Hotwater Pressure Washing in Public?

Hi guys, first post here. I’m pretty new to the pressure washing scene so bear with me. I run a business which offers window cleaning, pressure washing and also post construction cleaning, been going since August. I’m in Adelaide, South Australia.

The local gym I attend has filthy concrete. The entrance concrete pad as well as the footpaths are all covered in old chewing gum, the windows are also filthy and covered with cobwebs etc. I found out the company who manages the gyms and submitted a bid to do both pressure washing and window cleaning, its a big building so it would be a great earner if I was awarded it.

I know i’ll need a hot water p/w to remove the gum, i don’t own one but I saw a local hire company which hires out the heater units which you hook up to your own machine. So that’s the background information.

My question centers around the conundrum of hot water pressure washing in public. The gym is on a main road however there are also houses in relative close proximity to the gym which rules out doing the clean in the wee hours of the morning or late at night. The local council laws state no excessive noise before 8am or after 8pm Mon-Sat. This leaves me with my only option being to do it during the day, I’m thinking Sunday as it’s the least busiest day (this gym gets quite busy throughout the week).

If I was awarded the job, what precautions do you guys have for me for doing p/w when there will be people walking around? Put up a few signs and cease pressure washing when someone needs to get past? I would imagine most operators don’t have to worry about this issue as it appears to be a hassle, but I can’t see any other way I’d be able to clean it without risking getting a fine for excessive noise outside of the permitted hours.

Thanks for reading!


Typically commercial work that puts you in close proximity to the public will be done at night when there is significantly less traffic in the area. I, personally, wouldn’t consider a pressure washer to be excessively noisy but your local code junkies may disagree.

1 Like

Thanks for the reply. Yes I agree. However because the gym is close to homes I would no doubt get a noise complaint doing it at night.

Can you do it Sunday evening? That’s bound to be your least busy time.

Yeah I’m in two minds because there is a main road which runs right past the gym which is already noisy. Plus the houses aren’t super close so at worst it would likely be more of a hum than anything else. I think I’ll talk to the council if I get the job.

I was thinking either Sunday morning or evening. The other days are far too busy to even bother.

There ya go. Maybe they can issue you a one time noise permit just to cover your bases. I wouldn’t get too worked up over it until you know for sure you’ve got the job.


I agree, it just came into my mind last night. Thanks for your time

No worries amigo. Good luck with it and if you get it holler back and let us know how it went. We like pictures around here.

1 Like

Thanks! Will do! Post construction cleaning are my big ticket jobs but they aren’t too regular. I’m trying to develop the window and pressure cleaning side to act as my bread and butter.

Get a hold of @Aussie, he might be able to help a bit.


Or @anon26752184


What I would do.

Start early, Maybe 5am? On a week day when people don’t sleep in like a Sunday… Looks like a small job. Park your truck as far as possible to divert the noise as much as you can.

People won’t complain about noise early on a week day(commercial)… Works for me

1 Like

I would cone it off and break it up into zones. If the gym has a second entrance that would help too. Leave a path for the public to walk into the gym. If you had a helper to move hoses and watch for idiot pedestrians that would make it easier. Most people try to avoid a guy spraying water.


Hey mate @wap2dem
If I was me I would just tape/cordon off and clean area in 2 halves split at the doorway during mid morning and provide a bit of traffic control to people entering and exiting with a big smile and apologies for inconvenience.
Always will be a couple of galahs that bust into the area it never ceases to amaze me.

1 Like

Now that is a bloody good idea! Thanks for that dude! If I get the job thats the route I’ll take

I’d get some caution tape too. Try and be aware of your hoses. You have to watch for people who decide to “accidentally trip” and you’ll have a lawsuit on your hands. Just try and run the hoses where they won’t be tripping hazards. I even try and keep them completely off the ground if it’s not possible to keep them off an area that has a lot of foot traffic. It might not always be possible but try and tuck it into a corner of a step or in the crack of a sidewalk. After setting up always look around and see if you can make any changes to the way your hoses are running or, any other equipment, to prevent a tripping hazard.

I broke this job up into sections so people still had a path to get in. I decided to get my supply hose off the ground so I didn’t have to worry about anyone tripping on it. I probably could’ve ran it right along the corner of the bottom stair and it would’ve been impossible for someone to trip over. I just don’t like taking any chances due to risk of being sued. I even have a video camera in my truck recording just in case some sue happy person intentionally tries to trip.

I’m going to order a few of these for next season. I’ll use them for residential too since I usually pull up curbside and my hoses run across the sidewalk.



Bloody good idea. Btw I was a fellow grunt too. NZ Army 2/1 Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.

1 Like

Also use some “Caution Wet Floor” signs.

1 Like

Did you do it? Just noticed this :slight_smile:

Gyms are 24/7 normally so you’ll have some traffic whatever time you do it. Can’t do it at night without a permit, can’t start before 7am either without one.

Thankfully, if it’s only the area pictured, you’ll be in and out in an hour.

Cone off the footpath/pavers, tape off from the rings, across the posts and follow that line. That’s the fall of the concrete. Wash the dark/mouldy side first, and rinse to those bushes.

Do the door side second. Right side of doorway, rinse, left side, rinse.

You don’t need hot for gum on commercial concrete - just the right tip and correct angle. I’d do it after its all rinsed as you can look around before you hit it.

“Fire” the gum toward the building, not the road :slight_smile:

What you can’t do is redirect the public in anyway. Not without local council approval. Opens up a huge can of worms too.

1 Like