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  1. One of my customers called me and told me they are going with another company that has promised them they will never have to clean there roof again. I don't want to mention the name of the company, but I did call them and speak to their sales guy. He explained that it is a copper based algaecide that the particular manufacturer has been able to formulate so that it stays on the roof and does it's job for two years. They basically quote customers for the initial cleaning (surface cleaning the roof) and applying the "Roof-A-Cide". They guarantee it will last two years. In two years they come back and charge a fee to spray on the "Roof-A-cide". According to the sales guy I spoke to, as long as this is done every two years the roof will never need to be pressure washed or soft washed with Chlorine. I have roof that I have cleaned two years ago using the the chlorine/detergent mix and they look fine also. I know this issue has been discussed over and over again, but I have not been on the forum in awhile. So does this "Roof-A-Cide" actually work, or just a sales gimmick?
  2. I have to give a quote on an HOA perimeter wall. This is the first time I have done one of these. I am thinking the quote would be just for the outwardly facing part of the wall? The inside of the wall is in each persons backyard, so I would have to climb over the four foot wall and go into each persons back yard. What's normally done in these cases?
  3. I started out doing another roof from the ladder today and after a few minutes, I got frustrated and got on the roof. It really wasn't coming clean from the ladder. My mix was 60% H20/ 40%SH with a couple of scoops of Gain Ultra and half a large box of TSP. I don't understand why on some days, one coat is all it takes and on other days I need two or three coats? I am not sure what the variable is? Is it the roof itself, maybe direct sunlight, strength of the raw SH. I only do tile roof and 90 percent of those are concrete glazed tile (usually 15-20 year old roofs). Today I didn't have myrstamine (ran out) so I substituted Gain Ultra. The one time my mixed seemed particularly "hot" was when I went to the supply in the afternoon and filled up right after the tanker delivered the SH. I actually talked to the truck driver and he said " yep I just pumped it from my tanker, so your're getting if fresh off my truck". I wonder if the supply dilutes the SH? I think they are only allowed to sell 10 % SH, maybe they are watering the SH down in late afternoon and then first thing in the morning we are all buying diluted SH? Of course I have no proof and I don't want to be libel for false information. Anyway on a positive note I had good results with the "Bull Frog" boots. It just seemed a lot easier to put on the extra coats from the roof versus the ladder. If I could knock it out in one coast using the ladder method, I would probably go for it, but there is no way I am moving a ladder around a house two or three times. If anyone has some info please help.
  4. Hey I burned the hedges on the side of a house last week. The owner was pretty understanding. The damage occurred on the sides of the house where there are no gutters. The damage was directly under the edge of the roof. Basically it 's about a 5 inch wide dead streak in the middle of the viburnum hedge. I watered constantly, so I am not sure how it happened. I am starting to think that the damage may have occurred because I don't rinse my roofs? I am thinking the damage happened the next morning from the dew? Tonight in Sarasota for instance it is currently about 75 degrees, at about 10 PM the temp drops down to the dew point of 73 degrees. I am thinking at this point all the SH on the roof section with no gutters will begin to run off onto the hedges? Is this what is happening? I think I am going to start rinsing my roofs, especially on the sides where there are no gutters.
  5. OK. I will probably just go with the 1/2 inch. I am sure the houses here is Sarasota are very similar to what you are doing in Tampa. If the 1/2 pumps have served you well then I probably won't bother going any bigger.
  6. Chris, I am in Sarasota. I think you have gone as far south as University Ave? 99 Percent of all my jobs are further south. I have been using with the FB2, and won't use the air diaphragm setup until it's ready to go. I am not losing any money while I put the other system together, so I can take my time shopping for the pump. I have seen some great deals on some 1" pumps to where they are basically the same price as the 1/2 pumps. The ones I have seen are 1" inch used with Polypropylene bodies and santoprene diaphragms. I know that this is not as good PVDF and the Teflon diaphragm, but I've heard they work well and can handle to SH for a long time. I have seen the used 1" pumps for as low as $300.00. Even if I had to replace the diaphragm on a used one, I think it's something I can handle. The question is would the Rol-AIr I have now drive it? If I restricted the flow at the nozzle with a PVC shut off valve wouldn't it function just like a 1/2 pump? Then if I needed to say hit a distant peak for 10 seconds, I let the air build up then open the valve all the way for the 10 seconds to hit the peak. I am sure I will lose flow and pressure after a few seconds (not enough CFM with the Rol-Air) but by that time I already put a film of mix where it needed to go? These are all assumptions and red neck engineering guesses on my part. If everything I am saying is BS, let me know and I will just go for the 1/2 inch pump? Thank You
  7. Gary as a fellow ex-telephone guy myself I can relate to your stories. I worked for Pacific Bell out in California. We called it "Gaffing out". Slightly off topic, so I will make it quick. One day before we left the yard our safety officer pulled us aside for a briefing. Apparently someone had an accident climbing a stepped pole with their Gaffs on. Step poles are the ones with the alternating perpendicular metal studs sticking out ever 18 inches or so. The last inch of the step has a 90 degree bend and is perpendicular to the pole. Apparently an employee's metal gaff slipped on the metal step and he fell off the pole. On the way down he caught his scrotum on the last inch of one of the steps. I don't think they had a problem with anyone wearing their gaffs on a stepped pole after that. OK back on topic. I did not use a ladder stabilizer. I know they are cheap and available at HD. I will by one for the next job. Thank you Chris and everyone else for being honest with me about the pros and cons of walking versus ladder/ground cleaning. I have only been doing this a year, and have already had some close calls walking on tile roofs. My technique has improved and most of my close calls happened when I was first getting started, but all it takes is one unforeseen variable to ruin your life. I think it's easier to control the variables with a ladder. Now I want to ask some technical stuff. I haven't bought a membership yet, but plan on doing so soon. Right now I trying to stretch my money between advertising and equipment and I think winter/Holidays is putting a damper on things. I took Chris and Gary's advice and used the "slow roofing season" to pick up a nice compressor. I was able to get a Rol-air K17 pump for $200.00. It puts out about 10 CFM. Will that power a 1 inch air diaphragm pump? Initially my thought was no, but after thinking about how I would be using it, maybe it would work? I am not going to run it wide open. I would climb the ladder then spray a section. While climbing the ladder the compressor would be storing energy in the form of high PSI in the 8 Gallon tanks. When I open the nozzle of course the compressor could not keep up long term, but the stored energy in the tanks might be enough to operate the pump for 20 seconds or so, which is about all I need to spray at any given time without moving. What do you think? The compressor has a 6.5 HP Kohler engine, so if I don't have enough CFM for the one inch air diaphragm pump, I could get the Harbor Freight V twin for about $150.00 (20% coupon). It puts out 15.2 CFM @90 PSI. It calls for a 5 HP motor but I think they are talking electric not gas? Could the 6.5 HP gas push that compressor pump? Sorry for the long post. I type very fast and before I know it I have written an essay. I love getting responses, so hopefully someone writes back. Take Care.
  8. I used a blue tip 5.5 orifice zero degree and a black chem pickup fan nozzle for close areas. I have tried the green tip 5.5 orifice/25 degree for close up areas, but it makes the FB2 cycle on and off too many times. The blue tip was the same one that I bought as my low pressure for my pressure washer that puts out 5.5 GPM. Since the FB2 puts out close the the same GPM at 60 PSI, I think it's a good fit. On a good day I can shoot close to 40 ft. (no wind, new pump, fully charged battery, etc.). I bought several other zero degree nozzles from Home Depot and drilled them to different specs (.172 inches and .188 inches), but the original blue tip 5.5 orifice zero degree performed the best. I did my first job last week where 90 percent was done from the ladder or the ground. I think overall it took a little longer and I ended up using more materials. It was a white barrel tile ranch home with about 3400 total square feet (not sure surface area sq feet). I used about 70 gallons of 50/50 mix (hang tite/SH/H2O). I grabbed a painters pole at HD for $35.00 for any areas I could not reach. I simply extended the pole, then zip tied my 1/2 clear poly hose to the pole. This allowed me to shoot over the pool cage and hit the slope behind it. More over spray did go on the plants, but since I was at the most a couple rungs away it didn't take much to quickly re- rinse the area. As far as safety is concerned, I am not sure it is that much safer. Obviously you are spending much more time on the ladder which presents another different set of safety concerns. I found myself constantly moving the ladder. Sometimes the ground was wet from the rinsing. Sometimes the ground wasn't perfectly even. More then once I had my ladder fully extended working with the telescopic pole at the top. If you loose traction on a roof, hopefully when you fall the added friction of your body against the tile will stop you from falling off. If the ladder goes on the other hand, you are screwed. From a marketing stand point I think it can be very effective to advertise that you "Don't walk on a customers roof". You can then sell the decrease in liability, and overstate how foot traffic cracks tile, voids warranties, etc. I have mixed feeling about the whole thing. It is difficult to resist the urge to just get on the roof and get the job done. It is sort of like watching my kid pick something off the floor with their toes. Yes, she eventually gets it done but overall it takes her twice as long and twice the energy.
  9. I am new to the forum and somewhat new to roof cleaning. I have been doing only Tile roofs in Sarasota for about 6 months now. I have been walking the roofs and using a FB2. I placed a post last week where I asked about walking the roof versus doing it from a ladder. Many commented that most of the roof can be done from ladders. My concern is that if I have to get on the roof to do the parts that are not reachable (lets say the slopes behind the pool cage), why not just do the whole thing from the roof? The second thought is that if I am going to be on the roof anyway to do the part I could not reach from the ladder, does it really matter if I am able to shoot 25 feet versus 40 feet. I'd rather just take a few steps and not have to deal with a gas motor that drives a piston to create air that is finally used to drive the diaphram pump (seems like a lot of contraption just to spray chemical). I took my FB2 apart today and the diaphragm appears to have gotten stiff. I found a place that sells replacement upper and lower for about $70.00 + $15.00 shipping, but for all the hassle, I might just go with a new pump for aprox $180.00. I have been buying the Hang Tite to add to my mix, but last week I almost slipped even though the algae had been cleaned where I was stepping. I concluded the same thing as Apple, that the surfactant was the issue. Maybe I will try just the SH and the TSP. Isn't the TSP pretty nasty stuff from a health standpoint? I know HD doesn't sell it anymore, but my local lowes store has the bigger box or $10.00. Maybe I should swap out the soap for the TSP?
  10. I have been cleaning roofs successfully for the past 6 months or so using a 12 volt FB system. I think my pump is starting to get weak because it is not spraying quite the distance that it use to. It still works fine using the method I use to clean roofs. I am considering trying to clean a roof from the ground. I have heard a few people on this forum talk about it. The other day while exiting a very expensive gated subdivision the security guard told me that he is constantly asked by homeowner for someone who able to clean from the ground (apparently there are not many who offer the service). I told the guard that I thought spraying chlorine that far would kill a lot of vegetation. He said, "oh yeah he always has to come back and replace bushes". Many of the roofs I clean are for 3500 plus sq. ft. homes that have complex roofs. I am not sure it would be possible to access all the roof surfaces from the ground or a ladder? I know some of the air diagram pumps can spray 70 feet and maybe that would make more areas accessible from the ground? The concern I have however is that if your spraying a stream 70 feet, where is it all going? Certainly the wind is going to blow the stream everywhere? The info from the security guard seems to support my concern. If you walk on the roof, you risk falling, violate OSHA, not insurable, expose the homeowner to liability, crack tile and most importantly risk injury or death. If you don't walk on the roof, you probably don't have as much control over where the chemical is going. Therefore you will be wasting chemical, killing vegetation and pushing droplets of SH all the way down the street? Any thoughts?
  11. I came across a PIC of someone who has made a Predator 22 HP pressure washer. I guess with a 20% - 25% coupon one can get these for about $560.00. AR pump for approx $500.00, poly chain and a few other parts and you have a kick A** pressure washer.
  12. OK, I am trying to follow the advice given here. Here is some more info to chew on. The Hydrants in the neighborhood are no more then 1,000 feet apart and are the AA rated hydrants, which I believe give them 1500 GPM. Jeff mentioned tank float and hooking up to any water source. The problem with this however is that the HOA guy does not want me borrowing water from any residence. I guess the guy last year stated off stealing water from a vacant house and they were not happy about it. They do have adapters that go from a hydrant 2 " output to a 3/4 inch out. Cheap garden hose is 20 bucks for 100 feet. For $100.00 I could have 500 feet of garden hose to my tank. What are your thoughts on this. If I can do this, then that eliminated the need for a bigger tank. The second issue is paring two units like mine together. The problem is however that no one around here rents a 5.5 GPM @ 4,000 PSI unit. Even If I could find a unit like that to rent and pair up, more then one person has advised against that much water flow though 3/8 inch pressure line. I think I can get 100 Ft. of 1/2 pressure washer hose for $250.00. Would the 36 inch surface cleaner need to be modified at this point, or could it take the 1/2 inch input? Maybe a better solution would be to simply upgrade my pump to 8 GPM @ 3500 PSI and keep the 3/8 inch pressure hose? Would this help or would I just be trading PSI for GPM ( 8 GPM from 5.5 GPM at the cost of PSI 4,000 PSI to 3500 PSI)? WIth my 18 HP motor I am likely to only see 8 GPM @ 3000 PSI. I could by a 22 HP preditor motor from harbor freight for $700.00 but I heard they are POS? The other questions is what would my GPM be at the end of a 500 ft garden hose?
  13. Thank you. This is exactly the response I was looking for. The question for me, is weather or not it's worth investing the money in better equipment or should I simply spend more time doing the job with the equipment that I have. So here is a list of what I might want to consider. 1) Surface cleaner - I think the only surface cleaner that makes since is the Maxima 36 inch because that would cut the number of passes in half where the big guy would only reduce the number of passes by a quarter. Either way it's at least 1K that I would have to spend on another surface cleaner. 2) A second pressure washer unit to run in parallel with mine. I am thinking at least 2K for a used one. 3) upgraged tank ($300.00) I just don't know if it is worth 3K -4K investment for this one job. For one, I don't have that amount of cash on hand. Secondly, I doubt that they would be willing to sign a three year contract. If I can't find more big flat work jobs like this, then I am back to roof cleaning. The 36 inch surface cleaner, 300 - 500 Gallon tank and a 10 GPM machine will all be of little use once this job is over. I think I factored 80 hours with the equipment I have now (without the gutters which are on both side of the street). With the gutters, maybe another 80 hours. Still that's a months worth of work that may pay as much as 8K. Even after taking out fuel cost and water cost, I am still walking away with 7K. Even if I could upgrade my equipment, and finish in half the time, I would only have 3K in profit. I guess I would have two weeks to find more jobs and earn money, but there is no guarantee on how many jobs I may or may not get in those two weeks.
  14. Hey, sorry in advance if this is the wrong forum. I have been cleaning roofs in a particular neighbor hood. I have done 3 roofs in the past couple of weeks (mainly neighbors of each other). I have made friends with one of the HOA board members and now he wants me to do the yearly sidewalk and gutter cleaning. There are 4 miles worth of 5 foot wide sidewalk to clean and probably 8 miles of gutter (the part that borders the street). I am looking for a fair price to charge per Sq foot. Any info would be helpful. Apparently the guy they hired last year charged $5700.00 and did a horrible job. I did the math and at that price just considering the sidewalk alone he only made $0.05 cents per Sq foot. Once you factor in the sidewalk he probably made half of that or $0.02 - $0.03 cents per square foot. Again I am looking for help on how to price this. I did a test strip and was able to clean 16 ft of sidewalk in 2 min 47 seconds. I am using a 18 HP honda with 18 inch surface cleaner. I did some rough math and with a 200 gallon tank filling at a hydrant, I'd spend approx 60 hours cleaning just the sidewalk and 20 hours refilling my tank. I think the gutters will take me the same time to complete, so it is probably impossible to come in anywhere near where the guy came in last year. Please help?
  15. Hi, My name is Kevin from West Coast PowerWash. I am new to the forum. I tried to post an intro, but wasn't sure it was in the correct spot. Anyway, I have been in business in Sarasota for about a year. I do this as a part time gig. I have a trailer unit and offer both Soft Wash and Pressure Washing. I generally soft Wash roofs and pressure wash everything else. On pool cages and other heavy mold/algae areas I might pre-wash with the softwash SH solution (1%), roof snot, etc and then rinse with my pressure washer with a 65 or 45 degree nozzle. Of course I will use the surface cleaner on the flat work. I have ran into a couple of house washing jobs where the Cheap A** Builders decided to use SheetRock over the entry way. It stays dry during the rain because it is covered. The problem however is that people like to leave there porch light on and bugs, mud dauber, dirt, etc start to accumulate on the sheetrock, especially in the corners where the stucco and sheetrock meet. Can anyone tell me how to go about cleaning this entry section of the house without ruining the sheetrock by getting it wet. I come accross a lot of houses where someone has tried to clean this area previously and the sheetrock tape seams are all de-laminating from having gotten wet by the last guy or homeowner. Thanks you!
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