Can SH damage paint on a car?

We were cleaning a roof over the weekend on a commercial building that houses many tenants. One guy parked his car close to the building - after we had already started - and some spray got on his car. He barked at us and drove off. I would have apologized and offered to wash it off, but didn’t get the chance. Well, on Monday the owners of the building called me in and said that the guy was furious because we messed his car up and might have “ruined” the paint job because of the bleach. He threatened to “go after them” if his car is indeed “ruined.”

My question, can SH do anything to paint on a car? It was 9% ish diluted 3:1 and it was not like we soaked his car, just over spray.


idk. I read once that dishsoap can damage the clear coat. Hope that doesn’t mean the same for sh, for you sake

ouch! If dish soap can cause problems then I’m sure SH is a killer :eek:

You shouldn’t have a problem, its pretty diluted, and if it was over-spray… Most likely it had evaporated and left salty white spots, which may look like damage until he wipes it off…

That’s why we rinse cars before and after…like plants…

Dish soap will strip wax off the paint, not necessarily the clear coat. The worst thing you can do is to leave those water spots on the car. Over time the spots will magnify the suns rays and bake into glass.

If the water spots are bad enough on the car, you can get it buffed and that will take them out.

I think I’d offer to have the exterior of his car detailed professionally by one of the better detail shops in town. Shouldn’t cost you too much, but may go a long way in keeping the fella calm and keeping your customers happy - which is worth a LOT.

+1… I always try to rinse before, after (and during if it’s hot and sunny). Never had any problems doing it this way and had plenty of “wow thanks, you washed my car too!” comments. I hope this works out ok for you, it’s tough considering you couldn’t do anything about the situation as it happened and then the guy decided to be an ■■■■■■… but maybe buying him a detail service is the best resolution :slight_smile:

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Again, I would have washed his car off if he gave us a chance. When the owner explained the situation to me, it sounded like the tenant just wanted to cry and moan and maybe get something for free out of it, who knows? If something seriously wrong did happen we would of course offer to pay to resolve the problem.

It was kinda left at “just don’t do it again.” I was a little irritated because I felt like I was being scolded for something very minor and accidental. When we started cleaning the roof there were no cars around and he parked it there after we began.

I couldn’t confidently say no way the bleach damaged his car when I was being interrogated, hence my question to you all.

Thanks for all the advice :slight_smile:

If you haven’t already - make sure you let the management know that he parked the car there after you started working. They need to know you scoped the area out for any safety hazards before you started.

I’ve found out the hard way that communication is key, even in the simplest of matters.

This happend to me a few times in apartment communities to answer your question YES ROOF MIX CAN DAMAGE PAINT if its left on the car on a sunny hot day i have paid for a few cars over the years to get high speed buffed and waxed about $200 on average. A new paint job is not needed and if the customer want it to be re painted just let them know that repainting a car depreciats the value to any dealership when he goes. To trade it in. This tends to put a end to the repaint my car crap. People can be such PITAS about this. Last year i covered a black cadilac escilade befor spraying the roof and when we pulled the cover off we rinced the car just in case. Next thing i know the PM is calling asking about an escilade that had bleach all over it. I explained it didnt and also explained that this resident was told the day before that his building was going to be cleaned that day. He didnt care then why does he now either way cost me $185 to clean. Enless you have every person in and around your work zone sign a waiver you are liable for every thing that happens

we pressure wash an office park where the parking is extremely close to the buildings. We get there VERY early (like 5am) and cone off all of the parking close to the buildings to prevent anyone parking in the line of fire. Seems like that might be something you can file away for next time…just cuz there’s no one parked there when you get started doesn’t mean anything – you have to PREVENT idiots from doing idiotic things sometimes in business.

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Haha. This reminded me… a few years ago I was washing a gas station. Usually we did these after hours, but this one needed done ASAP. We used cones to block off areas. This guy totally ignored all the cones, even drove completely over one and parked.