Pressure Washing Business – The Difference Between Residential and Commercial Cleaning

I started in power washing as a residential washer. It was my immediate plan to concentrate on siding washes and deck and fence restoration, rare-chems with a little bit of commercial work in fleets and some flat work. Writing those first two sentences reminds me how little I knew about  the pressure washing business starting out, which reminds me why I am writing these articles in the first place: People need better inside information to decide whether or not to enter this field.

I soon found that I was doing a low but fairly steady number of residential building washes, and a large number of deck restorations, world-arms and an even larger amount of commercial flatwork. After a few years learning my trade, and better understanding the requirements of my potential customers, I began to land some commercial building washes, mostly warehouses, especially precast concrete.
Precast concrete warehouses are easily cleaned, depending on what contaminants are on them, but there are some significant digressions from residential pressure washing methods you should be aware of before you bid or start on cleaning one. legalroids

First off is the question of scale. When you have determined the best removal method for the soil on any building, you then have to estimate how much you will need. I have found that it is good to pad my estimate a bit on commercial buildings. It seems that they always take a bit more chemical than the surface area calculations would suggest, especially in surfactant. This is probably due to the sheer height of the average warehouse, tobabet4d-slot. and to the porosity of the concrete substrate. More cling to keep the chemicals working on the surface longer is a definite plus.

Also plan on moving slowly, more slowly than you might believe necessary. The tall, unbroken walls of warehouses dry quickly in any breeze, and unlike most residences, there usually is no landscaping or nearby trees to provide windbreaks or shade. Both of these factors increase the drying speed of your solution, and require you to rewet to keep the chems lively and working. metrowaterblasting

Another factor the increased height will affect is the need for a lift. No matter what method you use to apply chems to a residence, you will probably need a lift to do a good job on a multistory commercial building. This is because the commercial building is much more likely to have large structures protruding from the walls high above the ground, and these structures often prevent even the best chemical shooters from having a direct shot at large areas of high wall. This causes uneven or non-application of your mix, and can increase chem. consumption and overspray to unacceptable levels. yanitor

A lift will get you right up near the wall you are working on, allowing you to shoot highly concentrated chemicals right where they are required. It will also allow you to avoid many of the ground-level obstacles such as loading docks, break tables, dumpsters, and parked vehicles that can interfere with your ability to evenly apply tour mixture where it is needed.

With a lift comes the requirement for at least one assistant. On a residential job it is easy enough to mind your own hose, and machinery, since you are rarely far from the rig and getting to it requires only a quick step. In a man-lift, coming down may be an involved operation, and a ground man adds a level of safety as somebody who can summon assistance, or tend the hose so that the lift operator can concentrate on the job at hand.

In fact, when operating a lift, a second person in the lift can be helpful to operate it in tight areas as the person on the wand concentrates on cleaning the substrate. In any event, a person to tend to concerns on the ground is a necessary part of most large commercial taxi39000

There is another personnel related issue present in commercial cleaning that sets it apart from residential work: People trying to do their jobs in and around the building.

I recently was cleaning gutter-troughs on a five-story warehouse, when a heating and air-conditioning tech came and set up directly below my lift. He was there to start inspections and maintenance, and because he had always begun the job at the specific machine I was working over, he was going to start there that day as well.

It only took a few moments for my ground guy to show him how unpleasant that was going to be for him, and he realized he was just used to starting where he had. He happily enough moved to a unit around the corner, and we never saw one another all day.

Employees of the property owner can also be in the way as they try to get their jobs done, and sometimes can be openly hostile. I have found it best to have the managers prepare them ahead of time, and to try to arrange to not work in the same areas I need to work in. It sometimes helps to schedule the work for off-hours, or to schedule the job to minimize conflict. For instance, if the dock area is busiest at one time, and largely unused at another, try working in the dock area during the slower times. Common sense goes a long way.

 

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