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
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