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8 Tips For Hiring A Power Washer

Mar 13, 2008
We all want to make the right buying decision when making a purchase on anything and hiring a contractor is no different. Your home is your largest investment and you aren't going to trust just anybody when it comes to home improvements. When hiring a power washer you need to be sure you are dealing with a reputable and professional company.

Allowing an inexperienced contractor pressure wash your home, roof, deck, or concrete can end up causing you more troubles than it's worth. The more information you can get on a particular power washing company the better. Making an informed and intelligent decision when hiring a power washer can be made easier by following these simple guidelines.

1. Always be sure to ask for proof of insurance. A power washer being operated by an inexperienced contractor can result in damage to your property. Also in the case of an accident or injury you don't want to be liable for anything.

2. Be sure to ask for references or past customer testimonials. If their customers are not saying good things about them how can you expect great results?

3. Ask the power washing contractor if they guarantee their work and if they do ask if they can put it in writing on the estimate sheet. A quality pressure washing company will not have anything to hide so it shouldn't be a problem. Be sure it's a 100% satisfaction guarantee in case you are not happy with the work.

4. Don't be afraid to research some of the methods and techniques used by a power washer and then ask the contractor what their methods are. A company that knows what they are doing will only use contractor grade cleaners, and low or soft pressure to wash vinyl, wood, and roofs. Anything much more than 1000 pounds per square inch of water pressure can damage these surfaces very easily. Just remember that only garden hose pressure should be used on roofs, 1000psi or less on wood, and 500psi or so on vinyl or else water can be forced underneath the bottom lip and behind the siding.

5. Ask the contractor if his company power washes full time. A company that does this type of service for a living is probably a lot more professional and serious about it than a part time or weekend warrior type of contractor. Part time may be a sign of a fly-by-night company or one that is new and just starting to test the waters. You may not want a company like that testing methods on your home.

6. Be aware of crafty marketing claims. A common one in this industry is the "hot water" claim. Hot water is most commonly used for commercial pressure washing. It is not necessary and can be damaging in residential work. You never want to use hot water on any wood surface because it will splinter and cause the wood to fur.

Never use hot water on your shingle roof because it can soften the shingles and wash away excessive amounts of shingle granules (the small gritty particles that cover your shingles and help to protect them). Hot water can also warp your vinyl siding resulting in permanent damage. The bottom line is hot water should not be used in most residential type services. An experienced power washer can achieve exceptional results using cold water and the right cleaners and methods without the risk of damage. The hot water claim is just a marketing gimmick.

7. Be leery of an unbelievable low price. We are all tempted by a low price because we want to work within a budget. But some contractors use low pressure washing prices as the bait in order to land a job. They are hoping you are basing your buying decision on price alone and if they are the cheapest, they will get the job.

8. Unfortunately once they get the job they have to take shortcuts in order to make a profit. Professional power washing is not as cheap as some unethical power washers would like you to believe. Make sure you are paying for the level of quality you expect.

Follow these few simple guidelines to make an informed and intelligent decision when choosing a power washer for your exterior cleaning needs. You'll be more relaxed and at ease knowing you've hired a professional to clean up your largest investment.
About the Author
Learn more about power washers and cleaning from Barry Maddox at Midwest Pro Wash or contact Shane Hester at WebFirstCreations to get your own construction website .
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