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Produce Your Own Direct Mail Marketing CampaignBy Glenn Fellman, President Fellman Business Consulting LLC. (301) 962-7600, E-mail: email@example.com, http://www.fellman.netLast update: December 3, 1999 Recently a client asked for some help in coordinating a low cost, direct mail marketing campaign to potential restaurant clients. We developed a program that has a low investment and a high probability for excellent returns. We are glad to share the concept with you. If you are looking for a way to generate “hot” sales leads each month, this idea is right up your alley. This particular company wanted to target the restaurant industry because his company cleans commercial kitchen exhaust systems. But the same market is an excellent source of work for companies that clean carpets, HVAC systems, and a number of other items. So, for the purposes of this article we will stick with the restaurant example. Creating Your Own Flyer or Brochure The first step in producing your direct mail program is to decide on the target market (restaurants, homeowners, insurance companies, etc.). Then you need to write and design a flyer with a message aimed right at the target group. The flyer you create does not have to be very complex. It just needs to promote the services of your company in a professional, clever way. With a little creativity and a user-friendly desktop publishing program, you can develop a great flyer that can be printed very inexpensively. There are a number of low-cost desktop publishing programs, as well as “brochure-maker” programs that are very useful. For small businesses doing one or two color printing, Microsoft Publisher is a very handy program. It is very easy to learn. In fact, if you are fairly proficient in Microsoft Word, then you should have no problem working in MS Publisher. One of the nicest features of MS Publisher is that it contains dozens of brochure templates. You just drop your text into the right places – all of the design work has been done for you! You want to design your flyer as a self-mailer. In other words, one panel of the flyer has to be reserved for your address, the mailing label, and the postage. Because we are trying to keep program expenses at a minimum, we want to make sure the mailer does not have to be inserted within an envelope – envelope printing can double production costs! A double-sided photocopy on color paper is the cheapest way to print your flyer. The sad reality is that most people who receive your mailer won’t give it any attention. So two-color printing is a waste of money for this program. Save the expensive printing job for the brochure you will use in proposals, at trade shows, or for those who have already contacted you for information! Developing a Mailing List Once you have the flyer written, designed and printed, you will need a mailing list. You can purchase computer software that generates the lists for you at your local software store or office supply place. Pro-CD and PhoneDisc are both popular programs. They sell for about $150. And they are very user friendly. We did a search of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex using PhoneDisc. Our search showed the following number of restaurants by exact sub-divisions we specified. Some software allows you do further narrow down lists by zip code or other specifications. Arlington – 434 Dallas – 2,120 Fort Worth – 820 Grand Prairie – 97 Irving – 268 Our client in this region could mail 500 flyers a month for 8 months and never hit the same potential customer twice (however, mailings to certain restaurants should be repeated – especially to chains and larger facilities). Let’s take a look at the cost of this marketing campaign. § Computer software and staff time for flyer development - $500 § Mailing list software and employee time for list generation - $175 § Postage to mail 500 flyers - $165 § Printing 500 flyers ($.10 each) -- $50 The same flyer can be used over and over again, so the software and flyer development cost of $500 is a one-time, up-front expense. Likewise, you are purchasing the mailing list software and your staff person who prints up the mailing lists will get faster over time, bringing the cost of this element down considerably after the first month. Let’s take a look at the potential return on this investment in the first three months for our client in the kitchen exhaust-cleaning field. The total cost over the 90 day period would be less than $1,400 – that includes postage and printing and it covers the up front expense. If the contractor get a 1-%-closing ratio off the 1,500 restaurants, that’s 15 new customers. If he cleans each restaurant two times a year at a cost of $300, that’s $9,000 gross income – not bad for a marketing program that cost him under $1,400. These figures are very conservative – plus the contractor generates repeat customers for years and years of service! In the second three months, the program cost is reduced further since the up-front expenses were paid in the first three months. Assuming the same closing ratio, the program generates $9,000 in business off a $650 investment in printing and postage! For a small company, sending a one-page flyer promoting your company’s services to 500 potential clients is enough for one month. If you have a large sales staff, you could double or even triple the number of mailers sent each month. But don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by calls. If you can’t handle doing estimates on a daily basis, don’t mail to 10,000 potential customers all at once. Stagger the mailings out over the course of 6 or 12 months. The program we described is a simple concept, easily executed if you have some time to invest and the willingness to dedicate some staff resources to the effort. Otherwise, you could always hire a firm to do the work for you. In either case, you will be accomplishing what is essential for continued company growth – getting your name out there and making an impression with potential customers on a regular basis.
Choosing a Pressure Washer By Robert M. Hinderliter, President Rahsco Cleaning Systems of Fort Worth 2513 Warfield Street, Fort Worth, TX 76106 Phone: 800-433-2113, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.dcs1.com , www.pressurewash.com Commercial or Consumer Washer There is a wide range of pressure washing equipment available from consumer’s stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot to Industrial Supply Houses to Specialty Pressure Washer Dealers. The main difference between these sources is the support (consumer stores often do not know what they are selling or how to use it with little or delayed support) and the quality of the equipment. Typical consumer units are designed for a 100 hour life with 20 hour annual usage. This is a 5 year life for a typical consumer and a Dixie Cup Washer for the average contract cleaner. Typical Commercial/Industrial Washers are designed for several thousand hours of usage. Because of the size and growth of the consumer market manufacturers are forced into redesigning their washers for this market. This makes it almost impossible for the contractor to distinguish between a consumer pressure washer designed for 100 hours of usage (20 hours/year for a 5 year life) and an industrial washer designed for several thousand hours of usage. The exterior of the washers look the same and the difference being in the quality of the interior parts. This is compounded by the fact that the flow (gpm - gallon per minute) and pressure (psi - pounds per square inch) may be identical. Therefore, for a one time short duration job a Dixie Cup pressure washer may be a better choice than renting a commercial pressure washer. Choosing a Vendor will depend on how important the following items are to you: Technical Support before and after purchase, Reliability, Ease of Maintenance, Usage Requirements (one time only or every day), importance of operations, parts availability, maintenance and operational training, and entrepreneur support for starting and operating a business. Typical consumer pressure washers have the following design parameters that are obvious to the buyer: Pressure fed (garden hose hook up required) Direct Drive PumpsPull Start Gasoline Engines or 115 volt electric motors.Pumps with integral pressure regulator, by-pass line, inlet regulator, and pop-off valve. This makes maintenance and repair difficult and requires proprietary parts which often are difficult to get or unavailable in a reasonable length of time.Dual Lance variable pressure wands.Low Pressure Chemical Injection after the pump.Pressure nozzles with plastic inserts.Zero degree rotating nozzles.Components that are not obvious to the buyer are single usage internal plastic and brass parts instead of stainless steel. Typical industrial/commercial pressure washers have the following design parameters that are obvious to the buyer: Belt Driven Pumps drawing water from a float tank.Electric Start Gasoline Engines or 220 volt electric motors.All components are separate such as: pumps, pressure regulator, by-pass line, inlet regulator, pop-off valve, and high limit switches. This makes maintenance and repair much easier. Defective components can be diagnosed and repaired. Substitutions or alternative components can be used.Trigger Spray Gun with interchangeable wands and nozzles.High Pressure Chemical Injection with low pressure chemical injection as an option.Stainless Steel or Carbide Inserted Pressure nozzles.Heaters for heating the pressurized water to 200º F. Note: the pumps handle cold water only, heating is after the pump.Components that are not obvious to the buyer are internal stainless steel and ceramic parts instead of plastic or other low grade materials. Water the Universal Solvent Water is called the “Universal Solvent” because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid including acids and bases. Pressure washing enhances the cleaning ability of water by adding heat, solvents and chemicals, abrasion (a combination of pressure, spray angle, rotating nozzles and brushing), and dwell time. With the proper application of these enhancers almost anything can be cleaned effectively. Hot or Cold Water The term “Hot and Cold Water Pressure Washers” refers to the temperature of the water being discharged and not the inlet water temperature. A hot high pressure washer takes cold inlet water and heats it to 200ºF in about one minute. This is referred to as instant hot water. Cold Water pressure washers do not heat the water. For commercial operations where grease, oil, or gum is involved hot water is required to be competitive. Cold water, strong chemicals, and brushing will work on some applications but over 90% of successful contract cleaners use heat to cut chemical and labor expense. Hot Water is a better solvent than cold water. Remember that clothes and dishes come cleaner faster and easier if they are presoaked and washed in hot water! The same is true in High Pressure Washing. Common successful operations for cold water include deck and wood restoration, flat work cleaning where grease, oil, and gum are not involved (side walks and patios) , and vehicle washing with brushing (labor intensive). Some cold water pressure washers can handle water heated to 140 to 160º F. See product literature for exact temperature. Hot water pressure washers heat the water after it has been pressurized by the pump up to a temperature of 200ºF. When the trigger gun is off the water is bypassed back into the inlet of the pump. This closed loop bypass will reach 200ºF in about 5 minutes and steam in about 10 minutes. Therefore, the trigger guns should not be turned off for over 2 minutes. This applies to both hot and cold water pressure washers. Cleaning Power (GPM, PSI, ºF, Chemicals, & Nozzle Type) The Power Washing industry generally expresses cleaning power in “Cleaning Units per hour” which is PSI x GPM x 60 (pounds per square inch x gallons per minute x 60 minutes per hour), or as Cleaning Units which is PSI x GPM. Either of the figures can typically be found on product literature. These figures leave out three very important items: chemicals, heat, and nozzle type. These three items typically can multiply the cleaning effectiveness several times. There is presently no standard that takes into consideration all five factors for cleaning ability of a pressure washer. And total cleaning ability includes abrasion like brushing. Most commercial hot water pressure washers can be used for any cleaning situation with the application determining the nozzles and chemicals used. GPM 90% of the successful commercial operators use a flow volume of 4 gpm or more. Below 4 gpm there is not enough water volume to clean efficiently. While good cleaning can be done below 4 gpm the labor expense goes up drastically. This makes these washers suitable for consumer use where time is not a factor. Typically commercial pressure washers deliver 4 to 6 gpm. Consumer pressure washers typically deliver 1.5 to 4 gpm. PSI PSI (pressure) is determined by orifice size and flow rate (gallons per minute). The nozzle size standard is that a #4 orifice delivers 0.4 gpm at 40 psi and 4.0 gpm at 4,000 psi. And like wise for all of the other sizes. It takes a nozzle chart to interpolate all of the other flow rates and nozzles sizes. The Pressure that contractors use varies a great deal. With a fan nozzle there is almost no pressure (cleaning power) greater than 3 feet from the nozzle. The pressure and temperature drop rapidly with the distance from the nozzle. You can test this by placing your hand in a fan spray 3 feet from the nozzle then slowly moving your hand toward the nozzle. Caution: Injury can result if you move your hand too close to the nozzle. Nozzles are designed for an effective range of 8 to 12 inches. As a result of this rapid drop off in cleaning power a lot of contract cleaners will use 3,000 to 3,500 PSI to wash things that cannot stand that sort of pressure. They do this by varying the distance of the nozzle from the surface being washed. For less pressure they hold the nozzle back (increase distance from the surface being cleaned), and for increased pressure they hold the nozzle closer. Larger companies will have washers that produce 4 to 8 GPM at 3,000 to 3,500 PSI, with 200 F. This much power is really needed for concrete cleaning while 1,500 to 2,000 is satisfactory for washing of vehicles. The more debris or dirt you are moving the more important GPM is. It takes water volume to move a lot of debris. Extremely large amounts of debris take fire hose volume of water. Heat has a great advantage where grease, oil and gum are concerned. A few Vent-a-hood cleaners will use 310 F steam but these are mostly operators over 50 years old who learned to do Vents when that was the only thing available. Younger Vent Cleaners (under 50 years old) will generally use 3,000 PSI at 200°F units. However, some vent cleaners use electric 1,000 PSI cold water washers hooked up to hot water (they hand scrape more). At the present time 3,000 to 3,500 PSI units are sort of the standard of the Contract Cleaner Market. A big reason for this is that there is not much price difference between 2,000 PSI and 3,000 PSI washers and there is a big difference in cleaning power. The PSI for decks (wood) varies from 200 to 3,000 PSI. Too much pressure will cause the wood to fur. If this happens you will need to sand with fine sand paper or steel wool to knock off the furred surface. A lot of Deck Cleaners use a variable pressure wand so that they can adjust the pressure as necessary at the point of water impact. Using low pressure and letting the chemical do the work will avoid furring the deck. Hint: use the under side of the deck to test the PSI. Nozzle Selection: There are two selections that need to be made in choosing the proper nozzle: the nozzle orifice size and the spray angle. This is normally expressed as 25055 or 2505 where the first two digits are the spray angle and the last 2 or 3 digits is the nozzle size (three digits for nozzle ½ sizes). The Spray Angle is the angle of the spray width and the nozzle size determines the gallons per minute at a particular pressure that a nozzle will pass. Therefore, in order to determine a nozzle size you need to know the GPM (gallons per minute) and PSI (pounds per square inch). To make this determination it is necessary to look up the information in a nozzle chart like in "The Rahsco Wats Blaster". By increasing the size you will reduce the PSI of your pressure washer and the flow will remain the same. If you reduce the pressure of your washer with the unloader you will decrease both the PSI and GPM and create undesirable and dangerous conditions in the heater. Knowledgeable contractors reduce the PSI of their pressure washers by increasing nozzle size in order to keep the GPM at its maximum. To make this determination it is necessary to look up the information in a nozzle chart. Choices for spray angle for most nozzle sizes are 0, 5, 10, 15, 25, 40, and 65 degrees. 25 degrees fits the natural wash pattern of most contract cleaners. However, some contract cleaners prefer a 40 degree spray angle because they can hold the nozzle closer to the surface and obtain the same width of contact. The advantage of this is that greater impact pressure and higher temperature is delivered to the surface because the nozzle is closer to the point of contact. However, you have to learn to keep the nozzle equal distance from the surface; it’s like using a broom. Fan spray nozzles are designed to be used at a distance of 8 to 12 inches. A zero degree nozzle concentrates all of the cleaning power in a very small pencil lead stream with a high degree of cleaning power at the center of impact. This causes streaking similar to chicken tracks. Sometime you can see the entire track of your wand wash pattern. The zero degree rotating nozzles solve this problem. They have the power of a zero degree nozzle and the coverage of a fan nozzle and when used properly do not leave wand marks (tracers). The zero degree nozzles rotate in a cone circular pattern at 1,000 to 2,000 rpm with a fixed or adjustable spray angle. Because zero degree rotating nozzles concentrate the cleaning power, they are commonly used on low volume cold water pressure washers. Also they are used in difficult cleaning situations such as vent-a-hoods, concrete cleaning, paint removal, and heavy equipment cleaning and on encrustations of carbon deposits. Chemicals There are many power washing chemicals including detergents, waxes, acids and brighteners designed for many applications. Read the labels carefully to select the proper chemical for a particular application. Always read the MSDS (material safety data sheet) on cleaners before you use them for safety hazards and proper disposal options. Chemical Dilution is largely a matter of personal preference. For most Mobile Power Washing Chemical Cost will be between 3% to 5% of Gross Sales, Labor Cost will be 30% to 45% of Gross Sales, and Fuel for heat will be 2% to 4% of Gross Sales. Soap and Heat are cheaper than Labor! I.e. A slight increase in chemical and fuel heat cost will reduce your labor cost. Generally saving on chemical and fuel for heat are less than your increase in labor expense because of minimal heat and chemicals. Gasoline & Diesel Engines, & Electric Motors Electric motors offer the most reliable maintenance free power source. While they are acceptable for light duty consumer use it takes 220 volts single or three phase to produce enough power for commercial use. This means that for the Mobile Contract Cleaner gasoline engines are the preferred power source. Diesel Engines use less fuel but are considerably more expensive. So they are only economical in high usage applications. Pressure Washer Mobility The average gasoline engine skid mounted hot high pressure washer weighs in excess of 650 pounds. This means that these units are typically mounted in Bob Tail Box Trucks, pick ups, or mounted on flat trailers or in enclosed trailers. The advantage of trailer mounting is that the towing vehicle can be disconnected from the trailer for other uses. Start Up Cost Typical start up cost range from $200 for a consumer electric pressure washer to less than $10,000.00 for a commercial trailer mounted hot high pressure washer with start up accessories. A search on the internet for mobile high pressure washer will result in over a hundred vendors. Average Contractor Hot High Pressure Washer • 16 to 20 hp • 4 to 6 gpm • 3,000 to 3,500 psi • 200ºF • Price Range: $4,000 to $8,000 Average Contractor Cold High Pressure Washer • 13 hp • 4 gpm • Price Range: $1,000 to $3,000 Adding Pressure Washing for Profit Adding power washing services has not been optional for several types of service contractors, like carpet cleaners, window cleaners, and air duct cleaners. They have been told by central purchasing that this service was going to have to be added as they were going to hire one contractor to provide all interior and exterior cleaning services. Other Cleaning Service Contractors have added pressure washing services because it is a natural add-on to their present customer base for both commercial and residential services. Normally this expansion included surface concrete cleaning (flat work, like parking garages, bank drive-thrus, shopping malls, fast food restaurant drive ways and side walks including gum removal, and store front including the parking areas), wood deck cleaning, exterior building restoration, kitchen exhaust cleaning, house washing, and vehicle fleet washing. With this in mind we would like to offer some things for consideration as you plan to expand your existing business or start a new one.
Delco's Cold Weather Hints for Pressure Wash Contract CleanersDelco Cleaning Systems of Fort Worth, 2513 Warfield St., Fort Worth, Texas 76106-7554 Phone: 800-433-2113; Fax: 817-625-2059 Email: email@example.com, Website: www.dcs1.com By: Robert M. Hinderliter.Last Update: September 13, 2002 DO NOT LET YOUR WASHER FREEZE! If possible, store your pressure washer in a warm place. Automatic bathroom or "Milk House" electric heaters work well in small areas like small garages and inside of enclosed vehicles (vans, bobtails, trailers). For Natural Gas and LP Gas water heaters the pilot lights provide heat at the base of your heater coils. Block off the stack to capture additional pilot light heat. Heat lamps or 500 watt halogen light next to the pump under a tarp or carboard box helps protect the pump. If you cover the entire wash rig with a tarp you can protect the entire rig if it not too cold for too long. Automatic kerosene (torpedo heaters) & Natural Gas heaters will protect larger areas. Connect these to automatic thermostats. Thermostats on short plug-in extention cords are about $35.00 at your local hardware store. Infrared LP gas heaters also work well. Heat from these heaters can be quite intense so watch for fire hazards. Water Tanks can be kept from freezing over night by installing recirculating water pumps to keep the water moving. Install a water filter to clean your water as it is recirculating. If you heat the inside of an enclosed vehicle (Bobtail or Van) with snow or ice on top you may melt the snow or ice. When the water runs down the sides of the vehicle is may freeze again locking the doors and windows in place making it difficult to gain entry. An enclosed vehicle (van, step van, bobtail, enclosed trailer, etc.) offers protection against thieft in addition to weather protection. Insulate the inside of your vehicle for additional protection against the cold weather. If you store your vehicle inside of a heated garage short travels of an hour or less can usually be made without the pressure washer freezing. A lot of garages and garage doors are uninsulated. Insulating the garage and garage doors offer additional protection against the cold weather. Light weight styrofoam panels are easily attached to garage doors. Caution: Do not put combustibles next to your heat source, or items that could melt. If your washer is going to freeze, the best way to protect your washer is with automotive anti-freeze, RV anti-freeze, or windshield washer fluid (Note: Be sure and check the freezing point of the fluid you are using. Some windshield washer fluids do not protect below freezing). Fill up your empty float tank with anti-freeze then start up your washer and push out the water with anti-freeze, (Note, most hot high pressure washers hold about 5 gallons). Remove your spray tip from your wand and insert it into the float tank. Recirculate the anti-freeze for 2 minutes while turning the Trigger Gun on and off to force antifreeze into the by-pass line of the unloader. This will protect your pump, coils, hoses and plumbing. This should protect everything except the chemical line hose which you will need to do separately while recirculating the antifreeze. Use a 5-gallon jug to capture the anti-freeze for reuse. If you start out with 5 gallons of pure antifreeze it should last you all winter if you recapture it each time. If you have any questions on this call Matt, Keith, Rachel, Larry, or Robert for customer toll free support at : 800-433-2113. If your unit does not have a float tank, use a 5-gallon bucket and insert the water intake hose into it. For pressure washers without float tanks that are hooked to water tanks you can install a 3/4" or 1" 3-way ball valve (T-valve) with a short piece of hose in the inlet water line to introduce the antifreeze with. This way it is not necessary to disconnect the water line from the water tank. The next best way to protect your unit from freezing is to blow out the water with air pressure. Be careful with this method. Water will collect in low places and still break your washer. This is especially true if you move your washer after blowing out the water on vehicle mounted pressure washers. The vibration will collect water droplets in low places, especially in the heater coils. The packing and the valves in the high pressure pump may not completely dry when blowing out the water with air. If you start up the pump before it thaws out the valves may stick closed and the packing may stick to the cermanic plungers and tear it up. An emergency supply of air is the "canned air" sold at auto supply stores for emergency tire inflation. Your washer will freeze going down the highway with a reported air temperature of 35 degrees Fahrenheit. That is because of the cooler temperatures in low places. Remember that air temperature varies normally 2 to 6 degrees in a given region going up and down high and low places. In calm air hot water washing can be done to 15 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit. It depends on how your customer can tolerate ice on the ground or pavement (See the next item). In blowing wind hot water washing can be done to about 34 degrees Fahrenheit. If possible wash in direct sunlight to take advantage of thermal heating. If your wash water runs across sidewalks or driveways and freezes, salt or sand these areas down for safety. Always carry a bucket of rock salt or sand for your customer's safety. Note: Rock Salt will give the people a rough surface to walk on for better traction. Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride are also use for melting ice. However, these products leave an oily residue and present a "slip" hazard. Magnesium Chloride is a naturally occuring salt that is mixed with anticorrosive agents and sprayed on roads prior to winter storm to prevent ice from forming and bonding to road surfaces. There have been some health and corrision issues with Magnesium Chloride which is used primarily in the states of Alaska, Idaho, Utah, and Washington. Rock Salt presents a maintenance and corrosion issue. And the dyes in some ice melters can stain shoes, side walks, door frames, carpets, etc. Aluminum brightening and acid cleaning do not work well below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember the sun, direct sun light will raise surface temperature several degrees. You can pull open trailer wash rigs with water tanks down the highway in freezing temperatures by putting your wash wand into your 500 gallon water tank and firing up the water heater and recirculating the water as go down the road. If you are only going a short distance or if the temperature is not very cold (like 15 to 20°F) it may not be necessary to turn on the water heater. In this case this procedure will also work for cold water pressure washers connected to water tanks. Keep your water supply hoses flowing with water, water out of the ground will be about 50 degrees Fahrenheit in most areas. If your water supply or high pressure hoses run across the cold ground they will freeze in a few minutes in sub-zero temperatures. The average ground water summer to winter water temperature variation is about 30°F. Most oil fired high pressure water heaters raise the inlet water temperature 120 to 140°F with the burner running continuously. With the reduction inlet water temperature in the winter you need to increase your fuel nozzle one or two sizes. Then in the spring you need to change the fuel nozzle again and reduce the fuel nozzle by one or two sizes. Chemicals work slower in cold weather. Plan on using more chemicals and extra dwell time for the chemicals to work. Do not let your chemicals freeze. Store in a dry, warm place. Liquid chemicals will usually separate upon freezing. Protect yourself in cold weather with: 1) rain suits, 2) over shoes, 3) hard hats with rain troughs to keep water from going down the back of your neck and with face shields to protect your eyes and face, 4) thermal underware, and 5) gauntlet gloves with jersey inserts. Turn the gauntlet back so that water will not run down you arm. 6) Keep extra dry gloves available. Exercise caution as ice may form on your gloves, hard hat, shoes, etc. Winter clothing generally arrive at stores in September. If you wait until cold weather occurs your store may be out of the items you need. Plan ahead and buy while the selection is the greatest. On days you cannot wash do sales calls and equipment maintenance. Call Delco at 800-433-2113 and order spare parts. Plan ahead and save time. Below freezing work: vent-a-hoods; in-plant cleaning; produce warehouses, limo garages, inside factories, automotive garages, car dealer repair shops, de-icing of: aircraft, oil field drilling rigs, refineries, manufacturing plants with outside water piping, etc. Look for anything that will be inside cleaning with a pressure washer. You can drain your water hose by disconnecting it at each end, laying it out in a straight line, then walking down the hose passing the hose over your shoulder. Be careful where you point your spray: door locks, brake drums, door jams, and steps will freeze after you spray water on them. If you use 180 degree to 200 degree Fahrenheit, hot water evaporation will help minimize the icing problem. Sometimes you can minimize the freezing by opening and closing doors and operating the locks. Also you can spray with WD-40 with the long red needle adapter into door locks and mechanisms. Put some WD-40 on a rag and wipe on the rubber weather seals of the doors. Sheathing Wax added to the rinse water like W-200 Spray Wax will help the water slide off faster, speed the drying process, and reduce icing. Depending on the temperature a leaf blower may also help in blowing off the water to reduce icing. This also can increase the freezing rate if not used propertly. When washing reefer trailer make sure the units are running, this will help minimize icing. Avoid washing in the shade. Direct sun light heats up skin temperature rapidly. Try to have get the fleet owner to park vehicles in the sun. The hottest part of the day for Deck Cleaning is 11:00 am until 3:00 pm. If you walk on a lot of ice, use boot chains or shoes with spikes. Remember water and ice are really slick. Caution: The force from the surge of pressure at the trigger gun from a pressure actuated unloader can slide you backwards on ice or knock you down! While the force at the trigger gun from flow actuated unloaders may slide you backwards. Mount your pressure washing equipment in an enclosed trailer, Bobtail Truck, or Step Van and insulate the inside. Start your washing activities later in the day after the sun has had time to warm items up, like after 10:00 a.m. Drop a small electric water pump (like those used for waterfall displays) with a 3' hose attached into the water tank. Water in motion will delay the freezing of the water tank. Also small submersible water heaters work good in water tanks for keeping the water above freezing. When traveling short distances you can disconnect your pressure washer from the water tank and only antifreeze the pressure washer, hoses, etc. Put a plug into the water tank. When you arrive at the job site remove the plug and use a screwdriver and knock out the ice. Where practicable cover exposed piping with heat tape. Freeze protect outside faucets with heat tape or freeze proof valves. You can remove ice from house gutters by heating up the gutter from bottom and sides then removing the ice by hand in 3 to 5 foot sections. Average size home can be done in about an hour. Use indoor fittings with garden hose hook up for the sinks for when outside faucets are frozen. If at all possible never travel with your water tank half full. The surging of the water can push you out into an intersection or make you lose control under slippery conditions. Always check the brakes at the beginning of each day! Common add on businesses for supplementing income during the winter months: 1) window washing, 2) New construction cleanup of houses for final walk throughs, 3) snow removal, 4) chimney cleaning, 5) carpet cleaning 6) yard work and maintenance cleanup, & 7) painting. The best way to keep air lines from freezing is to have one continuous line with a moisture filter at the Compressor. Be sure and drain the Compressor Air Tank regularly to remove the condensation. Window washing can be done in the winter time in below freezing weather. Be aware of the following: Double pane windows freeze faster than single pane windows because single pane windows get heat from the inside; use warm water but not hot water because you may crack the window from thermal stress; add 1/2 to 1 gallon of windshield washer fluid or methanol to a 5 gallon bucket of wash water. Window washers commonly add "Methanol" to their wash water to keep it from freezing. This solves the water freezing problem but not the hand freezing problem. Some Power Washers also use this technique and add Methanol to their wash water. They purchase the Methanol from their Oil or Diesel Fuel Supplier or a Solvent Specialty Company by the 55 gallon drum. How much to add. Depends of the ambient conditions. Start out at about 5% and adjust from there. Winter Storage of Pressure Washers: A. Antifreeze your pressure washer per instructions above. Use automotive anitifreeze for storage of your pressure washer. I have personally seen units stored over 5 years with automotive anitifreeze with no problems except to pop the pump inlet valves. B. Get a Fuel Stabilizer from an auto parts store and add to the fuel tank to keep your fuel from turning into varnish and having the gaskets in the carburetor go bad. C. Remove the spark plug wires; spray WD-40 into the carburetor while turning over the engine to coat everything with oil. D. Remove the spark plugs and spray with WD-40 into the cylinders or put in some "Marvel Mystery" brand oil. Turn over the engine a few times to coat the cylinder walls. E. Change the engine oil, oil filter and fuel filter. If you do not change the engine oil the sludge will collect on the bottom of the oil pan and solidify. If there is any water in the fuel filter it may freeze and break. F. Top off the Fuel Tank to keep moisture from condensing inside the fuel tank. This will cause rusting of steel fuel tanks and water in the fuel. G. In the Spring put in fresh fuel, replace the spark plugs, and start it up. If it is hard to start spray WD-40 into the carburetor intake the same way you would starting fluid. This give an easier ignition than starting fluid. H. Disconnect the battery to avoid a trickle discharge. I. In the spring de-lime the coils with "Scaleaway Deliming Acid" and add "Red Devil Soot Remover" to your Diesel or Kerosene for your burner. Put a trickle charge on your battery for a couple of hours assure a full charge before starting with WD-40 to establish fuel flow. "Clean-Crete" a waterless concrete cleaning process for drive-thrus at banks and fast food restaurants can be used year around. The only winter limitation is that the concrete needs to be clear of snow and ice. For more information go to http://www.dcs1.com/clean-crete/. Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning. When finished have one person turn on the fan on while a 2nd person sprays deicer on the fan. Then leave the fan on. This assures that the fan works and is not out of balance when the morning kitchen crew arrives. Use fall protection equipment when on roofs. You may want to hose down the roof and melt the ice and snow. Sealing Decks: You need 12 to 24 hours of drying time above 50°F before sealing a deck. Use a moisture meter to be sure the deck is dry enough. Follow the manufacturer recommendations of your Deck Sealer you are using. Some Contractors have cut off dates like October 31 of each year to stop sealing wood (Decks, fences, roofs, etc). Decks will be warmest from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm. At what temperature do you quit washing? This is a safety issue. 1) Is it safe to drive on the roads? 2) Can you arrive at the job site safely and without the equipment freezing up? 3) Will you have a safe surface to walk on? Will you be on a roof? Sidewalk? Ice or Snow? Scoffolding? 4) Can your employees drive to work OK? 5) Will the freezing of the waste wash water be a problem? 6) Can the washing be done safely? 7) What will other traffic be like and how skilled are other drivers? What are the chances of a traffic accident? For the latest version of "Delco's Cold Water Hints for Pressure Wash Contractors" go to http://www.dcs1.com/del/weather.html The National Weather Service "Wind Chill Chart" is athttp://www.pressurewash.com/images/windchill.jpg When removing large chuncks of ice from vehicles use your zero degree nozzle to cut the ice into small sections. Then direct your spray to break off these smaller sections. This is faster than simply melting the ice. Caution: Beware of flying chuncks of ice! Preventing your Bay Doors from Freezing: A. If you have steel rollers change them to magnum type rollers. B. Install proper weather stripping around the door. C. Make sure the door is well lubricated and serviced. D. Insulate the door with styrofaom panels is not insulated. E. Install a heater at the threshold of the door. H. Keep only one door open at a time to avoid a creating a wind tunnel. Keep pressue hoses and airlines in the cab of the truck to prevent freezing on the way to the job if needed. If you suspect that your pressure washer is frozen proceed with caution: A. Try to rotate your pump by hand to see if it will turn freely. Practice this during warm weather so that you will know what the resistance feels like and you can recognize a frozen pump. Disconnect the spark plugs when doing this to avoid the engine accidently starting. B. Do not turn the burner on until water flow established. Frozen controls may allow the burner to fire without water flow. This could result in a steam explosion. C. It will take about 12 hours in a heated area to thaw out a frozen pressure washer. D. Failure probability due to freezing is: 33% chance of no damage, 33% chance of delayed failure which will occur in 90 days, 33% of immediate failure. E. Caution: We have had Contract Cleaners add gasoline to their kerosene and diesel fuel in order to make the burner hotter. This has resulted in a melt down and failure of the burner assembly. If you need more heat increase the size of your burner nozzle one or two sizes. Hair Dryers and Heat Guns are safer than tourches when thawing things out. Tips for pouring concrete: A. Order concrete made with hot water and increase the cement content by about half a bag. Exact amount will depends on the conditions and thickness of the concrete. B. Order air-trained concrete. This provides additional protection against freezing. C. Order low-slump concrete to ease finishing. D. Do not pour concrete on a frozen surface. This includes frost, ice, and rebars that are covered by frost or ice. When poured on frozen ground the concrete will settle as the ground thaws. F. Surfaces and concrete can by insulated with straw, plywood, insulating blankets, or fiberglass insulation between 4 or 6 mil polyethlyene sheeting. Polyethylene Sheeting alone may be OK if the temperature does not get much below freezing. New concrete should be protected from freezing to avoid cracking or flaking off. H. Place extra insulation around the edges. Faster cooling here can cause cracking. Make sure the concrete cools slowly over two or three days. I. Calcium Chloride flakes or pellets may be placed under the insulation to produce heat. Caution: Calcium Chloride tends to discolor and produce efflorescence. J. Under severe conditions a heat enclosure may be required for several days before the ground is thawed out. Caution: Excessive direct heat can blister the top layer of concrete and cause personal injury. Make sure the enclosure is properly vented. K. Concrete needs to be at least 55 degrees at pouring and 50 degrees for two days.