Bright Exterior Cleaning

Water Tower Cleaning – Power & Pressure Washing Guide

Water tower cleaning is an intense project that requires a professional team to help. 

Some people fancy themselves as DIY folk. The kind that will rent a power washer on a weekend and knock out the patio, deck, fence, and front of their home. In the case of water tower cleaning, (Yes, the big giant water towers on the side of the road) most municipalities aren’t renting a power washer to get the job done. 

Laborious, intense, and dangerous – water tower cleaning requires a highly professionalized skillset and background in order to get the job done. Knowing this, we will explain in this guide how to: 

  1. Figure out what water tower cleaning is
  2. Challenges involved cleaning a water tower
  3. How long does it take to clean a water tower
  4. Costs to cleaning water towers
  5. Things to know with regards to power washing water towers

First, what is water tower cleaning?

Water tower cleaning is exactly what you are most likely thinking about in your head right now. The process refers to cleaning the exterior of a water tower and the surface area of the exterior tank. 

Oftentimes, water tower pressure washing occurs every five years in order to remove all the possible build-up, stains, and mold. Mother nature, bird droppings, weather, and sun exposure all contribute to grime and stains that need to be removed every few years. 

If not cleaned, just like a roof or siding, the build-up can lead to issues and potentially compromise the surfaces. Water towers in particular are often exposed to excessive grime from dirt and participation. When not handled, this can cause wear and tear on the finish, thus compromising the overall functioning of the tank. 

Fun water tower facts:

How tall are water towers?

On average, water towers can range from 100 to 200 feet, but on average most water towers are approximately 150 feet tall. 

Why are water towers so tall?

Water towers are actually designed to be taller so that the pressure can be generated in order to pass water at a faster rate. In general, the taller the tower the more pressure which means water can be dispersed quicker.

Related: Commercial Power & Pressure Washing Info

Water Tower Cleaning Challenges:

Naturally, the first challenge with cleaning a water tower is the sheer size and scope of the job, but the height at which the tower is located. 

Cleaning a large surface is one thing, but cleaning a tower that is 125+ feet in the air is an entirely different project. In addition to numerous safety measures that must be considered, simply getting a lift high enough to clean the tank can be a large hassle for a power washing company. 

Moving the lift around can be an issue with the ground being uneven or not firm enough to support the lift. Additionally, at the heights most water towers sit, wind plays a large factor in safety. All of which can lead to increasing the cost of the project, making it a rather expensive project. 

Water Tower Cleaning Cost:

Similar to most power washing and pressure washing costs, the factors that determine the costs boil down to: 

  • Size of the project
  • Supplies & equipment involved
  • Labor & any travel costs

Most power washing and/or pressure washing costs are done per square foot making the bidding pretty straightforward. The spheroid’s surface area should be known by the local municipality or company owning the water tower which makes estimating simple. 

Keep in mind that water tower pricing can be impacted by things like the number of lifts required to rent, traveling (if the project is out of state for example), and how long it will take. Some companies may charge a flat rate per project while others might charge per square foot. Keep in mind that with such a large undertaking, most companies may turn down a project like this. The lift equipment to rent can cost $1,000’s itself.

Either way, the price will be quoted upfront if you use Bright Exterior Cleaning. 

Related: Pressure Washing Prices

How long does it take to clean a water tower?

Depending on the overall size of the water tower tank, the cleaning can be done in two to three days. An exterior detergent with a surfactant is applied and left to dwell to assist in breaking down the organic build-up. 

After applying the detergent mixture, spraying down the entire tank can take time and is done from top to bottom. This entire process can vary, but a project of this size is usually going to require at least 15 man-hours. 

Safety concerns to factor when cleaning: 

Obviously, the first safety concern is the sheer height of water towers. This, coupled with the fact that the area is so large makes it a dangerous undertaking for contractors. 

Conditions with the weather, the surface below, and cleaning equipment all contribute to safety concerns. At heights of over 100 feet, swaying lifts and gusts of winds can make the job extremely scary and dangerous. 

Proper insurance is a must when taking on a large power washing project like a water tower. 

Final Word

Most people don’t need a water tower to be cleaned unless of course, you’re in charge of maintenance for a city that has a water tower in desperate need of some TLC. 

Planning and implementing a cleaning project of this size takes time and requires a good deal of communication and expertise. We highly recommend reaching out below to get the ball rolling if you’re currently in the process of inquiring more in-depth information for water tower cleaning, as this is just a general guide.

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