So, you’re looking to get your windows cleaned at your business premises and you want a reliable and safe service. Does it really matter if you hire a professional window cleaner or not?
Having your windows cleaned by someone who has little to no experience, or doesn’t hold valid and appropriate insurance, is a risk that you really shouldn’t take.
If you are the building owner, landlord or person responsible for overseeing the window cleaning at your property, then likely you are also responsible for hiring your window cleaner and ensuring:
- The service is carried out safely, with Risk Assessments and Method Statements provided in advance.
- The risks to your staff, customers and the general public are minimised.
- Should the worst happen, that valid insurance is in place, and proof has been provided, in the event of an accident.
Even if you have covered all three of these bases already, there are a few other things to look out for…
Incorrect Use of Window Cleaning Tools
Before you hire a window cleaning company, consider the kind of tools they use.
For your own safety, consider hiring a company who do not use ladders. Ladders are really not safe for cleaning windows and should be an absolute last resort especially at height. As a result of the huge number of accidents resulting in life changing injuries, and even fatalities, changes to the Health and Safety Legislation, specifically The Work at Height Directive 2005, water fed pole window cleaning is now the preferred method for professional window cleaning companies.
Before hiring the services of a new window cleaner ask them how they intend to clean your windows and, most importantly, if they intend to work from ladders. If they say they will be working from ladders, we strongly suggest you consider using another window cleaning company to provide this service. Professional window cleaners will have a number of forms of access available to them before they resort to using ladders.
Poor Weather Conditions
A professional window cleaner with experience is well aware of the type of weather it is safe and suitable to work in.
It’s so often the case that during bright sunny weather when the dirt and grime is most visible on your windows, that a professional window cleaning companies phone will not stop ringing and the email requests pour in.
However, windows cleaned in high temperatures may dry too quickly before a proper rinse can be applied, this can leave streaks or spotting on the windows. An experienced window cleaner will know to avoid the midday sun for this reason and start the work day much earlier.
Also, it’s unsafe for a window cleaner to work at height when it is windy. There is an increased risk of them injuring themselves, your employees or passers-by even using the water fed pole method.
Remember, you are the customer and if you feel there is a risk ask your window cleaner to stop cleaning the windows and come back on a day when the weather is more stable. They may not be pleased to hear your request, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Not Taking Health and Safety Seriously
Health and Safety should be a top priority for any service you receive. This is especially true for window cleaning as it can be a dangerous job and window cleaners must not just stick to legislation but be aware of the risks associated with window cleaning.
As mentioned earlier, accidents can and do lead to serious injury or death. Therefore, if you are hiring Commercial Window Cleaners don’t be afraid to ask them for copies of their accreditations, their Public Liability Insurance and their Health and Safety Policies. Always ensure you have a valid and up to date Risk Assessment & Method Statement on record for the work taking place, if an accident occurs it is extremely likely the HSE will request these as part of their investigations.
Every window cleaner should have public liability insurance, if you choose a larger company then ask for a copy of their Employers Liability too.
Ask your window cleaner for a copy of his public liability insurance and check it is in date, valid for the person undertaking the work, adequate for the cleaning methods being proposed and for the height of the work being carried out.
If your window cleaner is working at height from a mobile elevated platform (MEWPS), you should check your window cleaner has specific insurance for working at height, insured to use the machinery and has a valid IPAF license.
Not Cleaning the Frames
A common mistake by an inexperienced or poor quality window cleaner is where they clean only the glass in your windows but not the frames.
As the terms suggests ‘the frame’ forms part of the window and if window frames are not cleaned the next time it rains the build up of dirt will begin to run down from the frame onto the glass leaving unsightly dirt lines down your windows and doors.
Cobwebs usually build up in the corner of windows, so by routinely cleaning the frames of every window and door you can ensure no cobwebs are left behind.
Not Using Pure Water
It is quite surprising how many poor quality window cleaners will still attempt to clean windows using normal ‘tap water‘. Regular tap water contains impurities that, if sprayed on to the windows and left to dry, will leave very unsightly spots on the glass. Over time if this is repeated you will even begin to see a build up of limescale spotting on the glass.
If your window cleaners are using the water fed pole method to clean your windows ask them for their systems TDS reading. TDS stands for ‘Total Dissolved Solids’ and every professional window cleaner or company will have a small handheld TDS meter in their vehicle as it is essential to monitor the purity of the water being used. Ideally the reading on the meter should be zero (often displayed as ‘000’ onscreen), anywhere between 0 and 15 may suffice to clean windows without spotting once dried. However, a reading higher than 15 is likely to cause spots on the glass and a reading higher than 30 should never be used to clean windows as spotting will almost be guaranteed and extremely visible to the customer.
For reference, regular tap water in most towns and cities will read approx 225 – 275 on a TDS meter, and 500 is classed as a ‘toxic’ level of water contamination. So window cleaners must aim for a TDS reading of zero (0) in order to cleaned windows effectively and professionally.
A company who has a regular routine of changing their water filters and resin should have no problem maintaining a reading of zero throughout the year.
Anything other than pure water used to clean windows will simply result in spotting or streaks once dry.
Wrights Cleaning are a Professional Window Cleaning Company
If you are looking for a professional window cleaning company who meet all the requirements listed above, then please get in touch with Wrights Cleaning.
We provide free quotes and site surveys for every quote request we receive, and we Risk Assessment & Method Statement is provide for every new job upon acceptance of our quote.
You’ll be happy you did!