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View Full Version : Want to POWER WASH? - READ THIS 1st


jbmillion
12-15-2008, 03:17 PM
I operate both a landscaping company as well as a power washing company. These are some quick tips to preserve the professionalism and price points in powerwashing. Remember, you guys know as well as I do that it sucks to loose a lawn to someone cutting any size lawn for $20. It goes the same for power washers loosing a $300-400+ job to someone who will attempt to do it for 100 bucks or less. $40-50 per man hour may be ok for lawns which are a repetitive business (weekly or bi-weekly, $1000+ over the season per customer) but its not enough for powerwashing which will only be an annual or bi-annual service. Please read these tips and do some research. WE ALL want to remain professional AND profitable in each of our own trades.

1) Washing of vinyl siding should be done with low pressure high volume. This means use of tips other than the colored tips that come with the washer. Homeowner pressure washers typically do not provide enough volume of water. You can recoup the cost of lower end commercial equip with 3 or so jobs (priced correctly)

2) If you are doing this correctly with proper equipment and chemicals you DO NOT need a ladder. 99% of the time you can clean up to 3 stories from the ground using the right equipment, chemicals and nozzles.

3) Household bleach, jomax M1 and other off the shelf chemicals while somewhat effective dont allow for use of low pressure. You should be using 12% sodium Hypochlorite mixed with surfactants and detergents. The darkest mold and mildew will literally melt from the siding with garden hose pressure.

4) You should be aiming for AT LEAST $100+++ per HOUR. Dont price by the hour though. 275-400+ per job average. To some of you out there this may seem crazy but people are happy to pay this sum for effective safe professional results. There home is their largest investment. For guys out there doing lawns remember your typical customer will pay you aprox $1000+ to mow their grass over the season why would it be unreasonable for them to pay 300-700 to have a clean home every year or two.

There is a wealth of helpful folks and info at the power washing forums www.ptstate.com

Midstate Lawncare
12-15-2008, 05:42 PM
You left out the insurane part... it is not cheap... but it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!!!! you will tear s@#$ up when you start. just c.y.a.

hdtvluvr
12-16-2008, 09:29 PM
1) Washing of vinyl siding should be done with low pressure high volume. This means use of tips other than the colored tips that come with the washer. Homeowner pressure washers typically do not provide enough volume of water. You can recoup the cost of lower end commercial equip with 3 or so jobs (priced correctly)



So what do you recommend for vinyl siding as far as equipment?

jbmillion
12-17-2008, 11:41 AM
If your looking for lower end commercial equipment to start. Stick with something like 3500 PSI 4GPM w/ 13hp nothing less . The tips you use will adjust the pressure to a safe level for vinyl. Do a little reading on some dedicated power washing forums for further details about "low pressure" and the tips required etc.

Danscapes
12-17-2008, 12:24 PM
And always pressure wash vinyl siding on the coldest days possible.

mowranger
12-17-2008, 12:46 PM
And always pressure wash vinyl siding on the coldest days possible.

I do not pressure wash, but why on the coldest days?

Danscapes
12-17-2008, 01:09 PM
I was just kidding, if you do that the siding is very brittle and will shatter to pieces.

mowranger
12-17-2008, 08:02 PM
I was just kidding, if you do that the siding is very brittle and will shatter to pieces.

Just checking! Thats what I thought, plastics and rubber get brittle when cold.

FCPWLLC
12-18-2008, 11:39 AM
Cleaning Vinyl Siding doesn't require enough pressure to break it. I use only 100psi... Yes 100, not 1000, not 2000, not 3000, not 4000.

hdtvluvr
12-18-2008, 02:39 PM
Cleaning Vinyl Siding doesn't require enough pressure to break it. I use only 100psi... Yes 100, not 1000, not 2000, not 3000, not 4000.

What type of equipment do you use?

FCPWLLC
12-19-2008, 02:04 PM
What type of equipment do you use?

20hp 8 gpm Pressure Pro.

It's not the equipment that makes a difference... It's the knowledge of water flow and chemistry.

Most homes washed in about an hour cleaner than the folks using high pressure and spending all day to do it.

hdtvluvr
12-19-2008, 09:00 PM
So how do you get 100 psi out of that? And do you get 8 gpm when using 100 psi?

FCPWLLC
12-20-2008, 11:32 AM
Lowering pressure is done with changing tips. And yes I get the full 8gpm at 100psi.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX9oqfg8eQg

http://firstchoicepowerwashing.com/images/equipment/IMG_0571.JPG

http://firstchoicepowerwashing.com/images/equipment/IMG_0574.JPG

http://firstchoicepowerwashing.com/images/equipment/IMG_0575.JPG

http://firstchoicepowerwashing.com/images/equipment/IMG_0577.JPG

hdtvluvr
12-20-2008, 02:10 PM
Are all of those nozzles low pressure? If so, what is the difference between them? I viewed the youtube link. How do you get the water to the second story of a house with that pistol type wand?

FCPWLLC
12-20-2008, 05:33 PM
Yes, all are low pressure tips. The differenc is the angles. We reach 2nd and 3rd story heights with the 0 degree tip.

This video demos the 0 degree low pressure tip.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NoU_t1p4Qs

This one shows me washing one without a gun or tips at all... Just a ball-valve.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ9SWMmMX2k

hdtvluvr
12-20-2008, 06:19 PM
Thanks for the info. Is the ball valve with a garden hose and using house water/pressure or is it attached to your pressure washer? I've tried a ball valve with a garden hose and it won't reach the top of our 2 story house.

FCPWLLC
12-21-2008, 10:59 AM
Thanks for the info. Is the ball valve with a garden hose and using house water/pressure or is it attached to your pressure washer? I've tried a ball valve with a garden hose and it won't reach the top of our 2 story house.

That's on the pressure washer. Down-streaming soap.

kyfireman2004
12-21-2008, 11:39 PM
I have some for sale.........30.00 bucks each.

T.Brandon
12-26-2008, 03:22 AM
FCPWLLC, Lets see a pic of your rig! if you don't mind. I'm looking into getting into power washing also. What type of chemicals are you using on vinyl siding

garyslawn
12-29-2008, 01:29 PM
been in lawn business 25 years, only pressure wash my equipment & home. Question is. How do you get the dark stains of the gutters... Thanks

FCPWLLC
12-29-2008, 11:31 PM
been in lawn business 25 years, only pressure wash my equipment & home. Question is. How do you get the dark stains of the gutters... Thanks

I like either sodium hydroxide/butyl mix brushed on and rinsed or Potasium Hydroxide. Can't let it dry though. Or go to strong.

kyfireman2004
12-30-2008, 12:40 PM
What is that stuff..........Is that what you make bombs out of........

CCPC
12-31-2008, 04:10 PM
been in lawn business 25 years, only pressure wash my equipment & home. Question is. How do you get the dark stains of the gutters... Thanks

An easy butyl chem that works well that you can buy right off the shelf is Purple Power. Brush it on and rinse immediately with low/no pressure. Be careful what you drip it on because it can fade certain painted surfaces if the surface is dry, or not rinsed off quickly.

Barry M
01-10-2009, 05:11 PM
I thought I used low pressure at 3-400psi on vinyl siding, but Mike is the king of low pressure power washing.

Barry Maddox
Midwest Pro Wash
Power Washing Goshen, IN (http://www.midwestprowash.com/indiana_power_washer.html) and Low Pressure Roof Cleaning (http://www.midwestprowash.com/roof_algae_report.html) Contractor

CCPC
01-10-2009, 06:28 PM
I thought I used low pressure at 3-400psi on vinyl siding, but Mike is the king of low pressure power washing.

Barry Maddox
Midwest Pro Wash
Power Washing Goshen, IN (http://www.midwestprowash.com/indiana_power_washer.html) and Low Pressure Roof Cleaning (http://www.midwestprowash.com/roof_algae_report.html) Contractor

That's what I use when I pressure wash exteriors in Jacksonville Florida, about 300-400psi.

divine190
01-23-2009, 03:54 AM
That's what I use when I pressure wash exteriors in Jacksonville Florida, about 300-400psi.

What about Jacksonville?
What can be done to prevent the vinyl sidings from looking dry, except wax coat what would give them lustre?

CCPC
01-23-2009, 01:38 PM
What about Jacksonville?
What can be done to prevent the vinyl sidings from looking dry, except wax coat what would give them lustre?

That's where I run my pressure washing Company, Jacksonville Florida (http://www.ccpressureclean.com)

precisionpower
03-21-2009, 10:45 AM
I thought I used low pressure at 3-400psi on vinyl siding, but Mike is the king of low pressure power washing.

Barry Maddox
Midwest Pro Wash
Power Washing Goshen, IN (http://www.midwestprowash.com/indiana_power_washer.html) and Low Pressure Roof Cleaning (http://www.midwestprowash.com/roof_algae_report.html) Contractor


Barry, your website is the king of pressure washing websites! I use to use around 400-500 psi, but then by chance I called Mike K. Last year, and he knows his stuff. I now use 50-100 psi, get it done much quicker, and make alot more money!

blake101
12-26-2009, 03:33 PM
I operate both a landscaping company as well as a power washing company. These are some quick tips to preserve the professionalism and price points in powerwashing. Remember, you guys know as well as I do that it sucks to loose a lawn to someone cutting any size lawn for $20. It goes the same for power washers loosing a $300-400+ job to someone who will attempt to do it for 100 bucks or less. $40-50 per man hour may be ok for lawns which are a repetitive business (weekly or bi-weekly, $1000+ over the season per customer) but its not enough for powerwashing which will only be an annual or bi-annual service. Please read these tips and do some research. WE ALL want to remain professional AND profitable in each of our own trades.

1) Washing of vinyl siding should be done with low pressure high volume. This means use of tips other than the colored tips that come with the washer. Homeowner pressure washers typically do not provide enough volume of water. You can recoup the cost of lower end commercial equip with 3 or so jobs (priced correctly)

2) If you are doing this correctly with proper equipment and chemicals you DO NOT need a ladder. 99% of the time you can clean up to 3 stories from the ground using the right equipment, chemicals and nozzles.

3) Household bleach, jomax M1 and other off the shelf chemicals while somewhat effective dont allow for use of low pressure. You should be using 12% sodium Hypochlorite mixed with surfactants and detergents. The darkest mold and mildew will literally melt from the siding with garden hose pressure.

4) You should be aiming for AT LEAST $100+++ per HOUR. Dont price by the hour though. 275-400+ per job average. To some of you out there this may seem crazy but people are happy to pay this sum for effective safe professional results. There home is their largest investment. For guys out there doing lawns remember your typical customer will pay you aprox $1000+ to mow their grass over the season why would it be unreasonable for them to pay 300-700 to have a clean home every year or two.

There is a wealth of helpful folks and info at the power washing forums www.ptstate.com


In your post you said you could clean up to three stories without leaving the ground. Could you tell me what kind of equipment, chemicals and nozzles you are using? Can you also clean the Roof (asphalt) with the same equipment and method? I have been reading that a lot of people use a 12v DC pump to apply the chemcals and to rinse, but, If you had, let's say a PW with 5.6gpm or 8gpm @ 3000psi could you not tone it down so it will work just as well, if not better? Or I'm I missing something here? It seams a lot of people have trouble with there 12v systems from what I have been reading on other sights, just thought a gas PW would work better and I do understand that you do not won't high pressure on the roof. Please be patient with me as I am new to all of this. If anyone else cares to chime in I am all ears. Thanks everyone.

blake101
12-26-2009, 03:50 PM
In your post you said you could clean up to three stories without leaving the ground. Could you tell me what kind of equipment, chemicals and nozzles you are using? Can you also clean the Roof (asphalt) with the same equipment and method? I have been reading that a lot of people use a 12v DC pump to apply the chemcals and to rinse, but, If you had, let's say a PW with 5.6gpm or 8gpm @ 3000psi could you not tone it down so it will work just as well, if not better? Or I'm I missing something here? It seams a lot of people have trouble with there 12v systems from what I have been reading on other sights, just thought a gas PW would work better and I do understand that you do not won't high pressure on the roof. Please be patient with me as I am new to all of this. If anyone else cares to chime in I am all ears. Thanks everyone.

No need to answer my questions, just read the answers. thanks to Michael Kreisle.

cmturner
12-29-2009, 03:35 PM
Only way to clean a roof using a power washer and still beable to use low pressure is with an Xjet. Still not the best way to do it. The reason you can't just power wash it on is because by the time that you downstream on your chemicals it would be to weak of a mix. 12volt system will keep your mix good and strong.

jmerritt07
01-02-2010, 10:33 PM
Cleaning Vinyl Siding doesn't require enough pressure to break it. I use only 100psi... Yes 100, not 1000, not 2000, not 3000, not 4000.


What type of chemicals would you prefer in cleaning: vinyl, concrete, brick, and equipment?

99monguse
01-06-2010, 12:21 PM
I don't powerwash anything but my home and driveway, and some family's. My father bought a powerwasher about 10 yrs ago (a cheap $400 craftsjunk) and told me to powerwash his house (ranch style) and driveway(I had to teach myself). I buy a gallon of the vinyl-siding detergent or concrete detergent, mix it according to the directions, stick the suction hose of the powerwasher into the 5 gallon bucket and set the wand to dispense the soap. I spray about a 10 ft area or so and wait a few minutes then turn the wand to the powerwashing function and blast away, using a fan style pattern. BUT all the dirt doesn't come off...there are times where I have to actually scrub the siding with a scrub brush and then powerwash it. I did a friends home once..that hadn't ever been done. This house was only about 25ft off the road so the front porch was EXTREMELY filthy...I have never seen such filth. Looked like the house went mudding in the woods. I was going to clean all the windows for him but the outside was so filthy I suggested powerwashing it first. I spent like 5 hours just on the porch area which is like 10ft tall by about 50 ft long. How the heck are you guys cleaning these homes so fast and with no power? I certainly don't want to do this for a living, I leave that up to you pros...I just want to be able to clean my home, family, friends, and driveways.

I plan to buy a machine from PRESSURETEK along with a surface cleaner(probably like a 4000 psi, 4-6gpm cold water unit).

I have never been able to just apply detergent and then just rinse it off with garden hose-type pressure and get clean WHITE vinyl-siding. To do a 900 sq ft ranch (my dads) would take the better part of 4-5hrs, to get it clean, not halfassing it.

I would appreciate some help here...as to what chemical to use and how to do it.

Pat Konen
01-09-2010, 02:39 AM
My recommendation to you would be the same I would give any home owner that does it themselves ... It would not be cost effective to buy the contractor grade equipment just to clean your own house. Your money would be better spent hiring a professional Power Wash Company to do the cleaning for you .... The equipment isn't cheap and I see a lot of people who don't know how to use the equipment that end up causing damage to the house. However, if you do go on to buy the equipment from PressureTek, Bob will be able to sell you some good cleaning solutions as well. Until then, if you want some more help, you can give me a call some time. I'd be happy to help.

Propowerwash
01-10-2010, 02:15 AM
Cleaning Vinyl Siding doesn't require enough pressure to break it. I use only 100psi... Yes 100, not 1000, not 2000, not 3000, not 4000.


You let the Bleach change the pigmet in the Mold?

Does it effectively rinse the dead stuff off, I have seen the mold come back in a very short period of time.

How about chems to prevent the mildew from coming back, up charges for that stuff.

Alot of Landscapers have the license to spray chems. This whole roof cleaning indsutry could be huge in the landscapers add on.

I see the future that Landscapers will be taking a piece of the pie.

Good luck to all the roof guys!!!!!!!!

Propowerwash
01-10-2010, 02:16 AM
My recommendation to you would be the same I would give any home owner that does it themselves ... It would not be cost effective to buy the contractor grade equipment just to clean your own house. Your money would be better spent hiring a professional Power Wash Company to do the cleaning for you .... The equipment isn't cheap and I see a lot of people who don't know how to use the equipment that end up causing damage to the house. However, if you do go on to buy the equipment from PressureTek, Bob will be able to sell you some good cleaning solutions as well. Until then, if you want some more help, you can give me a call some time. I'd be happy to help.


I agree Pat, network with these guys and take the Biz. Let them cut lawns and we keep pressure washing.

electronics2667
01-26-2010, 02:15 PM
I operate both a landscaping company as well as a power washing company. These are some quick tips to preserve the professionalism and price points in powerwashing. Remember, you guys know as well as I do that it sucks to loose a lawn to someone cutting any size lawn for $20. It goes the same for power washers loosing a $300-400+ job to someone who will attempt to do it for 100 bucks or less. $40-50 per man hour may be ok for lawns which are a repetitive business (weekly or bi-weekly, $1000+ over the season per customer) but its not enough for powerwashing which will only be an annual or bi-annual service. Please read these tips and do some research. WE ALL want to remain professional AND profitable in each of our own trades.

1) Washing of vinyl siding should be done with low pressure high volume. This means use of tips other than the colored tips that come with the washer. Homeowner pressure washers typically do not provide enough volume of water. You can recoup the cost of lower end commercial equip with 3 or so jobs (priced correctly)

2) If you are doing this correctly with proper equipment and chemicals you DO NOT need a ladder. 99% of the time you can clean up to 3 stories from the ground using the right equipment, chemicals and nozzles.

3) Household bleach, jomax M1 and other off the shelf chemicals while somewhat effective dont allow for use of low pressure. You should be using 12% sodium Hypochlorite mixed with surfactants and detergents. The darkest mold and mildew will literally melt from the siding with garden hose pressure.

4) You should be aiming for AT LEAST $100+++ per HOUR. Dont price by the hour though. 275-400+ per job average. To some of you out there this may seem crazy but people are happy to pay this sum for effective safe professional results. There home is their largest investment. For guys out there doing lawns remember your typical customer will pay you aprox $1000+ to mow their grass over the season why would it be unreasonable for them to pay 300-700 to have a clean home every year or two.

There is a wealth of helpful folks and info at the power washing forums www.ptstate.com

what is jomax M1

petroskie
02-04-2010, 07:06 PM
so im gathering that this in a not taped area of interest like theres good money to be maid, like i do field and brush mowing with a quad and mower and that not done alot so i get good buisness

JCinNJ
02-11-2010, 07:32 PM
This is a great thread!!

Mike knows his stuff, he has helped me many times in the past (yesterday, LOL)

Propowerwash
09-05-2012, 11:38 AM
Hello Jason how have you been?

Big C
09-06-2012, 02:11 AM
Great info as usual guys...I added PW to my lawn business 2 years ago and it has been a great add on service. This forum along with ptstate.com is a great place to learn.

Propowerwash
09-30-2012, 02:22 PM
I think this is the BEST surfactant (http://www.propowerwash.com/board/upload/showthread.php?25472-Fresh-Wash-from-Powerwash-com)in pressure Washing

MillerIn503
02-05-2013, 05:42 AM
Living in the Portland, OR area, there is a lot of emphasis on environmentally safe treatments. Using the roof and excessive moss and black algae as an example. Does anyone have any take on WashSafe Roof Wash or any other eco friendly chemistry and or is it just better to stick with the chemical solutions commonly used? Basically, is there an eco friendly wash detergent that can really do the job, without the worries of bleach streaking and such?

sosaysmorvant
03-02-2013, 10:57 AM
What specific brands of chemicals and/or surfactants do the pros use on vinyl siding? I currently use regular jo-max and bleach to clean my home. Please advise.

CMBALB
06-09-2013, 02:52 PM
Do you have a suggestion for washing a wood shingle ocean front home that gets a weekly coating of grit and grease from the sea? I would like to be able to stand on the ground and wash it with a soapy water spray. The house is not stained, it just gets a bit greasy after a big storm. I have been using an orchard sprayer but it doesn't work very well.
Thanks for reading this and any suggestions you might have. This island is only accessible by boat which makes hiring people to do various tasks a challenge.

Propowerwash
11-23-2013, 12:32 PM
Nice Little Post

rbljack
01-25-2014, 01:13 AM
Lawn and landscape guy here doing my homework to see if I can create pressure washing as an add on service. thanks for the info, and im doing my searching/reading now. Looking forward to more great info

Thanks.

JCLawn and more
01-25-2014, 02:28 AM
Yep I am confused. I assume you are using chemicals for the cleaning rather than pressure? Why do you need the pressure washer at all if you are using only 100psi?? Can't you just use the hose with a sprayer?

JCLawn and more
01-25-2014, 02:39 AM
after watching 6 videos i am sold.

Propowerwash
02-02-2014, 05:25 PM
Come to a free Event and Learn www.uamccevents.com

Propowerwash
11-01-2014, 12:33 PM
Great Post

Rapid HotClean
12-06-2014, 04:53 PM
Living in the Portland, OR area, there is a lot of emphasis on environmentally safe treatments. Using the roof and excessive moss and black algae as an example. Does anyone have any take on WashSafe Roof Wash or any other eco friendly chemistry and or is it just better to stick with the chemical solutions commonly used? Basically, is there an eco friendly wash detergent that can really do the job, without the worries of bleach streaking and such?

When used for roof cleaning and applied correctly bleach Will Not streak.

But you have to know how to use it and how to mix it with the correct ingredients. Also, the mix must be freshly made just prior to the application.

We also provide Portland roof cleaning services. As an ingredient in the cleaning mix bleach is recommended by both ARMA and Oregon State University.
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