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.

 

 

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

SLUDGE SUCKER

SLUDGE SUCKER

There are some occasions on pressure washing projects where having the SLUDGE SUCKER is very handy.  It’s usually a commercial property parking lot, but can also apply for some residential driveway cleaning jobs.  In low lying areas usually water is gathers, puddles up, and isn’t able to adequately drain off with the rest of the property.  It will generally be filled with mud and dirt because the water sits there and has nowhere to go.

HOW TO MOVE IT

The usual attack for standing water is to just use a pressure washer to spray it away.  This can be frustrating, time consuming, and sometimes makes the property look worse than when you started.  So sometimes its best to break out THE SLUDGE SUCKER.  Also known as the sludge pump, this is an easy way to turn your pressure washer into a water pump.  With it, it becomes very easy to move, displace, or relocate large amounts of standing water.  There is no filter so dirt, leaves, debris and such is sucked up into the large hose and relocated quickly and easily.

HOW OFTEN

The sludge sucker is not something we use often.  It does tie up some space on your truck or trailer, and we do not keep it with us for every job.  It’s a tool that I know I have and as I do estimates for commercial properties, I can see if it would be important to have.  But the last thing you want to do is leave a big puddle behind on a commercial parking lot.  This is a poor reflection on your business so you’ll want to have a strategy in place to remove low lying standing puddles of water.

ONLINE VIDEO SCHOOL

If it interests you, take a look at my online video school with over 250 videos.  You can drastically cut your learning curve and get set up for success right out of the gate as you start your pressure washing business.

 

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

X-JET PRESSURE WASHER

X-JET PRESSURE WASHER

The X-JET PRESSURE WASHER chemical injection nozzle comes in variety of options that you will need to choose from.  You will choose an orifice size which matches the gallon per minute machine you will use with it.  Complete product specifications can be found at the Doug Rucker Store website.  This video unboxing is the number 13 corresponding to a 4-4.5 gallon per minute machine.  The product includes a small bag with color proportioners and a 15 foot hose with screen filter.  The hose also has a two way shut off valve.  Of course, it also includes the X-JET PRESSURE WASHER nozzle.  The instruction guide has a large amount of very helpful information.

X-JET PRESSURE WASHER BUCKET

In this video, I also demonstrate using an X-JET five gallon bucket.  This bucket is a no spill container and is connected to the X-JET hose.  You’ll want to make sure you keep the bucket well ventilated with the vent hole on the side or back of the bucket.  DON’T LOSE THE VENT CAP!  Click here for more information on the X-JET bucket.  Another option is to make your own bucket, which I provide instructions for in this video as well.

GUN MODIFICATION

You can also use the X-JET nozzle with a pressure washing gun by hooking it up at the end of the lance.  My recommendation is not to use the X-Jet for roof cleaning.  I have seen too much roof damage caused from higher pressure volumes X-Jetting with a gun.  They are great for house washing but not for roof cleaning.  This method of cleaning saves money on wear and tear because it reduces the amount of equipment the bleach touches.  In general though, I prefer downstreaming over X-Jetting.  But they are handy to have because they are more effective for some particular jobs.

WEBSITE SERVICES

Does your new pressure washing startup business need website services?  There is no sense in you having to reinvent the wheel!  Check out the website services we offer.

 

 

 

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

DOWNSTREAMING BASICS

DOWNSTREAMING BASICS

This post includes a video covering DOWNSTREAMING BAISCS for pressure washing business professionals.  We explain in a simple and basic manner how to operate downstream infectors.  I am a huge fan of downstreaming as it is the original soft wash method before soft wash became a buzz word about ten years ago.  So don’t miss a word of this in depth downstreaming basics video!

ADJUSTABLE DOWNSTREAM INJECTORS

One type of downstream injector is adjustable.  This just means you can adjust the chemical ratio that comes out from the downstream injector.  The fully open position allows you to get highest mix ratio possible.  Conversely, as it moves toward the closed position, a lower mix is the result.  In my years of experience, I never really saw need to close it.  So I quit using adjustable downstream injectors.

FIXED INJECTORS

The fixed injector has no flexibility in terms of mix ratio.  This is a popular approach because it is a fast, easy way to apply the solution onto the surface.  In fact, I sell the GENERAL PUMP HIGH DRAW INJECTOR through my Doug Rucker Store.  It comes in either 3-5 gallon per minute or 5-8 gallon per minute.  We use a schertzbox remote to turn the chemical on and off, saving time and effort when rinsing.  Be sure and watch the entire video for more insight such as using check valves with downstream injectors.

MIX RATIOS

One of the most complicated aspects is calculating precise mix ratios.  Regardless of the ratio calculation, the main concern to look for is whether the mix is changing the color of the stain on the surface.  Double ports do not increase the mix ratio.  A double port simple delivers more of the same ratio mix from a single port injector.  I also explain our JROD nozzle system that includes our shooter tip.  There is so much more in the downstreaming basics video so be sure and watch it all!  There are a few OTHER PRODUCTS which I find extremely helpful in my business.  I can’t recommend these to you highly enough!

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

BUILD YOUR OWN SOFT WASH SYSTEM

BUILD YOUR OWN SOFT WASH SYSTEM

Do you wonder how to BUILD YOUR OWN SOFT WASH SYSTEM?  Traditional pressure washing remains effective for many concrete surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, and pool decks.  But for cleaning roof and vertical wall surfaces, we always recommend soft washing.  This helps prevent damage to the surface and other aspects of the exterior property.  In this video, I teach you how to build your own soft wash system.

SOFT WASH PUMP STATION AND AIR COMPRESSOR

To build your own soft wash system, you will need a pump station and an air compressor.  We always ship the pump station separately from the compressor to prevent damage in transit.  In fact, we use an inflatable packing material to provide maximum protection.  The pump station is two 5 gallon per minute flow jet pumps stacked together.  So it’s actually a 10 gallon per minute machine.  You cannot get a higher gallon per minute machine, even though you may see advertising stating otherwise.

ATTACHING THE TWO

To BUILD YOUR OWN SOFT WASH SYSTEM, you attach the pump station to the air compressor.  Be sure and check out the full video for all the tools are steps in order to complete this step.  The cam locks can be tricky so I provide in depth suggestions for some of the complications that might arise.  We always recommend putting the cam locks on before installing the full pump station plate.

DRILLING HOLES

Drilling holes can be a challenge when you build your own soft wash system.  But the simple solution is to just remove the manifolds.  So I walk you through step by step how these come off very easily.  This will allow for drilling precisely straight holes after making a mark on all four holes.  My preference is to remove the pump station after making the marks before drilling the holes.  Slow and steady drilling is a key to this project.  Then you attach all four lock nuts to the back of the bolts and tighten.

OTHER SOFT WASH SYSTEM STEPS

There are several additional steps if you want to build your own soft wash system.  Connecting to the compressor, plumbing, and how to operate the pump station just to name a few.  Here is another great video for more information on the Kinglinsger.  I provide monthly training events in Houston that includes on the job training and classroom instruction.  It’s a great time to expand your skills and get to know a few new friends in the business!

 

 

 

 

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY CLEANING TIPS

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY CLEANING TIPS

This video features commercial property cleaning tips on a large, metal building with some unique challenges.  There is a lot of limestone split face block which is very dirty because of its highly porous nature.  Another description folks use for this is decorative block.  Notice in the video the before and after photos that will give you a great feel for this project and how effective our cleaning methods turn out.

ADJUSTABLE CONE NOZZLE

I explain how we use an adjustable cone nozzle for cleaning this decorative block.  Using a dedicated pump with the adjustable cone nozzle allows you to apply a gentle mist for this porous surface.  We apply a 50% bleach mix mist so that the mix is not bouncing off the wall or running down onto the ground.  I also show how we use an extension wand for this application method.  We use the KINGSLINGER soft wash system to apply the mist mix.  You can find the Kingslinger specifications and purchase options here.

DON’T FLOOD THE SURFACE

There is no need to flood a surface with bleach mix.  This is especially true when applying solutions for roof cleaning.  The goal is simply to get a nice, small coat onto the surface so that the bleach and the oxygen from the air can work together.  In golf lessons, they usually advise something like “don’t try to kill it.”  In other words, overpowering your swing is counterproductive.  This also applies to the amount of bleach mix you put on the surfaces that you’re cleaning.  Don’t kill it or overpower it.

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY WALLS

We could see both black and green mold or mildew colors on the metal walls.  This is very common on surfaces where there is little exposure to the sun.  Our first attempt at downstreaming was ineffective, so the Kingslinger came in handy for this part of the job as well.  We apply a 30% with the 10 GPM Kingslinger soft wash system with the 0020 nozzle.  There are more tips so be sure to check out the entire video!  If you are interested in learning more about all the training options we provide, check out our extensive FAQ page.

 

 

by Doug Rucker Doug Rucker

GETTING READY FOR CHANGE

GETTING READY FOR CHANGE

In this leadership training and motivation video, I help pressure washing business owners prepare for change.  The big result of Covid is change in the way we do business.  Pressure washing businesses are not exempt.  But just consider the long list of businesses that did not survive because they didn’t change long before covid.  Check out the entire video for the full list!

 

There are actually six ways that you can help prepare your business for change!

CREATE A PLAN

A plan with goals is vital before attempting to implement changes.  The purpose of such a step by step, gradual plan for change is to lessen risk and correct unexpected errors along the way.  What is the reason for the change?  What’s the end goal?  And how will it affect each aspect of your business such as marketing, HR, accounting, employee morale and communication flow?

HANDLE RESISTANCE TO CHANGE

It’s completely normal for your entire team to want nothing to do with new procedures.  As the leader of the organization, you’re much better inviting voices of resistance to speak up and speak out.  Listen carefully to the legitimate concerns and questions they raise so that you can build trust with your team.

ACCEPT TRENDS

Small business owners must be aware of cultural shifts and trends because it will affect your business.  When customers begin paying through an app rather than sending checks by mail, you have to change with those trends.  If customers prefer to communicate by text rather than by email or phone call, embrace it. Tens years ago, I began placing “call or text” along with my cell phone number on every marketing piece we put out.  Check out the entire video for more cultural trends that will definitely affect pressure washing service businesses.

THREE MORE

There are three more ways to prepare for change which I discuss at length in the video.  So be sure and check them out!  I also take a few moments to share my personal faith story, and about how Christ radically changed my life.  There is another pressure washing leadership motivation video which you might enjoy about FIRING CUSTOMERS.  If you are looking to try some new cleaning solutions for your pressure washing business, check out this post!