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Pressure washing vs. Power washing business: Know the differences

As a pressure washing company, it is important that your customers understand the services you offer. One of the biggest hurdles owners of pressure washing companies face is that homeowners believe pressure washing and power washing are the same.

While they are similar, having a good understanding of both services will help you better explain the value of each to potential customers.

Let's explore the two different types of washing a little more and see why one option might be better than another for different scenarios.

What’s pressure washing?

Of the 2 options, pressure washing is often seen as a light-duty option compared to power washing. The pressure washer uses a continuous, regular temperature blast of high-pressure water to remove dirt and grime. It is often the first place most homeowners start when they are looking to clean the outside of their home.

If you are working with a customer who only needs a light washing of their home, pressure washing is a great option. However, if your customer has built-up grime, mildew, excessive mold, or stains caused by grease or oil, then you may want to consider a power washer.

How does a pressure washer work?

Unlike a power washer, pressure washers utilize normal temperature water to remove dirt and grime. Depending on what type of pressure washer you decide to purchase, they can be either run off of gas or electric. Both are great options and feature a tank that the water will flow through when in use.

When purchasing a pressure washer, you will want to consider the type of jobs you will be working on. There are different models available that have a varying range of pressure from 1,300 up to 2,800 PSI. If you plan on doing large projects, then a higher PSI is recommended. You can also purchase different nozzles to allow for additional applications.

Typically, you will want to use pressure washers for cleaning jobs that involve softer surfaces such as:

  • Vehicles
  • Wood or plastic patio furniture
  • Garage floors
  • Fences
  • Garbage cans

What’s power washing?

Power washing is similar to pressure washing because the machine utilizes a continuous high-powered stream of water to clean surfaces. The main difference between the two is in the temperature of the water. With a power washer, there is a heating element that produces hot water when cleaning.

A power washing machine is a great option when you need a heavy-duty cleaning solution. The heated water makes it easier to clean hard surfaces and remove a wide range of gunk from a home or business.

Offering power washing services also allows you to provide a greater range of cleaning solutions for potential customers. For example, the high temperature of the water makes it a great option for:

  • Improving the brightness of walkways
  • Removing buildup from driveways from chewing gum, oil, grease, etc.
  • Cleaning different types of aluminum, wood, or vinyl siding
  • Assisting in the removal of leaves and debris in gutters

Power washing vs. pressure washing businesses: The key differences

Even though both cleaning methods are pretty similar, they still use different processes to clean surfaces. Let's look at how pressure and power washing differ and the cleaning they are both best suited for.

What is the difference between a power washer and a pressure washer?

The main difference between power washing and pressure washing is the temperature of what is used. With power washing, the water is heated until it is hot enough to remove buildup from surfaces like driveways and walkways. Pressure washers, on the other hand, use cold water to clean soft surface areas.

Is a pressure washer better than a power washer?

As it is with most things in life—it depends. A pressure washer is a better option for cleaning soft surfaces such as vehicles, fences, or garage floors. However, it isn't generally better than a power washer when heavy-duty cleaning is required.

Can my business specialize in both pressure washing and power washing?

Absolutely! Having the capabilities to provide both pressure washing and power washing services to your customers will ensure you can help with any of their cleaning needs—regardless of surface type.

Most important insurance coverages for your pressure washing business

Even though there isn't a specific pressure washing business insurance policy, you will want to make sure you have several small business insurance coverages. For example, every company with employees must carry workers' compensation to protect their workers if an accident happens in the workplace.

Here are a few other coverages you should consider adding to protect your pressure washing business:

  • General Liability Insurance: Protects your business if you are ever sued by a third party for property damage or injuring someone else.
  • Business Property Insurance: This coverage extends protection to your own building and any equipment housed inside it.
  • Business Interruption Insurance: Should your company need to close temporarily for a covered peril, this protection will cover several of your operating expenses.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: If you own trucks or vehicles, this insurance will help cover the cost to repair or replace them if they are damaged.

To make insurance more affordable for your pressure washing company, you can also purchase a Business Owner's Policy. These policies often bundle key coverages like general liability, business property, and business interruption into one single insurance product.

Frequently Asked Questions: Pressure and power washing business

What should you not power wash?

While a power washer is great for specific jobs, there are several things that you should avoid using the machine on. For instance, if you use a power washer with too much force, you could accidentally put a hole in your siding.

Here are a few other places you should avoid using a power wash machine:

  • Painted surfaces
  • Drywall
  • Fabric surfaces such as patio furniture
  • Roofing that is made of asphalt shingles

Can an electric pressure washer clean a driveway?

Of course! You can use an electric pressure washer to clean a driveway, especially ones with a PSI level higher than 1,500. However, one thing to keep in mind is that using an electric pressure washer may take longer than using a more powerful gas pressure washer.

What is a good PSI power washer for home use?

As a business owner of a power washing company, you want to make sure you have the right equipment for the job. Generally, most home projects only require a washer with a PSI between 2000 and 3000 PSI. However, you may need less pressure on soft surfaces or more pressure for heavy-duty cleaning jobs, depending on what you are cleaning.

How many PSI do I need to clean concrete?

To effectively clean the concrete, you will want to make sure you have a power washer with a PSI rating of at least 3000. It is also generally recommended that your machine have a minimum flow rate of 4 gallons per minute (GPM).

Get pressure washing business insurance with Huckleberry

Owning a pressure washing business can be very rewarding. You have an opportunity to help a homeowner restore the outside of their home to its original look by cleaning areas such as siding, driveways, or sidewalks. To continue running an effective business, you want to make sure you also have the appropriate business insurance.

Huckleberry makes the insurance buying process easy for business owners. Within a matter of minutes, you can receive a free quote, review policies, and obtain coverage for your company. Thanks to our interactive website, you can complete the entire process online without the need to work through an insurance agent.

Get an affordable business insurance policy today with Huckleberry.


Disclaimer

All content on this page is for general informational purposes only and does not apply to any specific case, is not legal, tax or insurance advice and should not be relied upon. If you have any questions about the situation for your small business or the latest information in your state, you should contact an attorney for legal advice, an insurance agent or broker, and/or your state's labor or industry agency, board, commission or department. Please note that the information provided on this page may change at any time as a result of legislative action, court decisions or rules adopted or amended by any state or the federal government.

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