December 10, 2014 – Press Release
Wastewater Recovery for Your Business: What it is and Why it’s Important During Pressure Washing
At first glance, it may seem that all pressure washing companies are the same. But upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that some power washing outfits are leagues ahead of their competitors. From timely service delivery to meeting clients’ budgets, leading pressure washing firms can distinguish themselves in many different ways. Today we’re looking at an underappreciated differentiating factor in pressure washing: eco-friendly wastewater recovery.
What is Power Washing Wastewater Recovery?
Pressure washing blasts away dirt, grease, and other grime. High pressure, cleaning agents, and hot water combine to dislodge stubborn stains. But what happens to the runoff water? Well, some pressure washing companies allow wastewater to run into local storm drains and from there into local watersheds. More ecologically conscious power washing groups actually capture and vacuum up wastewater, so that it may be transported to a proper processing facility that can remove toxins.
Pressure washing wastewater can contain many different pollutants, from petroleum products to heavy metals. Most of these pollutants linger on asphalt, where they are deposited by cars and trucks. Runoff water picks up these pollutants, and delivers them to downstream ecosystems.
Environmental Impacts of Failing to Recover Pressure Washing Wastewater
Contamination of Fresh Water. 250,000 gallons of fresh water can be contaminated with a single quart of motor oil. Trace amounts of heavy metals and petroleum products can pollute entire lakes. It doesn’t take much road pollution to poison animals and plants.
Death to Downstream Organisms. Let’s look at a single road pollutant, cadmium. Cadmium is a heavy metal pollutant emitted by cars; it can kill soil microorganisms, throwing off entire ecosystems. By the way, it’s not healthy for humans, either; cadmium can taint drinking water as well.
Suspended Solids can Disrupt Ecosystems. Even good ol’ dirt can cause problems downstream. Silt and dirt that’s washed into rivers causes many problems. For instance, fish eggs, insects, and small fish can be smothered by silt.
While Canada’s laws do protect our streams, lakes and rivers from pollution, it’s almost impossible to enforce clean water legislation in all cases. Lazy pressure washing companies can take the easy route—letting runoff water wash downstream—without getting caught by authorities. That’s why it’s so crucial for power wash consumers to stick up for the right way to do things, and only work with companies that carefully collect and process wastewater. To find pressure washing companies that properly handle wastewater, look for membership in the Pressure Washers of North America, and Environmental Contract Cleaner certification. Also, be sure to ask about technician training and cleaning products; techs should receive regular environmental training, and cleaning solutions should be eco-friendly, i.e. free of phosphates and biodegradable.
December 10, 2014 – Press Release
5 Questions to Ask Your Fleet Pressure Washing Professional
While researching pressure washers, Canadian business owners may assume that fleet pressure washing services all the same. On the surface, it may appear that one pressure washer is as good as another. However, with a bit of digging and insider information, it becomes plain that some firms are more thorough, thoughtful and environmentally conscientious than others at pressure washing. Ottawa business leaders can find the best pressure washing firm for their needs by asking the following five questions.
1. Do you outsource your work?
Subcontracting allows pressure washing companies to save money. However, without in-house quality controls, those firms that do outsource their services often provide sub-par cleaning results. It makes sense for a fleet pressure washing company to outsource something like IT or accounting – these are not the heart of the business, after all. However, to outsource power washing itself is to give away the core business. For these reasons and more we never outsource our power washing services.
2. What types of chemicals do you use?
The temptation to use non-biodegradable, inexpensive cleaning chemicals plagues many power washers. Canadian business owners should verify that all pressure washing chemicals meet local and regional government standards. Typically, these codes specify that power washing solutions must be biodegradable and free of phosphates so as to protect downstream ecosystems.
3. What hours are you available?
Understaffed pressure washers may not be able to complete work on your schedule. Fleet pressure washing is a tricky thing to schedule, so make sure your power washing partner is able to serve you at the times that are most convenient for you. We have the manpower needed to accommodate your service timing requests.
4. Do you have a guarantee?
This question is universal for all vendors, of course, but it is especially relevant for vetting power washers. Mobile services like fleet pressure washing demand this kind of up-front, clear service agreement.
5. Are you certified?
Although certification is not required for pressure washing firms, it is a good indication of competence. Companies that are dedicated to providing the best possible pressure washing service will keep up with industry trends and provide ongoing education to their workers. Reliable pressure washers are certified with the Power Washers of North America (PWNA); and also earned Water Reclaimer Certification with the PWNA, signifying our dedication to earth-friendly operations.
By asking these five questions, you can vet the best pressure washing company for your needs.
November 2014 – Press Release
Cold-weather tips for industrial pressure washing
Since pressure-washing equipment squirts water, commercial pressure washers must be very careful about preparing their machines for cold weather. Water grows 9% as it freezes; and if any water is left in your machine, it could break internal components as plummeting temperatures cause it to expand.
Below, we explain how to ready an industrial pressure washer for a freezing spell. We also discuss the most extreme temperatures at which commercial pressure washers may be safely operated and provide further tips on using commercial pressure washers in low temperatures.
At all costs, do not let your industrial pressure washer freeze.
Should your pressure washing equipment freeze, it will likely break. Avoid costly repairs by storing your pressure washer in a dry, warm place if frigid weather is in the forecast. If your industrial pressure washer is mounted to a vehicle, you may need to keep it warm with an electric heater. A 500-watt halogen bulb may be directed at the pump to prevent it from freezing. If cold weather has caught you unprepared and you don’t have a warm storage area, your best hope is to cover the entire unit in a tarp. This will trap some heat next to the machine and may provide a temporary solution in short cold snaps. Alternatively, you can run recirculating warm water through the water pumps to prevent the water tanks from freezing.
The best way to protect your industrial pressure washer is to flush with anti-freeze.
If you have plenty of prep time, the best defense for your pressure washing equipment is to wash it out with antifreeze. Auto or RV antifreeze will work, as will windshield wiper fluid. Be sure to check the freezing point of whatever liquid you will be using – some windshield wiper fluids don’t offer protection below 32° F. Flush the antifreeze through the entire system. Begin by filling the float tank with the antifreeze solution. Next, turn on the pressure washer to send the antifreeze through the hose, pushing out water ahead of it. To protect the machine’s plumbing, coils, hoses and pump, take the spray tip off and insert the wand into the float tank. Pump the trigger gun on and off for two minutes to send antifreeze into the unloader bypass line. Finally, if your machine is capable of spraying chemical cleaners, you’ll need to flush out the chemical line hose separately.
Fortunately, you can capture and reuse the same five gallons of antifreeze throughout this entire process. If your pressure washing equipment doesn’t have a float tank, fill up a five-gallon bucket with antifreeze. This is the reservoir from which the water intake hose will pull.
The second best way to protect pressure-washing equipment: Flush out water with air.
If for some reason you cannot carry out the anti-freeze method, you can send most of the water out with pressurized air. This entails basically operating your pressure washer “on empty,” with no water going through. The concept here is that the pressurized air forces the water out of the industrial pressure washer’s parts. The air pressure method is imperfect; it may not get all water out of the lowest coils. Therefore, this approach is not recommended except in emergencies.
Be wary of low temperatures when operating your industrial pressure washer.
Wind chill must be taken into account when running commercial pressure washers in cold conditions. If the air is still, it is generally safe to operate pressure-washing equipment on the hot water setting when the temperature is between 15 and 25° F. The hot water prevents the machine from freezing. (Don’t try to run a cold-water pressure washer in below-freezing temperatures; this is just asking for trouble.) Wind alters this formula. If it’s a windy day, stop using your hot-water pressure washing equipment when the temperature hits 34° F.
Remember that operating a pressure washer in below-freezing surroundings will result in a good deal of ice, something that many businesses must eliminate to avoid liability lawsuits. If you must perform a pressure-washing job when it’s very cold out, be prepared. Bring ice-busting substances, such as rock salt or calcium chloride, to avoid turning the surrounding concrete driveway into a skating rink.
A few more tips for using commercial pressure washers in low temperatures:
• Chemicals will take longer to work in cold conditions, since all chemical reactions slow down as temperature drops. Don’t let your cleaning chemicals freeze; freezing separates the chemical components in most cleaners, rendering them useless.
• Don’t point your pressure washer at doorjambs, locks, brake drums or steps in freezing weather. Water can break these objects when it freezes on them.
• Take advantage of solar heat. The warmest part of a day is generally between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.; clean during these times, and aim to clean in full sunlight whenever possible.