Choosing a contractor can be tricky. You want to make sure that you find someone who’s trustworthy and who will take good care of your home. That’s especially true when it comes to finding a pressure washing company. Over time, a layer of dirt and gunk can build up on your deck and house, necessitating that you hire someone to clean it. But you don’t want to choose just anyone.
We caught up with Mickey Rickard of MJR Pressure Washing to get some advice for choosing a pressure washing contractor. Mickey started pressure washing homes back in 1998. There aren’t many people who can say they’ve been pressure washing houses here in Atlanta for the last 19 years!
What should our readers look for when it comes to hiring someone to pressure wash their house?
What kind of experience should our readers look for?
Mickey said, “Ideally you’d want someone that has 10 years or more of experience…[but] 3-5 years is pretty good too. You will find that most have less than three years of experience and this is average.”
It’s important to find someone who has plenty of experience. Mickey himself admits that he’s still learning, even after 19 years in the business. Your home is a huge investment, so you want someone who knows what they’re doing to pressure wash it.
What kind of insurance should a pressure washing company carry?
Mickey said that your contractor should carry liability insurance at the least. To illustrate his point, he told us a story about how, when he was starting out, he accidentally tripped a breaker. He was washing close to an electrical outlet and some water slipped behind the box, causing the breaker to shut off. Fortunately, he was able to reset it and everything was fine, but if he hadn’t realized the breaker had been tripped it could have gotten messy. What if there had been a freezer filled with expensive foods connected to that particular breaker? Yikes.
He also shared a story that he heard in which smoke came out of an outdoor electrical outlet on a house that had been power washed. The smoke ended up causing a small fire, which is unsettling. A trick that Mickey has learned is to tape all outdoor outlets to seal them against any water trickling in—water and electricity don’t mix.
Again, the moral of the story is to make sure that your pressure washer has insurance and lots of experience. You don’t want your home to catch fire from power washing.
What kind of licensing is required?
Mickey explains that the business must have a business license to be a legitimate pressure washing company. All it takes is going to the county office to get licensed.
What kind of references are best?
“Good and honest!” Mickey said.
Some places will actually ask you for a positive review after they do the job that you hire them for, but Mickey believes that a contractor should do such a good job that asking for a good review won’t be necessary. After all, it’s in their interest to do quality work so they get good reviews and build up a strong reputation. No one’s going to hire a power washing company with bad reviews. Mickey also points out that a contractor should strive to do an excellent job so that their customers will call them back the next year and pass along their name to their friends and family.
What kind of problems can an inexperienced pressure washer cause?
If your home has vinyl siding, you’ve probably noticed that it turns a very vivid shade of green, caused by algae. Oxidation from weather and the sun can also be an issue—it’ll leave a powdery substance all along your vinyl siding.
If an inexperienced pressure washer uses a pressure setting that’s too high, they’ll leave your house looking great while it’s still wet, but as soon as it dries you’ll notice squiggles and lines. This happens because a setting that’s too high and only removes some of the powdery oxidation.
Mickey explained that an experienced pressure washer knows to let the chemicals do the work instead of the blast of water. The bleach in the chemicals will remove all the gunk and oxidation, and then all the washer has to do is use a low setting the rinse off the bleach. To make sure that your pressure washer knows their stuff, ask them about their process and how they clean houses. If they mention a high setting…you may want to reconsider.
Also, if someone improperly bleaches your home, they could do some real damage. Using too much bleach or leaving the bleach on the surface for too long could cause the color of your house to fade.
Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, if not the biggest. To protect your investment, you should consider pressure washing to add life to your siding—plus it makes it look nice! And special thanks to Mickey of MJR Pressure Washing for sharing his expertise with us. If you’re interested in getting your home pressure washed or you want to find out more, you can check out http://mjrpressurewashing.com.
If you’re looking to protect your home with insurance, we can help! Contact us today and we’ll help you make sure that your investment is safe and sound.