During the summer of 2004 just after my graduation from High School I began a small personal Roof and gutter cleaning. This included removing unsightly mold and algae from the tops of roofs with a chemical application and power washing. Gutters were also cleaned, The high risk factor and difficulty caused a large fee for each provided service and was very profitable. Price was determined thru a free estimate by the job.
How I got the idea / found the employment:
At home we have a pool and the climate is very humid, we constantly had algae and dark green or brown stains on the concrete patio around the pool. Initially the stains were removed by pressure washing and then we found that using Clorox we could kill the algae and then rinse it off with a garden hose. This was much less noisy and cheaper than using a pressure washer which we already owned. The idea transferred from the patio to the rock wall around the home to our own roof and eventually to the roofs of others.
Challenges I faced, and how I overcame them:
One of the greatest challenges that I faced was being known, in other words letting people know that my service was available, I solved this problem by posting fliers in grocery stores and hand delivering fliers and speaking with homeowners about the stains on their roofs. The other main problem was realizing the work. Many roofs were extremely steep and dangerous especially with a soap like chemical that made walking nearly impossible. I found a few harnesses and used them along with a long rope to anchor ourselves to the ground using a 50 gallon drum filled with water that could be moved around the yard to give accessibility to any and all parts of the roof.
What I learned:
On one job that I did I spent 8 hours on the roof cleaning and removing the algae I charged him $1600 for the work and he was very happy with the job. While earning $200 an hour on many jobs, I realized that this was a very profitable business however the difficulty was in finding those people who wanted the service provided. It is unimaginably more profitable to work for yourself in many cases than it is working as an employee.