News – North American Pressure Wash Outlet


You are doing it wrong.....

You are doing it wrong..... 0

Just take a look at the videos. Cruise around on You Tube. Take a lap on Tik Tok. And what you will see, is a whole lotta incriminating evidence. While we always preach to take 'before and after' photos and video to protect your business, it seems we now need to preach about what NOT to post. 

We have been called to testify as expert witnesses in court. Homeowner hires Company A to clean their home. Homeowner isn't happy and blames Company A. Attorneys are hired. Court costs accumulate and the Homeowner's attorney begins to research your previous work and your digital footprint. 

You posted videos blowing water under the siding. You posted videos blowing water up through the vinyl siding weepholes. You posted videos blowing water all around exposed electrical components. Unfortunately, these videos can and will get used against you if you have an insurance claim. And in today's latest video posts, the contractor was using a turbo nozzle on wood AND going against the grain. Of course....after the turbo we really care whether he's going against the grain?! Poor homeowner but now they have evidence. With cool music and effects.




♬ original sound - Jonny Irwin


While it's great SEO and it's great marketing, remember that if you are new to this industry and if you aren't using good technique and processes, consider this a warning before the busy spring season hits us.

Recently I saw a post in one of the industry groups regarding the cost of liability insurance for a pressure wash company. The rates have gone insanely high. Sure...inflation has hit everything. But the more pressing reason for the higher rates is the higher number of claims that have been paid out on behalf of contractors who are using substandard equipment, products and techniques. 

Assuming you have an insurance policy, what does it cover? Does it cover you working from the ground only? Then I wouldn't post videos of you or your employees walking the roof. Because yes....they are watching. 

One of our financing companies has chosen not to offer financing options for our industry because the repayment loan rate is lower than 30%. That's a little embarrassing for our industry. 

The exterior cleaning industry will continue to be a relatively inexpensive business to start. But the liabilities that exist are real. Please take a moment to review your digital footprint and examine your technique. Would it pass the test against acceptable industry standards? If it doesn't, take it down. And then find some reputable training to ensure your success in the field rather than a quick downfall and burn out.

Happy Washing!

What is Your 50/50?

What is Your 50/50? 0

Math counts in pressure washing. Probably more than many of us would like!  But let's consider one of the most over-used and least understood question/answer scenario. Ready? Here we go....

Question: "What strength SH should I use?"

Answer: "50/50 mix"

Why is this answer a problem? Because it's an incomplete answer.


We work with this question daily. And beyond questions relating to the stain and substrate, we also need to know the starting strength of the SH that the contractor is utilizing. Let's consider these examples...

Bob is using 12.5% SH - 50/50 mix leaves the SH at 6.25%

Steve is using 10% SH - 50/50 mix leaves the SH at 5%

Sue is using 8% SH - 50/50 mix leaves the SH at 4%

Chris is using 6% SH - 50/50 mix leaves the SH at 3%


Bob, Steve, Sue and Chris all followed the same advice. But each had different results. Why? Because part of the equation was missing. The starting strength of the SH is EXTREMELY important and from the simple Math equations above, one can see how the generic statement of a 50/50 mix is misleading.

Know the starting strength of your bleach (sodium hypochlorite) as it will help you be more efficient and effective in your cleaning efforts.




More Lessons from the Courthouse...

More Lessons from the Courthouse... 0

This lesson relates to your online presence because it can and will be used against you. If you recall, we recently had a case involving oxidation in which the customer filed suit against the contractor.
An Update!!! A Lesson from the Courthouse.....

An Update!!! A Lesson from the Courthouse..... 3

 Update at the bottom of the blog. Feel free to skip ahead!

On a recent Tuesday in February, Tracy was subpoenaed to testify as an expert witness in a case involving a pressure washing contractor and an unhappy customer. 

The customer has a painted home. The home was built 10 years ago and has not been re-painted in that time. The current owner has been in the home 4 years and stated that she had not had the home cleaned since she owned the home. If it had been cleaned prior to her occupancy, that information wasn't known or disclosed.

The contractor was hired to clean the siding and surface clean the concrete driveway. This work was completed. And now the battle begins.....a quick synopsis....

The customer isn't happy.

The customer hires a home inspector and an attorney.

The home inspector has a strong background in construction but no experience in the pressure wash industry.

The home inspector blames bleach use and poor technique and is demanding new paint for the entire exterior of the home.

Customer is now demanding a new paint job for the entire home and new shutters because she feels as though they can't be repainted.

The contractor is a long-time customer. He contacted our office and asked for our assistance. Tracy was required to visit the home, take pictures, make a report and then testify to the facts as he saw them based on 2 decades of experience. This home was oxidized on the 2 sides of the home that are sun-facing. The surface was cleaned and now looks blotchy. This doesn't mean that the contractor did anything wrong. It means that the paint is oxidizing and beginning to fail. The contractor CLEANED the surface. That was the job. Now, is it the contractor's responsibility to re-paint a home that he didn't damage? If you don't have an expert witness in your corner, the Judge may see it that way.

The opening statements referenced quality, procedures, chemicals, website verbiage, insurance and employees. The testimony and cross-examination explored EACH of those areas to attempt to discredit the contractor thereby discrediting the quality of the work completed. It was brutal.

The Homeowner's Attorney focused on website verbiage. The Contractor's website stated he was insured but the truth was the insurance lapsed.

The Homeowner's Attorney focused on employees and their work history. This guy was even attempting to bring in salacious personal details about a previous employee, who had NOTHING to do with this job, in an attempt to link that to the Contractor. It didn't seem to impress the Judge but the fact stands that the opposing counsel's job is to discredit you, your business and your work. 

The Homeowner's Attorney focused on chemicals, product liability and technique. Fortunately the Contractor uses industry-standard chemicals, equipment and procedures. THIS is what saved him. Are you using Dawn, Gain or something that doesn't have product liabilities? Be prepared.

A majority of the testimony related to oxidation. The average person on the street probably has no idea that their vinyl siding degrades over time or that their paint will degrade over time. As a witness for the Defendant, it was extremely important that this process be explained well and defended during cross-examination by the Plaintiff.

We've watched the process and the effects it has had on our customer. And while some in the industry may use too much bleach or have poor technique, this contractor is top-notch with outstanding customer service. It's wasted time, money and put an enormous amount of stress on his business. But in this case, he made some errors. Not in the work process but in covering his assets.

The most important piece of advice that we can provide is to be the professional in every way. And by being the professional, it means that you and your customer have clear expectations regarding results. If oxidation is present, it is YOUR responsibility to educate your customer. YOU are the professional.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE....take pictures and cover YOUR business and reputation. Take BEFORE and AFTER photos of ALL of your work because the one time you are tired at the end of the job AND DON'T take the pictures, is the one that will bite you. You know it's true!

In this case, the contractor did not have Before and After photos. This was hindering him from having a strong argument against the customer's claims. During Tracy's site visit, he was able to document the home's location to the sun. The only 2 sides of the home with the blotchy results are the sun-facing sides of the home. On those same sides, the original paint color was still intact under the gutter line as it had been protected from the sun. The report was much more detailed as there were other claims by the home owner that had to be refuted and they were, but this would have been easier if the contractor had Before and After photos. Tracy's testimony as an Expert Witness was truly invaluable.

What's interesting, is that literally as I am typing this, another phone call from another contractor who is having an issue with a customer over oxidation and blotchy results after the wash. Protect yourself out there. EDUCATE your customers BEFORE you wash.

And keep our number to pass along to your insurance carriers when they need Expert testimony. Available for hire. I think it's going to be a busy season. 


Don't forget to read More Lessons from the Courthouse here....




We have an update on the case as it is now settled!!!

There are several key takeaways from this case. This case was primarily about oxidation although there were a few areas of "drip marks" that were also a concern.

The Ruling:

The Plaintiff (Homeowner) was required to pay her attorney's fees, portion of the Defendant's attorney's fees and court costs.

The Defendant (Contractor) was required to paint (or pay for) one side of the home containing the drip marks and the remainder of his attorney's fees.

The Lessons Learned:

Right or wrong, several things hurt the Contractor in this case. 

#1 - The Defendant did not take before and after pictures. The Defendant could not defend the condition of the siding prior to the house wash. Strike 1

#2 - The Defendant's website was scrutinized for EVERYTHING. And during that process, it was determined that the Defendant stated he was "insured". Unfortunately that insurance had lapsed. Strike 2

#3 - It's possible and likely that the Defendant (staff/employees) did not pre-wet on surface on a hot day - Memorial Day in the South - and chemically "burned" in the drip marks. The oxidation issues were overcome with education and evidence but the drip-marks were a reflection on process and/or technique. Strike 3

Overall, the Contractor was pleased with the ruling as it truly could have been much worse. Between the insurance lapse, the lack of before and after pictures and the drip marks, the Contractor had a few things that were not working in his favor. The opposing Counsel used these lapses as a means to destroy the Contractor's credibility, It seems as though the Judge was able to wade through a lot of that and get to a fair ruling. Not having a dog in the race, it was fair. 

Please use this as a life lesson and a business lesson. We live in a litigious society and unfortunately everything can be used against you. As we interact on the web with our customers, we continually advocate to protect your business. If you have a picture on your website and you are standing on the roof without proper safety gear in a situation where you should have it....TAKE IT DOWN!.  That is exactly the type of picture that would then be used in Court to undermine your credibility. Doesn't matter if everything you did on the job was correct, your technique and safety standards will now be examined. Your insurance company may not like the pictures either especially if you aren't insured for roof work. While it might seem like a "cool shot for the "gram", it may literally be the picture that sinks your business in a Court case. NOW, please don't think we want you to be in Court; quite the opposite. It isn't fun. And it's expensive and stressful. Our goal is only to share the experience. 





Don't Have Time to Wade Through the Groups? Here's Your Daily Recap....

Don't Have Time to Wade Through the Groups? Here's Your Daily Recap.... 0

Nah....we don't have time for all that but we do want to hit on one post we saw today and just give you a little different perspective.

A newer member questioned the use of a wheeled surface cleaner. The overwhelming number of responses were quick to offer a host of perceived negatives relating to the wheels or castors. Here is a quick glimpse:

  • they suck
  • they break
  • they get in the way
  • you don't need them
  • they are heavy

But a more seasoned veteran had a few words of wisdom along with a few questions like what type of usage would the surface cleaner see? What GPM unit is being matched with the surface cleaner? And what type of surfaces was the user planning to clean? Because ALL OF THOSE questions are important. Why? Because using a 4 GPM machine with a wheeled unit might actually be more laborious. Use an 8 GPM machine with a wheeled unit and it's heaven on Earth. The castors add a little weight and with the larger GPMs, it helps to keep the unit down on the ground. Use a GP Hammerhead with an 8 GPM and you almost need to put weights on it to hold it down. You know EXACTLY what I'm talking about! And not all wheels or castors are the same in quality or positioning so that should be considered rather than a blanket statement. Some units have 2 big beefy wheels in the rear. Others have 3 and still others have 4. Also keep in mind that not all surface cleaners are round. So while the wheels or castors on one surface cleaner may interfere in some circumstances, a rectangular surface cleaner with castors may not interfere at all.  And the more seasoned veteran, in both experience and age, added in some ergonomic concerns relating to arthritis. For him, the wheels were a huge advantage. And from a new AARP member, I feel the age and some of that pain. 

It's hard to get to the more seasoned veteran's guidance sometimes over the exuberance and excitement of those relative new folks in the industry. Seek out that maturity and experience because it can benefit you much more in the long run.

Remember that your decisions ultimately affect you, your body, your business and your family. Use your favorite vendor to your advantage. We deal with folks literally around the globe with their individual needs. And that's the key - individual. While the free advice can be super helpful in a lot of situations - there is a lot of good in these groups - we see some folks guided in the wrong directions with just plain bad advice driven by ego.

Hope you have had a great day!


  • Kimberlee Handl
What If? Are You Prepared for Those?

What If? Are You Prepared for Those? 0

Starting a business is costly. And once you are up and running, the business will continue to be costly. It's easier when the coffers are filled during the busy season and a little harder to do during the off-season.

The typical early season scenario plays out time and time again during this time of year. Money is tight and so scheduling timetables become very tight. And this is when the "what ifs" can really hurt your business.

You hold-off until the last minute to order your supplies not wanting to spend any funds until it's absolutely necessary. And then a late Winter storm freezes the roadways and the FedEx truck carrying a full load lands in a ditch.

What if your order was on that FedEx truck? Are you prepared for that What If? These things happen. Not often. But they do and that means that your business should prepare for these. Remember that vendors do not own nor control the shipping companies that are utilized. 

When you are scheduling, do you have a Plan B to account for the What If? You should. In most cases, your Plan B won't need to be activated and that's a great thing. But invariably, at least once a season and usually at the worst time, the Plan B will be an absolute must. 

Also try to remember that when you want to place blame on everyone else, it's probably best to start with the business first and examine what happened, how it could be avoided and the plan you will make for the next What If.

  • Kimberlee Handl