Professional Roof Cleaning Pricing Expectations.
Soft wash style cleaning is best described as a home or commercial property professional service. The basic soft washing company is structured not unlike a pest control company an ac & heat company or another service company. As in any industry there will be following of a bell curve type model in regards to the capabilities and professionalism of the companies. This means that there will be about 20% of the soft wash businesses that will be unprofessional, unlicensed, unprepared and immature as a company. At the other end of the spectrum there will be about 20% of the soft wash companies which include Superior Shine, that will be very professional, highly trained, licensed, insured, mature and capable. In the middle will be about 60% of all of the soft wash companies that are average, in some state of growth and maturity and in some state of getting their license and insurance in place. These companies will be trained at times and have no formal training at others. It is up to you the property owner to look at this 60% of the available companies and investigate their capabilities.
Superior Shine recommends not doing business with any contractor who might fit into the bottom 20% of soft wash companies or in any industry for that matter. It is common for these businesses to remain in this spot in the bell curve for their entire existence. A start up company may begin here in the bottom 20% but if they are concerned with doing the job right they will quickly grow out of this percentile. The companies who seem to settle into the bottom 20% are usually sole proprietors that wish to do things quick, for cash and operate below the radar. GENERALLY these individuals are not obeying even the most simple and easy to observe laws. Using a contractor like this can open up a property owner to serious liability and even property damages.
When hiring in the top 20 or even 40 percent of any company in the service industry it is important to understand one phrase. “Compliance cost money.” This basically means that companies who obey the law, cross their t’s and dot their i’s, will be a bit more expensive that the majority of their competition. The extra time and effort it takes to observe things like OSHA safety standards and the additional costs like payroll taxes and workers compensation insurance, can make professional companies overhead much higher. Also OSHA standard requires that any roof cleaning truck have a safety monitor or second employee onboard. That significantly raises a complying companies costs over the one man one truck show.
In addition to compliance costs there is insurance. I would never use a company on my property that didn’t have at least one million dollar limits on liability insurance as well as million dollar limits on their automobile insurance. Many small contractors skip the insurance thing all together. They may have personal insurance on their vehicle but they will have no liability insurance in place at all. This can be a tremendous issue because if an accident happens or damages are done to your property your own property insurance may forfeit your claim because of hiring an unlicensed, uninsured contractor.
Training is a must as well and keeping employees trained and or certified in their trade can be costly. Add to that keeping track of safety inspections, personal protective equipment training as well as monthly safety meetings, professional businesses are spending a great deal of money in overhead making sure you get the best. Superior Shine professionals also goes through the extra step to make sure each and every employee’s background has been checked and are also required to pass an initial drug screen and pass them on an ongoing basis.
Also it is important to realize that we don’t have shelves stocked with roof cleaning in a box. Our product is our service and our laborers. Soft washing or roof cleaning is moreover a service we sell to provide you with one to two trained, competent and well mannered employees and a truck. OUR ABSOLUTELY MOST EXPENSIVE COST OF BUSINESS IS PAYROLL! As much as 50% of every dollar a soft wash company takes in will go to payroll or payroll related costs and taxes.
The summery of all of these costs will traditionally make a professional soft wash company as much as 30% more expensive that our nearest competitor. This is easy math when you see where overhead goes to compliance and training.
So what can you expect to pay when hiring a professional soft wash company? This can depend greatly by your location being the cost of living and other economic factors change from region to region throughout the United States and abroad. A good rule of thumb is $200.00 – $250.00 / hour for ever hour on the job and traveling to and from the job. Because any soft wash cleaning project will take a minimum of one-two hours to complete and there will be at least a half hour traveling to the job and a half traveling from the job, we encourage our soft wash professionals to institute a $400.00 minimum charge. This is very much like the service call a appliance repair company or a plumber would charge just to come out and trouble shoot an issue.
When you receive a proposal from a professional soft wash company it will be in writing, clear and concise, with a thorough scope of work. It is VERY common for the lower 20% of contractors to not give a written estimate and during the process of the cleaning raise your price as the job gets more difficult. Superior Shine will always do a written proposal including a scope of work so there is no confusion what was to be cleaned and was not to be cleaned. Then they will stand behind their proposal by honoring the price they contracted to do the job for. No changes in scope or price will happen without written permission by the property owner.
In any given day a property owner can expect a professional soft wash company to work quickly and more efficiently than other companies. In any given day Superior Shine’s production goal is $1,500.00 – $1900.00 in the residential market. This would be for any 8 hour work day. This is the national starting point and some areas of the country may be higher based on economic factors.
What would this translate to for you the property owner? An average soft wash crew of two men and a truck will complete about three 3,500-5500 sq foot roofs in one day. If that residential crews goal is to complete $1,500.00-$1900.00 that day in production then your roof cleaning should come in at about $550.00-$1100.00 after any discounts and depending on the size, etc. If you own an apartment complex and it has 20 building and will take a week to clean your project will most likely cost around $10,000.00. These are just estimates so that you can have a point of reference on what to reasonably look for in pricing from a soft wash professional.
There are many soft wash contractors out there that like to start bidding wars. Those do not benefit you the homeowner or us in the soft wash industry. These bidding wars just drive down prices and those contractors now start looking for ways to cut service, quality or compliance in order to do the job at the bidding war price. I would plea with property owners to reward professional compliance based companies for their attention to detail, customer service and law abiding compliance. All of these soft wash professionals have families, employees and responsibilities. Please allow them to profit and grow their businesses because they do it right.