How to soft wash tarmac, including driveways and carparks?

August 02, 2016

Soft washing tarmac driveway with Benz Bio Cleanze DDAC softwash biocide

 

There's a lot of tarmac in the world that attracts algae, moss, mould and lichen – and which needs to be periodically cleaned by softwashing.

In our experience the most effective softwash treatment for tarmac is usually Benz Bio Cleanze.

Apply at 40/50:1, well brushed in. Then follow up with regular treatments at 50:1 (40:1 in cold weather) every 12-18 months (depending on the local environment and other variable factors).

Quick tips:
1) We've found that a repeat application after 6 months, even if the tarmac looks clean, will considerably increase the longevity of the clean – up to a couple of years in our experience.

The idea of the second treatment, even if the tarmac doesn't look as if it needs it, is to kill any remaining spores which may still be present after the initial treatment.
 
2) Something else we've had success with is pressure washing badly colonised tarmac and immediately following up with a treatment of Bio Cleanze at 25:1 when the tarmac is still wet.

The already wet surface will dilute Bio Cleanze to the standard and safe 40/50:1 that we recommend for horizontal surfaces that children and animals may walk on. This is only possible when children and animals can be kept away until the surface is completely dry.

 

The growths will die off within 24-48 hours. Then nature will continue to cleanse the surface through the effects of sunshine, wind and rain over time.

Quick tip: Contacting your customer at the 12-18 month mark will give you a steady stream of repeat business.

The selling point for regular softwashing treatments with Bio Cleanze is that your customer will enjoy a tarmac surface that is permanently clean.

This is a similar principle to regularly cleaning windows so they are always clean, rather than waiting until they are filthy. Click here to learn about the Benz "Clean & Maintain" softwash systems

 

Can you use Benz Lightning Cleanze to soft wash tarmac?

Yes, Benz Lightning Cleanze will kill the growths very quickly. Lightning Cleanze is the softwashing product of choice when your customer wants immediate results and does not want to wait for Bio Cleanze to work.

If your customer just wants a quick clean before putting their property on the market, for example, Lightning Cleanze may be the most effective softwashing product to use.

The downside is that the biological growths on the tarmac can turn into a white mush that many customers don't like.

Fortunately, a light power washing to rinse off the mush usually clears it. You will of course need to factor in the extra cost of power washing into your quote.

Will tarmac be discoloured by soft washing?

Bio Cleanze will clean the tarmac giving the appearance of lightening the tarmac.

In our experience Bio Cleanze leaves the tarmac pretty much in it's original colour. So when the surface is cleaned from whatever colonisation was present, it looks lighter than areas that have not been cleaned.

Benz Lightning Cleanze however, will impart an actual lightening effect to the tarmac. This is why we suggest using it only at 10:1 and whenever feasable use Benz Bio Cleanze as your first choice.

Important: If used at dilution stronger than 10:1 the tarmac can turn a light grey colour. Even at 10:1 there can be a slight lightening of the tarmac colour.

Some customers like this change of colour. Others don't. So always treat a small, obscure test patch at first and get your customer's agreement that they are happy with the results and give their agreement for you to clean the rest of the tarmac.

Our experience is that using Lightning Cleanze at 10:1 is the optimum choice for softwashing tarmac if your customer does not want to wait for the results of Bio Cleanze to show.

Quick tips:

    1. When using either product it's a good idea to treat the whole area, which will impart a more universal colouring to the entire surface.
    2. Whichever product you choose to use, remove any heavy build up of moss and lichen by lightly scraping the tarmac prior to giving a softwash treatment. This can be very quick and reduces the quantity of softwash product you'll need to complete the job.
    3. Use either Bio Cleanze or Lightning Cleanze. There is nothing to be gained from softwashing a non-porous surface such as tarmac with both softwash products.

We hope this information is helpful and wish you great success in your soft washing business.

Cheers,

Ben, Leo & Fiona

Click here to explore the full range of Benz softwash cleaning products

Benz Softwash Bio Cleanze DDAC biocide & Benz Softwash Lightning Cleanze SH sodium hypochlorite biocide

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