Below is a story of how we built a successful business as exterior cleaning contractors. and so can you.
One day, after numerous pleas, I broke down and agreed to help him with his business. Dick had an open trailer, a pretty good pressure washer (13 HP, 3400 PSI) 200 feet of hose coiled up, a five gallon sheet rock bucket for mixing chemicals, a case of Clorox, some Dawn detergent and a couple ladders. This was his entire business.
I felt like his idea about the roof cleaning business offered the most promise if any money was to be made, as no one was cleaning roofs In 1993, I couldn’t even find any information on the internet, which at the time was just cranking up.. My interest grew when Dick announced he had heard through a supplier of a company that was producing a chemical that would clean roofs with garden hose pressure. We promptly ordered a case and found the chemical did an excellent job cleaning, but garden hose pressure was not going to do the job, at least in a timely manner. All we needed was a little bit more pressure but nothing like the pressure produced by a power washer. We went to our local agriculture supply store and began buying pumps, motors, tanks and nozzles and eventually put together a machine that would safely clean roofs. We must have spent $5,000 on pumps, regulators and other contraptions until we finally got it right.
While designing a rig to clean roofs we incorporated labor and chemical savings features that, in addition to cleaning roofs, allowed us to clean siding and decks in a fraction the time using less than half the chemicals. Resulting in earning more money per hour plus more profit than our competitors.
Before I go any further with this story, I want to talk about high pressure cleaning. The only places for high pressure (I’m talking about 1500 psi or greater) is for popping bubblegum off of sidewalks and cleaning mud off heavy equipment. I recently had my HardiePlank sided house painted, and part of the deal was having the painter clean the house before painting. I was recovering from an operation. Otherwise, I would have done the cleaning myself. He arrived at my home with a pressure washer, 50 foot of hose an 8 foot extension wand and 33 gallons of Clorox, you heard me right, 33 gallons (He ended up only using 25 gallons). My house is only 2500 square feet. I asked, "Where is the detergent"? He replied, "Don’t need any, been doing this for 20 years and when I get through your house will be clean as a whistle and the wood on the deck will look likeit just came from the lumberyard". I knew I was in trouble now, but It gave me a great opportunity to get some good pictures to illustrate how pressure washers can cause you a lot of grief.
The results: my roses wilted, the pedals on my mums were burnt, all of the fish in a pond next to my house died and the seal was broken on one of my windows.
And, that wood that was supposed to look like it just came from the lumber yard! Came out bleached grey.
The reason I’m tell’n you all this is because you can go broke repairing the damage caused by using high pressure and misusing chemicals. Secondly, if the painter used the system I’m about to show you, he could have washed my house with less than 2 gallons of Clorox and 1/3 gallon of detergent. Thus reducing his chemical cost from over $70 to about $15. That’s like making $130 extra a day if just two house were washed.
The secret is obvious. Our system is successful because we have developed a process that combines the right equipment, the right setup, the right chemicals with the right chemical delivery system. The result is an exterior cleaning rig that cleans better, faster, safer and at less cost than any of our competitor’s.
If you are new to pressure washing, it will not take long to discover it is almost impossible to wash away spider webs and unless you develop a wand handling technique akin to Picasso, you will leave hash marks all over your work.
I ask you, “Why would anyone use high pressure when low pressure, with the right chemicals will simply do a better job, in a fraction of the time, with a fraction of the chemicals and a fraction of the effort”?
Right now, you’re saying, “looks good on paper, but there is no way I’m gonna make $85,000 during the summer washing houses”. So here’s the way it really works.
4. Your friend and his neighbor are super impressed and they tell their friends, but no more jobs,yet.
10. Suddenly, the phone starts ringing regularly and by the end of the summer you have a substantial base of customers that will call you next year and continue to recommend your services
Like they say, “You gotta crawl before you walk”. Believe me, if you make an effort, you will see numbers as I have projected. In addition, there is nothing stopping you from growing your business and adding more rigs.
Gloeocapsa Magma is a species of algae that causes black streaking and discoloration on asphalt/fiberglass shingles. If left untreated this algae will feed and grow until the entire roof becomes infested. Meanwhile, the roof becomes unsightly, and the algae covers the roof granules, which leaves the shingles unprotected from the sun’s UV rays. Without UV protection, a roof will experience premature failure. The algae has migrated form Florida and the Gulf Coast and now covers about 80% of the nation.
First, roof cleaning is one of the few businesses that is not floating in a sea of competition, there ain’t non, or at least there’s very little. Take a look around…