How to quote a price for soft washing a tarmac drive or path

November 21, 2017 2 Comments

How to easily & quickly quote for soft washing a tarmac drive


A customer asked us what we thought a fair price would be for soft washing 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 soft washing pricing in line with general pricing in the soft washing industry.

He gave this example of a tarmac drive that his customer wanted cleaned by the soft washing method: 

  • A private house.
  • 480 square metres of tarmac
  • Typical moss growth. 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 soft washing this tarmac driveway.

We responded:

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 the entire area will have 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 soft washing 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, as well as equipment maintenance costs)

Quick tips:

1) 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 soft washing roofs.

The day rate a contractor charges will vary according to location. For example, London can be double the price for parts of Cornwall, Wales and West Ireland.

2) A rough rule of thumb is to double the going rate for a high quality window cleaner in your area.

Of course it's important to be affordable, so your customer will want you to come back to give re-treatments after six months, and then annually ongoing.

Regular re-treatments ensures that biological growths do not return, giving the customer a perpetually clean drive, and gives the contractor a repeat income stream.

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 database of repeat customers, who are happy to refer you to others, is the most profitable way to build a successful soft washing business

We hope you found this information helpful and sincerely wish you great success in your soft washing business,

Ben, Leo, Fiona, Stevie & Anthony

Click here to explore the full range of Benz softwash cleaning products

Benz Softwash Bio Cleanze DDAC biocide & Benz Softwash Lightning Cleanze SH sodium hypochlorite biocide

2 Responses

Leo Searle Hawkins
Leo Searle Hawkins

June 28, 2022

Hi Kevin – you need to use a paint remover for that. Lightning Cleanze is a biocide and as such is designed to kill the biofilm of microbiological colonisation, which is the principle of soft washing.

Kevin mccarthy
Kevin mccarthy

June 28, 2022

Hi guys can you tell me if lighting cleanze will clean paint off tarmac…

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