How to Avoid Power Washing Rip-Offs
Rip-Off #1: Unbelievably Low Price.To some degree, all of us are attracted to low prices 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.
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.
Rip-Off #2: Crafty Claims Like: Specializing in Hot Water Washing.You may read this in ads, or hear this from contractors. Whether a contractor uses hot water or cold water and the right chemicals, the end result is the same. Hot water does speed up the cleaning process in commercial and industrial uses but what does it mean to the homeowner?
The truth is hot water has no benefit and shouldn't be used in residential services. It can warp vinyl siding, damage wood and asphalt shingles, and can be detrimental to plants and shrubbery. Crafty claims like this are nothing more than a desperate attempt of trickery to gain your business.
Rip-Off #3: Outdated Beliefs: "Just Power Wash the Deck and Use an Expensive Sealer"Many people believe that using an expensive sealer will make all the difference.
The fact is: the number one reason a sealer fails, no matter how much it cost, is because the wood is not prepared properly. Wood goes through many stages while being cleaned. When using the proper cleaner the wood turns very dark, as the ph level goes up. A neutralizing process is necessary to lower the wood to a more acidic level, so the sealer will adhere properly.
With the wood prepared properly, it can then be sealed with a contractor-grade sealer. If an old sealer is present, the deck will need to be stripped so the new sealer can adhere to the wood properly. This stripping process is only done properly using a stripping agent, NOT high water pressure.
Obviously, each contractor will be biased toward his own method. You should look at what wood professionals say. There are wood restoration classes that contractors can take to become certified, check to see if the contractor you are considering is certified.
Rip-Off #4: Offering To Wash Anything and EverythingContractors wash many different things, from houses to tractors and from decks to parking lots. A company offering to wash almost anything may look impressive but is a sign of not being established.
There is a lot of fly-by-night companies that come and go, who will offer to wash anything for a dollar, they never really get good at one thing. Make sure you hire a contractor that specializes in just a handful of the services you are interested in.