- Meet the Contractor. Meet the contractor during the estimate and take time to evaluate the site together. This will better communications and reduce errors in the estimating process.
- Get Consultation. A qualified pressure washing contractors will take time to review your site, ask questions and seek out areas of concern. They will listen carefully and interpret the service you desire and expect. In turn, they will also review with you, the strengths and limitations of their service. As you consult with various contractors, ask them specific questions on service, procedures, expected outcomes, and possibilities for damage. Together you will develop a more complete picture of the service, weeding out obvious inconsistencies in service. In all this is a great way to judge professionalism.
- Get A Procedure Listing. This list briefly outlines the steps that will be taken during your particular job. It may be a separate sheet or part of the estimate. In either case, this is a very helpful tool when comparing one pressure washing service to another.
- Inquire about Equipment. Is it owed or rented? Owed or leased equipment is evidence of a long-term commitment to the field of pressure washing. Renting may indicate only an occasional need for equipment.
Most pressure washing businesses will have power washer equipment that can supply 11-15 HP (horsepower, strength), 3000-4000 PSI (pound per square inch, force) and 3-6 GPM (gallons per minute, flow). A rating of 2000 PSI and 2 GPM or less is a residential grade of equipment and will not perform at the level of doing business.
- Ask for a Demonstration. This is not always feasible. Demonstrations can take an enormous amount of time to setup and perform. Often contractors will forgo demonstrations and ask the client to be present at job startup. This is not uncommon. If you are not satisfied with results or question work performance, do not hesitate to inform them.
- Get Written Estimates. Having a written estimate protects both you and the pressure washing contractors. A written estimate should detail the desired service, expected outcome and complete costs in labor and material.
- Get Referrals. When you get referrals, be sure that they represent the service you desire. For instance, someone seeking deck cleaning should receive deck cleaning referrals, not vinyl siding cleaning. Once you have referrals, use them. Ask specific questions concerning cleaning procedures, job outcomes, workmanship and professionalism.
- Satisfaction and Billing Policies. Familiarize yourself with the contractor's satisfaction and billing policies. Understand deposits and payment schedules. Ask them, in the event of dissatisfaction, what their policy is.
- Insurance. Check to see that your contractor has liability insurance. All pressure washing contractors should have protected both themselves and their clients from possible on-site accidents, injury, or damage.
- Analyze Cost. Cost of service will be a factor in your decision. Keep in mind less cost frequently means less service and less quality. Basically, you get what you pay. Be wary of $49 deck and $99 house washes.
- Be Present During The Job. Observe work as it takes place. Quite often, cleaning results are remarkable and you should experience this process first hand. Likewise, be ready to consult with the contractor as any problems or potential damages arise.
- Be Present At Job Completion. Thoroughly inspect and evaluate the job site upon completion. List any problems or concerns and review them with the contractor. A contractor is more likely to address problems now, than returning in the future.
Overall, build your knowledge base, research each pressure washing contractors and use common sense when choosing a contractor. Understand the entire cleaning process, analyze cost comparisons, and weed out possible low quality service providers. A quality pressure washing contractor will encourage and assist in helping you in all these areas.
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