by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

PRESSURE WASHING VS SOFT WASHING

PRESSURE WASHING VS SOFT WASHING

This PRESSURE WASHING VS SOFT WASHING post and video examines the difference between these two cleaning strategies.  This is from my perspective as I got started in the business over 40 years ago.  But it also addresses changes in the industry over the years.  My very first pressure washing job was in 1979 as a junior in high school.

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

When I began there was no pressure washing vs soft washing debate.  However, we did soft wash, but without using that specific terminology.  Basically, we would apply the mix gently.  In other words, when using gentle pressure we would downstream.  We would use the black, green and yellow tips, applying the stream or mist from a distance back away from the surface.  So to me personally, down streaming is the original soft wash method.  Pressure Washing vs Soft Washing did become more relevant about 10 years later.  A franchise power washing company began using, promoting and marketing soft washing as a service alternative.   ‘

SOFT WASHING DEFINITION

I define soft washing the following way.  Soft washing means applying mix to any surface softly with a dedicated pump.  It also always includes a light rinse.  This approach allows applying a stronger mix than what down streaming can deliver.  In the video, I explain that the original dedicated pump is a pump up sprayer.  Be sure and watch the entire video as I provide an answer to the question many people ask me about this.  That question is “How do I know what my mix ratio is when down streaming or using a downstream injector?”

NEW PUMP OPTIONS

Pressure Washing vs Soft Washing gains quite a bit of traction once new electric pumps take the place of a pump up sprayer.  12 volt pumps were first, which were wired and hooked into systems and tanks.  In addition to new pump options, tank sizes grew well beyond the pump up sprayer size.  This allows a new approach we call “batch mixing.” This means creating a cleaning solution with bleach, soap, and water.  Then air diaphragm pumps such as the FLOWJET pump came along.  This is what we have on our KINGSLINGER soft wash system.  Booster pumps and gas operated systems also became more and more prevalent over time.  We sell all of these systems and options through the Doug Rucker Store.  The full video is 23:00 so I encourage you to take the time to view the entire video.

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

DROP TUBE FITTINGS

DROP TUBE FITTINGS

This DROP TUBE FITTINGS post and video comes as a result of a YouTube channel viewer request.  There are a couple different ways you can install them.  You can get all the parts at your local stores such as Home Depot or Lowe’s, but you can also get them from the Doug Rucker Store website.  In this video, I use the lid of a 5 Gallon Bucket for demonstration purpose to more easily show how to install drop tube fittings.

NO FILTER NEEDED

Some people like to use sand filters when installing drop tube fittings.  I choose not to use filtration because it restricts the flow.  The way we plumb our tanks with ventilation means we never open the lid.  Thus, there is seldom any trash or debris found in the tanks.  Be sure and view the entire video because there are a lot of variables that I discuss.  There are many different parts and many different strategies to make drop tube fittings.

BLUE COLLAR ENTREPRENEUR

Check out the YouTube channel called “Blue Collar Entrepreneur.”  I actually got the idea for using uniseals from this channel.  It’s a pretty good channel!  Cutting holes for the uniseal is a little bit different than for the bulkhead fittings so pay close attention to the cutting process.  In this case, the seal is “built in” so to speak.  It’s important to prepare the drop tube fittings so that air does not penetrate the system.

If you have any questions at all, please use the comments section in the YouTube video.  Also, don’t forget that if you need a website for your new pressure washing business, we can help! Or if you are unhappy with the way your website looks and feels presently, we can also help with that as well!  Just click that same link!

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

BLEACH TANK VENTING

BLEACH TANK VENTING

I was doing some work on my commercial trailer rig and getting it ready for my monthly school.  This trailer has an 8 GPM hot water machine as well as another 8 GPM cold water machine.  In this video I do a walkaround so you can get a feel for all the pressure washing business equipment on this rig.  But my main focus for this post and video is dealing with BLEACH TANK VENTING.  This is especially important if you are using a van or enclosed trailer to prevent deterioration of your equipment.

 

PLUMBING AND HOSES

There BLEACH TANK VENTING setup begins with one hose that is connected to our air diaphragm system.  But there is also a hose which is solely for the purpose of ventilation.  It has a 90 degree thread to barb fitting on a bulkhead fitting on top of the BLEACH TANK.  This allows the fumes and off gassing to come out from that dedicated hose.  This hose goes through a small hole in the bottom of the trailer.

FILLING THE TANK

In this BLEACH TANK VENTING video, I also provide instructions on how we fill the tank with bleach.  We use a 10 GPM flow jet pump, which is the same pump that comes on the KINGSLINGER soft wash system.  I also explain the purpose of utilizing a dip tube when filling the tank.  This prevents bubbles and suds from forming in the bleach tank when soaps are also in the tank.

NO NEED TO OPEN LID

The point of BLEACH TANK VENTING is that there is never a need to open the lid.  And in this video I provide details on this as well as some of the history behind this idea.  It works very well.  Once I began venting my bleach tanks, I immediately could see my equipment deterioration was no longer the issue that it was.  I can’t recommend this approach strongly enough and hope it will save you time, effort and dollars as your business grows.

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

Pressure Washing Business Standard Operating Procedures

Pressure Washing Business Standard Operating Procedures

As you build your business, Pressure Washing Business Standard Operating Procedures will be one of the early challenges you face.  There will be all kinds of forms and documents that you will need.  Many simply create the forms and documents as the need arises and as the business grows.  But a good friend of mine from Florida has put together a tremendous package of Pressure Washing Business Standard Operating Procedures.  Why spend time and energy on creating all these documents when they already exist?  In other words, why reinvent the wheel?

EXAMPLES OF FORMS INCLUDED

With the Pressure Washing Business Standard Operating Procedures bundle, the documents arrive through Drop Box. Some examples include ethics and conduct, workplace violence and harassment, and disciplinary action.  It also includes uniform guidelines, leave request forms, job descriptions and much, non compete agreements, and much, much more.  These forms are just a few that are available in the first section under “admin.”

OTHER SECTIONS 

The Pressure Washing Business Standard Operating Procedures package includes a total of seven sections.  They are admin, office, operations, safety, contracts, forms and templates.  In this video, I open each of these sections and some of the documents so that you can get a solid feel for the kinds of document and forms you will receive.  You will most likely not need every single document as you business grows, but you will appreciate having them all as needs arise with business development.

ADD YOUR LOGO

You are welcome to add your logo to any of these Pressure Washing Business Standard Operating Procedures documents and forms.  In the video at time stamp 7:30, there is a discount code that you will not want to miss!  Depending on availability, we can sometimes have these in your inbox within a few hours.  You will have the opportunity to choose between a deluxe or economy package.  The Pressure Washing Business Standard Operating Procedures are available through this link.  Don’t forget that I also have own and operate the Doug Rucker Store for all your pressure washing business equipment and supply needs.  One of the first major purchases for new pressure washing start ups is a SOFT WASH SYSTEM.  So we recommend THE KINGSLINGER and hope you’ll consider this option as you evaluate other system available on the market today.

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

Five Roof Cleaning Tips

FIVE ROOF CLEANING TIPS

This FIVE ROOF CLEANING TIPS post is helpful for anyone providing professional roof cleaning service.  If you are new to the pressure washing industry, you may not be able to provide roof cleaning service at the start.  But as you grow your business, you can purchase equipment and expand the services you offer.  Roof cleaning is certainly a great service to add for any pressure washing business.  I hope these FIVE ROOF CLEANING TIPS help you decide if this service is right for your company.

MOSS AND LICHEN

Setting customer expectations is the first of my FIVE ROOF CLEANING TIPS when dealing with moss and lichen.  It’s important that the customer understands that moss and lichen will not be removed from the roof.  It will change color and usually turns white.  We explain that the mix we use will kill the moss and lichen, which is why it turns white.  With wind and rainfall over time, it will eventually loosen from the tiles but we never discuss a specific time frame.  We suggest explaining that it didn’t get there over night, so it won’t go away over night either.  Using pressure to attempt to remove moss and lichen from the roof will only do more damage to the integrity of the roof.

SPRAYING TECHNIQUE

The second of the FIVE ROOF CLEANING TIPS is DO NOT FLOOD THE ROOF!  The shingles just need to be wet but when water runs off, you’re simply wasting product and could possibly harm plant life below.  We use our 10 Gallon Per Minute Kingslinger soft wash system with a 2 Gallon Per Minute tip. This helps me control and preserve solution.

REMAINING TIPS

For the full details of the remaining FIVE ROOF CLEANING TIPS, be sure and watch the entire video.  We demonstrate use of Tyvek House Wrap from Lowe’s to assist with property protection.  Wetting plants before, during, and after the project is important to protecting the plant life from any degree of damage.  I also explain the use of guns versus using a ball valve.  If this post has been helpful, here is another one you might be interested in.

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

PRESSURE WASHING BUSINESS EQUIPMENT

PRESSURE WASHING BUSINESS EQUIPMENT

Do you know what pressure washing business equipment is needed to start a pressure washing business?  If you enjoy the outdoors and working with your hands, this is a great way to earn income.  It could be as a side hustle, but then could very well grow into your full time job.  In this video post, I provide five tools that would comprise the basic requirements for your pressure washing business equipment needs.  My passion is helping pressure washing startups and I’m excited to share this insight with you.

KINGSLINGER SOFT WASH SYSTEM

You will need some type of soft wash system.  We always recommend THE KINGSLINGER because we believe it is the best system available.  We have continually tested and improved the system over time, and allows you to get a higher mix ratio.  Bleach, water and surfactant easily combine or blend into one solution.  There is even a third option for another cleaning agent when necessary.  We know that the Kingslinger soft wash system is the top priority when considering pressure washing business equipment.  If your business is not ready for the cost of a soft wash system, a pump up sprayer will work until you can afford it.  If you expand services into roof cleaning, you will definitely need a soft wash system.

PRESSURE WASH GUN ASSEMBLY

Next on the pressure washing business equipment list is the gun.  This pressure wash gun assembly comes with the gun, hose connector fitting, and a mosmatic swivel. Then there is the JRODNOZZLE KIT that is number three on the list.  Be sure and watch the full video for all the details and demonstrations of how this all works together so well, saving time and effort on the job.

MODIFIED X-JET

This looks very similar to the gun we mention above.  But the modification allows you to connect a hose coming directly from the X-Jet or five gallon bucket.  The JROD nozzle kit can also connect to the modified X-Jet gun.  The final piece of pressure washing business equipment is a check valve for the downstream injector.  You might appreciate more information concerning a Downstream Injector Check Valve by checking out this post.

 

 

 

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

STONE COATED ROOF CLEANING

STONE COATED ROOF CLEANING

STONE COATED ROOF CLEANING is important to understand if you own a pressure washing business.  Decra is one of the most popular brands of stone coated roofing materials.  They are actually metal roofing with a grit type coating applied to the surface.  To the average eye, they look identical to a regular shingle or tile roof.  This is still a relatively new product line and we do not run across many of these in our business in Houston.  But have provided roof cleaning service for several customers in the last few years.

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

In this video, I am able to show you precisely what the underside of it looks like.  When you are providing stone coated roof cleaning service, it’s important to remember a few things.  First, you can the difference because you do not see the kind of layers noticeable on traditional roofing materials.  Second, it important to know that it is more expensive to install stone coated roofing.  However, the cost is offset as they last much longer.  In some cases, they will last two to three times longer than the others.

CLEANING PROCESS

When it comes to stone coated roof cleaning, we have always used our standard bleach mixture.  This means typically a 30-40 mixture of bleach to water.  And sometimes we also use a light soap.  Here is a link to one of the cleaning solutions we use as needed.  Rinsing will usually depend on landscaping underneath, gutters and things of that nature.  Manufacturers do provide a list cleaning agents they recommend, but we have found they do not work as well.  In fact, we have been called upon to clean in some cases after recommended agents were tried and failed.  This is when educating the customer becomes a very important strategy for stone coated roof cleaning.

WALKING ON THE ROOF

For stone coated roof cleaning, some argue that you should never walk on the roof.  But we have been able to walk on them without any damage occurring.  Here are a few key tips to keep in mind.  First, it helps to be a light weight person.  We use regular soft soled tennis shoes and not cougar paws because they are heavier and add weight.  It’s important to watch the video for details on how to walk strategically when providing stone coated roof cleaning service.  Installers walk all over them when installing, but you do need to know how to walk in such a way as to prevent damage.  Of course, you’ll need a soft wash system and we always recommend the KINGSLINGER.

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

PRESSURE WASHER FITTINGS

PRESSURE WASHER FITTINGS

This PRESSURE WASHER FITTINGS post with video will help anyone just getting started in the pressure washing industry.  A popular first unit to purchase is the 4 GPM portable pressure washer at 3500 PSI.  I do not recommend any machine under 4 GPM for any new pressure washing business.  It has a Honda GX 390 and I provide step by step instructions for getting set up.

LEAD FITTING

The PRESSURE WASHER FITTINGS for this machine begins with what is coming off of the unloader.  Most manufacturers ship with the coupler in place there.  This is what I call the “LEAD FITTING.”  I provide specific details for hooking up the garden hose and the pressure hose.  The entire process can be inverted depending on your personal preference.

UNLOADER

Another important element of PRESSURE WASHER FITTINGS to understand is the unloader.  The unloader is what regulates the water pressure that will arrive from the machine.  For the most part, the unloader is factory set and you never need to adjust it or even touch it.  Unless you have need to replace it.  You can lower the water pressure through the various nozzles that you will use.

STAY ON THE GUN

It is important to “STAY ON THE GUN” to continually release pressure build up inside the pressure washer machine.  Otherwise, the machine heats up the water.  This can result in damage to the pump.  There is a way to bypass this risk which I cover in detail in the video.

THERMAL RELIEF VALVE

The thermal relief valve is another critical component when learning about PRESSURE WASHER FITTINGS.    This piece can sometimes fail and need replacement without any warning.  This is why I recommend always have replacements with you so you’re work flow will not be hindered.  There are many, many more details I cover in this 45 minute video so be sure and take time to watch it in its entirety.  Also, if you’re looking for help with your website as you start your pressure washing business, click here.

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

PRESSURE WASHER CHECK VALVE

PRESSURE WASHER CHECK VALVE

The main purpose of this post and video is to provide instruction for pressure washer check valve repairs.  Many pressure washing professionals are installing a check valve into a downstream injector.  This provides a stronger mix but also depends on variables like strength of bleach and gallon per minute machine you’re using.  Hose length is another variable that affects mix ratios.  Another benefit is that a check valve will help the downstream injector last longer.

REPAIR KIT

The spring and valve seat will occasionally wear out and go bad.  This is the result of bleach and other chemicals in the mix, as well as grit and debris that invade the lines.  But there is a very simple solution for this issue.  There is a check valve repair kit which will come in very handy for this problem.  In this video, we provide step by step instructions on how to use this kit to repair a pressure washer check valve.

PRESSURE WASHER CHECK VALVE REPAIR INSTRUCTIONS

The check valve repair kit comes with an o-ring and a spring.  Our service technician, Edwin, shows precisely which tools you will need.  After disassembling, we see the problem spot as rust and corrosion is obvious.  There is a seal, a shuttle, and a spring.  They are fairly symmetric and we give detailed visual instructions on reinstalling with the new parts from the repair kit.  Re-taping the threads upon reassembly is also very important to remember.

HIGH PERFORMANCE LUBRICANTS

We use HIGH PERFORMANCE LUBRICANTS oil brand for all of our machines and vehicles.  The penetrating spray is especially helpful for cleaning any corrosion and repelling water.  Another great source of information you may find helpful is this Downstream Injector Check Valve post with video.  We hope this helps your pressure washing business!

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

SIAMESE PRESSURE WASHERS

SIAMESE PRESSURE WASHERS

Have you ever heard of SIAMESE PRESSURE WASHERS?  This post and video features a large commercial parking lot job.  This particular job was extremely dirty with tons of mud, dirt and debris and took longer than expected.  So on the second day, I was able to SIAMESE PRESSURE WASHERS, using two machines to create one flow.  So between the two machines, we were able to achieve 17 gallons per minute.  This reduced our rinsing time in half and can be done with two individual pressure washer machines.

HIGHER FLOW MACHINES for SIAMESE PRESSURE WASHERS

Pressure washer machines are rated by gallons per minute.  So the higher gallons per minute you have, the more powerful the siamese flow will be.  In this siamese pressure washers example, I have an 8 gallon per minute machine and a 9 gallon per minute machine.  I was able to hook the two machines together into one output flow combining for 17 gallons per minute when rinsing.  The kit you need to execute this is available at my Doug Rucker Store.  I provide extensive detail on this product and how to hook it up.  Be sure and watch the entire video for all the details.  Two machines run together at one time into a T connector with check valves.

START LOWER GPM PRESSURE WASHER FIRST

It is best to start the lower GPM machine first.  So in our case, we begin by starting the 8 GPM machine first.  Then we start the 9 GPM machine.  If both machines are identical then this is obviously not a consideration to worry with.  But just remember to start the lower GPM machine first.  One of the things the video demonstrates is how we were able to pick up the pace using our surface cleaner.  We then rinse with an open valve and I explain the reasons for this in the video as well.  If this helps you, consider attending one of my monthly training events in Houston. These events include on the job training as well as classroom instruction.  It’s also a great way to meet some new friends in the business.  Thank you for checking out this siamese pressure washers post.