Many people who consider the pressure washing business do so because it is conceived to be a business that can be started with a very low investment. Simply buy a $500 pressure washer at Home Depot plus some bleach and detergent; throw it in the back of your pick up, and PRESTO, you’re in business.
For the most part this is true. However, by working smart, you can bury your competition and make a lot of money. Below is a story of how we built a successful business as exterior cleaning contractors.
Hello, my name is John White and I’m a retired HVAC and exterior cleaning contractor. In 1993 my buddy, Dick, was self employed, doing power washing work, Because Dick was not very mechanically inclined, he kept bugging me about helping him come up with a method to clean roof stains without using high pressure. Compared to the HVAC business, pressure washing did not seem very challenging to me, and I just could not get interested.
One day, after his numerous pleads I broke down agreed to help him his business. Dick had an open trailer, a pretty good pressure washer (13 HP, 3400 PSI) 200 feet of hose coiled up, a five gallon sheet rock bucket for mixing chemicals, a case of Clorox, some Dawn detergent and a couple ladders. This was his entire business.
I felt like his idea about the roof cleaning business offered the most promise if any money was to be made, as no one was doing it In 1993, I couldn’t even find any info on the new information highway (internet). My interest grew when Dick announced he had heard through a supplier of a company that was producing a chemical that would clean roofs with garden hose pressure. We promptly ordered a case and found the chemical did an excellent job cleaning, but garden hose pressure was not going to do the job, at least in a timely manner. All we needed was a little bit more pressure but nothing like the pressure produced by a power washer. We went to our local agriculture supply store and began buying pumps, motors, tanks and nozzles and put together a machine we thought would clean a roof. We must have spent $5,000 on pumps, regulators and other contraptions until we finally got it right.