Do you have time during the year when your job volume starts to slow down? Do you keep the same routine and despite your best efforts feel like you aren’t making any money?
If this describes your reality there are plenty of ways to change this and one of the best is adding a new service, particularly one that most contractors don’t offer.
An ideal opportunity with plenty of untapped potential is the IBIX Portable media blasting machine.
What is an IBIX blasting machine?
An IBIX portable blasting machine is a cleaning machine that uses pressurized air to blast surfaces with an abrasive media such as calcium carbonate or Garnet. When the media hits the surface at a certain pressure, it is able to strip the surface without damaging it, resulting in a clean, restored look.
An IBIX-9 can be used for a variety of applications including striping graffiti, removing rust, removing graffiti cleaning wood, cleaning statues or fountains in the restoration industry for soot removal, and for some types of mold removal.
Pictured above: An Ibix 9 blast system uses abrasive media to blast surfaces and is capable of cleaning a variety of surfaces
Ways to Incorporate an IBIX Machine into your existing business model for each industry
Here is a breakdown of how to incorporate an IBIX machine into each industry:
There are many companies that center their entire business model around an Ibix machine. These companies use the Ibix to clean the sides of wood or brick houses and to restore and refinish cabinets. You can also use the machine to remove rust from fencing or other household items. The machine will make quick work of grime that has built up in fountains or rust that has accumulated on statues.
There are plenty ofwealthy homeowners who live in more expensive neighborhoods and have objects like stained glass or antique furniture that can be cleaned with an IBIX.
The Ibix is perfect for reaching hard-to-reach areas like ceilings or crawl spaces. You can attach a lance tool that extends the sprayer and gives you access to tight spaces. The machine can uniformly remove soot damage more quickly than other methods and helps you do it without having to sacrifice your back or your safety.
An IBIX can be used to remove harmless mold or algae that has accumulated on the siding of houses.
You can probably think of a time within the last month when you walked into a public restroom and saw walls that were covered with graffiti. An Ibix can remove eyesores like graffiti and make bathrooms look professional again.
The type of abrasive media that you use to blast surfaces with an Ibix will change based on the surface you are working on and the material that you are trying to remove. The company’s website has material that covers each type of application and the corresponding media that you should use for blasting.
A Contractor uses an Ibix machine to remove rust from decorative fencing. Credit goes to IBIX North America Surface Technologies
Noteworthy features of an IBIX machine:
Easy to Operate
As with any piece of machinery, you need to take the proper safety precautions when operating, but outside of wearing PPE and earplugs (if you have sensitive hearing), there isn’t really much that’s complicated when it comes to running an Ibix. You will need to plug the machine in, make sure that the abrasive media tank is filled to the right level, and adjust the pressure to the right level. These might require a brief learning curve, but don’t expect it to take too long. The operating manual covers the features and components of the machine.
The Ibix is simple and only requires one person to operate it, so if you’re running a multi-person crew you can focus on getting other work done.
The abrasive media that the Ibix uses to strip surfaces are safe for the environment and non-toxic, so you don’t need to be concerned about breathing toxic dust into your mouth. An Ibix doesn't use chemicals to treat surfaces; it strips dirt and grime when you blast it with abrasive material.
The blaster is designed to restore surfaces and was created to respect the surfaces that the machine will come into contact with. This level of care is vital when working on the surface of your customer’s home, working with historical objects or architecture, or removing graffiti or building damage. This makes cleaning possible without having to worry about destroying an object of historical significance or timeless value.
The technology has been used to clean famous sites
The Ibix has a track record of blasting away detritus on famous architecture. Noteworthy jobs that have implemented the technology include The Eiffel Tower (France), The Imperial Forum (Italy), and St. Peter’s Gate (Russia).
You don’t need to be concerned about justifying the investment in an Ibix because the machine will easily pay for itself. According to Ibix’s website, most contractors using the machine will recoup their investment within 2-4 jobs.
Abrasive Media Available for almost every surface
The abrasive media that you should use will change based on the surface that you’re cleaning with the ibix. To effectively clean a surface, you need the correct mesh size of blasting material combined with the right amount of pressure. Plenty of mediums are available for purchase depending on the project you are working on including Garnet, Walnut Shell, Calcium Carbonate, and Sodium Bicarbonate.
Guides available on the IBIX website on which media to use
Ibix has created a guide for every available abrasive media. The guide breaks down which surfaces to clean and the appropriate amount of pressure to use. All of these guides can be referenced for whichever job you are working on.
Dry and Wet Functionality
"Our IBIX Blasting systems offer the versatility of operating with both dry and wet functionality. A contractor using an IBIX Pro System will have the option of using pressurized air alone or in addition, incorporating vapor into the pressurized airflow. What makes IBIX Pro systems unique is that the water doesn't flow into the abrasive hose, but instead the air and water lines run parallel and meet at the tip of the gun nozzle, allowing for the material to stay completely dry until the moment it is blasted out of the gun," Rachel David, Marketing and Business Development Director of Ibix Surface Technologies, explains.
"Some key benefits of the wet function are that it allows for maximum dust suppression and helps with full controllability of pressurized material. This means that the system allows the air system to be turned off, allowing for just water to run through the waterline and out of the gun. A great example of this benefit is that if a contractor has just finished blasting and needs to clean the area to see the final project, the contractor can switch to a wet functioning system and pressure wash the area to quickly clean and see their final results."
Which Machine is Right for Me?
Although this article features the Ibix 9 blasting system, Ibix offers a variety of different machines for contractors at different price points. All of the Pro Blast systems (the systems described in this post) offer the same features but have tanks with different capacities. The number in the Ibix name denotes the capacity of the tank, and the machines come in unit sizes of 3, 6, 9 (pictured above), 25, 40, and 60, with a larger tank size costing more.
A contractor uses an Ibix machine to clean dirty wood on a home. Photo Credit IBIX North America Surface Technologies.
Who this machine is for
The Ibix is ideal for any contractor that wants to diversify their existing revenue stream by cleaning brick buildings, cleaning fountains or pool decks, cleaning antique furniture, cleaning graffiti, etc. An Ibix is unparalleled when it comes to handling surfaces with sensitivity and care. It removes built-up detritus without damaging the original surface.
If you are cleaning glass, old wood, or other sensitive surfaces there’s no better option. We recommend an IBIX machine to contractors that want to run a more sustainable business. The blasting media that an Ibix uses is environmentally friendly and helps eliminate waste.
This machine might not be a good fit if
This isn’t the right machine if you are only going to use it on rare occasions, if you don’t plan to offer new services, or if you can accomplish the same type of work just as quickly with a less expensive process (i.e. soot removal).
The machine is reasonably priced for seasoned contractors but might be a bit costly for contractors that are just starting out and can get away with just the essentials. That said, if you put in the legwork the machine will pay for itself after a few jobs.
Best Use Option for the IBIX Media Blasting Machine:
- Find a way to offer new services with this equipment
- Speed up existing processes or make them more efficient.
Consider these Practical Applications:
If your target market is upscale homeowners, there is a good chance that they have a fountain, pool deck, or stained glass inside of their home. An Ibix is an excellent choice for these surfaces. Most jobs won’t take more than a couple of hours to complete, and you will receive a high ROI. The machine costs $4,900. Let’s say you set your price for cleaning a fountain at $700-900 dollars. With this approach, you can recoup your investment after a few jobs and make headway in offering a service that most contractors don’t have.
Get Creative: Clean wooden wine cellars, brick buildings, and anything similar! There are plenty of similar opportunities if you look within your target market and think outside of the box about how to use the Ibix!
A seasoned contractor who successfully runs their business will always be looking for ways to maximize their revenue stream by diversifying the services that they offer.
The Ibix is a machine that offers an impressive ROI and can be used to clean objects inside and outside of the house. Wealthy homeowners will pay a pretty penny to keep their fountains or the exterior of their homes clean, and it’s fairly likely that your competition won’t offer this service.
Even if you don’t buy an Ibix, we want you to be aware of all of the services that you can offer. There are plenty of side industries that you can incorporate into your work to grow your revenue. Whether it's upholstery cleaning, concrete surface prep, roof cleaning, or tile and grout, there is an opportunity to expand, if you're willing.
If you are hungry to grow then growth is hungry for you.