consisting of endless Americanos. (I honestly, for just a second there, thought winter was going to go on forever!) But, as the owner of an exterior cleaning company in the greater Nashville Area, I wanted to do my best to provide a bit of education and data as to some of the most popular services that Nashville is asking for this spring.
If you’ve lived here for any amount of time, you know we have a relatively mild climate and that during the summer months it can get down-right hot. Our canopy and topographical layout provide moisture and heat retention — creating a paradise climate for the mildews and algae that can grow on or around your home.
At NashClean, we clean pretty much everything exterior and have seen the gamut from meticulously maintained estates to bug graveyards in between windows on 1800s Tudor style homes. So I chose to reduce the confusion by focusing on the mainstay services and some tips you can use to accomplish the task yourself if you so desire. Read on . . .
Window Cleaning Services
This one is always a popular service in Middle Tennessee — especially with our luxury home clients.
We see a lot of dead bugs and sometimes even algae in the exterior tracks of these windows. Thus, we like to treat them with a diluted sodium hypochlorite mixture to kill any spores while rinsing them clean before using the spotless water system on the windows to clean them back to looking like new.
Using windex and newspaper is the way my grandmother used to make me do it. And luckily, we have upgraded substantially to avoid the little furries that come off the newspaper and paper towels when they get wet. Squeegees and streak free professional solutions are the game today. (Windex still works fine though if ya got it! 😉
Pro Tip: Using super fine steel wool on your windows for cleaning can bring their finish back to new. Make sure you use 0000 steel wool though. Anything else will scratch! Also, if you are needing to blade anything off of your windows, make sure you have the window properly lubricated while using the razor to avoid marring the surface. You can get these tools at Home Depot or Hillsboro Hardware locally.
Pressure Washing Services
Pressure washing services are always a top performing service in the Middle Tennessee area. One interesting misconception about a professional pressure washing service? Most of the time we aren’t using high pressure on your home at all. Because of the varying substrates that are on historic homes — from old mortar to oxidized paint — one must be cognitive of the pressure being applied at all times.
The ability to vary the pressure readily on the gun assures the homeowner that each substrate will be treated with its congruent pressure variant. For instance, moving from an old brick portion to an old wood portion of the home requires an adjustment on the machine in order to preserve the finish and paint — but still clean it well.
Pro Tip: If you want to do this yourself, grab a washer at a hardware store. Make sure your downstream injector is properly working so you can dilute your solution, and make sure that you have the varying tips needed to clean gently (instead of damaging your home). Or you can download the free PDF on our website that will walk you through the entire process.
Roof Cleaning Services
In the Green Hills area, we see a lot of older, historic homes with tree canopy. Usually, the north side of the roof is safe bet to find some sort of gloeocapsa magma (black streaks) or fire moss algae growing. The moisture trapped close to the home by the trees causes these. This type of algae started showing itself on our roofs after the 1970s addition of limestone into our shingles. Limestone is great for making shingles heavier, reducing the chance they’ll blow away in a storm. BUT it is a delicacy to these common types of roof algae. (They even produce their own waste . . . which is . . . weird).
Don’t replace it. Clean it. What we are noticing from many of our roof cleaning clients is that they thought they were going to have to replace the roof because of the moss buildup. That’s before they called us. When a roof cleaning can range from $500 to a couple thousand dollars on larger homes, it usually stands at about 10% of the cost of getting a new roof installed. The homeowner can easily calculate the cost savings of this treatment. Incidentally, it’s a treatment that most roofing companies wouldn’t even mention as an option. If you could get up to five more years of life out of your current roof by cleaning it instead of replacing it, would you?
This style of cleaning is the recommended treatment for roof cleaning from ARMA (The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association).
Pro Tip: I honestly wish I could give a DIY version of this treatment for you guys, but I can’t recommend that anyone get on a roof who isn’t familiar with the process of climbing around up there. And any store bought chemical usually isn’t going to cut it. Most roof algae is very hardy and requires double the strength to make a difference. Sometimes we even have to change our ratios on extra hardy moss that won’t budge with standard protocols. It’s also a zero-pressure treatment — as any high pressure application would remove protective granules and damage the shingles.
So get busy out there enjoying this fine weather!
Aaron is the owner of NashClean Windows & Pressure Washing. They operate locally in Nashville down to Franklin and all the way up to Hendersonville. He enjoys Topgolf, writing, tacos, and flying drones with his son Jett.