Ignorant questions..

Discussion in 'Power Washing' started by escient, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. escient

    escient LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    Please forgive me as I am new here, and while I've been reading for the past couple hours, I do have a couple elementary questions. We do a small amount of pressure washing for our customers, mainly for our lawn and landscape customers, but nothing of significance - mainly for customer service reasons. In all honesty, we turn down about 30-40 customers per year just for pressure washing driveays and walkways alone. This is something we've budgeted a few thousand dollars to jump full into, so we're about ready to flip the switch and get on board and really get into this side of the biz as well.

    Nonetheless, here are my questions..

    1. What is the best way to apply chemicals to driveways and walkways? I've heard running chemicals through your PW can cause a lot of harm to the machine. Is this something I can spray on the concrete with merely a 4 gallon backpack sprayer and a little dwell time?

    2. For just standard dirt, what's the best chemical to put down first?

    3. What is TSP and what does it stand for?

    4. Best way to apply concrete sealer after concrete areas are cleaned?

    Thanks for the help, and there really is a lot of great info here!
  2. mgramling

    mgramling LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    good questions. I just subscribing to thread.
    only PW I do is washing a few semi's and trailors. part time.
    If a small driveway falls in my lap I will be ready
  3. Maintenance Man

    Maintenance Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I have been p-w for two years, and as I read questions on here the first is usually about chemicals. In two years I have only needed a simple degreaser like simple green, or the one I use is called super clean from menards. About 6.00 per gal. Put it in a hand sprayer and just use it on oily spots on drive ways. It doesn't take a lot of chem. to do a good job. Mabey if you get into some rust or something specific but the less chem the better. I have used a 2700 psi for a whole year and it worked great. I have moved up to two larger ones but that was because of a job that took two of us, and we needed more power, and speed. But starting out with 2700 is just fine.
  4. 1993lx172

    1993lx172 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,305

    To answer question four, just use a paint roller on a long handle. works for me
  5. poolboy

    poolboy LawnSite Silver Member
    from earth
    Messages: 2,408

    Do a google search on pressure washing forums, there are several, with lots of pros. Good luck.
  6. grassman21

    grassman21 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    does anyone have any further information on sealing the concrete after washing, what type of sealer is best and what amount of time would one be running into in sealing a concrete driveway, any ideas on pricing? seems like a good add on to a pressure washing service to me but who knows
  7. Maintenance Man

    Maintenance Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    nobody I have ever talk to seals driveways, and we don't do it hear in Nebraska. I think with the traffic, gravel, and whatnot I don't think it would do any good.
    Question 1. I use a standard 2 gal sprayer like you woul use around your garden. I have one for a degreaser and one for Oder ban(it make things smell good. ie dumpsters) When your done and the owner inspects your work and everything smell nice that sells him on having you back again. Just a little trick I will give you.

    Question 2. Just for dirt-the chemical I use is H20-or water that all you will need. Don't get in the habit of always using a chemical when you don't need it. Plus that comes out of your pocket. If you don't need it don't use it.

    Question 3. Got this off the internet-- TRISODIUM PHOSPHATE Uses for TSP...

    TSP is used for washing surfaces prior to painting, especially exterior surfaces. Liquid bleach is often added to TSP if there is mildew on the surfaces. The TSP and bleach act in concert to both kill the mildew and remove its characteristic stains. It may be used on inside surfaces also, but try to mask all surfaces except the one you want to clean. It can damage many metal and painted surfaces, and can stain woods. It is not recommended for use on glass, either, since it will leave a filmy residue.

    TSP can also be used as a masonry cleaner. However, if efflorescence or mortar staining are severe, you may need to resort to a more powerful but dangerous product, muriatic acid.

    TSP and TSP-bleach solutions may be applied with a sponge or brush, or can be sprayed on. Generally, you will have to apply some elbow-grease if the mildew or other staining is severe. If you are washing the exterior of a house, it may be worthwhile for you to look into the rental of commercial powerwashing equipment. You may be able to do all necessary cleaning from the ground level, sparing you the risk of extra ladderwork.

    Question 4. Best way - well that depends on what you are doing, how big is the area, what you have to work around, how porous is the concrete ect. you could brush a small area, use a roller for a larger area or porous concrete, use a sprayer also, just depends. Take a chance-live and learn-always use common sence.

    Hope this helps!
  8. 1993lx172

    1993lx172 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,305

    I use eagle brand sealer it comes in I think 5 or two gallon buckets.
    also let the surface dry for a day after washing and three hours before walking on the sealed surface and twenty- four hours before driving on it.
  9. Truly Beautiful Lawn Care

    Truly Beautiful Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    escient, I'm in J'ville also. Feel free to contact me. Jay
  10. Don M.

    Don M. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    There is a faster way to apply cleaners than using a pump up...its called downstreaming.

    The majority of the machines have the little tube that you can use with the soap tip, just make up a mix of degreaser or whatever and throw the tube in it, use the soap tip and apply. No more stopping to fill a pump up.

    To clean drive ways, we use a mixture of sodium hypochlorite, surfactants, and tsp. We downstream this mixture on then use a surface cleaner to clean(speeds up time vs a wand) the driveway.

    When finished, just put the tube in a bucket of water and run fresh water through the injector.

    Hope this helps....

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