Alfonso Fernandez, owner of the Leander-based business Total Pressure Washing, offered advice for home and business owners interested in cleaning the exterior of their properties.

How did you get into the pressure-washing business and how long have you been doing it?

My dad happened to acquire some equipment at some point, and I ended up buying it from him. I studied it for a year before I even touched anyone’s property because I quickly learned that it was more than just pressure and water. I would practice on the house that we were living in at the time. [Eventually], we dove into soft washing and slowly morphed into an exterior cleaning business. We’ve been in business going on five years now.

How often should someone consider pressure washing, or doing a total cleaning of their home or business?

Let’s start with the residential first. You may need to get your house washed like once every other year, and then after that you could just address the issues as they come.

When it comes to commercial properties, they’re just naturally going to see a higher volume of traffic. I have clients that get their windows cleaned every week, and there’s some that only need it once a month. Then, there’s some who, especially with the bigger buildings, do it once a year.

Most of the time, if you can address your property, at least once a year for the heavy cleaning, that’s great. And then for commercial properties, if you can get us out at least every quarter, you’ll be doing OK, as well.

What is the process of pressure washing? What methods do you use?

It depends on what you’re doing. If we’re going to be working on the ground, or we call it flat work, where you’re pressure washing a driveway or a storefront, you’re going to treat the affected areas first with some degreaser. We’ll let it dwell and agitate it with a brush. Then we’ll start working. Most of the time to achieve the best result, we require hot water capability. And then after, if the worksite supports it, we can post-treat it so that the clean can last longer.

What are the pros of pressure washing your home or business?

There’s this whole aesthetic quality about pressure washing, where when you maintain the property, it’s going to just naturally be cleaner and look nicer. People can see that your property is maintained and cared for.

And then outside of that, ... there’s this whole health and safety aspect to it. We are keeping down the amount of dirt, grime and organic growth that has the chance to sit and grow on your property. When we keep that down, no one’s just going to slip when it gets wet. We’re able to help maintain that health and safety aspect of all this; that’s where it really counts.

When do you recommend homeowners hire a pro versus doing it on their own?

If you have the time to research it, by all means go for it. I also look at us as we have the tools and everything necessary to be able to complete the project in a reasonable amount of time. At a certain point, it’s a cost-benefit ratio with your life: Do you have time to clean it? Or do you not?

If you’re trying to wash your roof, I’m gonna say please don’t do that. Consider calling a professional who’s insured and well versed in using a ladder and walking on a roof. [They’re] going to use the right chemical process and ratio and protect your property as opposed to you unintentionally damaging your property or worse—hurting yourself in the process.

Alfonso Fernandez
  • Total Pressure Washing owner/exterior cleaning contractor
  • 512-413-8970