Pressure Wash News Summer

jvahaly

CALLING IN THE

BIG GUNS


contents

FEATURES

Calling

in the

Big Guns:

Interior cleaning and

sanitization are the dominant

concerns related to Covid-19.

But the need to routinely

clean high-traffic outdoor

spaces and exterior surfaces

also warrant attention. An

industry responds.

22

4

The Importance of

Having a Spotter:

Partnering with an employee leasing

consultant, especially in a Covid-19 world,

can alleviate many small business burdens.

12

You’re Not Alone:

How to deal with local competition.

18

When I Find Myself in

Times of Trouble:

Troubleshooting pressure washer pump

problems -- a checklist.

DEPARTMENTS

3 Editor’sLetter:

Tell it until you sell it.

8 CONQUER Corner:

3 lessons in attracting a

rock star team of employees.

16 Industry Dirt:

A look around the exterior

cleaning world for news and

notes of interest

Vol. 2, No. 3, Summer 2020

Publisher: Jackson Vahaly

Editor: Drew Ruble

Design: Katy Barrett-Alley

Pressure Wash News is published 4 times per year and is independently owned by Jackson Vahaly.

All inquiries should be directed to:

Pressure Wash News, 110 Childs Ln. Franklin, TN 37067

jacksonv@pressurewashnews.com

Copyright © 2019 2 Dollar Enterprises/Pressure Wash News. All Rights Reserved.

2 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020


Tell It Until

EDITOR’S

NOTE

You Sell It

“Persuasion is the centerpiece of business

activity,” wrote screenwriting professor

Robert McKee in a long-ago edition of

Harvard Business Review.

Leave it to someone on the outside of

the business world and with a storytelling

background to hit the nail so precisely (and

elegantly) on the head.

McKee, who actually taught courses on

storytelling in the Graduate School of Business

at Stanford University, said a good story

“explains change.”

Otherwise, he argued, why would anyone

care about new products and ideas?

This maxim makes what McKee wrote

next all the more troubling. And that was

that most executives “struggle to communicate,

let alone inspire.”

Are you one of those people?

Dr. Colbey Emmerson Reid, Director

of the Consumer Innovation Consortium at

N.C. State University in Raleigh, North Carolina,

smartly teaches a course called “Persuasion

for Innovators and Entreprenuers.”

According to Reid, though many entrepreneurs

and executives believe that a

rational and empirical explanation of their

product or idea’s benefits is sufficient to win

support, research suggests that attaching

ideas to emotion aids effectiveness in persuasion.

“The right framing can make the difference

between adoption and neglect,” Reid

said. “The art—and science—of storytelling

is thus an indispensable component of entrepreneurial

and managerial persuasion.”

To me, describing it as the “art and science”

of storytelling is important.

In my mind, what that means is that the

act of doing it can be studied and learned.

You need to study and learn the art of

storytelling if you expect to be successful in

business, entrepreneurialism, or management.

Stories are a vehicle that take your complex

journey and express it in simple terms

that allow others to connect.

Think about it. As children, our parents

and grandparents taught us lessons through

stories about experiences that they had

growing up (remember how they walked to

school uphill both ways in the snow???).

Those stories gave us clear examples of

the struggles and opportunities they faced

and what they learned and did right or

wrong along the way. We internalized those

stories and came to know them (and appreciate

their plight) at a core level through

their narratives.

Making our journey simple through stories

is a savvy step to connecting with others.

Make it easy for others to understand you

by providing the points of connection that

bond you with them.

It’s the same with the art of the sale.

When trying to sell yourself, you can tell

a person fact after fact but (as Dr. Reid outlined)

it probably won’t resonate. A resume,

for instance, tells facts, not the experiences

and opportunities a person may have gone

through. A story, by contrast, has twists and

turns, moments of realization, and theme.

Straight to the point facts may be useful

when trying to explain yourself and answer

the basic who, what, when, where, and why

questions regarding your life or situations

you have been in. However, facts aren’t

memorable like stories are.

That’s true of your business, product, or

service as well.

Telling a story creates curiosity. It keeps

the listener interested in what is going to happen

next. Stories rely on anticipation, not, as

a policeman or lawyer might say, “just the

facts.” Stories tease people along, raise (and

eventually, in good time, answer) questions in

people’s minds, and keep prospects hooked to

see where the story will lead next.

Prospects are wired for interest in outcomes

and each step along the way that led

to getting there. How life unfolds is endlessly

fascinating to people because they have had

similar experiences in their own lives.

Do you want to be persuasive? And by

natural extension, successful in business?

Know your story (or your company’s, or

product’s) and tell it!

Become a storyteller!

Drew Ruble

drewruble@gmail.com

Editor | PW News

VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | 3


The Importance of

Having a Spotter

Partnering with an employee leasing consultant, especially in a COVID-19

world, can alleviate many small business burdens

BY BRETT ARTHUR

It’s always been a heavy burden to

ply encourage you in these strange times

own the business and operate the business.

to consider the potential value of add-

We are in uncertain times, to say the least.

That’s even more true now.

ing (in gym parlance) a “spotter” to your

Our families, our communities, our

So where do you go from here?

heavy-lifting business efforts.

businesses, and our livelihoods have been

As a PEO/Employee Leasing consul-

tested on a level that most of us have never

experienced.

Hard working business owners like yourselves

have put in blood, sweat, and tears to

grow your businesses to the levels they were

in February 2020 (pre Covid-19).

Our economy was booming and

tant, I see my role and the role of others

like me as more important than ever.

I strongly believe a PEO relationship

can help to get your business back to the

level it was prior to the arrival of Covid-19.

Now, I’m sure that right about now you

are saying to yourself, ‘well, of course you

THE MODEL

Here is a breakdown of a PEO relationship,

which is intended to alleviate the

extreme burden on owner/operators, especially

in times of crisis.

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Arthur represents Legacy

Employer Concepts. He can be

reached at (813) 460-9166 or

brett@legacyemployerconcepts.com.

2020 was looking to be an exceptionally

good year.

Fast forward to our current world

filled with fear, quarantine, and a dramatic

halt to the world economy. Some businesses

are just trying to survive or to keep

their employees on the payroll.

recommend a PEO because you are one

yourself!’

Yes, that’s true, I am. But I’m not here

trolling for business!

Whether you reach out to me or another

PEO in your area, I firmly believe in the

value of a PEO for your business, and sim-

YOUR ROLE: You are the primary employer

and you have authority over the PEO. You

keep full control over your employees’ dayto-day

work and job descriptions, as well as

management and organizational structure.

continued ...

4 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020


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The Importance of

Having a Spotter

YOUR PEO’S ROLE: Your PEO will take on

given that in recent times as many as 40 mil-

on. As such, this also means no more pain-

have access to a whole human resources de-

specific employer obligations, which you can

lion Americans filed unemployment claims.

ful audits at the end of the year based on

partment for any questions you might have

choose. You give the PEO the power to han-

SUTA is only paid on the first $7,000 wages

your policy payroll estimation versus the

about employee issues and/or needed legal

dle crucial administrative tasks like payroll,

per employee. This is not as big of a factor

actual performance and end of year pay-

advice. They can get you the documents

tax withholding, and providing benefits to

for a one- or two-employee business. How-

roll amounts. (That’s right: no more of the

needed to satisfy any PPP loan requirements,

your workers. Your PEO can also act as your

ever, increased costs can really add up once

insurance company asking for a lump sum

as well as return-to-work offer letters to help

agent in employee disputes, unemployment

you have more than five employees on your

check for the difference and no more audits

get your employee’s back to work.

claims, workers comp claims and more.

payroll.

of your books!)

Other headaches like needing safety

Being able to utilize a consistent SUTA

Plus, you have an opportunity for work-

manuals for your business to satisfy new in-

THE PRESSURE

IS ON

With a halt to the economy, business owners

were faced with having the uncomfortable

discussion with employees regarding

layoffs, furloughs, and terminations. It hurt.

These employees can be like family. Some

have been long-time employees that have

assisted in your company’s growth.

Unemployment rates are a contributing

factor to raised costs on business owners,

whether you had to implement layoffs or

not. How will this affect you? With a dramatic

increase in unemployment claims paid

out, the claims must be recouped in some

way. That is done through FUTA (Federal

Unemployment Tax Act) and SUTA (State

Unemployment Tax Act) -- funds that you

pay in to on all payroll! These funds are used

to pay out unemployment benefits to unemployed

workers.

When there are a lot of claims (as

there are presently), it affects everyone via

increases in SUTA rates. FUTA rates are

locked at .60%, whereas SUTA rates vary

from state to state based on the number of

unemployment claims.

Again, how can a PEO help? Since this

is considered a co-employment relationship

between you and the PEO, you get the benefits

of the economies of scale.

If you had employees claiming unemployment,

you will be subject to increases in

your personal SUTA rate; whereas, within

the PEO relationship, you are locked in at

the SUTA rate that you originally set.

Increases are likely to be administered,

rate regardless of market conditions or

changes can really save you money and help

with added cash flow. Keep in mind, if you

have had any unemployment claims, they

most likely can provide you a lower rate

RAMPING

BACK UP

Just a few short months ago, our economy

was growing in what seemed like exponential

leaps and bounds. Workloads were up,

unemployment was at an all-time low, and

the stock market was booming.

Businesses like yours were hiring more

employees and growing their businesses to

the next level, perhaps for the first time.

Getting back to that level sooner than later

can be hastened by removing additional

headaches that you dread doing and do not

always have the time for, such as payroll

processing, payroll tax filings, HR issues,

and work comp audits – none of which directly

impact sales and revenue.

The co-employment relationship allows

for you to leave those tasks to be handled by

a team assigned to represent your business.

This means you can focus on marketing, bids,

hiring/firing, and managing your employees.

A PEO relationship also helps with

money management. It provides you the required

worker’s compensation insurance you

need as required by vendors or job bids, as

well as the state. They do this on a pay-asyou-go

premium basis and not an estimation

that you will be held accountable for.

This helps with cash flow tremendously,

since the actual hours that are worked

is what you pay worker’s compensation

er’s comp savings as well by using a broker

to navigate the space on your behalf. PEO’s

can provide discounts to worker’s comp

rates because you are in a co-employment

relationship and thereby utilizing their experience

mod rating. (If you know experience

mods, you know that this can be a

big deal depending on your claims history.)

The opportunity for time and cost savings

paired with efficiency can help you relieve

some serious tension, allowing you to stay

focused on growth.

TAKING CARE

OF BUSINESS

How you deal with employee personnel issues

is a huge factor in building a company

culture and a positive workplace environment.

It pays dividends in the form of employee

retention and the overall quality of

work performed day in and day out.

Current events and circumstances have

raised so many questions about how to do

the right thing for your employees while also

protecting your business. Do we furlough?

Do we terminate? Do we permanently lay

off? It can be overwhelming. We were not

provided a playbook or owner’s manual for

how to deal with a pandemic!

Understanding the EIDL loans, Payroll

Protection Program (PPP) loans, and howto

bring employees back to work efficiently

are tasks that can be made more understandable

and easier by having a team of

trusted advisors. This includes a good insurance

broker, a good accountant, a good

bank, and a good HR team.

Included in a PEO relationship, you

surance requirements can also be handled

by a PEO and lead to even more cost savings

for your business.

PARTING

ADVICE

I work with clients across many different

industries, including pressure washing. I

have been blessed to have great discussions

with many of them recently to empathize

and work together to help each other out

through this time of unknowns.

I’ve recently touched base with all of

them to ask about the specific situations

that they are facing and to try to figure out

how I could be of assistance. Whether it

was as simple as providing a breakdown of

the economic relief loan verbiage, or pointing

them in a direction on how to acquire

them, I felt I was able to make a sizeable

difference in each instance.

I was also able to realize that not all industries

are doomed as the media likes to

portray. There will be opportunities that

come out of this downturn. Those who

have a good mindset, focus, and good team

surrounding them can negotiate this rocky

terrain to climb even higher toward their

version of success. Exterior cleaning services

is certainly an industry primed for

growth going forward.

My prayer is that your families and

businesses are surviving and that you see

this as a time to apply even more “pressure”

to your business success than before.

“Tighten the nozzle” and grow out of this

experience stronger than ever. The opportunity

is there.

6 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020


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CONQUER

Corner

Lessons

in Attracting a Rock

Star Team of Employees

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Brandon Vaughn built his former

company, Pacific Northwest-based

All Clean, from a very small service

company with zero employees to 70

employees and went from $8,000 per

month in revenue to almost $500,000

per month in less than six seasons.

Vaughn, who was awarded the 2017

S.B.A Small Business Person of the Year

for the state of Oregon, now helps small

business owners in the exterior service

industry systemize their companies.

Visit him at www.agsconquer.com

or contact him directly at bvaughn@

automategrowsell.com.

BY BRANDON VAUGHN

“Employees suck – and I quit.”

It was April 2015 when I hit

bottom as a small business owner

and said those very words.

My brother had just died unexpectedly.

He had been working for

me at the time, and the effects of his

loss, combined with the business

impact – well, it was devastating

both to me, my family, and my

employees.

Simply put - I checked out.

I no longer cared about my

employees. I no longer had a drive

to grow the business.

My employees felt it, my business

felt it, and soon, I was barely getting by.

Growing a business had been a

very hard journey. ‘I didn’t know

what I didn’t know,’ as they say, and

growing the business while taking

care of my mom and dad financially

was a unique challenge I wasn’t used

to as an entrepreneur.

To back up for a moment – my

dad was an owner/operator for 33

years and worked in the field as a

cleaning technician for all those

years. In 2012, he was diagnosed

with heart disease and the doctor

told him he couldn’t work physically

anymore in the business. Having no

other employees to rely on, no retirement,

and no savings, I stepped in

and offered to buy the company and

to ‘retire’ my mom and dad.

At the time, the business was

doing about $100k/year in revenue.

My dad had never hired more than

a single employee as a helper, and all

the business information I needed

to successfully carry his business

forward resided in his brain.

How was I to run the business

any differently?

I knew that scaling was a critical part

of growing the company and being

able to support not only my family but

my parent’s income needs as well.

Now, going back to 2015 – growth

was happening! We had a good team

of employees who worked hard. But

they were very disengaged. We were

booked out for two months solid in the

middle of the busy season when (due

to my checking out) more than half of

my team turned in their notices within

about two weeks of each other.

I can’t blame them either. Well…

at least now I can’t blame them.

Back then, I was curled up on my

couch with lots of blame to cast and,

as elucidated in the opening line of

this article, I directed it by the bucket-full

at my employees.

But the reality was, I didn’t care

about their hopes and dreams – so

why should they care about me and

my business?

This whole experience was a

defining moment for me as an

entrepreneur.

As purveyors in the exterior

cleaning industry, we are in a very

people centered business.

We don’t sell pressure washers,

squeegees, wands, etc. – we actually

“sell” the service. And that service is

dependent on having a great team.

Without your team – your business

is nothing. Period. Think about

it: Even if you are a solo operator

with no team, you don’t make a

penny until someone shows up and

8 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020


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CONQUER

Corner

fires up the machine, even if that

person is you.

We can have unrealistic expectations

as to how employees are

supposed to be tirelessly loyal, but

why should they be? What are you

doing in your business to make that

expectation a reality?

During a given week, an employee

will spend more waking hours with

you and your business then they likely

will spend with their own families!

That should make you think a lot

longer and harder with regard to your

employees. What kind of environment

you are fostering in your company?

In my darkest days as a business

owner, that became the burning

question for me. And it surprised me

when I couldn’t come up with any

good answers.

It was clearly time for change.

After a lot of failed experiences,

bumps, and bruises, here are three

things I learned along the way that

changed everything for me and my

business.

TIE YOUR COMPANY’S

GOALS TO YOUR

EMPLOYEE’S DREAMS

IT’S A

MARKETING GAME

BECOME A

HEADHUNTER

Company culture… you know, those

buzz words everyone throws around when

they imagine a Silicon Valley company with

bean bag chairs and ping pong tables?

Here’s a simple but true business maxim

– your company culture is your company’s

personality. Understand that your company

is NOT you. It is its own animal. Its own

entity. It has a personality whether you

created it or left it to create its own.

In order to create a culture where

employees want to give their best and

want to be a part of the vision and mission

of the company, you first must create that

vision. Then you must help your employees

see (and believe) that when they help the

company’s vision, they can achieve their

own dreams as well.

We would sit down with our team and

“dreamstorm,” which involved writing down

100 dreams we would like to accomplish

in our lifetime, both personal and professional.

At the end of our exercise, we would

pick a couple we wanted to start on next.

Systematically, our managers would use

this data to drive incentives, using bonuses

to help them take that dream vacation,

save up for a house, pay off debt, or learn

a new skill, etc.

Connect the dots and watch your

team’s passion for your company’s success

skyrocket.

We all know exactly how to market to

our ideal customers. We might even have a

customer avatar, or profile, that details their

demographic, psychographic, disposable

income, hobbies, or where they live, etc.

You are probably 100% comfortable

setting aside a budget for marketing to get

these customers. You probably advertise in

multiple places and you probably do this

consistently.

The problem is most business owners

never take the time to study and apply

marketing principles to their employees, or

as I call them – your internal customers.

Who is your ideal employee? What kind

of hobbies do they like? What behaviors do

they have? Where are they working right

now? Yes – your ideal employee is already

hired and working somewhere else…(we’ll

talk about that in a second).

Marketing revolves around your message

and your volume. If your message is weak,

or they can’t hear you because you are too

quiet in a very noisy market, you will lose.

The reality is – you HAVE a great business.

There are a ton of employees who

would love to work for a small, family-owned

business with lots of room to grow.

Take some time to lay out a marketing

budget, craft a strong message, test out

different headlines, post EVERYWHERE,

and crank up your volume!

I mentioned your ideal employee already having

a job. Rather than fishing in the pond of the unemployed

or the pool of perpetual job-hoppers, head

out to the open waters of the already employed!

You remember that great restaurant server the

other day while you were eating lunch? Or that

super helpful associate at the big-box store? What

about that guy who ran out from the tire shop and

met me at my door ready to serve and help? Man,

if only I could find someone with great customer

service like that to come work for me!

We used to hand out “Your Awesome” cards

to anyone we thought was a “rockstar.” We would

simply say – “Hey, you are awesome. If you ever

move on from this place, I think you would love

working at our company. We reward high performers

and I think you would do amazing on our team.

Give us a call!”

We trained all our employees to do the same

thing. They would actually get a headhunter

bonus if they recruited someone to our team

that stayed at least six months on our team. This

had a secondary benefit of them pre-screening

employees and ensuring that only the best applied.

No matter where you are in your recruiting cycle,

remember, it all starts with deliberate execution.

Put these critical ideas into action. Don’t L.I.E.

to yourself and Lack In Execution. Go schedule

your first “Dreamstorm” session with your team.

Go post some killer ads and keep them running,

ALWAYS. And never forget that the employees

you’ve always wanted on your team are already

out there and you might just encounter them in

your regular routine today…

Go get ‘em.

10 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020


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You’re Not

Alone

How to deal with local competition

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Rob Schruefer is the owner of On

The Spot Detailing out of Columbia,

Maryland, and proudly serves on the

board of the International Detailing

Association; but his advice is equally

sage for aspiring pressure wash

business owners.

BY ROB SCHRUEFER

In the exterior cleaning industry, there is a

never ending line of people starting their

own businesses.

The low start-up and overhead costs

make the industry ripe for those looking

to break away from the daily grind of a

9-to-5 office job.

The facts of the matter are that this

low barrier to entry inevitably creates a

flood of new businesses offering unsustainably

low costs and poor quality.

As these new businesses come to

market, the more veteran businesses try

to ignore them, but often find themselves

explaining to clients why their service

and experience is worth the cost to

complete a job well.

I can tell you from years of experience

that these types of businesses will not hurt

your bottom line, and that the customers

that they do take probably either didn’t

value your time or required costs in the

first place (and probably would have

moved on at some point anyways).

Look, there will always be competition

in your local market. It is how you

handle that reality that will set you apart

from the rest.

A well-educated customer will not

always go with the cheaper option if

you are able to sell them on the experience

you are providing. And remember

– sometimes the only way a customer

becomes “well-educated” is to make the

mistake of enlisting a Johnny-Come-

Lately business in the first place.

I believe that regardless of competition,

you are selling yourself and your

product to the customer, period.

If you do not get the customer, I

believe you failed in explaining why you

are the best option, period.

Here are a few tips to remember, then,

when thinking about the competition.

COMPETITION

IS NOT ALWAYS

A BAD THING

There are good aspects to having

strong local competition.

Businesses with no competitors

soon become lazy and lose sight of the

customer and their needs.

It is always good to have someone

nearby to keep you on your toes and to

keep driving yourself and your business

forward.

The competition also promotes innovation

and the discovery of new products

and services that will bring more

customers your way and ultimately lead

to a better experience for the customer.

Do not make the mistake of trying to

compete on the competition’s low level

As a business owner, it is important

that you do not get sucked into the black

hole of attempting to compete with

unreasonably low prices AND offering a

quality service to your customers.

I cannot tell you how often I have

heard, “The guy on Craigslist did it last

time for $50.”

I always ask why they are not

using him anymore, and the answer is

ALWAYS, “he is out of business,” or “it

was a terrible job.”

Both explanations serve as adequate

justification for your market-adequate

service price.

If you lower your price to match fresh

competition, I assure you that you will be

unable to pay your bills and support your

business.

The only alternative in that scenario

is to do a similarly bad job as the competition

would.

That too is a losing proposition with

your customer.

continued ...

12 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020


REGISTER NOW!

visit ceta.org/annual-convention/

Featured Keynote Speakers

visit ceta.org/speakers/ for details

TED MA

POWERCLEAN TM 2020

KICKOFF KEYNOTE SPEAKER

“How to Be the Leader Your Employees

Never Want To Leave”

Ted Ma is an international keynote speaker,

author, and leadership expert who works

with organizations to develop their next

generation of leaders.

DAVID AVRIN

“The Answer is “YES!”

What’s the Question?”

In this eye-opening, high-content and very

entertaining presentation, popular

Customer Experience and Marketing

expert David Avrin, CSP shines a light on a

profound shift in customer expectation.

DR. BART BASI

“Out With the Old and

In With the New”

Business Succession Planning

and the New Tax Laws

Dr. Basi, a long-time CETA favorite, will

discuss of the new tax laws and their

impact on a company’s cash flow including

legal structures for businesses and ways to

minimize tax liabilities.

CETA and PWNA will co-locate their

trade show again in 2020. The two

associations coming together will bring

incredible opportunities for attendees.

While both associations will remain

independent and have events on their

own, CETA and PWNA share one goal:

Two Teams. One Vision.

Advancing the Industry forward.

2020 ANNUAL CONVENTION

POWERCLEAN TM Trade Show, Business Meeting,

Opening Reception, Seminars,Women of CETA,

and celebrating all in one facility!

POWERCLEAN

2020

Golf Tournament

Friday, Oct 23 rd , 2020

8:00am Shot Gun Start

Prizes, Wonderful Atmosphere,

& Includes Lunch!

Register Today

ceta.org/powerclean-golf-tournament/

Women of CETA

12 th Annual Meeting & Luncheon

Date: Friday, October 23 rd , 2020

Time: 11am - 1pm

Location: PEPPERMILL-Reno | Room: TBA

Come join the Women of CETA to

celebrate its 12 th Annual Meeting.

It’s a forum where we can visit,

enjoy fellowship, and have fun!

Register Today

ceta.org /women-of-ceta/

2020 EXHIBITORS

CETA Host Hotel

2707 South Virginia Street

Reno, Nevada 89502

800.648.6992

For Reservations visit ceta.org/annual-convention/

Limited Exhibit Space Available!

Your Industry Trade Show|Working for you all year long

The ONLY Trade Show with the top

Manufacturers, Suppliers, and Distributors

in the Industry.

• Member only event

(all attendees are members of the Industry)

• Awesome Give-Aways

• Outdoor Demos

• Technical Updates for the Industry

• Opportunities to Network with members of the Industry

• Best Opening Reception in the Industry

Opening Reception

Sponsored in part by

GENERAL PUMP

Not a member?

Contact CETA today!

www@ceta.org| 800.441.0111 | info@ceta.org

(as of 06/15/2020)


You’re Not

Alone

GET TO KNOW THE

COMPETITION

There is plenty of work available in

my market, and I could not do all the

jobs even if I wanted to; so I see no harm

in being cordial.

If I see someone I do not know out in

the field, I go over and introduce myself.

There are several reasons that I do this:

■ Camaraderie: We are both operating

a similar business in the same

market, so we probably have some other

things in common. Even if it is just on

a professional level, it is nice to know

someone at trade shows or local events.

■ Mentorship: Quite often new

detailing companies do not charge

enough or provide quality details

because they simply do not know better.

By offering some guidance as a more

experienced operator, I am sometimes

able to steer them away from offering

services below market value, or providing

substandard work. I will also often take

the time to tell them about trade associations

and how they could benefit from

membership in the long run. Raising

their level of work also benefits the local

industry that I am a part of as a whole.

■ Employees: Employees who quit

or are fired from one operation in town

are known to quickly apply at the next

one. That makes sense, right? It is beneficial

to be able to contact the previous

company (with whom you have a pre-existing

relationship) and get an honest

recommendation or warning about a

particular applicant. This saves money

and hassle in training someone with an

attitude or theft problem, for instance.

■ Referrals: As much as we try to

service every customer who calls, there

are just some we are never going to be

able to accommodate. Whether it is a

timing, distance, or service issue, it is

mutually beneficial for companies to be

able to recommend someone else. The

customer is appreciative because even

though you were not able to help them,

you were able to offer them an alternative,

and they will likely call you again

the next time. The other company will

thank you for the business, and in return

do the same when the situation arises on

their end.

BE PROFESSIONAL

NEVER bad mouth the competition,

even if you have nothing good to say.

Form the habit (when asked) of

saying you do not know the business well

enough to make a judgement or even

that you do not like to give your opinion

on someone else’s business.

Talking bad about another business

to a customer comes across as petty

to the customer and, more globally

speaking, is destructive to the local

industry as a whole.

Always steer the conversation in the

direction of talking about YOUR business

and the service and quality YOU

will be able to provide instead.

Next, if someone else isn’t following

this Cardinal rule and you find out they

are talking bad about your business, be

the bigger person.

A customer is not going to make a

decision on using one business over

another based on the opinion of one of

the owners.

They understand this inherent bias

and they will do their homework, finding

out for themselves which company is the

best fit for them.

Trust the process, and karma.

Ultimately, you have no control over

what your competition does, charges,

or says. You can only control your own

actions and lead by example. By leading

the way professionally and with class, you

will, however, become the business that

leads your local market, and customers

will come to you.

FOCUS WITHIN

Keeping pace (or ahead of) your

competition really doesn’t require

paying any mind to them at all, if you

think about it.

Focusing on operating at your

best is perhaps the most successful

1. SELECTIVELY INVEST IN TECH

“When tech automates business processes, it’s an investment, not an

expense.”

2. MAKE FULL USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

“A potent business builder at relatively little cost.”

3. MARKET WITHIN YOUR MEANS

“Create a marketing campaign that will drive results.”

4. BRING ON A FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL

“Having an experienced, trusted financial professional who can hold

their ground and analyze future actions from a financial perspective

could mean the difference between a business that fades out or lives

on after hitting a rough patch.”

5. THINK LONG-TERM

“Business is a long game.”

means of staying on top.

A 2019 Forbes finance council

group article outlined 15 ways businesses

can remain competitive with

their rivals in any marketplace, and

do so without breaking the bank.

6. FOCUS ON CUSTOMER SERVICE

“Build lifelong customers by crafting relationships based on trust and

loyalty.”

7. KEEP ON TOP OF YOUR RECEIVABLES

“Submitting invoices as soon as possible, shortening payment terms

to 30 days (where applicable), offering incentives or discounts for

prompt payments, and/or invoice factoring.”

8. USE TECHNOLOGY TO MANAGE CASH FLOW

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

9. PLAN AND UNDERSTAND WHERE YOU’RE GOING

“Slow and steady wins the race.”

10. LOCK IN A LINE OF CREDIT

“A line of credit, used wisely, can smooth out kinks in cash flow and

ensure you don’t lose valuable ground.”

11. DEVELOP A HOLISTIC PLANNING PROCESS

“You cannot isolate one single area of business to gain an advantage

over your competition.”

12. STAY FOCUSED ON BEING THE BEST

“Win the battle with technological advancement, creating better

products and solutions to improve the world.”

13. RE-MARKET TO YOUR LOYAL CUSTOMERS

“Your current customer base costs zero dollars to market to.”

14. USE SMART TAX PLANNING AS A CASH FLOW STRATEGY

“A few tweaks in entity structure or proactive planning meetings can

result in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional cash.”

15. REALLOCATE FUNDS AS NECESSARY

“Spend money where you will have the quickest ROI.”

14 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020


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INDUSTRY

DIRT

A look around the cleaning equipment world

for news and notes of interest

Twice as

Good

The Cleaning Equipment Trade Association

(CETA) and the Pressure Washers

of North America (PWNA) are once again

co-locating their annual conferences in

2020, this time Oct. 22-25 in Reno, Nevada.

PowerClean 2020 will feature industry

leading exhibitors, equipment training, seminars,

networking, and fun. While both associations

will remain independent and have

events on their own, CETA and PWNA feel

that these two great associations can combine

efforts to work towards a common

goal: Two Teams. One Vision. Advancing

the industry forward.

SPEAKERS AT THE

CONFERENCE INCLUDE:

TED MA

“How to Be the Leader

Your Employees Never

Want To Leave” (Next-Gen

Retention/Loyalty).

Can you remember working with a

leader who inspired you to perform at your

best? Despite not remembering all the details,

you remember how they made you

feel. This program explores strategies to become

the leader that others want to follow

so you can reduce turnover and improve

engagement. Whether you are a seasoned

executive or an emerging leader, you will be

able to use ideas from this session in your

personal and professional life.

LEARNING POINTS

TO BE COVERED:

• Why employees quit their job

and how to get them to stay

• 3 keys that make people want to follow you

• How you can empower your team

using the “Tell-Show-Coach-Do” process

• The difference between a leader

who is a firefighter and a firelighter

• How to keep your team

motivated regardless of your budget

Ma is an international keynote speaker,

author, and leadership expert who works with

organizations to develop their next generation

of leaders so they won’t lose their best

employees. He was named one of the top

100 keynote speakers of 2019 by Databird

Business Journal. He believes that increasing

retention, engagement, and sales begins with

building tomorrow’s leaders today.

As a millennial himself, Ma has been

leading teams and developing leaders for over

17 years. Unlike many leadership experts, he

built an international sales team from 0 to

over 6,000 independent agents and reached

the top 1% in that company.

Ma has been featured in publications including

USA Today, Inc., Kiplinger, and the

New York Times.

DAVID AVRIN

The Answer is “YES!” What’s

the question? How being

remarkably accommodating

creates customer experiences

that beat the competition.

In the most competitive business environment

in modern history, the winners today

are often those who are remarkably easy to do

business with. Being better tuned-in to the increasingly

unique wants and needs of our customers

and clients creates better experiences

and increased loyalty. Avrin shines a light on a

profound shift in customer expectation, while

showing your team everyone’s role in eliminating

barriers, engaging prospects and creating

customer experiences worth sharing.

In Memorium

Patrick Wingen of Vermillion, SD passed

away February 16, 2020, at the age of 70.

Born Jan. 9, 1950, Wingen was the CEO

of Aaladin Cleaning Systems in Elk Point,

SD. He also served as the first President of

the CETA (Cleaning Equipment Trade Association)

Board of Directors in 1990.

AaLadin had its meager beginnings on

the plains of South Dakota in January of

1981. Its founders, Wingen, Bill Busker, and

Eldean Kjose, decided to form a company to

produce high pressure cleaning equipment.

With minimal capital raised through second

mortgages, the beginnings of AaLadin

Industries Incorporated began. The name

“AaLadin” came after a suggestion that

cleaning equipment has a touch of “magic”

in the way you turn an object from dirty to

clean with a wave of the wand. Of course, the

double “A” kept them first in the Yellow Pages.

The first step to achieve their goal of

“Total Quality” started with a new and different

design -- a unit that allowed ease of

movement and exceptional serviceability that

would set the standard for years to come.

Their idea caught on quickly, and by the

end of the second year it was plain to see

that their leased 6,000 square foot facility

was bulging at the seams.

In the fall of 1983, a brand new

13,700-square-foot facility was started, and

by the spring of 1984, the new facility was

occupied. Five subsequent additions have

brought it to its current 125,000-square feet.

In 1981, the company was started with a

total of seven employees, and today the total

is near the century mark. Wingen became

sole owner in 1998.

Wingen was a native South Dakotan,

born in Deadwood, SD and raised in Hoven,

SD. He attended South Dakota State University

where he received undergraduate

degrees in Biology and Economics. He then

attended the University of South Dakota

where he received his Master’s in Business

Administration. He had lived in Vermillion

since 1975.

Wingen was a member of St. Agnes Parish

in Vermillion since 1975 and held many

leadership positions in the parish. He served

on many boards on a voluntary basis including

the Catholic Community Foundation on

Eastern South Dakota, the South Dakota

Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the

Youth Business Adventure advisory board,

the Great Plains policy Institute board.

Wingen and his wife Theresa have seven

children and 22 grandchildren. His greatest

interest was spending time with his wife and

grandchildren.

16 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020


Send your company news and press releases to drewruble@gmail.com

PARTICIPANTS

WILL LEARN:

• How to see all the choices available

from the customers’ perspective

• How stories of lost opportunities at every

level reach the masses and why it matters

• How missed moments, and maddening

policies are contributing to lost sales

and negative reviews

• Why differentiation trumps competency

and connection earns sales

Avrin is president of The Visibility

Coach in Castle Rock, Colorado. One of

the most in-demand customer experience

and marketing speakers in the world today,

Avrin’s business insights have been featured

on hundreds of broadcast media outlets and

thousands of online and print publications

around the world. He is also the author of

three books including: It’s Not Who You

Know, It’s Who Knows You!, Visibility Marketing,

and his newest book: Why Customers

Leave (and How to Win Them Back), which

was named by Forbes as one of the: “7 Business

Books Entrepreneurs Need to Read.”

CETA turns 30!

The Cleaning Equipment Trade Association

(CETA) is a hybrid and evolved

from two organizations: the Cleaning

Equipment Manufacturers Association

(CEMA) and the Association of Pressure

Washer Distributors (APD).

CEMA was originally formed to address

common needs and opportunities of the

pressure cleaning industry, while APD was

formed by distributors to address the needs

and opportunities for their future in the pressure

cleaning industry.

In 1990, the two associations joined

forces to bring their common goals for the

industry together. The merger of these two

associations created CETA.

CETA is an international non-profit trade

association made up of manufacturers, suppliers,

distributors, contractors/end users,

and associates. All these members coordinate

efforts to promote public awareness, professionalism,

industry-wide safety standards,

and education for the advancement of the

powered cleaning equipment industry.

DR. BART A. BASI,

ATTORNEY/CPA

“Out with the Old and in

with the New.” Business

Succession Planning and the

New Tax Laws.

A discussion of the new tax laws and

their impact on a company’s cash flow including

legal structures for businesses and

ways to minimize tax liabilities.

New tax laws are impacting businesses

across the country. And with these new laws,

a new discussion on company structures must

be had. This session will focus on a discussion

of the new tax laws and how they impact the

cash flow of your business. In addition, Basi

will discuss what corporate structures now

work best in this new economy, in addition

to touching on topics such as IRS Code Section

1202, which allows an owner to sell their

company and pay nothing in tax.

Basi is a specialist in the areas of financial

accounting, business succession, business valuation,

mergers and acquisitions, retirement,

POWERCLEAN, where professionals

in the industry come together to see what’s

new in equipment and products, network

with peers, see live demos, plus participate

in education seminars featuring top-notch

speakers and industry related topics is CE-

TA’s annual trade show.

CETA offers the Distributor Certification

Program to promote and maintain the

highest standards of service and personal

conduct among its members. Adherence to

these standards is required for acceptance

into the program; the program ensures public

confidence in the integrity and service of

the Cleaning Equipment Trade Association.

The Manufacturer Certification Program

offers the CETA Performance Certification

Standard. Across the globe, standards

are a key tool of business. As more new domestic

and overseas manufacturers enter the

market, uniform methods of measuring and

rating machine performance are critical for

clarity in this market.

CETA opened up its membership to

and estate planning, strategic planning, and

tax aspects of business decisions for closely

held and family businesses. He speaks nationwide,

writes, and researches on all of these

areas. He has written five loose-leaf bound

books, fourteen workbooks, more than 300

articles, and has worked with hundreds of

businesses and associations. Journals that

have published Basi’s work include Money

Matters, The American Journal of Small

Business, The Journal of Family Law, The

Journal of Estate Planning, The Tax Lawyer,

Small Business Taxation, Taxation for Individuals,

Taxation for Accountants, Taxation

for Lawyers, The CPA Journal, and The Tax

Executive. Basi is the author of “The Tax

Report,” a bi-monthly report on income and

estate tax matters for closely-held businesses,

“Accounting and Taxes,” a monthly column

distributed to individuals and trade journals,

and the “Tax Advisory,” a monthly tax advisory

for closely-held and family business.

contractors/end users to bring the entire

industry together. The association is proud

of its many offerings and strengths, including:

experienced board members, strong

regional partners and support, news service

and recognition, long history, membership

service, growth, traditions, educational opportunities,

focus on professionalism, certifications,

scholarships, and annual trade show.

The CETA Education Foundation is

a separately incorporated charitable organization

that grants scholarship awards

to students of CETA members and their

employee’s and families, provides member

education, and conducts industry research.

Since its inception in 1996, the CETA Education

Foundation has given CETA members

an opportunity to encourage and prepare

the next generation to join the industry.

CETA’s goal is to recruit and train future

leaders in the industry. It believes that

through education, it can increase professionalism

at every level.

INDUSTRY

DIRT

Super

Summit

The Home Service Super Summit,

billed as the world’s largest

event for the home service industry,

attracted tens of thousands of “attendees”

this past June 11-14.

The summit’s speaker lineup

included more than 40 speakers,

including some very high-profile individuals

including Michael Gerber

(author of E-Myth), Mike Michalowicz

(Profit First), and Brian Scudamore

(0-$300M Service Business).

Free to attend, the summit was

vying to be the largest online event

ever for professionals in the home

services industry.

In fact, GUINNESS WORLD

RECORDS was evaluating the

summit for the “Largest Attendance

for a Virtual Business Conference in

One Week” title.

Topics covered included...

✔ Getting (and Staying)

Off The Truck

✔ Attracting & Motivating

Rockstar Employees

✔ Performance-Based Pay

Systems

✔ Automated Lead

Generation

✔ Bringing Your Inventions to

Market

✔ Mastering Your Financials

✔ Creating a Training

Program on Autopilot

From cleaning to landscaping,

pest control to HVAC, everyone

who worked in home services arguably

discovered new managerial

and accountability skills that will

directly benefit their business.

VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | 17


When I Find Myself in

Times of Trouble

Troubleshooting pressure washer

pump problems -- a checklist.

BY JOE ANISH

By following a few simple maintenance procedures,

you can prolong the life of your pressure

pump as well as cut down on untimely

breakdowns.

As a seasoned pressure washer repair veteran,

car wash operator, and a Cat Pump distributor

for more than 35 years, Vilco Supply

Company has serviced and solved thousands

of pressure pump problems over

the past three decades.

Vilco Suppy has seen multiple

pressure washer problems that could have been

prevented, by simply servicing the pump on a

routine schedule and identifying potential problems

while servicing.

One of the most common mistakes, is not

changing the pump oil as often as needed. Vilco

Supply recommends changing pump oil every

200-250 hours of operation. If you do not have an

hourly service time counter on your equipment,

simply use a log entry schedule to keep up with the

operating hours on a daily or weekly basis.

WHEN CHANGING PUMP OIL, it is important to remove all the

oil, residue and particles from the crankcase. Vilco Supply suggest, drain the

oil by removing the drain plug and then remove the rear cover of the crankcase to

flush the remaining residue with an aerosol oil/gas treatment spray.

While the internal crankcase is exposed take the time to inspect the rod ends, piston

rods, crankcase side bearing seals and bearings for improper wear. Be sure the rod end

bolts are not loose by turning the crankshaft by hand and if necessary, torque the rod

end bolts to the manufactures specs as needed (picture 1).

Also, while turning the crankshaft, visually inspect the bearings on both sides of

the crankshaft. Look for worn ball bearings inside the bearing casing as well as listen

for grinding or binding sounds as the crankshaft is hand turned.

1 2

IF ANY OF THE INTERNAL PARTS HAS ISSUES,

now is the time to address them with an experienced maintenance technician

or if you are mechanically inclined, tackle the problem yourself.

Otherwise if no problems exist, replace the rear crankcase cover and fill the crankcase

with the manufactures recommended oil to the proper level.

Most pumps will have a site glass to show the proper oil level (picture 2). In the

case of this 310 Cat Pump, fill the oil to the center of the red dot.

Editor’s Note: Over nearly five decades in business, Vilco Suppl has seen its share of customers who succeed by maintaining their equipment for every season. As a pump maintenance company,

specifically Cat Pump, Vilco takes its responsibility to keep those units running seriously, not just by making repairs but also educating customers about proper care and protection of their equipment now and

for the future. If you have any pump maintenance questions, visit the company at Vilcosupply.com, or call 888-255-4181.

18 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020


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Send your news,

press releases, and story tips to

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JOIN US

If you would like to advertise

in the next edition of PW News, , contact

Jacksonv@pressurewashnews.com


ONCE THE BACK COVER IS

BOLTED BACK ON

its time to inspect the front end of the crankcase and

the manifold. Remove the manifold to expose the

piston plunger and rods. This pump comes equipped

with ceramic piston plungers (picture 3).

INSPECT THE PLUNGERS

FOR CRACKS AND CHIPS,

remove and replace if needed. As seen in the picture,

this particular plunger is cracked but was still operating

3

at the time of removing from service (picture 4).

Although the pump was operating, pump failure

was inevitable. In this case, replacing the ceramic

plunger is a must.

To do so, simply remove the bolt on the end of

the piston rod and slide the plunger off the piston rod.

Remove the O-ring and back up ring on the piston rod

and replace.

Also inspect the piston rod for corrosion (picture 5).

If corrosion is visible and has not severely eroded, use

120 grit sand paper and hand sand the corrosion off

the piston rod.

ONCE ALL THE CORROSION

IS REMOVED,

replace the ceramic plunger with a new or sound

plunger, torque the end bolt to the manufacture’s

specifications.

The oil wick is often over looked and should be

replaced if in poor condition as well (pictures 6a & 6b).

NOW THAT THE CRANKCASE

HAS BEEN FULLY INSPECTED,

take the time to fully inspect the manifold and seals.

Place the manifold in a vise and tighten as needed

to remove the low-pressure seals, brass seal cases,

high-pressure seals and valves.

With the manifold face down in a vice, remove the

low-pressure seals with your fingers. Inspect the seals

for wear, tears or cracks on the interior and exterior of

the seal. (pictures 7 and 8) If any of these symptoms

are visible, replace all three seals as a set.

To remove the brass seal case’s use the proper tool,

so not to damage the soft brass seal case end (picture 9).

AFTER THE SEAL

CASE IS REMOVED,

inspect the bottom of the seal case for pitting or wash out.

If the seal case is slightly pitted, often it can be

surface-sanded or milled to remove the imperfections.

Not all seal cases can be sanded or surfaced but in

this case the brass seal case can be slightly sanded due

to the tolerance and ability to screw the brass seal case

a bit deeper since it threads into the manifold.

NEXT, REMOVE THE

HIGH-PRESSURE SEALS

in the bottom of the manifold and inspect for cracks,

wear and imperfections (picture 10).

If any of these problems exist, replace the high-pressure

seals.

4

6a

6b

5

7

8

20 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020


NOW, VISIBLY INSPECT

THE SEAT

where the high-pressure seal lays inside the manifold

and look for wash out, pitting, or grooving (picture 11).

If any of these issues exist, premature wear will

damage the high-pressure seals and desired pressure

will be attainable if put back into service.

Vilco Supply can remove the pitting and grooving

by milling the seat and replacing with stainless steel

seats. If no pitting or grooving exists, replace the

high-pressure seal by placing the cupped side of the

seal into the port. Apply some lubricant to bottom

of the brass seal case and reinstall into the manifold.

Tighten the brass seal case with the proper tool to the

manufacture’s specifications. Insert the low-pressure

seals, also with the cupped side down, into the top of

the brass seal case.

NOW TURN THE

MANIFOLD OVER

and tighten back into the vise and remove the valve plugs.

After the valve plugs are removed, replace the O-ring

on the inside lip of the cap. Remove the valves by using

either needle nose vise style grip or needle pliers.

Once the valves are removed, inspect the O-ring

and back-up ring and replace if needed (picture 12).

Inspecting the spring retainer is critical to ensure

no V-groove has worn into the shoulder of the cage

and allows the stainless disc to catch or lodge into the

V-groove (picture 13). If a V-groove is present, a new

spring retainer can be installed onto the existing stainless

valve without having to replace the entire valve.

VISUALLY INSPECT

THE VALVE SEAT AREA

or fell for wash out, pitting, or grooving in the valve seat.

Vilco Supply can also mill out the wash out and insert

stainless steel seats if needed at an economical price.

If no wash out is present, lube the valve with either

Teflon spray or light weight oil. Insert the valves carefully

to be sure not to damage the O-Rings. Torque

the valve caps back into the manifold and re-install

the manifold back onto the pump.

By following these simple steps, you can extend

the life of your pump and manifold for many years

of service.

All in the

Family

Joe Anish owns Village Car Wash and Vilco

Supply in McMinnville, Tennessee (right

down the road from Pressure Wash News!).

His family has been in the cleaning business

for almost six decades. In the mid-

1960s, his father-in-law opened one of the

earliest self-service carwashes in the Volunteer

State.

Facing an ever-pressing need to maintain

and service their more than one hundred

local bays regularly, the family then

created Vilco Supply. It not only served

their fast growing business but other outside

customers as well.

The family long ago focused on the use

of Cat Pumps in their operations. Over

Time, Cat Pump heads will have pitting,

grooving and wash out.

Having to replace the entire pump can be

costly. Vilco discovered an innovative way

of extending the life of Cat Pumps from

about 10 years to up to 35 years using

Stainless steel sleeves to replace the washout

area in the high pressure and valve seat

area (it’s called the “Vilbore Solution.”)

The company proudly states it gives Cat

Pumps, already known for nine lives, a

tenth!

9

10

11

12 11

VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | 21


CALLING IN THE

BIG

GUNS

Interior cleaning and sanitization are the dominant

concerns related to Covid-19. But the need to routinely

clean high-traffic outdoor spaces and exterior surfaces

also warrant attention. An industry responds.

BY DREW RUBLE

The U.S.’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported

earlier this year that RNA, or ribonucleic acid, which carries the genetic information

from the virus that causes Covid-19, was found in the Diamond Princess

cruise ship 17 days after its passengers had left.

To be clear, that just means the virus was detectable – not that it was viable or

that contact with those services would have been able to infect someone. But it’s

ample proof that most respiratory diseases, including COVID-19, do tend to last

on surfaces.

The New England Journal of Medicine also recently published a study that tested

how long the new virus can remain stable on different kinds of surfaces within a

controlled laboratory setting. Conducted by scientists from the National Institute

of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Centers for Disease Control, Princeton

University, and University of California, Los Angeles, the experiment tested the

virus under laboratory conditions to determine how fast virus particles broke

down outside of a host body.

They found that it was still detectable on copper for up to four hours, on

cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on plastic and steel for up to 72 hours.

And, in fact, the virus can survive on glass for up to 96 hours, according to a

study by the Journal of Hospital Infection published in January.

Again, the amount of virus decreased rapidly over time on each of those

surfaces. Nevertheless, the study reaffirms the need to disinfect surfaces – especially

those made of plastic and stainless steel – where possible.

READ: high-touch surfaces, especially in public transit or retail store environments,

or anywhere there tend to be a lot of people.

Consider public playgrounds, where the Journal of Environmental Health determined

22 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020


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CALLING IN THE

BIG GUNS

that as much as 44% of a playground’s

surfaces tested positive for contaminants

such as feces, urine, mucus, saliva and other

blood borne pathogens. That compared to

only 25% of public restrooms containing

the same contaminants.

It stands to reason the same percentages

must apply to shopping carts, or

water Parks, exterior stairwells and railings,

outdoor seating and tables, high

school stadiums, municipal parks, business

plazas, shopping malls/centers -- on

and on the list goes.

The virus also can be carried around

on people’s shoes, according to the CDC.

That research, published in the agency’s

Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, tested

surface samples at Huoshenshan Hospital

in Wuhan, China, finding that the contamination

was on floors, and that half of the

ICU staff’s shoes also tested positive.

“In addition, as medical staff walk

around the ward, the virus can be tracked

all over the floor, as indicated by the 100%

rate of positivity from the floor in the

pharmacy, where there were no patients,”

the authors wrote.

HERE’S THE BOTTOM LINE: Although society

generally thinks of indoor cleaners and

sanitization when responding to fears of

the new, novel coronavirus, there is at least

enough valid concern about high-traffic

outdoor areas to warrant more attention

from governments and private businesses

alike for the routine cleaning of public

outdoor spaces.

ENTER THE

BIG GUNS--

PRESSURE WASHING

Though it may seem a bit unseemly

to talk about industries that can or will

benefit from the current and ongoing

pandemic, the fact of the matter is that

such outcomes are always the case in

life-disrupting scenarios.

24 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020

Restoration specialists are not

to blame for profiting amid disaster

recovery efforts. Nor should professional

cleaners, who, other than perhaps

pharmaceuticals concerns and remote

technology platforms, feel guilty about

being in demand, or offering a service

intended to transform our heretofore

germ-infested society.

A recent Fortune magazine article

titled “The coronavirus cleaning boom

is coming” stated that “businesses from

restaurants to office buildings to airlines

will be going above and beyond to show

customers that they’re keeping workers

and guests as safe as possible.”

Experts say that will mean “a big

surge in spending for cleaning equipment

and staff,” according to the article.

Tim Mulrooney, a commercial services

equities analyst for William Blair, was

quoted in the article stating that will be a

“fundamental change for the industry.”

None of this is meant to infer that

exterior cleaners are happy about the rise

of the pandemic. It’s simply the reality

though that the virus is here (and may

increase in severity again in the future)

and that the pressure wash industry is

well-positioned to seize new business

opportunities that perhaps didn’t exist

before—including new, niche lines of

business easily bolted on to an operator’s

current operations.

Jimmy Welch, vice president,

engineering, at American Pressure in

Robbinsdale, Minnesota, also serves

as senior vice president of CETA (the

Cleaning Equipment Trade Association),

which works to represent all members

and the industry. Welch also chairs both

CETA’s technical committee for the

pressure washer industry and the (UL)

harmonization committee for pressure

washer safety standards. Welch has

more than four decades of experience

in all aspects of the cleaning equipment

industry, including tenures as head of

R&D/engineering for MiTM, General

Pump, Pressure Pro, and FNA group.

He is also credited in numerous industry

... businesses

from restaurants

to office

buildings to

airlines will be

going above and

beyond to show

customers that

they’re keeping

workers and

guests as safe

as possible.

patents, and has had a hand in the

design of many of the best pumps on the

market today.

Welch agrees that the current business

market is expanding for pressure wash

services. But he also offers a different

perspective on the role of the cleaning

market in fighting the pandemic.

“It is a big market out there,” Welch

said. “But I look at it differently. I look at

JIMMY WELCH

it as we are here to fight the disease, I look

at it as we’ve got a battle raging out here,

so let’s all get together and let’s go against

this full force. Let’s do our part.”

Such altruism lifts the industry in a

way that is perhaps even more important

than financial gain – it makes the industry

extremely relevant to society and gives

operators a renewed sense of purpose

that their work is meaningful and can

make a difference in people’s lives.

A CLEANER

FUTURE

Setting such altruism and warm

feelings aside for a moment, though, the

realty is (again) that as Fortune magazine

described above, business is booming and

opportunities galore are available in a

time period now often referred to as the

“the new normal.”

Welch provides the example of

the New York City subway system, which

has been utilizing nightly cleaning crews

to clean and pressure wash cars all the

way to Coney Island.

Closer to home, Welch references a bus

stop across the street from his Minnesota

offices that he says he’s witnessed being

cleaned twice in the past few months

compared to its normally scheduled maintenance

of perhaps twice in a year.

Perhaps the best example of the

increasing role pressure washers and exterior

cleaning might have on the future of

a more germ-free America is evident in

the Windy City of Chicago. There, the

Loop, Chicago’s “official” downtown

neighborhood, which includes (famously)

shopping on State Street, as well as one

of the country’s largest art museums

is scheduling weekly power washings

of its sidewalks. Part of the Chicago

Loop Alliance’s (CLA) responsibility

in managing State Street from Ida B.

Wells to Wacker drives includes these

weekly pressure washes.

“Now that the spread of COVID-19

is a worldwide concern, CLA and its

continued ...


CALLING IN THE

BIG GUNS

power washing vendor, Pressure Washing

Systems, are doing their part to curb the

spread by disinfecting State Street’s sidewalks,

trash cans, and other infrastructure

in the public way,” Michael Edwards,

CHICAGO LOOP ALLIANCE

President and CEO, recently stated in

a release. “Throughout my decades in

downtown management, I have never

experienced a public health situation

like COVID-19. Chicago Loop Alliance

was lucky enough to work with Pressure

Washing Systems on power washing and

then disinfecting State Street in downtown

Chicago…Because of Pressure

Washing Systems’ expertise in emergency

response, we were able to mitigate the risk

of pedestrians picking up the virus from

the street’s infrastructure and furniture.”

Edwards added, “The Loop has seen

70-percent declines in pedestrian activity

compared to this time in 2019…But there

are still essential workers on the street,

and our priority is their safety.”

Pressure Washing Systems offers a

wide range of services to the Chicago

Metropolitan Area, southern Wisconsin,

northwest Indiana, and Los Angeles,

Calif., regions. Over the past 31 years in

business, the company has experience

with similar situations to COVID-19,

including cleaning and disinfecting one

million square feet of space in Houston,

Texas, to prevent the spread of SARS, as

well as various flood cleanups in Chicago.

According to a CLA release, Pressure

Washing Systems used a quaternary

disinfectant cleaner called QuatSan,

effective at killing a variety of bacteria

and viruses, including COVID-19. The

cleaner follows CDC guidelines and is an

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-

approved product.

Bill Mologousis, President of Pressure

Washing Systems, said crews worked with

the environment in mind.

“We’re not just allowing this wastewater

that’s generated from these cleaning

Pressure

Washing

Systems, are

doing their

part to curb

the spread by

disinfecting

State Street’s

sidewalks, trash

cans, and other

infrastructure in

the public way,

operations to enter the storm sewer system

and maybe create an environmental

impact,” Mologousis stated in the CLA

release. “We’re not just pressure washing;

it’s really an environmental cleaning

process. Anyone can pressure wash this

into the sewer; not many companies have

equipment that will prevent it from going

into the sewer system.”

A NICHE IN

TIME

Beyond traditional pressure wash, new

opportunities also exist for operators to

expand services in to new niche areas that

can be both profitable and help to ease

the crisis.

The consensus seems to be that

America’s obsession with cleanliness will

be a permanent social shift. Pressure wash

operators are certainly well positioned

to re-channel their resources and technical

skills to certain aspects of interior

cleaning, specifically, sanitizing businesses,

to meet that market need.

In addition, and importantly from a

consumer perspective, certifying businesses

as properly sanitized for customer use

could well be a wave of the future. That’s

because consumers now want peace of

mind that a business is clean and the ability

of a business to prove that cleanliness to

customers could become paramount to

remaining in business.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal recently

pondered just how paranoid post-coronavirus

America will be as it returns to

public places.

The conclusion appears to be very

paranoid and vigilant.

The newspaper also profiled a

Sarasota pressure washer’s savvy expansion

of services aimed at ensuring that

public trust.

John Cloud runs Gorilla Kleen pressure

washing, a good sized operation

with clients ranging from the municipality

he lives in (pressure washing

public exteriors) to the Ringling College

and Ed Smith Stadium, spring training

home of the Baltimore Orioles.

Cloud told the News-Journal he’s

always offered sanitization services but

that they were seldom requested prior to

the recent pandemic. Now, by contrast,

he said, he’s essentially doing as much

sanitization as exterior cleaning for his

clients, and purports that an important

psychological principal is leading that

growth in his niche business.

“I’m printing stickers that go on the

door that say this area was sanitized

with this chemical shown to be effective,

and we show the date,” Cloud stated.

“From an optics standpoint, if I’m an

employee or a customer, I’d be happy to

see that…I think the establishment or

business would be saying to the public,

hey, we care about taking that extra step

for public safety.”

continued ...

26 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020


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JUST GIVE IT

AWAY

Yet another new, pandemic-inspired

opportunity for pressure wash operators

is less about growing their business and

more about doing what’s right through

charity, generosity, and community

improvement.

CALLING IN THE

BIG GUNS

Powerwash.com and PowerWash

University recently contributed their

cleaning services to a local daycare,

spending a few hours applying sanitizer to

all of their play equipment, including the

structures and toys.

Max Quat is their go-to disinfectant

because it is USDA Food Grade Approved

by the FDA and is an approved EPA

Disinfectant use against the new virus.

Company officials stated that they felt

it was the least they could do during a time

such as this – to donate their incredibly

relevant service to their community and

to serve as a resource for their community.

It’s a feel good story for the entire exterior

cleaning industry to know that stories

like this exist. It’s even more exciting that

similar stories exist nationwide and have

been duplicated in small town newspapers

across America since the outbreak of

the coronavirus.

As just one example, the Medford Sun

in New Jersey recently profiled Revive

Painting and Powerwashing of Medford,

which donated its services to deep

clean and sanitize the shopping carts at

Murphy’s Fresh Markets and ShopRite

of Medford, where management and

employees were already working hard

around the clock to provide groceries.

“When the grocery stores started

changing the slots where the older

customers would go in the morning, we

reached out to them and let them know

we’re free in the nighttime,” co-owner

Thomas Davis told the Sun.

With fellow co-owner James Dalton,

the company spread cleaning agents, then

140-degree water, on the shopping carts,

spending roughly 90 minutes to two hours

according to the paper.

Denise DelMastro, owner of Medfordbased

Del-Vel Chem Inc., donated the

cleaning agent.

Davis used his media platform to

encourage anyone who has a pressure

washing company or some other type

of company to do the same in their

community.

It’s not just small businesses that have

expressed their generosity amidst the

crisis. For instance, Welch’s employer,

American Pressure, has donated two

MDM-1500 misters and 15 gallons of

Vital Oxide with each to churches and

schools in its area, including St. James in

Howard Lake, Minnesota, and St. John’s

in Corcoran, Minnesota.

Now, granted, some more jaded

readers might say such good works are

also good marketing for the business. And

it is. But questioning the altruism of what

these people have done from their heart is

a risky business.

As Welch said, “Money is an outcome

of it; but there have been a lot of people

going out and donating, cleaning playgrounds,

and using their business to clean

up neighborhoods…There’s so much

generosity out there with Americans and

with pressure wash operators, too.”

AN INDUSTRY

RESPONDS

The overall industry’s response to the

COVID-19 crisis has also been nothing

short of remarkable both in its pace and

breadth.

Ahead of even many government

agencies, the industry has been rapidly

replacing guesses with best practices,

addressing how the pressure washer

industry can not only assist the public on

how to survive during this time (meaning

play a big and important role in helping

on this war on the virus) but also how to

Davis used his

media platform

to encourage

anyone who

has a pressure

washing

company or

some other type

of company

to do the

same in their

community.

thrive as a business preventing the spread

of COVID-19 while focused on opportunities

to assist in the effort, (and, as

discussed previously, have the byproduct

of revenue for the industry).

It did so largely through the work

of the CETA technical committee, a

15-member entity representing every

region of the country and which is steered

by Welch. To face the Covid-19 crisis, the

committee teamed up with other entities

in the industry, including the PWNA

(Power Washers of North America), and

even entities outside of the industry.

Understanding that as leaders in the

industry, CETA and PWNA needed to

provide their network of professionals a

playbook for the “new normal” not only

proved the value of the associations to the

industry in general but has also arguably

elevated the entire industry to a level of

sophistication previously not realized.

It started when Welch began hearing

about business disruptions happening in

China around the end of December 2019

and early January 2020. Welch started

hearing from both friends and business

associates about a lot of people getting

sick. Then he started hearing similar

news from contacts in South Korea and

Taiwan. From Korea specifically he was

hearing about military involvement in

contact tracing, followed by action to

clean outdoor areas as well as indoor

areas, specifically subways and bus seats.

“They advanced as fast as they could

in that cleaning process and used pressure

washers on the streets because their

tracking system was showing suspects left

their house at this time, walked down the

street at this time, and potentially exposed

a lot of people, because they could

track cell phones,” Welch said. “They

knew who those people were and send

alerts to them; so, they didn’t just deal

with cleaning indoors or washing their

hands…or wear a face mask. They were

doing those precautions, but they still had

people getting sick.”

Then in March, Welch made a trip

from Minnesota to Denver for a visit.

“I left and went to Florida…and saw

that while you’re at the airport everybody

was stressed about it, but no face masks

were being worn or anything at that time

because they weren’t available,” he said.

“Questions were asked me on the trip,

like ‘what are your thoughts?’ and I said

‘I would be wearing a face mask because

I’ve traveled to Asia lot and I see that they

wear face masks because we know the

virus is airborne.

“We decided then, let’s refocus the

[CETA] technical committee, which

already deals with safety standards and

performance standards, get a meeting as

soon as possible, meaning the following

Monday, and expand the group to add

more companies and to get more experience

and perspective on the team,”

Welch said.

The first order of business was stating

the case and making clear to state policy-makers

that the cleaning equipment

trade could be rightfully defined as an

“essential business” under governmental

regulations on which businesses were

allowed to work amidst the pandemic

outbreak.

“We wrote the essential business letter,

we got that advocacy on the website, we

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contacted all of our members informing

them they had to stay in business,” Welch

said. “The manufacturers certainly appreciated

it -- they were pretty much already

on board in understanding that their

equipment was particularly important at

this time. The distributors had questions;

but as many of them sell to the food

industry, municipalities, and other critical

industries, they were assured they have to

stay in business and keep those entities

supported…so, we successfully argued

that is essential…because we’ve got to

keep the equipment up and running.”

Certainly, cleaning and sanitizing

products and equipment are critical to

our nation’s efforts to combat the spread

of COVID-19. It is imperative that these

businesses maintain operations to ensure

that other critical industries and front-line

service responders can do their essential

work in a safe and clean environment. So,

that was an important first step for the

industry to advocate and clarify that the

industry is first and foremost an essential

business.

CALLING IN THE

BIG GUNS

Next, because Covid-19 was so

new, there hadn’t been any academic

research on the effectiveness of products

and services aimed at neutralizing the

virus. CETA and partners were able to

accomplish quite a bit of research in a

short period of time to address this lack

of understanding.

“We’ve published four white papers

so far,” Welch said when contacted in

June, informing Pressure Wash News that on

the day of the interview he was actually

running a series of tests on wet steam

spray temperature at different distances.

[Editor’s note: Readers are encouraged to visit the

CETA.org website to sign up to review in detail the

reports being issued by the technical committee.]

The first paper explored pressure

wash power wash, specifically coming

up with proper methods for cleaning

... people in the

industry have been

cleaning and selling

cleaning equipment

for a long time and

know what to do.

But if it has never

been written

down, Welch

explained, it’s of

no use to a lab

that doesn’t have

that experience

to draw on.

knowing that the virus is aerosol in nature

(in short, spraying in front of you into the

air particles in the air, wetting them so

they drop to the surface for additional

cleaning).

The paper also covered the need to

protect workers using the proper personal

protection equipment, or PPE.

The idea was to get this particular

paper out fast so operators could safely

attack the public problem of entrance

ways to buildings, hospitals, doctor’s

offices, retirement homes, and early childcare

facilities.

Welch said once the committee determined

all the proper procedures and

protocols, putting it together in a white

paper served more than just the need for

operators to have a road map to proper

execution.

“A goal of these white papers is that

when we are done, we want to then talk

to scientists and labs studying this virus,”

Welch explains. “The labs need the white

papers to have the ability to test against

this particular strain…if you don’t have

the white paper and you come in and say,

‘hey, here’s the machine,’ and you don’t

tell them how to use it, well, it doesn’t do

much for them or for us.”

Said another way, people in the

industry have been cleaning and selling

cleaning equipment for a long time and

know what to do. But if it has never been

written down, Welch explained, it’s of no

use to a lab that doesn’t have that experience

to draw on.

“These are the kinds of variables we

outlined in the white papers so when we

do present them to the laboratories, they

know what to do to conduct their studies,”

Welch concluded. “Now that we’ve got

enough papers, I’m looking to get some

scientists on and doctors on board.”

Another white paper researched the

use of dry vapor steam in places you can’t

use high-pressure to disinfect, such as in

an ambulance that needs to be cleaned

out after each use and before another

patient can use it.

“One of our member groups is

Steamericas,” Welch said. “They helped

us with the white paper there because

they have a lot of insight into deactivating

viruses – although not this particular strain.

So, we had to be careful what we said, but

we had more to say than anyone else.”

Proper PPE use, meaning advice or

information operators could use in their

day-to-day lives to ensure a safe working

environment, was also crucial subject

matter for committee testing, and has no

doubt served the industry well. Welch said

PWNA in particular worked extensively

on the PPE piece of the puzzle in particular

because of its vast treasure trove of

pre-existing information and intelligence

in that area.

“We looked at it as a unified group,

a team effort, utilizing people inside and

outside the industry,” Welch stressed.

Such a rapid and sophisticated industry

response (replete with independent testing)

no doubt provided significant relief to

operators industry-wide who encountered

the pandemic without a playbook for

dealing with the new normal.

As such, a happy outcome of all of

this has also been growing unity within

the industry. CETA, through several projects,

has been able to pull all aspects of

its membership -- and even professionals

outside of its membership -- together to

coalesce around important things, namely

safety standards, performance standards,

Prop 65 advocacy, and now Covid-19.

These efforts have proven the industry

is stronger as a group than as individuals

and that the industry can work together

and not against each other.

What has resulted is a new level of

teamwork and sophistication and relevance

at a time when it is really needed.

THE ROAD

AHEAD

So, what is the takeaway? Think

Walmart entrances dirty with chewing

gum and somebody’s spit. People no

longer want to walk into a store through a

dirty, unwashed entrance and have a dirty

buggy to put their kids in.

Store cleaning needs to be done in the

store and outside of it. And environments

like playgrounds for children, universities

for students, and high-traffic locations such

as municipal service locations, amusement

parks, public restrooms, parking lots, multiunit

residential buildings, hospitals, and

hospitality locations all have to be cleaned.

The new normal demands it.

Pressure washing can help prevent the

spread of disease. Ongoing preventative

maintenance and pressure cleaning are two

excellent ways to protect employees and

the public and to keep business operations

and society as a whole running smoothly.

Now more than ever we can all benefit

from regular power washing.

30 | PRESSURE WASH NEWS | VOL. 2, NO. 3 | SUMMER 2020


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