السبت، 23 أبريل 2011

How to build a low-pressure roof cleaning machine

Gloeocapsa Magma is a species of algae that causes black streaking and discoloration on asphalt/fiberglass shingles. If left untreated this algae will feed and grow until the entire roof becomes infested. Meanwhile, the roof becomes unsightly, and the algae covers the roof granules, which leaves the shingles unprotected from the sun's UV rays. Without UV protection, a roof will experience premature failure.

First, roof cleaning is one of the few businesses that is not floating in a sea of competition, there ain't non, or at least there's very little.  Take a look around town; you'll see thousands of roofs needing cleaned and nobody cleaning them. Most people don't even know their roof can be cleaned; they think it needs replaced.  Most pressure washing guys are afraid to get on a roof.  And even if you have competition, there's enough roofs to go around for everybody. We rarely run into the other guy.

Second, the investment needed to get into the business is nil compared to your return on investment (ROI).  It's entirely possible and common place to earn $75,000 or more on an initial investment of $5000 in equipment and chemicals.


Third, since roof cleaning may be new in your area you will have to be persistent to make your first sale.  But, once you get a few jobs under your belt, pictures taken and the neighbors gawking at the roof you just cleaned, you are on your way to seeing your business snowball.

Fourth, roof cleaning is not difficult, but its not as simple as the chemical web sites pitch.  You can buy chemicals that will clean roofs simply by spraying it on the roof and letting mother nature rinse it clean.  That's fine if you want to wait six months to get your money.  No matter what they tell you, the roof will have to be rinsed off after applying chemicals, and if you think a garden hose with street pressure will do the job, you are absolutely correct, if you have a week to spend rinsing. Fact is, YOU WILL NEED SOME PRESSURE GREATER THAN STREET PRESSURE if you expect to finish the job in a timely manner.  Therefore you will have to modify your pressure washer so it will produce just enough pressure to rinse but not damage the shingles.
Fifth, there seems to be a lively and sometimes heated discussion over which chemicals are best for cleaning roofs.  This author, doesn't give a hoot.  Both have pros and cons.  I haven't seen any roofs ruined with either chemical.  I am somewhat partial toward sodium hydroxide because it seems to do a better job of restoring the roof colors, and is easier on plants and shrubs, however it is more time consuming to rinse.  As for making your own chemicals, you are welcome to experiment all you wish, but we've found it ends up costing more.  Besides, I like the idea of using the other guys product liability insurance and MSDS sheets.  If you're concerned about the other guy finding out what chemicals you are using, we will tell you where to get them privately labled

Below, I am offering my book that gives step-by-step instructions for setting up a low-pressure cleaning rig and building a "Roof Gitter" for cleaning steep roofs.   You may be asking yourself, "Why should I pay this guy for his book."  You don't, but if someone offered to give me all the information offered below for only $47 before I attempted building our rig, I could have saved $1000's and 100's of hours on research and development


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