By some, I’m considered an expert in rust stain removal. What did it take for me to become such?
It started in August 2000. When I was trying to get rust stains off canvas awnings in Omaha, Nebraska. My awning cleaner didn’t touch those ugly rust stains.
What to do? I knew I could be a hero if only I could clean those off.
I started asking questions of other contract cleaners. Finally, a carpet cleaner told me how he removed rust stains from carpets. I immediately went to a carpet cleaner supplier and bought 16 oz of their rust stain remover. They charged me $20 for those 16 oz.
I went to those rust stained awnings and applied a few drops of this precious fluid. I followed the instructions on the bottle and within 10 minutes I knew I could fix rust stained awnings!
By some, I’m considered an expert in rust stain removal. What did it take for me to become such?
We’ve all heard it. Maybe we’ve all said it. Sadly many of us may have had it said directly to us. And of course ‘it’ is, ‘it’s not personal, it’s just business’. Well I say BS. It’s a lie.
I say everyone should stop saying it. I say everyone should quit using it as an excuse. Because the fact is, it is personal. Maybe the ‘business’ or specific ‘leader’ doesn’t see it that way, and if they don’t, then they are part of the problem as well.
Bleach is used in the roof washing process to kill moss, algae, and lichen with low pressure. When the bleach used to kill organic matter on the roof runs off onto the landscaping, it can also kill the plants and trees. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to protect plants and shrubs when soft washing.
To get a feel for the roof cleaning market in your area, just take a drive around your community. In most parts of the country, you will notice ugly black streaks on residential and commercial building roofs. Those are your potential customers! Homeowners, apartment buildings, commercial buildings, property owners, HOAs – all are great potential markets.
Marketed correctly, roof cleaning can be a particularly profitable service. That’s because those ugly black streaks are not only unattractive, they are downright destructive and need to be removed for the health of the roof.
John Suggs of Clean Stripe in Howe, Texas, holds many titles, but one he never expected to have is that of disabled veteran. However, sometimes life takes unplanned twists and turns. John’s happened to lead him to pressure washing and a dream of eventually helping other veterans get back on their feet. And PowerWashU’s Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Boot Camp is playing an important role in John’s journey.
To simplify things for those of us that do not have a chemistry background and just want to get our chemicals and go clean, I suggest starting with a reputable supplier that you have or can develop a good relationship with. A good supplier should be able to provide you the input, suggestions, and right chemicals for the job. Not only that, but be able to walk you through how to most effectively use the chemical once you receive it. It is very important before you quote a job that has stains you are unfamiliar with, to have a resource to discuss options and know how to get the best results for your potential customer.
On top of that you will want to know how much you will have to spend on getting a product that will work and get those results. That is very important information so you can charge that customer an appropriate amount. For example, you go to a customer’s house and tell them you will clean the house and driveway. However, there are rust stains all along the driveway. It is important for your customer to know that removing those rust stains will cost extra to remove. And to remove those stains you will need a special chemical to get them off. Rust can be very easy to remove with the right product, but be very frustrating if you do not attack it properly.
That is just one example, you have probably experienced or will experience hundreds of other situations that require something special to get it clean. Is the stain organic, inorganic, is it grease, or even tannin from the leave or acorns? Do you know how to recognize these things? If not take some pictures both up close and far off. Share those with your chemical supplier and let them help. Is it on wood, painted surface, vinyl siding, concrete, or something else? Do tests spots, depending on what type of surface the stain is on can make a difference too. These are also very aspects to look at. My point is there is not a one bullet approach to stains. A do it all cleaner is not typically going to do it all.
I would never want to insult anyone’s intelligence and I know some reading have much more experience than others. I recognize there are tricks and workarounds that have worked for some of us for years. You can study chemistry and learn different types of stains, and I absolutely encourage you to do that to better hone your craft. But for many, no matter the level of experience the right chemical supplier, the knowledge and service you receive is invaluable. When you are out making money and washing, in my opinion my time is valuable so using the quality resources available makes more sense, even if it cost money.
If we at Powerwash.com can help you, please do not hesitate to reach out, we work very hard for our clients. You will find we have a wide selection of chemicals, detergents and soaps for just about anything you are cleaning. But, we want to help make sure you get the proper choice for your job.
Restaurant kitchen exhaust cleaning is an excellent pressure washing business that offers regular income with a relatively low entry cost. Kitchen exhaust cleaning can keep you working throughout the winter, even if you live in colder climates. The National Fire Protection Association writes the standards that all commercial cooking operations must follow. All commercial kitchens must be inspected on a regular basis, and “If upon inspection, the exhaust system is found to be contaminated with deposits from grease-laden vapors, the contaminated portions of the exhaust system shall be cleaned by a properly trained, qualified, and certified person(s) acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.”(NFPA 96 Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations, ©2017)
Dealing with a concrete area covered in grime and grease can be quite the task. Sometimes it may even seem like you are just moving the grime and grease around with no results! I recently spoke with Josh Minx of Southern Clean in Kansas City, MO, who is a loyal customer and an industry professional that has had the (dis)pleasure of cleaning concrete for several years. Josh says, “Clearly Clean Xtreme and Texas Red are my go to chemicals for all concrete cleaning”. Both Clearly Clean Xtreme and Texas Red have the ability to dissolve tough dirt, grease, and filth. Josh mostly uses a 12 volt pump to spray down a mix of four ounces per gallon of Clearly Clean Xtreme, and then allows the chemical to dwell an average of ten minutes on the specific spot. Results may vary based on thickness of the grime, so it is always good to test treat a small area first. For downstreaming, Josh uses eight to ten ounces per gallon, but he prefers using an X-Jet of four to eight ounce per gallon mix. Josh also uses a hot water machine with a surface cleaner afterwards for best results. Additionally, Clearly Clean Xtreme can also be used with a cold water machine or a pump up sprayer using four ounces per gallon, and can warm the surface to help with the cleaning process. Clearly Clean Xtreme is available in a two pound sample size and a fifty pound box.
“I have used multiple products over the years from everywhere, but have not found anything that works as well as Clearly Clean Xtreme on concrete. Whether it is engine oil or restaurant grease, it does not let my crew down!” – Josh Minx
Your website is one of the most important sales tools you have. A few changes can make a big difference in your business. Search engine optimization can get very technical, but there are some simple things you can do to improve your ranking.
If you are interested in search engine optimization, start by searching for your site. Go to Bing and Google, and type in power washing service. Both search engines will present a list of local businesses, usually accompanied by a map. Take some time to register your business with Google and Bing. Fill out your profile completely. Mention all your services in your description, and make sure your business name is descriptive. If you call yourself “Jim’s Cleaning” you may want to call yourself “Jim’s Power Wash Cleaning” online. Think about what words people will use to find you, and sprinkle them into your content. Relevance is a big factor is search engine optimization. If you can match a search term, you are more likely to rank near the top.
The second big factor in local listings is location. Duh. Be sure to put your physical address, not a PO Box. This will help search engines pinpoint your location and show your business to people searching in your area. Search engines list businesses that are closest to a searcher’s physical location higher. If they are not sure exactly where you are, you will not rank as well.
Positive customer reviews are also taken into consideration. Work to get as many positive online reviews as you can. This will not only help your search engine optimization, but may also help your click through rate. Social influence will help your potential customers build trust with you.
Now let’s look at your website. Does it look professional? Does it look modern? You don’t need to have the latest greatest fancy pants site on the web, but it should NOT look like something your teenage son made for you in 1995. Your goal should be to get your visitors to fill out your contact form. They are much less likely to contact you if you look like you went out of business 20 years ago. You don’t need to be a web designer to make a website anymore. It helps, but there are services like squarespace.com that can make the process easy for anyone.
If it looks good and it loads fast, let’s look at the content. Look at the little tab at the top of the page. This is where you can find your page title. If it is too long to fit on the tab, hold your mouse over it and it will probably show the full title. Every page on your site should have a unique, descriptive title. If the tab on you home page just says, “Home Page” or “Index” you should update it immediately. A better title would be “Your Company Name-Your City Name” So, “Jim’s Power Washing-Dallas, Texas” The title is what people will see in search results.
If all your titles are descriptive and unique, check your page content to make sure that it matches the title. As I mentioned above, relevance is a major part of search engine optimization. If the page title says, “Roof Cleaning” the content should be focused on roof cleaning. If the first thing on the page is about house washing, and roof cleaning is only a small blurb at the bottom, you should change the title.
Photo titles and alt tags should also be considered. Search engines use automated programs called crawlers to periodically review your site. These robots can’t see your photos. Instead, they rely on titles and alt text. Titles are visible tags like captions. Alt tags are not usually visible to visitors unless the photo doesn’t load properly or they are using screen reading technology. Place photos next to related content to help search engines identify their purpose. Alt tags and titles should include keywords that relate to the main idea of your page. Photos are a good way to keep your content fresh. Place them throughout your site and update them regularly.
Remember that your search rankings will not change immediately. It can sometimes take weeks or even months before you will see improvements. Focus on creating a useful resource for people searching for your services. Make an attractive site that encourages them to contact you. Then provide the best service possible so that you get positive reviews and repeat visitors to your site.
Have you been asked by a client, “Can you remove rust stains?” What is your answer in those cases? Are you confident your technique and chemical choice is effective enough to make a noticeable difference?
Golf courses, living communities, restaurants, etc., where there’s a super fertilized green lawn chances are some examples of where you may find some rusty concrete. Iron in the fertilizer works wonders on the grass, but can leave terrible rust stains if spread over concrete. The client may have already tried something to remove it without good results. Noticing this opportunity can be a great upsell. Most rust jobs are fairly easy with little tools needed. There’s a lot of rust removing products out there and techniques but the most effective that I can personally say would be Rust Remover Plus.
You can remove rust and brighten the concrete, pavers, stone, brick, siding, awnings, as well as a host of other surfaces with just a pump up chemical sprayer. For concrete: Using one gallon of Rust Remover Plus can cover up to 200 square feet. This product can be mixed with at 1:5 or applied straight based on the severity of the stain. We recommend to test a small area to determine the dilution needed for each rust removal job. Wet the area down with water first, spray Rust Remover Plus and let dwell for up to 10 minutes or so. Brushing with a stiff bristle brush before the surface dries is helpful for getting it to soak deeper in the pores of the concrete. Rinse the area and allow to dry to reveal your work. In some cases a second treatment may be needed.
Rust Remover Plus is sold in 16 ounce, 1 gallon, and 5 gallon sizes. It’s also a great concrete cleaner and brightener. My favorite chemical in our arsenal absolutely has to be Rust Remover Plus. If you haven’t heard of it I highly recommend to check it out.
Please feel free to reach out to us if you have more questions. We are here to help.