Monday, 16 February 2009

Soap Wars, Drinking Window Cleaner & Other News

Another installment from Mark Strange of "Beautiful View" from Toronto, Canada gives us a few more unbiased reviews of products in the window cleaners workplace. This time his opinion on window cleaners soap, bravely done in this weeks edition of "Tool Talk." All information on Titan labs GG4 & other window cleaning products can be found here.

"Glass Gleam-4 is a state-of-the art liquid additive to water, designed for cleaning glass using a squeegee. Extensive field testing and customer feedback has proven that GG-4 cleans visibly better with less wipe-up time. It was developed by professional chemists specifically for glass. Titan Laboratories is a recognized leader in window cleaning and restoration chemicals.
GG-4 contains a new detergent system allowing improved cleaning and degreasing of the glass. The squeegee drag reduction (slip) is excellent. Other features include low fragrance, optimized foam level, kind to your hands, and a blue color indicator to reveal that it has been added to the bucket or spray bottle. High-tech polymeric water softeners condition the water to greatly reduce dirt redeposition. This feature alone makes GG-4 highly desirable in areas of hard water. (See comments below on water hardness)."

Keeping up appearances: Following comment by the public on the condition of the hand-painted signs at the five entrances to the town, Romsey Town Council were keen (in the words of Hyacinth Bucket) to be seen to be keeping up appearances.
However, with a limited budget and not wishing to trust the work of local artist, Rob Johnson, to less caring hands, Councillor Ian Richards, a window cleaner, has again proved himself a practical member of the council by cleaning them himself.

'Rogue' trader turns out to be genuine: A window cleaner who featured in a police “rogue trader” warning after a house was given an unwanted washdown and a bill posted through the door has stepped forward to say “it was an honest mistake.” Police issued a press release highlighting the incident at Overstrand near Cromer and spelling out the standard warnings on doorstep traders. But after a small item appeared in the press David Rose of North Walsham-based Easyreach Ladderless Window Cleaning said: “It was a genuine mistake. A new cleaner went to the wrong address - the right number but on Cromer Road rather than Mundesley Road which join into one. “We are a fully-insured legal company covering East Anglia” he assured people in the area. Norfolk police said: “We have to take all reports of suspected rogue traders seriously at the time they are reported to us.”

Legal & General - DIY approach leaves home help out of work: Legal & General has published research which reveals that many UK households are adopting a DIY approach to domestic tasks such as window cleaning which could leave many home help professionals out of work. The pension and insurance provider's survey found that demand for odd jobs people has dropped by 86 per cent, while demand for window cleaners has fallen by 48 per cent. Legal & General also found that 29 per cent of homeowners who previously employed a domestic cleaner claim they will stop paying for one. Overall, 45 per cent of the households which employed some help last year are cutting back. Garry Skelton, marketing director at Legal & General's general insurance business, said: "A significant number of people will be rolling up their sleeves and doing more work around the house in the next few months." Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that nearly two million people in the UK are now unemployed. Also here.

Death-fall maid's employer fined: A businessman whose maid fell to her death while cleaning the windows of his flat has been fined the maximum of $5,000 for not ensuring her safety while at work. Selvam Packirisamy, 39, is the first employer to be prosecuted under the Employment of Foreign Workers Act, in a case in which the maid died. Earlier this month, he was found guilty of failing to ensure that Ms Mariyappan Revathi, 23, performed her window-cleaning chores in a manner which did not endanger her life. EMPLOYERS' RESPONSIBILITY 'It is in the public interest to ensure that employers protect the well-being and safety of their domestic helpers.' MR R. MANOJ, Ministry of Manpower prosecutor.

Russia's Artisanal Moonshine Boom: It is a far cry from what most Russians think of moonshine, a time-dishonored pastime in a country where alcohol poisoning has helped lead to a population decline. In January, The Moscow Times reported that the reason for so many deaths is that 300 million liters of substances never intended for human consumption are drunk annually — these include perfume, aftershave, and cleaning liquids. Many shops sell contraband vodka which is made from a combination of those liquids and water. Good quality samogon, however, is unlikely to do anything for Russia's epidemic of alcoholism. Says Poluetkov, "If people want to drink window cleaner and aftershave, and sniff glue, nothing will stop them. Because window cleaner, aftershave and glue will always be on sale. An addiction is a psychological problem, not just a financial one."
There are 2.5 million alcoholics in the country according to Russia's chief epidemiologist Gennadi Onishchenko. Just last year 19,000 people died of alcohol poisoning; and while this number is less than previous years, alcoholism is still a large factor in Russia's declining population and is responsible for the large gender gap in the mortality rates. To cut down on deaths from poisonous substances, the Russian Government plans to introduce a set minimum price for vodka, which will be 100 rubles ($3) for half a liter.

Window Genie of Akron-Canton selected as dealer of the year: Window Genie is a local service company that has been in operation since 1998. Started primarily as a window cleaning and pressure washing company, Window Genie turned its focus to the area of Window Film in the year 2000 and hasn’t looked back since. The trend today is to build beautiful homes and commercial buildings with a tremendous amount of glass. Most people enjoy the natural light and the view; therefore, do not cover the windows with treatments. However, a large amount of unprotected glass can cause issues such as heat build-up, fading, and annoying glare. Window Genie entered the Window Film Industry because the company is passionate about helping its clients protect their prized possessions, save on energy costs, and just be more comfortable in their homes or offices. “We had a great understanding of these issues even before we got involved with window film, because, as window cleaners, we were in front of our clients’ glass all day, every day” says Dave Manderine, one of the company’s two owner/operators. Manderine’s partner, Mario Kotik believes “that partnering with Huper Optik gave us that competitive advantage we needed. And we believe in these products so much, we added Automotive Window Film to our list of services last year.” Manderine adds “By attending the Huper Optik Dealer Meetings the last three years, our eyes were opened to the “Green Movement” and the push for conserving our energy resources”. Huper Optik USA (HOUSA) is a window film manufacturer/distributor based in Houston, Texas that has established distributors and dealers across the world. HOUSA owns the patent on a German Window Film Technology with incredible clarity and extremely low reflectivity. As the exclusive Huper Dealer in the Akron/Canton Area, Window Genie offers a wide selection of window films with the best warranties in the industry.

8 Companies Rewarded for Composite Innovations: This year, eight companies and their partners will receive JEC Innovation Awards awards at the JEC Composites Show from March 24-26, 2009. The programme was created in 1998 with the goal of promoting innovation. Each year, a jury of renowned international experts chooses the best composite innovations, based on their technical interest, market potential, partnership, financial impact and originality. This year, the winners were selected from the following categories: Raw Materials, Process, Automation, Aeronautics, Building & Construction, Transportation and Environment & Energy. The decision to give prominence to these projects was based on their atypical nature and various noteworthy aspects.
Joint Winner: A façade with an innovative modular system that makes an extensive use of sandwich composites to support both glass and marble elements by Skandinaviska Glassystem AB (Sweden) Partner: Diab Group AB (Sweden) This façade for a six-storey office block in Copenhagen presents two entirely different aspects, depending on the viewpoint of the observer. Viewed from one side, the building would appear to have a façade that is basically a glass wall. Viewed from the opposite side, it would appear to be completely finished in marble. The same effect was required for all four sides of the building. The total area to be covered by the facade is approximately 4,000 square metres.

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