How to start a pressure washing business
A pressure washing business can be very profitable and not as hard work as you may think
There is a surprisingly high number of people who require pressure cleaning services and these people are willing to pay “top dollar” for your services.
Why start a pressure washing business
Pressure cleaning can be hard and dirty work, but if you buy the right equipment you could find that its not that hard or dirty. The dirt is limited with the use of a rotary cleaning head which shields splashbacks, some are even on wheels so its effortless and you don’t even need to bend over so back pain has been eliminated. All you need to do is connect your hoses and attachments, start your pressure washer and WALK!! its that simple…
So if walking for a living and getting paid large amounts of cash sounds like a good business to be in then read on to find out what tools you need and more.
How much can you earn with a pressure cleaning business
Well depending on where you are in the UK, the prices for this service can vary. Also the type of work can have an effect on your rate such as private domestic work and commercial contract work.
Ill just go over private work because the variables with commercial work vary widely.
I’m in the north, the going rate for an average driveway is around £2.50/m2. so for the average semi detached driveway at around 100 metres squared would equate to £250. This type of driveway could be quite easily completed within 2hrs. That’s £125 per hour! This isn’t an exaggeration, you could easily fit 2-3 of these in per day.
What kind of work is out there?
When it comes to starting a pressure cleaning business you would usually decide what market you want to serve, Private/Commercial:
- GRAFFITI REMOVAL
- WALLS/FENCES etc
- FOOTPATHS & WALKWAYS
- PUBLIC AREAS
- GRAFFITI REMOVAL
- WALLS/FENCES etc
- CHEWING GUM REMOVAL
- WORKSITE CEMENT REMOVAL
What tools do you need to start a pressure cleaning business?
You will obviously need a van. But the type of van you neeed will depend on what type of work you are planning to take on. Commercial work is more likely going to need a very large tank, a large tank will need a large expensive van/pickup. A 1000l water tank once full will weight more than 1 tonne inc tank weight. Domestic work could be done in a smaller van because most domestic customers are perfectly fine with the fact that you need to plug into their water supply, thus not needing a large tank. This should be reflected in your price tho.
High power petrol/diesel pressure washer
Well this may go without saying but you need a high power petrol pressure washer. The reason you need a petrol pressure washer and not an electric one is because you need to be portable. If your customer has a large surface area and no plug point near your going to look pretty silly turning up expecting a mains connection.
So I personally don’t believe you need to go too excessive for the power of your fuel powered pressure washer, but would recommend a bar rating from 225 and a flow rate of 15 Litres per minute. This will be sufficent for your most stubborn of domestic drives and/or carparks etc.
If you are seeking to pick up mainly commercial work and don’t expect to be doing any private driveways then anywhere from a 30 litres per minute would work just fine.
A rotary cleaner is designed to do all the hard work for you, this isnt an optional extra if you are thinking of scrimping, you 100% need this tool. It not only allows you to clean upto 10x faster but it will leave the finish EVEN throughout without striping the surface.
These can be expensive but the better they are, the more time they usually save doing the work making you earn your money faster, which you WILL notice at the end of the week from those extra couple of jobs you managed to fit it.
1000L Water tank
Your water tank is going to be used frequently and will need to be atleast 1000L to be able to do portable work. Remember though, 1000l of water weighs 1 tonne so you need to make sure that your van can carry the weight.
If the 1000l water tank is far too big for your van I would suggest that you only take on private work and connect to their mains connection. For small jobs you could purchase a smaller tank at around 350l which would fit in most small vans fine and wouldnt be too much weight.
High pressure hose
It would be advised to get atleast 40metres of high pressure hose, most jobs will be large surface work and you will need to reach that full are from a static point (your van). If you aren’t likely to be able to connect to mains then make sure you have enough hose.
You will need to brush down driveways, carparks etc before cleaning so dispose of any debris which will just turn to sludge whilst cleaning.
You will need to douse your surface with a cleaning agent before your start to pressure cleanin your surface. This isn’t compulsory for every job because the pressure washer will do the hard work.
This will ensure that your surface is free from algae, weeds etc for the future. Check with the chemical brand first for suitability. Make sure its pet friendly, check it wont deteriorate any garden furniture and check how long it lasts because you can re-do it afterwards.
Extra hose attachments
Always keep plenty of extra hose attachments because you will find that some attachments will break or lose their seal which is really not a good position to be in. Cheack the seals on all your attachments regularly.
You will also want to consider domestic kitchen tap attachments for domestic work, this comes in handy for people who dont have an outside tap.
You will need to quote for work, going out to peoples homes or visiting the work will require your measurements to be exact. Work is usually calculated in metres squared.
Extra fuel cans
Your fuel will not last all day, maybe not even the whole job! make sure you take extra cans with you on every single job just in case.
The best way to market this kind of business would be to speak to people. Hire door to door canvassers or do it yourself. Post leaflets. Tell everyone what you are doing, its one of those type of businesses which require you to show people that they really do need your services. Most people can and do go years with a green slippery driveway and never even thought that it can be cleaned to like new condition. Its your job to tell them!
It always a good idea to have a website which is marketed for search engines because the number of people who do realise that their driveway is filthy or that they need your services will look online for a solution, make sure they see you first!
Once you have a website you will need to look into search engine optimisation or hire a proffesional marketing service which will help people find your business in google and other search engines.
If you are serious about starting your own driveway cleaning business or commercial cleaning business then get the tools, get a website, Hire an online marketing service and tell EVERYONE what you are doing online and offline. You can view our very own pressure cleaning businesses here.