How would you clean/price this?

Hello all! New here so don’t be too harsh,
So I have a family member that got me my biggest job yet! Very excited as I just started last year. I originally thought it was stucco so I thought cool I can soft wash it 3-4% and wash it clean but when I showed up to the property the top and bottom of the building is all concrete, and I’m stuck whether I pressure wash it all or soft wash 4%/low soap with a good rinse. I want to do a good job, that’s why I am here asking you veterans for your opinion :slight_smile:
I am leaning toward soft washing the whole place 4% so I can avoid any ladders, the highest part is 20ft high. I’m not a fan of ladders or telescoping rods. Any tips, recommendations and jokes would be appreciated!
16,000 sqft building
10,000 face sqft to be cleaned
I know every area is different, but in your area, what would a job like this run?
Thank you all

Is this efflorescence, its on the brick wall around their trash bins, no efflo on the main building itself

A lot of that at the top you probably need to hit at least 2 times, maybe 3-4, unless you get extremely lucky. Depending on equipment, may take you all day or longer. Go do a test spot with a pump up and see how easy it comes off, then you’ll have a better idea. I have had to shoot stuff like that at top 5-6 times with a 50% mix and other times it’ll clean up with a couple of passes with HW.


Doing a test spot will tell you a lot, and help sell the job or set expectations for the client. We did this one last summer, I stopped by with a truck and did a quick DS test without any extension to reach the upper band. They couldn’t wait to sign the deal when they realized their building could look like that again.


Thank you so much for the respones Racer and JAtkinson!

I will contact the client and see if they’ll let me do a test spot on the side of the building nobody sees :slight_smile:

If I get the go ahead, I’m going to try three sprayers no soap because it’s all brick & cement,
one at 1.2% (my ds strength)
one at 3%
and one at 6%
and see how many applications I must do to get the best result

Jatkinson, I’m new to the site as you know and I’m not sure if its offensive or out of the question to ask pricing questions? Like how much did you charge for that building you so beautifully cleaned? I’m trying to figure out a good price for this job, and its tough without these test spots. I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot here :smiley:

It’s going to be a huge difference at that height if your mixes don’t cut it and you need more pressure. We’ve done taller ones on the university that require a lift rental, and that changes things dramatically. We’ve probably been anywhere from $2.5-7k depending on those factors. But I think all of those buildings are probaby larger than the one you’re looking at. We just figure out how many crew days it will take and charge accordingly, and add a lift if req’d.

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Just run by and do a test, report back with pics and then we’ll be able to give you a better idea.

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I just got off the phone with the customer, I have the go ahead on some test spots! I have to wait till Saturday or Sunday so the temps are in the mid 40s. I’ll report back then with my findings and pictures! Thank you both for helping out

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Went today for some test spots, it was lightening the concrete but not doing squat to the black. I went up to 9% percent and not impressed. It’ll all need some pressure :smiling_face_with_tear:

I may try a telescopic pole? Or just get a rental lift

NorthStar Telescoping Pressure Washer Wand — 4000 PSI, 10.5 GPM, 6–18ft.L, Fiberglass/Aluminum

For $160 which I probably should have already?
Never done a concrete building wash like this :sunglasses::man_shrugging: Only vinyl siding houses where my down streaming does wonders

I didn’t have any Surfactant should I have used elemonator? I read it can leave white streaks on brick

I want to head back there tomorrow, it’s really close to my house. I want to soak it again 15 minutes then blast it with a jetted garden hose, the handle I used today wasn’t much of a jet for the rinse

The process is, hit it with about a 5% mix, wait 5-10 min(closer to 10) and hit again, wait again and hit it, wait again etc till its pretty much gone, then you rinse with as strong a rinse as you can get.
If you didn’t use any surfactant you just wasted your time and not a valid test. The surfactant does a couple of things, helps the mix stay on the building but also helps it penetrate and lift the dirt. Are we to assume you don’t use soap when doing your dishes or taking a bath?

The only time it may leave streaks is if you don’t rinse.

If you can get pressure on it, may eliminate one of the soapings. Basically you’re trading bleach for lift rental and time. SH is cheaper. As I told you in an above post, sometimes you have to hit it a lot, ie reason for test.


I do indeed use soap on my butt and dishes :stuck_out_tongue:

I left the spot in the middle for contrast so the customer can see easily and compare the before and after

5 applications on all that except that little spot by itself was 4 applications. 5-6% with 1 oz per gallon of elemonator, rinsed off with a garden hose with a good jet stream. I used a little more then 1 gallon of sh for this :flushed:
I’m guessing I’ll need 40 or more gallons of SH for this job, only the top is bad and I can lightly do the rest. The Surfactant made all the difference in the world :heart:
I read somewhere on here that concrete was so Porous it wasn’t necessary but the points you brought up with lifting the dirt and such was concrete advice Racer. Thank you my friend
I get my SH from a local pool supplier, they all sell it for $30 for a 4 pack 12.5%. 7.50$ a gallon, do you guys buy it in bulk? And save I hope lol

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Where do you live? Someone on here may know of someplace you can get cheaper.

Shelby township, MI
I did find a pool shop about 20 miles away for $23 for a four pack. I’ll have to do some searching on the forum to find out what other kind of suppliers have sh.

Any advice on pricing? I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot on this one

It’s all 15ft tall except for the front entrance is taller at 17ft tall with sim fancy pillars.

The customer wanted two quotes one for the whole building and one for just the top portion; I told him I can’t just do the top portion because these chemicals are going to wash down the rest of the building and get unintentionally cleaned and it won’t look good

Although that may be true, but if you only bid the whole building you may not get the bid 'cause it’s too much. You could wash just the top and keep fresh water rinsing the bottom part. I think your chances of winning this would be much higher just bidding on the top section.

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Ive heard some of the midwesterners here using menards as a sh supplier

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No way! I didn’t even think about them lol, they have it for sale at $5 a gallon. Much better price then the pool stores! Thanks man

I do believe your right, anyone know any figures I can work with? Is 2500 top only insane? And 4500 for whole building?
I want to be fair, I am just not sure on what that looks like :innocent:

Menards has normal bleach year round for a decent price, but starting in the spring is when they carry Pool Shock for only $3.99 and normally 11% off all summer as well. The stuff in the stores now is just 6-8%

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2500 for top i don’t think is insane, maybe a little low really.

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Farm supply stores often sell it in bulk.

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Here in Michigan we already got the 12.5%

Looks like by me it’s a buck more then by you, still way cheaper then the pool supply stores committing robbery