A major way to grow your landscaping business is to offer more services. This will bring in new clients as well as ensure loyalty among existing clients since they can get more done with a single phone call.
Pressure washing is one of those simple tasks that is easy to add to your current business model. You often only need to purchase a cold water pressure washer and give your staff some short training to integrate this service into your current offerings.
The landscaping around a home refers to the living components: the grass, garden beds, and trees for example. Hardscaping is the paved areas, such as concrete or brick patios, drives and paths, or garden statuary. Clean hardscaping makes the landscape look nicer and better kept, which can make your clients happier. A pressure washer removes dirt, algae, and mold stains.
Most home patios are made of concrete, brick, or paving stones. The proper pressure for washing these materials is about 3,000 PSI. Any less may not get out the dinginess, while higher pressure may cause damage. Use a wide-angled tip for cleaning paved areas, particularly on brick. You can use a narrow tip for major stains, but avoid using it on any grout or mortar as it may dislodge it.
Driveways and Walkways
Driveways are typically concrete or asphalt, while walkways will likely be concrete or pavers. Asphalt is softer than concrete, so only use about half the pressure on asphalt as you would on concrete in order to avoid damage.
When cleaning paver paths, you may need to reapply the sand in the joints once you are done cleaning because the high pressure can wash it away. Since paver sand does need reapplying periodically, this can be an additional service package to offer your clients.
Concrete statuary, including lawn ornaments, garden structures, and fountains, can become quite soiled and stained over time — especially if plants grow upon them. Offering to clean statuary can attract more clients. Although most statuary is concrete, start with a low-pressure setting and move up in PSI gradually. You don’t want to accidentally blast off any of the decorative details.
The exterior of the home provides the backdrop to the rest of the landscaping, so cleaning it is a natural service to add to your landscaping business offerings. Wood and vinyl deck, fence, and siding cleaning can easily be done with your cold water pressure washer. Avoid cleaning roofs and aluminum siding with a pressure washer, though, as damage can easily occur.
Vinyl fences require little maintenance, but they can become dingy or algae-stained over time. Pressure washing at a low to medium pressure removes the dirt and stains so the fence looks new again. Pressure washing at the low-pressure setting is also beneficial for wood fences. It can remove discoloration from weathering and sprinklers, as well as take off old paint in order to prep the surface for paint or weather sealing.
Vinyl, wood, and fiber cement siding are all suitable for pressure washing at lower PSI settings. The main caution with siding is to make sure that the water jet doesn’t go beneath the siding panels, as this can cause moisture issues inside the home. Only offer to pressure wash homes if the siding is in good condition with no disrepair.
Other than material, there is one other caution with siding. Only pressure wash panel-style siding. Do not offer this service to homes with shingle-style siding, as the high pressure can dislodge individual shingles and cause major damage.
Wood and vinyl decks can look like new after a pressure washing. Most decks are from soft woods like pine, which should only be pressure washed at 500 to 600 PSI. Vinyl decking can withstand slightly higher pressure, but start low and move up slowly to avoid accidental damage.
Tasks to Skip
Occasionally, a homeowner may request certain additional pressure washing tasks. You might need to decline because either the risk and liability is too high or the material isn’t suitable for pressure washing.
Some roofing services offer roof pressure washing, but these are trained roofers who have the skills and knowledge to safely clean a roof. There is a high risk of dislodging shingles or accidentally forcing water beneath the shingles, so you probably shouldn’t offer roof cleaning.
Old Painted Surfaces
Wood and metal surfaces painted prior to 1978, such as clapboard siding, run the risk of containing lead paint. You do not want to be responsible for releasing lead into the environment due to pressure washing these surfaces. Decline jobs that include old painted surfaces unless the homeowner can provide documentation that no lead is present.
If you’re ready to add pressure washing to your landscaping business’s list of services, contact Ben’s Cleaner Sales Inc. to learn more about the type of equipment you need.