Advice needed for pricing a parking garage, and what chemicals to use

I am getting into power washing slowly for right now. By that I mean I am taking what is coming to me without any targeted marketing. I plan to go for more work in the near future.

Anyway, I have a bid to submit for the floor of a parking garage. It is approximately 10,000 sq ft and has the usual oils stains throughout. I have a good cold water machine. I was told by a friend of a friend who used to clean concrete that I should charge .32 / sq ft.

Does that sound right? That would be using chemicals to my best to remove the stains. Is there any industry average for pricing by the sq ft.

And my second question is , what is the most effective and efficient chemical to use in this situation?

Thank you.

Christopher T.

There’s a lot too doing parking garages. I’m sure John T will jump in on this thread.

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10000 sq ft is a miniature garage… I have never bid a garage that small but it all depends on the scope of work. Usually that is one level of a garage… There are so many variables it is really hard to say… If u get a garage for 0.10 per sq ft out here it is an accomplishment… But most garages I have bid are between 50 to 100k sq ft… They should be bid at .25 per sq ft but no one pays that in my neck of the woods… I lose bids for garages all the time to people bidding 0.02 to 0.03 per sq ft

Hey Christopher I wouldn’t touch a parking garage with just a cold water Powerwasher. You need heat in there and where talking hi heat. 170 degrees would be the lowest I would use. The concrete used for parking garages is much harder then the concrete you see on most store walkways. All concrete is porous and in parking garages you will see a large problem with oil stains from parked garages. You will need a good degreaser to put on them and to let it dwell to loosen up that oil stains.

Also do not let the dirty water spill out and leave the premises such as it running down a street. You could be fined heavily for that. You need to dam up the water and redirect it to stay on premises. Also the drains inside the parking garage should be dammed and then at least filtered or at least screened to keep the sludge out. You also need to know what drain does what. There’s a parking garage we do that has the top opened floor where the drains spill out out to the ground and eventually a creek. The only water allowed in those is rain water.

We get in the neighborhood of 5-12 cents a square. The more square footage we get closer to the 5 cents(this is if no sweeping is needed.
A 10,000 sq. Ft garage is very small so the square footage price should be higher… I’d say you would be lucky to get 15cents a sq’ to clean it…
With a cold water machine only… I would pass because the stains in there won’t budge with just cold water and you will be there a very long time without hot water.

Parking garages you can make a ton but you need to know how to do them first and also have the right type of Equipment…
Read all you can thru searches on different bulletin boards so you can get an idea the animal your dealing with.
Good luck.

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Thank you John.

I just got off the phone with Thad and came away with the same. I am interested in getting into more of this work. But like many things, the more we learn we realize how little we already know.

I am gonna start shopping for a hot water machine and rotary surface cleaner right now.

Thanks again.

Chris there are many good Powerwashing machines out there. The first place I would look if you go new is because of the 5% discount PWRA membership gets and the customer service you get from Mikes Company is second to none. If your going to look to get used then of course Craigs List or EBay should be at the top of that list and also some guys on these bb’s if you see them selling Something I would consider that as well.

On the hot water PW And parking garage cleaning is your goal then I would look for an 8gpm hot water PW. Rinsing is a huge part of doing these garages as it is in most PW fields but rinsing in a parking garage is by far the hardest because you will be moving tons of grime. You would need a water tank to support the water flow a large PW machine needs. With an 8gpm PW I would look to get a 24-30" surface machine with 2 bars. 3 bars are good as well but there harder to come by if they break.

Start with that and you can work your way into a parking garage. There is a ton more to know and need but it’s not rocket science to figure parking garages out. Don’t be scared or Leary of looking for this type of work because the money alone you can make per day is gold if your setup correctly and you get some experience under your belt.

Good luck and any thoughts or questions you may have on this always feel free to fire away here on PWRA bb because you never know…some of us can learn from something you come up with because in this business the learning never stops.

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Does the sq ft price include Chemical cost??