Is a pressure washing business profitable? A pressure washing business can be extremely profitable if done right. Here’s what you need to know to start a pressure washing business that is a successful business.
What Is Pressure Washing?
A pressure washer is a machine that uses a powerful jet of water to clean a surface. Pressure washing is the act of washing surfaces using a pressure washer.
Professional Pressure Washing Services
Professional pressure washing services involve certain regular tasks. For example, pressure washing a swimming pool every three months or soft-pressure washing a roof once a year. Businesses hire pressure washing businesses to power wash parking lots at regular intervals, signage, and even building exteriors.
Professional pressure washers are hired to clean:
- Concrete slabs
- Vinyl siding
- Parking lots
- Swimming pools
- And more.
Other Power Washing Business Services
There are other power washing business services. These are lesser-known things that can be cleaned with a pressure washer.
Other power washing business services:
- Car mats and rugs
- Deck furniture
- Patio furniture
- Lawn furniture
- Kids toys
- Gardening tools
- Dog house
- Porch swing
- Mudroom bench
Why Start a Pressure Washing Business?
A lot of people consider starting a pressure washing business. A pressure washing business has low overhead, can be started on a shoestring budget, and provides other benefits.
Benefits of starting a pressure washing business:
- Help people keep their homes and businesses clean
- There is a demand for pressure washing
- Pressure washing is a low-cost business to start
- It can be done on your time and on your terms
- No income cap on how much your pressure washing business can earn
- You can grow your business and hire people with this business model
- You will have the opportunity to build a brand and a loyal customer base
Startup Costs for a Pressure Washing Business
Startup costs for a pressure washing business depend on the type of equipment needed and other factors. Your budget decides your startup costs. Here is what you need to get started.
You can start a pressure washing business on a small shoestring budget of less than $10,000, but you’ll still need a few essentials.
- A pressure washer ($150 – $500)
- Cleaning chemicals ($40 – $300)
- Truck and trailer with a water tank ($3,000 – $10,000)
Important Note: If your budget is less you may exclude the truck and trailer with a water tank, more costly essentials. However, you’ll be limited on the jobs you can take. You’ll only be able to pressure wash where there is an onsight water supply.
If you have a medium budget of $10,000 – $100,000 you can start a commercial grade pressure washing business.
This means you’ll be able to afford commercial-grade pressure washing equipment, rent a building, hire employees, purchase insurance, bid on bigger jobs, and grow your business faster.
Basic equipment and startup cost:
- Commercial-grade pressure washer ($3,000 – $15,000)
- Vinyl wrapped truck and trailer with a water tank ($50,000 – $100,000)
- Advertizing budget ($1,000 – $3,000 p/month)
- Incorporation services, e.g., form an LLC for personal asset protection (Articles of Organization, Registered Agent Services, etc.) ($500 – $1,500)
- Business bank account (free)
- Business insurance (General liability insurance $500 – $1,500 per year)
- Rental location / Office or retail space ($1,500 – $5,000 per month)
- Hiring employees ($15 – $25 per hour)
- Other business expenses ($1,000 – $2,000 per month)
- Website, and social media management services ($1,000 – $3,000 per month)
If you have a large budget to start with ($100,000 – $1,000,000) you can operate in multiple locations, work multiple jobs simultaneously, and scale the business quickly.
Leverage points for large budget startups:
- Add-on cleaning services (e.g., customer’s car window, etc.)
- Reduce business pressure by building your company’s assets
- Protect with equipment insurance for when proper safety precautions fail
- Work multiple job sites for accelerated business growth opportunities
- Low start up costs when entering other markets
- Attract new customers through big advertising campaigns
- Be a business partner to the Small Business Administration (SBA)
- Reduce costs involved with a new pressure washing business by leveraging business accounts
- Offer more power washing services (a good business strategy)
- Own multiple power washers
- Have a dedicated central business location
- Build company’s credit history to get a business credit card
- Sell to more residential customers (pressure cleaning, power washer services, etc.)
- Pressure wash another business owner to help them maintain their own business
- Build a name within the power washing industry
- Keep personal and business accounts separate to not pierce the corporate veil
- Form a business structure like an LLC or INC to protect personal assets
Startup Costs for Your Own Pressure Washing Business
Commercial power washing equipment can be a costly expense when forming your pressure washing company. (You have to get one pressure washing job after another to work off these initial purchases.)
Some startup pressure washing businesses operate on slim margins while others in the pressure washing industry require fewer personal assets to be used to get started.
You can start a pressure washing business with a small budget, medium budget, or even a large budget if you have the working capital to put your pressure washing skills to work as a power washer.
All of this depends on your budget, which should be laid out in your business plan. At Lakeland Pressure Washing we believe a successful pressure washing business should:
- Form an LLC (business entity)
- Keep personal and business expenses separate
- Keep accounting and tax filing separate for your pressure washing business starting from day one
- Get an employer identification number (EIN)
- Get a business bank account
- Be your own boss and own the role of best pressure washer
- Hone your power washing techniques
- Start with at least a few thousand dollars
- Get some free business counseling
- Buy the best power washer you can afford
- Focus on getting more customers to power wash for
- Learn from other business owners and pressure washers (a good business strategy)
- Stick to your business plan (your pressure washing business plan is your roadmap to success)
To know exactly how much you need to get started with your power washing business, you should start with a business plan.
Every pressure washing business needs a business plan along with a separate business bank account, employer identification number, and a little understanding of business law and how much money, given your available resources, you can expect to make in your pressure washing business.
You can make money as a pressure washer. How much money you make as a pressure washer will depend on your budget, overhead expenses, and other market conditions.
A pressure washer must do more than pressure wash, they must be willing to manage their pressure washing business. And unfortunately, not every pressure washer wants to do more than pressure wash. To be successful you have to make a business stand and know the business inside and out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a pressure washing business a good idea?
Yes, a pressure washing business is a good idea because there are many potential clients who could use the service. But, it could be difficult during the winter months, depending on its location.
What is the average salary of a pressure washer?
According to ZipRecruiter, the average pressure washer earns $28,300 per year. Top earners make up to $35,000 annually. This is assuming you work for a pressure washing business.
How often do you have to replace a commercial pressure washer?
The answer is “it depends”. Some commercial pressure washers can last for 10 years. However, some models only last for 3 years.
What do average pressure washing services cost?
The prices of pressure washing services vary depending on the size of the work area and the type of surface that needs to be cleaned.
Some of the most popular industry standards are:
- Residential Pressure Washing Services: $50-$150 per hour
- Industrial Pressure Washing Services: $150-$250 per hour
- Commercial Pressure Washing Services: $150-$250 per hour
What is the cost of pressure washing a house?
The cost of pressure washing a house can vary depending on the size of the house, the type of siding, and whether or not there are any obstacles on the exterior of the property that need to be addressed. The average cost is between $150 – $900 per house.
Do you need an environmental permit to operate a pressure washing business?
Though you do not need an environmental permit to operate a pressure washing business, it is recommended that pressure washing companies become familiar with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Water Act.
Pressure washing companies should know what chemicals they are using to clean with and how to properly dispose of toxic chemicals.
It is also recommended that pressure washing companies have water pollution insurance to protect the business against water pollution fines.
Is pressure washing dangerous?
Yes, pressure washing can be dangerous. Pressure washing releases high-pressure water at a high velocity, which can cause serious injury if it comes into contact with someone.
In 2012, there were just over 5000 reported pressure washing injuries where people had been admitted to emergency rooms.