Power washing tips to know before you get started.

Pressure washing and deck sealing takes skill to perform properly. If you use to high of a water pressure or the wrong cleaning chemicals, you can not only damage the part you are trying to clean but you can also cause damage to the surrounding environment. As we will see in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, there are certain methods and tips you must know to perform power washing services properly.

One new power washing business owner wrote “without having a lawn care business in place at the moment, what is the best way to go about getting into the power washing and deck sealing business? I am also thinking about residential and commercial window cleaning as well.

I have very little experience in these fields. I have done a couple jobs on my own and have experimented on my own property. My goal is to try and get a job a week or maybe just 2 a month to start. I can’t start a lawn business now even though I want to, because of my full time job and crazy hours. I don’t have the time to be commited to a certain night to mow someones grass now and I need some scheduling flexibility. I think I will get that by first offering other services but I would like to know the best way to learn a little more before I go out and start trying to sell this service and potentially damage someone’s property.”
A second power washing business owner shared “get the business and then get the machine. The biggest mistake I see new power washing business owners commit is that they buy all this professional grade equipment and then have no money left to promote their services. Without any job leads, they usually quickly fold up shop.
As for the type of power washer machine to get, stay away from the box stores. They simply do not have the power required and they use far too much water to get the job done.
To learn how to perform deck cleaning and power washing jobs, the best thing to do before you invest in pressure washing equipment is find a reputable contractor outside your service area and ask them if you can swap ‘labor for learning.’ By doing this, you’ll gain tons of experience from them and find out how to correctly wash. You don’t just want to get into it and spend all this money if down the road you are going to find that you don’t like it.
I learned this way. I learned about proper washing techniques, proper cleaning solutions to use. How high volume cleans better, faster and is no where near as damaging as high pressure etc. Labor for learning works out great for you both. You’ll learn from a pro who does it day in day out and they get some free labor.
Some lessons I learned over time where to practice on your own or a friend’s deck first before a going out and messing up a customer’s deck. Be careful not to fray the wood when you are performing your deck cleaning services. I would not want to sand a deck or replace the flooring due to an upset customer.

  • Use plastic to protect landscaping and the house during the stain/sealant process. It’s amazing how many newer homes have stain all over their rear siding because a contractor failed to take this simple step.
  • Be careful around painted metal. Good professional grade cleaners can strip the paint right off.
  • Soak the yard really well when using strong mixes to remove acrylics. Suit up in rubber and use a face shield.
  • Mix in sweet smelling soap to make the neighbors happy.
  • Read the material data sheets before using these chemicals. They dilute easily and will not harm the plant life, if you take the right precautions.
  • If the deck is lightly soiled with no prior finish, use sodium carbonate (oxygen bleach).
  • Let the deck dry for a couple days without high humidity and apply a good sealant.
In my area, a good deck refinishing job should cost $3-$5 per sqft. I hope these simple tips help you on your pressure washing journey.”

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