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Should pressure washing companies be licensed

Should pressure washing companies be licensed??


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If every state did that they'd all be as broke as California is.

owner will be fined $3,000 each day the work that was done plus disposal fee's. The pressure washer will be fined up to 10k and be banned for 1 year, but good luck in getting another permit.

Just to show you how dumb it is, why is the "hack" who is not on the list able to get a permit in the first place? And how can he be banned from something he's already banned from by law?

Yet another perfect example of why the government shouldn't be involved.

Keep posting from more restrictive states. This just gets better and better.
every state already has something in place just not with the fines.... It's called the BBB
 

Carlos Gonzales

New member
Henry,

Where can I find direct information regarding what the actual license requirement and what the license description entails?

I was on the state of MD website and did read up on the MHIC but didn't see anything about the description of the license itself.

Appreciate it!
 

Henry Bockman

New member
Henry,

Where can I find direct information regarding what the actual license requirement and what the license description entails?

I was on the state of MD website and did read up on the MHIC but didn't see anything about the description of the license itself.

Appreciate it!
Hey Carlos, and that's part of the problem. There isn't much information to be found on the MHIC license and what information you get from them on the phone changes day to day. The terms are very broad and that leaves a lot of room for bad information making it even more difficult for contractors and consumers. All the stipulations I've ever been able to get have already been posted.

You need a license to stain decks, but not to wash them.

If you use high pressure to clean and no chemicals (soap) you don't need a license.

This is what I'm trying to change, anyone using a pressure washer to maintain the exterior of a home should be licensed, and properly insured. I say maintain instead of clean because were not janitors or maids, the machines PW companies use are high powered, and can cause a lot of damage with improper use. Someone needs to educate consumers and with the current laws in this area it makes it almost impossible to do so. It also makes it nearly impossible to recognize that pressure washing is more than just spraying water, it's an important industry that should be recognized.
 

Carlos Gonzales

New member
Thanks Henry...My monday is booked but I would like to suggest we speak on Tues....let me know

Hey Carlos, and that's part of the problem. There isn't much information to be found on the MHIC license and what information you get from them on the phone changes day to day. The terms are very broad and that leaves a lot of room for bad information making it even more difficult for contractors and consumers. All the stipulations I've ever been able to get have already been posted.

You need a license to stain decks, but not to wash them.

If you use high pressure to clean and no chemicals (soap) you don't need a license.

This is what I'm trying to change, anyone using a pressure washer to maintain the exterior of a home should be licensed, and properly insured. I say maintain instead of clean because were not janitors or maids, the machines PW companies use are high powered, and can cause a lot of damage with improper use. Someone needs to educate consumers and with the current laws in this area it makes it almost impossible to do so. It also makes it nearly impossible to recognize that pressure washing is more than just spraying water, it's an important industry that should be recognized.
 

Beth Borrego

New member
I think you guys are missing some information.

The Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) is already involved in Maryland. You must have a MHIC license to stain decks. Clear sealers are okay, you don't need a license to use thompsons for example.

But, you don't need one to clean decks, and that's where most of the damages happen. Now they are saying if you use chemicals when power washing, you need a license. BUT, if your using soap, you don't. This is the problem, the rules to stipulate whether you need a license or not don't make any sense. Soap is a chemical!

Decks are damaged when washing, not staining. I'm trying to get the MHIC to create different guidelines that will require everyone that does residential pressure washing to be licensed.

As it stands now, the hacks don't need a license because they all use high pressure to clean and to remove deck stains, they use turbos to strip decks so they don't have to use "chemicals" that require a license. Now tell me, if you had these stipulations that decide who needs a license, what would you do? They won't drop the laws so they only thing we can do is get them to make sense.
Not so sure about that clear sealer statement....Where is that listed on MD's site?
Beth
 

Beth Borrego

New member
This is fruitless. The people who want government involvement in every aspect of life will never be convinced less government is better. Im done.
Less is BETTER? Not always. I agree with Henry. Read these links...please.
http://www.dllr.state.md.us/whatsnews/mhicunlic.shtml
http://www.wbaltv.com/news/17773716/detail.html
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/News/press/PR_details.asp?PrID=4307

Consumers have a right to be protected, and as business professionals we have a duty to hold ourselves to a higher standard and to protect their property while we are working there. As a homeowner, I expect to be protected too, and I only hire licensed contractors to work on our home because if something goes wrong, I want to know I'm covered.

Beth
 

RMedbery

New member
Less is BETTER? Not always. I agree with Henry. Read these links...please.
http://www.dllr.state.md.us/whatsnews/mhicunlic.shtml
http://www.wbaltv.com/news/17773716/detail.html
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/apps/News/press/PR_details.asp?PrID=4307

Consumers have a right to be protected, and as business professionals we have a duty to hold ourselves to a higher standard and to protect their property while we are working there. As a homeowner, I expect to be protected too, and I only hire licensed contractors to work on our home because if something goes wrong, I want to know I'm covered.

Beth
Again beth your liberal views are completely wrong. Consumers have no RIGHT of protection. Unless your talking of foreign invasion of course. I know you despise the document but you really should try and actually read the US Constitution some time. Like I said, you will NEVER convince a person who wants more government that less government is better.
 

RMedbery

New member
Perfect example in one of your links.

Homeowners who use Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) licensed contractors are protected by the Home Improvement Law, and are eligible for coverage by the Home Improvement Guaranty Fund
Here is the government using MY money to reimburse people for their bad decisions.

I lost several hundred dollars in Vegas a few months ago. Hey beth, how bout you reimburse me for my stupid gambling decision? If you dont I will go as far as to use deadly force to make you do so. Sounds Fd up dont it? Matter of fact its highly illegal, but why is it ok for the government to do it?
 

Ken Fenner

Fuckhead
I can understand both viewpoints. I don't buy into the idealistic vision that the government can protect consumers from thievery or unscrupulous activity. At best it can do what the UAMCC does.. ask to see proof of insurance. Any fool can buy an insurance policy. It doesn't make the holder honest, it doesn't prove integrity and it certainly doesn't prove work quality. So, ultimately, the obligation of due diligence comes back to the person hiring the contractor. Check experience, references, current insurances. If a person chooses not to do that, that's on them. I'm still failing to see where the government and a piece of paper called a license provides any type of security blanket. The real result is often what happens when people let others (ie the government) do for them what they should be doing themselves... complacency, dependance and ultimately, laziness.

The system of capitalism weeds out bad products, bad service and bad management. I'm not sure what makes me sit on the fence with this issue. I guess a license makes people warm and fuzzy and that is a marketing edge. I am for licensing if it includes spot checks for valid insurances, OSHA log auditing, field agents checking for violations, random truck inspections for safety equipment and MSDS sheets, consistent public awareness campaigns, and enough field agents to enforce the standards. Anything less is just a gesture. This gesture does little for the public and is another excuse for the government to collect some money from my company.

Here's the problem.. the public. All of the above makes a company more expensive to operate. Me, Beth, Henry, Roger, Jim.. we have to pass that cost on. Here comes cheapskate homeowner that gets a bid for far less from a contractor that has no one to answer to. A friend of mine just had his basement completely rewired by an unlicensed handyman. This is a guy with a wife and two children in his home. His justification to me was that he inspected all the handyman's work before the walls were buttoned up. So there you go.. an educated, well off guy that circumvented the sytem to save a few thousand bucks. Idiocy.
 

Tony Shelton

Environmental Consultant / Past Director
Our founding fathers set up our government based on capitalism. Capitalism IS survival of the fittest. "A fool an his money are soon parted".

If you hire someone without a referral from a trusted source, you are an idiot. It doesn't matter if they are licensed, unlicensed, or belong to 50 organizations. If you can't find someone else who they performed GOOD work for, you are taking your chances. The government has no responsibility to help you choose a contractor.

The BBB doesn't give a crap about the quality of your work. They want your money.

The Chamber of Commerce doesn't give a crap about the quality of your work. They want your money.

The government doesn't give a crap about the quality of your work. They want your money.

And on and on etc, etc.

All this talk about protecting the consumer is just plain BS.

It's like saying "I really need to spend the money on that new Ferrari! Why? Uh......because it will give me so much more extra storage room in my garage."

Why all this talk about licenses? Uh....because it will help the consumer. BS

We all know why licensing is wanted and it has no more to do with the consumer than that extra storage room in the garage has to do with the reason to buy a Ferrari.

Thinning competition through legislation is immoral and is the reason our country is on the brink of destruction now. It will go on, it's our choice whether or not to participate in it.

I will find it interesting how many good ole "republicans" jump ship and turn to kiss the rear of legislators when they stand to benefit individually from corruption like that. (I'm not going to judge democrats because they don't understand our government anyway and somehow think the government was put in place 200 years ago to benefit each of them personally.)
 

Jeff LeCours

New member
Our founding fathers set up our government based on capitalism. Capitalism IS survival of the fittest. "A fool an his money are soon parted".

If you hire someone without a referral from a trusted source, you are an idiot. It doesn't matter if they are licensed, unlicensed, or belong to 50 organizations. If you can't find someone else who they performed GOOD work for, you are taking your chances. The government has no responsibility to help you choose a contractor.

The BBB doesn't give a crap about the quality of your work. They want your money.

The Chamber of Commerce doesn't give a crap about the quality of your work. They want your money.

The government doesn't give a crap about the quality of your work. They want your money.

And on and on etc, etc.

All this talk about protecting the consumer is just plain BS.

It's like saying "I really need to spend the money on that new Ferrari! Why? Uh......because it will give me so much more extra storage room in my garage."

Why all this talk about licenses? Uh....because it will help the consumer. BS

We all know why licensing is wanted and it has no more to do with the consumer than that extra storage room in the garage has to do with the reason to buy a Ferrari.

Thinning competition through legislation is immoral and is the reason our country is on the brink of destruction now. It will go on, it's our choice whether or not to participate in it.

I will find it interesting how many good ole "republicans" jump ship and turn to kiss the rear of legislators when they stand to benefit individually from corruption like that. (I'm not going to judge democrats because they don't understand our government anyway and somehow think the government was put in place 200 years ago to benefit each of them personally.)
I dont want to get all political with you Tony, but it is the Republican admin of the past 8 years and other Rep admins and trickle down economics that have brought this country to the brink of destruction. On the same had the present admin is also screwing things up. I dont like 70% of what is going on. I do feel there has to be more regulation. Why, because you cant trust these basta*ds in big Corp, to do the right thing, so regulation I feel is needed, do I trust the gov, thats a hard one, I guess I trust them more than the corps and the greed I have seen. But licensing on small biz or even large will do very little to regulate anything. I voted no on license, because I think it will be nothing but another fee another way for the gov to get money out of us.

I have no problem with thinning competition, no problem at all. Never going to be able to stop hacks and consumers from being ripped off and I dont think a license of this kind will help. I think present licenses should be monitored, if the complaints come in they pull the lisense, but that isnt going to happen unless crimanal charges are brought against a company, until then the Gov just wants its money whether you are a great company or a hack
 

Tony Shelton

Environmental Consultant / Past Director
I dont want to get all political with you Tony, but it is the Republican admin of the past 8 years and other Rep admins and trickle down economics that have brought this country to the brink of destruction. On the same had the present admin is also screwing things up. I dont like 70% of what is going on. I do feel there has to be more regulation. Why, because you cant trust these basta*ds in big Corp, to do the right thing, so regulation I feel is needed, do I trust the gov, thats a hard one, I guess I trust them more than the corps and the greed I have seen. But licensing on small biz or even large will do very little to regulate anything. I voted no on license, because I think it will be nothing but another fee another way for the gov to get money out of us.

I have no problem with thinning competition, no problem at all. Never going to be able to stop hacks and consumers from being ripped off and I dont think a license of this kind will help. I think present licenses should be monitored, if the complaints come in they pull the lisense, but that isnt going to happen unless crimanal charges are brought against a company, until then the Gov just wants its money whether you are a great company or a hack

We just have a different view of what the government is supposed to stick its nose into.

If a state wants to dig into your pockets it has all the right in the world to do that. And I have the right to move to a less invasive state like Nevada.

I brought the conversation to a federal level because the whole idea of the government protecting the stupid is just ludicrous and the argument that licensing has the goal of "helping the consumer" is just as ludicrous.
 

Beth Borrego

New member
Again beth your liberal views are completely wrong. Consumers have no RIGHT of protection. Unless your talking of foreign invasion of course. I know you despise the document but you really should try and actually read the US Constitution some time. Like I said, you will NEVER convince a person who wants more government that less government is better.
Just because my views are not your view, doesn't make them wrong - at all. The beautiful thing about this country is we are all entitled to our views. Period.

I simply can't advocate the free reign of hacks. We agree with Henry, and we have see the damage born from hacks who try to operate outside the law just to avoid paying 300 bucks every 2 years. They give the industry a bad name, they make it harder for the next guy to get the work because the consumer is convinced that everyone is the same.

You do commercial hood work. We do residential work. They are not the same. The license we are discussing is for RESIDENTIAL work.

Beth
 

RMedbery

New member
Just because my views are not your view, doesn't make them wrong - at all.
Actually it does, and when you realize how horribly flawed your logic is you resort to things like...............oh............banishment from certain BBSs....................SIX times.:clap:

Still, this makes the 3rd or 4th time Ive asked, how does licensing prevent hacks? Not one pro more-government person has been able to explain it. Hint........they cant.............because it doesnt.
 

Tony Shelton

Environmental Consultant / Past Director
Just because my views are not your view, doesn't make them wrong - at all. The beautiful thing about this country is we are all entitled to our views. Period.

I simply can't advocate the free reign of hacks. We agree with Henry, and we have see the damage born from hacks who try to operate outside the law just to avoid paying 300 bucks every 2 years. They give the industry a bad name, they make it harder for the next guy to get the work because the consumer is convinced that everyone is the same.

You do commercial hood work. We do residential work. They are not the same. The license we are discussing is for RESIDENTIAL work.

Beth
Beth, I do see a difference between the commercial end and the residential end. In commercial we have to be insured or we won't get any work. Pm's, business owners, etc all require it. What I'm trying to get across it that the government has no sense. When you bring to them the idea that pressure washers need to be licensed in addition to the current licensing you effectively take it out of your hands and put it into the hands of the government and whichever large pressure washing company donates the most money. That's just how government is run.
As soon as they start with residential licenses, somebody is gong to see the money that could be made with commercial licenses and will begin a crusade with newscasts and newspaper articles with tag lines like:

"Unlicensed pressure washers are cleaning your concrete, they may have 3 felonies on their record and there's no oversight".
or
"Do you know who is cleaning up your graffiti in YOUR neighborhood?"

Then over reactive legislation will come up with a lot of unnecessary rules and fees. It will be just like the Clean Water Act - Now I can't wash my car with a hose and run the water in the drain, yet I can drive it in the rain and let mother nature do the same thing.

You're just asking for trouble.

Why not get out of the car and go shake hands with the hack when you see them and direct them to a source of higher learning such as this forum instead?
 

Beth Borrego

New member
Beth, I do see a difference between the commercial end and the residential end. In commercial we have to be insured or we won't get any work. Pm's, business owners, etc all require it. What I'm trying to get across it that the government has no sense. When you bring to them the idea that pressure washers need to be licensed in addition to the current licensing you effectively take it out of your hands and put it into the hands of the government and whichever large pressure washing company donates the most money. That's just how government is run.
As soon as they start with residential licenses, somebody is gong to see the money that could be made with commercial licenses and will begin a crusade with newscasts and newspaper articles with tag lines like:

"Unlicensed pressure washers are cleaning your concrete, they may have 3 felonies on their record and there's no oversight".
or
"Do you know who is cleaning up your graffiti in YOUR neighborhood?"

Then over reactive legislation will come up with a lot of unnecessary rules and fees. It will be just like the Clean Water Act - Now I can't wash my car with a hose and run the water in the drain, yet I can drive it in the rain and let mother nature do the same thing.

You're just asking for trouble.

Why not get out of the car and go shake hands with the hack when you see them and direct them to a source of higher learning such as this forum instead?
Hi Tony,
I'm not saying MD needs a second license, just in favor of adding pressure washing - with or without the use of chems - to the list of work requiring the company to have an MHIC license.

As for the clean water act, it has not had a huge impact of residential work, and I should not expect it to since the runoff is allowed to go to ground.

When we see guys working who are "hacks" we DO stop, give them a card, and write the Grime Scene's URL on it. Some join, others give you that "bleep off" look. None have and signage or uniforms. Very sad....

Have a great day! :clap:

Beth
 

Michael Kreisle

Contributing Member
I agree that the Government involvement is no good. However, there is a need for US to take an action to either encourage enforcement of the regulations currently imposed on us or remove them. Either way we need to get together on something to HELP us. Tony is correct about it not eliminating hacks. But the current regs we abide by give hacks an unfair advantage to price lower by not abiding by the regulations. It would be great for the UAMCC to be a voice for us and help push one way or another depending on the memberships wishes. Either for enforcement of regs ALREADY in place or to push for less regs.

I am not endorsing the idea of more regs! Only a push for less or for the regs to be enforced.
 

Henry Bockman

New member
Not so sure about that clear sealer statement....Where is that listed on MD's site?
Beth
It's not listed anywhere, that was from one of my monthly phone calls to the MHIC. <G>

Actually it does, and when you realize how horribly flawed your logic is you resort to things like...............oh............banishment from certain BBSs....................SIX times.:clap:

Still, this makes the 3rd or 4th time Ive asked, how does licensing prevent hacks? Not one pro more-government person has been able to explain it. Hint........they cant.............because it doesnt.
If you read the links Beth listed, it shows that the MHIC is activily doing something to protect consumers and close down hacks.

I agree that the Government involvement is no good. However, there is a need for US to take an action to either encourage enforcement of the regulations currently imposed on us or remove them. Either way we need to get together on something to HELP us. Tony is correct about it not eliminating hacks. But the current regs we abide by give hacks an unfair advantage to price lower by not abiding by the regulations. It would be great for the UAMCC to be a voice for us and help push one way or another depending on the memberships wishes. Either for enforcement of regs ALREADY in place or to push for less regs.

I am not endorsing the idea of more regs! Only a push for less or for the regs to be enforced.
The links Beth listed show the MHIC enforcing the regs. They activly look for companies that aren't licensed and investigate them. But, if the hacks only advertise on yard signs it's hard to track them all.

If anyone has photos showing hack work, please email them to me. I'm putting together a presentation to show consumers, and the MHIC.
 
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