Many a person will slap a magnetic sign on their truck, purchase a box-store pressure washer, grab a gallon of bleach, and call themselves a “Power Washer”. Then un-knowing homeowners will hire such a person, and as a result open themselves up to a myriad of problems.
You can recognize these guys by the magnetic signs, no uniform, and a pile of ladders atop their vehicle. We in the industry refer to them as “splash-and-dashers”. They are looking for their weekend beer money. They are unqualified, unreliable, and can pretty much bet uninsured!!!
Not only are the “splash and dashers” untrained, but they use inferior equipment such as that little 2.5 gallon pressure washer that you saw on sale at the local box-store. Therefore, if they are using inferior grade equipment, they are using inferior grade cleaners.
Do not fall for the misconception that bleach will clean. Bleach is not a detergent, it will not clean. Bleach could destroy the vinyl siding finish, which in turn shortens the life span of the vinyl and it will crack and split. It will no longer be shiny; it will be dull. Bleach also destroys the wood fiber in wood shingle homes and wood decking. Bleach will shorten the life span of shingles and decking.
The new scam out there is called “soft wash” – yes I called it a scam. I truly believe that that this type of washing is un-ethical! You have a guy mixing 3 – 4 gallons of bleach with 1 gallon of soap and he thinks that he has a house cleaner. I can guarantee that within six months mold and mildew will reappear on your home. If you do not get a 1 year guarantee against the return of mold and mildew from your power washer – they are washing wrong!
There have been several times that I have driven around and seen these “splash- and-dashers” washing someone’s home. I would stop in and talk to “splashers” only to find five gallons of Clorox bleach sitting beside their piece-of-crap pressure washer. I would ask them what detergent they were using and they would respond by pointing to the bleach. I would reiterate to them that the bleach does nothing more than hide the dirt. They respond with “my uncle is a painter, and that is all he ever uses” or “I don’t care, I’m getting paid, I’m out of here and won’t be around next year to hear their complaints”.
I try to educate these “splashers” and tell them that they should get properly trained and certified and join a nationally recognized organization that will better them in the long run, however they are just in it for the quick buck and are not looking for a long term relationship with you, the homeowner.
Make it easy on yourself, hire the right company the first time.