How to start a Pressure Washing Business

How to start a Pressure Washing Business

Ruling the residential and commercial market, the cleaning industry has seen a boom in the last decade and is expected to grow even faster in the coming years. With the increasing number of construction projects in the residential market and the rapidly increasing popularity of car washing stations in the USA, Europe and rest of the world, pressure washing has become one of the most profitable businesses in the last few years.

Out of all the cleaning techniques, pressure washing has gained popularity due to its cost-effectiveness and efficiency.

Pressure washing, also known as power washing, can be defined as the process of using high–pressure water to clean mud, dirt, dust, mold, grime etc. from surfaces and objects such as vehicles, floors, concrete, buildings etc.  

Depending on the pressure and applications, washing is divided further into three further categories namely soft wash, pressure wash and power wash.

Soft washing technique is normally performed for gentle surfaces and structures. Conducted with a pressure up to 500 PSI, this technique is assisted by various cleaning agents. Although it proves to be effective for many applications, soft wash fails to remove tough stains and contaminants. 

Pressure washing technique is used to remove tough stains such as paint deposits, grime, dust etc. Performed with pressure up to 1500 PSI or above, this technique is efficient for car washing, construction etc. In most of the applications, water alone performs the major task of cleaning. However, in some cases cleaning agents are used to perform the task efficiently.

Power washing can be defined as pressure washing done with hot water. Used to remove oil, grease and grime, hot water helps in melting the tough molecules of stains and lowering the surface tension. Performed at a higher temperature the end-user needs a heat-resistant hose to perform power washing. 

But, as easy as it may sound, we need to plan well in advance before starting a pressure washing business. Let’s dive deep into the step by step process of making a business in this industry.

Here is a step by step guide to start a pressure washing business: 

We all have heard of the quote, ‘Rome was not built in a day’ and it stands true when we are starting a business. We need to understand the importance of this step in order to flourish in our business journey. A raw idea of the sector we are entering can prove to be fatal for our entity in the long run. Hence, we need to start by researching and analyzing the market around us. We need to identify our potential customer base, our competitors, our USP and our positioning in the current market.

Once your business has started taking shape, you must complete all the formalities of your business like the registration process. Register your business with the state, obtain a tax ID number and apply for any kind of licenses and permits that you require. Once this process is completed and your business officially comes into being, you need to move to the next step. 

Thinking of an idea is easy but the hard part is distinguishing emotion from the idea. So begin by making big practical decisions like buying insurance. Follow a practical approach and before making any other big decision, ensure to protect yourself and your business from any probable future damage. To do this purchase liability insurance and get going.

Equipment is the backbone of a business and decides its future. Hence, investing in good equipment can result in the longevity of your business. Invest in high-quality pressure washing equipment, including a pressure washer, hoses, nozzles, and cleaning solutions. 

A driven individual can build a business but it takes a highly efficient team to run a successful business. Hence, team making is a crucial process. Hire employees or subcontractors as needed, and provide proper training on equipment usage and safety protocols.Build a team that matches your intent and is highly skilled to carry out the functions that your business requires. 

In a cut throat competition, one must learn to market his/her business. Marketing can prove very beneficial and can help distinguish you from the rest. So once you are in the game, develop a marketing strategy and harness all possible platforms to spread the word about your business. Use social media, advertising and customer referrals to your advantage. 

The second leg of making a pressure washing business is the equipment. Here is a list of essential pressure washing equipment: 

  • Pressure washer 
  • As the name suggests, A pressure washer is the most essential equipment for this business. Efficient cleaning requires equipment which serves the required pressure continuously and adequately. 

    As we talked above, pressure washers are the most crucial equipment in a pressure washing business. Hence, in order to choose the right one for your business, you must be aware of different kinds of pressure washers. 

    The major kind of categorization is done on the basis of power source. 

    There are two major kinds of pressure washers. 

    Gas-powered pressure washers can be defined as the pressure washers that use gas as the source of energy. Highly used for commercial purposes, they are powerful and portable and hence, the most popular kind of pressure washers. However, they emit fumes and can be noisy at times.

    The second kind is electric pressure washers. As the name suggests, these washers use electricity as the main source of energy. Ideal for household applications or small tasks, they produce no emissions and are quieter as compared to the gas-powered ones. 

    There is another kind of pressure washer known as trailer-mounted pressure washer. This is the most versatile and highly portable washer as it mounts to the trailer and becomes mobile. Easy to take to remote locations, this washer is highly preferred by the consumers.

  • Hoses
  • Pressure washing uses water at a high pressure to complete the cleaning process. But, in order to make water reach from the source to the end of the nozzle, we require a medium. A hose acts as a connection between the two. To deliver water to another end of the equipment, one needs good quality hoses. Hoses are majorly categorized on the basis of construction material. They are made up of rubber, PVC, Polyurethane and then there are hybrid hoses as well. Pressure washing sometimes requires the use of hot water, so we should prefer hoses with high temperature resistance. Hence the choice of hoses is also a crucial step when buying equipment for your business. 

  • Nozzles
  • Pressure washers usually come with 6 types of nozzles. These are 0°, 15°, 25°, 40°, soap, and Turbo. 

    Nozzles that come in different colors and angles signifies the pressure and spray pattern of water. Let us get into the details of it.

    0° red nozzle is used to attain the highest pressure rating. The PSI mentioned on the pressure washer can be achieved by using this nozzle. Used for reaching high areas, this nozzle is ideal for removing the toughest of stains from the strongest of surfaces.

    Then comes the 15° Yellow nozzle. This also gives you a very high pressure rating and hence is used to remove mold and mildew from PVC fences. However this nozzle is not ideal for cleaning painted surfaces as it can remove the paint due to high-pressure.

    The 25° green nozzle is a go-to nozzle if you are getting started. Being an all round nozzle this can be used to clean sidewalks, driveways, vehicles etc. This nozzle can also remove stubborn dirt and dust from tough surfaces making it an ideal choice for beginners.

    Then comes the white 40° nozzle. This nozzle gives you the widest spray pattern making it an ideal choice for cleaning larger surfaces. Since the surface area increases, the water travels with lesser pressure. So, one can use this on delicate surfaces to make sure that the material isn’t damaged. 

    Another kind of nozzle is a turbo nozzle. Separated from the ordinary nozzle by its spinning quality, a turbo nozzle provides the pressure of a 0° red and the surface area of a 25° green nozzle increasing its cleaning quality to a noticeable factor. 

    Another nozzle in the set is known as the soap nozzle. As the name suggests, this nozzle helps you supply soap to the surface to be cleaned quickly and efficiently. 

    Nozzles come in various shapes and sizes and they are used for different cleaning applications. So while choosing the nozzles one must be aware of the application it will be used for. 

  • Cleaning solutions
  • To enhance the cleaning and remove tough stains, one needs high quality cleaning solutions. Investing in effective cleaning solutions can prove to be very beneficial for your business. Depending on the application, you can either use residential or professional pressure washer detergent, soap and chemicals. Varying in the strength of cleaning agents, one must choose the cleaning solutions after considering various factors.

  • Hose Reels
  • Since, hoses are a very important part of the pressure washing equipment, one needs hose reels to store these hoses and to access them easily and quickly. Depending on the scale of a business one can choose ideal reels for their workplace. Majorly dependent on the length of your hose you can make a choice for an ideal hose reel. 

    Pressure washing can be a very profitable business as it finds its applications in a number of industries such as automotive, construction, food and beverage, aviation, marine, sewage, lawn and garden, defense etc. 

    Finding its major applications in vehicle cleaning and construction, Pressure washing is used in cleaning the exteriors of large buildings including walls, windows and roofs. It can find its application in cleaning dirt and debris from sidewalks, driveways and patios. Pressure washing can also be used to remove dirt and dust stains from vehicles and can remove graffiti from the walls as well. 

    To conclude, pressure washing can prove to be a highly profitable and successful business if we invest in the right equipment and study the market and its needs. With a skilled team and the right marketing strategy, we can build a lucrative venture.

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