— By Jenna Singletary —
Why power washing is so important — and how to make it work for your exterior.
Viral. It is the word everyone pursues — however, not always on purpose. As we know, social media has the ability to spread an image rapidly and widely across the internet in a matter of mere minutes. It is free advertising that can help take a business from unknown to known in a heartbeat. The risk factor, though, is this: Is it a positive or a negative image?
We have all seen the photo of a dirty parking lot, nasty bathroom or less than sanitary interior on Google Review, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or even Snapchat. You see that TikTok of a restaurant worker or retail employee showing the “behind the scenes” view. Appearance is the book cover of your business and can make or break your sales goals of the year and, in a few cases, close your business down.
While we eagerly await to usher in a brand-new year, how have you planned to visually appeal to your guest? Does your exterior welcome them into an atmosphere reflective of the expectant new year? Do you have your exterior preventative maintenance programs and cleaning schedules in place? Remember, they not only serve seasonally but every day of the year.
That is why power washing, routine maintenance and preventive maintenance are key to keeping a customer’s eye fixated on the true focus of your business.
After all, the customer’s perception of your establishment starts in the parking lot. Are signs fully lit? Is your lot free from debris? Are the exterior walls free from water stains, mold and bird droppings? Or do they notice the dirt built up along the ledges and corners and the gum they need to step over to avoid? Remember, well before a customer sets foot inside your store they are forming an opinion on the quality of the store solely based on appearance. What is their opinion of yours?
Your company’s corporate office works tirelessly to maintain its brand image. Are you taking proper steps to ensure the exterior of your building reflects this image correctly?
Power washing is an excellent choice when you are looking to clean brick, concrete or masonry as it uses hot or cold water to remove dirt and debris. It really is the perfect heavy-duty cleaner: fast, effective and eco-friendly.
When it comes to the stubborn areas or extreme dirt, grease, moss, weed buildup and slick surfaces due to mildew, you want to use hot water power washing equipment, which allows it to kill mold and moss at the root. However, make sure you are using a fully trained, licensed professional to help guide you along the process, while protecting your hard-earned assets, instead of causing them undue deterioration. Is your power washing vendor professionally trained and insured? Do they have the right equipment? What are their policies regarding following the strict wastewater guidelines set by the EPA or your local municipality?
Many chemicals these days are too harsh or could cause harm to a customer or employee. Professionals know which chemicals are safe and often choose green alternatives that are just as safe and effective.
We know appearance is important, and we know that pressure washing can help create a clean environment, but what is the return on investment? Why should you spend your money on something that has to be done on a regular basis? Here are a few quick examples of businesses’ ROI on cleanliness:
- Researchers have ascertained that first impressions are made within the first 7 seconds during which people begin determining trustworthiness.
- Businesses see fewer sick days when interior and exterior pollutants are eliminated.
- Productivity also increases because employees arrive to a clean environment, instead of one they do not enjoy being in.
- The property’s aesthetic value increases as parking lots, patios, apron and curbs are maintained regularly.
- Fewer maintenance costs as regular pressure washing can be more economical by extending the lifespan of countless exterior features including sidewalks, roof and gutters, exterior walls, light fixtures and signs.
Quality routine preventive maintenance and power washing is one of the easiest ways to invest in a yearly line item and reduce your maintenance costs over time. It is also the best way to show employees and customers that the details matter!
We have told you the “why” and the “what,” but how do you implement these practices?
- Connect with a professional to assess your exterior cleaning needs and ask them to provide their recommendations.
- Plan with a professional the best way to keep your facility free of grease, buildup and dirt.
- Finally, keep track of all the money saved by trusting a professional and their equipment to perform routine maintenance and help your property grow in value.
Along the way, on this journey toward preventative maintenance and power washing, you will learn about types of cleaners, proper styles of power washing, and what is best for your business. Don’t let the learning curve of this journey keep you from making a lasting impact on your business, your team and your community. Lastly, make sure to share what you have learned with your fellow leaders. This knowledge is something that can be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of hiring, daily operations and empowering your team. Yet, it is knowledge so crucial to the success of your business. Now, go help your business go viral — for all the right reasons!
— Jenna Singletary is a client account representative with Superior Facility Service Group, Inc., a family-owned and operated company based in Kathleen, Georgia, specializing in commercial facility maintenance and repair, bird control and prevention, and disaster restoration. Superior was incorporated in 2013. Email the author at [email protected].