Power Washing...anyone doing it?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Exess100, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. Exess100

    Exess100 LawnSite Member
    from N.Y.
    Messages: 24

    I'm thinking about power washing as well. I'm looking for some advice about the do's and dont's and the in's and out's, what i can wash and what i can't. . I'm sure theres a bit more to it than just picking up a power washer and spraying whatever.
    Thanks for ur advice in advance Guys
  2. celltech

    celltech LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Excellent post because next year I would like to start offering the same thing to current customers, then the following year advertise for it.......so I will be keeping an eye on this thread!!
  3. Del9175

    Del9175 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    I do a little power washing from time to time. Down in FL I do tile roofs, pool cages, houses, and walks. I do most of my cleaning in the winter time. Most of my work is done for existing customers. If your just looking for a little time filler, I would just let the customers you currently have know about this additional service you offer. There are some sites similiar to this one that deal only with pressure cleaning.

    I considered getting into this full time, but I didn't like the fact that I would have to spend so much time and money trying to keep myself busy and making money. I figured I would have to line up about 12-14 jobs a week. Thats a lot of phone call returning and running around giving estimates. With lawn care I know how much money is coming in every month. If I had to line up work for every week, I might go hungry some weeks.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    I looked into it. Hard work to do houses. Lot of selling not a one time stop for a season of work. Checked with my insurance agent. Lots of money to do houses. Not much to do driveways or sidewalks so now all I do is drives and on the ground stuff. It fits well with Landscape anyway. Easier on my back and arms.
  5. Exess100

    Exess100 LawnSite Member
    from N.Y.
    Messages: 24

    What kind and how big of a machine do you need. Obvisouly it's not gonna be the one you use for your car. lol
  6. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Messages: 1,346

    I do it on the side as well. Houses are the easiest to me . Decks are a little more dificult. More money at one stop is the advantage over Lawn Care. I usually make enough at one stop to cover the day. As opposed to riding all over town to cut grass.

    Downside is the chemicals to clean with. Hate the bleach smell. Need to find a good chemical supplier. One here in GA is good. Email if you need the website. They ship.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    I use a Hotsy 4000 psi 4.5 gpm, The gallons per is the important measure. You need to wash the dirt away after you break it loose. I use a belt drive instead of a direct drive. It is better at pulling water from a tank and at 4.5 gpm most house water taps will not supply enought water. Keep a 30 gallon tank filling all the time and just draw from the tank. Hotsy is nation wide and has good chemicals. Look in the phone book. Be very careful with them as most will kill or brown grass or plants. Power is 13 Honda and it has worked well for me. Check with your insurance, most want more money to do houses. Its very easy to do damage to them. Easy to pressure water through windows and under siding, also vented soffit is open to the insulation and can get wet. Not a happy homeowner when 2 days after washing the ceiling has water stains. I'm in North Carolina with the red clay. I do a lot of walks and drives. My insurance covers that and I dont have to hold a wand over my head all day. For me now decks are ok but it takes a lot of pratice to not tear up the grain. Go easy to start. As far as money, the full house job will pay the best. Tinman is right, one stop and work all day. Always stop 1/2 way through and bring out the customer to show the line where you are working. They will be shocked by the differance but if you wait till the end and there is no visual comparison they might not remember how dirty it was. Good luck with the venture. Try renting one first and do your house. It will help teach you how much to charge.
  8. JarrodsDad

    JarrodsDad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    I don't know if this is a query of any use as I know very little about fertilizing or weed control application but-

    Since you mention that you use a separate tank to keep a steady reservoir of water for your power washer, why can't you apply fertilizer or weed control using a power washer?

    Once again..forgive me if this is a stupid question...

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    You can draw soap or cleaner into the line, after the pump, but I don't think you want to run a solid through the line. Also the water jet is very thin and it would take for ever to cover the whole yard. The water in the tank or from the hose goes into the pump and there is no way you want to run anything through the pump. But I think the biggest problem is the over spray that happens. Your weed control will go everywhere. This is best answered in 3 words . Don't do it.
  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Jarrods Dad, By the way, there are ways to spread liquid fert and chem. that are safe and right. When you study for your Chem lic. you will learn them. Applying Pesticides and Herbicides in a dangerous way will only harm our industry. It will only give more ammo. to the people trying to outlaw all of it. Do yourself and all of us a favor and get a lic. before doing any application.

Share This Page