PA Wand Wash Customized Features
The modernistic PA Wand Wash is Prince Albert, Saskatchewan’s answer to carwash excellence. Ready to move out of the excavating industry, owners Devin and Shay Meeks were looking for a more family-friendly business endeavour. With the last carwash in town built 18 years ago, the couple saw a need in the marketplace and their interest in the industry sealed the deal.
“We felt it was time for a new wash with state-of-the-art technology,” says Devin of their 14-bay carwash which also includes a three-bay pet wash and a 2000 square-foot convenience store with rentable office space above.
The couple researched innovations and attended several carwash conventions to identify the amenities they wanted to include in their wash. Finding the ideal location, though, required a little ingenuity. With only one bridge crossing the North Saskatchewan River in town, the Meeks wanted property on the street connecting to the bridge. “For us, it was all about the location. We knew what street we wanted to be on; we just needed to find a way to get there. I started knocking on doors to see if people would sell me their houses, and within 48 hours I had four signed sale agreements,” says Devin of the process.
The houses were sold and moved to other properties. Using their previous business knowledge and assets the duo prepared the property for the build themselves. Construction began 90 days later.
“Our goal in this build was to choose materials that would keep the carwash looking new, even 20 years from now. That’s why everything from screws and fasteners to walls and ductwork is made of stainless steel or plastic. Building a carwash is a customised project due to their harsh interior environments; Chad had great contacts and expertise in wash building,” Devin adds of their decision to team up with the general contractor, Chad Zacharias.
“This design-build project utilised several customised products,” says Chad, vice president of construction at Zak’s Building Group. The building’s roof system consisted of a loose-laid EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer), an extremely durable synthetic rubber roofing membrane, with a gravel ballast and open-web galvanized, epoxy coated steel joists.
Concrete-filled Nuform products were used for the walls with Reline, CF8, and CF8i panels. “Reline is used as a PVC liner panel on stud walls and CF8 and CF8i are pre-finished polymer panels. The conform walls are great solutions for high moisture environments. They are erected on site and filled with reinforcing steel and concrete which provide long-lasting structural integrity. The polymer panels protect the building envelope and are proven to last in the harsh climates of Western Canada,” explains Chad.
The high-speed spring-less door system supplied by SDI (Service Door Industries) comes highly recommended by Ronnie Thorimbert, president of Overhead Door of Prince Albert Ltd. “The polycarbonate door with aluminum frame is powder-coated to withstand the damp environment, and the powerful electric operating drive located at floor level, allows for easy installation and future maintenance,” he adds.
Other features that deserve to be highlighted include in-floor heating that the Meeks had installed throughout the carwash and on an additional 12 x 16-foot concrete slab in front of the building’s entrance and exit to keep ice from building up in the winter. The four Viessmann boilers that run the building’s floor and water heating needs operate on a computer system that cycles demand equally through all four.
Pumps and Pressure’s proprietary Hotshot pressure washers, installed at Devin’s site, incorporated the PowerSave option which uses variable speed drives on the electric motors. This option is more efficient than a conventional system, and provides considerable savings in power and reduced wear on the equipment.
Darcy Ray, operations manager for Pumps and Pressure Inc., adds: “We are also storing all of the rejected reverse osmosis water and using it for a floor wash down system. Potable city water is run through a water treatment process that removes all of the minerals from the water and produces on average one gallon of reject water versus one gallon of spot free water (R/O water). Rather than letting this wastewater go down the drain we recapture it in a holding tank and use a booster pump to supply the building with large volume floor wash stations.” The Meeks installed 14 individual sump pits instead of a trough floor draining system which allows for individual bay cleaning preventing complete wash shutdowns.
Working with companies as innovative as they are, Devin’s idea for a foam cannon was made a reality with the help of Pumps and Pressure. “We designed a unique bug remover option for Devin that applies thick foam over the vehicle surface to loosen up the bugs as a pre-treatment to washing. This option is then changed over in the winter to a salt shield spray which helps eliminate vehicle corrosion by neutralising road salt,” shares Darcy. “Devin went above and beyond with his state-of-the-art facility, and Pumps and Pressure were proud to be involved.”
Neoteric features, such as a 24-hour pass card allows customers after hour access to the wash. Passholders pull up to the door, swipe their card which deactivates the alarm, opens the door and turns on the LED lights. Paymaster pay machines offer cash and credit card payment options. Upon leaving, the alarm counts down, locks the doors, dims the lights and reactivates.
To protect their investment, Prince Albert Alarm Systems Ltd. installed a combination of Geovision Cameras, Kantech Access control and DSC alarm products for a complete security integration solution. The system includes a door access control system that automatically unlocks and locks the doors at 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. respectively.
The 2,000 square foot convenience store provides contemporary offerings as well. The Meeks offer full barista-style coffee and ice cream services. They are currently the exclusive distributors for Spirit Bear coffee and their new FlavorBurst machine adds a tasty twist to their soft-serve ice cream offerings.
PA Wand Wash hasn’t been open a year yet, but rave reviews from the community indicate that it will be around for a long time, thankfully, it was built to last.
Tania Moffat is a freelance writer, editor, publisher, and photographer. She has worked in the publishing industry for the last 15 years on a wide variety of B2B and consumer publications, both in print and online. You can connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org