Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about Pressure Washing and R & R Chicago.

What Are Your Service Options?

Recurring Service

Most of our clients opt for daily or weekly maintenance schedules. Our system is unique in that we are very flexible with how we can help. So if one day you need awnings cleaned and another you’d like your fryers spruced up, it’s no problem!

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Project-Based Service

Other Clients opt for a project or contract basis. We agree on deliverables, say all the properties need to be completed within 3 weeks, and get the work done within the time frame.

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Simple One Time Cleaning

Lastly, this option works best for post-event clean up, health inspection preparation, or things have gotten out of control and you don’t want to do it. Please note however for one time cleanings we charge a minimum of $300 for a visit, so we ask that you package needs up so you don’t pay us $300 for a 10 minute job…unless you want to.

 General Questions

What is your Service Area?

We service 150 miles from Downtown Chicago and can make special accommodations for any businessses in need that are further out.

 

What industries do you work with?

We only work with 3 major industries that we saw as being under catered to their specific needs. This company was built on solving customer frustrations utilizing pressure washing. Where as 99% of Chicago pressure washing companies might be residential and commercial, our decision is to focus solely on commercial and help Chicago businesses flourish.

Hospitality: Restaurants, Hotels, Cafes, Bars, and more. See the hospitality page for more information.

Transportation: Semis, limos, construction, and everything in between. See the transportation page for more information on fleet pressure washing.

Recreation: Public parks, restrooms, festivals, skate parks, and more. See the recreation page for more information.

We can also build systems and services for any business under these categories.

 

What is the difference between pressure washing, power washing, and soft washing?

Pressure washing is using cold, highly pressurized water to clean exterior areas such as drive ways, sidewalks, buildings, etc. Most companies use pressure washing as a generalized term but not all offer power or soft washing.

Power washing is a similar concept but utilizing hot water instead. It is more costly and more dangerous for an unskilled operator. Hot water is good for grease and oil removal but not advised for roof cleaning. At R & R we employ both types.

Soft washing is utilizing a low PSI (pounds per square inch used to quantify pressure) and more chemicals to mitigate risk of water damage to roofing, siding, or wooden decks. The great thing about soft-washing is that it’s absolutely safe and very effective for cleaning any surface that we encounter. We offer soft washing but do not offer roof washing.

What are the benefits of pressure washing?

Just to name a few: eliminating mold and mildew, better curb appeal, safety, environmental sustainability, avoiding poor customer experiences and health risks, and increased property value.

Do you need a license for pressure washing?

In the state of Illinois, you do not need a license for pressure washing. However some jurisdictions like Chicago require a permit if you are going to be using chemicals.

Are you insured?

Yes, we carry between $1-2 million general liability insurance and depending on your company requirements we can always expand coverage.

What chemicals do you use?

Depending on the project we try and use only environmentally friendly and biodegradable products that are safe PH to discard. However there are times, such as when dealing with grease, that we have to use stronger chemicals such as sodium hydroxide. Do NOT use sodium hydroxide unless you are a trained professional. Getting splashed by sodium hydroxide can cause irreversible damage not limited to but including burns, blindness, or worse. Anytime we use dangerous chemicals, our staff is instructed to wear the correct protective gear as well as take necessary precautions. We contain the water and dispose of it safely at a water treatment facility.

How do you choose a pressure washing company? Can’t I just do it myself?

You’re right anyone can purchase a cheap consumer-level pressure washer down at the local Home Depot, get some cheap business cards printed, and start claiming they are a professional pressure washing company. Simply owning a power washer and advertising a service doesn’t mean you can operate it effectively and safely. A pressure washer in the hands of an unskilled operator will do a great deal of harm, this is why professional machines, commercial grade cleaning solvents, and processes were created.

Commercial power washing, pressure washing and soft washing equipment are high quality and highly specialized machines. They require expert training to be operated properly in the multiple applications required on even a single property. If someone is offering “the lowest price” they are cutting corners someplace, whether with equipment, insurance or quality of services. Most often it will be all of the above.

Simply owning a pressure washing machine and advertising that you offer pressure washing services doesn’t mean you can operate it effectively. A pressure washer in the hands of an unskilled operator can cause a great deal of damage such as siding blown off, torn awning, paint peeled from the exterior, permanent discoloration, and even concrete cut and etched.

Do we need to be at our store when you come in?

Not at all. However, if you won’t be there when we are servicing your property, we do ask that you leave instructions for closing up, and if it is kitchen equipment, please have it pulled out in an open area so we can move quickly and ensure your property is safe.

Do you comply with E.P.A. Guidelines and recover waste water and grease?

Absolutely. We are very conscious of our impact on the environment. We have specialized equipment, or build our own, that recovers waste water wherever possible so no graywater or other toxins can seep into grass or storm drains. And we use only eco-friendly biodegradable cleaning products when pressure washing or soft washing exterior services.

There’s dark spots on my siding, can it be removed?

The dark stains you are seeing is most likely mold. All mold needs to grow is moisture and a food source and it will grow anywhere. Mold can be removed with low pressure and the right cleaning supplies.

Will pressure washing cause damage to my property?

99.9% of the time it will not, however old and dilapidated property that hasn’t been cared for in years does have a higher chance. We will always assess the property before cleaning and will make you aware of any potential areas at risk, before we start. All of our cleaning technicians are trained and hold at minimum 4+ years experience, with an average of 10+.  We are experts in properly caring for our clients’ property. We use only the highest-quality cleaning agents correctly formulated for the specific purpose and material. We use the correct amount of pressure to ensure your property’s protection.

How do you do soft washing?

The process consists of applying the cleaning solution of environmentally friendly mildewcides, algaecides, and soaps (blended for your particular needs) with high volume, low pressure applicators. We let the solution dwell and then rinsing away the unwanted material. We do this while using only low pressure to insure we safely and effectively eliminating algae, moss, mildew, mold, and other airborne contaminants without damaging your property or greenery.

Soft-washing is safe to use on siding materials, like stucco, Dryvit, vinyl, aluminum, EIFS, brick and stone, synthetic or composite decking materials like Trex, painted surfaces, wood, and more. Soft-washing is more effective and conservative as opposed to pressure washing.

Will there be streaks in the windows after power washing?

There is a chance that your windows will need to be properly cleaned after a power wash. For one time cleanings, window washing is not included as a courtesy but for project and recurring clients it is. 

Is mold dangerous? Can mold damage my business?

Yes, mold and mildew on and around your property create unhealthy conditions for those with asthma and allergies. Our pressure washing, power washing, and soft washing systems can safely and effectively remove organic growth such as mold or mildew from any exterior surface. This will help keep you and your staff safe and healthy, as well as customers. It safeguards your property from much more costly repairs plus avoids bad reviews.

Do you offer roof cleaning?

Unfortunately we do NOT use any ladders (taller than an 18 ft A-Frame), scissor lifts, or other machinery to reach the second floor or higher. We do this to mitigate risk of injury, avoid OSHA violations, and damage to property from falling ladders. While we would love to be able to take on a wider scope of work, the health and safety of our team is more important. This may change in the future so please do not hesitate to call and ask if there’s a project you would like us to undertake.

Do we need to have our concrete re-sealed?

Exterior concrete in any region subject to freeze-thaw cycles should be sealed, especially Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Besides that, concrete sealing helps repel stains, provides dust reduction, abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, rust resistance, and helps maintain an attractive appearance.

What’s the worst that could happen if I don’t seal it?

Concrete is a porous material that easily absorbs liquids. In freeze-thaw climates, concrete absorbs liquids, which then freeze and expand. When it thaws the frozen liquids destroy the surface of unsealed concrete. Oil, salt, fertilizer, and other household chemicals mixed with sun exposure can discolor and damage unsealed concrete.

Ok, how can I choose the right sealer? And how will it look?

Well that depends on the type of sealer that is applied. Most chemically reactive sealers are nearly invisible because they penetrate into the concrete.

Solvent-based acrylic resin sealers and epoxies provide significant color enhancement and give concrete a glossy wet appearance.

Water-based acrylic resin sealers provide moderate color enhancement and a satin look.

Urethanes (usually applied on top of epoxy) are available in a wide range of finishes, from matte to gloss. Many sealers can also be colored with translucent or opaque tints.

We help consult with you to determine exactly what type of appearance you want and provide the best solution.

Is concrete sealer environmentally friendly?

As for the sealer itself, water-based products are generally considered the most environmentally friendly. Some solvent-based sealers can’t be sold in certain states, but new environmentally friendly solvents are now available. R & R chicago offers the most environmentally friendly sealers, but only ones in full compliance with all state and federal regulations.

How often should I get my store front cleaned?

All situations call for different answers, so there’s no one right solution. Various factors will determine how quickly your storefront gets dirty. What we know for sure is that a dirty storefront can hurt your business and will cost you much more money than having it professionally cleaned on a regular schedule. Give us a call and we will determine the right schedule for your store so your business is always shown in the best light.

Do you offer regular pressure washing maintenance outside Chicago?

We prefer that you do however it is possible to bring our own using our water tanks. If there is no water on site, the job takes longer (since water runs out quickly) and we do add a service charge to bring our own.

Do we need to have our own water?

We prefer that you do however it is possible to bring our own using our water tanks. If there is no water on site, the job takes longer (since water runs out quickly) and we do add a service charge to bring our own.

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