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bigdad
03-01-2010, 11:38 PM
Ok without having a lawn care business in place what is the best way to go about getting into the following businesses, power washing and sealing decks and fences? Also what about residential and commercial window cleaning?

Any tips would be great!

Thanks,
Alex

picframer
03-02-2010, 07:09 AM
Ok without having a lawn care business in place what is the best way to go about getting into the following businesses, power washing and sealing decks and fences? Also what about residential and commercial window cleaning?

Any tips would be great!

Thanks,
Alex

IMHO get the business and then get the machine, as for the type of machine 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.

Steve
03-02-2010, 12:54 PM
Could you team up with some lawn care services and do marketing with them also have them sub contract pressure washing jobs to you?

Gotalgae
03-02-2010, 06:39 PM
Ok without having a lawn care business in place what is the best way to go about getting into the following businesses, power washing and sealing decks and fences? Also what about residential and commercial window cleaning?

Any tips would be great!

Thanks,
Alex

The best thing to do before you invest in pressure washing equipment is find a reputable contractor outside you service area and ask them if you can do 'labor for learning'" You'll gain tons of experience from them and find out how to correctly wash. You don't just want to get into it if down the road 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. It 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.
Check out some of the PW forums. You may find a contractor on there. That is where I began.

bigdad
03-03-2010, 08:19 AM
I have experience. Ive done a couple jobs on my own and Ive done it at my last job. Im just wanting to try to land a job a week or maybe just 2 a month. I cant start a lawn business now because of my job and crazy hours I cant be commited to a certain night to mow someones grass. I need flexibility. So what would be the best way to get customers.

Steve
03-03-2010, 02:00 PM
The best thing to do before you invest in pressure washing equipment is find a reputable contractor outside you service area and ask them if you can do 'labor for learning'"

How would you advise going about doing this? How should you approach them and how many hours should you offer to work?

mdappraisal
03-06-2010, 01:38 PM
I'll share some of my insite.

First check to see if a home inprovement license is necessary. In Maryland a license is required to stain/seal the deck but not to clean it..

Acquire the license and provide quality low pressure service followed by good stain/sealants. Pressure washing is not about the size of the machine.

http://img532.imageshack.us/img532/8982/pooldk.jpg
If you are a licensed contractor than practice on a friends deck before a fee job. Be carefull not to fray the wood. 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 the rear siding.

Be careful around painted metal. Good professional grade cleaners can strip the paint off.

In Maryland a good deck refinishing job should cost $3-$5 per sqft.

No pressure washer in the picture!!

Steve
03-07-2010, 12:50 PM
When you were getting started, did you have any whoopses where you messed something up accidentally?

Are there things that a new pressure washing business really needs to be concerned about as far as what can go wrong?

mdappraisal
03-16-2010, 12:48 PM
Fortunately, I did not have any issues b/c I had experience from my college years working for a friend’s brother. However, my processes and products were not the best for client value or my time.
I now use Rip It deck cleaner. Adjust strength for the job. If I need to strip an acrylic than I mix 1 Rip It with 2 gallons of Behr acrylic stripper in a 5 gal bucket. Fill to the rim with water. Use a sprayer for both chem and stain application like this one http://www.readyseal.com/rs-magnum-500-spray-cart.html. Soak the yard really well when using strong mixes to remove acrylics. Suit up in rubber and face shield. Mix in sweet smelling soap to make the neighbors happy.
Read the material data sheets before using these chems. They dilute easily and will not harm the plant life ect…..if you take the right precautions.
If the deck is lightly soiled with no prior finish than use sodium carbonate (oxygen bleach). Anything dirtier I use Rip It.
Let the deck dry for a couple days without high humidity and apply Ready Seal, Cabot or Wolman.

Steve
03-16-2010, 07:59 PM
However, my processes and products were not the best for client value or my time.

How were you doing things in the past that might not have been as good or took more time?

mdappraisal
03-18-2010, 09:29 AM
As most novice deck refinishers I thought deck refinishing was about water pressure and I relied on products from Home Depot. Most decks in my area are pressure treated pine which is simply soft wood. Special care should be taken to clean and brighten the deck in preparation for stain.
Everything a contractor needs can be purchased from Sunbrite. http://sunbrite.stores.yahoo.net/
Including contractor how to educational material. http://sunbrite.stores.yahoo.net/trainingclass.html

jfloyd54520
04-27-2010, 07:14 PM
Hi, i'm adding pressure washing to my list and was wondering what I should charge per SQ foot?
thanks, Jason
jfloyd74@bellsouth.net

Steve
04-28-2010, 12:01 PM
When getting started, it's a lot easier charging based on the amount of time you think the job will take.

Later as you get better at estimating, you can create a per sq ft charge.