LOWELL, Mass. — According to www.lowellsun.com, while winter is often the busiest time for carwashes, some Massachusetts carwashes are currently experiencing difficulties with the recent subzero temperatures.
“This is the time of the year when you make your money, the first quarter,” said Ken Calabro, carwash division manager for Haffner’s. “You don’t want to be closed unless it’s just impossible to be open. It’s just what you do in the Northeast.”
For instance, at Haffner’s 12 carwashes, the freezing temperatures have forced the company to reduce operating hours, opening later and closing earlier, depending on the conditions, the article noted.
For example, the article continued, the combined cold and strong winds can make it difficult to keep the buildings warm and stop ice from forming on the equipment and ground; therefore, for the safety of the vehicles, customers and staff, the carwashes would close early, Calabro said.
Furthermore, the article stated, the staff will take breaks every so often to makes sure all of the heaters and equipment are working as they should, Calabro added.
On Tuesday, Jan. 2nd, Haffner’s Bridge Street carwash was still busy, with a line of salt- and slush-covered cars waiting for a wash, the article noted.
Lowell Car Wash & Detail Center, a family business of 58 years, has also been busy, the article continued.
Owner Steven Pofcher said that over its many years in business, the family has figured out the right combination of facility choices and business operations to stay open during colder temperatures, the article stated; he added that the carwash has not had any problems during the recent cold wave.
Pofcher said that some customers fear their cars will freeze if they wash them in such cold, the article mentioned, but he noted that it’s important to remove the salt, which can cause cumulative damage.
“The only thing that’s tough about this time of year, is that you really have to use a lot of heat to keep things from freezing,” Pofcher said.
Their building is well insulated and has a good heating system, Pofcher said, and there is a wind door that closes after a car enters in order to prevent heat from escaping and ice from forming inside, the article noted.
Pofcher noted that employees also adjust chemicals for the cold temperatures and towel-dry cars, the article stated.
A hand-drying option using heated rags is also available at Lowell Auto Spa; furthermore, this recently opened carwash has new, high-end equipment and insulated pipes and boilers as well as heaters to keep the carwash tunnel warm, according to Manager John Fazio.
“We insulated the building really well, made extra steps for this reason because in case when it is cold, we can be prepared for it,” Fazio said.
Fazio recommended not using self-serve bays in extremely low temperatures, since the water quickly freezes, the article stated; on the other hand, if a customer uses water that’s too hot, the extreme temperature difference could crack the windshield, he said.
Mayani Auto Wash & Laundromat’s self-serve bays, save for one, were all closed on Tuesday morning due to freezing, but its carwash tunnel was still open and constantly busy.
“Every single day with these temperatures, it’s always something,” said Assistant Manager Devon Fontes.
According to Fontes, one of the furnaces in the boiler room that heats the ground to prevent ice buildup failed; as a result, Fontes had to remove around half a foot of ice that built up in some of the bays, the article reported.
Fontes also said that since the lines between the bays are connected, when one starts to freeze, they can all freeze in quick succession; unfortunately, it’s been difficult to get a plumbing company to come to them because it’s a busy season for that industry as well, the article noted.
Fontes mentioned that the line for the wash’s touchless carwash equipment also froze and may need to be replaced, the article concluded.
Read the original article here.