softwash systems How To Softwash And Build A Softwash System Of Your Own!


207 posts in this topic

Posted

Hello Guys, Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa here  :)

If you lived here in Florida, you would know we have been softwashing down here for many many years!

A "softwash system" is what we have been using to chemically clean roofs and exteriors w/o pressure washing, for many years.

In this forum, you will learn how to build your very own softwash systems, and how to roll your own softwashing chemicals.

There is no need to buy expensive,, pre fabricated softwash skids, when you can easily build your very own softwash system.

You do not need  questionable, and very expensive softwash chemicals for your systems.

 

post-1-0-92838900-1370593180_thumb.png

 

Before you buy any ready made Softwash System, or "training", post any and all your soft wash cleaning questions here, so we may help you build your own system, and do it yourself.

post-1-0-57434700-1370593560_thumb.jpg

blogentry-1-0-56431900-1366330093_thumb.
blogentry-1-0-22163900-1366330134_thumb.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

 

You are correct Chris. You don't need to spend thousands to get going. I built myself a portable unit for about $500 bucks. It works as good as most set ups. One vender already tried copying it. Then there's all these fancy soap and scents that cost a small fortune. There are better products that can be bought local that are cheaper and better.

 

You got that right Art! I see super expensive skids claiming to be "the ultimate" softwash system, that IMHO are not worth the money!

This whole "softwashing" thing is getting completely out of hand too.

Us non pressure roof cleaners have known for years here in Florida, that the chemicals we use will also clean houses, etc, etc.

The chemicals will also "clean concrete" in a 1/2 assed way. 

Pressure Washing is superior to any softwash system you can make or buy, when it comes to cleaning old concrete especially if it has oil or grease stains.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Chuck Bergman in Englewood, Florida here! I agree with you and Art Chris.

I have a reasonably fancy setup now, but it doesn't clean roofs better or faster than my old open trailer, simple setup did. In fact, I use 5gpm Delavan pumps - set up in a pair. If one quits, I switch to the other and keep on going. But my old simpler setup still only took maybe 15 minutes to change out a broken pump. In fact, I could go back to using 2gpm pumps and 3/8" ID hoses and do just as good a job, using less roof cleaning mix and not spend more than an extra couple of hours a week doing roofs with it.

This information, on building your own softwashing setup, should move slowly, I THINK? As interest and questions are asked, answers should be given. Not just someone laying it all on the line, making "Training" Learning" forums obsolete.

Here is my business in action!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPCtVUu3Si0&feature=plcp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

If you are serious about getting into the "soft wash" roof cleaning business, you have come to the right place. Pay the small membership fee and learn from the experts. They will teach you how to build your own system. You will also learn to mix the very best roof cleaning solution without spending a ton of money.

 

If you do your research on the web, you will find other forums or associations that claim they are the best. Be careful, because many of them are going to try to "sell" you something. The best chemicals, surfactants, equipment or training.

 

You will learn that there are many options for building your system. If you are rich, then buy a custom built skid and pay somebody thousands of dollars to teach you how to clean a roof. OR, you can join RCIA and learn how to start a successful roof cleaning business without breaking the bank.

 

 

hickeys45 and Bryce Canfield like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

i agree.. I can't see spending 6k for a prebuilt rig when parts all together are around 600-700$ and after 2 seasons of use(if your using them in a professional way) you pretty much will need a new setup due to all the wear and tear.. and 6k every 2 years isn't going to work.. Oh, and chemicals.. I buy gain ultra at the dollar store for 1.50 a bottle.. 1 bottle for 80 gallons, and the smell has never bothered anyone, the only thing they say is, sure smells clean!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

i agree.. I can't see spending 6k for a prebuilt rig when parts all together are around 600-700$ and after 2 seasons of use(if your using them in a professional way) you pretty much will need a new setup due to all the wear and tear.. and 6k every 2 years isn't going to work.. Oh, and chemicals.. I buy gain ultra at the dollar store for 1.50 a bottle.. 1 bottle for 80 gallons, and the smell has never bothered anyone, the only thing they say is, sure smells clean!

Good Post Lee! 

Unfortunately, many newcomers are fooled into buying expensive, overpriced Soft Wash Skids, and told they need all kinds of "special"  chemicals and additives.

They have no idea how easy it is to build their own Softwash Systems! 

deckcareplus likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I have no problem with high price roof cleaning rigs, so long as you build it yourself.  I lean towards buying the Cadillac of roof cleaning and power washing products.  That is because well constructed components usually last longer.  Time is money and don't think it does not matter.  When I am cleaning a large roof the last thing I need or want is an equipment failure.  When something goes wrong with your roof cleaning system while you are on a job you want it fixed quickly.  If you build it yourself then you understand the design and how to fix it quickly.  If you buy a system made by somebody else and it quits working, Good Luck!.  You could be there all day just trying to figure out what the problem is let alone trying to fix it.  That will make you look very unprofessional in the eyes of a customer.  If you do professional work you are lucky to get 1 or more referrals.  I you break down and can not fix the problem in a timely manner you will look unprofessional and you will get lots of referrals...That is the kind of referrals that you do not want other potential customers hearing about.  My advice.  Start simple and understand what you have built.  Later on build your own more elaborate roof cleaning system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I have no problem with high price roof cleaning rigs, so long as you build it yourself.  I lean towards buying the Cadillac of roof cleaning and power washing products.  That is because well constructed components usually last longer.  Time is money and don't think it does not matter.  When I am cleaning a large roof the last thing I need or want is an equipment failure.  When something goes wrong with your roof cleaning system while you are on a job you want it fixed quickly.  If you build it yourself then you understand the design and how to fix it quickly.  If you buy a system made by somebody else and it quits working, Good Luck!.  You could be there all day just trying to figure out what the problem is let alone trying to fix it.  That will make you look very unprofessional in the eyes of a customer.  If you do professional work you are lucky to get 1 or more referrals.  I you break down and can not fix the problem in a timely manner you will look unprofessional and you will get lots of referrals...That is the kind of referrals that you do not want other potential customers hearing about.  My advice.  Start simple and understand what you have built.  Later on build your own more elaborate roof cleaning system.

Marcus, that was an awesome post from you, and the truth!  I suggest you consider picking up one of these http://www.kleen-ritecorp.com/p-5442-versa-matic-e8pp6xpp9-38-pump-polyproplene-body-santoprene-diaphragm.aspx as a spare to slap in there, in the unlikely event your pump takes a chit ? 

This is the 3/8 Versa Matic air pump, an excellent little pump, as long as you rinse it out when done roof cleaning or softwashing, and try to keep the hot sun U/V  rays off it, if parked outside a long time.

 

 

 

 

Thats some Good advise Marcus

It sure is!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I have no problem with high price roof cleaning rigs, so long as you build it yourself.  I lean towards buying the Cadillac of roof cleaning and power washing products.  That is because well constructed components usually last longer.  Time is money and don't think it does not matter.  When I am cleaning a large roof the last thing I need or want is an equipment failure.  When something goes wrong with your roof cleaning system while you are on a job you want it fixed quickly.  If you build it yourself then you understand the design and how to fix it quickly.  If you buy a system made by somebody else and it quits working, Good Luck!.  You could be there all day just trying to figure out what the problem is let alone trying to fix it.  That will make you look very unprofessional in the eyes of a customer.  If you do professional work you are lucky to get 1 or more referrals.  I you break down and can not fix the problem in a timely manner you will look unprofessional and you will get lots of referrals...That is the kind of referrals that you do not want other potential customers hearing about.  My advice.  Start simple and understand what you have built.  Later on build your own more elaborate roof cleaning system.

I followed this same direction starting out myself. Bought good equipment but only what I needed. I have since gone to a more quality system to provide the best service possible. I have had many customers comment on my setup and how professional it looks. So yes quality equipment is key. Starting out one should keep it simple as building a branding takes time and some of the skids, in my opinion, starting out is over kill and pricey. Maybe the money would be best spent marketing your service and building a brand. As Marcus pointed out you can always upgrade going forward. I am glad to see Chris started this post, as it is a subject often overlooked. There is a big difference from looking good and being good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I followed this same direction starting out myself. Bought good equipment but only what I needed. I have since gone to a more quality system to provide the best service possible. I have had many customers comment on my setup and how professional it looks. So yes quality equipment is key. Starting out one should keep it simple as building a branding takes time and some of the skids, in my opinion, starting out is over kill and pricey. Maybe the money would be best spent marketing your service and building a brand. As Marcus pointed out you can always upgrade going forward. I am glad to see Chris started this post, as it is a subject often overlooked. There is a big difference from looking good and being good.

You are correct there is a huge difference.  However when you are both looking good and being good you have a major advantage.  That is why I go with the best equipment that I can afford.  The better equipment usually lasts longer which translates into less downtime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You are correct there is a huge difference.  However when you are both looking good and being good you have a major advantage.  That is why I go with the best equipment that I can afford.  The better equipment usually lasts longer which translates into less downtime.

A softwash system is no good, if it keeps breaking. And, these cleaning systems always seem to break at the worst possible times too. Another reason for building it yourself is this. You know the equipment, from the ground up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Yes I agree, build it yourself that way you know every part. I have been doing mine for 3 yrs now on the box truck and making little here and there. I buy 2 of everything so when it breaks you have a backup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

post-1-0-72751200-1371176887_thumb.jpgpost-1-0-42010200-1371176894_thumb.jpgpost-1-0-77522700-1371176900_thumb.jpgpost-1-0-77940200-1371176916_thumb.jpgpost-1-0-71232700-1371176947_thumb.jpg

Yes I agree, build it yourself that way you know every part. I have been doing mine for 3 yrs now on the box truck and making little here and there. I buy 2 of everything so when it breaks you have a backup.

A good idea to have a backup for everything! All Softwash Systems you can build, or buy,  have been known to fail! 

Here are some pictures of Softwash Systems we have built, over the years.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I have to agree with looks also. Here in Trinidad, if I built something together I would not of gotten the attention I have now. People just like to see nice things. I am not referring to a footballer with the best uniform and can't score a goal but when performance matches looks you quickly rise to the top of your league. If anyone here starts doing what I do whit local equipment, I would not be intimidated one bit, but if I see a trailer pass me by, well then I would be uneasy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I followed the KISS philosophy when building my own skid. But first I did my homework by researching the RCIA forum and consulting with the RCIA community. Nothing fancy, minimum hose/pipe connections and reliable. Heck I don't even own a truck! I purchased a small trailer that accommodates all the equipment and pull it with the SUV. Not one prospective client has ever asked to first see my equipment as he/she was more concerned with my process and results. And I am proud to say that my efficient yet effective equipment delivers and many times exceeds the customer's expectations.

 

post-108-0-09226500-1376252658_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Hey guys.  I'm completely brand new to the soft-washing way of things.  The post title is "how to soft wash and how to build a system."  Can you give a newbie that really wants to know from the experts the answer to these questions.  First, what does a quality soft wash system consist of?  Then, how to safely use it?  Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

David;

There are several ways to start out. 12v electric pump which will allow you to shoot 25' up to 40' depending on your hose size and nozzle. I used that system for over 2 years until it got where it would only shoot 12-15'. Chemicals we use take their toll on equipment. I then upgraded to a air system where I use a BIG gas powered air compressor and a 1" aodd pump with 3/4" hose, a special nozzle, and 1/2" air hose. This allows me to shoot over 70'. Nice to have the extra power/capacity when you need it.

Safety is always a major concern. I built my system so I would never have to get on a roof. I spray all from the gutter line or ground.I am 67 and have had both knees replaced and don't need to fall off anything. Just read on here, start out slow with some help and learn as you go. If you got any questions, call either Chris, or myself.

Welcome aboard.

Gary

WashKings and mike coombs like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Whew, 70' is kicking it on up there. I have to get on roofs because homes here have window dormers I cant get too.

Off subject, I had a guy call me an gave me a long story about how they are sprucing up there home, said their roof looks terrible.

I gave them a price of $490 for visable half. They said they would let it rot down before they paid that. Ha Ha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I clean roofs with window dormers all the time, from the ladder. It's all in technique and having the power to reach them.. Shoot from the end to the other end., and them do the same again in reverse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

There should be a D.I.Y on this site for a soft wash system... I think when i get my air setup complete.. i am going to make a step by step instruction for a basic roof cleaning system 100 gallon with pictures parts, part numbers etc.  But it should be kept confidential to paid members of this forum.  let me know what you think. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

There should be a D.I.Y on this site for a soft wash system... I think when i get my air setup complete.. i am going to make a step by step instruction for a basic roof cleaning system 100 gallon with pictures parts, part numbers etc.  But it should be kept confidential to paid members of this forum.  let me know what you think. 

Yes, but for PAID Members ONLY Rich! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Agreed, for a start up company trying to save money build it yourself. However if you have more disposable income than time, there are several reasonably priced aluminum skids out there. Be sure and shop around though because there are also a few REALLY OVER PRICED outfits that are just about taking your money with high priced skids with too many bells and whistles and chemicals you don't need. Buyer Beware!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Agreed, for a start up company trying to save money build it yourself. However if you have more disposable income than time, there are several reasonably priced aluminum skids out there. Be sure and shop around though because there are also a few REALLY OVER PRICED outfits that are just about taking your money with high priced Softwash skids with too many bells and whistles and chemicals you don't need. Buyer Beware!

Amen to that Richard! Also beware that some so called " softwash training forums" are full of phony profiles, and/or real posters who get a kickback, or favorable treatment like sweetheart deals on the equipment/chemicals they buy, in return for them singing the praises of what certain vendors sell.

It is fun and quite easy to build and make your very own Softwash System, and by making it yourself, you will know everything about it, for when it breaks.

And, break down it will, because any system, softwash or not, that sprays liquid sodium hypochlorite, will eventually fail.

Richard Frisson likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

These people sell turn key Softwash Systems as well, and a complete franchise, for those so inclined.

http://www.uglyshingles.com/becomeaprofessional.htm

There are many, many options for those wanting to get in on the lucrative Soft Wash Cleaning Industry.

 

I sleep really good at night, just knowing that I have been able to teach people how to get into Softwashing, and feed their families.

As the climate in the world continues to warm, the growth of the Mildew and Algae will increase and spread, making more demand for those who can clean.

It is my opinion, that those who own, and can operate a Softwash System Cleaning Business, will never be out of work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now