Pressure Washing Business: Equipment Needed and More

Meg Burke

Starting your own pressure washing business is a chance to provide a valuable service to your community. With more than 22,000 pressure-washing businesses across the U.S., newcomers have ample space.

However, how you start your business will determine how quickly you grow. The right equipment, coverage, and more are all vital to starting on the right foot, so here’s a rundown of what you need to get started.

Why You Need High-Grade Equipment

Newcomers often begin by purchasing second-hand equipment because it’s more affordable. However, the pressure washing business is different. Starting with state-of-the-art equipment will improve your work's quality and efficiency.

Here are the reasons why it makes sense to invest more from day one:

  • Build goodwill among your first customers by delivering a higher standard of work.
  • Gain more referrals and repeat business early
  • High-grade equipment will last longer, meaning lower overall maintenance and replacement costs.
  • Build credibility in the minds of your customers
  • Spend less time on each job, so you have more time to spend on serving others
  • New, high-quality equipment typically comes with ironclad warranties to help you save money on repairs

Pressure washing is a lucrative line of work because it costs relatively little to start and comes with high margins. Therefore, investing early will enhance your margins and allow for explosive growth.

Take Out Insurance Coverage

Pressure washing may seem like a relatively benign business with little in the way of risk. However, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, up to 53% of small businesses are battling at least one lawsuit at any time.

Pressure washing coverage protects you against property damage, injury to employees/general public, stolen equipment, and business interruption.

Comprehensive insurance will ensure you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket medical costs, legal fees, and settlements. In addition, the cost of pressure washing insurance coverage is lower than you think, and even one claim will usually cover the lifetime costs of your insurance policy.

Don’t take any unnecessary risks with your business. Insurance is a must-have.

Purchase a Business Vehicle

The most essential piece of equipment is the first addition to your new fleet. It could be a trailer, van, or truck. Many new entrepreneurs will usually rent a vehicle at this stage until they’re in a more stable financial position.

It’s recommended that you choose a closed truck or van rather than a trailer because it will offer better protection against loss, damage, and theft.

Your own vehicle is also a valuable advertising tool because you can brand them with decals and vehicle wraps.

High-Pressure Washers

Your power washer must have a minimum force of 3,000 PSI or more to provide a great clean. Remove stubborn dirt with ease by purchasing a high-pressure washer.

You can use washers at a lower pressure on some surfaces and compensate for the lack of pressure by attaching a larger spray tip.

Gas Engine/Electric Motor

Motors and gas-powered engines heat the water and generate the pressure for your operations. So there are no real advantages of gas vs. electric.

What matters is that you choose a manufacturer with a proven track record for reliability and consistency.

You will also need a hot water unit to provide the hot water you need on the go. Again, look for one powered by V-twin motors and has at least 18 HP.

Water Hoses

Pressure washing businesses will require a combination of water hoses producing high and low pressures. Every surface is different, and the pressure must match what you’re washing to provide a high-quality clean without causing any damage.

Your hoses should be at least 50 feet in length to ensure you can manage those awkward jobs. Moreover, you’ll need hoses that manage hot water, cold water and those designed to carry chemical cleaning agents. You can’t use a single hose for everything.

Nozzles and Jetters

Pressure washing businesses can address a variety of roles. You will need a whole set of tools for different surfaces.

Here are the top three jetters and nozzles you’ll need as part of your arsenal:

  • Turbocharged Nozzle – Designed for cleaning concrete, metals, and other hard surfaces
  • X-Jet – The X-jet is what you’ll turn to for washing buildings and other solid structures with soap and cleaning chemicals. The X-jet can be used without hoses. Another valuable feature of the X-jet is that it can be used for sterilizing chemicals when cleaning areas like barns and animal pens.
  • Sewer Jetters – If you choose to offer sewer flushing surfaces, you’ll need a sewer jetter. These devices need to have at least 2,500 PSI pressures but ideally should be closer to 4,000 PSI. Sewer jetters require these higher pressures to remove corrosion and mineral residues

Of course, there are countless attachments and tools you can choose from. However, during the initial stages of your business, the above three will enable you to carry out practically any job.

Pressure Washer Gun Assembly

While optional, a pressure washer gun assembly will give you an advantage in efficiency and effort. Get that immediate advantage to impress your customers and make a mark on your local community.

A pressure washer gun assembly will consist of a gun, mosmatic swivel, and hose connector. The whole kit works together to provide better outcomes for you and your customers.

Conclusion

Starting a pressure washing business costs less than you might think. Estimates reveal that purchasing all the necessary equipment can cost less than $5,000 in capital. Be willing to spend a little more to get sturdier, more advanced pressure washing equipment.

However, don’t forget to protect yourself by establishing the right business structure to protect your personal assets and to take out insurance to defend against any legal action that may be lodged against you.

What are your plans for launching a pressure washing business?

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Megan is a writer with a background in communications and a passion for business. Along with writing, she enjoys traveling, reading, and learning how to sew. She is excited to see where her entrepreneurial journey will take her.

Waterloo, IA
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