Blue, red, green, brown houses

Hello everyone, let me start this post by saying that this is not at all meant to be argumentative or condescending. It’s also not meant to challenge or discredit anyone’s experience. I’m a rookie and have spent the last two days searching and reading on the subject, and now am just looking for a conversation.

So I’ve come across a bunch of post where people have washed blue, red, green, brown houses whether or not it’s vinyl, painted wood shingles, or hardy board people have had bad reactions to SH on Those colors. In those same posts a lot of people (who have a bunch more experience than me) refuse to wash any of those colors and recommend never washing them and just walking away.

NoW from a small business standpoint from someone who’s trying to make a name for him self and to grow and expand I understand that doing great work and not having any huge insurance claims that bankrupt your business is extremely important. However it’s also extremely hard to make that name and grow by limiting your self so much and turning down so much work.

For example in my neighborhood alone the house behind mine is painted shingles in dark blue, the house across the street is vinyl and light blue, their is a red painted house three houses to my left and a green 5 houses to my right. I took the kids for a ride today and was looking around and I saw a ton of houses those colors almost more than other colors. It’s more than just siding…a lot of those houses
That have beige or gray siding have red or blue or green doors or shutters. If you completely remove those colors from your business I feel like your at a huge disadvantage. You can get 10 calls this week go out to give a quote and turn 8 of the 10 away solely based on the color.

Again By no means am I saying anyone is wrong but how do you have enough work / aspire to grow if your turning down just as much work as your accepting? Again the last thing I want to do is have to spend thousands replacing someone siding, but I don’t want to turn down every 3rd job i get also. I feel like there has to be some sort of a balance wether that means talking to the homeowner and spraying the siding with a small test spot prior to washing ? What do you guys think? How can you protect yourself and grow and be profitable at the same time? I feel like it’s almost one or the other.

There were 10 Mason jars in a row and each one has a dollar in it. 5 of the jars also have a wasp nest in it and you are allergic. Are you gonna be content with $5 bucks or take a gamble? Not every area of the country needs another washing contractor, or support one. I turn down dozens of houses weekly, but I don’t need those mason jars. If you are just starting, do you want that gamble? Not telling you to find another career, I don’t know where you are, but if all the houses you find are iffy colors, I’d do something else.

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It’s also helpful to market towards the kinds of houses you won’t mess up. Use Google Street view to find subdivisions, go on street level to see the houses. I find that cream-vinyl houses tend to clump together, the same way these dark and painted houses do. Write down the areas with vinyl and market to them (door hangers, business cards, targeted ads). You can even make sure your Facebook ads only pop up when someone accesses internet from those areas

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Thanks. For the reply that’s a great analogy. I’m from CT by the way and there are a lot of non iffy houses around here but there are a lot of them too. Again by no means am I being argumentative or trying to challenge what anyone is saying I’m simply asking because I don’t know. Using the same math as you did with the mason jars if there were 10 houses 5 were iffy colors and 5 were not. On the 5 that are iffy would it be worth it to do a test spot and see what happens? Maybe that way you could do 7 or 8 of the 10 houses. Or do the test spots really not matter? Is it still isn’t worth the risk, just because it didn’t react and change colors at this location dose not Mean it won’t 10 feet further down or 10 feet higher.

Again I hope I don’t get flamed for that question again I’m NOT trying to challenge anyone you all have a wealth more knowledge than I do. I’m just trying to figure out if there is a way to reduce the risk or have calculated risks or if the best option is to truly just walk away.

Your fine man. And I’m really not trying to flame you. For me, it’s not worth the risk and I don’t really have time to do tests on houses. I all on the phone what color they are. I’ve repainted a house and I know many other guys that have had to eat it. I’d stick with the five jars.

Thers so many white houses out there it’s not even worth thinking about, stay away from dark colors and it’s business as usual. Thers more to this business than just washing houses. Thers the obvious houses, fences, decks, driveways, retaining walls, roofs etc, that’s just the residential side. Your brain has the natural tendency to focus and panic on the dark colors because that triggers an alert, just walk away from them.

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Thing is, and I’ve been there, CT/ New England houses are quite colorful unlike here in Louisville where everything is beige vinyl and brick. I don’t think he has the luxury of turning down vibrant houses.

We do have Norton Commons here, everything is Hardie board in some matte color. If it’s just dirty I’ll hit it with surfactant only and so far, so good.

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Glad I saw this. Just started pressure washing about a month ago. Did a driveway and a commons area in a neighborhood and the neighbors started giving me jobs. Mostly driveways, but I did do one house that was white and it turned out fine. I’ve really been enjoying it and I decided that I’ll be setting up an LLC soon and getting insurance before I do anymore houses. But I did just commit to a job that involves washing a blue house in a couple weeks after I get insurance. I’ll post one of the pics I took below. But I’m guessing I should probably let them know I’m going to have to pass? Or is there some way to do the job?

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That house isn’t the blue I avoid. It’s the dark blue. Like this one. You can see the damage the sun did to the side of the house. I’ve seen color changes similar to this after I washed a house.

You can wash a dark colored house 10 times without issue. Eventually that house will start to dry funny, some look blotchy and some will change color. I have a blue house coming up in a week. I tell myself every year it’s the last year but the money I make on it is making it hard to leave. Last year it started lightening up too.

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I work in conjunction with two different painters. Additionally, I am in Central Florida, so significantly different climate. The painters find it more efficient for me to come by and pressure wash a house, especially if it is larger or a dark color, to prep it for them since I have a significantly stronger machine, better tools, and efficient method. I can clean a 2 story house (roughly 4,000sqft) in about 5 hours with one man, it would take them twice the time with two guys, so 4 times the man hours.

From what they have informed me when I run into this blotchy results from normal pressure cleaning, is that the darker colors absorb more heat and tend to oxidize and separate the pigment particles in the paint itself. This results in a chalky layer that gets blasted off with the high pressure. They always recommend using a sealant base and then a primer/color coat that they roll on rather than spray so that it is a thick coat. The sealant creates a moisture barrier as well as a tacky surface for the color coat to adhere to.

The majority of the houses I run into are mortar coat over concrete block for the first story and then mortar over hardy board on the second level if they have one. Most of the mobile homes I work on are vinyl, but lighter colors. I do find that the sun breaks down the vinyl and they tend to chalk or have a dusty run off if they haven’t been cleaned in multiple years.

My approach is to try to inform the client of the potential issues before they approve the quote so that they have a head up on what they are possibly getting into. This more or less absolves me of liability as long as I don’t do damage by being neglectful.

All that being said, if you see dark color houses that are showing signs of heavy dirt and/or mildew, they are probably in need of painting anyway. Find a painter that you can prep for and approach the client with a combined proposal.

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I saw that house and I was thinking: “That look like a house from Ocean City.” I grew up in Somers Point and it reminded my of basically every beach house rental on the islands. Then I saw your website and was like, “Oh, that’s why.”

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