Misconception #1: It's Easy Enough That We Can Do It Ourselves. This may be true to some extent but you can easily cause damage to yourself and your home if your not careful. I don't recommend to anyone to pressure wash from a ladder, this is very dangerous and should be left to a professional. Washing your vinyl siding from the ground at an upward angle will force water behind the siding causing water damage. Getting up in the air and away from the house will allow you to rinse the siding at a flatter angle. This can only be done with the proper equipment. Another thing is even small consumer grade pressure washing units put out too much pressure to wash vinyl, asphalt shingles, and pressure treated wood. Having the right equipment allows you to turn down the pressure, so your not causing damage.
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. To much pressure will force water to get behind the siding of your home causing mold and mildew problems. Wood is softer than you might think, and using too much pressure to wash a deck can cut wood and leave unsightly marks and scars that will show through the sealer. Using too much pressure on asphalt shingles is a huge mistake. Shingles have small pieces of grit on them, similar to sand, called granules. Excessive pressure can blow these granules off the shingles, lessening the longevity of your roof. Make sure contractor grade cleaners and the right amount of pressure are being used.
Misconception #3: The Cleaners Being Used Will Damage Your Plants Or Hurt Your Pets. Quality contractors use only environmentally safe products that will not harm your pets. But plants are more sensitive and need to be protected. If a cleaner is allowed to dry on the leaves of a plant it can leave burn spots. Covering plants with plastic is an option, but that can also be dangerous to the plants on a hot day. A better alternative is to wet the plants down with water before, during, and after the cleaning process. As long as cleaners are not allowed to dry on the plants, there should be no damage.
Misconception #4: Your Roof Is Black Or Has Black Streaks On It And Needs Replaced. Not necessarily true. Unsightly black stains or streaks on asphalt shingles is caused by a hardy type of algae called Gloeocapsa magma. This type of algae thrives in humid and warm climates and usually appears, first, on the North slope of the roof where shade is prevalent and moisture tends to accumulate. The algae feeds on the crushed limestone that is used in asphalt shingles. Rain then spreads the algae down the roof, causing black streaks. As the algae breaks down the shingles, the granules that protect the shingle are loosened and begin to fall off. This causes the roof to deteriorate and diminishes the roof's ability to reflect heat rays. If left untreated, the algae will reduce the life of your roof, diminish your home's curb appeal, and increase your home cooling cost.
This roof algae can be killed and removed to restore your roofs appearance. But the right cleaners and low pressure is a must, so that damage is not done to the roof.
Misconception #5: You Should Hire the Company that Offers the Lowest Price. Maybe, but not always. Here are some points to consider:
(1) The price you see advertised may not be the price you 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 .
(2) Some contractors market strategy is to get jobs by being the lowest bidder. The contractor will then cut corners in order to turn a profit.
(3) Due to low start up costs, many companies come and go. When first starting up, a lot of companies do not educate themselves, because power washing looks easy and profitable. So, they lack the right equipment, cleaners, insurance, knowledge, professionalism, and normally, will charge an extremely low price.
Misconception #6: Any Honest Power Washing Company Should be Able to Give an Estimate Over the Phone. It would be easier if this were true, but it is not. Honest, reputable power washing companies almost 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 that price from one home to another. For instance, different types of terrain or landscaping can affect the price. What type of wood is your deck? Has it ever been sealed? Is water accessible at the job site? Maybe your house is not extremely 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 that's the price you will pay (no last minute surprises).