New to the profession, questions?

Hello all, new here, lurking about a week.

Some backround on me. Started out pressure washing my truck, then decided to give my parents house a go. The results were great, it was nothing but cold water, no soap, nothing. Worked like a charm. Restored to new looking conditions. Pics are included. It also sparked an idea for a business.

Going to throw a lot of info at you guys, sorry. Thank you In advance.

My situation/area is quite different than most. NYC area. These houses are old(100+ years), made out of brick, brownstone/ limestone. No wood/vinyl almost anything. The yards could be slate/concrete, these buildings usually have algae/ lichen growth. Sidewalks have any and everything, gum, grease, and are generally filthy.

These houses are all also upwards of $2.5 million, and are row houses, meaning they all touch. So “doing a house” here would possibly involve the sidewalk (25’x10’ max), the stoop or steps, 5-20 steps, and yard, 10’x10. I believe I could get $250-400 for this.

Seeing that this is old and delicate stone, the owners are affluent, environmentally conscious, and very particular, and the houses are close together, what would be the best applications?

Right now I have a Semi beat up Briggs and Stratton 2.5 gpm 2650 psi gas. Carb problem at the moment but when it works it works very well and seems strong enough for these types of jobs. I know it would not be adequate in the future and am going to get something new soon. I’m not cheap and I prefer having quality equipment.

Ex. Cold vs hot
Soap vs no soap?
What kinda of soap?
Surface cleaner attachment? What size?
What is SH?
What is ‘downstreaming’ and what are the benefits?
Earning potentials in large cities?
What kind of insurance do you need? (Should be at the top)

Again I’m sorry for the wall of text, I just have a lot of questions and you guys seem very helpful. I’ve already learned a bit from looking around. I don’t see much direct competition in my area and the potential for commercial business/ government city work is very large around here. Property values are extremely high, and new shiny buildings are everywhere.



Hi Bill, welcome.

It’s better if you use the search function, to learn the basics. Everything we could type has been answered many times, and probably in greater detail, on forums like this.

Search those basic terms here, and on google… for example, type ‘downstreaming pressure washing forum’ on google, and you will get lots of hits.

SH = sodium hypochlorite = bleach. Generally only need heat for commercial/oil removal/grease removal/gum. 4GPM is the recommended minimum for doing this work… 2500 PSI generally sufficient for residential, 3000-3500+ for commercial.

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Forgive me I should have been more specific.

I am mostly referring to old stone, brownstone/ limestone. i have not found sufficient info through google.
This stuff is delicate old and expensive. Wondering if anyone has had experience with it and what did they use to not “damage” it.

No offense, but what was more specific about that? It’s the same thing you said in your first post. My answer is the same… I found all these threads in about 5 minutes, two were from this forum, and there were others from here i didnt link.

Search google for pressure washing forums, then go to each one and type ‘limestone’ into the search bar. That’s the best way to learn the basics, IMO.



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Tireshark is spot on with using the search feature here and other places. You may need to reword your questions sometimes to get the answer you need. My one other suggestion is to read lots of different posts because there are people that post that don’t know their a$$ from first base so disregard the outliers. i.e If 10 posts suggest doing X and 2 guys suggest doing Y ( and they can’t support it) go with X. There is some serious nonsense on line. You have to read a lot to figure out who is legit verses who is just typing. Good Luck

Not to beat a dead horse but I went back and read every one of the suggested posts. I have had no problem “yet” with limestone but i read everything just in case. Again, good luck/

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True. The search engine on this forum platform is much better than I expected. Im used to the 2002 forum styles so I just figured I wouldn’t find anything if I searched, I was wrong, as you said lots of info. This forum also was not high in my google results for just PW, for whatever reason.

And yes I did join here because it seemed like the most professional/honest take on this stuff, I am learning, thank you guys.

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Like bing?

Bing is very very good at search for… Umm… Mature content that Google flags from their search engine. Lol

That’s acually why bing was invented and then MS bought it and rebranded it as “bing” lol

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As a long time lurker on this site and planning to start running as a new company in Spring of ‘18, First I want to say that many successful company owners have given (patiently) and continue to give great advice to newbies here. Many thanks for that.

And yes…Just about every topic you might have a question about awaits you in the search bar.

One thing that I do and would suggest to others is to create your own search folder on everything that you will encounter in this industry. You can have it on your phone or print it out.For example have something under “LIMESTONE” and what about “SLATE” ? All this while you’re on the how to clean natural stone topic. Just my two cents


Stay away from advice on Facebook. A lot of info is either intentionally wrong or from people who have no idea what they are doing.

Ditto for forums. Even this one. Lessons learned/proved on my own are about the only ones I trust

What i like about this forum is that people are quick to correct, so as long as you read a lot here anyone should learn something