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How To Avoid Rip-Offs

Dear Homeowner:

Choosing a Power washing contractor or wood stainer is not easy. Why, because you are bombarded with misleading advertising, confusing claims and bad information. From super low prices and high pressure sales, to unqualified contractors and near worthless methods, how do you ever find a qualified, competent power washing contractor?

You can start by reading this free report. In this fact filled section, you will discover how to avoid the power washing rip-offs, misconceptions of power washings and mistakes to avoid when choosing a contractor.

We have dedicated our business to consumer education and service. We welcome your inquires and we will gladly answer your questions over the phone or by email. We wrote this guide to help you better understand the power washing and wood restoration industry.

Should you have any questions, please call us at (716) 833-9122 or email me at:

-Jim Schwartz

Rip-Off #1 : Unbelievably Low Prices.

To some degree, all of us are attracted to low priced because we want to work within a budget. But some power washing companies will use price as bait in order to land the job. They are hoping you are basing your buying decision on price alone and if they are the cheapest, they will get the job. Unfortunately, once they get the job, they have to take shortcuts in order to make a profit. Professional power washing is not as cheap as some unethical power washers would like you to believe. Make sure you are paying for the level of quality you expect.

Rip-Off # 2: “We Will Beat Any Written Estimate”.

Contractors often use these types of slogans to lure the customer. Once they get to your home to start the work, they will cut corners to make up for lost revenue. Sometimes they will talk you into services that you don’t need. These contractors are a sure sign of a FLY-BY NIGHT.

Rip-Off # 3: Crafty claims like: We Use Hot Water or High Pressure.

You may read this in ads, or hear this from contractors. High temperature and high pressure should not be used in every situation. Both can cause damage when not used properly. Hot water is not necessary on residential jobs and many contractors use way too much pressure when cleaning. Too much pressure forces water behind the siding and it will also damage wood. We rely on our cleaners and a soft scrub brush to do the work and we use the right amount of pressure. The result is your property is thoroughly clean and undamaged.

Rip-Off # 4: Offering to Wash Anything and Everything.

Contractors wash many different things, from houses to tractors and from decks to parking lots. A company offering to wash anything may look Impressive, but that’s a sign of not being established. There are a lot of fly-by night companies that come and go and will offer to wash anything for a dollar. However, they never really get good at one thing. Make sure you hire a contractor that specializes in just a handful of services that you are interested in.

Rip-Off # 5: No-Named Businesses.

Be Careful of the Contractors That Do Not Have Names for Their Business or the Contractor That Won’t Put Their Names on Their Estimate Sheet. Every legitimate contractor will have a name for their business. Their estimate sheet will contain their company name, address and phone number. If you hire a contractor with no name for their business, you run the risk of being ripped off.

Costly Misconceptions About Power Washing

Misconception # 1: Soft Washing Systems are better than Power Washers.

Don’t be fooled by this claim. Soft washing systems are made up of solution tanks that hold mildew-cides, algae-cides and soaps. Power washers deliver the same thing. The only differents is the power washer delivers mildew-cides, algae-cides and detergents through a chemical injector system; the same chemicals used in soft washing systems. This is done with low pressure and less water. There is no brute force to your siding like some companies claim. Our cleaners do the work. We elect to use soft bristle brushes as well to insure that all tree sap, stains, mold and other dirt is completely removed. Scrubbing the siding is the only way to insure a clean surface.

Misconception # 2: High pressure is the only way to get it clean.

Not true at all. Only contractors that use inferior cleaners have to depend on high pressure to do the job. High pressure can do a lot of damage to your home. It can crack the siding; it can tear it away from the house as well. Using too much pressure on your deck can destroy it in seconds by causing divots and tearing of the wood.

Misconception # 3: You should hire a company that offers the lowest price.

Maybe, but not always true. Here are some points to consider: The price you see advertised may not be the price you actually pay. Many homeowners have learned that the low price they saw advertised lasted only until the contractor did the estimate. Then they were pressured into paying a lot more for a variety of add-ons. Some contractor’s market strategy is to obtain the job by being the lowest bidder. However, the contractor will usually have to cut corners to turn a profit. Due to low start up costs, many contractors come and go. When first starting up, a lot of companies do not educate themselves, because power washing and staining looks easy and profitable. So, they lack the right equipment, cleaners, insurance, knowledge, professionalism and normally will charge an extremely low price.

Misconception # 4: Any honest power washing company should be able to give an estimate over the phone.

It would be easier if this was true, but it’s not. Honest reputable power washing companies will never give a cleaning estimate over the phone. Most companies charge by the square foot or linear foot. But there are too many variables that can change the price from one home to another. For instance, different types of terrain or landscaping can affect the price. What type of wood is on your deck? Has it ever been sealed? Maybe your house is not very dirty and could be done for less than a dirty house the same size. The good news is, once an estimate is given by a quality contractor, you know that’s the price you will pay. No last minute surprises.

Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Power Washing Company

Mistake # 1: Choosing a power washing company without references.

Any reputable company, with a good customer base, should have references. If their clients are not saying good things about them, how can you expect good results?

Mistake # 2: Choosing a contractor whom does not offer a guarantee.

Why should you have to pay for a job that you are not satisfied with? Not all power washing companies offer a guarantee. If they do, the guarantee may be limited. Make sure you get a written guarantee and have them write it on the estimate sheet.

Mistake # 3: Choosing a power washing company that does work on the side.

These companies are usually not insured and they usually will not return to your home if you find a problem with the job they performed. They usually will not return your calls either. These companies will usually hire off the book workers that are out to make a quick buck. Instead, ask the owner if he is a full time company. Often, these companies will be in business for a short time. These are the sure fly-by nights.

Why Do You Want The Damaging Effect Of Dirt, Mold And Debris Cleaned From Your House?

You are proud of your home because it’s a reflection of you and your family, not to mention it’s a large investment. Having your home and other parts of your property cleaned on a regular basis is the easiest way to maintain its beauty and value. Dirt, mold and mildew will not only damage your image but it can cause costly repairs, renovations or replacements. By doing a little research you can hire a professional power washing company, and be sure you are getting a damage free, quality cleaning, that increases curb appeal and protects your investment.

Four Steps To Protecting Your Investment

Step # 1: Make a commitment to yourself to get your home or property cleaned. The longer it remains dirty, the more damage is being done to your image and your investment.

Step # 2: List your objectives. Do you want a real simple wash, something you can do yourself with a rented machine, or do you want a complete, quality job. Do you want to work with an honest, reputable company, or are you willing to risk working with the company that offers the lowest price, even knowing that they may not be in business tomorrow?

Step # 3: Ask the correct questions. The way you learn about a contractor is to ask specific questions and listen carefully to his answers. Here are some basic questions to ask a contractor before you decide to hire him.

  1. What is your cleaning process?
  2. What type of cleaning equipment do you use?
  3. How much pressure do you use on the siding or deck?
  4. How often should I have my house or deck cleaned?
  5. Do you have any before and after pictures that I can see?
  6. Do you have any references?
  7. Are insured in case you get hurt or in case you damage my property?
  8. Can you provide me with insurance certificates for workers compensation and general liability?
  9. Are you accredited with the Better Business Bureau?

Step # 4: Once you are satisfied that you are working with qualified professional, ask him to provide you with a free estimate that outlines exactly what you propose to do and the cost of the work so their are no surprises.

Deck And Fence Staining

Your Deck And Fence Is A Big Investment And They Are Not Cheap! Contractors that claim they can restore your deck or fence in as little as 2 days or sooner tend to forget about weather conditions that are needed for deck and fence restoration. Your deck or fence was power washed and the wood needs to dry completely before the staining process can begin. If moisture is trapped in the wood when the stain is applied, the stain will peel within 6 months to a year. It might take 3 or 4 good warm days before it can be properly stained. Contractors offen rush the job so they can get to the next job.

Cleaning Your Deck Or Fence With Environmentally Safe Products Is A Must

Often contractors will not use a good cleaner. This forces them to use way too much pressure, which will damage the wood, even hard pressure treated wood. You should always question the contractor in relation to wood cleaners.

You Never Use Paint On Your Deck Or Fence

Some contractors will give you a choice whether or not to use paint or stain. If a contractor uses paint on your deck it will peel and you will always have to use paint. Paint cannot be stripped off exterior wood. Do not be confused about paint or stain.

Often Contractors Will Give The Customer The Choice Of Stain To Be Used On Their Deck Or Fence

A good contractor will know what is the best product for your deck or fence, after all, he should be professional and he should know what stains are best for the conditions. Some stains are better in high sun areas and some are not. The customer does not always know this, so it up to the contractor to inform the customer.

By reading this report and following these steps, you will have all the information you need to make an informed and intelligent decision. If you want a quick and cheap exterior cleaning job, their are many fly-by nights that can help you. You can rent a power washer and do the job yourself, but if want to discover the benefits of hiring a professional power washing company, then I invite you to call us. We will be happy to answer your questions or provide you with a free estimate and evaluation.