FAQs and Tips About Window Cleaning
WINDOW CLEANING METHODS
Some residential window cleaners hand-wash windows. This method lets the cleaner work with a lot of attention to detail. If your windows are washed by hand, the window cleaner will access your windows using a ladder. The cleaner will remove each window’s screen and wash and dry the window glass and sill. The screen should be wiped clean before it’s replaced. Many companies will wash window screens for an additional fee.
Water-fed pole cleaning is quicker and lets the cleaner stay on the ground for most residential jobs. For this method, the cleaner washes the windows with a long tube that sprays high-pressure purified water. The pole has a brush at the end to scrub the windows and loosen and remove dirt and debris. Each window should be rinsed with plain water to wash away any remaining dirt. Be sure to ask prospective window cleaners about the cleaning solutions they use. It is very important that the cleaning solution not contain hydrofluoric acid. Hydrofluoric acid is used in some commercial cleaning fluids, but it has a high reactivity with glass and can cause etching or pitting. Professional window cleaners typically use plain, purified water instead of harsh cleaning solutions. Purified water doesn’t leave spots behind on the window panes. It also doesn’t contain chemicals that could harm landscaping, kids, or pets. Stubborn debris, like caked-on dirt or paint overspray, is usually removed by hand using a scraper.
Most experts recommend having your windows professionally cleaned at least twice per year. Depending on where you live, however, you might need to have your windows cleaned more frequently. In coastal areas and parts of the country with high mineral content in the rainwater, windows can get cloudy quickly. A professional window cleaning service is also a good idea if you are considering putting your house on the market. Clean windows let more light into a room. Bright, light-filled rooms are more appealing to potential buyers. Clean windows can also make a difference in the quality of the listing photos.
Window cleaning is often quoted over the phone based on the number and style of your windows. When the technician arrives and evaluates the job in person, he or she adjusts the price accordingly. If you compare phone estimates, the quotes may not all reflect the same level or method of cleaning. Once the technician arrives and quotes a firm price, that price should not change unless you change the scope of the work. If you want to change the job’s scope after work has begun, be sure to get a firm, updated estimate. Request an on-site estimate for the most accurate quote. This way, the company will also know how much time to schedule for your job.
The window cleaning industry’s professional organization is the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA). The IWCA outlines a code of ethics and sets industry standards for service and safety. Contractors that are members of the IWCA also have access to extra training in industry-specific safety methods. The IWCA recommends checking that your window cleaner has liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage.
Any company working at your house should carry proper insurance. This is especially true for window cleaners. Damage to property is always a possibility. And because of the heights involved, there is also the potential for worker injury. If an uninsured worker gets hurt on your property, you can be held liable for the ensuing costs. This scenario can also cause your homeowners’ insurance provider to cancel your coverage. Always verify appropriate insurance coverage for any contractor you hire. Window cleaning is a popular springtime and pre-winter holiday chore. For this reason, you may have difficulty getting a quick appointment if you call to schedule during these busy times of year. Plan ahead and be flexible with your preferred service window, if possible. Alternatively, try to schedule services during the off-season.
Many window cleaning companies offer other types of window services. These services often include tasks like recaulking and screen replacement. A company that offers these types of services can do all your window maintenance at one time. During a standard window cleaning service, the cleaner will alert you to any problems he or she finds with the windows. Since the cleaning technicians get so close to each window, they can easily spot wood rot, insect infestations, and torn screens. They’ll also let you know about any other home exterior issues you might need to investigate.
Also ask your window cleaning company about other home exterior cleaning services. Some companies offer pressure washing and gutter cleaning services, but not all do. In most parts of the country, houses benefit from twice yearly gutter cleaning and pressure washing services. The gutters, in particular, should be cleaned in late spring and late fall. This way, your gutters will be clear for melting snow and summer rainstorms. If your yard has a lot of trees, you might need quarterly gutter cleaning. If your window cleaning company offers these extra services, schedule everything for the same time. Having your windows and gutters cleaned and your house pressure washed twice per year ensures that your home will always look its best.
Some window cleaning companies also service hard-to-reach interior and exterior light fixtures. Dust, grime, and pollen can build up on interior and exterior light fixtures over the years. Chandeliers and exterior flood lights are difficult to reach without an extension ladder. Professional window cleaners have the necessary tools and equipment to reach them safely.
The pros know how to clean chandeliers and other delicate light fixtures without damaging them. In many cases, this involves partially disassembling the fixture. Since the light bulbs in these fixtures are also often difficult to reach, cleaning technicians can take care of that task as part of the job.