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Need some advice on a possible job

Discussion in 'Power Washing' started by stevaside711, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. stevaside711

    stevaside711 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I pressure wash driveways and sidewalks every once in a while for some money on the side. Got an email today, this guy is buying a warehouse soon(15,000 sq ft!!) and wants the floors (And I have no idea what material the floor is at this point BTW) "washed with a very light acid solution to prepare fror seal coating the concrete". Also there is no running water in the building. So that means If I decide to take this job I would have to rent a tank but from what I understand their usually 500 gallon capacity which means PLENTY of stopping for refills I'm sure.

    The main thing I'm wanting to know is what chemicals/mixture should I use for this. I started talking with a local pressure washer dealer in my area and he was starting to tell me that I might not even have to use a pressure washer at all, just dilute acid and spread it around the floors.

    Any help would be appreciated and no, it's obvious I'm no professional so theres no need to remind me that, convince me not to take this job up or whatever, This is not a good month for me financially wise and I sure can use some extra cash. Don't think I want to pass this one up

    And how can I forget, what would some of you charge for a job like this. I know some companies have a square foot rate. I have an idea of the cost for the tank rental and even an extra machine or 2. So I would really need to know the labor charge and chemicals once I find out the proper kind to use.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. gaultlawn

    gaultlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    Hi The guy you spoke to is correct you really dont need a pressure washer for the job. Just mix up muiratic acid as directed on the jug for etching concrete. As far as price thats a tough call, youll want to make sure theres no sealer on the concrete if there is the acid will not take it off and youll have to get all the sealer off to etch the concrete. By the way acid is very dangerous I would be very careful in an enclosed enviroment like that and rubber boots gloves and goggles are a must
  3. jgarner

    jgarner LawnSite Member
    from nc
    Posts: 6

    I looked into doing this to my shop in the past, and it seems like I remember that you need to etch a small area and then rinse, rather than applying acid to the whole floor at once. You may want to look into that.

    As far as water supply goes, you may want to look into the cost of renting a water meter that you can attach to a nearby fire hydrant. This is common in my area for filling water trucks. You will pay for the water used in addition to the meter rental, but you would save on traveling back and forth to fill a water truck that you may not have to rent if you use a hydrant. Check with your local public works for more info on the hydrant.
  4. CCPC

    CCPC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    Somewhere in FL? I pressure wash part time on the side? It sounds like you are inexperienced, uninsured, and not running a legit operation. Does the guy who is requesting an estimate know this?
    I refuse to offer help to people that do a disservice to this industry. I have to re-educate customers on a daily basis due to hacks, and part timers coming in and damaging, and making a mess of peoples property because they haven't done their due diligence in regards to educating themselves on how to run a exterior cleaning business. They deserve better than that.
  5. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,641

    Were you born with pw experience and knowing all the ins-n-outs of the PW business.....I don't think so:nono:...although there is no excuse for lack of insurance and not running a legit operation....We are here to help each other and we should give advice to guys like this to: 1) get legit..insurance,bus. license etc....2) educate yourself 3) as a parttimmer I do not lowball the industry because it really hurts the FT guys the most. I am PT but I have my business setup in a way i can go full time tomorrow if I wanted to. I am currently working toward having a FT operation in the near future.
  6. CCPC

    CCPC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

  7. stevaside711

    stevaside711 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Thanks for the advice everybody. I decided not to even bother with it so CCPC guess you can sleep better now. I knew a post like yours was coming. I did maybe 3 driveway jobs this year. Why the hell would I get a license for that? No point in buying an insurance policy that's going to cost more than the measly couple hundred I made. I'm not running no "operation". I highly doubt I'm hurting the industry.

    But on the other hand I am seriously thinking of maybe doing this part-time, who knows maybe even full time in the future, THEN I will be licensed and insured.
  8. stevaside711

    stevaside711 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I am in the process of "trying to educate myself" so would you happen to know any good training DVDs?
  9. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,641

    The sad part about it is you really believe yourself.....:laugh::laugh:
  10. CCPC

    CCPC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    You don't need any training DVD's, just spend a lot of time reading and searching threads on some of the many pressure washing forums on the Internet. They will give you all the info you need to get well on your way. I would recommend ptstate.com for starters.

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