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July 19, 2017

Power Washer Tips for Cleaning Shopping Centers

Successful shopping centres recognise the investment in creating a pressure washing program. Property managers, leasing agents, maintenance managers, tenants, prospective tenants, customers, and residents can enjoy a clean and well-maintained shopping centre when establishing a pressure washing program with the support and services of Unimanix.

Pressure Washing Program

The scope of the pressure cleaning program may differ based on the type of shopping centre you will be cleaning. Whether it is a strip mall, community centre, or a location with a particular focus such as a factory outlet or theme parks, these will all come with their cleaning specifications.

For example, a pressure washing contract for a typical shopping centre will include the frequency needed to clean its sidewalk, from monthly, quarterly, to bi-annually. You may also need to power-wash the exterior of the building along with a predetermined frequency on dumpster-pad cleaning and roadside sign cleaning.

Other important areas to consider with your pressure washing program are the size and mix of the tenants as well as operating hours of those tenants. Take your time to assess the risks associated with hoses, chemicals, and water running through or near operating businesses. Shopping centre characteristics should also be carefully noted, such as water supplies, types of surface that need cleaning, drainage issues, noise ordinances, lighting, tenant types, and operating hours. And, finally, always, know and adhere to all regulations for wastewater recovery and water conservation.

Power Washing: Tenant Considerations

  1. Grocery Stores: You’ll need degreasers and hot water to remove grease tracking and food spillage.
  2. Sports Bars with Outdoor Patio:Take the time to evaluate the material of the patio and use the proper trigger gun and wand to clean properly.
  3. Pet Stores: It will be important to have the right chemical to clean and neutralise waste odour from the animals.
  4. Grease Cans & Dumpster Pads: Along with your Unimanix hot water pressure washer, the second crucial element to get the cleaning job done will be the water supply. Because even though shopping centres make maintenance a top priority, take the time to verify the locations of the water faucets, which should be throughout the storefront areas making your cleaning job easier.

Power Washing: Management

For any shopping centre, time management of your power washing job will be your priority. Things to consider are business operations, the scope work and the condition of the property.

For example, should the project require quarterly cleaning of their sidewalks, it is usually more efficient to run a three-man crew with three Unimanix hot water pressure washers. With a three-man, three pressure washer team, multiple areas can be cleaned simultaneously and at a faster work rate. Or, should your program require more frequent cleaning, it is possible to run a one-man system and achieve the same cleaning results due to a lower incidence of dirt and gum buildup.

The approach to cleaning sidewalk and common-area surfaces is the standard procedure of pressure washing. If you have concrete sidewalk cleaning and want more information, you can download our Concrete Cleaning Tips here.

Power Washer: Equipment and Supplies

At Unimanix we understand that every power washing job has its unique requirements. Based on the obligations and cleaning requirements of the shopping centre you may need multiples of each type of equipment listed below. As such, the following is a basic set-up you’ll need to get started:

  • Flatbed truck or utility trailer, which Unimanix can set-up
  • Hot water pressure washer rated at a minimum of 5 gallons per minute (GPM), 3500 PSI with water tank
  • Pressure hose mounted on reel
  • Water-supply hose mounted on reel
  • Downstream injector
  • Degreasing chemical
  • Ball valve
  • Trigger gun and lance
  • Variable pressure wand
  • Surface cleaner
  • 4-way water key

Power Washing: Considerations and Exceptions

Critical factors for any pressure washing job at a shopping centre is to have a thorough understanding of the property being cleaned. Look for areas that might present difficulties. It is also important to consider the following:

Right Tools
  • Pavestone, while lovely to look at, will require a different cleaning approach so not to dislodge the sand from the joints that provide stability for the pavers. Most often, pavers are not sealed, and because of that, you’ll need the right technique and the right nozzle to ensure an effective cleaning job. Contact your Unimanix representative for training and support!

Different Surfaces
  • Before starting on the pressure washing, it is important to understand the various surfaces, their characteristics, and how they will react to the different detergents and cleaning methods used. Awnings, because of their material, can be sensitive to chemicals, detergents, pressure, and heat. It is best to call the awning manufacturer and get their recommended cleaning methods. For additional best practice perform test spots, and adjust cleaning methods accordingly.

Water Intrusion
  • As with any exterior surface, when cleaning or washing store-fronts you’ll need to prevent water and dirty residue from leaking into stores. Take special precautions for faulty window seals, gaps between or under doors, and drop-box type openings before you begin pressure washing.

Power Washer, the Universal Cleaning Tool

The Unimanix pressure washer is a universal cleaning tool allowing you to provide additional power washing services including irrigation, rust removal, roof cleaning, window cleaning, graffiti removal, downspout and gutter clean-out, loading dock cleaning, interior floor cleaning, porter services and parking lot cleaning.


The Unimanix Brand

Power washing is beneficial to all groups, from the people who visit these shopping centres to those who manage the property.  It is best to build your power washing company with a Unimanix brand that comes with training support and maintenance services. Find out more, contact us today!

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