When it comes to residential roofing, asphalt shingles are one of the most common materials used because they are durable, long lasting, and affordable. They may not be as “showy” as the red tile roofs you see, but they can withstand severe weather, like wind and rain, and that’s one of the reasons builders often choose to use them here in Southwest Florida.
However, cleaning and maintaining your shingle roof is critical to its lifespan. So much so that some home insurance companies are demanding maintenance, or you risk having your policy dropped. Why is it so important? Because, aside from losing its original color, and looking terrible, your dirty-looking shingle roof most likely has algae, bacteria, and fungus growing on it. And those living organisms can cause major damage with your roofing materials, requiring replacement, rather than just a cleaning.
Let’s look at what the bacteria actually does to your shingles. The filament root system of the fungi and algae are growing on, and digging in to your roof. Fungi and algae that are growing on a roof have root systems that open up tiny cracks in the shingles, causing damage to them, and ultimately decomposition. They spread the shingle like a fan. Because the shingle is attached on the back, the front ends of the shingle flare and roll. This is because the shingle is widened at the front more so than the back. Research shows that the bacteria within the mold and algae on your roof actually feeds off the limestone, which contains phosphates, and other materials within the shingles on your roof. These microorganisms break down the roofing surface and cause them to decompose. This in turn, will also aid the process of erosion caused by running water, such as rainfall. So they are eating away at your roof and shortening the lifespan of it dramatically, and our hot humid days allow them to thrive. That’s right, if your roof isn’t cleaned regularly, especially if algae is visible on it, it can lead to rapid deterioration of your shingles.
Shingles help block UV rays, which as you know, we get a lot of here in Southwest Florida. And without being properly blocked, UV rays lead to less energy efficiency and higher electrical bills, as you will end up having your air conditioner running more to keep the house cool.
Aside from being really bad for your roof, the algae, mold and fungi present on your roof may also be dangerous for the people living in your household who have allergies or asthma.
And finally, the end result is you’ll have to replace your roof much sooner than you should need to. Have you priced out roofing lately? It can cost more than $10,000 to get your roof replaced!
When the pressure washing industry was started back in the 1980’s, there were lots of roof cleaning companies who pressure washed shingle roofs to clean them. But at Under Pressure, we never pressure wash a roof, because pressure washing is really bad for all types of roofs. Any type of pressure washing on shingles literally sprays 10-15 years off the life of your roof! Using high pressure can remove the aggregate granules from the asphalt shingle leaving them unprotected from the elements. High pressure will not only damage the shingles, but it will void your roof's warranty!
What’s worse is that pressure washing may make it look like it’s gotten rid of those black streaks, but it will only be a few months before you start to see them again. That’s because the black streaks are a living organism that has already put down roots in your shingles. When you merely pressure wash, you do not blow the roots off the roof, so the bacteria, mold and mildew grow back quickly.
We, at Under Pressure, strictly use only Roof Cleaning Institute of America approved techniques to clean roofs. We do not use "high pressure" or "low pressure" washing on roofs. We clean with no pressure applied to the roof at all. Also, we use minimal walking on roofs to maintain the integrity of the roof. We use a cutting edge solution called BioWash, that safely and effectively removes these microorganism stains!
The BioWash solution is completely safe for all of your landscape plantings and grass because it’s biodegradable. It’s effective on all kinds of roofs, including asphalt shingles. The formulation of the product and the application technique allows the cleaning solution to have a longer linger time, which means less run off, and increased results from just one application. One of the best things about this product, is that it continues to work over time. Every time it rains, your roof will get cleaner and release a protective barrier from the algae that stains your roof, deeply cleaning and preventing the stains from returning, when you schedule regular preventative services with us.
Our BioWash service is an industry first, and we hope you’ll call us today to clean your shingle roof with this environmentally-roof-friendly product. If you’re interested in having the black stains on your roof removed safely and with long-lasting results, give us a call at Under Pressure at 239-218-5085!
When you purchase a townhouse or home in a planned development or gated community here in Southwest Florida, you are often obligated to join that community’s homeowner’s association (HOA), pay monthly or annual fees for the upkeep of common areas, and maintain your home within the HOA'.
In addition to maintaining common areas, HOAs also set out certain rules that all residents must follow called convenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs). Rules may include what color front door you may have, whether you are allowed to line dry your laundry outside, whether you can have a satellite dish, the size and type of pets permitted, and so on. In a subdivision with individual homes, regulations may include what color you can paint your home, the exterior landscaping you can do, the types of vehicles you can park on the street or in your driveway (no RVs, for example), permissible type and height of fences, and restrictions on window coverings for windows facing the street.
HOA’s will also govern how well you maintain your residence and will often enforce how well you maintain your property, which can include everything from lawn maintenance to keeping your roof clear of mildew and your driveway and lanai clean as well. While all of this can be a pain, remember the covenants are there to help maintain the quality of life for the entire community and to protect property values for all of the owners.
No one likes to get a letter saying they’ve broken the rules and may be being charged a fine by the HOA if they don’t maintain their property properly. However, the HOA is obligated to fairly and consistently enforce governing documents. If it didn’t, chaos would ensue.
Here at Under Pressure, we call those HOA maintenance letters “nastygrams.” This is the time of year in SWFL, when many HOA’s send out their maintenance “nastygrams.” And if you’ve gotten a “nastygram” about mold and mildew on your roof, your driveway, your lanai or your sidewalk, we want you to know that we are here to help you avoid getting a fine from your HOA. Call us now and we will get that dirt and mildew handled immediately, getting you out of hot water with your association, and making your home looking fantastic
In the Fall up North people get a very clear reminder of the need to clean their gutters. . . falling leaves need to be removed before the big snows begin. But here in Southwest Florida, we don’t really get that reminder, we simply have to remember on our own that getting our gutters, soffits and fascia cleaned regularly not only keeps our house’s curb appeal, but also prevents long-term damage to our home. That’s because soffits not only contribute to the appearance of your home, but also help to ventilate your living space inside. Keeping the soffits clear of debris is important for uninterrupted air flow in your home and preventing mold growth as well. Clogged debris in your soffits leads to a high concentration of moisture, and any time we have moisture long term here in SWFL we have mold and fungus growth issues.
First let’s take a quick look at why your home may have soffits and fascia. These two things are interrelated and used when installing a roof. Together they help prevent mold and mildew from entering your home’s rafters. Soffits and fascia increase air ventilation and protect the areas of your home that are difficult to cover with paint. Fascia is used to create a barrier between the edge of the roof and the outside. It protects the roof from weather damage, and also provides a point for the gutters and drain pipes to attach to your roof.
Soffits and fascia require a soft pressure wash setting and a low-pressure nozzle, which is what UnderPressure excels at. You never want anyone to use a high pressure water blast when cleaning your soffits, as that could cause water to flow into the attic of your house. When soffits and fascia become too dirty, they also become harder to clean. Because of this, you want to get in the habit of getting them pressure washed regularly to avoid dealing with a huge mess or a more expensive maintenance issue.
Gutters are used to channel rain away from your home and your home’s foundation. With the torrential downpours we get here in Florida, a clogged gutter could cause a water backup that could cost thousands of dollars in roof damage. In other news. . . have you ever seen the citrus rats we have here in SWFL? They are huge, and dirty gutters are the perfect nesting spot for rodents. How often you get your gutters cleaned depends largely on the number of trees you have around your home. If you have a large number of trees on your property, you should be checking your gutters at least every four to six months to make sure they are not clogged.
If you’re interested in having your soffits, fascia and gutters cleaned safely and with long-lasting results, give us a call at Under Pressure at 239-218-5085.
Hurricane Irma left so many people in the SWFL area needing new roofs. Although the event was two seasons ago, there are still people who have blue tarps on their roofs as they wait for their insurance company to approve of the repair. But, even worse than those blue tarps are the houses who have had part of their roof repaired, but not gotten the entire roof washed after the repair. This leaves a very bright shiny new area of tiles, which makes the dirty tiles even more obvious. Having us come in to BioWash the entire roof is a good practice for many reasons, one of which is to have your entire roof look great. But there are other reasons which will extend the life of the whole roof. The condition of your roof has everything to do with its lifespan, so giving it the attention it needs saves you money in the long run. Let’s talk about some reasons to get your roof cleaned, and some different types of roof materials and their needs.
Let’s take a peek at this situation from a new angle, because having your roof cleaned on a regular basis, also allows us to see any damage you may have sustained to your roof over time, which can mean smaller repair and replacement bills in the future.
By cleaning your roof, it can reveal areas of it where the tile is worn out or damaged, so they can be replaced if needed. When we are up there, we can see if there are tiles that are dried out and crumbling, or buckled and ready to come loose! We can see where there are soft spots along the surface, or discoloration that indicates water damage to the interior studs and joists. Once you see the areas of damage, you can have them repaired quickly, before it becomes a leak that can damage the interior of your house.
Our BioWash service is an industry first, and we hope you’ll call us today to clean your roof with this environmentally and roof friendly product. If you’re interested in having the black stains on your roof removed safely and with long-lasting results, give us a call at Under Pressure at 239-218-5085.
I’m in a business referral group that I attend once a week. Often, I request referrals to go do some “stripping” for people, and this always gets a big laugh out of the guys in our group. But the truth is, stripping is a huge part of my business, since what I’m actually talking about is stripping failed paver sealer and resealing people’s driveways, walkways and lanais. That’s because unfortunately, brick paver sealers often fail here in Southwest Florida, turning white or hazy and making people’s pavers look terrible. And that’s because the wrong sealer was used or applied in the wrong way.
In fact, poor sealer selection is one of the top reasons for failed paver sealer jobs in SWFL, where our humidity and the level of our water table here changes everything when it comes to sealing pavers. People tend to think they are sealing pavers the way you would seal a stained or painted wooden deck, where the goal is to keep the water out. Pavers do need to be sealed, don’t get me wrong, but it’s to keep the paver surface from wearing away due to foot traffic, UV rays from the sun, and the pounding rain we get here. If left open to these elements, the finer materials from the surface of your pavers, which is where the color is, wears away, leaving your pavers looking old and worn. The sealing mistake that is often made, is using a solvent-based sealer (other names for solvent-based sealers are: oil, Xylene, or acrylic-based paver sealants, so don’t be fooled if someone tells you they are not solvent based.). These sealers are designed to keep water and moisture out. Here in SWFL, we live in a subtropical climate with humidity in the air, heavy rainfall every day during the summer, and a high water table level underground, which permeates through the ground soil, through aggregate paver-base material and into the porous brick pavers, which then gets trapped between the paver and the thin top layer coating of those solvent based sealants, not allowing them to breath. This deteriorates the bond the sealer has with the paver, turning it a hazy white. This is a sign that water is trapped between the sealer and the paver, detaching the sealer from the paver. Once this happens, the sealer pretty much needs to be stripped, and a new sealer applied.
Other reasons you may have hazy white sealer on your pavers include:
These are the reasons behind failing paver sealers, but unfortunately, there’s only one way to fix the problem. Once your pavers look white and hazy, it is best to have that bad sealer completely stripped off and re-sealed the correct way.
At UnderPressure, we spent the time and energy to find the right paver sealer for our climate. That’s why we began testing some of the water-based sealers available in the marketplace. I wanted a sealer we could apply immediately after pressure washing, but one that would not turn white. My goal was no more down time, immediately beautiful results, and pavers that looked enhanced and gorgeous for a long time.
We were excited to find a company in Florida that manufactures water-based sealers. Seal ‘n Lock manufactures their products right here in Tampa, FL, which means they truly understand the limitations of our local weather and environment. We most often use the Seal 'n Lock Super Wet sealant, which is a water-based urethane modified acrylic sealer that penetrates the pavers and provides a protective barrier, wet-looking surface and excellent joint stabilization.
This product is also consistent with our dedication to being responsible with the environment. Our product is not harmful to any vegetation, and does not produce any toxic odor. The sealing of paver driveways with this system not only protects the brick pavers, but it also ensures structural performance while inhibiting insect and weed infestation. Under Pressure's use of this system definitely provides the highest quality product with the best application process. The other thing I love about Seal ‘n Lock is that they annually offer myself and my employees the opportunity to continually educate ourselves about sealers. That’s why our employees at Under Pressure go through training once a year with the Seal n Lock company to ensure we know the best products to use and how to apply them correctly.
The fact is this, if you have brick pavers, you need to get them professionally sealed. Our sealer protects the surface of your pavers from the weathering caused by those high-powered UV rays we get here in the South. While the concrete pavers themselves are highly durable, the colored pigments in the pavers can slowly fade over time, due to the UV ray exposure. Sealing the pavers helps to keep the paver’s colors vibrant even in bright sunlight.
Let us help you keep your brick pavers looking great and lasting for more than 30 years! By letting Under Pressure deep clean and seal your brick pavers every two years, your driveway, walkway or lanai will better resist dirt and oil, keep weeds from growing and prevent cracks from forming, providing your home with gorgeous curbside appeal!
Give us a call for a free estimate to have the failed paver sealer stripped off the surface and re-sealed the correct way. Call UnderPressure at 239-218-5085
When it comes to business, people are always touting “location, location, location.” After all, if you have a storefront, then the location of it can actually make or break it in terms of customer traffic. However, when you think about your location, have you considered the curb-appeal of it? What we are talking about here is your parking lot. Your parking lot is valuable real estate, so if it is looking dirty, it reflects poorly on your business, and it can be a hazard for consumers and a liability for you. So you want to keep your parking lot looking clean to improve sanitation, curb appeal and minimize liability issues. Because oil spills and algae build up, due to our humid weather here in Southwest Florida, can be slipping hazards, as well as make your parking lot look terrible.
Aside from that, municipalities like Lee County, Collier County, Fort Myers, Bonita, Estero, Naples, and Cape Coral all demand that local business owners maintain appearances in accordance with local ordinances. And they are willing to cite owners that fail to do so with fines.
Acting like a sponge, concrete parking lots absorb all kinds of contaminants, dirt, and grime. There are several kinds of stains your parking lot and the sidewalk in front of your store can get. These include: oil stains from leaking cars; tire marks; mold; mildew; algae; water stains; rust; salt stains from the ocean water here in the air; and weeds in the cracks.
When it comes to life expectancy of your parking lot, keep in mind that the oils, algae build up and even the salt that is constantly in the air of our beachy towns, break down the building materials of your parking lot. Weeds can cause your concrete to degenerate and crumble and crack. Salt corrodes concrete and helps it crack. Our pressure washing services can effectively reduce the amount of damage done to your parking lot, increasing its life expectancy.
Although we don’t have ice to worry about here in SWFL, we do have mold and algae growths, which are not just slippery, but can even crack or warp paved surfaces, leading to tripping hazards. These safety issues can expose you, and your customers or visitors, to danger. Slipping and falling is a very common reason people file personal injury lawsuits.
That’s why pressure washing provides more than just aesthetic benefits. Removing the mold, algae, dirt, oil buildup and other substances from your concrete and pavers also helps reduce your legal liability.
If your sidewalks and parking lot look dirty or have a build up of oil, algae or salt on them, give us a call at Under Pressure at 239-218-5085.
Realtors often talk about “curb appeal” when selling your home, but the truth is, you want your home to look gorgeous while you’re living in it even if you have no intention of selling, right? The problem is, when people talk about curb appeal, they overlook one of the most obvious parts of it, which is their concrete driveway, front walk ways, sidewalks, and actual curb! The concrete areas around your home get stained by many things, meanwhile they are literally the first place your guest’s shoes hit the ground. Acting like a sponge, concrete driveways absorb contaminants, dirt, and grime. There are several kinds of stains your concrete hardscapes can get.
Left untreated, these kinds of stains actually weaken your driveway, making it more susceptible to cracking and deterioration. Having a new driveway installed is expensive, so why not simply be sure to maintain it by getting it pressure washed twice a year? Concrete looks like it’s a solid and invincible surface that you could easily power wash yourself, however this is one of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to pressure washing. People often underestimate the power of a jet of water, use the wrong nozzle or the wrong level of pressure and damage their hardscapes easily. Most people don’t understand how powerful a pressurized stream of water can be. It is possible to cause significant, visible damage in the form of pitting, etched lines and general surface degradation if you don’t know what you’re doing. Etching is slightly blasting tiny bits of concrete off, engraving lines in the concrete which show up especially when the concrete is wet.
One of the other issues with trying to pressure wash your own driveway is that quite often the non-commercial level pressure washers are weaker than what we use as professionals. So rather than cleaning off biologicals, they merely spread the mold spores around, making your driveway even more susceptible to a widespread mold problem just a few months down the line.
Concrete hardscapes beautify your home’s landscaping, save water, and provide solid surfaces for parking, walking and entertaining. Let us help you improve their durability and longevity with a maintenance contract that will have us pressure wash your home twice a year, which will allow you to enjoy the beauty of your patios, walkways, sidewalks and driveways long after they are installed. Give us a call at Under Pressure at 239-218-5085.
Did you know that over 16,000 people die from slip and fall accidents every year according to the National Safety Council? In fact, slip and fall accidents are the second leading cause of injuries in the United States. They make up approximately 15% of all job-related injuries, and overall, more than 540,000 slip and fall injuries requiring hospital care occur in North America every year.
What’s all this got to do with pressure washing? As a business owner, and even as a home owner, failure to regularly clean driveways, sidewalks, and pavers in frequently traveled areas can lead to buildup of slippery substances. Although we don’t have ice to worry about here in SWFL, we do have mold and algae growths, which are not just slippery, but can even crack or warp paved surfaces, leading to tripping hazards. These safety issues can expose you, and your customers or visitors, to danger. Slipping and falling is a very common reason people file personal injury lawsuits.
That’s why pressure washing provides more than just aesthetic benefits. Removing the mold, algae, dirt, oil buildup and other substances from your concrete and pavers also helps reduce your legal liability.
Here are some tips to take care of your property to prevent dangerous buildup:
• Be sure to sweep entryways on a regular basis, and get them pressure washed a couple of times a year, or whenever the buildup starts to become a hazard.
• Hose off any fresh spills immediately, so they don’t set and harden. If this is a place of business, be sure to put up signs to warn customers if the floor is still wet.
• As a business you should always use “wet floor” signs, absorbent mats, and anti-skid paint in areas that are prone to moisture and slippery conditions.
We don’t recommend pressure washing these areas yourself. Too often those people who do it themselves end up damaging their own property. The most common mistake is applying too much pressure which can cut through a screen or etch lines into your concrete. Do it yourselfers also often forget to use a cleaning solution and rely merely on water, which only pushes mold spores around. The extra pressure you’ll have to use with water only and the mold-related damages can end up costing you more money in the end.
Often, do it yourself home owners discover that once they figure in the cost of renting a pressure washer, transporting it to and from the rental place and spending the time to do the pressure washing, they would have been better off investing in having UnderPressure do it for them.
If your sidewalks and pavers have dangerous and ugly mold covering them, give us a call at Under Pressure at 239-218-5085.
You already know that you should get your roof and pavers power washed on a regular basis to have it looking fantastic, but believe it or not, there are some other great reasons to hire Underpressure. Here are just a few reasons to consider getting power washing done.
Here at Under Pressure, we recommend getting your entire exterior washed every few years as part of the regular maintenance for your home. Before you repaint, or perhaps instead of repainting your exterior, give us a call at Under Pressure at 239-218-5085.
It’s the perfect time of year to get your roof, pavers, driveway or house pressure washed, because here in Southwest Florida it’s fairly dry right now. There’s a lot to consider when you are hiring a company though, so we’ve put together a quick guide to help keep you from getting overwhelmed, or ripped off. So here’s a few things to look for.
By following these simple steps, we know you will be able to find the right company for you, and of course we are hoping Underpressure Cleaning and Sealing Services comes out at the top of your list. Give us a call today for a free estimate! 239-218-5085
Under Pressure Cleaning & Sealing Services LLC
Peter LeBlanc - Owner/Operator
239-218-5085 • email@example.com
Proudly Serving Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Estero, Bonita Springs, Port Charlotte, Alva
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