Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

Shopper Client Stories


Friends take the plunge and start their own business

by Rob Lauer

Mickey Ferrell and Will Rice, owners of Sudsy House Washing

Mickey Ferrell and Will Rice, owners of Sudsy House Washing

We've been friends for a long time," Mickey Ferrell says of his buddy, Will Rice. "We were working at the same office, and we dreamed of owning our own business. So, we decided to finally take the plunge and get our hands dirty."

Ironically, the two friends are getting their hands in soap suds. As the owners of Sudsy House Washing, Mickey and Will offer an alternative to traditional methods of cleaning home exteriors.

"For outdoor cleaning, high pressure power washing is the traditional method used the majority of the time," Mickey continues. "While 4000 pounds of water pressure per square inch will certainly remove dirt, it can also damage exterior surfaces, break wood and vinyl, and force water behind the siding where the moisture can cause damage later one. We offer an alternative- soft washing with detergent. It doesn't damage a house and it fights destructive bacteria like mold and mildew."

That Mickey would go into a business devoted to cleaning and protecting houses seems natural given that he once worked in real estate. "Before that I also worked in pest control, so I have a background in chemical mixing," Mickey shares with a smile. "Instead of getting rid of six-legged creatures, I'm now getting rid of mold and mildew."

Will's background was considerably different: past jobs included 16 years working in local government. Like anyone venturing into business ownership, Mickey and Will were a bit nervous at first. "But it's an exciting opportunity to do something new that is out of my comfort zone," Will attests with smile.

"Going form a steady paycheck that paid well was scary," Mickey shares. "Will we have enough to support our families? Can we do it? That was the mental challenge. But then I thought what is the worst thing that can happen? I might fail and have to go back to an office job."

If success in business depends on belief in one's product, these two friends seem poised for a bright future: their faces light up when sharing the advantages of soft washing a house.

"Unlike power washing, soft washing does not shoot water directly at a house at high pressure," Mickey explains. "We do all exterior cleaning: windows, gutters and roofs. We also clean driveways- on which we use power washing because the pavement can take the pressure."

"While most people want the siding on their houses cleaned, a lot of them think of roof cleaning as a luxury item," Mickey continues. "Actually, it is an important part of upkeep- of maintaining a roof's integrity. The black streaks that are often visible on roofs are actually mold. If those black streaks are left there long enough, they will shorten the life of the roof itself."

"Cleaning one's roof is about preventing damage, not just maintaining aesthetics," Will explains. "Cleaning can add five or six years to a roof's life, extending it to 25 or 30 years."

"Fall is the perfect time for cleaning a roof because temperatures are milder," Mickey adds. "The summer heat makes shingles pliable, so they could be damaged if cleaned at that time of year."

The men maintain that autumn, with its milder temperatures, is also the ideal time to clean and brighten a house's guttering.

"November, after the leaves have fallen, is a great time to clean gutters in preparation for next spring," Mickey explains. "People often wait until warm weather returns, so there always seems to be a mad rush in April. Homeowners don't give their guttering a lot of thought, but a gutter with a steady drip is evidence of a clogged drain spout. If it goes uncleaned and the situation gets worse, when the time comes that it must be fixed, the job can be very costly."

Will and Mickey maintain that soft washing  a home's exterior prevents the unintended damage that can result from pressure washing. "Not only can the high water pressure damage wood or vinyl siding, it can also hurt a brick house by damaging the mortar," Will notes.

"While 4000 pounds of water pressure
per square inch will certainly remove dirt,
it can also damage exterior surfaces...
We offer an alternative-
soft washing with detergent.
It doesn't damage a house
and it fights destructive bacteria
like mold and mildew."

- Mickey Ferrell

"You can see effects of high-pressure power washing on a house," Mickey observes. "It can break the seal around double glass windows so that moisture gets in between the glass. The inside of the glass becomes dull and foggy, and the window will always look smudgy. Power wishing can also force water into outdoor electrical outlets. They are typically designed to resist rain fall- that is, water running down the side of the house- but not water being shot at the house sideways at high pressure."

"Decks- particularly wooden decks- can be damaged by power washing," Will points out. "Wood on a deck has two parts. Power washing can break the bond between those two parts so that water gets into the wood and damages it. Once that damage occurs, if homeowners wants to re-varnish a deck, they'll have to sand it first."

One visually impressive result of power washing is how it seems to immediately strip away mildew and other visible bacteria on a surface. But things aren't exactly as they appear, Mickey insists. "Power washing only breaks off the mildew at the stems," he explains. "The roots of the mildew are still in the siding, so it will grow back faster and be visible again in even less time than before. With soft washing, the detergents get to the root of the problem. They kill the mold and mildew down to their source so that surfaces will be cleaner for longer than traditional power washing."

The frequency of soft washings really depends on the environment around the house. If it is near the water or in a heavily landscaped or wooded yard, a house might need cleaning once a year. In other locations, a house might only need cleaning every three years or so.

Mickey and Will pride themselves on the fact that a house can be soft cleaned in three to four hours, and that through Sudsy House Washing's website, scheduling and paying for the service is quick and easy.

"We offer a frustration-free process," Mickey concludes. "We connect with our clients one-on-one, give them a quote and schedule the cleaning. Using my knowledge of home upkeep, I do the cleaning quickly and effectively without any damage to their property. The homeowner can go to work in the morning and return home to the cleanest house on the block."

Sudsy House Washing