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What to consider when choosing an exterior cleaning company?

What to consider when choosing an exterior cleaning company? – 8 must ask questions!

We’ve all heard or experienced the horror stories of terrible home service companies. Horrible service, requesting payment upfront then not completing the job, low quality work, rudeness, uninsured, and the list goes on.

Fortunately for homeowners, we now live in the age of information! You now have the ability to do your research and make an informed decision to select the most qualified home service provider for your family. We want to make it even easier for you to educate yourself and make the best decision to fit your needs so we’ve committed to producing articles and videos like this to provide you with all the information you need during your decision making process!

To kick things off, we’re going to discuss the 8 MUST ASK questions before hiring a cleaning contractor. Follow these simple guidelines and use the contractor checklist provided below to avoid unprofessional, unsafe, and unscrupulous contractors!


  1. What kind of reputation do you have?
    • Trust is the most important thing when selecting a home service company. You want to make sure they have a good reputation in the community. You can discover this for yourself by searching for them on Google, Facebook, and other online review sites. You’re looking for a company with a high overall rating of 4.5 stars or more and you want to be sure they have plenty of reviews to give you a true sense of the community’s thoughts on the company. In our area, the three top rated companies have over 80 Google reviews and at least 25 Facebook reviews.In addition to the company’s reviews, you want to look at their engagement with the community. You can do this most easily by browsing their social media pages. Do they post frequent and professional content? Are their followers liking, commenting, and sharing their posts? Do they help and support other local businesses? All of these things can help you gain a better understanding of how the company is viewed in the community.
  2. What kind of training do you have?
    • Your home is your most valuable asset and you want to protect it from wear and tear, as well as costly damages. Allowing an untrained or poorly trained contractor to clean your home could result in expensive damages or unnecessary wear and tear to your home! Believe it or not the pressure washing industry consists mostly of novice cleaners who have learned the trade through YouTube videos and Facebook forums produced by other novice cleaners!
      A top quality cleaning company will invest in professional training from industry leaders with decades of experience. Every member of the team should be certified for their position with a combination of online and in-field training and the knowledge verified with written tests and hands-on proficiency cards. These certificates should be available for you to view and verify at your request.This education should be extensive and provide the technician with the knowledge to do the job effectively and efficiently, as well as, provide them with a deeper understanding of the chemicals and equipment used. Every member of the team should be able to thoroughly answer any questions you have about the process.
  3. What kind of experience do you have?
    • A company’s level of experience goes hand in hand with their ability to complete a project safely and efficiently. An experienced company will have thousands of happy customers, representing thousands of properly completed projects. An experienced company will be able to explain exactly how to handle your cleaning project safely, using the best equipment, chemicals, or methods to fit the specific situation. Some companies are part of a larger network of cleaning companies that provide them a wealth of experience which is highly valuable to you because that company can call upon another professional who has experienced your issue and can provide you with the right solution rather than trying to figure it out on their own and using your home as a guinea pig for their experiments!
  4. How do you give back to the community?
    • A truly great company will move beyond taking good care of their customers and will begin to give back to their community and endeavor to make it a better place to live and work for everyone. There are many ways a company may choose to do this. Some companies will sponsor local teams and events, such as a cheerleading squad or a banner at football games. Other companies will donate a portion of their proceeds to a charitable cause, such as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Another way a company may give back to their community is through participation in local organizations and clubs such as the American Legion, Lions Club, Leadership EXCEL, and similar.
  5. What kind of guarantee do you have?
    • A good cleaning company should be able to guarantee their work and actually back the guarantee through their actions. The first part of this should be a 100% money back guarantee for the work performed. If you do not believe they performed the work to the standard agreed upon they should not charge you until they have reached the standard. Additionally, they should guarantee replacement of damages to your property caused by negligence or improper practices. While some things are the responsibility of the homeowner, such as ensuring electrical fixtures were properly installed and sealed, other things are the responsibility of the cleaning company and should be guaranteed against damage. The responsibilities of each party should be clearly stated in a terms of service agreement and provided upfront by the company.Finally, some companies are able to offer a warranty on some services. Very few local companies offer any warranties but some offer a 5 year roof cleaning warranty. A warranty is only good as long as the business issuing it remains in business. That’s why it’s important for the warranty to be issued by a company that will be around for years to come. Some local companies offer a warranty backed by a 30 year old industry leading chemical and equipment manufacturing company which guarantees your warranty will be honored for its full 5 year lifespan.
  6. Do you use safe & environmentally friendly methods and chemicals?
    • Any reputable cleaning company should use chemicals that are 100% biodegradable, low VOC, and non-hazardous. Additionally, the company should only use professional grade products that are designed for exterior cleaning. Some companies will use store bought products, such as Dawn dish soap or laundry detergent, that are not meant for exterior cleaning and that are not compatible with one another. This will not only affect the quality of the work performed but could result in a dangerous situation since some chemicals can become unstable when improperly mixed. Finally, any professional cleaning company should have all chemical safety data sheets in the truck for you to review upon request.
  7. Can you provide a business license and certificate of insurance?
    • It is illegal for a cleaning company to operate without state and local licenses, general liability insurance, and workers compensation insurance. For your own protection be sure to always ask for verification of these items. Some companies will use a third party company, such as Ask The Seal, to verify this and offer you peace of mind but you should also be able to request a paper copy of all licenses and insurance.
  8. Do you conduct criminal background checks and random drug testing?
    • A good cleaning company will conduct background checks and drug tests on all team members to protect you from untrustworthy people on your property. Some companies will create their own name badges to create the allure of safety for you but only a third party verified background check with an issued ID badge can truly provide you the peace of mind you deserve. Ask The Seal is a great third party company that will verify a companies licenses, insurance, conduct background checks on all employees, and issues ID badges with a scannable QR code for you to see the employees online profile and know that they have passed the proper checks!

Now that you’ve educated yourself on the importance of these 8 questions and learned what some companies may or may not offer, download our contractor checklist below! This checklist gives you control of the sales process and helps you compare cleaning companies when getting multiple quotes. We hope this resource has been helpful to you and that you will feel confident in your decision when selecting your next exterior cleaning company!

Do I have to be present for the estimate appointment?

Do I have to be present for the estimate appointment?

The short answer to this question is no.

The longer answer is you do not have to be present for us to do an estimate at your property and provide you an accurate quote but we HIGHLY recommend it! Many people are pleasantly surprised at the quality and thoroughness of our estimate appointments and they don’t realize beforehand all of the factors we look at when determining how we will clean a property and calculate the price.

Pressure washing a home may seem as easy as spraying soap and splashing water but there is a lot more to it than that when done right! Our team members undergo 10 hours of online education followed by a 100 question test, and that’s just to be certified as a rookie ASSISTANT technician!

If it is at all possible we ask that you (and the decision maker for the property if it is not you) be present for the appointment, as this will allow us to build mutual respect and trust and to clearly communicate expectations from one another.

If you’d like to learn more about what we do at an estimate appointment check out our article titled, “What should I expect during the estimate appointment?”

Lastly, if you are not able to be present during the appointment we simply ask that you have your phone nearby in case our Territory Manager needs to contact you with specific questions about your property.

Do I have to be present on the date of service?

Do I have to be present on the date of service?

As with the estimate appointment, the short answer to this question is no.

While we do not require you to be home for the date of service it is beneficial for you to be. The first thing our Lead Technician will do upon arrival at your property is a Pre Inspection Sheet, notating and photographing any pre existing damage or issues on your property and you will not be able to sign this document without being present. If this occurs our Lead Technician will take a photo of the completed form to time & date stamp it showing that the notations were made before the cleaning began.

Additionally, around the midway point and again at the end of the project the Lead Technician will give you the opportunity to have a look around and make sure that you are completely satisfied with the work performed. This is a vital step in ensuring you are completely happy and that we have provided you the PHENOMENAL service we strive for!

If you are not able to be present please have your phone nearby. Upon arrival at your property our Lead Technician will call you to let you know and to review the scope of work for the day. Also, should any issues or emergencies arise during the cleaning, our Lead Technician may need to contact you. At the end of the cleaning they will call you again to let you know the work is complete, discuss any pertinent details with you, and to remind you that payment is due the day of service and that they will send you an email with the invoice and payment link.

What makes Veteran Exteriors different?
Veteran Exteriors is veteran and Christian owned and operated. We don’t say this simply to get your attention. We say it because it’s who we are. We operate under the same principles that our CEO, Tyler, was taught during boot camp and infantry school, then refined in combat in Afghanistan. The same principles taught in Sunday school or during church services.

Paying attention to detail, having everything dress right dressed (neat and orderly), demonstrating honor and loyalty, being accountable for our actions, caring for others, and living by the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are the principles Veteran Exteriors were founded on and these are the principles that guide our decisions and actions each day.

What should I expect during the estimate appointment?

We believe in relational service, not transactional service. This means that we want to get to know you and make sure that you know us so that we can develop a long term relationship built on trust and mutual respect, rather than a quick in and out service where we take your money and run. That just feels dirty to us! We want to make sure that we fully understand your issue and that you fully understand our proposed solution so that we are both happy with the outcome. We call that a WIN-WIN outcome!

Our relational approach to business is a huge factor in why we want to have an on-site estimate appointment with you, but there are other reasons as well. By visiting your property we are able to:

  • Verify the size of the property
  • Inspect the infestation level and identify any specialty stains such as rust, paint, oil, oxidation, etc. which require special chemicals and methods to remove and are an additional charge
  • Identify access or safety issues that may require special equipment or methods
  • Check water supply to insure it is adequate for our cleaning system
  • Document any pre-existing damages or issues such as chipped or faded paint, stains, broken glass, etc

Our “salesmen” are called Territory Managers because they do so much more than simply sell our services. Our Territory Managers are completely responsible for everything that occurs within their territory. This means that your satisfaction is their TOP priority! They are primarily a customer service representative which means that it is their responsibility to follow up with you after the service to ensure you are 100% satisfied with our work and to make any necessary arrangements to fix any issues or complaints you may have.

So what does the estimate appointment actually look like? Our trained and certified Territory Manager will arrive at your property on time, approach your front door, knock, and be ready to serve you! Once you answer the door they will greet you, introduce themselves, and then confirm exactly what you needed cleaned. They will offer you to show them around the property and point out specific areas. While we highly recommend you take advantage of this opportunity, it is not required.

In either case, the Territory Manager will take photographs and notes during the walkaround. They are looking for all of the factors listed above. These photographs are used for before and after photos in our advertising and employee training and are used during our morning huddle with the technicians to review the scope of work and make sure they know exactly what the job entails.

Most of the time the Territory Manager will use satellite imaging to measure out your properties size but you may also see them using a measuring wheel for some areas, especially when trees may be blocking the satellite image. It is important to note that the square footage measurement our Territory Manager gets from the satellite image will be significantly higher than the living square footage you may be thinking of. Don’t worry, our pricing is designed around these satellite measurements and not living square footage so your price will be accurate.

Once the Territory Manager completes their walkaround they will need some time to calculate all the pricing, complete their notes, and build you some money saving package deals. During this time they will provide you our presentation booklet to look through in the comfort of your home. This booklet will help to answer many of the questions you may still have about our company and process. Once the Territory Manager finalizes the estimate sheet they will return to your front door to review it with you. If you are comfortable with it, we ask that you allow them into the home to review the details with you in comfort, but they can certainly review it on your front porch if that is what you prefer!

The Territory Manager will, once again, ensure that they understand everything you are looking for from us and that you fully understand the proposed solution we are offering. Then they will go over the multi service packages they have put together and the associated pricing. Each estimate will vary but typically Package A will be the services you specifically requested, Package B will be anything we noticed needs attention and that we recommend you have cleaned, and Package C will be our Clean Everything Special. We are able to build these packages and, usually, provide a discount because doing multiple services at one time saves us time and money. By not having to travel from job to job throughout the day, which requires setting up and tearing down multiple times, we are able to pass on that savings to you.

It’s now decision time. Our Territory Manager will not pressure you or try any fancy sales tactics to force you into a purchase. We only offer a solution to your problem and give you the price for the solution then we leave the rest to you to decide what is best for you. Once the Territory Manager has presented you with the package options they will simply give you time to process it and arrive at an informed and confident decision. If you are able to select a package during this time, they will ask you to sign the estimate sheet and then call our Office Manager for a date and time that works for you to have the work performed and get you on the schedule. Shortly after, you will receive an email with your service appointment details to confirm, as well as, additional information about what you can expect on your date of service.

If you are not able to make a final decision during the appointment (or were not able to be present for the appointment) we completely understand! After the appointment our Office Manager will enter your estimate details into our system and email and/or text you a digital version for you to review. Over the next few weeks we will send a few additional follow up emails and phone calls to check on the status of your decision. We aren’t trying to hassle you, we just want to make sure we are serving you well. You can opt out of these emails or calls at any time by simply letting us know. You can also accept the estimate online by selecting the services you want and clicking “Accept” at the top of the screen. This will prompt you to digitally sign that you are accepting the estimate. Once that is complete, we will immediately receive a notification and will reach out to you to schedule the service.

Whether you accept the estimate on-site or need time to think it over, our Territory Manager will leave the presentation booklet and a copy of the estimate with you for your records.

As you can see, the estimate appointment isn’t scary at all. We simply want to begin a relationship with you built on mutual trust, respect, and honest communication. We look forward to meeting you soon and welcoming you to the Veteran Exteriors’ Family!

What is Soft Washing and how is it different than pressure washing?
Soft Washing is an effective and gentle method that uses low pressure to apply a mixture of water and cleaning solution to the siding of your home. This removes mildew, algae, moss, and dirt buildup safely and effectively.

Veteran Exteriors uses a pressure washer that has been adjusted to reduce the pressure of the water output but not the volume of water output. This means the pressure washer still puts out several gallons of water per minute, but at a greatly reduced pressure. Generally speaking, no more than 300 psi.

Power washing can cause serious damage, such as dislodging siding or forcing water under the siding or soffits. It is a misconception that high-pressure is needed to achieve clean siding. Generally speaking, the only time high-pressure is needed is for concrete cleaning.

Do you use Eco friendly chemicals?
Absolutely, we use 100% biodegradable cleaning agents. Eco-friendly and environmentally friendly. Even though our chemicals are biodegradable we still take every precaution to protect your home, plants, or animals. We rinse all vegetation before and after cleaning, move any animal food or water bowls prior to spraying our chemicals, and cover anything that may need extra protection.
What will you do with my information if I fill out the estimate form?

We all get so many spam emails, texts, and phone calls today! We completely understand why you would be hesitant to give out your information over the internet and you are probably worried that we will spam you if you fill out our form.

We want to relieve that worry and explain to you EXACTLY what we will do with your information if you fill out the estimate form.

When you click “Submit” after filling in all of the required information you will receive an email and/or text thanking you for contacting us and explaining the next steps in the process. We will also receive an email alerting us of your form submission. If it is during our office hours (Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm), you can usually expect a phone call within the hour. If it is outside of our office hours then we will call you the morning of the next business day.

The purpose of this initial phone call is to:

  1. Verify you are a real person and an interested customer. Believe it or not, we get spammed too!
  2. Verify all of your information is correct and that we provide the services you are looking for. Sometimes people fill out our form but are looking for services we don’t provide.
  3. Schedule your free, on-site estimate appointment at a time that works best for you. We want to meet you at the property, fully understand your needs, and then fully explain our proposed solution to that problem.

If you don’t want a phone call and would rather communicate initially via text or email, simply type “Please contact via text or email” in the Notes section. We want to do what’s convenient for you! Please keep in mind that we will still need to meet with you for the on-site estimate, but we will try to maintain the form of communication you prefer for all other communications.

Once we have completed your initial phone call and scheduled your estimate appointment we will enter your information into our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool which allows us to keep track of all of our customers, schedule jobs, send estimates, collect payments, etc. After we enter your information into our CRM you will receive an email with your appointment confirmation, the name and photograph of the Territory Manager that will be meeting you, and informational videos and articles to help you make the best decision for your exterior cleaning needs.

To learn more about the estimate appointment and what you can expect check out our article and video: What should I expect during the estimate appointment?

Finally, what do we do with your information if you choose NOT to become our customer? That depends entirely on you! We will keep your information safely stored in our CRM and a few times per year we may send you an email or text message to see if you are interested in using our services. We promise not to spam you, it’s just a few per year. You can choose to opt out at any time through the email or text. You can also let us know and we can completely delete your information from our system upon request.

Well, now you know what we will do with your information if you fill out our estimate request form! As you can see it’s not scary at all and you maintain full control and can opt out at any time!

How much does it cost to clean my roof?
There are several factors that must be accounted for when calculating the price to soft wash your roof.

The first factor we must determine is the size of the roof. A larger roof will take longer and require more cleaning solution to clean than one that is half its size in comparable circumstances. To determine this, we use GPS software to trace the outline of your home and get a square footage measurement. We then determine the roof’s pitch. The home square footage is multiplied by the pitch factor which gives us the total roof square footage. Now that we have the size of your roof we just need to evaluate a few more factors to determine the appropriate cost per square foot for your roof.

The roofing material is the next factor in determining the cost per square foot for your roof. Each roofing material has its own range of square foot prices due to the ease or difficulty of cleaning them. Shingle roofs are one of the easier roof types to clean and are therefore cheaper than many other roof types. Metal and barrel tile roofs are much more difficult to clean and are therefore more expensive to clean. To learn more about each of these cleaning processes check out our video “How do you clean a dirty roof?”

Next we must account for the level of infestation. A roof that is infested with algae will take longer to clean than a roof with a milder infestation. Each roofing type has a $0.05 per square foot price range depending on infestation level, as determined by the Territory Manager. For example, a shingle roof that looks nearly new will be at the very bottom end of that range. A shingle roof with black streaks and some clean areas will be towards the middle or lower end of the range. A shingle roof that is completely black with algae will be at the very high end of that range.

Factors such as landscaping and gutters are also taken into account. When gutters are present we must protect your plants and property differently than when no gutters are present. Will we need to cover the plants during the cleaning or move potted plants? Will we need to run tubing from the downspout to a safe location or maybe tie off the tubing and dispose of the runoff safely after the cleaning? Will we need to partially or fully rinse the roof? All of these factors take different amounts of time and supplies and must be accounted for during the estimate to ensure you are getting the best possible service.

Lastly, access to the roof must be planned out and factored in. Can the technicians access all areas of the roof to clean it thoroughly and safely? We always try to clean your roof with the safest method first and only proceed to the next risk level if required. As we increase from one risk level to another the price will usually increase as well. Those risk levels are: cleaning from the ground with an extension pole, cleaning from a ladder, cleaning from a lift, and cleaning on the roof with a safety harness. If, on the rare occasion, a lift is needed for your roof cleaning the rental fee will be charged separately from the cleaning price.

As an example, at the time of this writing, a smaller 2-bedroom home with easy access and a low infestation could be from $400 whereas heavy infestation and poor access cost easily double the price. A larger 5-bedroom home could be $2,000 or more.

In summary; the key factors affecting price are size, roofing material, ease of access and location, and level of infestation.

Do you offer a satisfaction guarantee?
Yes, if you are not completely satisfied, simply let us know and we will come back and fix the problem. We make it our priority to exceed your expectations. We want to earn loyal, lifetime customers who are confident in referring us to family and friends.

More specifically we guarantee every roof wash with a 700 day satisfaction guarantee; meaning we will return to spot clean your roof anytime within the 700 day period. We also provide a 100 day house wash guarantee! If you see anything dirty on your home within 100 days of service, we will return to spot clean your home at no additional charge!

Are you insured?
Yes, we are. We are fully insured with general liability insurance and our technicians are fully covered by our worker’s compensation insurance policy. We include our certificate of insurance with every estimate.
Do I have to be home for estimates or services?
No, you don’t need to be home for any estimate or service we provide as long as the scope of work has been clearly defined and vehicles or other items have been moved out of the way prior to our arrival. Even payment can be completed remotely by mailing a check or paying with credit/debit card through our secure online payment system. All estimates, invoices, and receipts are sent digitally to make the process as easy as possible for you!
How do I prepare for a cleaning?
In general, we ask that you bring all your flower pots inside or move them at least 20 feet away from your house, move furniture and movable items away from your house, make sure all windows and doors are closed and locked, and that you keep your vehicles in the garage or at least 20 feet away from the house.
We will send you an email with more specifics once we have scheduled your service.
How do I pay?
We ask that payment be made in full at the completion of work. You may pay on-site by cash, check, or credit card or you may pay via our secure online payment portal or by calling our office at 337-240-9274. At the completion of service we will email you an invoice with a link to our payment portal. All receipts are also emailed at the time of payment.
Do you offer payment plans or financing?
We Offer Financing We partnered with Wisetack to offer our customers flexible financing options.

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