Saturday, 31 January 2009
Business: Samford Housewashing
Based at: Samford
What services does your business offer? Machine exterior house washing, window and machine cleaned insect screens, concrete and paving machine cleaning, tiled roof cleaning.
What areas does your business service? Samford, Highvale, Wights Mountain, Camp Mountain, Mt Nebo, Mt Glorious, Dayboro, Mt Mee, Closeburn, Mt Samson, Cashmere and Eatons Hill.
What was your first job? Working in a supermarket in Rockhampton at age 13.
How did you get into your current line of work? In March 1988, I asked Mrs Bev Austin from Mt Nebo if she wanted her windows cleaned as I was thinking of starting a window cleaning business. If she had said no I would have left it at that. Fortunately she said yes! Soon after, Mrs Hilary Harley of Samford asked me if I would wash her house which was a challenge but achievable. 5000 homes later I am still cleaning!
Why is a business like yours so important? As a service industry, housewashing evolved in the late 1980s with the need to present homes for sale and preserve their original cleanliness, largely affected by the humidity of Queensland. Windows and screens have become predominant features of homes as people embrace views, breezes and bug prevention which has led to an increase in the window/screen cleaning business. Water saving cleaning machines evolved and became mandatory in the past two years in South East Queensland’s water crisis, allowing our industry to continue to function.
Before your current job, what were your previous occupations? I worked 15 years in various retail management roles with retailers Myer, Norman Ross and as a store manager of Waltons Fortitude Valley department store. This latter store closed in 1988 and, along with 30 of my staff, I was retrenched. It was time to take my future into my own hands and start a window cleaning business.
What do your customers most appreciate about your services? Returning their phone calls, punctuality, proudly aiming to be a perfectionist with my work and presenting their house as clean as I would want my house. Also, to take an interest in them as individuals as well as clients! I find having a web site is of benefit to them as well.
What is the best part of your job? Looking back at the end of the day and seeing how I have transformed a tired looking house into something fresh, as though the house has been repainted, with the resultant praise from the owner. And, to top it off, being paid!
What advice would you give to anyone considering becoming a house washer? Be prepared for hard work but if you want to grow the business, you will need to achieve the holy grail of receiving referrals from people you have just worked for.
If you didn’t work in your current job, what job would you like to do? Having an events management company.
“I had a break from doing it when I came to Australia and I really missed it. “I really couldn't wait to get back up here. “It's the best thing that I could ever do.” Mr Kazimierski has worked up and down the Gold Coast, but especially loves coming to the Tweed to work. “I love working anywhere near the beach.” His workmate Tom Kane said the weather had been a small issue yesterday, with the early morning rain halting their progress before the wind caused them to be very cautious. “It's pretty hard working when it's windy like this,” Mr Kane said. “You definitely can't work when it's too windy, otherwise your ropes end up getting tangled with the other guys and you can get dragged. It's too dangerous.”
Thursday, 29 January 2009
Luke, 20, said: “Some of these signs are important signs like stop signs. “They are spending all that money on the surf reef – this is where they are not spending money.” But the three councils who look after the signs said they would act if there were complaints and Bournemouth council said the cash for cleaning road signs is a separate pocket of money to the reef cash.
Reg Hutton, head of operations in technical services at Bournemouth Borough Council, said road signs requiring cleaning or maintenance are programmed into the work schedule. Dorset County Council said: “The signs on salting routes are cleaned annually in the spring. “All other signs are cleaned on an ad-hoc basis as identified by inspections and parish maintenance units.” Steve Dean, principal engineer at Borough of Poole, said roads were routinely inspected and signs were cleaned as and when required. Below are the pictures of before & mid way through a clean.
So does Luke Rayner have the best window cleaning company in the world?
It says here: "Fish Window Cleaning is the largest window cleaning company in the world and our Houston operation is looking for a salesperson to continue the growth. You will be selling window-cleaning services to retail locations and residential customers that are one to three stories tall. You will be meeting different people everyday that all have dirty windows. Because we are the largest and the best window cleaning company, you will have many benefits to offer prospective customers."
Larry Laczko from Magalia, California is also up for the title. His company "Best Cleaning and Window Service" has the license plate to prove it...
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Stutzy: the window washer that combines unrivalled mechanical quality with total safety in use. The result of an in-depth study of professional window cleaners’ safety, practicality and quality requirements, Stutzy is the top of the IPC Pulex range. Stutzy is designed to satisfy the most demanding European and American standards for safety and performance in high-rise work. Mechanically simple but precise, Stutzy incorporates all the traditional qualities of IPC Pulex window washers plus a patented safety mechanism that makes it the only washer able to guarantee the active and passive safety of high-rise operators. Stutzy’s clever design can be summarised in three main points. Stutzy is universal: because it is able to use all common squeegee holders, irrespective of type and length. This allows cleaning professionals using Stutzy to choose the squeegee holders that best suit their needs or the operating situations they have to work in. Stutzy is guaranteed safe: A safety spring prevents the channel from detaching from the handle even if the mechanism is accidentally opened during the course of high-rise operations. This simple but safe mechanism, patented by IPC Pulex, lets you work in total safety and change channels quickly and easily even during precarious operations, in the knowledge that they cannot accidentally fall, causing major inconvenience and possibly even injuring passers by. Stutzy is fast to use: Squeegees can be slid in even with the channel in place, making assembly easier than ever. With other tools, squeegee changes waste a great deal of valuable working time; with Stutzy changing the squeegee is amazingly quick and easy. Technical characteristics: The Stutzy handle is made from co-moulded steel and plastic in two sections, one of which incorporates a non-slip rubber section. A slot in the base allows Stutzy to be attached to a safety cord. Stutzy can be used on telescopic poles. The clamp locks in place without screws, using a nylon locking and release lever. The internal fixing system incorporates a spring to lock the channel in place. Stutzy can use all common professional window cleaning squeegee channels.
We understand the importance a pole is within the armory of the modern angler, so we endeavor to have all repairs back in your holdall as quickly as possible. In most cases your valued pole or section is back in transit to you within 48 hours of us first receiving it. We also offer a 24 our service." "No matter how expensive your pole continuous shipping and unshipping will result in worn and split joints at some time. Do not throw your section away, we can repair all split & worn joints to a standard comparable and often better than new and at a fraction of the cost of new."
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Now Nevitt is spearheading a push for an ordinance that would require all city and airport contractors to keep existing employees for a set period of time after a contract switches hands.
He argues that such a practice is similar to what other airports in the nation have on the books.
Eight other council members Monday joined him in sending a letter to Day and Mayor John Hickenlooper's chief of staff, Kelly Brough. In their letter, they expressed disappointment over the lack of job security for the city's contract workers. Those signing — Nevitt, along with Carol Boigon, Doug Linkhart, Rick Garcia, Paul Lopez, Peggy Lehmann, Marcia Johnson, Judy Montero and Michael Hancock — said they would bring forth an ordinance to establish a worker-retention policy. "Particularly in this difficult economy and amid rising unemployment, it is imperative that the city, as one of the metro region's largest employers, responsibly manage workforce transitions between service contractors to avoid imposing inadvertent cost- shifting to other public services," the letter states.
The issue could split the 13-member council along labor and business lines, similarly to how the council divided during a debate over an airport-parking contract last year. Nevitt has close ties with labor organizations and founded a labor-backed think tank. The 23 workers whose jobs are in jeopardy are represented by Service Employees International Union. Nevitt said the airport currently requires new contractors to keep existing employees, but only when those employees make less than $15 an hour. The window- washers make more than $19 an hour, Nevitt said.
Chuck Cannon, a DIA spokesperson, said the airport plans to close on the bids Friday. He said the contract is worth between $6 million and $8 million.
Local firm B-G Service Solution had the window-washing contract, which had a term of three years with the option for two one-year extensions. The firm subcontracted the work out to another local firm, Shawn's Sparkling Squeegee Service. At some point, ISS Facilities Service took over B-G Service, which held the contract even when the airport was at Stapleton. The issue spooks Perry Stone, who has washed airport windows since 1993 and has raised two children on his wages. "I've provided a pretty decent home and environment for them by working this job, and my co- workers would say the same," he said.
Monday, 26 January 2009
Sediment/Carbon Pre-Filtration-Removes particulates and harmful chlorine21" RO Membrane-Removes 98% or more of impurities21" DI cartridge-Removes remainder of impurities Inline TDS meter-Measures water after RO and DIElectric Motor/Pump AssemblyConveniently placed On/Off Switch30' Power Cord with GFI Switch Simply the best bang for your buck!
Carts are made from a high grade powder coated aluminum. They will not rust.
You are wondering what all this has to do with the window cleaner.
Last time the window cleaner came for his Saturday morning visit, he started at 7.30am, on our bedroom window. Husband was downstairs already (woken himself up with the elephant sinusitis thing, probably). I was still in bed, and once I'd realised that the terrible metal banging noise was a window cleaner moving his ladder about under my window and not an invasion of robot burglars, I had to just lie very still. The blinds in our bedroom are not very good - put it this way, it would be more accurate to call them partially-sighteds - and I knew there were lots of gaps. He would easily have been able to see me, so the best thing to do was to play dead. Then, of course, although he soon finished with my window, he moved on to all the others (the bathroom (no blinds, not even partially sighteds), the toilet - ditto) which left me no option but to stay there until I heard him knock at the door, be paid by Husband, and then drive off.
So, back to this Saturday morning. I was lying in bed at 10.30, thinking, 'oh well, I must have needed the sleep' when I remembered that it was this Saturday that the window cleaner was due to return. Oh, joy.
There was no option but to get up. Without husband there, there was only me to pay him, so when he did come, I'd have to be up anyway. But this meant a) risking the toilet, still blind-free; b) risking having a shower in the blind-free bathroom; c) risking getting dressed in my bedroom with its partially-sighteds. There was no time to go and make my normal cup of tea in a leisurely fashion, then pootle back up for a lazy shower. Whoosh - in the toilet. Phew, no WC. (Window Cleaner. I realise there was room for ambiguity there.) Whoosh - into the shower. Couldn't have the radio on in case I missed the sound of the ladders. Whoosh - out of the shower, deodorant applied faster than a cowboy builder's gloss, and then into the bedroom (shafts of light playing on the bed) to get dressed. Again, no radio, just in case Crossing Continents meant I didn't hear his cloth Criss-Crossing the Window. I HATE NOT HAVING THE RADIO ON IN THE MORNINGS.
Downstairs, hair wet, deodorant having missed bits, and mouth as dry as a stale biscuit, there was a knock at the door. Guess who.
He was there for an hour. In that time, rather than having a languid breakfast, I made him a cup of tea, had to answer the door to another window cleaner who was advertising his services, then had to chat to our WC again who knocked at the back door to give me lots of reasons why we should keep him on and not take the new chap. Then, I had to search the house for coins to pay him with because he said he preferred cash. I paid him £13.50, and to my reckoning, he owes me most of that for what I'd suffered. Yes, the windows are clean. But if Husband doesn't sort out the blinds in the bedroom and put the others up in the bathroom and toilet, this is going to be a monthly event. And you're going to have to read about it EVERY FOUR WEEKS.
Someone has to suffer with me ....
Sunday, 25 January 2009
What is "cavitation"? "Cavitation" is the rapid formation and collapse of millions of tiny bubbles (or cavities) in a liquid. Cavitation is produced by the alternating high and low pressure waves generated by high frequency (ultrasonic) sound. During the low pressure phase, these bubbles grow from microscopic size until, during the high pressure phase, they are compressed and implode.
Ultrasonic cleaners are the most effective, economic, and ecologically safe way to clean and degrease your products Our cleaners can handle a variety of materials and a range of sizes: from large hydraulic components, machine metal parts and gears, to delicate glass, ceramics and plastics. Ultrasound cleans faster and safer than any other method, without toxic solvents. More here.
Scott Bauer is also a forum leader & answers questions at Window Cleaning Resource on the topic of blind cleaning besides other topics. Scott says "machines are $5000-$32000. But Ebay normally will have some good deals - I was bidding on machines there anywhere from $2500-$5000, the only problem with getting one used is you don't get the training." Scott provides info' free from anything to chemicals to how to clean wooden blinds. Couldn't resist adding this last video..
Saturday, 24 January 2009
At Unger, continuous Quality Assessment and state-of-the-art computer-aided machining results only in precision constructed threads. Manufactured from hard-anodised aircraft aluminium, the strongest, lightest, and most durable material available to commercial manufacturing, the new modular connectors now have longer threads (2.25 turns) for improved connection, and an optimised surface texture for positive grip.
According to Unger's UK General Manager, John Sobucinski: "Unger has continued to invest in upgrading its innovative and market-leading HiFlo CarbonTec pole system. The introduction of the new generation modular connectors means that Unger customers are assured that their Water Fed Pole system remains at the forefront of high level window cleaning technology."
Said to be "the only water-fed pole any window cleaner will ever need to buy", Unger's HiFlo CarbonTec is designed to grow with the job requirements.
A window cleaner can start by purchasing just a few sections of the pole initially, appropriate to the needs of existing customers, with the option to purchase more pole sections when the business needs to "reach greater heights."
In fact, a full 10-section kit can reach all heights up to 15m and any number of the 1.5m sections can be split so that two or more operators can use the system independently.
At just under 2m long when packed in its storage bag HiFlo CarbonTec is also easy to transport, even in a small van or car. Conventional telescopic systems require large storage space and therefore larger vehicles to carry them.
Furthermore, while conventional telescopic systems also need regular and costly maintenance due to their more complex nature, HiFlo CarbonTec, thanks to its simplistic design, requires hardly any maintenance at all.
In use, other advantages immediately become apparent.
Because HiFlo CarbonTec is manufactured from ultra-lightweight carbon fibre and aircraft aluminium the system is very light. The modular design means that the operator will only need to use the minimum number of sections to clean at any height, thus saving on unnecessary weight.
This compares to a conventional telescopic system that weighs the same no matter how high or low the area to be cleaned. For example, a window cleaner using a 15m telescopic pole to clean windows at only 10m means that he is carrying 5m of unnecessary pole weight!
In order to combat the weight problem, some manufacturers have resorted to using very thin carbon fibre tubing, even claiming their product to be 'lightest on the market', but by reducing the thickness of the tubing they are also significantly reducing the pole's strength and rigidity. The result, claims Unger, will always be a 'lightweight' pole that is very difficult to control, and much more likely to break.
As well as reducing fatigue, operator safety is also built-in. HiFlo CarbonTec is manufactured using the most modern materials so that every modular pole section is insulated to reduce the risk of electrical conductivity.
Friday, 23 January 2009
She said her son, a bachelor, had a history of vertigo and alcohol dependency but had not been drinking on the days he had fallen.
The day before his death they had been to the shops together to buy pet food and had parted on the way home. She said Jason told her he wanted to walk through the cemetery. He took a detour because it was raining and his chosen route would be muddy. It was the last time she saw him alive. A post mortem examination carried out by pathologist Dr Julian Burton found the cause of death to be a haematoma on the brain. The pathologist also noted a number of bruises around Jason's body which he said were consistent with a fall. DC Daniel Garside, who led an inquiry following Jason's death, told the inquest: "There was nothing to indicate or give us grounds to think he had been assaulted." Assistant deputy coroner Donald Coutts-Wood recorded a verdict of accidental death.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage announced that Jason Trobaugh will join its downtown Tahoe City office as a sales associate. In his new position, Trobaugh will specialize in residential sales in the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee areas. “We are thrilled to have Jason join our team,” said Michael Lombardi, manager of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the Lake Tahoe area. “It is an exciting time to be with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage as we continue to build on our dominant presence in the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee region.” Trobaugh also owns his own company, ClearView Window Cleaning, which he has grown for more than 16 years. He is also a developer of custom-built homes. Trobaugh now plans to expand his expertise by offering his services in real estate sales. Trobaugh has been a local North Shore Lake Tahoe resident for more than 20 years and holds his real estate license for both California and Nevada.
Owner Rick Williams (left), manager Janet Williams (center) and lead man Brian Irick. Fallbrook Window Washing Co. is pleased to announce that two of its employees have recently completed courses of study in graphic design and business. Brian Irick, the company’s lead man, has completed graphic design classes at Coleman University, San Marcos, graduating December 19. Janet Williams, manager of the business and wife of owner Rick Williams, has completed a bachelor’s degree in business at Concordia University, Irvine. Together, Irick and Williams will be initiating new marketing strategies to focus on the current economic trend. Fallbrook Window Washing Co. realizes that these are uncertain economic times both nationally and locally. Due to these tentative times, as a small business, Fallbrook Window Washing Co. recognizes that understanding and addressing the needs of their customers is most important, now more than ever. According to Rick Williams, “Because we are all in this together, we will tailor our service to meet the needs of long-standing and new customers.” For existing and new customers, they are now offering partial service such as just exterior window cleaning, including screens, or the “most important windows” in the main living areas of the home. Also, he is offering a 10-percent discount to full-service customers until March 31. Fallbrook Window Washing Co. is committed to remaining a shining example in 2009.
Window firm chosen for £250m ‘super hospital’ build (Yorkshire, UK): THE team behind the £250m redevelopment of Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield has announced a deal with architectural aluminium glazing specialist Technal for the supply of more than 1,500 windows and doors. Due to open in autumn 2011, the new 86,000m2 acute hospital is part of a PFI project for Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust developed by Consort Healthcare - a joint venture between Balfour Beatty and Haden Young. Under the new contract, Technal will supply pivot windows from its FX146 range to provide natural ventilation and ease of cleaning on the upper floors of the 700-bed hospital, while fixed lights and top-hung windows from the FX165 suite are being supplied for the other areas of the site. Fabricated and installed by Quest Solutions in a £2m contract for MPG Facades, the windows will be inserted into cedar cladding, render and brickwork and the systems will be finished in a durable dark grey polyester powder coating. Each window is double glazed using a combination of clear toughened glass, laminated, low-emissivity or solar control glass to suit the different elevations and orientations.
Purclean franchise expands into Italy: The Purclean Crystal Group, cleaning specialists for windows and glass surfaces, is opening up a new business in Alliste (South Italy) at the end of January in order to push forward its expansion plans in the country. According to information provided by the company, the first Italian franchisees are expected to have their window and glass cleaning businesses up and running by the middle of February. Purclean, which is based in the German city of Cuxhaven, serves both commercial and industrial customers as well as private individuals. The company currently has five locations in Germany. The franchisor is planning to expand across Europe and is currently on the look-out for partners interested in opening up a single business as well as for master licensees who would like to take over responsibility for a whole country.
Ionic Systems has a new website. Since 1997 Ionic Systems has manufactured "The Reach & Wash® Window Cleaning System" enabling thousands of window cleaners to clean higher, faster and safer. They are the world leader in window cleaning systems, with distributors in 17 countries. UK Winter Brochure: "This WInter, it's all about upgrading your income! Our new package deals include a Reach & Wash System and a van as well. We know that you may not want the hassle of finding a suitable van, so we'll make things simple by doing that part for you! Whether you need a brand new or a high-quality used van, we will find the right vehicle and then finance it in the same package as your system."
Jalowka lives in Lake Elsinore, Calif., near San Diego, with his wife Anabelle and their five children. After graduating from high school in 1988, Jalowka attended Georgia State University, but he left to become an actor. With only $100 in his pocket, he loaded a U-Haul and drove to California to stay with a friend. On the way, Jalowka limited his meals so he could pay for gas. In Texas, Jalowka won a steak-eating contest. The prize? He didn't have to pay for the steak. And after the contest, Jalowka was so bloated he didn't eat for days. "I wouldn't have had enough gas money if I hadn't won," Jalowka said. Jalowka ran out of gas just as he pulled to his friend's apartment in Pico Rivera, Calif. Jalowka started washing windows for a living. It was so lucrative he started his own window-washing business, Mr. Window Cleaning Franchise Corp. Today, Mr. Window does business in California, Nevada and Arizona. Jalowka got the idea for the coupon card in 1995 after watching his wife Annabelle spend all of her Sundays cutting and organizing coupons. "We didn't have any family time," Jalowka said. "I realized there's got to be a better way. I have an entrepreneurial spirit, so I thought of the card." To make it work, consumers, retailers and manufacturers would have to join forces -- and his idea would benefit all of them, Jalowka said. With the coupon card, consumers wouldn't spend time cutting coupons. Shoppers would receive e-mails or text messages warning them that a coupon was about to expire. That would bring more people into stores more often. Manufacturers, as part of the application process, would get demographic information on consumers. The card would aid the environment by cutting back on paper. Jalowka said the coupon card isn't exactly a new idea; individual retailers already have them. "We're just trying to make a paperless coupon experience that is completely universal, not tied just to one store," Jalowka said. In June, Jalowka visited Solon for his 20th high school reunion. After entering the Google contest, Jalowka skimmed the reunion directory and contacted key classmates, who offered free help. "You never know when you are going to call on your classmates again," he said. To vote in the Google contest on Tuesday.
Subsidy for Bills will hit new high: Erie County taxpayers will set a record for the Buffalo Bills in the 2009 season. Local taxpayer support for the team will average more than $900,000 for each game played in Western New York. It's largely because the Bills now play a preseason and a regular season home game in Toronto rather than in Orchard Park's Ralph Wilson Stadium.
This corner of New York must make do with eight chances each year, no longer 10, to bask in the team's full economic might. But the taxpayer allowance for "game-day expenses" and for "operating expenses" to run Ralph Wilson Stadium will, nonetheless, tick upward again with a price-index adjustment. The Bills paid $5.5 million in stadium expenses for the most recently concluded lease year, which ended July 31, before the 2008 season. The largest single cost was the $1.7 million for utilities -- gas, electricity and water. More than $1 million was spent on stadium salaries and more than $1 million on "general maintenance" -- plumbing repairs, trash disposal, window cleaning, pest control, but also for miscellaneous needs such as bottled water, soft drinks and office supplies.
Paul McHugh began the new year with the prospect of his home going under the hammer after he had experiencing the trauma of repossession. The 40-year-old self-employed window cleaner is set to lose his former council house in Castleford, West Yorkshire, on Wednesday, when bailiffs repossess it. He will move into a £17-a-night bed and breakfast and his 14-year-old son will go to stay with his mother. McHugh bought the house for £56,000 less than two years ago under a right-to-buy scheme, but he has been unable to pay the mortgage. "I feel sad that the house is going, but I hope I will be able to come to terms with it. I have had bigger disappointments in my life," he says. "If someone buys it at auction and makes money out of getting it cheap, I won't hold it against them. "If I could buy a house and just leave it until property prices recover, I would do the same, " he adds. "I will be sorry when it has gone, but it is not the end of my world. It is only bricks and mortar in the end, and nobody has died." Davey says that with 75,000 repossessions forecast this year, the trauma is going to affect a broader range of people: "With the recession hitting financial services, we are going to see a different profile of people who get repossessed."