Does the painting contractor you are considering offer everything we do?

We are more than just a painting contractor.  Mike’s Home Improvement of Marietta has grown to serve North Atlanta’s finest homes in more than just painting & flooring.

We also offer rotten wood replacement, carpentry, interior and exterior house painting, pressure washing, deck staining, deck refinishing, gutters and down spouts, stucco repair, siding installation, re-staining of front doors, sheet rock repair, and wallpaper removal…

As far as interior painting we have specialized painters that do interior painting.  We use Sherwin-Williams highest quality paints. Duration, Emerald, Cashmere, Super Paint, Deckscapes, and Loxon XP Elastomeric for stucco. All of their top-of-the-line products.

As far as carpentry, we replace all rotten wood siding with permanent products like Hardie siding and Hardie trim. These materials are impervious to rot.

We take pride in providing a professional painting experience from the time you call our office for an estimate to the finished job.  Mike provides detailed estimates which are left with you the same day.

Our focus is residential painting. We have found that we connect best with quality oriented clients.  You can count on us using the highest quality of materials on your project. Our commitment to you is to provide you a very thorough and detailed estimate that results in a finished product that is done correctly.  We use only the highest quality Sherwin-Williams products, providing you with peace of mind service.

At Mike’s Home Improvement we stress fairness and honesty with our clients.  We are fully insured for your safety. Workers compensation and general liability with friendly & helpful office staff to assist you.  We are always available to answer your questions.

How often should I have my house pressure washed?

The frequency of pressure washing your home depends on whether your house has mildew beginning to grow.  If the quality of your exterior paint is good you may not need to pressure wash until the next time you paint.

If the house mildews in the fourth or fifth year it’s because the exterior paint is breaking down. If you wash the house at this point it will only last about one year before the mildew begins to return. It’s probably a good time to think about painting again.  If your house has had good paint which contains a quality mildewcide you should be able to go eight or ten years depending on the sun and shading of the house.

It is best not to pressure wash your house every year. The reason to wash a house is if it becomes dirty or has accumulated mildew. It’s a rare occurrence to have a significant accumulation of dirt unless there is new construction nearby. So mildew accumulation is generally the only reason to wash a house.

Traditionally you pressure wash your house using bleach.  Sometimes you choose an additive that is designed to mix with bleach to help clean the surfaces. This process is slightly corrosive. It will break down minutely the paint film, and accelerate any potential rust almost immediately ( nail heads and galvanized gutters and other, ferrous metal surfaces.)

How should I maintain my house in between paint jobs?

You should rinse the soffits and areas that do not get washed by rain with a garden hose each spring. This will help dissolve salts that crystallize as humid surfaces evaporate.  Dissolving the salts helps reduce dirt buildup.

You might elect to paint the gutters which after 4 to 5 years can start have black streaks as result of debris accumulating in the gutters which run over after a heavy rain.  These stains start to appear after the factory finish starts wearing thin.  Sometimes these stains are from mineral stains from water that’s sitting on top of the gutter edge or from inside the gutter.

Maintenance painting of certain areas of the house might be needed. For example first floor window sills, porch handrails, stair cases and fascia boards that are exposed more to weather than other parts of the home tend to need attention between full exterior house painting jobs.

FAQs on Pressure Washing the Exterior of your Home

Does pressure washing a house with bleach hurt my flowers and shrubs?

Generally if the shrubs are rinsed with clear water before and after bleaching there is no damage to trees or shrubs.  Flowers will be nipped and turn brown. This generally does not kill the flower – maybe just the delicate petals.  Shrubbery is rarely affected by bleaching except for current new growth.

Should I use bleach when pressure washing a house?

Sodium hypo chlorite is the basic ingredient of bleach. It is necessary to kill mildew. When used as a ratio of 1 to 15 or 1 to 12  bleach it will kill all the mildew and algae on the house.

What are those dark stains on my asphalt roof? My roof looks like it has mildew.

Actually the dark stains on asphalt shingle of your roof is not mildew at all.   The stains are a “blue-green algae” which require a special cleaning product to remove it.  Removing the stains on your roof is generally a job left for professionals because it needs to be done from the roof using hook ladders over the peak. The chemical used is an “asphalt roof cleaner”.

This cleaner mixed with water is very effective but also slippery when stepped on. The solution is applied with either a pump up bottle or with a pressure washer at very low pressure. It is then rinsed from the crown of the roof gently down toward the gutters applying minimal pressure. Basically it’s a gentle rinse like a heavy rain. Caution should be taken not to use pressure because it may result in removing some of the grains of the asphalt shingle. This of course reduces the life of your roof. The process gives you a nearly new looking roof again.

How do you pressure wash a house?  

You need to have a pressure washer that has 3500 to 4000 PSI and 50 feet of pressure washing hose. A long wand attached to the end of the pressure washing gun is helpful, and an assortment of tips.  A 5 gallon bucket, eye goggles to protect your eyes and a safety hat are also recommended.
How do you soft wash a house?

The difference between pressure washing a house and doing a “soft wash” is that when pressure washing you will use pressure up close on the siding or surfaces that are being cleaned.  Soft washing a house on the other hand, is a gentle rinsing procedure that uses low pressure on the surfaces.

When pressure washing the house, the high pressure of the water close to the surface may force water up underneath siding or through windows or doors.  Soft washing helps eliminate the concerns about excessive water pressure getting into the house.

Pressure washing the house is usually done on ladders.  Soft washing the house is done from the ground and does not require ladders. When soft washing the house we only use two tips.  One is a wide bleaching tip that has a fan width of 4 to 5 feet and also a bleaching tip that produces a stream that reaches about 30 feet high.  When you add an extension pole to the end of the pressure washing gun and also the height of the person doing the pressure washing you gently can reach a 40 foot height relatively easily. Also if you pull and release the trigger quickly you can shoot the stream another five or 10 feet higher.

How do I prepare my house for pressure washing?

The first thing to do is remove porch furniture or cover the furniture with plastic to protect it from bleach. Next, remove potted flowers away from the house. Then release all the screen clips from the inside of the house and remove the screens. It’s a good idea to pencil the numbers of the screens,  counting from left to right on the front,  and counting left to right on the right side, back and left side of the house this enables you to place the screens back on the appropriate windows.  If you have a front door that is a stained door it is a good idea to cover it and tape it with blue tape and plastic so that no bleach and water get on the surface. All other doors of the house should be taped at the door jamb and at the sill . If the varnish is sound it generally will not affect the door, but if it’s weathered the bleach will lighten the wood in these weathered areas.

It’s usually good to wash one side of the house at a time.  The bleach acts very quickly, usually 10 minutes or less. The first step is to use the pressure washer with the large bleaching tip to rinse the shrubbery it is near the house. The next up is to begin the bleach running through the injector of the pressure washer and start at the bottom and begin to bleach the house with this large pressure washing tip. Work your way up to the house to the overhangs.  Allow the bleach to run out of the line and clear water starts to flow and begin the rinsing process.  Start at the top and flood the surface from the overhangs all away down with clear water. When you’re finished rinsing the whole side go back one more time and do just the windows with a final rinse. The final step is to rinse the shrubbery a last time with clear water. Proceed to the next side of the house and repeat the process.

If you have a deck that is stained you need to rinse the whole deck with bleach and water so that it cleans evenly.  Then rinse the whole deck with clear water.

Again this is all soft wash process and no significant pressure has been used on the house.

There are surfaces that sometimes need to have some pressure in order to remove dirt or chalky paint. Be careful when using pressure around the doors and the windows so the water is not forced into the house.

For more information or answers to your painting questions, please contact us.

How can I find a trustworthy home improvement contractor?

Mike’s Home Improvement of Marietta has the reputation of being trustworthy, honest, and fair.  We follow certain principles that we feel are critical for our clients to feel secure.

These principles are basically to tell the truth, at all times act with fairness & simple kindness, and to always go the extra mile.

Our reputation is to provide great longevity using the very best high-end products.  We have skilled painters that have the expertise and experience necessary to produce quality painting.  We are the experts; We are thorough and detailed.  Our office is friendly, responsive, punctual; service oriented and enjoys getting to know our clients.

We are the experts in residential & commercial painting, flooring, pressure washing, and general home improvement and carpentry repairs.

If you have questions about painting, please call us at (770) 971-2156 or email us with your questions at mike@mikespaintingandflooring.com.