In most regions across the Southeastern United States, pollen levels reach their peak in April and May. If you live in this region, chances are you’ve already noticed. Even if you’re not particularly allergic to the plant-produced powder, you’ll often see it cover cars and buildings with its yellow-green haze. While the pollen-filled air is essential for plant reproduction, it’s not so kind to our lungs, eyes, or skin. As the school year winds down, the presence of pollen can greatly diminish students’ performance, focus, morale, and well-being – not ideal when final exams, senior activities, and graduation ceremonies are right around the corner.
Pollen season can last until November, too, carrying on well into the upcoming fall semester. If you want your students to succeed and stay healthy from now until Thanksgiving break, you must make a concerted effort to reduce the amount of pollen lingering on campus surfaces. While pollen can land just about anywhere, it clings especially well to brick building exteriors and other porous surfaces. Therefore, thoroughly cleaning the outsides of campus facilities is one of the most effective ways to oust pollen – and power washing happens to be the most efficient method for doing so.
Here are some powerful tips for mitigating the harmful effects of pollen on students and faculty via power washing.
Power Washing Tips to Reduce Effects of Pollen
Pressure Wash Before and After Pollen Season
Pollen is most prominent during spring, but as mentioned above, pollen remains in the air until things cool down later in the fall. Additionally, pollen more easily sticks to surfaces that are already covered in grime. In order to keep pollen levels low on your campus, then, it’s best to pressure wash exteriors before pollen season kicks into gear and shortly after the season ends – this schedule is in line with typical pressure washing protocols that recommend cleaning exteriors twice a year about six months apart.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to clean campus buildings right after winter (late February-March) to remove any dirt, grime, and salt that have built up during the cold season. Incoming pollen will have a harder time adhering to buildings after they’ve been thoroughly washed. Then, in preparation for the return of students in the late summer and to clear away any pollen that’s accumulated throughout the season, power wash exteriors once more (August-September). Sticking to this schedule will help keep students safe and in school year-round.
Get It Done While Most Students Are Away
Because power washing involves high levels of pressure and heat, it can injure those nearby when improperly handled. With so many students on campus and living in dormitories, pressure washing during active semesters can put people in harm’s way. If possible, it’s best to tackle power washing when most students are off-campus for a while (e.g., holiday breaks and in between semesters). Fortunately, this schedule should line up nicely for schools that offer a spring and summer break. For the most part, pressure washing during the winter holiday break(s) is not advised or worthwhile, as this task is most effective when temperatures are warmer.
Protect Campus Interiors
Though pressure washing is aimed at exterior building cleaning, it can have an impact on building interiors if you’re not careful. Dormitories, lecture halls, libraries, and other campus buildings often feature several doors and windows, all of which must be completely shut and sealed before power washing can occur. If even one entryway is neglected, water can quickly make its way inside the building, potentially damaging property, harming individuals, and contributing to water damage – you might have blasted away all the pollen on a given building but at the expense of other issues.
Deploy Adequate Power Levels and Detergents
Without a strong, consistent blast of water at your disposal, getting rid of all the pollen around your campus would be an impossible feat. This power comes with its caveats, however. In addition to putting people’s safety at risk, power washing can also do serious damage to exterior surfaces in certain cases. Old brick buildings (which are common in higher educational institutions) are particularly susceptible to damage after being pelted by powerful blasts of water and corrosive cleaning chemicals. This isn’t to say power washing is off-limits – rather, using the right equipment, cleaning solutions, nozzles, and power settings is necessary to clean these surfaces without eroding them.
Get the Angle Right
Aim and distance matter, too. If you stand too far from a given building, you might not achieve enough velocity to eliminate pollen, dirt, mold, and grime. If you stand too close, however, you might damage the siding. Likewise, you must angle your hose nozzle at 45 degrees to the siding while power washing for the best outcomes and minimal damage. Nailing these details is often easier said than done, which is why it’s best to hire professional industrial washing services to remove pollen and grime from your campus facilities when the time comes.
Improve Indoor Air Quality, Too
Power washing your various campus buildings will keep them mostly clear of pollen, but it’s important to note that pollen and other allergens can also make their way inside these facilities. Establishing strong commercial cleaning protocols and implementing highly-efficient air purification systems will help you maintain cleaner indoor air throughout your campus. HEPA (high energy particulate air) filters work particularly well at trapping 99% of pollen, dust, smoke particles, and more. The best way to keep your students and faculty safe and healthy inside and outside campus buildings is to prioritize both power washing and indoor air quality improvement measures year-round.
Don’t Let Pollen Become a Problem on Your Campus
Pollen is an important substance in nature, but it’s not one you want sticking around on or inside your campus’ buildings. By following the power washing tips listed here, you can keep every student safe and increase their chances of success each and every semester. If you’re looking for superior commercial cleaning solutions for your educational institution, The Budd Group offers power washing, commercial cleaning, HVAC, landscaping, and additional maintenance services for all industries. To learn more about our services and values, give us a call today at 800-221-8158!