June 21, 2017 4 Comments
What's the most effective way to remove "black spot" (black lichen) by soft washing?
Lichen are white, brown, yellow and black (i.e. "black spot") biological growths that live on slate and concrete tiled roofs, as well as on concrete paths, monoblock drives, brickwork, and occasionally on wall render.
Lichen can be very tough to remove and pressure washing alone is ineffective.
The best way we've found to remove lichen is to first treat it with Benz Lightning Cleanze biocide to kill the growths and sanitise the surface; then follow up with Benz Tornado Cleanze, applied neat.
Follow this treatment by rinsing with a light pressure/jet wash, working the dead lichen with the jet to free them from the surface.
If some lichen staining remains, repeat the treatment.
Quick tip: Tornado Cleanze contains a particularly potent surfactant that can foam up when rinsing. To reduce foaming use low water pressure and minimise agitation.
Important: If children or animals will walk on the treated surface, apply Bio Cleanze at only 50:1, keeping them well away from the working area and allow the surface to become completely dry before allowing them back.
Important note re pressure washing: Using a pressure/power/jet washer on lichen without first killing it with a treatment of Benz Lightning Cleanze – which means the growths will still be well rooted into the surface – may damage the surface because the pressure will rip the still living roots out. Whereas after treatment the roots will be dead and will to some extent have released their grip.
We've found that when first killed with Lightning Cleanze, jet washing will lift the roots out much more easily.
Important note re wall render: When treating render we do not recommend high-pressure jet washing, as it can damage the delicate surface of modern renders such as KRend and Weber.
Use of a jet washer, set to low pressure and/or using a wide angle fan jet, is fine for rinsing however. The pressure of the water when it contacts the render should be approximately that of tap water pressure.
The combination of Lightning Cleanze and Tornado Cleanze, followed by a light pressure wash will remove the majority of lichen.
Bio Cleanze will then work through time – from 6 weeks to 12 months – to remove any remaining lichen and kill any remaining spores deep into the surface.
The actual time it takes Bio Cleanze to work depends on factors such as:
1) Brush and hose down, or lightly pressure wash, the surface to remove loose organic matter.
2) Treat with Lightning Cleanze at 4:1 dilution, brushing the chemical into the lichen to help penetration (multiple treatments can be beneficial for badly affected surfaces).
3) Rinse and apply Benz Tornado Cleanze.
4) Lightly pressure wash any remaining black lichen, which will now be dead and its roots will more easily lift from the surface.
5) Apply Bio Cleanze at 50:1. This will find its way deep into the surface, clean out any remaining lichen spores, and provide long-term residual biocide protection against re-colonisation.
6) When the first signs of algae or lichen growth return, or as a 6-18 month regular maintenance treatment, it is usually sufficient to apply Bio Cleanze at 50:1 (40:1 in cold weather) alone as part of your ongoing maintenance plan.
Quick tip: Offering your customers a "Clean & Maintain" ongoing maintenance plan will give them a perpetually clean property and will give you a continual stream of repeat soft washing business.
Lichen usually takes a long time, even years, to return but sometimes, in damp, shaded areas of paths and patios, green algae will be noticed during the 6-18 months following treatment with Benz Softwash biocides.
At this point a quick "spray & go" with Bio Cleanze is all that is required to keep the surfaces immaculately clean and your customer very happy.
Benz soft washing how-to videos cover every aspect of soft washing. We show you how to soft wash domestic and commercial roofs, paths and drives, tarmac, concrete, walls, wall render (including KRend, Monocouche, Weber), wet pour safety surfaces, tennis courts, car parks, wood decking, fences, sheds and more ...
How to find answers to most soft washing questions: Simply enter a relevant "keyword" or short phrase – e.g. keyword for the above link = "tornado" – into our in-site Search Engine (magnifying glass icon on the main menu).
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)
We hope this information is helpful and sincerely wish you great success in your soft washing business,
Ben, Leo, Fiona, Stevie & Anthony
PS: After completing the first 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 both customer and contractor.
Comments will be approved before showing up. Please revisit to read our response.
February 03, 2023
Click the link on this page to find out ...
January 27, 2023 2 Comments
When is it safe for humans and animals to return and use a soft washed property?Click the link on this page to find out ...
January 20, 2023
Do you understand the legalities and chemical implications of mixing weedkillers with a softwash DDAC biocide such Benz Bio Cleanze?
Click the link on this page to find out ...
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 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.
Subscribe to our free trade tips blog to download your "Professional Soft Wash Contractors Pricing Guide".
The free guide shows you – step by step – how to easily, quickly, and accurately create softwash business quotes.
This saves you time, is a highly professional approach, and increases your chances of winning new contracts.