Never Do This When Pressure Washing Asphalt


In our last video, we had a fantastic comment from Dee, sharing how he prices his jobs by square footage and job difficulty. Dee’s approach is a great example of adapting pricing strategies to your specific needs. If you missed that video, click the link above to check it out.

Today, we have a valuable question from Line Juto: "Can you clean asphalt with a surface cleaner? If not, what are the consequences?" This question is crucial for anyone in the pressure washing business. Line, thank you for asking and helping us all avoid potential pitfalls.

Before diving into the answer, if you're just starting in the pressure washing game and looking for a comprehensive guide to kickstart your business, I highly recommend the Zero to 7K Local Domination Course. This course has helped thousands worldwide launch their pressure washing businesses. Click the first link in the description to check it out.

Can You Use a Surface Cleaner on Asphalt?

The short answer is: No, you shouldn't use a surface cleaner on asphalt. Here’s why:

  1. Asphalt Composition: Asphalt is a petroleum-based material. Using a surface cleaner can disrupt the delicate balance of its composition, potentially blowing sand and other binding materials out of the surface. This can weaken the asphalt and lead to damage over time.

  2. Gasoline and Asphalt: Never get gasoline on asphalt. Gasoline is also petroleum-based and will dissolve the asphalt, creating holes and extensive damage. That’s why gas stations have concrete pads instead of asphalt next to the pumps.

  3. Degreasers and Asphalt: Degreasers are another no-go for asphalt. They break down petroleum-based materials, including asphalt, leading to deterioration and damage.

  4. Bleach on Asphalt: Bleach, especially strong solutions like 12%, can turn asphalt gray and rob it of its color. Avoid using bleach on asphalt surfaces to maintain their appearance and integrity.

Best Practices for Cleaning Asphalt

Instead of using a surface cleaner, follow these tips:

  • Use a Ball Valve: For cleaning asphalt, a ball valve can be sufficient. Rinse the surface thoroughly with a moderate pressure setting.
  • Avoid High Pressure: High pressure can dislodge the binding materials in asphalt. Stick to lower pressure settings to prevent damage.
  • Regular Maintenance: Keep up with regular cleaning using gentle methods to avoid the buildup of dirt and grime without damaging the surface.

Additional Tips and Precautions

  • Chemical Safety: Keep all chemicals inside your truck when working around asphalt to avoid accidental spills.
  • Customer Communication: Set clear expectations with customers about what your service includes and excludes, especially regarding the limitations of cleaning asphalt.

If you found this information helpful, please like the video and subscribe for more tips and Q&A sessions. Your feedback is valuable, so leave any questions in the comments below.

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For more detailed training and expert tips, check out the SESW Softwash 101 class. Happy washing!

By following these guidelines, you can ensure you're treating asphalt surfaces with the care they need, avoiding damage, and maintaining their integrity.

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