How to easily & quickly price for softwashing a tarmac drive?
A customer asked us what we thought a fair price would be for softwashing a tarmac drive. He told us that he wanted to quote a fair price for the customer and for himself, and also to keep his softwashing pricing in line with general pricing in the softwash industry.
He gave this example of a tarmac drive that his customer wanted cleaned by the softwashing method:
- A private house.
- 480 square metres of tarmac
- Typical moss growth at edges. Noticeably green but not carpet-like.
- Application by waterfed pole with spray nozzle delivering 4/5 litres per minute.
- Apply Benz Bio Cleanze 30:1 at 1 litre of mix to cover 2 square metres. (just spray and let it dry)
He asked us what price we would suggest for softwashing this tarmac driveway.
This was our response:
1) Tarmac is best treated with Bio Cleanze. Experience has shown that two initial applications are best, six months apart. This is true even if the surface does not look like it needs treating again. The double treatment is important because otherwise the biological growths will quickly re-colonise.
2) If your customer wants faster results, softwash the tarmac with Benz Lightning Cleanze at 10:1 dilution. Treat a small area first and get your customer's agreement that it's satisfactory before treating the whole area (Lightning Cleanze can produce a lightening of the surface, so it looks more grey than black. Some customers like this effect, some don't).
Our experience suggests that treating an entire driveway with Lightning Cleanze is best, because it all ends up the same colour. It's when treating only part of a tarmac surface that the change in colour is going to be more noticeable.
3) Regards the price to quote for softwashing this area of tarmac:
1. To work out the quantity of softwash product needed, divide the 480 metres of area to be treated by the 2 square metres that each litre of mixed product will cover. This means 240 litres of softwash mix will be required per treatment.
Then divide 240 by the dilution rate of 30:1 – which technically should be 29 as 29+1=30 – but using the round figure of 30 makes the maths easier = 8.
Quick tip: When working out the cost of softwash product we suggest always rounding up to allow for wastage.
The job will take half a day so add two-thirds of your full day rate for your time to the cost of materials. (two-thirds covers fixed overheads such as travel, admin and equipment maintenance costs)
Quick tip: The treatment of other surfaces like render and roofs usually commands a higher price because of the specialist nature of the work. This is especially true when softwashing roofs. And the day rate a contractor quotes will vary according to location; for example London could be double that of parts of Cornwall, Wales and West Ireland. A rough rule of thumb is to double the going rate for a good window cleaner in your area.
Of course it's important to be affordable, so that your customer wants you to come back to give re-treatments after six months and then annually after that.
Regular re-treatments ensures the biological growths do not return, giving the customer a perpetually clean drive, and gives the contractor a nice repeat income stream.
Quick tip: Taking a long-term view it can be more profitable to put in a quote that will encourage repeat business, rather than going for a higher price that may be great as a one-off but does not produce repeat business for years to come.
Building up a base of repeat customers, who are happy to refer to others, is the most profitable way to build a softwashing business.
We hope you found this information helpful and inspires you to succeed in your softwashing business.
Ben, Leo & Fiona
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