Lucky (unlucky?) Roof wash quote pricing?

Early in my endeavor but lucked into having a contact who wants a quote for a roof wash. I’m in Metro ATL area. Wonder what kind of baseline pricing would be applicable? Honestly have no idea. Below are 2 images from Google.

Single story asphalt shingle, Needs cleaning but not nearly as badly as most homes I see nearby. GIS data states about 6500 ft² building, but that doesn’t include the drive-thru, roof overhangs, and the pitch seems significant - conservatively if this was an all-over 8/12, that’s at least an 8200 ft² roof. (Google Maps aerial measurement ranges 7400-7700 ft² depending how accurate I try to be, so it’s likely close to 9k ft² roof surface area.)


I’m not a big fan of sqft pricing. I’ve seen 1600 sqft roofs that would take longer than this one.

Estimate how long it will take, estimate how much chemical you’ll use, and come up with your number from that.

You’ll probably underestimate, but it’s cheap tuition.


well said

I think that what @CamReady is saying is that since he’s not done a roof he doesn’t have that experience to determine all of that, which is fine.

Chris, I use a per foot base in all of my roof calculations. Obviously the harder, higher, steeper, dirtier, more angles, etc, the higher that per foot price going to be. The one you have here is about as easy as they get. That whole rear area looks walkable and not very steep. Plus it has gutters and doesn’t look like much vegetation to be concerned about. You do need to find out where any gutters drain to. But you shouldn’t have a lot of runoff on that pitch roof. Because of SH price increases I’m never below .25/ft these days and usually higher.

To be safe I’d figure about 60 sq ft per gal of mix. You may get more but I always hedge to the conservative side. Since we don’t have current pics to see how dirty it is, I’m figuring about a 4% mix. With 12% SH that’s ballpark going to give you about 2.5 gals of mix per gal of SH, so you’ll use about a drum of SH plus your soap, which would give you approx 130 gals of mix. As you get more experienced those numbers will get better, but most newer guys tend to over apply somewhat. Anytime you can walk a roof, you’ll use less than shooting from gutter line and the steeper the roof the more mix you’ll use.
I’m not too far from you but not sure of Atl pricing, but I’d be in low $2000 price range. May or may not get at that price, but if you do, should make out pretty good on it. As I said, don’t get much easier than this one.


I think that what @CamReady is saying is that since he’s not done a roof he doesn’t have that experience to determine all of that…

Yes, @Racer that is exactly right. I took some photos on site today, as opposed to the previous photos above from Google Maps. The roof looks to be a bit steeper than it in the previous images. (sorry I didn’t realize the one photo was blurred until looking at it now). But this is at least an accurate representation of the roof’s current dirtiness, at least on the sides I could see to photograph from the edge of the property. I have a call in to get a better look at the NE-facing slopes early this week.

Thank you very much for your estimates on chem use. Without a dedicated softwash setup, this is going to be painful with an X-jet on my 5.5GPM machine with 55-gallon drum tanks. But I have to start somewhere and can’t beat the goodwill of the church that owns this property extending me this opportunity right now. I also guessed around .25/ft so your low $2k-ish estimate makes sense to me.

I also got the chance to quote about 6800 sq. ft of concrete flatwork for the church itself, along with about a dozen awnings and a few spots of the building walls to clean from gutter leaks, and some rust and grease removal from a dumpster pad.

Does an xjet draw enough for a roof? You can make an inexpensive ‘pump in a box’ with a 1gpm pump, 8ah electric fence battery, waterproof switch and some Flexzilla.

X-jet can do roof mix strenght, but awkward, harder to be precise, tends to overspray a lot and waste sh too.

according to your calculations that would cost me over 1k in just chemicals. Not any other expenses. Sometimes im jealous of you guys down south! :smiley:

That’s not very dirty, probably a strong 3% will be enough. Use the money from this to get you a 12v system. You can build a nice one for less than $700 plus a reel if needed. I’ve got nice 100gal batch mix tank I’ll sell you right if you want to come to Greenville to get.


I’m with @Racer on pricing and process… but I’d just invest ahead of time and buy the 12v pump beforehand. Why do the job without it, then buy it :man_shrugging:


I’d just invest ahead of time and buy the 12v pump beforehand. Why do the job without it, then buy it :man_shrugging:

@JAtkinson You’re right. Ideally I would do that as well, but I’m tapped out currently, I’m literally paying my bills with a pension withdrawal - at this point I just need to make some money back and get some breathing room while I drum up more work. Plus, I don’t know if I want to invest in 12v - I have some more reading and researching to do here on this forum and elsewhere regarding soft wash equipment for roofs, regarding electric vs. gas pumps.

(I’ve mentioned it in other threads but this is a side hustle for me that I’m currently launching as a full-time endeavor, as a film crew professional who’s experienced an 80% reduction of income between the pandemic and the Hollywood labor strikes over the last 2.5 years. My career has been yanked away like a football from Charlie Brown. I’m not even on strike but with no writers and no actors, there’s hardly any work even available, and with over 20 years as a freelancer, I’ve been unsuccessful in landing any kind of ‘regular’ job offer, let alone anything that actually pays enough.)

@Racer thanks for the offer but I’m tapped out currently, and with my weight capacity limitations of my tow vehicle, I don’t think I could adapt to a tank that size. With my 55 gal drums full I’ll be getting close to the limit already. Unfortunately this is what I have to work with for now. If this takes off for me and I can reinvent and reinvest rapidly, and you still have options I’ll reach out in the future.

I get it, and I guess if you have all the time in the world, have at it. As soon as it starts eating into your time to drum up more business though, you need to pull the trigger and be max. efficient

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You don’t have to ‘invest’ anything, my pump in a box cost roughly $150. It WILL do that job, just not as fast as a 6gpm unit.

I currently use it to transfer bleach out of my drum but you just install a cheap plastic Gilmore garden sprayer and go to it. Heck I used it this summer to spray 5000 sq/ft of concrete sealer, works great.


I have a 5.5gpm 12v pump. It almost puts out a whopping 2gpm at the end of the hose. The xjet through the 6.8gpm pump will shoot hot sauce twice as far with almost 4 times the volume… just have to stop and top off the bucket every 10 seconds. Snap your fingers & you’re instantly spraying clean rinse water with the inline ball valve, which is great if you are working solo since the ground guy is the most important player on a roof wash. Pick your poison.

FWIW, I did get the booking, but nowhere near the price I wanted. $1750, includes roof, ext building wash, gutters, and small amount of concrete cleaning.

However, I will say a few things about this:

  1. Property is owned/operated by a church with personal connections - so they’re likely NEVER going to pay “full” price.
  2. Property isn’t horrifically dirty.
  3. Lucky to have the gig all things considered.

I just don’t see how people are landing roof washes of this size at 30¢ per sq ft or more. The sheer volume of dirty roofs I see all over my targeted area tells me that people either:

A) Aren’t aware of roof washing as a service/see no value in it.
B) Draw the line about their property’s appearance upkeep at the roof for some reason
C) The local vendors all price it too high for the market’s appetite.

I’ll start another thread on it, but finding a balance point for the start of all service pricing is proving difficult, and sadly appears to be MUCH lower than the ‘typcal’ lists and info I’m seeing on pricing.

it’s probably a mix of all 3… but your costs for roof cleaning are far more than you likely realize. It will usually up your insuarance (or you’re already paying more insurance bc of it), it requires more plant protection costs (either in planning/prep, added products, or just good old fashioned time), it’s a more niche service that requires more skill than just “slinging SH”. Probably half the guys around here won’t touch them (and a few refer them to us bc they trust we won’t bite the hand that’s feeding us). We’ve done about 130 of them this year, so the market seems OK, but there’s still a lot of room for educating, probablyu especially the HOAs who keep us in business :joy:

We price everything in ResponsiBid off SF of the home (not the roof itself), so our rates are different.

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@JAtkinson I already pay for the insurance coverage to do roofs, since in my market there are SO MANY filthy roofs, I’m targeting it specifically. I’m targeting 100% residential at this point, except for churches which I will also approach, but no other commercial at this time. There’s TONS of potential work to be done, it’s just a matter of finding the way to get the YES out of the pitch, because it doesn’t appear to be anything anyone is really ASKING for that I can tell.

That’s not too bad. You can do that job in a day easy with a helper.


@Racer I’m flying solo, but there’s next to nothing for surrounding vegetation, and gutters all drain to either concrete in the front or are piped underground in the back, so at least I won’t have a lot of vegetation protection to worry about. I will have 2 days to complete it, hopefully it won’t go TOO slowly with my X-jet. I plan on picking up 2 more 7-gallon buckets for the task this week, so at least I’ll have more than triple my current capacity before I have to stop to refill from my drum.