Hiring a Power Washer? Ask These 9 Questions
Keeping your home’s exterior clean is paramount in maintaining its curb appeal and protecting its surfaces from dust, debris, pests, mold, and mildew. Generally speaking, the most efficient way to clean your home is by using a pressure washer (or power washer). By pressurizing water and combining it with a cleaning solution, these devices make it easy to blast away loose material from a distance. That said, not everyone has access to a pressure washer, and even those who do have access to one don’t necessarily know how to operate it properly. Indeed, pressure washers can pose a threat to property and people if handled incorrectly. For this reason, it’s often a good idea to hire professional power washing services to clean your exterior. But before you commit to a contractor, it’s important to make sure they have the right reputation, equipment, and experience.
So, are you thinking about hiring a power washer in Nashville, Brentwood, or Franklin, TN? If so, ask them these nine questions before sealing the deal.
1. Is Your Company Licensed?
You should ask this question of any contractor you’re considering hiring, regardless of their specific services. Licensure, while not required in every state, lets you know that the contractor in question knows their stuff and takes their venture seriously. To receive a commercial power washing license, a contractor must typically prove their knowledge of the trade, environmental considerations, and more. Power washing services lacking a license, then, may also lack awareness in certain key areas -- at the very least, unlicensed contractors won’t be able to prove their caliber in such a concrete way. To be safe, then, only consider licensed candidates when seeking power washers.
2. Are Your Workers Insured?
This second question is often tied to the previous one, as it’s equally important. As mentioned earlier, power washing can be destructive, and even professional power washers can make mistakes. These mistakes can result in injury and property damage. It goes without saying that you don’t want the costs associated with these issues to fall on you. The only way to ensure that you won’t need to cover such costs is by hiring a contractor with the proper insurances for its employees and company. So, make sure the service you hire is fully insured and therefore legally responsible for any expenses linked to damage and/or injury.
3. What Kind of Pressure Washer Do You Use?
Now, you can begin to ask questions having to do with pressure washing more specifically. First, you might inquire about the type(s) of pressure washer they’ll use on the job. There are several washer variations out there, some better suited for certain tasks. Such options include:
- Electric pressure washers
- Gas-powered pressure washers
- Cold water pressure washers
- Hot water pressure washers (usually just called power washers)
- Rolling units
- Standing units
Different washers may also contain special features, such as dual detergent tanks, adjustable/interchangeable nozzles, pressure selection technology, automatic shut-off capabilities, and more. While you don’t need to know the ins and outs of each of these different washers or how they function, asking a contractor about their equipment serves two key purposes: 1) it reveals how well they understand their equipment and its uses, and 2) it lets you and the contractor better understand your needs. After all, certain types of washers and detergents can damage particular surfaces and materials -- you want to make sure that whoever will be washing your home uses the proper equipment for the task at hand.
4. What Is Your Power Washing Process?
Following the previous question, you should ask about the contractor’s process for exterior power washing. Will they perform an initial on-site visit beforehand? Do they inspect your home’s exterior surfaces prior to washing them? Do they avoid washing certain surfaces (windows and other glass surfaces, for instance, should not be cleaned via pressure washer)? What are their safety protocols? Questions like these give you a better idea of what to expect if and when you hire a given contractor to wash your property.
5. What Is Your Level of Experience?
In any line of work, experience is perhaps the most valuable currency. Even if a brand new power washing service has the knowledge and skills to do a great job, we’re drawn to those with years of experience under their belts, and for good reason. Businesses and employees with an extended background in pressure washing are bound to be more adaptable when faced with difficult situations simply because they’ve done this for so long. Conversely, an inexperienced worker is more prone to making mistakes, missing details, and/or mishandling a challenging situation. For these reasons, it’s worth inquiring about a candidate’s history before hiring them.
6. Do You Have Examples of Past Work?
One of the best ways to learn about a contractor’s experience is by perusing their previous work. See if you can find before-and-after pictures that clearly display the efficacy and quality of the contractor’s work. If they’re reluctant or unable to show you such examples, this suggests that they’re not confident in their results or that they simply don’t bother capturing images of their work -- this is a red flag either way and suggests a low level of professionalism.
7. How Long Will the Job Take?
We’re all on some sort of schedule, so even if your house exterior is long overdue for a cleaning, you won’t want it to take up your entire day. Fortunately, pressure washing doesn’t typically take that long, especially when compared to other home improvement and maintenance tasks like painting and repair work. Depending on the size and condition of your home, this project can take as little as 30-45 minutes or as long as 3-4 hours, but usually won’t exceed this amount. It’s worth asking a contractor how long they think it will take based on their experience and the details you provide so you can schedule their services to suit your needs.
8. Can You Provide an Estimate?
Cost is often the biggest concern for those seeking contract services. Before hiring a candidate, ask if they can provide an estimate so you can compare it against your budget. More importantly, make sure the estimate is totally transparent with itemized details that clearly indicate the scope of the job and what each component amounts to. This way, you won’t get hit with hidden fees during or after the job is finished.
9. Is Your Work Backed Up by a Guarantee?
Finally, ask your contractor if the quality of their work is guaranteed. A 100% satisfaction guarantee means that the job isn’t done until all requirements have been met -- if something is missed or messed up, it’s the contractor’s responsibility to amend the issue at no extra cost. The best pressure washing services start and finish on time, keep the work area clean, commit to every detail, protect all surfaces, communicate clearly, and stand behind their work every time. If a contractor cannot meet these standards, look elsewhere.
At Nash Painting, we take quality, craftsmanship, and service seriously. Whether we’re tasked with washing your home, refinishing your doors, painting your surfaces, etc., we aren’t satisfied until you are. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!