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Old 01-28-2016, 06:41 AM   #1
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Default Stucco Cleaning - Chems or Pressure washing?

Hey everyone.

I did some searching and reading from old threads about pressure washing, down streaming, etc. Looks like it's mostly geared towards roofs, which is another question for another time (as we have 3 ply hot-mopped roofs versus shingles).

Anyway...looking for a better faster way to clean stucco. Not necessarily heavy texture, but stucco in its nature has texture to it.

Normally most guys will pressure wash once, then either 2 coat elastomeric paint or prime + elastomeric paint.

Reading the old posts I saw:
Some people throwing out there bleach, pool shock, dawn, and stuff such as Simple Cherry. Even saw TSP and sodium metasilicate put out there.

Any ideas on what chemicals might help achieve a better faster clean than having to pressure wash the whole house twice? Biggest issue out here is dirt/sand, we don't get a lot of rain and subsequently don't get a lot of mold/fungus growth.

The other thing to think about is the 3 types of stucco we have out here.
1.) Elastomeric 100%
2.) Acrylic Finish
3.) Traditional Stucco (Cementious based)

I'm just worried about the traditional stucco discolouring as it's basically a colored concrete. The synthetics (elasto & acrylic) are more liked a painted finish just thicker (mostly new homes have these).


Thanks for the input or any direction you might be able to steer me in.

Last edited by woodcoyote; 01-28-2016 at 06:47 AM..
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Old 01-28-2016, 06:43 AM   #2
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Forgot to mention that my first thought was to rinse the house and then maybe use a foam cannon with a degreaser or cleaning agent of some kind.

But that was just my initial thought when starting my research.
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:19 AM   #3
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Default Stucco Cleaning - Chems or Pressure washing?

I would downstream with a mild house wash mix (somewhat less bleach--SH 12.5%) with a commercial soap or old school Dawn. Followed by rinse, rinse and rinse with low pressure tips (soft wash). You can also use sodium percarbonate (Same as oxyclean) which is Presure Tek's F10 IIRC. It is obviously even milder than bleach (it's oxygen bleach) and is great if you don't have much mold, etc. Also don't have to be so protective of the surrounding shrubs, trees, etc.


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Old 01-28-2016, 10:06 AM   #4
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I use a direct spray applications most of the time when doing stucco so you can get a much stronger solution on the surface. I just use sh and soap.
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:54 AM   #5
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I downstream using a mix of 12% bleach, water, Elemenator, and Cling-on, and will add degreaser if needed. Stucco, I'm usually aiming for a final solution of about 1.5% bleach hitting the wall, versus a typical house wash closer to 1%. Mixes will vary depending upon how dirty it is, weather, dwell times, rate at which your downstreamer pulls soap, etc.

Don't add anything to bleach that doesn't specifically state on the container that it's ok to use with bleach. Some chems will degrade bleach and weaken its cleaning power, some cause violent reactions, and some chems will create a deadly gas when mixed with bleach.
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:01 PM   #6
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For real stucco (not Dryvit), that has mold growth you need a strong mix. The areas around a chimney and gutter runoff often times require a 6% solution AND some pressure. Sodium metasilicate is a good detergent booster but isn't mandatory. Our usual procedure is a separate chemical pumping system to hit all the bad areas then followed by a downstream mix to clean up the rest of the areas that may only have very light green growth, windows, sills, etc.

Real stucco is very porous and without a strong solution you won't kill what is below the surface. I've tested downstreaming pure 12% using a 2-3 gpm DS'er (the strongest mix you can possibly get via that approach)and gave up after 20 minutes and five repeat applications. It just doesn't work up here.

Woodcoyote: Your least expensive and still viable alternative will be to use an X-Jet.
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:18 PM   #7
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Default Stucco Cleaning - Chems or Pressure washing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PressurePros View Post
For real stucco (not Dryvit), that has mold growth you need a strong mix. The areas around a chimney and gutter runoff often times require a 6% solution AND some pressure. Sodium metasilicate is a good detergent booster but isn't mandatory. Our usual procedure is a separate chemical pumping system to hit all the bad areas then followed by a downstream mix to clean up the rest of the areas that may only have very light green growth, windows, sills, etc.

Real stucco is very porous and without a strong solution you won't kill what is below the surface. I've tested downstreaming pure 12% using a 2-3 gpm DS'er (the strongest mix you can possibly get via that approach)and gave up after 20 minutes and five repeat applications. It just doesn't work up here.

Woodcoyote: Your least expensive and still viable alternative will be to use an X-Jet.

Do you think he needs that strong of mix given the fact that he lives in New Mexico?
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PressurePros View Post
For real stucco (not Dryvit), that has mold growth you need a strong mix. The areas around a chimney and gutter runoff often times require a 6% solution AND some pressure.

Real stucco is very porous and without a strong solution you won't kill what is below the surface. I've tested downstreaming pure 12% using a 2-3 gpm DS'er (the strongest mix you can possibly get via that approach)and gave up after 20 minutes and five repeat applications. It just doesn't work up here.

Woodcoyote: Your least expensive and still viable alternative will be to use an X-Jet.
Good thing we don't hardly have any issues with mold growth around here. It does happen, but it's kind of rare. Most of the homes need patching from cracks, but before all that the walls need to be washed good for adhesion purposes.

I've read up a little on the x-jet systems, seems like it could be a good way of putting mixtures on quickly.

I was hoping to get 2 guys to start at opposite ends of a home and work counter clockwise towards each other. Speed things up a bit, assuming the wash works really well taking dust/dirt off.



Quote:
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Do you think he needs that string of mix given the fact that he lives in Arizona?
New Mexico*
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodcoyote View Post
Good thing we don't hardly have any issues with mold growth around here. It does happen, but it's kind of rare. Most of the homes need patching from cracks, but before all that the walls need to be washed good for adhesion purposes.

I've read up a little on the x-jet systems, seems like it could be a good way of putting mixtures on quickly.

I was hoping to get 2 guys to start at opposite ends of a home and work counter clockwise towards each other. Speed things up a bit, assuming the wash works really well taking dust/dirt off.





New Mexico*

Edited.
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