Cleaning plaster facades – When are household remedies enough, when does a professional have to do it?

If you want to clean a plaster facade, the question arises early on in the planning stage whether you should do this yourself or leave it to a specialist. Among other things, the degree of soiling plays an important role, but also the condition of the facade and its composition.

If, for example, it is an intact mineral facade, you can use household remedies. Gentle cleaning methods and, if necessary, special measures should be observed with silicone and synthetic resin plaster; especially if the facade plaster is on a thermal insulation composite system (ETICS).

When should I not clean the facade under any circumstances?

Especially old and fragile facades or facade claddings are usually getting dirty after some time. Dirt, mould, algae, moss, dust, … – there is nothing that these external walls have not seen before.

If you use a high-pressure cleaner for such old facades, you can directly mix the new plaster. Because often you have to be particularly careful with the remaining pieces of the house’s outer skin.

If you find that cleaning a facade is no longer worthwhile and you would only decrease the condition of the building fabric, you should possibly remove the old plaster, apply new plaster and then have a specialist company apply a protective proPERLA facade paint. In this way you can directly ensure a beautiful and durable appearance of your property.

Cleaning the facade with household products

Since the house facade is located outside, i.e. where you directly influence nature and waste water ends up in the ground water, no aggressive cleaning agents should be used.

You should also avoid washing-up liquid, cleaning agents and industrial soaps when cleaning the facade, but also when cleaning your car, bicycle etc. There are two alternatives to combat algae, mould and moss on and in the plaster: Heat and biodegradable substances.

If you want to clean a facade made of lime-cement plaster, clinker, quarry stones, bricks or field stones, you can use a steam cleaner. This uses little water and kills mould spores, algae and fungi before they can settle. As already mentioned here, the addition of vinegar or baking soda helps when using a brush, sponge or a high-pressure cleaner. Both substances, if not used in excess, are not harmful to the environment and can be of good use outside the house.

Tips for the use of high pressure cleaners

A high-pressure cleaner should be used with caution, not only for already damaged facades and plaster surfaces.

Also with intact plaster facades as well as masonry, stone and clinker facades, you should initially set a low pressure and direct the water jet from the appliance at the wall of the house from a distance.

In this way you can test the cleaning performance and adjust the water pressure and the distance of the nozzle and wall if necessary.

The use of high-pressure cleaners is not necessarily recommended for regular facade cleaning. No matter whether new or old – with every stone and every plaster, a recurring force is the literally constant tropical effect that hollows out the stone; in other words, it causes damage in the long run.

For this reason, you should clean the facade at regular intervals, but then with a steam cleaner and / or with household products and without pressure.

Special case silicone or synthetic resin plaster – specialists know their way around

Especially in new buildings, bought or built by yourself, you should pay attention to the condition and treatment of the outer wall. If, for example, the property has a high-quality plaster that contains synthetic resin or silicone or has been sealed with these materials, we advise against using both high-pressure and steam cleaners. These destroy the protective layer and more likely ensure that water penetrates over time and algae, mould, moss lichen and dirt can settle.

There are also other factors that you should consider. If, for example, a thermal insulation composite system (ETICS) is concealed, you as a do-it-yourselfer should not place a ladder against the house wall. Depending on the load, it could cause pressure marks or damage.

Sealing with water-repellent facade paint can also suffer from mechanical effects of ladders, water jets and steam cleaners (and their usually very hard brushes). In case of doubt, it is therefore better to have a specialist clean the facade.

Sun or rain – When should I clean the facade?

Depending on the procedure, this is a not unimportant question. After all, if the sun has shone on the outside wall of the house for several days in summer, dirt and other unsightly features will probably have got stuck and burned in. So if you take gentle measures for the time being and not immediately with strong effects, you should clean the facade after a few rainy days.

This will make cleaning easier as dust, dirt, algae carpets and the like are softened.

After cleaning, the outer wall should of course dry well. So if you can be prepared to carry out the measures described above after a few rainy days and before one or two sunny days, this would be ideal.

However, the outer shell of the house wall will dry out at some point and will not immediately suffer damage due to a little more moisture. After all, it is designed to keep out or withstand moisture.

Tip: Use algae remover, moss remover and anti-mould agents only if they are nature-compatible.

Makes frequent cleaning unnecessary: facade paint and facade cream from proPERLA

As already mentioned above, specialists and companies from the construction and maintenance sector will find the right tools in our company. For your professional use we offer various facade paints, facade creams and other solutions to make facades and walls more durable. With a lifetime of up to 25 years, these solutions ensure less effort in terms of cleaning, repair and renovation. Here are a few more links:

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proPERLA® offers a range of exterior super hydrophobic waterproof paints & coatings designed to reduce energy costs and protect homes.

Through our official network of applicators, we provide services to end customers, ensuring the correct application of our products for your benefit.

Whether you are a professional interested in working with our products, or a customer looking for solutions, contact us for more information.

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