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Should pressure washing companies be licensed

Should pressure washing companies be licensed??


  • Total voters
    0

Henry Bockman

New member
I'd like to get as many people as possible to vote on this...

Think about it for a minute, we work with pretty extreme pressure, temperatures, and some pretty nasty chemicals to do our jobs.

Take into consideration that some deck strippers are rated at 13 on the Ph scale.

Some of the acids we use are rated at 1 or 2 on the Ph scale.

Think about the amount of damage that 4,000 PSI can cause in inexperienced hands to wood, siding and concrete.

Should'nt there be some type of protection for consumers against these extremes?

I honestly believe that pressure washing should have it's own government codes (Cage ect) We have those now!

We should have our own insurance codes. We have those now I heard!

Wouldn't the next logical step to make pressure washing a recognized industry be some type of licensing requirements? This will also help to seperate us from companies that are working for extra cash on weekends, and to help raise the bar and protect consumers.


I vote yes, pressure washing companies should be licensed.
 

Gary Schell

New member
PA now requires a license for home improvements...pressure washing falls into the "improvement" part by definition.

I got my number in my signature:biggrin:
 

Marc Cournoyer

New member
I voted yes < its a grey area here in CT Painters are classified under Home improvement , and have to be liscenced ,pressure cleaners do not , doesn't make much cents to me, , could be more $$ for the state .
 

Tony Shelton

Environmental Consultant / Past Director
I'd like to get as many people as possible to vote on this...

Think about it for a minute, we work with pretty extreme pressure, temperatures, and some pretty nasty chemicals to do our jobs.

Take into consideration that some deck strippers are rated at 13 on the Ph scale.

Some of the acids we use are rated at 1 or 2 on the Ph scale.

Think about the amount of damage that 4,000 PSI can cause in inexperienced hands to wood, siding and concrete.

Should'nt there be some type of protection for consumers against these extremes?

I honestly believe that pressure washing should have it's own government codes (Cage ect) We have those now!

We should have our own insurance codes. We have those now I heard!

Wouldn't the next logical step to make pressure washing a recognized industry be some type of licensing requirements? This will also help to seperate us from companies that are working for extra cash on weekends, and to help raise the bar and protect consumers.


I vote yes, pressure washing companies should be licensed.

Henry, why not devote all your advertising budget and your website to educating those poor "consumers" who need protecting?

Consumers are protected when legitimate companies share information with each other, work together and help each other. Car trunk pressure washers don't even have a BUSINESS license now and they don't care. Misdemeanor? So what? What do they care? They eventually have a breakdown and can't afford to fix the equipment and go out of business. It's just like gun laws, make a law against it and the only ones breaking the law are the ones who don't care about the law anyway.

Does this have more to do with drawing a fence around established companies to make it extremely difficult for someone young like DJ with a lot of ambition, but no money to get into the business? I'm not saying that is your motive Henry, I'm just saying that is the first most obvious motive for anyone suggesting licensing.

When it all boils down there are only a couple of reasons to even consider licensing PW companies. Which of these do you agree with?

1) To raise more money through the state the same way licensing does now. That is why licensing fees are considered a TAX.
2) To make it difficult for entry into the business to protect existing interests.

When will we learn?

How many guys who've built up good profitable businesses will be knocked out because of past legal problems? How many good, honest businessmen will be regulated out of business? How much more will we have to pay for supplies when your talk about harsh chemicals results in the interference of the government making them almost impossible to get?

What about freon? Anybody used to be able to buy freon. Some idiot tree hugger with no evidence claimed it harmed the ozone layer. It was almost 20 years before the idiot's claim was proven to be 100% FALSE, but an entire section of government had already been created to deal with a non-existent threat and because of that I can't even juice up my own air conditioner anymore. AND LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PRICE!!!

You're asking for the wind. If you get it you will reap the whirlwind.

The chemicals you are speaking of can be purchased by anyone. Licensing pressure washers will do nothing but add another tax that you have to pay each year. This is an open end tax that will do nothing but go up.

Any Joe homeowner can buy a 4000 psi pressure washer. How is licensing PW'ers going to protect them? Because if you have to raise your prices to cover legal expenses and training required by licensing more and more of those poor consumers are going to resort to doing it themselves.

What's keeping you from getting a contractors license now and pointing out to your customers how more "legit" you are because you are licensed?

I vote no. This is one industry where some one with a little money, a lot of integrity and a lot of ambition can start with nothing and go a long way.

Is licensing currently in the talks or on the agenda? An official stance on this from the UAMCC would be appreciated.
 

Marc Cournoyer

New member
In CT I pay $163.00 per year to be liscenced , that isn't much money to show Im serious about being accountable for what I do .
 

Tony Shelton

Environmental Consultant / Past Director
In CT I pay $163.00 per year to be liscenced , that isn't much money to show Im serious about being accountable for what I do .
I pay more than twice that for my BUSINESS licenses also. But that's not what were talking about here. What's being discussed is "industry" licensing, like an HVAC license or a Doctor's license or an Attorney's license.

Correct me if I'm wrong Henry.
 

Marc Cournoyer

New member
I understand ,again Im for it if it separates us from the uneducated weekend warriors (not everyone) that will screw up someones house and not be accountable . If I were a educated consumer I would want a licensed washing contractor with references to wash my home to assure the best possible results . We need to educate our customers (possible customers ) that the pressure cleaning industry isn't just a bunch of guys spraying water around.That we are serious about what we do . and we will pay the premium to prove it .
 

John Tornabene

New member
Yup I definitely support licensing in our industry. I also support that if it was to happen to enforce it by going after the ones who will continue on Pressure Washing without being licensed and insured. This will add value to our industry and to us as legitimate business owners. If anyone wants to get into this business then they should be able to get the funds together to be Licensed and insured no matter what. Like driving a car. If your not licensed then you better not get caught driving. I would also support Certifications to be recognized. Anything to make us move up the ladder in the professional industry I would look to support....within reason of course.
 

Damaris Sutton

New member
In a part of Florrida named St. Johns County (Lance knows it) as a painter you had to actually pay 300-400 dollars and go before a review board/panel to answer questions. Then they still had to approve you before you got a license. My Uncle let his expire and we were on the job painting when these guys with guns on their side came up and told us to cease our work. I turned around like who in the...then saw the guns. Those guys were serious.

I told them as soon as we get the piece of paper that comes from a tree will the liberals who allowed you to consume the natural resources creating a huge carbon footprint allow us to operate my Families business?

They kind of frown on that kind of talk needless to say...:yes:

My Papa went before the board. They asked him how long he was in business at that time and it was like over 60 years. They all laughed and ordered the fee for the license to be paid and that was that. If one of the newer guys answered that question honestly you would have been nailed with a huge fine.

I think the license is only as valuable as they can enforce it.
 

John Tornabene

New member
Easy way to enforce it and its thru the advertising of each company. Here the Consumers affairs dep't will search thru the Yellow pages and local Pennysavers for example to see who is licensed and Insured and if the company is advertising without either one of those requirements they will be called in and most likely pay at least a $1000 fine with the next time being caught they can be charged criminally. I support that because it eliminates some of my competitors who want to be cheats.
 

Henry Bockman

New member
I pay more than twice that for my BUSINESS licenses also. But that's not what were talking about here. What's being discussed is "industry" licensing, like an HVAC license or a Doctor's license or an Attorney's license.

Correct me if I'm wrong Henry.
Actually I was referring to a state license but I'm all for an industry based license also. I just think that's going to take many years before it happens.

Henry, why not devote all your advertising budget and your website to educating those poor "consumers" who need protecting?
I answered all of this on PWI.. If the UAMCC want's I can copy it here. I wanted to post my question on all the BBS's so everyone would see it and comment but please let's not post the same comments on every BBS..
 

Tony Shelton

Environmental Consultant / Past Director
I understand ,again Im for it if it separates us from the uneducated weekend warriors (not everyone) that will screw up someones house and not be accountable . If I were a educated consumer I would want a licensed washing contractor with references to wash my home to assure the best possible results . We need to educate our customers (possible customers ) that the pressure cleaning industry isn't just a bunch of guys spraying water around.That we are serious about what we do . and we will pay the premium to prove it .

Personally I didn't wake up one morning with all the knowledge needed to do what I do today. Did you?

Where is all this condescension towards everyone who starts out without a $50,000 reclaim rig and a list of clients as long as your arm?

Why not spend a little time talking with and getting to know that "weekend warrior" in your neighborhood if you are so concerned with his uneducated customers? He might teach you a thing or two. God knows I've leaned a lot of good tips and tricks from $10.00/hr filter changers.

You can educate the customer by providing video/photo/word of mouth/written letters to show the superiority of your work.

If you think for one second a license brings an industry up to a high standard just ask the 50,000 people in Las Vegas (myself included) who had to go in for hepatitis testing because 5 doctors reused needles to save money!

Here's just a simple excerpt from Wikipedia with my added emphasis. The argument for licensing is put into the minds of those who aren't willing or don't have the ability to play the chess game out to the end to find out who the winners and losers are. The winners are the LARGE companies with a LOT of money that control ALL THE RULES. If you are not one of them -- then you are one of their pawns because they have already played the game to the end and they will use you to beat yourself.

Here's the Wiki article:

Licensure restricts entry into professional careers in medicine, chiropractic, nursing, law, business, engineering, surveying, and architecture. Advocates claim that licensure protects the consumer through the application of professional, educational and/or ethical standards of practice. Milton Friedman opposes this practice, believing that licensure effectively raises professional salary by placing limits on the supply of specific occupations. "It is hard to regard altruistic concern for their customers as the primary motive behind their determined efforts to get legal power to decide who may be a plumber."[11]
Restrictions to employment without licensure can also prevent people with criminal records or severe mental health issues from working in occupations that require public trust. Occupations of or affected by the gambling industry, may be restricted by licensure, such as a racing secretary in horseracing, or people in the boxing industry. People whose occupations put them in physical contact with the public might also be restricted by licensure, including a barber, cosmetologist, or massage therapist. Occupations that bring a person into the home might also be screened through licensure, including a chauffeur, landscape architect, or arborist.
Restricting entry by licensing is arguably a convenient and effective method of maintaining the high standards, high status and elite privileges of a profession as well as acting to eliminate competition from unqualified amateurs who provide a cheaper but (allegedly) sub-standard service. It means that only the most highly qualified persons are allowed entry into the profession and to enjoy its privileges, high salary and high status in society. However, liberals like Milton Friedman have argued that this process is counterproductive as it seriously restricts the number of active professionals working in society and thus unnecessarily inhibits the working of a free enterprise economy.[12]

Link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licensure


Who reading this thread is willing to stand up and just say "I want this industry to be licensed because I'm an established company and I want to restrict entry into the industry so I can make more money."

It's not me. I don't want to restrict anybody, hacker, felon, idiot, whatever. This is America. This is an industry where anybody who has the desire can make a good living for themselves if they remain honorable, trustworthy and hardworking.

There can't be that many pawns out there, somebody has to be a king. Who is it?
 

Gary Schell

New member
Here in PA starting July 1, you are required to have a HIC# and it has to be on everything from contracts and business cards to websites and next born. The specifics are here PA's HIC info

Doesn't necessarily spell out that pressure washers need a license, but as a legit business...I'm not taking a chance. And for $50 for two years....

Granted most of the cleaning I'm doing now is considered commercial, but residential work is probably most rewarding with the life long relationships you can build.
 

Tony Shelton

Environmental Consultant / Past Director
Actually I was referring to a state license but I'm all for an industry based license also. I just think that's going to take many years before it happens.



I answered all of this on PWI.. If the UAMCC want's I can copy it here. I wanted to post my question on all the BBS's so everyone would see it and comment but please let's not post the same comments on every BBS..
Yeah Henry, I know you were talking about a state license. The conversation here crosses many borders and advocation of "licensing" infers licensing in every state otherwise there could be no "industry standard".

We are talking about the same thing.
 

John Tornabene

New member
OK I'll step up and say I want our industry to be licensed so to make it tougher for the ones who want to lowball us and do shoddy work to make us all look bad. Sure there are some not to good contractors out there that are lic/ins. but then again there are some bad doctors out there but because of that should they now be able to be Doctors without an education?? Of course not.

Anybody starting out in this business should find the means to do it right and if getting a Business lic and insurance to be in this business is a requirement then they should do just that.
 

Gary Schell

New member
The problem starts with being able to buy a pressure washer anywhere from a box store to a paint store....only need to show a drivers license if your writing a check.
 

Marc Cournoyer

New member
The problem starts with being able to buy a pressure washer anywhere from a box store to a paint store....only need to show a drivers license if your writing a check.
The problem is using it the wrong way ILLEAGLY , low balling because you don't pay insurance , or tax , I see alot of that going on ,Teachers working summer jobs for cash , doing painting and powerwashing , advertising then lowballing , these guys are taking possible income right outa our pockets . Book um Danno :got-hooligan:
 

Damaris Sutton

New member
As far as Criminal Charges I would have to pass on. Especially with the Northern states being famous for letting child rapist(Not Molestors because thats too nice a word for these perverts) off the hook with a slap on the wrist, it would be a shame for a person to have jail time just for trying to feed his family.

How about we all just get chapters started to help get these unlicensed workers on board and show them a new way. Why keep them off the radar and run them out when just a little training and the right licenses and liability with equipment and so forth they can join the fold?

Unlicensed workers will never go away until we are able to assimilate(Star Trek Fan) them and we become one collective(I am not a dork I promise)

:biggrin:
 

Tony Shelton

Environmental Consultant / Past Director
The problem is using it the wrong way ILLEAGLY , low balling because you don't pay insurance , or tax , I see alot of that going on ,Teachers working summer jobs for cash , doing painting and powerwashing , advertising then lowballing , these guys are taking possible income right outa our pockets . Book um Danno :got-hooligan:
How much did you pay in insurance last year?

Last year for liability and my own workers comp I paid less than 4k. That's $76.00 per week max.

One good hot water machine costs about $4k. Assume the hacker stole his. That another $76.00 per week.

As far as taxes go, if you are self-employed and are paying much of anything in taxes percentagewise you need a new accountant to tell you where to spend your money so the tax argument is out the door.

So it costs the LEGAL contractor working alone about $150 per week more to operate. That's $30.00 per workday more.

If a hacker is beating your price by more than $30.00 for an ENTIRE DAYS WORK, you can't blame that on being ILLEGAL. You can't throw the "hacker label" and cry foul when he's willing to do a driveway for $50.00 and take all day doing it when you want $199 and finish it in an hour. That's not hacking, that's HUNGRY and that's capitalism and its LEGAL.

If he does bad work it will catch up with him. If he wants to do good work he will try to learn how to do the job better and faster. That's his problem. Not yours or mine.

Your problem and mine is doing work that stands out enough to bring in customers in SPITE of the other guy's hunger. If you can't succeed in doing that then maybe you're in the wrong business and your expectations are too high for the market.

Licensing to raise prices is corrupt and immoral. It's using the heavy hand of the government to your own ends to put money in your own pocket plain and simple.
 
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