12 Ways to Spot a Fly-by-Night Power Washing Company

October 26, 2015

Looking to hire a professional power washing company? Here are 12 ways to spot a fly-by-night power washing company, one you might not want to do business with. And yes, over the years, we have seen each and every one of them.

1.)  No Insurance. A professional should be able to provide you with a certificate of liability insurance. Trust and verify! It’s to protect you as the homeowner, not the contractor. Also, be aware that if the contractor is not a power washing contractor (like a roofer, plumber, etc.), his insurance may not cover him for power washing. Knock on wood, we have never had a claim, but our agent has told us horror stories of claims against power washers. There’s a lot that can go wrong with a long metal wand, high pressure water, ladders, slippery detergent, and ladders: people have sprayed high pressure water under siding, sprayed inside window seams or attic vents or electrical outlets, broken windows or light fixtures, killed landscaping from bleach or improper detergent, and ruined the paint jobs of cars nearby, and injured workers have made claims.

2.)  Using Bleach as the Only Detergent. Bleach is not a detergent. Think of your bathroom; it is ok for spot removal but it leaves a film. Worse, bleach damages plants, wood, ground water, and smells awful. Our detergent is biodegradable with no odor and no harm to plants, wood, or ground water. It’s not something that can be bought locally at a big box store.

No Equipment. A professional job requires ladders, water tanks, extension wands, nozzles, hundreds of feet of hose, and much more equipment. Believe it or not, we have repeatedly seen power washers show up with only a rented machine in the back of a pickup truck. They wash only as far up the house as they can reach by pointing the power washing wand upwards with the arms, and then they stop. A professional should wash every square inch of your siding.

4.)  Not Knowledgable. Can’t answer your questions or the answers are evasive.  A professional should be able to answer questions like – Is your detergent safe for my plants? How long will the job take (approximately)? Will this staining come out? What is this stain from? Will you be hooking up directly to my well?

5.)  Lots of Better Business Bureau Complaints. You can view our BBB A+ rating here.

6.)  No Phone Book or Internet Presence. You can’t look them up. Everyone has to start somewhere…but do you want to be the first house that they have washed?

7.)  Out of State Area Code. Recently, we’ve seen people come from many states away – Florida, Arizona, etc. – for temporary work. Homeowners have no recourse if something goes wrong. Wouldn’t you rather deal with someone local? We run into our customers at the grocery store – we have to do a meticulous job!

8.)  Claiming to Have a Power Washing License. Connecticut does not license power washers. Period. Any license number refers to another trade, or is just plain made up.

9.)  Won’t Provide Full Name. Here, Joe Vasaturo is the owner and is on every job, working. You won’t get a crew of people you’ve never met before. His wife, Jane, is in the office and handles most of the phone calls and scheduling.

10.)  Handwritten Advertisement. The photo says it all.

11.)  Pressure to Do Work Right Away. An experienced, professional power washer has busy times, especially in May and June. If you call on a Monday morning in May, and the guy shows up at your home 30 minutes later, in his work truck, pressuring you to get the job done that day, he’s probably not the best in the business.

12.)  Claiming to Do Everything. Jack of all trades. It is difficult to master every specialty. It is very difficult to do a good job at remodeling, additions, painting, roofing, plumbing, staining/sealing, odd jobs, gutters, windows, chimneys. Here, power washing is all Joe does and all he’s ever done – it’s been his profession since he was 15 years old.

Thanks for reading! If you’d like your home washed by a professional, give Joe Vasaturo of Superior Power Wash a call at 203-778-2394.