Another newbie

Hello everyone! Brand new to the biz and looking for some advice. Just set up my first trailer with a Hotsy 4gpm/4000psi washer. Two hose reels. One with 200’ of 3/8" high pressure non marking hose. One with 100’ of garden hose. Also have a 225 gallon water tank. Plumbed everything and ready to start up once I get the business legit. I do want to add a SC, and a 12v pump for roof cleaning. I also want to add window cleaning and gutter cleaning/clearing to my services.

Questions:
-what tools/spare parts should i keep with me at all times once i get going?
-anyone have advice for specific tools for window cleaning? Gutter cleaning/clearing tools?
-what other types of cleaning chems/soaps should I carry besides SH, and a surfactant?
-can I be successful without a helper? Thinking more along the lines of having someone dedicated to protecting plants and property with plenty of water as I wash. Is that necessary, or can i properly protect everything with pre and post watering? I’m very worried about doing damage with the solution.

Lastly…i did my first ever wash the other day on my home. Went well aside from the mist from the solution continually falling all over me! Wasn’t a particularly windy day. No matter where i positioned myself I couldn’t escape it! Any tips or tricks to avoid this?

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Talk soon!

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Buy a bag of 3/8" and 1/4" O rings and dental picks. Upgrade quick connects on hoses and gun to Hansen SS. Carry extra hoses. Buy a 5gal EBC. Buy a fire hose style jet nozzle just in case. Carry extra gun. Use liquid threadlocker insteade of teflon, carry the bottle. 2 channel locks, crescent wrenches. Spare fuel filter. Spare boots, socks, shirt. Gloves if you do gutters. Sunscreen. Respirator with pink/yellow filters. Glasses. Extension pole (mr. Long) with blue brush from lowes. GOOD INSURANCE!

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This is a great industry and this forum is the best out there. Most boards online have an agenda but this one is business owners helping and encouraging each other. Read read read. Search and study every topic you can think of. People on here don’t mind helping if they see you are doing your part by using the search tools available. As far as roof cleaning I’ve only done a couple but always have a ground person to keep plants wet as well as keeping your spray hose from tearing the shingles as you’re walking the roof

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Thanks for the advice! Every little bit helps. Hey Nashvillewash…what is EBC?

And what are the dental picks for?

EnviroBioCleaner

Extracting orings and installing new ones. and good oral hygiene…

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You do not need or want a helper. Quickly pre rinse plants and one side of house, soap it, rinse next side, rinse first side, soap next side, rinse next… in time, you will figure out what you can get away with. Speed comes with time and better equipment.

You dont need helpers for residential. You can go it alone. Big jobs and commercial often require help. Grow slowly but dont get stagnant.

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Getting SH on you is part of the job. You’ll get used to it.

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This exactly.

Get a uniform, branded or not, 5 shirts, and 5 shorts/pants that are bleach resistant. You will also look more professional. I use golf grade polo shirts, 100% Polyester, and hiking shorts that have multiple pockets, 94% Nylon 6% Spandex.

When I started out, I wore whatever I had available. And everyday I would have ruined my shirt and pants. In the heat of summer, you don’t want to have a rain suit on.

Get a uniform that can stand up to bleach and wear it every day. Don’t wear the same outfit 2 days in a row, polyester and nylon get really stinky really fast.

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@PowerHouse12 Which nozzles are you using?

Depending on where you live, for window cleaning, do not source your equipment from anyone but a professional window cleaning supply company. Let me know what city/country you are in and I can give you a link. Also, window cleaning is just as complicated and difficult as pressure washing. I do not recommend you adding window cleaning to your repertoire without any training or coaching. Window cleaning is transparent by nature. Meaning, any novice or home owner, can see your mistakes without any training. You don’t want to do a great house wash and have complaints about runs, streaks, lines, stains or water spots on the windows.

In my experience, customers only have a look at your house wash job a couple of times once it is done. Windows are different, everyone looks at their windows multiple times every day.

Gutter clearing is much easier. Get a good ladder and a good leaf blower, and the gutter hook PW attachment. Use the blower if it has been nice and dry for a good while, walk on the roof, and blow all the crap out. If it has been raining, use the bent gutter thingy and blast the stuff out. Either way, might have to give the house a quick rinse.

Other chems besides SH and Surfactant: Get familiar with acids and degreasers. This is something that I am currently working on myself.

There are certain chemicals that can make or break a job. And you need to learn how to identify the issue BEFORE you quote or start the job.

Eg. Tiger Striping on Gutters. Learn to recognize it asap. It’s not that hard. But, if you do not, and you tell your client that their gutters will look nice and clean. You will have unhappy clients. Because you just cant remove Tiger Striping with pressure or SH or elbow grease or DAWN. You need a specific chemical that addresses that problem. It is the same with “Fallout”, rust and calcium/hard water stains.

Searching the forum should get you answers to the difficult stuff. For Tiger Striping I use Gutter Zap.

Pressure washing, in my opinion, is about having multiple tools at your disposal for multiple problems. Try to have as many solutions as possible.

However, I took a different approach when starting out. I quoted jobs, and if I got the contract, then I bought the needed equipment/chems. I was broke at the time.

If you can afford to buy every piece of equipment and chem for every situation then do it, and be the solution to all of you customers problems. Otherwise, take it one job at a time, research on this forum for everything. Honestly, if you pay attention you can talk like a veteran/pro and follow through.

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Right now I have the nozzles that came with the washer, and had a j rod made up for me with 2 soap tips and 2 rinse tips

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Awesome advice Danthewindowman. Thank u. I will wait and learn more about window cleaning before advertising to do so. I would like to add it to my services to earn some extra $. I am in Ocean county NJ so house washing is a seasonal job. I figured the window services may give me some work in the out of season market.

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For sure. The problem is, if the water is not soft enough in your area, you could leave the windows worse than when you came.

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I’d agree with dang near everything Mathew said, but I get by with the cheapest QC’s money can buy by changing out the o-rings to viton o-rings before they ever get used. On the list of tools I’d add 2 of each large wrenches that fit your hose ends and QC’s. The wrenches are $6-7 each at home depot and a lot nicer than dealing with adjustable nut rounders. Usually 1" or 22 mm or weird ones that don’t come in most sets.

If you buy a fitting or see a fitting plan on buying 2-3 of them for each one you see, toss them in a bucket organizer with painters tape on one so you know when you only have one left.

You’ll be able to fix issues in just minutes and get back to work this way.

Oh… mount a vise somewhere. You’ll thank yourself for it.

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Oh, I bet more than half of us here started out exactly like this.

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oh Dan… send pics

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Loving this forum already. U guys are awesome!

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I’ll second what DantheWindowMan said:


“Also, window cleaning is just as complicated and difficult as pressure washing. I do not recommend you adding window cleaning to your repertoire without any training or coaching.”

As a window cleaner I have customers tell me they tried cleaning their windows themselves and decided they were wasting their time.

A builder recently tried cleaning the windows of a new house where I quoted on cleaning them. After getting all the stickers and big rubbish off, I get a call because he still can’t get them clean.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’ll probably be the same, and you’ll look like an idiot in front of people who’ll probably never call you again because of that.

Learn how to do it properly before you try doing it for someone else.

I’ll go back and read more about pressure washing now, because I need to learn how to do it right before I offer to pw for my customers.

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