Powerwashing start up

Hi everyone,I’ve been on here for a while now and am thinking about adding powerwashing.would like to know how that works out for other people?I would assume that it is a good add on as I see a lot of window cleaners seem to be doing it.I would like to know what the learning curve is on powerwashing.I don’t want to just start out practicing on customers houses and make people mad because I don’t know what I am doing.I have thought about this for a while.Is there a certain pricing structure or certain ways to bid .Obviously it would depend on size of house etc.What is the bare minimum I would need to get started.As far as money goes on average what would I need minimum to get say a halfway decent set up?Do you typically use customers water?Do I really need to have a tank etc.Any help would be appreciated!

Spend a few weeks reading the archives on the sister site to WCR, pressurewashingresource.com (btw, I’m @infinity on PWR. I spend a lot more time on that forum vs. this one, even though I’m still primarily a window cleaner)

I would say the initial learning curve is steeper for pw’ing than for wc’ing. I would plan on researching 2-3x as much before diving in. There’s a lot more that can go wrong from ignorance.

But once you understand the concepts involved, and the do’s and don’ts, the actual work is easier. Way less physically demanding. You can usually tell the difference between a pressure washer and a window cleaner by their waist size :joy:.

Margins are much higher than for wc’ing, as well, provided you set yourself up properly for it. Investment wise, you can get started with a decent setup for around 3-5k, and make it back in a week if you hustle.

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I read a LOT of the PWR forums before I started, and I watched a lot of youtube videos before I started. Everyone has different methods for how they do what they do, but the principles are mostly the same. In my opinion, the best thing you can do for yourself so that you do not get discouraged is get a contractor grade pressure washer, at least 4-5gpm depending on what you can afford. Make sure it has a Honda engine on it; with 4-5gpm it will probably be a GX390 engine. They are bulletproof and start first pull almost every time. I drove to the huge convention last year in Atlanta from Boston, and one of the vendors in the trade show was North Georgia Airless. He gave me a great show special where I got a 4200psi 4gpm gx390 washer with a titan hose reel, 3 50ft lengths of hose, a wand, and he even threw in a J-rod attachment for my wand. Before this jobs were taking FOREVER and not giving superior results because I was using a Home Depot off the shelf model that I thought was hot shit at the time because it was about $450. I paid if I recall about $1600 for everything from airless, and from the moment I fired that bad boy up on my first job I used it on, I had a HUGE smile on my face because it kicks so much ass compared to the Home Depot model I was using. You’ll be excited if you get a really nice model because you’ll WANT to use it so you’ll find more work for it to do. You’ll get into soft washing which is very profitable and a GREAT add on for window cleaning because you sell them on the house wash and then add on a window cleaning after. Then you’ll want to get a surface cleaner, and when you do that, you’ll flip out again because you can pull up and clean a patio that’s 20’x30’ in about 30-40 minutes and charge the customer $125-150 for it and they won’t even bat an eye at the price because they’ll be too busy smiling while they’re staring at the patio.

Go for it. Just do your research first. You don’t need the hose reel to start off with, or 150’ of hose (unless you can afford it, then it just makes life easier!), just get the machine, 50’ of hose, and get to it. Just READ and google terms you don’t understand like unloader, SH, upstream, downstream, direct drive vs belt drive. The guys on the PWR forums are VERY knowledgeable, but they like to kick guys in the balls that don’t use the search function first because they probably get at least 1-2 people a day who start a new thread saying “I want to start a PW company! what do I do first, guys?!” and then they start to trash him right away and tell him to use the search function.

but yeah, like Alex said, margins are way higher, but you also have gas, machine maintenance, equipment and associated tools for a PW cost a lot more than a squeegee and even some waterfed poles.

Hi Timothy,

I do both WC and PW, as @Infinity does.

His advice is top notch.

Call or email me anytime and we can chat about the whole process of getting setup.

Jordie
PWRA/WCR Product Specialist
862 312 2633
jordie@windowcleaningresource.com

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This is how I’ve been rolling since I’ve started. I have 2 4gpm direct drive machines
I’ve made a lot of money with this set up.

At the end of this year I’m buying a new pick up an I’m getting a drop in skid 8gpm with electric reels 1/2 horse power booster pump with a proportioner
After all the years of busting it with this set up I’m ready for the rig, An can’t wait
In like a kid waiting to open his Xmas presents the day before.

I use to come off my reels but that 150’ of pressure hose blew. I have it , but just haven’t had the time to put it on i

I’m with Alex read learn an get out there an start doing some house washes.
I read for 8 months straight non stop my wife wanted to leave me. Lol !!! JK !!!

An remember something …I don’t care what anyone says. If it’s something you don’t feel comfortable doing just let them know not my area of expertise. I don’t do wood. I don’t do restoration work. I don’t do commercial. I don’t do staining. I don’t do re-sanding
It’s crazy sone people want to tell you o. These forums that you have to do everting. Lmao :joy:. Ya ok pal !!

Stamped concrete
Told him I don’t clean Stamped concrete. He said no problem do the house an fence

Why is that?
there about 1/4 of the driveways I do

I never come across them . All my years never has anyone had one, or called asking to clean. This is the first one, so I just told him the truth. Not comfortable cleaning it.
What’s your process Steve ?
I would assume a hot mix an a rinse Would of worked , but better safe then sorry in my eyes.

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I have been a long time WC and just took up PW last October.

It’s been a journey, let me tell you. Once I got a little ‘street cred’ on the PW forum I’ve been able to really get things going with equipment and techniques.

Word of advice…READ EVERYTHING first before asking a question, otherwise the wolves on there come out and rip you a new one if it’s already been answered.

Another piece of advice, get a BELT DRIVE unit that is FULLY PLUMBED. Do NOT get a direct drive, period. You’ll want to use a buffer tank and direct drives struggle with them.

Got to disagree with the direct drive. If your doing this as an add on , there is no reason why you couldn’t start out with a direct drive. I’ve hooked up to the customers source since I’ve started. I’ve only went through one pump
If your doing this as a full time gig , then I’d say go 8gpm an nothing less
If I were to do it all over again I would do everything the same direct drive , surface cleaner , build it , then get the rig with the higher GPM
Don’t get me wrong Nothing wrong with starting out with the belt drive , but you don’t have to.
I know everyone else says different, but these are guys that are doing power washing all day every day.
When I first started I wa doing mire window cleaning than PW , not it’s 50/50

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Maybe I should clarify. Around here I’d say one in four houses have very weak water flow, especially those on well or just being in a 100 year old house. I tried doing one with my 4/4200 DD and the thing was starving for water. Heck yesterday’s WC/PW job only put out 2.5gpm.

If I started with a 4/4 belt drive and buffer tank I would have been much better off.

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Surface clean, post treat with 2% mix, same as most driveways.

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I feel like I’m in a drama… That is so funny LOL only certain people understand what that means. You said that as you were moving the furniture :joy:

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i throw those little tidbits in to find my peeps. lol

Hit me up anytime friend!
Jordie
862 312 2633

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Thanks guys! All really great advice! I am a thinker like many of us on here.I will continue to research until ready.I will more than likely give some of you guys a call,and keep researching before i start.I don’t want to ruin my 5 star reviews by screwing up someones house.Reviews of a company are very important.