Hello all! I am Mike Wright from the Chattanooga, TN area. I am looking into starting a power-washing and window cleaning business. I have read many posts on here and think it’s a wonderful site. I would like to start off my asking what everyone would recommend for a really good power-washer. I understand that it will have to be able to do low pressure too for cleaning decks and washing houses. What kind of cleaning agent would you recommend? I would like to use a “green” product. Is there an real difference if you are washing a vinyl sided house compared to brick, rock, or stucco house? Anything else would be very much appreciated.
There is a big difference between a really good power washer and one that’s good enough. Try to start with a belt drive unit. If you have to go direct drive to start with because of budget it will be OK, but you need at least 4 gallons per minute. With the correct tips you can do low pressure cleaning, fast and easy.
For cleaning you’re going to use a lot of bleach. Try to locate a source of 12% as opposed to buying store bleach. You will use less, it’s cheaper in the long run, and you won’t be dumping hundreds of empty jugs in a landfill. If you use FreshWash as your cleaner/ surfactant you can cut down on the bleach even further due to FreshWash’s synergistic properties (see banner ad to the right!)
Each substrate ( [MENTION=3418]michaelmole[/MENTION] ) is cleaned a little differently. The common thread is to apply the cleaner and give it enough dwell time to do the cleaning for you and then rinse thoroughly.
Hey Mike you want to get a big jump start consider joining PWR http://shopwindowcleaningresource.com/pwra-membership.html so you can get tons of marketing downloads here and also discounts for mailers and products. It will be the best $349 you ever spent and if you set your business up correctly you can write off the membership fee.
As for Powerwashers on the bigger ones I build my own but there are good quality ones out there. I would stay away from Direct drive ones because the pumps are spinning as fast as the engine shaft which is roughly about 3600 RPM’s so the pump is going to crap out in a matter of no time… A gear or belt driven Powerwasher the pump will spin around 1450 RPM’s which basically means it will last a pretty long time especially if you have it set-up to go into “Bypass” when your not squeezing the gun so the pump will never heat up… I might be getting a little ahead of myself here with you but to make it easier there are plenty of decent brand of Powerwashers out there such as Hydroteks, Mi-tm’s,Landa’s etc.
A good place to call is www.powerwash.com and ask for Michael Hinderliter or any of his staff to help you out. If your a member here Michael will give you 5% off on anything your purchase from him…
Basically on a roof cleaner you want liquid pool Shock added to any soap such as “roof snot” so the sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) sticks to the roof so it will clean faster. You also want to us a chemical called “Fresh Wash” to add bleach to it to clean houses etc and Michael sells that also.
You can also use the search function here to get some more ideas or keep asking questions like your doing…
But hindsight being everything here I would put PWRA high on your list to spend a few bucks on because you’ll get it back 100 fold in no time …
Best of luck to you and of course always feel free to respond right here like you are to find what works best for you at this time.
Thank you for all of this information. This helps me out a lot. I am really looking forward to this adventure. I sure hope I can make a good living doing this. I guess I will start power washer shopping.