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ordep81

First roof wash experience.

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Me and my brother recieved our Fatboy Bandit system from pressure tek yesterday and eagerly wanted to put it to work. We instanly headed to an autozone for a Duralast deep cycle marine battery and then to a local pool shop that was one of the only local places that had 12.5% SH. The SH came in boxes of 4 seperate gallon containers per box for $10/box, so $2.50/gallon. We decided to do our parents house since I live in a townhouse and he lives at home with our parents.

We make a 50 gallon batch of the "easy" Applesauce. One thing we didnt think to far ahead was where to get water from in the future. For the time being our Dad naturally just let us use the hose, but we were worried as to how their well pump would do as it would struggle at times. We knew that we need to find a non potable water source for the future though. After getting our 35 gallons of water we proceeded to pour in our SH. As we poured it in we noticed it had a yellowish tint to it, either of us have no experience with SH or pool shock so we didnt know if this was normal or not. But we were both under the impression that it was supposed to be clear. Maybe you guys can help us clear this up? Then we added about 22oz of Ultra green Gain dish soap, and we had no idea how to measure the SImple Cherry since we had no dry measuring cup, so we just used a regular measuring cup that read in fluid oz and hoped that it would get us close to the dry weight ounces. We measured 100 fluid oz of Simple Cherry and dumped it into our solution. Our sister got home, and proceeded to tell us how stupid we were and educating us that fluid ounces and weighted ounces are completely different! At this point our mix was complete and without a way to properly measure the Simple Cherry was just went with what we made. The chlorine smell from our mix was strong.

My brother headed up to the roof, while I prepped to spray water over some of the plants and grass. We turned the pump on and let it prime, it was very quite to our surprise. Once primed, he began to spray the roof and I sprayed plants or grass with the water hose. Towards the back of the house under an overhang he notice a strip of moss growing, we felt lucky since we could learn how the solution would do with moss. He got the whole roof sprayed in about 10-15 minutes or so. The cholrine smell was very prominent around the house. As our mom came out she immediately complained. This is another issue we need to address before visiting real customers. Another problem now was we had about 25 gallons of our solution left and nothing to do with it. We then ran clean water through the pump to clean out the system. And put the system away. All the meanwhile the chlorine smell remained as those who came around kept saying it smelled like a pool.

Overall my brother and I felt it went good and know some of the issues we have to take care of. We plan to do a few friends and families roof to get some more experience under our belt and then start to takle real jobs. I would love to hear your comments, critiques, thoughts, and suggestions. More specifically like to hear your thoughts on the yellowish tint of the SH, how to cover or eliminate the chlorine smell, and where you guys get your water for your solution?

Thanks for any help!

 

Pedro Oliva

Oliva Roof Cleaning

 

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SH has a natural color very similiar to a banana. Just use more gain and forget about the simple cherry. Gain is cheap and it works to cover the smell, which I never try to cover up. My customers like it because it smells clean..

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your mix is right on the money for percentage wise.. the older the sh the more it has the "bleachy smell".. But yes, gain and the simple cherry are essentially the same thing, (both surfactants), one is just much more than the other. There are things you can add to your mix to help cover the smell, but its usually gone shortly after and any bit of wind will help.. Also, bagging the downspouts helps with the smell alot

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Your mix will last and be reasonably "hot" for a week or so depending on the temperature. What to do with the excess? Clean another roof or hit some concrete driveways and get some of the staining off....or water down the mix and experiment with a house wash or hit a composite deck. Also, don't ignore rinse downs. The roof will look better after one.

Moss....it should turn white. Once white, let it cook for about 20 minutes,mthen do a low pressure rinsed much will come off. That which doesn't leave to desiccate.

Remember to operate safely. You are standing on a steep slope with slippery fine "gravel" sprayed down with soap with a trip hazard attached (hose). Yeah. Also, a ladder standoff/stabilizer is a tool that EVERY roof cleaner should have on their rig. It prevents gutter damage and body damage from the effects of gravity. Bent gutters are expensive, hospital/funeral bills are more so.

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your mix is right on the money for percentage wise.. the older the sh the more it has the "bleachy smell".. But yes, gain and the simple cherry are essentially the same thing, (both surfactants), one is just much more than the other. There are things you can add to your mix to help cover the smell, but its usually gone shortly after and any bit of wind will help.. Also, bagging the downspouts helps with the smell alot

Yes, there are masking agents, but many of them make the roof cleaning mix smell worse, IMHO. One stuff we used made our mix smell like a Man's Bathroom.

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We are a large roofing contractor and are getting into the business this week. We have several practice houses lined up and will follow up soon with our experiences.

Welcome to the madness. What kind of rig did you put together?

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We did our first practice roof a couple of days ago, and have another practice house lined up in a few days.  Our mix was 40% sh, water and dawn dish soap.  A problem we ran into once cleaning the roof is where to get the water to rinse the roof?  Do you carry a tank of clean water? Or get water from the homeowner?  Also, how many sq. feet should a 100 gallon mix clean?  I have been borrowing my friends spray tank and rig that he uses to spray chemicals on yards but am planning on getting my own tank and rig set up soon.  Any suggestions?  

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We did our first practice roof a couple of days ago, and have another practice house lined up in a few days.  Our mix was 40% sh, water and dawn dish soap.  A problem we ran into once cleaning the roof is where to get the water to rinse the roof?  Do you carry a tank of clean water? Or get water from the homeowner?  Also, how many sq. feet should a 100 gallon mix clean?  I have been borrowing my friends spray tank and rig that he uses to spray chemicals on yards but am planning on getting my own tank and rig set up soon.  Any suggestions?  

Dont use dawn again, use the Green Gain Ultra Dishsoap instead for one.

We use the customers water to rinse, and how many roofs a 100 gallon tank will clean depends on a lot of things. You will probably ruin your friends tank with the roof cleaning chemicals!

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Dont use dawn again, use the Green Gain Ultra Dishsoap instead for one.

We use the customers water to rinse, and how many roofs a 100 gallon tank will clean depends on a lot of things. You will probably ruin your friends tank with the roof cleaning chemicals!

Not to mention it is likely to kill his friend's spray rig. SH is corrosive and most lawn spray rigs aren't designed for it. Best you get your own setup. You'll find a lot of the guys around here running Air pump spray rigs because they are more reliable, unaffected by SH, and more flexible.

Also, to expand on what Chris said....the reason to NOT use Dawn is because it is not SH compatible and will kill the strength of the mix. Gain happens to be Chlorine compatible. Other chemicals you will see mentioned are Lauramine Oxide (Ammonyx LO) and Myristamine Oxide (Ammonyx MO) which are both pure surfactants and very powerful and concentrated. You can ask your chem supplier if they have them or can get them.

As for fresh water, we and a lot of other guys, carry a fresh water tank along with a mix tank. We refill from the customer unless they have really low water pressure of a limited supply well. 60-100 Gals is the norm. Bigger if you also plan on putting a high volume pressure washer on the rig for house and concrete washes and the FW tank will also act as a buffer tank.

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We are a large roofing contractor and are getting into the business this week. We have several practice houses lined up and will follow up soon with our experiences.

Well, we did our first roof for a friend on Saturday and it worked!  The Bandit rig was fantastic and our mix was right.  We have a couple of spots we missed, to go retreat but everything worked out as planned.  It was a 3600 sq foot house with an 8/12 pitch and it was very windy!  We watered then tarped the landscaping and watered as we worked.  Because of the low pressure, there was minimal over spray even with the wind. It took about 45 gallons at a 70/30 solution mix.  We rinsed the bottom 1/3 after 30 minutes and it made a noticeable difference. The entire process took 2 hours and we would have charged about 600.00 with a total cost of about 200.00...nice profit!  We have received three calls from the trailer wrap just taking it on this one roof!  Our signs look great and our marketing material will be here next week.  Door hangers for dirty roofs, door hangers for houses that need cleaning that are for sale and rack cards to put out around town.  We're off and rolling!  Thanks for all of your help Chris!

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Well, we did our first roof for a friend on Saturday and it worked!  The Bandit rig was fantastic and our mix was right.  We have a couple of spots we missed, to go retreat but everything worked out as planned.  It was a 3600 sq foot house with an 8/12 pitch and it was very windy!  We watered then tarped the landscaping and watered as we worked.  Because of the low pressure, there was minimal over spray even with the wind. It took about 45 gallons at a 70/30 solution mix.  We rinsed the bottom 1/3 after 30 minutes and it made a noticeable difference. The entire process took 2 hours and we would have charged about 600.00 with a total cost of about 200.00...nice profit!  We have received three calls from the trailer wrap just taking it on this one roof!  Our signs look great and our marketing material will be here next week.  Door hangers for dirty roofs, door hangers for houses that need cleaning that are for sale and rack cards to put out around town.  We're off and rolling!  Thanks for all of your help Chris!

My Pleasure Scott :) It is not the plan or the purpose of the RCIA to certify every hack who comes along. But when I have the opportunity to work with a real, live roofing contractor like yourself, I know you are gonna make it cleaning roofs.

Frankly, I have always wondered why more roofers don't get into the cleaning side of the business ?

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I don't know where your located but $600 for 3600 sq. ft.is way cheap. We are specialists in a very dangerous job and deserve to be compensated as such. Sure  $400 profit for two hours sounds good on paer, but like at it in a grander scheme.

You will burn through things quickly once you get more roofs to do. Fittings rust out, pumps don't last too long, Ins. Truck payments and maintenance, upgrading to a better system.

 

We do what many wont. Climbing up these monster pitched roofs, dealing with thousands of dollars in landscaping, peoples paint jobs,getting chemical burns, risk of breathing in the chemical gas as it is cooking on a hot roof ,and the fact that your season is only so long if you cant make enough to save for the winter you wont be around in the Spring.

 

It is a dangerous/risky career,why do it if your being rewarded for it financially.

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Agreed. In my area, that is a $900 to $1200 job depending on whether it needed safety anchors installed and whether it needed roof edge planters converted back into gutters. We just did a 3600 sq ft home today and it was about $1K without gutter cleaning. 

 

As for burning thru pumps...the solution is easy...buy a 1" Kynar Air Pump and be done with it! 

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