Pressure Washing

For many years Window Works! provided pressure washing as part of our services. At the time construction was booming and the sheer number of people (mostly uninsured individuals) offering pressure washing simply drove the price down to a point that it made it impossible to carry insurance and still compete.

As is the case with most things in business, time has a way of balancing out an over supply and for the last 2 years we have been inundated with requests to offer pressure washing once again.

It may have taken us a while to respond, but you spoke, and we listened. Thank you so much for your vote of confidence. We are thrilled to once again be of service.

THE DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

The term “Pressure” washing is actually very misleading. When cleaning siding and painted wood the rule of thumb is 90% Chemical and 10% Pressure. The chemical is key when “pressure” washing a home and the “pressure” is a fraction of that when cleaning flat work like sidewalks and driveways. If you have ever had someone pressure wash your home and they “blasted” away, they clearly did not have the knowledge or experience to do what they were doing.

Flat work (driveways, sidewalks, patios) is just the opposite – 10% Chemical and 90% Pressure. There is however some caution with that rule. We have seen where individuals have tried to compensate for an under-powered machine by using a high pressure tip that oscillates a pinpoint stream (called a zero degree or Turbo tip). Truthfully, any legitimate pressure washing company would never use one of these tips, but it is worth mentioning for your knowledge.

HOW PRESSURE WASHING AFFECTS YOUR WINDOWS

As window cleaners we can always tell when a customer has recently had their house pressure washed. We can tell because there is a milky white residue on the glass from the bleach that was never rinsed thoroughly.

This is just wrong. Bleach, better known as Sodium Hypochlorite, is technically a liquid salt. Bleach is incredibly corrosive and in full strength can eat through wood, metal – even eat away at the surface of your concrete driveway if left alone (not to mention can etch your window glass).

Anyone who has ever done laundry KNOWS how hard it is to get bleach off your hands. Bleach is a nasty product, but — absolutely nothing will “KILL” the mold, mildew and green algae like plain old bleach.

Ask 10 different companies and you will get 10 different answers as to how best to clean your home. As a rule, it is our preference to pressure wash your home PRIOR to cleaning your windows – but for us the bleach residue has NEVER presented a problem. We can even pressure wash your home AFTER the windows have been cleaned without issue. The reason is fairly simple and something we learned from an “old timer” many years ago. His solution – just add soap.

Soap, ANY soap, by definition “wraps” itself around a dirt or oil molecule so you can rinse it away with water – period. Be it laundry detergent, shampoo, dish soap – it’s all the same concept. This is what soap does.

By adding simple dish soap to the cleaning solution the “bleach” can still do its job and penetrate to kill out the Bacteria (mold, mildew, algae). but when you come back for a final rinse the soap will “suds up” and virtually wash away any bleach residue.

 

______ PRICING

DRIVEWAYS AND SIDEWALKS

First, actual quotes are free and you don’t even need to be home. No surprise and no hard sell. Basic price for pressure washing a driveway is based on how may “car spaces” there are. That is where we start, but the price for your driveway will vary greatly depending on it’s shape. At first glance you may think that it’s the size that matters, but that is only part of the equation. The price is actually based on time.

A straight 2 car wide driveway for example is actually far easier than a winding driveway. Imagine trying to paint a square versus a circle. The time spent going back and forth making a 3′ wide path within a square would be much quicker than cleaning a square within the circle, then having to clean the 4 odd shaped remaining fragments.

The same holds true for sidewalks. It’s easy to look at a sidewalk and imagine that would equal a “Car space”. But sidewalks require trimming both edges, and that is far more time consuming for the small amount of square footage that you are actually covering.

In the end, the price for driveways, sidewalks and patios (flatwork) breaks down to around $16-$19 per car space. The low end of that range would be a straight forward rectangular shape (very little trim work) and on the high end would be an irregular shape driveway where we spend as much time cleaning all of the odd, small cut outs as we would the bulk of the driveway. A typical sidewalk and front steps will range from $30-$50 and a small back patio generally about the same.

HOUSES

When you consider the endless variations between any 2 homes (brick, vinyl siding, partial brick, stucco, Hardiplank) it makes it extremely difficult to provide a one size fits all pricing on homes. That said, it is still possible to provide a  reasonably good estimate based on the square footage of your home.

We have a Minimum Charge to pressure wash any home of $150. Homes up to 2500 square feet typically run no more $150 – but may be slightly more if the home has a basement.

Homes from 2500 square feet to 3500 square feet range from $175-$225. Again, the variance depends greatly on if you also have a basement.

Homes from 3500-5000 square feet will run from $225-$275. (If you are doing the math, yes an all brick 4000 square foot home on a slab may actually cost less than a 3500 square foot with 4 sides of siding and a basement).

To be fair homes over 5000 square feet are difficult to give a ball park price. Again, an actual on site inspection is free and we never require someone to be at home just for us to look and provide you an actual price.

SIDE NOTE: We encourage you to shop around, and you have every right to get what you pay for. But there is simply NO business out there who can pressure wash your home for $99 AND be insured. It is simply not mathematically possible.  When the industry is at $200 and someone quotes you half that, use your better judgement.