But What Are Soffits and Fascias?
The best way to clean uPVC fascia’s and soffits is first to identify what is which. The soffit board is what you will see, from street level, looking up, and like the fascia is constructed of uPVC plastic (mostly). The soffit board is attached to the underside of the fascia board and is often ventilated allowing air to flow through the roof space.
The fascia board is the longboard that holds the guttering in place and runs along the underside of the roofline. Modern-day materials are plastic, uPVC, but can also be constructed of light aluminum metal or wood.
Cleaning uPVC Soffits and Fascias
We spend a great deal of time cleaning the interior of our homes that we totally forget about exterior home cleaning, especially the area above our front and rear doors; and although the homeowner will usually have a window cleaner who cleans the windows and frames, we tend to forget about fascia and soffits cleaning, and moreover the gutters! The frontage of your home is the first area your visitors and people see; therefore a dirty and grimy front does not make the best first impression.
This is particularly the case if you are in the process of selling your home and where ‘kerb appeal’ may or may not clinch the sale…
The soffits and fascias are quite often overlooked on the maintenance of the ‘things-to-do list’, even though they play an important role in protecting your home’s roofline and maintaining its aesthetic appearance.
Maintaining your soffits and fascias by cleaning them not only keeps your home looking bright and fresh-looking, but it may also help you see early signs of damage and remove the build-up of algae growth.
Cleaning With a Jet Washer?
The best way to clean uPVC fascia’s is, from the keen DIYer is by the use of a jet washer. The soffits and fascia areas can be a difficult place to clean but a jet washer can make the job of cleaning them easier. Before you get started using detergent, first rinse them with clean water, rinsing away all major bits of debris and dirt. This can be done with a normal garden hose, although your water pressure will affect the reach of the spray. If you have access to a high-reach lance, then all the better!
To begin with, use a low-pressure nozzle on the jet washer to avoid spraying dirt and debris into the soffit vents. For a deep clean, you will be required to use detergent after your initial rinse, above. When applying the detergent, fill the detergent container (bottle) with detergent and dilute the detergent according to the instructions on the bottle if you’re using concentrated detergent. This may well be achieved if the detergent bottle fits onto the end of the washer lance-like you do when washing a car.
Turn your washer on and ensure that your jet washer has the spray tip on its end.
Begin spraying your soffits and fascia areas a bit at a time, moving slowly along their length.
Let the detergent dwell for approximately 5 minutes whilst you change to a high-pressure tip on the jet washer. Do not allow the detergent to ‘dry out’.
Remove the detergent bottle/source /container. Go back to the start point where you first applied the detergent, now spray, rinse down in the same direction. For a gleaming finish, spray steadily along your soffits and fascias, removing the dirt and detergent from them. You might find that quite a lot of dirt comes off from the ventilation slits- do not put too much water into these slits!
When you have finished this phase, switch back to the low-pressure rinse nozzle and carry out a final rinse of your soffits and fascias.
Cleaning Without a Jet Washer
What if you do not own a Jet washer? Not to worry, a garden hose can do a reasonably good job, but not as good as a jet washer. Begin by mixing half a cup of washing-up liquid of your preferred cleaning solution to 8-10 liters of hot water in a bucket – cold is ok as well but hot is better. To help kill algae/mildew, add two tablespoons of household bleach and mix together.
Raise up a ladder into a position where you can ideally reach both your soffit and fascia and clean them at the same time. Note that you must consider the Health and Safety aspect of climbing a ladder by having the ladder either ‘spotted’ by another person or secured and stable by a suitable restraint before climbing it. Use a large sponge, or cloth and soak it in the bucket (where appropriate hand protection). Utilize the sponge, or cloth, and scrub along a reasonable length of your soffit and fascia. Only work on the areas that you are able to reach safely – do not overreach!
The next step is to attach a trigger nozzle to the end of your garden hose and turn the water pressure too high – as stated, a high-reach lance is beneficial here. Rinse down the areas of your fascia and soffit that you scrubbed until all the detergent and bleach has been rinsed away. NB. When using a bleach mixture, be aware of any plants/grass sitting directly below the area being cleaned as bleach can kill the plants. In this case, a thorough watering down of any plants and or grass below the soffit and fascia area will alleviate any potential damage to them.
Move the ladder to another secure position along the building and repeat: scrubbing and rinsing until all of your soffits and fascias have been cleaned. If an area of soffit or fascia is difficult to reach, do not be tempted to ‘overreach’ or climb onto an area (roof) that might be a slip hazard or prove difficult to get down from.
Another best way to clean uPVC fascia’s and soffits is by way of extendable brushes that can be bought, fairly cheaply, and can assist in the cleaning of your soffits and fascias. Indeed, many of today’s window cleaners utilize long-reach (carbon-fiber) poles to clean windows.
Professional Soffit and Fascia Cleaning
However, although not an overly difficult task, it can be ‘high risk, especially when using a ladder to access the roofline area of your home. Therefore the best way to clean uPVC fascia’s and soffits is to call in a professional service provider! As stated above this type of cleaning is provided by many professional exterior cleaning companies: Window cleaners may be able to assist you in this, and they (he/she) should be homeowners’ first port of enquiry – many window cleaners offer this type of service as an ‘add-on’ to their window cleaning service.
An exterior home cleaning company will provide this service as one of their main services, alongside gutter cleaning, drive and patio cleaning, etc. This type of cleaning specialist will have access to all the professional long-reach poles, brushes, and equipment and use professional-grade cleaning products.
How Much Does The Cleaning Of Soffits and Fascias Cost?
The cost of cleaning your soffits and fascias will vary between areas. However, as of 2021, the average cost of a three-bedroom detached house would be £85.00 and a four-bedroom detached £95.00. Other factors may require consideration, e.g. distance traveled and level of soiling before a service provider could give an accurate quote.
In addition, most likely an exterior cleaning specialist may offer a discount if the homeowner requested other services to be included, e.g. gutter cleaning, or algae removal.
At Acleanerplace Cleaning Services, we provide a comprehensive exterior home soffit and fascia cleaning service in Stirling and throughout central Scotland. Contact us on 01786 817401 for a FREE quote today!