Want to POWER WASH? - READ THIS 1st

Discussion in 'Power Washing' started by jbmillion, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. jbmillion

    jbmillion LawnSite Member
    from RI
    Posts: 24

    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
     
  2. Midstate Lawncare

    Midstate Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 267

    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.
     
  3. hdtvluvr

    hdtvluvr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 466

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

    jbmillion LawnSite Member
    from RI
    Posts: 24

    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.
     
  5. Danscapes

    Danscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 331

    And always pressure wash vinyl siding on the coldest days possible.
     
  6. mowranger

    mowranger LawnSite Member
    from ms
    Posts: 80

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

    Danscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 331

    I was just kidding, if you do that the siding is very brittle and will shatter to pieces.
     
  8. mowranger

    mowranger LawnSite Member
    from ms
    Posts: 80

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

    FCPWLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    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.
     
  10. hdtvluvr

    hdtvluvr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 466

    What type of equipment do you use?
     

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