May 05, 2023
Fortunately most people are honest, or nobody could do business. In fact probably 99% of people will treat a tradesperson well.
Most problems arise just because customers make a mistake of perception when looking at their newly soft washed property. But, sadly, a few customers can be, shall we say, a little "economical with the truth".
So we advise soft wash contractors to consider taking a few simple steps to protect themselves from invalid claims.
Please bear in mind that our intention is not to paint the majority of customers in a bad light, or create feelings of negativity, but rather just to outline a few simple principles that can keep a contractor safe.
Think of these principles as being like an insurance policy. Only rarely will we need to make a claim, and the best scenario is that we never have to make a claim at all. But when the time comes and an accident happens we are glad we had the foresight to take out the policy.
We suggest photographing or videoing (with date marking if possible) a property before working on it. Pay particular attention to any pre-existing damage. And get close ups of that damage.
By taking photographs before soft washing a property, a customer will not be able to blame the contractor for causing damage that already existed.
This principle is the same as the standard working practises of car/van hire companies. They will make a note of all existing damage to a vehicle, and have their customer sign their agreement, prior to letting them take the vehicle away.
Photographing existing damage to a property before soft washing could save a contractor a fortune if they get a mistaken or dishonest customer. We suggest walking around a property, inspecting it carefully, taking pictures of damaged render, brown lead, broken tiles, etc, before commencing soft washing.
This can be especially important when soft washing roofs, because many roofs will already have a few broken slates or chipped and cracked tiles. You can use the photos and videos to show your customer the condition of parts of their roof that may not be clearly visible from the ground.
The problem sometimes is that customers simply do not know about damage to their property until they start looking at it with clearer eyes after it’s been cleaned. This can apply to any surface, not just roofs, as it's remarkable the amount of information we can "tune out" simply through familiarity.
Such customers may inadvertently blame a softwash contractor, not out of dishonesty but simply because they were unaware of the true state of their property's condition.
How often do most people look at their roof for example? Not very often most likely. But after a customer has had their roof soft washed they will almost certainly look at it more carefully. And they may notice damage that already existed before soft washing.
For example moss may be keeping water out of a cracked concrete tile if it is growing up it. And only after soft washing the tiles will the water ingress be noticed.
Another example is scratched glass after window cleaning. In straightforward cases simply drawing a customer's attention to the scratches before cleaning, may be all that is needed. Although these days it can be wise to make a written note of the scratches and have your customer sign the description.
Photograph any dead, dying or diseased flowers, veg, shrubs and trees that could conceivably be exposed to soft washing overspray, run-off or rinse water.
These photos will prove a contractor's innocence should a customer suggest that the contractor has harmed their plants.
We suggest that contractors verbally point out all existing damage to their customer, ideally while showing them photographs of the harder to see parts of their property.
When customer's have their attention drawn to existing damage, and know a contractor has photographic proof of that damage, the chances of a them even attempting to blame the contractor for causing that damage, diminish pretty rapidly.
Click here to learn about protecting your customer's plant life
Click here to learn how to protect customer's animals & children
We hope this information is helpful and sincerely wish you great success in your soft washing business,
How to find answers to most soft washing questions: Simply enter a relevant "keyword" or short phrase – e.g. keyword for the above link = "how to" – into our in-site Search Engine (magnifying glass icon on the main menu).
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GB (England, Scotland, Wales)
Phone: 0800 70 74 222
Ireland and other countries
Phone: 00353 214 622 978
Lines open Monday - Friday, 9am – 5pm
Please note: The above numbers are for orders only (click here for tech support)
PS: Click here to set up your "Clean & Maintain" programme. After completing an initial soft wash treatment, put your customer on a "Clean & Maintain" ongoing maintenance programme. Your customers will enjoy a permanently clean property and you will enjoy a steady stream of repeat business.
This is clearly a win-win arrangement for you and your customers.
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It's a free resource for people wanting to learn about the soft washing industry, to expand an existing business, or build a new business.
Soft washing reduces, or even eliminates, the need to use high-pressure washing.
Instead, once the build up of algae, lichen, fungus and mould – the root causes of properties looking "dirty" – has been treated, the natural "self-cleansing" of sun, rain and wind removes the surface residue through time.
By educating the cleaning trade and public about soft washing we are helping develop an industry that offers sustainable treatments to clean and maintain exterior hard surfaces.
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