Moss removal- a few questions

my philosophy right now is “book the work, then figure out how to do it later” so…

I just booked two jobs involving heavy moss removal, both on a different material. the first is an asphalt shingle roof. it’s not as bad as some i’ve seen and it’s only a small area. i know i can spray it with a roof wash mix, but what do i do about the built-up areas?

the second is on brick pavers. the pavers are tightly linked, so no grout or anything in the joints. there are some areas with a thick band of moss between joints, and other areas with small weeds growing through the cracks. i have a 4gpm machine and a pretty good surface washer and turbo nozzle. should i blast out the moss with a nozzle first and then use the surface washer? or should i use a softwash mix and then surface clean it? ahh! don’t know what to do!

just looking for a little advice. thanks in advance!

What happens when you can’t figure it out later?

that’s why i’m posting here.

I was asking because I’ve never booked anything before that I didn’t know how to do. I’m not trying to bust your chops, but isn’t that why the people called you because you were a professional (Professional meaning an expert in what you’re doing and cleaning)? Were you up front and honest with them and told them you didn’t know how to clean it but you would find out? How do you know how to price something before you even know how to clean it?

In the past I have done my due diligence in finding solutions and have come across the mossy roof question before. I have seen this type of question answered on one of the other forums. I believe that I recall that many suggest that you let the mix kill the moss then walk away. If you try to agitate the moss off you may damage a shingle. If the mix kills the moss then it will die and eventually fall off. This process is not instant and may occur over several weeks. This is what I believe to be the answer that I came across. If I were in your shoes I would do my due diligence and search all related forums. The northern roof washers see this more from what I understand. It was either the grime or pt where I saw this topic discussed.

Pavers: So you could roof wash this and and then pressure wash it. A strong mix is going to kill this but you have to consider the landscaping around it. Tell them to apply some Round Up weed and grass killer, and that you will come by a week later,when you do the roof, and clean it when all that stuff is dead. I would just surface clean it. I don’t think I would turbo nozzle pavers.

Heavy moss is a whole different animal than black streaks and usually requires several trips over a month or longer time frame. Basically, you have to wash the roof every time and then go back every time and repeat the process. I usually pass on heavy moss or am very upfront with the customer so they in no way expect immediate results. It’s all about educating the customer. I usually charge a whole lot more for heavy moss for all the extra trips and cleaning. If you just charge a normal roof cleaning, you will go in the hole big time. Also, I also don’t collect any money till the moss is gone so that can take a month or two.

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i would agree with you on this if it was something complicated, like building a deck or painting a car. the stuff we are talking about is really simple. i already had a pretty good idea of how to do it, i already have the equipment to do both jobs, and I have a lot of experience cleaning a variety of surfaces in a variety of situations. I just needed a few pointers to make sure i’m doing it the best way possible. For what it’s worth, i told the customer with the mossy roof that I couldn’t guarantee what the final outcome would be, that I didn’t know what the shingles would look like under the moss.

as for pricing, I just threw really big numbers at both jobs and the clients went for it. i’m confident that part will work out.

so, thanks for the pointers. I think I’m good to go on these jobs.

I just took your saying wrong the way it was said. There is a ton of stuff I pass on just because I have learned what makes me money in my market and what doesn’t.

No worries. I’m a noob but im jumping in with both feet on this, so I’ll likely be asking lots of questions. I’ll try to read as much as I can in he archives first.

Thanks again for the feedback.

i have a pic of the pavers i’ll be trying to clean. they are a in pool deck/large patio space. i know i said before that they are tightly linked, but there is quite a bit of gap in the corners, where filler sand is exposed. we did some in another area with our surface washer and a lot of sand came loose. after giving the space a thorough rinse with a ball-valve it looked good.

however, i’m concerned about the all the sand that will potentially come out if i surface wash this area. also, the pavers completely surround the pool and it doesn’t look like i’ll be able to drain waste water off into the ground. it slopes toward the pool and the landscaping is bermed where it meets with the pavers.

any suggestions on how to clean this? what should i do about all the sand coming out of the pavers?

first off… this is a really dumb idea… if you have no idea what you are doing how do you know what to charge?
if it runs into the pool be prepared to have to clean the pool… or dam dike and divert…
yes when you do paver you will loose the sand, you will have to resand, be careful not to blast the base or you will be re paving the walk way :slight_smile: hopefully you don’t mess it up… im guessing you dont know how to do that either so:

  1. power wash
  2. spread sand with a broom - 50lbs covers roughly 75 SF, so hopefully you factored in that price for the sand, and the labor.
  3. compact with vibratory plate compactor - make sure you use a rubber pad… ( you can rent one from home depot…)
  4. top off sand as needed
  5. final sweep with blower to get sand on surface.

in the future - I would advise on investigating a little about what you are bidding on before you bid… it only takes one messed up job to bankrupt a company… messing up pavers and limestone can be rediculously costly…

ask before you bid - and youtube is your friend.

ok, got it. thanks for the advice.

Yeah…its all about setting expectations. I’m a pressure washer, not a landscaper or a pool cleaner…etc. Explain the run off issue, explain the sand loss…and whatever else you have going on. Let them know you are on their side and that it will be a big plus to have the area clean and renewed; however, you also let them know that these issues are projected side effects and that while you will take precautions, the situation is not perfect. Now you put that into black and white or if your like me you seal it with a handshake. So far so good with the handshake on little things like this. If they get squirrely about it…walk away.

Specialize, be an expert…the handyman makes less than a pressure washer. There’s a 1001 little jobs that people will try to get you hung up in, but washing a house every hour can’t be beat… yeah I know one an hour can be beat…but I’m just sayin’.

you were right that i was kind of in over my head on this one. had a conversation with the customer and adjusted her expectations. explained that a deep clean would require re-sanding and i couldn’t provide that service. we settled on a simple rinse to remove mud and debris, at a reduced rate. she was satisfied, we did the work without screwing anything up and I made out alright.

ended up making about $75/hour on this job. Not great, but still pretty good. And I learned a lot about my equipment and my limitations right now. next time i take on a job of this scale i’ll do a little more prep work to understand what i’m getting into…:confused:

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Thanks for rubbing it in