21 Strategies to Manage Pressure Washing Service Business

Pressure washing service

Pressure washing service: Pressure washing is more effective in removing dirt and grime than other methods of cleaning. This service is highly valued by customers who want to improve the appearance of the exterior of their home or building. Pressure washing helps extend the life of a building and its finishes.

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Pressure washing service

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1. What are the costs involved in opening a pressure washing business?

The main startup up cost is leasing the pressure washing equipment and the transportation to take the equipment to work at the client’s premises. Transportation is usually a van with advertising of the company painted on the van to attract more customers when the van is in operation with the power washer. Having a physical facility, such as renting an office space or work space is not necessary unless you want to offer services of power washing to vehicles that are passing by on a main thoroughfare.

2. The basic expenses for starting this business include:

  • Lease for power washing equipment and water tanks $2,000 down payment and $700 per month for the equivalent of $25,000 in equipment.
  • Alternately, you could buy pressure washing equipment to for a larger upfront payment (which would save you money in the long run). Pressure washers range from a few hundred dollars to over $15,000. Consider which type of pressure washer you need to start your business.
  • Lease for a commercial van that is fitted with the power washing equipment – $450 per month.
  • Gasoline and vehicle maintenance $250 per month
  • Advertising (flyers and business cards) – $200 per month

You will need to have good credit to get the leases for the equipment and the van, a few thousand dollars to get started for the down payment, plus enough to pay the lease payments for the first six months while you find customers. You can easily start this business with less than $10,000 in cash and finance the rest using credit. Your goals will be to generate $2,000 or more per month in paid jobs in order to create a sustainable business effort.

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Pressure washing service

3. What are the on-going expenses for a pressure washing business?

The on-going expenses for this business include the labour cost for the workers, lease payments for the equipment and the van(s), insurance, and the amount allocated to the monthly marketing efforts.

4. Things You’ll Need

  • Pressure washer
  • Drop cloths or plastic coverings
  • Duct tape
  • Scrub brush
  • Non-phosphate concentrated cleaner or cleaning solution
  • Garden hose
  • Water source
  • Safety glasses

5. Who is the target market?

Depending on the target market, the customers might be homeowners, vehicle owners, government agencies (which need pressure washing services for roads and other government buildings/structures), and/or commercial property owners. Most pressure washing businesses do better by offering their services to all types of customers and have workers that are experts in doing certain kinds of pressure washing. Besides seeking customers from the general public, it is advisable to get long-term contracts from commercial operations. Examples of these contracts would include maintaining the exteriors of multiple commercial properties owned by the same person or organization or cleaning a fleet of vehicles on a regular basis.

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Pressure washing service

6. How does a pressure washing business make money?

Some of the most successful businesses in this sector have many repeat clients. For simple jobs like pressure washing a car, pressure washing businesses charge a flat rate of around $50 to $100, which includes “detailing.” Detailing is the finish work after the pressure cleaning is done. It includes waxing the vehicle and making the vehicle look like it is brand new.

Another mainstay in this business is the cleaning of the exterior surfaces of real estate. Power washing homes and commercial properties is very lucrative. You can charge by the square footage of the exterior surfaces that are cleaned.

7. How much can you charge customers?

Home advisor gives some examples of the range of prices for pressure washing a home. A typical homeowner will spend between $184 to $380 for a pressure washing of the home and its exterior surfaces.

Here are a few of the common prices:

  • Exterior siding of a home – $100 to $300
  • Driveway – $80 to $200
  • Deck or patio – $250 to $500

Commercial properties pay $0.25 to $1.50 per square foot of exterior surface area. Higher rates are charged for buildings that are multiple stories and include the rental cost of the scaffolding or window washing equipment needed to reach the higher levels.

Cleaning a vehicle is around $50 to $100. Washing semi-trucks and boats would be about twice that amount.

Pressure washing service

8. How much profit can a pressure washing business make?

If you keep the equipment usage level high, you can expect to make at least 100% of the amount you pay for the equipment lease per month. For example, if the monthly lease payments for a van and equipment plus insurance are around $1,200 then you should earn at least $2,400 per month as your minimum goal. If your main customers are homeowners, you will be doing about 3 to 4 jobs per week to meet this minimum.

9. How can you make your business more profitable?

As an expansion of the pressure washing business, you can also offer pressure cleaning of drains, pipes, and sewage lines. The equipment is similar and the water pressure is very effective in clearing blocked pipes, blasting tree roots out of the way, and keeping sewer lines flowing.

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Pressure washing service

10. What will you name your business?

Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Pressure Washing Business Name Generator

If you operate a sole proprietorship, you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.

When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:

  • Your state’s business records
  • Federal and state trademark records
  • Social media platforms
  • Web domain availability.

It’s very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.

11. Get the Labour Safety Requirements

It is important to comply with all Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements.

Relevant regulations include:

  • Appropriate hazard identification
  • Injury reports
  • Proper safety precautions when operating potentially dangerous equipment (e.g. pressure washer, ladders, etc.)

12. How to promote & market a pressure washing business

The best promotion comes from word-of-mouth that happens naturally when you please customers with the work you do. A campaign of using hand-out flyers is also a good idea. Giving discounts for repeat customers helps build a stable business. Offering a commission to related businesses such as an auto repair shop or a landscaping company for bringing you customers is another great way to increase business.

Contracts in this business often come from local government agencies looking to fix up part of the area. Establishing long-lasting relationships with government officials can help ensure your business is responsible for the restoration of your area.

As this is a service that is not crucial for everyone, it is important to consider your market. Residential customers with high disposable income tend to be the most valuable customers. Power washing is often needed at construction sites upon finishing.

Another good source of customers is homeowners who are putting their homes on the market. People usually want a house they are selling to look its best and that includes the cleanliness of its exterior.

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Pressure washing service

13. How to keep customers coming back

One of the most effective ways to advertise your business is to have a very attractive logo and big lettering of your phone number painted on your van(s). When the van is not busy doing a job, park it in a place where it is highly visible to lots of traffic that passes by, who can see the van.

Customers are naturally drawn to high quality service and low prices. This is another place where word-of-mouth is extremely valuable. Satisfied customers will stay and recommend your services to others.

14.  Set up your business phone system

Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.

15. Choose a pressure washer that is best for the job.

Different housing materials can withstand various water pressures. The size, or spray power, ranges from 1,200 to 3,000 pounds per square inch (psi).

  • Softer housing materials, such as painted soft-grain wood and aluminum, require a 1,200 to 1,500 psi model to prevent pressure damage. You may need a wide spray nozzle to disperse water pressure for even more vulnerable materials, like stucco.
  • Stronger non-painted surfaces, such as vinyl, clean better with a more powerful 2,500 to 3,000 psi model. These models work the fastest.
  • Select a pressure washer that has a detergent dispenser if you plan to use a cleaning solution.

16. Protect you house’s exterior fixtures, like lights, landscaping shrubs and plants, from harmful water pressure.

Cover with drop cloths or plastic covering and secure with duct tape.

  • Move any outdoor furniture away from the house, too.

Pressure washing service

17. Mix the cleaning solution and fill the pressure washer’s detergent dispenser.

Combine approximately 1 pound (.455 kilograms) of a non-phosphate concentrated cleaner for every 4 gallons (15.4 liters) of washing water.

18. Connect a garden hose hooked to your water supply to the pressure washer.

When you are ready, turn on the water.

19. Test how to pressure wash a house by holding the pressure washer nozzle with both hands about 3 feet (121.92 centimeters) from the wall.

Move it in closer until you feel the spray is strong enough to remove dirt but not strong enough to cause damage.

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20. Start at the top of the house and move down.

 Spray roof overhangs, under-hangs and gutters at an approximate 45-degree angle. Move the spray steadily from side to side.

Pressure washing service

21. Rinse from the top down with plain water from a garden hose.

Allow house siding to dry at least 2 days before painting.


  • Do not pressure wash your house if the exterior has lead-based paint. Homes painted before 1978 may have lead-based paint. If you are unsure, contact your public health department to determine whether your home contains lead-based paint.

  • Use caution when operating a pressure washer. The high-velocity water spray can erode soft-grain woods, a stucco finish or mortar from between bricks if you hold it in one spot for too long. Never get closer than 12 inches from the wall’s surface. Do not point it straight up or at windows, window frames, door frames, electrical units or people.
  • Never pressure wash hardboard house siding. The moisture will damage the surface.

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