May 15, 2019
We've been asked about the best ways of soft washing red algae stains from wall render.
A customer's expectations, their desire for a speedy clean, and the type of colonisation all contribute to a contractor's choice of the best cleaning method to soft wash wall render.
Sometimes a home owner may want to sell their property quickly; or they may have an event planned and want it to look good for their guests.
In such cases the fastest approach, although most labour-intensive, way to treating red algae stains is with Benz Lightning Cleanze.
Light red algae can usually be treated using the simple "spray & walk away" application procedure of Bio Cleanze. The red algae will disappear from wall render in a few days in warm weather and in only a couple of weeks even in the winter.
Quick tip: This is also true for green and light black algae, mould, etc.
Quick tip: We advised our customer to contact us to apply a maintenance treatment of Bio Cleanze at the first sign of colonisation (typically 2-3 years on vertical surfaces). We will contact them at the 18-24 month point to check on the condition of their wall render and, if appropriate, offer them another treatment.
Offering customers an ongoing maintenance programme gives them a permanently clean property and the contractor a reliable source of repeat business.
Customers are increasingly coming to realise that they need to implement an efficient and effective long-term cleaning and maintenance programme to best look after their property.
More and more people are realising that giving frequent softwash treatments with Benz Bio Cleanze is an important way of caring for their property, not just a luxury. And they know they can trust Benz “Clean & Maintain” softwash systems
This is because the heavy red algae often has multiple layers of black algae or mould underneath it. These layers of black algae and mould will be exposed as a result of the first treatment. They will need some form of secondary treatment to fully restore the appearance of the property to as good as new.
There are a couple of ways of achieving this:
1) The easiest and simplest way is to first spray Bio Cleanze at 30–40:1 and gently brush into each elevation before moving to the next.
The brushing is surprisingly quick when the render is still wet from the spray application.
Brushing in helps loosen the surface biofilm, which aids penetration and ensures maximum effectiveness of the treatment.
Then leave the render for the natural weathering of sun, wind and rain to bring it up increasingly clean over the next 2 weeks to 2 months.
At that point you can return to complete the process with a final treatment of Lightning Cleanze.
After this the principles of Benz "Clean & Maintain" softwash systems comes into play.
In the photo below you can see the effect after only two months following a soft wash treatment with Bio Cleanze.The heavy red algae stains have gone but there's some black staining left. A further treatment with Lightning Cleaze will remove this and leave the property completely clean.
Result: A very happy customer!
2) The way to achieve the fastest initial results, but also the most labour intensive, is to first soft wash the worst of the red algae stains with Lightning Cleanze at 4-5:1 dilution, supplemented by Tornado Cleanze when needed on the worst of heavy black colonisation.
This is a similar method to that which we describe on our render cleaning page.
Quick tip: Very heavy red algae staining may require multiple applications of Lightning Cleanze, supported by Tornado Cleanze, to get the render fully clean on the day of the job.
1) Spray the render with Lightning Cleanze at 5:1
3) Brush in a second application
4) Thoroughly rinse Lightning Cleanze before applying Bio Cleanze
3 quick tips:
1) Use Lightning Cleanze at 4:1 dilution if test results indicate this to be necessary – but take extra care and use full PPE as it is getting quite strong at that dilution.
In a short time the black stains should be gone with, sometimes, a very light brown “shadow” remaining.
This shadow will usually disappear when the render has dried out. And the action of sun, wind and rain doing their job of natural weathering over the next couple of weeks will further dissipate it.
2) The red stains often turn pink and will disappear over the course of a few days.
3) For very heavy black staining, treating with Benz Tornado Cleanze may be indicated.
It is best practice to follow up a treatment of Lightning Cleanze with a treatment of Bio Cleanze.
However, this is not always possible because of customers being unwilling or unable to immediately pay for the extra cost.
So an excellent work-around solution, which spreads the cost for your customer, is to follow up a Lightning Cleanze treatment by offering them your "Clean & Maintain" programme. This will ensure continued treatment with Bio Cleanze.
Quick tip: Not post-treating wall render with Bio Cleanze, either immediately or when the first maintenance treatment is due, will leave red algae spores deep within the substrate, which will eventually re-colonise the surface.
The chemical nature of Bio Cleanze (its low "surface tension") enables it to soak more deeply into the render than can other products. This deep cleaning effect means that a Bio Cleanze treatment will continue removing any remaining algae through time.
We hope this information is helpful and sincerely wish you great success in your soft washing business,
Ben, Leo, Fiona, Stevie & Anthony
How to find answers to most soft washing questions: Simply enter a relevant "keyword" or short phrase – e.g. keyword for the above link = "how to" – into our in-site Search Engine (magnifying glass icon on the main menu).
Click here to download our Product Documentation Pack (includes Application & Dilution guides, SDS, PDS, RAMS, PPE & Mask info, COSSH, sample Contract and more)
GB (England, Scotland, Wales)
Phone: 0800 70 74 222
Ireland and other countries
Phone: 00353 214 622 978
Lines open Monday - Friday, 9am – 5pm
Please note: The above numbers are for orders only (click here for tech support)
PS: Click here to set up your "Clean & Maintain" programme. After completing an initial soft wash treatment, put your customer on a "Clean & Maintain" ongoing maintenance programme. Your customers will enjoy a permanently clean property and you will enjoy a steady stream of repeat business.
This is clearly a win-win arrangement for you and your customers.
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It's a free resource for people wanting to learn about the soft washing industry, to expand an existing business, or build a new business.
Soft washing reduces, or even eliminates, the need to use high-pressure washing.
Instead, once the build up of algae, lichen, fungus, moss and mould – the root causes of properties looking "dirty" – has been treated, the natural "self-cleansing" of sun, rain and wind removes the surface residue through time.
By educating the cleaning trade and public about soft washing we are helping develop an industry that offers sustainable treatments to clean and maintain exterior hard surfaces.
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