When applying cleaner to any surface some type of mixing container and a pumping mechanism is necessary, there are 4 types of pumps capable of the task.
- The first pump is the “garden style” pump; this is commonly used around the yard or garden to apply pesticides or fertilizers. This pump works on air pressure, they are very affordable and versatile and because of this it is the leading pump used by homeowners with small cleaning projects. This style of pump is great for small jobs, spot cleaning or when a fine mist is necessary. One commonly made mistake when using this style pump is mixing a powdered concentrates (like most of our cleaners) right in the container then starting to spray, this will most certainly clog the spray tip, always mix the cleaning agents in a separate container then transfer the cleaning solution into the pump container. The “garden style” will only spray a distance of 8-10 feet, which is not a problem spraying something at ground level but roofs need more power. These style pumps are great for decks, around the barn, walkways or any small quick job when you do not want to set up or do not have a larger pumping system. These “garden style” pumps work great but they just are not built for speed so the contractors tend to stick with the power units. This pump is great for cleaning stucco, vinyl and wood siding when used in a fine mist which allows the product to stick to the surface longer before running off.
- For the homeowner who is taking on a large cleaning job requiring many gallons of cleaner to be sprayed or who is going to spray down a steep roof or a large area of roof, a water transfer pump is recommended. By using a water transfer pump you can mix a large container of cleaner at one time, a trash barrel is great mixing container (a medium size trash barrel holds 32 gallons of liquid). Most common water transfer pumps are electric; these pumps are commonly used to pump out flooded basements or to empty swimming pools. If you do not have a water transfer pump most equipment rental centers or local hardware stores (who rent tools) will have these for rent usually in the $10-15 per day range or can be purchased for $40-150. These style of pumps are powered by electricity and generally are within the range of 1/2 -3/4 horse power, which is plenty of power to spray 30-40 feet, easily covering most roofs from a ladder at the gutters edge. Some of these pumps are submergible that you can place right in the barrel of solution, they have a hose attachment so that you can attach a garden hose too and with a spray nozzle on the other end and you can use this to spray down the surface to be cleaned. Other pumps are not submergible and require a second “suction” hose going into the solution bucket. This pumping method will save lots of time when tackling a big job.
- As a contractor, electricity sometime becomes a problem so most contractors have gas powered water transfer pumps, usually in the 8-13 horse power range, these pumps range in price from $200-450 but are worth every penny when used daily and when durability and reliability are concerns.
- A forth option for pressure washer owners is to use the pressure washer pump to spray the product on the surface, many contractors use this method and claim spray heights of over 60 feet, other contractors refuse to run anything but water through their expensive pressure washing pumps, in fear of deteriorating the pump from the inside. It does solve the need of an extra pump but it could cost you in the long run.
The one pump style sprayer that I would never recommend is the “hose end” sprayer, this attaches right to the end of a hose and generally holds about 2 quarts of concentrate, the problem is that they rarely dilute properly and you never really know when you are out of concentrate.