What did I do wrong

Hello everyone. So I am fairly new to running my own business however I have been involved with pressure washing for nearly 2 years. I did a year of studying on these forums and worked for an established company for a little.

I am about a month into having my own business and just received my first customer complaint. Mind you I have done work like I did for this customer on many other houses and never had an issue.

On Friday (9/1) I did a fence cleaning on a white PVC fence. The fence was pretty bad but when I left it looked brand new, however today, Monday, the customer emailed me saying the grass around the fence looked stressed.

My process includes, using a 4gpm machine, down streaming from a 5 gallon bucket (3gallon 12.5% : 2gallon water & surfactant-red pro by Pressure Pro), pre rinse grass, clean, post rinse fence and grass.

I have done many other fences and house washing with this solution and set up and never had any complaints. When I use to work for the other company we would downstream straight 12.5% and never had an issue!

The customer has not yet sent me any photos and I am scheduled to go look at her property tomorrow. I just sit here scratching my head because I have done the same process as many of my other jobs and have not had an issue. I had two other house washing jobs Friday’s and the customers didn’t have any complaints on my Follow Up calls.

Any advice on maybe what I did wrong or on how to handle this situation would be much appreciated. I greatly respect everyone’s advice and experience in this forum. Thank you in advance!

I usually tell my customers before hand that my soaps may yellow their grass but I water the hell out of then to try and avoid that. Just in case. Your obviously past that part. Take a look and let him know that the grass will come back and to just water it a little more for the next week. Worst case scenario go back in a month and scratch some seed in. Fall is optimal grass growing season.

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That is a very good idea I will incorporate into the future. Giving them a warning might help prevent them getting into the panic phase. It was St. Augustine grass which I thought was a little bit stronger of a grass so I am surprised that it stunned it. I like the seed idea though, much better than laying sod!

Here are the photos the home owner sent me, any thoughts?

That’s not bad at all! Get one of those $5 miracle gro for lawns that goes on the end of the hose and tell him it’ll be completely normal in 2 weeks.


I like that idea a lot! We are about to have some serious rain here in Florida so I am tempted to ask her to let it sit for a week to see how it recovers. If it still looks like that then I will definitely hit it with some miracle grow. Or do you think I should just hit it now before the rain?

Not sure. I usually call the company when I have questions like that. I’m not a lawn wizard by any means. lol I pay someone to mow my yard every two weeks even though I should have it done weekly. I’d go with a rock garden from corner to corner if I could.

Anyway, If you don’t feel like calling Miracle Gro, ask someone in the garden center at Home Depot or wherever you stop to pick some up or read the jug.

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Agreed. Like squid said not a big deal. Some people are just nitpicky. The wall is literally on the grass so some damage is to be expected. You prob sould have let them know before hand but its not a big deal. The grass will heal itself after some time. Just explain to them that bleach breaks down into salt and it tends to throw off the ph in soil a bit but not to worry because at this point it is non toxic and the grass will heal it self. If youre into it you could send them a coupon in a week or so. And following up with them once a week until they’re happy with the grass will show that you care.


I appreciate the feedback! Yes I definitely plan on following up with them weekely until she is happy. She left me a 5 star review that day after I did it, and I don’t want to do anything wrong and lose that. Lord knows how one bad review can really throw things off for a business especially if you’re new

Cool. Glad I could help. You’re definitely right about the bad reviews. When it comes to cleaning most or or Don’t really know or care if you did a good job (That’s what you’re supposed to do…right) But everyone notices that one spot you missed.

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That’s not too bad, but always tell the homeowner it may happen, then no big deal. Hot hox was your mix?

Were you actually downstreaming or using an x-jet?

Your saying 3 gallons of SH to 2 gallons of H2O.

If your using an x-jet that’s a strong mix.

Hey Racer, I was using 3 gallons of SH (12.5) and 2 gallons water and was down streaming. I don’t own an x-jet. I thought this was a perfect mix as it was taking 5 or so minutes to start noticing a difference. I tried 2 gallons of SH and 3 gallons of water and it was just taking too long.


That mix is fine. Just rare it affects the grass that much, especially if you rinsed before. But it’ll be fine, that’s not bad at all. If you’d mentioned to her before, would have never been an issue. You learned something, so it’s all good.


Indeed I did, constantly learning something every day in this industry but that’s why I enjoy it because it keeps me on my toes. Thanks for all the advice everybody

That grass will be fine. It’s just under stress right now from the SH, DO NOT fertilize it now with ANYTHING. It will pop back out in a week or 2. Florida has got some heavy rain in the forecast and I believe you’ll be just fine. (10+yrs lawn service and landscaping experience)


Ok noted! I will wait on fertilizing and see what happens after this heavy rain. Customer agreed to wait for about a week so the storm can pass first. I will update this thread in a week to give an update on the grass. I am much more relaxed now after everyone saying it is going to be ok lol

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Good info to know. Bookmarked.

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Well, I’m curious.
How did it turn out?

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I have been using 1 gallon 8.5 sh to 4 gallons water for my mix, no surfactant. I do double coats and it takes much of it off. I am thinking about using 1.t gallons and a surfactant. My mix feels super weak and I think this would work better if it was stronger.

I use an x jet with no proportener. I used the black one but lost it.

I only use about half a gallon per house.