Maintenance guy w/noob question


What I am saying is had you been the last comment

and no one contested the idea the man could have sprayed a 6% mix on that cladding and had bare metal.
Its really no reason to get upset. I know you had better advise in you. But a blanket statement for his needs was not what he needed.

@gcbailey34 The bottom brick could be easily be washed with an x jet and SH with good surfactant like eleminator. The top section I would really recommend doing test spots. start out with a mix of .85-.10% SH and surfactant. test it on a very small area where no one will see. I see a picture of your finger with chalking. This is a big red flag that its going to loose pigment no matter what you do. Even with just soap and water with retaliative pressure you will push pigment out…


I never imagined anyone would go straight to a 6% mix. Especially someone doing the up front research he is doing. I dont even go 6% on a roof


The chalking is what I figured would be an issue… My whole reason for signing up. I had read and watched videos that chalking causes issues with aluminum but my lack of chemistry knowledge didn’t know if I would/should expect issues with metal also.

In the past my experience with pressure washing has been keeping our equipment clean (ZTR mower, 2 tractors, semi truck, etc…) and it was using the factory provided tips that came with the sprayer. I’ve learned a lot on here in a short period of time and greatly appreciate all the responses!


Now we will have questions for you.

Good luck. The brick will turn out great.


Haha… When it doubt flip the breaker!


Buddy here is the deal. Mild bleach and surfactant downstreamed or Xjet on all of it. Use some pressure on the masonry work. You already know you are woefully underpowered with your machine but I realize you have to work with what they provide. Cover your butt. Have someone sign off on the fact that it is oxidized/chalky and it is going to run like crazy. you will have to wash windows afterwards as well. Lots of guys here giving well intentioned advice. Bluewave cat is new to this and doesn’t have a grasp yet. Others are in the same boat or may be experts. Bottom line, you are being set up to fail by your boss. Do the best you can. I’m just the old curmudgeon sitting back seeing you swamped with info that may or may not help you. Good Luck. William 919-524-3875


I fully understand… I don’t have to worry about CYA… It’s not like I’m getting fired over this. This is the first wash job that the place has had during my tenure. I just didn’t want to end up throwing something like aircraft stripper on it and having a bare metal building. There’s a lot of work that needs done to the place anyways! He’s more concerned about our roofing system, which is a single ply membrane roof and I’ve always managed to keep it pretty white over the years by just using a regular 3/4" water hose at 60 psi and some chemicals.

My initial goal was trying to figure out how to get out of having to tell the boss we were going to have to pay to rent a lift for a week or whatever due to even with a 0 deg nozzle it turning into mist after about 10 feet. That’s when I start watched youtube and ran across the X-jet then found out about an assassin nozzle, might should have went that route. Something about workers comp and trying to feet my feet on the ground. We are a forestry facility so things aren’t exactly cheap around here as is!

As far as worst goes to worst, I could just rinse off the paneling with plain water, he doesn’t care. The brick/block (limestone) is what needs the most attention. I just don’t want to ruin the panels. We are supposedly looking at budgeting a paint job next year when the building turns 20.

I know this is a side note but about a year ago I was given 5 gal of “Texas Red” by the guys at the next shop over. I’ve been using it real sparingly on our equipment (tractors, brush hog) type stuff but I know that it’s pretty corrosive. That’s a definite “No, no” on anything, right? I know even on the bucket it says to run it at 100:1 I’ll just put a cap full in a 5 gal pail washing equipment and it brings anything right off.


Was my advise subpar? Lol


Tekl ur boss this is not ur arwa if exoertise and that you are better off hiring an insured pro for pitential damages


Murder one on English lol


Tell ur boss this is not your area of expertise and that you are better off hiring an insured pro for potential damages…



Haha, as I said in my initial post, this falls under the “any other tasks issued…” We are a smaller company with about 30 employees and keep about everything in house. Like I also said there isn’t a company that offers “true” pressure washing as a main source of business within 60 miles. There is a company that washes heavy equipment but they weren’t interested.

It’s going to be fine… A few years ago applying herbicides wasn’t my area of expertise either but I’ve got pretty decent at keeping our 35 acres under control and also helping the guys apply certain products for wood treatment. I like to learn things, keeps you young while you grow old!

Biggest thing is we are starting to prepare for the potential hurricane so it’ll probably be late next week before I get anything done, but I will definitely keep you all posted!


As mentioned above,I am new to this. I’ve been washing for right at a year now. Im not counting the years of home experience because its not relevant. This is a whole different ball game doing it professionally and using the chems. I would wash that without hesitation though from what I see in his pics and from his position with this company. Its not rocket science and Ive learned a ton here. Im pretty confident in my abilities and do what I can to CMA when discussing jobs and expectations.


I knew there was a reason that I like you. Lol


Florence finally made her way through and we are still getting some tail end showers… Hopefully I’ll have time to get this done later in the week.


Well… finally had enough “down time” in between projects to get the building washed… Very thankful it’s still been in the upper 70’s this part of Oct too! Thank everyone for their input. The boss was pleased and the building ended up being a lot dirtier than it looked once I got started.

Didn’t end up scrubbing a thing, let the chemicals do their work! It did end up taking about 9 hours… Don’t know how long this would take you guys that do this for a living but the boss ended up agreeing that when it comes time again he definitely needs to invest in a larger machine for functionality sake.


I’m glad you got the help you needed. What is your verdict on the areas people were concerned with, such as oxidation?


good before pics…wheres the after or am I missing something


The couple spots that had the worst oxidation/buildup came clean but the exhaust from the kiln over the years literally ate into the block as you can see in the pic. The larger square block at the top is limestone and it wasn’t harmed, which I find somewhat strange. From the owner’s perspective “it is what it is…” Nothing you can do about that type of damage as far as we are concerned. It’s something that should have been cleaned years ago but that’s hindsight and you know how hindsight is…


If you read through the entire thread you’ll see this isn’t what I do for a living, my company wanted the building “washed”… It’s “washed”… My initial concern was the metal siding… I got it cleaned and prevented any paint from coming off so from what I was asked to do it was a successful mission. Is it the caliber that we would have gotten from a $20,000 sub contractor job, no… But for the salary maintenance guy, it’ll work.