Fire Equipment Cleaning – A Nice Power Washing Ancillary Service to Offer

Let’s say you own a power washing company and all of a sudden all your customers call up and they don’t want you to clean their fleets of trucks, concrete, buildings, or anything else; the reason? There are big wildfires going on in the area and the soot and ash is getting all over everything, therefore there’s no sense in cleaning everything because it will be dirty the next day. All your customers will call you up and scream and yell to have you clean everything as soon as the fires are put out in the area. How do you think I know this?

Well, before retirement I ran a franchising company and we sold franchised power washing units, and I can tell you there were franchisees that would call me up and tell me they couldn’t pay their royalties that month because of the fires. That’s when we developed a strategy to clean fire equipment, and it turned out to be great. Did you know that when firefighting equipment drives off-road that they pick up noxious weeds and vegetation underneath the vehicle and on the tires?

Well, the reason they call them noxious weeds is that it is imperative that they stay in that area and are not brought into another area where they might grow as an invasive new species in a different ecosystem. In other words it all has to stay where it is and cannot hitch a ride on a fire vehicle going somewhere else. That means you have to clean the underside of vehicles, the tires, and rinse them off to make sure that nothing leaves the area.

After the firefighting vehicles are done they are off to fight the next fire, or the continuation of the current fire. They need to be cleaned off quickly so they can go to the next location, remember time is of the essence during these natural disasters and crisis. Speaking of crisis, there is always opportunity in crisis, if you own a pressure washing or power washing company you should be able to get the contract to clean all this equipment and stay busy while your other customers don’t want you to service their accounts anyway.

In other words you have the opportunity to make a ton of money doing this ancillary work and these extra services when you normally would have been sitting on your butt waiting for the fire to be put out before you could go back to work. Not only that, but you might have so much work that you can pay your guys overtime, and they will appreciate the extra work as much as you do. Please consider all this and think on it.

Night Time Power Washing Safety Tips

Most of us have watched that TV show; The Dirtiest Jobs in America. Well, there was also a TV series a decade or so ago called; America’s Most Dangerous Jobs. I remember when I watched that show that I had considered that some of the jobs I’ve done in my life that had been fairly dangerous in my business doing power washing and high pressure hot water cleaning. In fact I was reminded of this recently.

You see, not long ago, I read an interesting Google+ post by Kimberly Wilson about a guy who’d been convicted of attacking someone with a pressure washer. Power washers can be quite dangerous up close, especially with a narrow degree tip in the gun. Hot water pressure washers are not alone in the dangerous tools category, consider an air powered nail gun, plenty of stories of injuries with those on construction sites. And of course the Chipper Shredders, we’ve all heard of those gruesome tales.

Anyway, after considering her post on December 13, 2014 about an ABC News story on March 21, 2013 by Conner Kiesel of News 5 Ohio titled; “71-year-old Akron man pleads guilty to power washer assault, sentenced to jail,” it did bring back some memories.

“Oh my gosh!” I thought to myself. Well, I can remember once, I was power washing in the middle of the night and some gang-bangers came along screwing with me, threatening me, I always kept a ZERO TIP in my pocket in case. I snapped it in and was ready just in case, they finally left after I talked them down, but I was ready, adrenal glands going, and 180 degrees of pure hell, locked and loaded. I am sure this is a common situation we’ve all had over the years, that is to say anyone working nights doing pressure washing.

In a way a hot water pressure washer with a 0-degree tip is just like a regular gun, but water is the bullet, and the bullet keeps going for as long as you’re pointing it at something and pulling on the trigger. Yes, it can rip gum off the sidewalks, drill holes in walls, or hurt someone severely if you were to point at a human being.

That’s just what almost happened in the story above, and something I was almost forced to do myself when accosted by the gang bangers, this before the Stand Your Ground Law. I’m glad it worked out for me, and I hope other power washers and hot water pressure washer employees and owners will consider this and play it safe.

Power Washing Advice for the 3 Most Common Areas of Your Property

At some point, every homeowner struggles with stains on the roof, dirty siding, and a worn out deck. Fortunately, if you have a little time and the right equipment, it is a simple task to remove stains and restore a newer look. There are a few important things to remember before you start cleaning.

Not doing the job properly can result in permanent damage to your property and may require replacement of damaged pieces. So you want to make sure you know exactly what you are doing to avoid any mishaps.

1: Roof

Many homeowners across the American Southeast and parts of the Midwest have had to combat a roof bacteria known as gloeocapsa magma, a form of ancient cyanobacteria. Typically, roof sections which do not get early sun hold onto morning dew longer and create a perfect atmosphere for moisture-loving cyanobacteria.

Removing the black stain these bacteria create requires a low pressure power washing to avoid damaging roof tiles. While roof tiles are very hardy and can take a higher pressure, there is a chance that older tiles will be damaged by high pressure or a nozzle closer than six inches.

You can clean off these stains with a 25 degree nozzle at 2,500 PSI, but you may want to test on a single shingle at a time so that you can determine what pressure will work best for your roof. You may also want to consider cleaning chemicals and a soft bristle brush to remove any remnants.

2: Decks

Cleaning a deck with a power washer can be a daunting prospect. As anyone who has handled a pressure washing system knows, it is very easy to damage or destroy what you are trying to clean. A wooden deck can be chewed to pieces if you don’t use the proper settings.

Typically, you will want to use a 45 degree nozzle at about 3,000 PSI. The most important thing to remember is to keep the nozzle far enough away from the deck that you are not removing pieces of the wood itself.

Once the wood has been cleared of dirt, lichens, or stains you can let it dry before applying stains or deck treatments. Remember that while it may be tempting to pressure wash your deck in the summer barefoot, even a low pressure power washer can break the skin so always wear appropriate foot protection.

3: Siding

Using a pressure washer on siding is a fairly delicate process compared to a deck or roof. If your siding is painted, you want to use a lower pressure washer with a 45 degree nozzle and keep it no closer than 12 inches from the surface. Any closer and you risk removing the paint rather than just cleaning the surface.

For unpainted surfaces, a 3,000 PSI washer could be used so long as care is taken. Always remember when cleaning siding to clean along the siding. For horizontal siding, clean side to side. Cleaning up and down on horizontal siding with a pressure washer could damage the siding or even peel it away from the house.

For safety reasons, you should never stand on a ladder when using a pressure washer. If you have a second story to clean, you should purchase or rent an extension for the pressure washer.

Because of the climate in Raleigh, power washing your roof is a great way to combat the gloeocapsa magma that loves to grow in the mild weather. Plenty of sunshine also means faded decks which need to be cleaned and refinished.

Even aluminum or cedar siding can collect dirt, tree sap, and bird droppings which can harden and become nearly impossible to remove with anything but pressurized water. So long as you know how to safely use a pressure washer, it can be a great tool for maintaining the aesthetic value of your property and keeping your house exterior well-maintained.