We often receive calls from residential customers asking if we can “partially” clean sections of their home. It is only logical to assume that a partial cleaning will simply cost less money because it is less work. The calls we get are typically:
- “I already cleaned the 1st floor, but need someone to clean the 2nd floor”
- “The Northwest side that gets the least amount of sun is moldy, but all other sides are clean and don’t need those to be pressure washed”
- “I cleaned half of my driveway, but my machine broke and need you to finish the rest”.
The challenge we face is clearly explaining the monetary differences between a partial cleaning vs. a complete exterior home cleaning. The price difference between cleaning sections vs. a complete house wash is so minimal that they basically costs the same price. Explanation below:
Pricing: The costs of doing business
The majority of cost associated with cleaning your house are made up of indirect costs. Indirect costs must be paid every month if we have one job or twenty jobs. We must pay these necessary fees regardless of washing one elevation or all sides of a home. These costs typically include:
- General liability & commercial auto Insurance
- Federal/State/Local Business licenses
- Equipment maintenance (new hoses, injectors, pumps, batteries, tips, quick connects, guns, etc…)
- Marketing (print advertising, internet advertising, uniforms, website maintenance, hosting, corporate email, domain fees)
- Utilities (Hydrant Meter deposits and rental fees, water use consumption fees)
- Equipment storage rental
- Phones, etc…
Direct costs are project specific charges that relate to cleaning your home and include:
- Fuel for the truck and our machines
- Chemicals & detergents
- Labor (We still have to drive to our shop to pick up our equipment, drive to the chemical supply store, and then drive to your home. Once mobilized we still have to take before & after pictures, pull out our chemical hoses, high pressure hoses, mix detergents, change into our pressure washing gear and put on our personal protective equipment. Once complete with the cleaning we still have flush out all of our lines, injectors, and pumps along with rolling up all of our hoses and locking up our equipment etc…
Thus the indirect cost difference is of no impact if we receive a request to wash a 25 sqft dog house in your backyard vs. washing your 2,000 sqft home including your dog house. Partial cleaning one side of your home vs. cleaning all sides only adds a minimal amount of time.
Why partial cleaning doesn’t work:
A single story 2,000 sqft home with 4 sides typically costs around $200.00 to clean. This house will take one man about 1 hour to clean. From the time we arrive to the time we turn on our machine(s) is about 30 minutes on average. We still have to pull out our fill hose and connect it to your water spigot and wait for our tanks to fill up. Ring the door bell to greet the home owner and walk the perimeter of the property with the customer (if home). Take pictures. Pull out 200 feet of chemical and pressure hoses. We still have to mix detergents and check machine & pump diagnostics. We still have to set up all our equipment and change into our pressure washing gear. If only cleaning one side of your home we still have to spray that elevation with our chemical and run back to the machine to turn it off. After the first low-pressure application of chemicals we must wait 15 minutes for the chemicals to dwell and deep clean. We still have to perform the fresh water rinsing activity to wash away all of the dirt and grime that the chemicals have dislodged from your home. While the technician sits and waits the 15 minutes for the chemicals to do its job we could have sprayed out the remaining 3 sides of your home. So you can see the extra 15 minutes to clean the remaining 3 sides of your home is of basically no difference.
Some customers assume pressure washing is easy. Looking at stationary images on the internet or diy youtube videos of people pressure washing makes it seem simple. Its not until attempting it yourself that one finds out the challenges associated. Accessibility and reaching those higher elevations can be frustrating. Standing on ladders and working with a pressure washing gun is dangerous. This is usually the reason we get inquiries into cleaning only the second story of a home. Unless your exterior walls are made up of unpainted concrete, cinder block, or brick then you should not be using high pressure to clean in fear of damaging the finish and perimeter caulk joints. By not utilizing chemicals you are not providing a quality uniform cleaning. Although it looks like you are getting it all, its only the surface dirt and mold that you are removing. Water alone will not kill or remove mold and algae. Your house will just get dirty again in a shorter amount of time. When a home owner cleans the lower (reachable) sections of their home with clean water only it’s a subpar job. Hiring a professional to tackle the higher sections of your home will inevitably show clean streaks running down the face of the lower sections. We still have to spray the lower sections while onsite.
In conclusion, there are no savings by requesting a partial cleaning one side, or just the soffits, or my favorite “just the high spots”. We strive to provide all customers (residential and commercial) with professional pressure washing / soft washing services. Let us provide you with the best exterior cleaning services money can buy! Call us today so that we can provide you with a longer lasting “quality” cleaning.