Double-hung windows are popular because they let in natural sunlight and warm air, cutting down on electricity costs. But they’re also harder to clean than other window types.
Start with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth to wipe down the windows. Then, rinse the windows and squeeze them, starting at the top corner and working your way down.
Table of Contents
Being physically demanding, window cleaning exposes employees to more fall-related risks the higher they must climb. When a worker utilizes a ladder that is not securely fastened or positioned, or when they are not using the right cleaning equipment and supplies to reach difficult-to-reach windows, the risk of harm can increase. These kinds of mishaps can cause property damage, which is often covered by general liability insurance, as well as bodily injury, which is covered by a typical workers’ compensation policy.
Commercial window cleaners frequently use ladders, but they can also present safety issues. Falls, muscle strain, and negative responses to cleaning chemical solvents are among injuries related to using ladders. In addition, the head and neck might sustain serious injuries when falling from a ladder. Injuries treated in emergency rooms and deaths involving ladders total more than 164,000 per year in the United States.
Regardless of whether the worker is cleaning windows inside or outside, it’s crucial to make sure the ladder is set up and secured securely before beginning work. Before starting work, it is a good idea to look for training or other educational materials on ladder usage. It is crucial to adhere to all manufacturer instructions about the care and maintenance of the ladder. Before and after each use, ladders should constantly be inspected to make sure that all of the parts are functioning properly.
While it is feasible to clean windows without a ladder, ladders are a useful tool for accessing high-rise structures and other challenging-to-reach places. A portable ladder can be utilized for double-story windows depending on the size of the structure and is simple to store when not in use. Squeegees, scrapers, and brushes are just a few of the cleaning attachments that may be utilized with these ladders.
It is crucial to adhere to any care and maintenance recommendations provided by the ladder’s manufacturer. You should also pay special attention to the ladder’s weight limitations to make sure you don’t go over them. Before usage, a professional inspection of the ladder can assist in finding any potential problems and determine whether it needs to be repaired or replaced.
A water-fed pole system is a method of cleaning windows that eliminates the need for ladders and drastically reduces the risk of injury to window cleaners as well as damage to property. This system uses pure water which attracts dirt on an ionic level and lifts it off leaving your windows sparkling clean and free from soapy residue. No detergents or chemicals are used which makes this cleaning process better for your windows and the environment.
This innovative method of window cleaning is gaining popularity, with some businesses opting to switch completely over to this system. There are many advantages of this technology, including speed, safety, and versatility. It’s very difficult to do a good job with a ladder, but with this technology, it’s just as easy to reach a high window as it is a lower one. The system also allows for the window cleaner to scrub and rinse the frames, so your windows look great when they’re finished.
Using this system also means that there’s no need for soapy runoff, which could harm kids or pets. This type of runoff also causes mineral deposits and other types of environmental damage to homes and gardens, so using a water-fed pole system is good for your garden and home.
Water-fed pole systems can be used for a variety of applications, from uPVC conservatories to skylights on your roof. They can even reach some windows that are inaccessible with a ladder, such as angled windows or Velux windows. Window cleaners using a water-fed pole will usually scrub the frames as well as the windows themselves and leave your window looking great.
Unlike ladders, these systems are designed to be lightweight and rigid which reduces the strain on the user’s shoulders and back. They are also quick to set up and easy to control which makes them a great choice for professional window cleaners. These systems are also more efficient than traditional methods since they require less manual effort and no ladders to climb. This allows for a much faster and more thorough cleaning and will also save your company money in terms of labor costs.
Deionized water, sometimes referred to as DI or de-ionized water, is a variety of water that has undergone ion removal using resin beads. This kind of water is renowned for being both kind and efficient when used for cleaning. It can clean surfaces like windows and mirrors of impurities like soap scum, grease, mineral buildup, and more. It can even be used to wash hands and dishes. The absence of ions and minerals in de-ionized water makes it non-corrosive, which is why it is often preferred for use in manufacturing and laboratory settings.
To make de-ionized water, a reservoir or cartridge is filled with positively and negatively charged resin beads. As the water runs through, the ions are drawn to the beads and stay behind, leaving clean water in its place. This process is called ion exchange. When used in a window cleaning application, the de-ionized water is then sprayed onto glass surfaces to be cleaned. This water is typically rubbed or wiped off of the surface with a squeegee or clean, lint-free cloth to finish.
Ladders and telescopic water-fed poles should be kept a minimum of 10 feet away from electrical outlets, fixtures, and power supply lines in order to prevent shock or electrocution. In addition, workers should keep their heads up while cleaning windows to avoid falling or tripping.
In addition to improving a building’s appearance, regular cleaning of windows can also extend their life. Dirt, grime, and mineral deposits can cause rust, pitting, cracking, and other damage to window panes. Clean windows also make it easier to open and close window sashes and can help reduce the amount of energy needed for operation.
When choosing a contractor for double-storey window cleaning, be sure to ask about their insurance coverage. Bodily injury and property damage coverage are essential for any contractor that works at heights. These policies will protect clients, members of the public, and employees of other companies from damages incurred during cleaning operations. For example, if a window washer falls off of a ladder or is struck by a piece of equipment, these insurance policies will cover medical and legal expenses.
Cleaning high-rise windows isn’t easy, and it isn’t without risk. According to Stefan Bright, a leading expert on safety for the building maintenance industry, there have been about 30 percent fewer accidents and fatalities by window cleaners since his focus on educating them in proper working practices and equipment inspection.
Ladder-related falls, slipping from chemical solvents, and straining from physical labor are just some of the many risks that high-rise window cleaners face. In the US alone, each year, more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths are caused by falling from ladders. Those who specialize in high-rise window cleaning must undergo extensive training to ensure they have a deep understanding of the equipment and techniques used.
Rigorous training and consistent evaluations are essential to keeping the number of injuries low for high-rise window cleaners. They must be well-versed in the use of all the tools, chemicals, and equipment they are required to have on hand, and they should be familiar with the specifics of each building they are cleaning.
The most important measure for ensuring the safety of high-rise window cleaners is meticulous site analysis before beginning any work. This involves noting the height of the windows, checking accessibility and any fragile aspects or barriers, evaluating the ground conditions, and making sure the window washing team has all the necessary tools, equipment, and personal protective gear (PPP) to get the job done.
It’s also important for high-rise window cleaning teams to keep a close eye on all electrical hazards and to maintain a minimum 10-foot distance from power lines, outlets, and other electrical fixtures. This helps to prevent shock and electrocution.
Finally, it’s a good idea for the teams to have plenty of microfiber cloths and surgical towels, which are inexpensive and great for lint-free detailing and cleaning up spilled water or chemical solvents. A few common bath towels should be kept in the truck as well to act as emergency drop blankets.
Despite the fact that most high-rise windows are cleaned by using a ladder, the majority of accidents in this industry occur from falling off the building or from suspended access equipment (SAE). This is why it’s crucial for professional window cleaning companies to follow strict standards and train their crews in safe operating procedures.