When getting Naples or Fort Myers roof cleaning quotes, why is there such a big difference in roof cleaning costs?
We get asked this question all the time; especially when the homeowner is new to Florida and having to clean their tile roof for the first time. It really comes down to the level of professionalism, method, supply/demand, and experience. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll address each facet so that the answer might be more clear.
Level of Professionalism
Pressure washing is one of those businesses where there really isn’t a barrier to entry. All you need to do is get a business license, truck, trailer (with a water tank and pressure washer), and a ladder and you’re in business.
In Lee County alone, they probably issue 50-100 business licenses a year for new business owners. Unfortunately, the majority aren’t in business one year later. Most can’t make it through the summer down lull or run into issues when they damage customer’s homes and just close their doors. Just go on Craigslist during the summer and you’ll see people trying to unload their rig or equipment.
Beware of Lawsuits
These inexperienced guys also seem to be the cheapest. Since it’s typically one or two guys and a truck, technically the owner doesn’t even need to get a worker’s compensation policy since he has less than four employees and can operate under an exemption. Although this lightens the cost load for the business owner, the worker can actually sue the property owner if he’s hurt on the property – a fact many homeowners don’t fully comprehend until it’s too late.
They may not even have liability insurance, which leaves the homeowner vulnerable and without recourse if something happens. Many of these smaller guys also pay their employees either under the table or as 1099 employees since it’s cheaper. All of this puts them at a cost advantage to the guy that approaches from a professional business perspective, gets worker’s comp for their employees, has the right level of insurance, and pays their employees via a W-2 with benefits.
You Get What You Pay For
Before you hire any company to do work at your property, always check them out. Look at their reviews on sites such as Home Advisors or Angie’s List. Do a quick Google search. Ask them questions. Ask about worker’s comp for their employees, about liability insurance, and about whether their employees are W-2’s. You need to figure out if they are following the rules or cutting corners that may come back to haunt you.
We hear complaints all the time from people saying contracting/service people in Florida are horrible. They don’t do quality work, don’t return phone calls, and you can’t get them to show up. If people focused their efforts on finding the best companies versus the cheapest ones, a lot of these complaints would take care of themselves.