Sunday, 28 February 2010

Bayersan - Water Fed Poles From Turkey



Bayersan Ltd. specializes in manufacturing window cleaning equipment and accessories for the sanitary supply industry. Squeegees and Telescopic Poles are their primary business, not just a sideline. The company offers floor and window squeegees ( swivel and stainless steel squeegees ), scrapers, blades, telescopic (extension) poles & handles, floor pads, mop & mop holders, T-holders (plastic and aluminium) and sleeves.

Bayersan deliver three types of water fed poles: 100% carbon fiber, hybrid 50/50 Carbon & glass fiber mix & finally stand alone glass fiber. Maximum present heights are 48 feet for the "Premium" carbon fiber with aluminium lock clamps & a minimum of 12 feet for the cheaper "Impressor" poles with plastic lock clamps.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Solar Panel Cleaning -Window Cleaning Add-On



Panel Cleaning: by Bryan Banke, Solar Power Partners: Panel cleaning is where we can see immediate and dramatic results. It is also the least structured area of preventative maintenance with schedules being elusive and dependent upon the environment. However, because our aim is more about optimizing energy production and less about preventing component failure, we have a goal with measureable parameters (energy production) guiding us to a flexible cleaning schedule.

To statistically judge when a system should be cleaned, we take actual energy production as measured at the meter, adjust it using the ratio of actual solar insolation to expected solar insolation for the solar electric facility (SEF) and compare the result to projected production adjusted for degradation over time. The result is our system efficiency.

At SPP, we define a soiling boundary for each SEF below which any further loss in efficiency will cost us more than the cleaning cost of the SEF. Before we hit this boundary, a trigger tells us that we should start to consider cleaning the system.

Calculating system efficiency and knowing when an SEF should be cleaned is simple. Placing that information into the context of a budget is a different story.

For PPA (power purchase agreement) providers and large commercial and utility scale system owners, expenses associated with a system are modeled before a SEF is built. Doing this enables financial backers to calculate the risk and rewards of their investment. We’ll speak more on this subject later, but here the budget directly affects when we clean an array and has little connection to a capricious environment.

Ideally, we would like to clean an array the moment its efficiency drops to the calculated soiling boundary. In the real world we must work within the constraints of a budget that often provides for a set number of cleanings per year. We may cross the soiling boundary four or five times in any given year, but we are constrained to one or two cleanings. The question then is how to make the most efficient use of those cleanings. The answer depends upon countless variables that we whittle down to a few generalizations:
When is peak production? We want to optimize production in peak season. Late spring, summer and early fall are peak production times in California so we want to optimize output during these seasons.
What seasonal events create exceptional soiling? Pollen is a huge soiling problem in agricultural areas. Windblown dust collects in dry seasons. Birds tend to congregate in specific seasons (and pigeons all the time).
Is it too hot to clean panels? Midsummer panel temperatures can reach precarious heights. Cleaning hot panels with water can result in thermal fractures.
Is rain expected? Rain events can delay the need for cleaning.
When is site access possible? Some businesses restrict access to their facilities. Examples include schools in session, airports requiring access pre-approval, and agricultural facilities in peak harvest.

You can see why scheduling panel cleaning is such a nuanced science requiring the insight and intuition of a seasoned asset manager with complete knowledge of each SEF and its operating environment. It is a balancing act between three disparate subjects: budget constraints, environment and production.

To add yet another layer of complexity, different installations require different cleaning methods. Ground-mount and flat-roof installations are relatively cheap and easy to clean provided a ready source of water exists. Tilted roof mounted arrays have personnel safety considerations and roof arrays built edge to edge require special equipment to reach long spans of panels without walking on them. Cleaning elevated arrays such as car shades often involves the use of a mechanical lift. Some arrays are designed in such a way that access with cleaning equipment is impossible and a water jet must be employed. These various methods all carry specific maintenance costs that must be budgeted before construction; otherwise, the systems will experience perennial budget shortfalls or improper cleaning.

Panel cleaning services exist in the marketplace today. Many are inexperienced entrepreneurs with inadequate PV knowledge, insufficient insurance coverage and an unrealistic pricing structure. At a minimum, each individual in a cleaning crew should know how to identify broken panels, deteriorated wiring and other dangerous SEF conditions; each worker should be covered under a general liability insurance policy; and pricing should reflect the nature of the job. The simplest of ground mounted and flat rooftop mounted systems should not cost any more than $.0025/watt to clean in 2009-10 dollars. More complex jobs will require a larger budget but should not exceed $.01/watt. As we tell every window cleaner who approaches us with a $.05/watt bid: “These aren’t windows.”

At SPP we clean panels with a weak vinegar solution (2 Tbsp/Gal. water). We do not use de-ionized water or special filters and we do not squeegee the panels dry. The vinegar breaks the water’s surface tension causing it to sheen from the glass without spotting. It is also safe for roofing surfaces and the environment and it is inexpensive. We rinse the heaviest material away then use wide, soft-bristle brushes to mechanically remove soil before following with a rinse. For larger unbroken spans of panels, we use extendable window washing poles and brushes. For those spans too large for such devices, we use a water pump that forces a large volume of water great distances. It is not a pressure washer and will not damage the panel seals. The key to all of these methods is to save money and time. We typically clean a 250kW flat-roof array mounted at 20 degrees in four hours with three laborers.

Also see - Solar Panel Cleaning: Add-On For Window Cleaners.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Window Cleaning Snippets

Fired up for 40 years: There isn't much Brian Edwards hasn’t done in his four decades with the Fire Service. He has even appeared in one of its fundraising calendars, although he swears he had all his clothes on for the picture. "The picture was where the intro was," he says. The Auckland city area commander was recently honoured for 40 years of service with a surprise morning tea with colleagues. Mr Edwards joined the Fire Service on February 1, 1970 at the city station, although he has moved around other Auckland stations during his career. "I had a feeling it was something to do. I knew even before I left school. My father brought me into the central fire station and I talked to some people." Despite his interest in being a firefighter, he didn’t join up right away. Instead he took up various other jobs like driving a van and washing high-
rise windows, which is where he got his head for heights. "I knew I couldn’t keep doing it forever, I had to do something I wanted to do. It’s always a hard decision to make financially, window cleaning was quite lucrative."

I’m fixing to call myself something else: Well why not? Everyone else is. I’m not quite sure when this renaming of jobs for the sake of political correctness started. The first time I noticed it was when I was in a ritzy restaurant. I couldn’t seem to get waited on so I asked the maitre’ d if he could send a waiter my way. He tossed his head in a snotty manner and told me he would send a “Food Nourishment Consultant” my way immediately. All I wanted was a waiter. It wasn’t long after that when I called a business firm to locate one of their employees. When I asked for the personnel department, I was transferred and a new voice said, “Human Resources Department.”
I knew things were really getting out of hand when I requested a company to send a house painter to give me an estimate. The next day a guy showed up and told me he was a “Color Distribution Technician” and he was there to give me an estimate. All I wanted was a painter. When I told him I was also looking for someone to clean my windows, he told me he would have a “Transparency Enhancement Facilitator” contact me. I told him that wouldn’t be necessary because all I wanted was a window washer.

ServiceLive hooks up homeowners, service providers online: How do you find someone to fix your roof, seal your driveway or set up your Wi-fi network? How do you find work as a dog walker, drywall repairer or window washer? A new Internet-based service, ServiceLive, hopes to become that matchmaker, and with more than 35,000 service providers already signed up, appears to have the magnitude to make a good run at dominating this market. How does this work? Say, for example, I need to have my gutters cleaned. I would log onto ServiceLive, register, then fill out the electronic form with details about what I needed done and when. I could choose to post the job at a flat fee I was willing to pay, or I have the option of asking those whom I choose to include in the auction to name their price. For the gutter job, for example, I would expect to pay around $100.

Director of UK Commercial Cleaning rewarded for 'outstanding vision': An entrepreneur from Tyneside who turned his £300 window cleaning round into a multi-million pound national business was last night named the top young director in the region. Tony Earnshaw, who is expanding his Washington company after winning backing from television “dragon” Duncan Bannatyne, was given the Young Director of the Year Award by the Institute of Directors (IoD).
Mr Earnshaw, 25, started in business at 18 when he bought a burger van and now employs 20 staff at UK Commercial Cleaning (UKCC) and is opening franchises of the business across the UK. His award was made during the first 30 Under 30 event launched by the IoD to highlight the 30 most promising young business people in the North East.
Richard Elphick, IoD North East chairman, said: “Those vying for the IoD North East Young Director of the Year award prove that the region has a depth and breadth of go-ahead young directors involved in a wide variety of roles, all making a crucial contribution to the economic well-being of the North East. “We felt that Tony Earnshaw should be named as the winner as he has demonstrated outstanding vision, drive and business acumen to take his business forward.” Mr Earnshaw exemplifies the resourcefulness and drive of the best young directors. He bought a burger van for £50 and then bought a window cleaning round for £300 and within six months he was turning over £6,000 a month.
He sold that business to launch UKCC and last year his business plan impressed Darlington leisure entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne on the Dragons’ Den television show and got him a £100,000 investment for a 35% stake in the firm. The speaker at last night’s 30 Under 30 dinner at the Radisson Hotel in Durham was former Ratners jewellery store chain boss Gerald Ratner, who hit national headlines after describing some of his own products as “crap” but returned to launch Gerald Online in partnership with Goldsmiths. “If I can come back from where I was in the gutter and build another successful jewellery business then anyone can,” he said. The former market trader said his own story showed you can never predict the future in business.

At the dinner, held at the Raddison SAS hotel, in Durham City, the IoD North- East named Tony Earnshaw, 25, as the winner of its inaugural 30 under 30 Young Director of the Year award. Mr Earnshaw, who won the backing of Duncan Bannatyne on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den, developed a window cleaning round in Washington, Wearside, into UK Commercial Cleaning Services (UKCC), a £1.5m turnover business, employing 20 people, which is to be franchised across the UK.
Richard Elphick, IoD North-East chairman, said: “Those vying for the IoD North-East Young Director of the Year award prove that the region has a depth and breadth of go-ahead young directors involved in a wide variety of roles, all making a crucial contribution to the economic well-being of the North-East.”

A pscyhiatric nurse said to have sexually abused a schoolgirl told her mother he was having an affair with the child when she was 13, a court has heard. The mother told Bristol Crown Court she took her child to the police and Paul Isaac was cautioned for his behaviour. She said, however, Isaac continued to see the child and the youngster later revealed he raped her. It is claimed churchgoing Isaac forced himself on the youngster on several occasions from when she was aged 14. Isaac, 42 of Deering Close, Lawrence Weston, denies five charges of raping the youngster. He also denies indecently assaulting her, but has pleaded guilty to a charge of indecency with a child. The court heard that when police interviewed the girl she told them Isaac had touched her sexually several times. Isaac was given a caution, lost his nursing job and took up window cleaning.

Although the government is forecasting that Grand Bahama's economy will perform better this year, Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing advised residents yesterday that the gains enjoyed will be modest and it is up to them to adjust their mindsets to take advantage of the potential opportunities available and create economic prospects for themselves. "In terms of a multiplier effect, such construction activity could translate further into between $30 and $45 million in economic activity for Grand Bahama's economy," he said. "My estimate is that there is more than $3 million in home services activities – window cleaning, landscaping, small repairs, et cetera – annually in Grand Bahama, untapped at this time and that is a very conservative figure."

Replacement Windows and Siding Have New EPA Requirements: The new EPA rules for Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting go into effect. Replacement windows and siding fall under the new rules. The new rules are meant to protect young children and pregnant women from lead poisoning from lead based paints. A large list of training, certification and work practice requirements are called for by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Program. The RRP Program takes effect in April 2010. By then, renovation firms must receive EPA certification to disturb lead paint as part of their work in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities. All of these jobs must be supervised by certified renovators; individuals who have completed an EPA-accredited, training course. Plus, other crew members on such job sites must be trained and equipped to follow the RRP Program’s lead-safe work practices while performing their work. This EPA program is a federal regulatory program affecting renovation firms and individual workers who disturb lead base painted surfaces.
Renovation is broadly defined as any activity that disturbs painted surfaces and includes most repair, remodeling and maintenance activities, including window replacement and siding replacement. Under EPA’s RRP Program, both construction firms and individual workers who perform (or direct other workers to perform) renovations must be certified by EPA by April 2010. In addition, all crew members must be trained on the lead-safe work practices that they must use when performing their work. The certified renovator is required to ensure that the renovation is performed in accordance with the work practice standards of the RRP Program, among other things. These requirements pertain to warning signs and work area containment, the restriction or prohibition of certain practices, waste handling, cleaning and post-renovation cleaning verification.

Through Time Trader, individuals and families donate an hour of their time and talent, and in return, they receive a Time Dollar that they can use to buy an hour of another individual's or family's time and talent. Individuals offer services (talents) that include landscaping, cooking lessons and dog walking. In return, they purchase services that include Spanish tutoring, clarinet lessons and carpet cleaning. Once your paperwork is complete and approved, you will be invited to enter the Time Trader Web site, create an online member profile as well as your service offers (things you can help others with) and service requests (things you'd like others to help you with). You can also view other members' service offers (interior design, menu planning, mending) and service requests (window washing, photo scanning, dance instructor). Then it's time to start trading.

I can't give more: By Miriam Stoppard.
Dear Miriam,
My daughter's husband is self-employed as a window cleaner. Because of the recession he's lost half his clients. He used to be a bus driver but gave up because he didn't like the long hours, heavy traffic and bad drivers. They're very tight for money and I've been helping them out but I only had a small amount in savings and it's virtually all gone. My daughter wants her husband to go back on the buses or get another job to give them a regular income but he won't listen and give up the business. They have two little girls and I worry about them going short of food and warmth. What can I do? Muriel.

Dear Muriel,
Pride won't pay the bills but criticising him won't help either. He probably already feels bad enough. Your daughter should be sensitive and start by acknowledging how hard he's worked to set up his business. She can then suggest he also takes a salaried job temporarily until he can win new customers. Meanwhile, he should run off leaflets and put them through letter boxes. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can tell you if the family is eligible for any benefits like Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Aquarium Glass Cracks In Dubai



New Dubai Mall evacuated after cracks appear in giant aquarium: Part of the vast Dubai Mall has been evacuated after its giant aquarium developed a leak, a police official said today. The aquarium, one of the largest tanks in the world at 167ft by 66ft, has hundreds of living animals including Sand Tiger sharks and rays. It is thought to have developed a crack and a witness said people in part of the mall were evacuated and dozens of emergency vehicles were outside. The police official, who declined to be identified, said: 'There was a small problem, a simple crack, and the water leaked.' Six divers entered the tank and appeared to be coordinating with workers outside the glass, while workers mopped up water from the floor.



But a witness said water had been leaking from a crack in the aquarium glass. 'I saw a small crack in the aquarium glass and there was a little water coming out and a lot of water on the floor,' said Ranjin, a 27-year old corporate secretary. 'The police came and evacuated the area around the aquarium.' Dubai Aquarium is planning to have more than 33,000 animals representing more than 85 species in the giant tank. It also features an underwater zoo which has penguins, seals, crocodiles and water rats among its attractions. It is operated by Emaar Properties and also features the world's largest acrylic viewing panel. One million people had already visited the aquarium seven months after it had opened.
This is the latest in a string of problems for the aquarium. Shortly before its opening in October 2008, over ten per cent of the sharks in the tank were been killed in attacks that marred the build-up to its unveiling. Sand Tiger sharks killed at least 40 smaller reef sharks and were aggressive towards divers working on final preparations in the giant tank. Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping mall by total area, contains around 600 retailers and had over 37 million visitors in its first year of operation. It now has an average of 750,000 visitors every week. As well as shops and restaurants, the Mall also contains an ice rink and cinema.
Emaar Properties, the Arab world's largest developer, came under scrutiny earlier this month when it closed the observation deck at Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower and the firm's flagship project, just a month after its fanfare opening. Also here.



Blackpool Features in HSE Safety Campaign



Blackpool's highest window cleaner backs national safety campaign: The man who hangs under the glass floor at the top of Blackpool Tower to clean it, is backing a national safety campaign. Dave Hulme uses a harness to carry out maintenance work to the outside of the 158-metre-high tourist attraction, and is giving his support to the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE's) Shattered Lives campaign. Slips, trips and falls caused 1,155 serious injuries to workers in Lancashire last year, and are the most common cause of major workplace injury in Great Britain. HSE is urging employers and workers to take simple steps to reduce the risk of being injured.

Dave, who works for Cumbrian engineering company MP Marine, started work at Blackpool Tower in 1983 and now oversees its maintenance. He came face to face with HSE Inspector Allen Shute from the underside of the 'Walk of Faith' glass floor to give his support to the Shattered Lives campaign. Dave said: "When they were installing the glass floor just over a decade ago, we had to work out how we'd be able to clean under it safely. I seemed to end up being given the job. I use a harness and then just clean it like you would a window. "I often get some funny looks when I'm hanging under the floor if people are standing on top of it at the time. I've also been known to get a round of applause when I come back up. "People seem to think it's a dangerous job, but working 150 metres above the ground isn't really any more dangerous than working 15 metres above the ground. You just need to make sure you use the right safety equipment. "I hope HSE's Shattered Lives campaign makes people think more about preventing slips, trips and falls in their workplaces."



Allen Shute added: "No one would dream of doing a job like Dave's without using the proper safety equipment. But hundreds of workers are injured every year in falls from just a few metres above the ground. "Hundreds of workers in Lancashire were injured from slips, trips and falls last year. They might sound funny but they shatter the lives of thousands of British workers ever year. "Making improvements doesn't need to cost the earth and we are encouraging people to visit the Shattered Lives website, where they will be able to get simple and cost-effective solutions to help manage slip, trip and fall hazards in their workplace. "Dave knows he's safe when he's working more than 150 metres above the ground at the top of Blackpool Tower because he's held securely in a harness. I hope other people working less high up will start thinking more about the risks they face."

As well as the tragic human cost, preventable slips, trips and falls are having a serious financial impact on the UK. HSE estimates that the combined financial costs incurred by society as a whole is around £800 million a year, at a time when both businesses and individuals are struggling financially following the recession. In response, HSE has launched a new phase of its Shattered Lives campaign, aimed at reducing slips, trips and falls in the workplace. The hard-hitting campaign involves raising awareness of the impact of slips, trips and falls in the workplace and directing people to the new Shattered Lives website at www.hse.gov.uk/shatteredlives for practical advice and guidance.

The campaign is targeted at those sectors where there are a high number of slips, trips and falls each year. Specifically, health and social care, education, food manufacturing, food retail, catering and hospitality, building and plant maintenance, and construction are being targeted. On the new campaign website, people will be able to find out information on how they can easily, and cost effectively, reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls in the workplace, and see what other organisations, such as Sainsbury's and First Line Digital, have done. Included on the site are online guides to preventing slips and trips, and working safely at height. Advice ranges from how to deal with spills and other slip risks, to the importance of using ladders correctly to reduce the risk of falling from height.



Notes to editors:
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. It works to prevent death, injury and ill-health to those at work and those affected by work activities. For more information about the work of HSE, visit www.hse.gov.uk
Reportable major injuries include fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes; amputations; dislocation of the shoulder, hip, knee or spine; loss of sight (temporary or permanent); chemical or hot metal burn to the eye or any penetrating injury to the eye; injury resulting from an electric shock or electrical burn leading to unconsciousness, or requiring resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours; any other injury: leading to hypothermia, heat-induced illness or unconsciousness; or requiring resuscitation; or requiring admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours; and unconsciousness caused by asphyxia or exposure to harmful substance or biological agent.
There were two deaths involving falls in Manchester workplaces during 2008/9 and one in Ellesmere Port and Neston involving a slip or trip. The following table lists the number of serious injuries in each local authority area in the North West during 2008/9. Three day injuries refer to injuries which required workers to take at least three days off work.



A former Dudley window cleaner who broke his hip and wrist when he fell from a ladder is backing the Health and Safety Exectutive’s new campaign to prevent workplace injuries caused through trips, slips and falls. Ken Bradley, 63, was cleaning windows at a house in July 2006 when the ladder slipped, throwing him to the ground. The fall left him so badly hurt he had to give up his venture, which he had just started following redundancy a year previous. Ken said: “I felt the ladder slip from under me and I grabbed a window to try and stop myself from falling. But I couldn’t reach. I don’t really remember much after that until I woke up in hospital.” He was in hospital for nine days and had to have his hip pinned and stapled together. The severity of his injuries means he no longer can climb ladders, as well as doing certain jobs he took for granted before the fall. Ken said: “It’s the confidence as much as anything. I’d have done anything once but once the confidence has gone, it makes you think twice. “I can no longer walk as far as I used to be able to and I certainly can’t clamber up and down ladders.” Ken is now backing the HSE’s new campaign Shattered Lives, which aims to raise awareness of the impact of trips, slips and falls. As part of the campaign, a new website has been set up – where people can find out information about easy and cost effective ways to reduce such accidents. HSE inspector Brian Martin said: “Slips, trips and falls can be seen as comical but when they result in injuries like Ken’s, it’s proof they are anything but funny. “However, the vast majority of slips, trips and falls can be easily prevented.”

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Window Cleaning Videos

Damien Walters, Parkour and Gymnastics legend agreed to clean windows. He did however insist on doing in his own unique way. A great stunt, and good acting to boot. No wires, no post production just talent and guts. All done for real.



"This scraper is so good you could squeegee with it." So Sörbo says.. the new scraper from Sörbo.


From this day forth you'll never have to struggle trying to take your squeegee off an extension pole..
Josh gives advice on forms and paperwork for your window cleaning business.

If you have ever felt that selling your window cleaning services sometimes feels like this, then you'll love this video.


How can you hire other people to do the "actual window cleaning work" when you can't really afford to pay your bills right now? Whether you want to stay a one-man window cleaning show or are looking to grow into a 100-employee window cleaning business, the answer is going to help you, and it's easier than you think.


Tony Evans trys out MDR (Mineral deposit remover)...


Erlanger Window Cleaning Presents Taking The Right Steps To Ladder Safety..

Finally...watch these guys try and clean the glass with this new miracle static charged window USB cleaner.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Window Cleaning News



Jarrow cleaning company has high hopes of wiping out the opposition: A window cleaning company hopes to more than triple turnover after picking up a number of large contracts and is now looking to become a fully fledged facilities management business. Quayside Cleaning Maintenance was set up 18 months ago by ex-serviceman Simon Clare and has already secured contracts with Brentford-based construction and support services firm Carillion and Doncaster builder Frank Haslam Milan. The firm, based in Jarrow, has begun to specialise in high access service, with two of its six staff trained to abseil larger structures, providing a cheaper and less invasive cleaning service to customers.
The company, which has benefited from around £20,000 of funding from South Tyneside Means Business, hopes to land even larger contracts after being signed up to clean The Gate entertainment complex in Newcastle. Mr Clare, who worked as a window cleaner for 10 years after leaving the Army, said: “We have been fortunate enough to win contracts cleaning for the likes of The Gate, Carilion and Wynyard Park. The feedback we have had from these clients shows that we are able to offer safe, innovative and cost efficient services, focused on customer care.”

Rain-Gutter Maintenance: It’s a winter tradition: husband on the roof in the rain, pulling leaves out of the gutters and trying not to fall to his death. So far, he’s been successful. I hate to make him do it, but, as Tory Marino at Elite Window Washing (619-634-9580) says, “If you don’t get your gutters cleaned, then the debris from leaves and pine needles and the debris from your roof will build up. The gutters will start to sag from the weight. Eventually, you’ll have to replace them. And if the downspout gets clogged so badly that it can’t be flushed out, it too will have to be replaced.”
Marino knows, because Elite doesn’t do just windows. “A 2000-square-foot home might have 130 lineal feet of gutter and might take us around five hours to clean at $3 to $5 per lineal foot, depending on how bad the gutters are. If there is over an inch of sediment in the gutter, we’ll take a gutter scoop — it’s like a hard-plastic hand shovel — and remove the sediment manually. If there’s only a half-inch or less of sediment, we’ll use a pressure washer to flush the sediment through the drains. If the downspout is clogged, I have a tool that looks like an umbrella handle that I put on my pressure wand. I feed it in from the ground up, and the pressurized water flushes things out pretty well. Then we start cleaning the gutters by hand, using rags and a cleaning solution. It whitens up the exteriors of the gutter — and it makes dark colors brighten up, too.”
For future protection, Elite can install “a product called Rainflow [$10–$15 per lineal foot]. It’s not a gutter guard or gutter screen…something that sits on top and changes the look of your house; it’s inserted into the gutter. It looks like fiberglass-mesh insulation, and it strains out debris. Leaves and pine needles will stay on top of the mesh during the rain, but after the rain stops and they dry out, the wind should blow them off. It comes with a lifetime guarantee, and if you have it in, your gutter should need only minor maintenance every five or six years. All I would need to do is take the Rainflow out at your gutter’s high spot and send pressurized water toward the downspout to flush out any dirt. A homeowner could even do it with a hose.”
That is, if I wanted to send my homeowner up there. I have some scary-hilarious visions of Patrick teetering like a circus clown, 20 feet up. “We follow OSHA ladder-safety guidelines,” Marino assured me. “When the ladder is fully extended, it should rest at a 45-degree angle from the house. And there’s the three-point rule: you must have three points of contact with the ladder at all times. Both feet and one hand.”
Like Marino, Jim Hamilton at Any & All Rain Gutter Cleaners (619-444-0041, rainguttercleaners.com) is a stickler for safety. “We work from the roof, and if a roof has any kind of pitch, we’ll use a harness. And there’s always a ground guy and a roof guy in communication.” Unlike Marino, Hamilton doesn’t put anything into (or on top of) his gutters. “We used to install gutter screens but found that the leaves lay on top of the screen and biodegraded to form a sort of lid. When the water hit it, it skipped right over the gutter and onto the ground. And when the leaves finish decomposing, they drop through the screen as sediment.…
“We’ve been doing this for 16 years,” continued Hamilton. “When we started, we scooped gutters by hand or we used blowers, but we found it didn’t work for downspouts and roof drains. So, we’ve devised a water-jetting system; when we’re through, you could eat out of these gutters. We use a high-volume, low-pressure treatment. The machines on our trucks push eight gallons per minute — most washers only get two — and the higher volume carries everything downstream.” But not to the downspout. “You don’t want to send debris down the downspout. Some of them go underground, and you risk getting impacted sediment down there that will impede water flow. We block the downspout, blow everything out of the gutter into a receptacle, then unblock the spout and blast water through.” For that, “We use a spinning roto-jet nozzle that we can crank up to 4000 psi or down to 200 psi as needed.”
Hamilton’s prices start at around $175 per house and go up from there, depending on size. “We perform a flow test; if we see leaking at the seams, we’ll seal them. If necessary, we’ll readjust spikes to improve the angle of flow. We remove debris, clear the roof, and do a free pressure rinse of the home’s exterior.”

Suspects Identified In Skybridge Vandalism: Two young adults from Davenport were issued citations Thursday for their part in a graffiti spree on the Davenport Skybridge. Police say 19 year old Justin Mitchell and 18 year old Joshua Young are both charged with Criminal Mischief. Police say both admitted to their involvement. Three other members of the group were also identified, but it is not believed they participated in the vandalism. Police say surveillance video provided key information in helping identify the suspects. The graffiti was discovered early Sunday. Words and images, some considered obscene, were scrawled over windows and railings inside the glass and steel pedestrian Skywalk. The city hired a window-washing crew to clean it up. Police say cost of the clean-up is estimated at $175.

Gone and (almost) forgotten: In the last year it’s estimated that somewhere between nine and 15 people have died in the local community because of poverty related issues. There is Lorne Clapper (pictured). A singing window washer who would plod his way up and down the main streets of Peterborough with his bucket and squeegee in hand. A man who was loved and hated all at the same time. He died of a heart attack, alone in his room. He was 42.

HALIFAX, N.S. - Nova Scotia's finance minister says people should be angry about an embarrassing political spending scandal that has cost one politician his job and dominated headlines across the province for two weeks. Graham Steele, speaking Thursday after a cabinet meeting, said he's received an earful from residents as he's travelled the province seeking suggestions on how the NDP government should deal with a massive budget deficit. "People are angry and they should be angry because their money has been wasted, and has been spent on things that should never have been bought with their money," he said. Earlier, the New Democrats released a list of members' expenses related to their constituency assistants, and services related to their constituency offices, including window cleaning, garbage disposal and snow removal.

Talking Trash: The psychologist B.F. Skinner suggested that in an ideal society, jobs would be differentiated according to their degree of unpleasantness. A window-washer, or a garbage man, might only have to work four hours a day because the job was so odious (or odorous). Meanwhile, a musician (or a newspaper columnist?) would be expected to labor perhaps 10 hours a day, given how much fun s/he was having. Although nobody paid any attention to Skinner’s proposal, one bit of fairness has developed over the years: Garbage men may have the worst job, but they tend to get decently compensated for it. Municipal garbage workers typically receive all the benefits of a government job, including health insurance, pension contribution, public holidays, sick leave, overtime, and job security. That’s the case in Falls Church (at least for the garbage workers – the recycling is contracted out to a private firm).

Elderly man attempts to chase down wallet thief: SPOKANE, Washington - A man in his late 80s was crying as he attempted to chase down the man who had just stolen his wallet, according to a witness who called Crime Check. Last Sunday, the man and his wife allowed the thief into their home after he told the couple he was a window washer. Once inside their home in the 8100 block of E. Upriver Dr., the man, instead of 'counting windows' like he said, grabbed the homeowner's wallet and ran from the home. The couple chased the man who drove off in what they described as a red station wagon with license plates similar to 5147110 of an unknown state. Minutes later, a passerby called Crime Check and reported an elderly couple chasing an old red mini-van with a Montana license plate 541770. He told the operator the elderly man was crying. The couple described the suspect as a 50 to 60-year-old white male who was about 6'01" tall. He had gray hair that was receding, a thin build and gray eyes. Police ran different combinations of the license plate numbers given but none came back as belonging to a mini-van.

Lunch with the Barenaked Ladies: Well, they weren’t bare naked. And they weren’t ladies. But during a snowy, cold Niagara Falls lunch hour Monday a multi-platinum Canadian rock band gave a whole new meaning to the term “ladies who lunch.” “I teach about the Barenaked Ladies,” said Voss, who teaches literacy to teachers. “Their lyrics are all poetry put to music.” As just one of many examples, she said, are the lyrics “crystal clear canvas” from their song “When I Fall,” about a window washer who relates to life being cleanable and renewable, just like a window. Huh?

Chu Lai Float Glass Plant put into operation: The Chu Lai Float Glass Plant was put into operation in the Bac Chu Lai Industrial Park in Nui Thanh district, Quang Nam province yesterday. The plant invested by the Chu Lai – INDEVCO Float Glass Joint Stock Company has a capacity of 900 tonnes of float glass a day, which comes up to Japan’s standard JISR 3020-1996. The first Chu Lai float glass products are expected to be available in market in early April. This is the first float glass in Vietnam produced with the advanced technology. The Chu Lai Plant’s operation will considerably meet the domestic and export demand for construction glass, especially for 12 mm thick glass which Vietnam has had to import so far.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Another Window Cleaning Mayor



SPOTLIGHT ON WALTHAMSTOW - Focus on popular window-cleaner and former Mayor Bob Wheatley: Bob Wheatley has been cleaning windows in his beloved Waltham Forest for nearly 50 years and is a familiar face to residents. Carl Brown spoke to the former Mayor about how the area has changed and why he still gets a buzz from doing his daily rounds. Bob Wheatley is well-known in Walthamstow as a councillor, window cleaner and community figure. The 82-year-old still goes out in all but the most severe weather, with his six staff, cleaning windows across the borough.
But Bob, who in the mid 90s served as Mayor of Waltham Forest, a year he describes as the”best of his life”, had an unfortunate start to life. As a baby Bob was abandoned by his mother, left outside a phone box in Islington. He was taken to an orphanage in Barkingside, and later lived in a Barnado's home before being taken in by a Mrs Boswell, of Plumstead. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, the young Bob was evacuated to Snodland, in Kent, and later learned that Mrs Boswell had been killed in an air raid. From 1942 to 1958, Bob joined the merchant navy, travelling all over the world. He met a friend named Gerry Steer, who persuaded him to move to Baron's Court, in West London. But Bob had developed a drinking problem, and on the advice, of Mr Steer's wife, decided to move away. He said: “I did not see the point in moving a short distance away and I had been to Walthamstow before and I liked it.
“People don't appreciate Walthamstow, there is no part where you cannot get to forest or green areas, whether Epping Forest or Hollow Ponds.” Bob had several jobs, including working in a furniture shop in Billet Road, but drink still posed a problem and prevented him from holding on to jobs. But in 1962, on the advice of a friend, he started window cleaning. He said: “To begin with I just went out in a scooter and side car, during the bad winters it continued to work whereas bigger cars didn't.” Bob kicked the booze, he has been tee total for 40 years, and as his business went from strength to strength and he soon became settled in Walthamstow.
He has watched as the area has changed. He said: “There are so many more people from ethnic backgrounds now. “I remember when I was seeking a housemate a man told me on the phone 'you should know that I am black', because he expected it would be a problem, I told him I'm colour blind so it does not matter. “But it shows that race attitudes have improved beyond all recognition.
Bob became involved in politics, joining the Liberal Party and standing as a candidate in a by-election in 1972, where he was beaten into third place by the far-right National Front. This spurred him on and he continued to campaign, before in 1988 winning a seat on the council. As an activist there are naturally things about Walthamstow Bob wants to see changed. He said: “The High Street is not like it used to be, there is not the same variety of stalls and I get annoyed by traders leaving their rubbish lying around.” Bob said some groups don't do enough to encourage wider participation in their activities and describes the delayed Arcade site development as a “missed opportunity.” But Bob says the introduction of police safer neighbourhood teams has made a positive difference “because you can ring them up and speak to them.”
And he enjoys the fact that, after 50 years, people know who he is when he walks down the street. He said: “It is a diverse community, you feel free. “Everybody speaks to me around here, its a nice feeling, and that is what I like about Walthamstow.” So is Bob planning to put away his ladder any time soon? He said: “I had a fall a while back and people tried to talk me into retiring. “But it is important for someone who is old to keep active because if you don't that's when you start to decline.”

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Let There Be Light



Jeremiah Olsen, a 23-year-old entrepreneur, calls his business, "Let there be Light," his love child. The Provo-based window cleaning and Christmas lights installation company is the first of many businesses Olsen plans to start. He and his partners, Lance and Ryan Wight, want to learn as much as they can from running the company, and apply those lessons to their future ventures. “I’ll know I’ll be making a lot of mistakes with my first company,” he said. For instance, undercutting the competition helped the company gain market share, but also hurt its profit margins and ability to expand, he said.
“The profit margins for window cleaning aren’t very big. if we undercut other companies to win a customer, the margins become so small that the account becomes barely profitable,” Olsen said. “As owners, we know the costs associated so we know how low we can go when we undercut our competition in the lighting business. But it’s hard to train competent sales staff, some of whom undersold their accounts. Without good sales people, we can’t expand.” But he said he has learned a lot from dealing with different companies, how to negotiate better prices, what types of services customers want, and what they’re willing to pay per month for certain services.
While Christmas lights and decoration installations account for 70 percent of his company’s revenue, Olsen struggles with generating steady cash-flow during the off-holiday season. For tips on managing cash flow, he turned to Peter Robinson, Morris Professor of Entrepreneurship at Utah Valley University’s Woodbury School of Business.


  • The story
Olsen and his partners were selling pest control services for EcoSure in Provo when the idea for their business began. “Lance and Ryan had worked for a Christmas lights installation company in Ogden, and they thought it would be a great way to bring in income during winter,” Olsen said. Founded in 2008, let there be Light began installing holiday lights and decorations in residential areas — primarily for homes that are more than 2,700 square feet — and then later, commercial buildings. It also sells holiday lights for wholesalers like Sprinkler World in Orem. Last year, the company added window cleaning and other handyman services, which now account for 30 percent of its revenues. The company, which is now looking at adding pest control, power spraying and other services, has two offices in Provo and Ogden. It has a total of 250 customers including 200 in Utah County and the rest in Ogden and the Salt Lake area.

  • The advice
Develop a whole home service package for your customers, and sell it as a time saver, Robinson said. For say $100 a month, you can provide services every quarter like installing holiday lights, window cleaning, gutter cleaning, pressure washing, pest control, tree pruning, adding water softener salts, changing furnace filters and batteries in smoke detectors, and lawn fertilizing services. These services can be customized and priced accordingly. “You’re basically providing services that home owners don’t want to do themselves either because they have no time or they don’t want to, or forget about doing,” he said. “It’s value-added with very minimal costs.” Depending on the services you provide, you may want to set up a multi-year contract with clients who just want you to install their Christmas lights and decorations, Robinson said. “If you’re doing the whole home concept, you can do a yearly or a two year contract, because toward the second year, you may see costs going up enough that you would want to renegotiate the following year.”
Developing alliances or partnerships with pest control and lawncare service companies and outsourcing work to them could help bring in additional revenue for the company. “What you’re good at is sales, and if that’s what you do best, subcontract everything else. You just make the sale, get the companies to guarantee their work, and get 10 percent to 20 percent off the contract,” he said. “You still want to be providing some value-added services because you want to be able to maintain personal contact with your customers, and be able to assess their needs and up-sell them.” Developing an advisory board or a group of three to five business mentors and meeting with them on a quarterly basis to tap their expertise could also help Olsen’s business, Robinson said.” You can bring up problems you have, ask for suggestions on services you can offer and build the business with the customer in mind,” he said.



The Business: Let there Be Light
The Players: Jeremiah Olsen, 23, co-owner, manages accounts acquisition and accounting; Lance Wight, 23, and Ryan Wight, 23, co-owners are both responsible for account acquisition and management.
The Service: Installs Christmas lights and decorations, provides window cleaning services to homes and businesses.
Bottom Line: Annual revenues of $40,000 a year
Contact: 801-870-0166

The Challenge: How to generate steady income throughout the year especially during the off-Christmas holiday season? How to provide more value-added services and improve profitability?

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Window Cleaners Small Business Tips for 2010

10 Small Business Tips for 2010: Who better to offer New Year’s advice to small business owners than small business owners themselves? Savvy and determined entrepreneurs across the country share their experiences every month with the Discover® Small Business WatchSM, and their collective wisdom from the past year could save their peers a lot of time and trouble in 2010.

“Trial and error is a great learning tool, but the tolerance for mistakes by a small business owner in challenging times can be costly,” said Ryan Scully, director of Discover’s business credit card. “That’s why it pays to learn from the past and use those lessons to succeed. The sooner America’s small businesses are thriving again, the sooner we’ll all be much better off.”
  • 10 Tips for 2010
1. Start Preparing Your Taxes Now: Organize tax information early or it can distract you from running your business: 46 percent of small business owners say that finding and organizing the documents they need to prepare their taxes is very or somewhat difficult, and 77 percent of small business owners find the tax preparation and documentation process very or somewhat time consuming, which only takes them away from tending to their bottom lines.

2. Cut Personal Expenses: Find ways to cut costs outside of the business, because you’ll likely have to take home less pay and even go into your savings: 69 percent of small business owners say that current economic conditions are forcing them to reduce the amount of money they take home from their businesses, and 61 percent think they are very or somewhat likely to use their personal assets in the next year to keep their businesses afloat.

3. Think Green: Small business owners think the following business segments have the best opportunities for post-recovery growth, in order of importance: green industries, business services, technology and energy.

4. Have a Long-Term Plan: 43 percent of small business owners who have been hurt by the current economy say that it will be more than 12 months before their businesses rebound, followed by another 24 percent who expect that it will take six to 12 months to be in the clear.

5. Don’t Focus on the Money: Only 12 percent of entrepreneurs say that “making more money” is the biggest reason they became a small business owner; while 46 percent say they are motivated by having “more flexibility with their time” and by “being their own boss.”

6. Use the Web: 32 percent of small business owners who are part of an online networking community say that their biggest benefit from social networking is “getting new business leads.” Moreover, 47 percent of 3,000 consumers surveyed say they are more likely to use a small business that has a Web site.

7. Rely on Yourself: Don’t overextend yourself by borrowing too much in the beginning: 64 percent of small business owners say that they did not need financial capital to start their businesses. Among those who did need the capital, 45 percent received it from their personal savings, and another 16 percent borrowed from family and friends.

8. Focus on Sales: One way to stay on course is to keep a sharp focus on sales: Owners say that sales generation is the biggest issue facing their businesses today, followed by taxes, operating costs, health insurance, access to capital and inflation.

9. Stay in Touch with Family: 31 percent of small business owners say that they are very likely or somewhat likely to borrow money from family and friends in the next 12 months in order to stay in business.

10. Stay Healthy: Preventive medicine and taking care of yourself are important, given that 65 percent of small business owners report that it is somewhat or very difficult to obtain affordable health care for themselves and their employees.

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Friday, 19 February 2010

Architects - Making Work for Window Cleaners



Looking through the glass: Location may be real estate's best friend, but the view is the home's soul-mate. Windows frame our vision of the outside world. As more people are looking for the best possible perspective, they are also hunting for smart ways to increase the value of their homes. Windows are a good starting point. Newer, bigger, wider, taller, more efficient windows are a hot upgrade and there are options galore.

Christopher Simmonds, one of Ottawa's leading architects, works on the premise that, aside from providing shelter, a house is primarily a place to experience nature from within. "For me, windows are all important. So when we are designing a house, we are always thinking, what are the views trying to capture? Is it a tall tree? Is it a horizon? And how wide should we take the window to capture the view but screen out what we don't want to see, like the side of a neighbour's house or the road." In the past, windows were the absolute weakest link in the home, says Mr. Simmonds, who has crafted a reputation for connecting inside and outside spaces by using a lot of glass. In the early years, when log cabins were the house of choice, people kept windows small for structural reasons and because they let in the cold.

Technologies have vastly improved, even if winters are still raw, and many Canadians are attracted to a Mediterranean concept of living with lots of light. "There is such a desire to open up to the outside, to create integration," says Mr. Simmonds. "Fortunately, we have the technology to go along with it. It's common to see triple-glazed windows with low-e coatings and argon gas, says the architect. "The thermal performance of these windows is significantly better, three or four times better, than windows used to be 25 or 30 years ago."

Manotick Windows and Doors owner Bob Milne has seen a lot of changes in the past 20 years, with owners of older homes and those building new homes looking for the best windows to stop drafts, resist mould and rot and provide security. Typically, they choose from four types of frames that carry their own strengths and weaknesses. These include PVC, fibreglass, wood and aluminum.
  • PVC windows
PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, are well suited for buyers looking for low maintenance. These windows require no painting inside or outside; and are popular for starter homes right up to million-dollar properties. "You don't have to paint against weather stripping," says Mr. Milne, adding the frames come in trendy colours, including shades of brown, grey, and green. "You don't have to paint against handles or cranks. You just clean your windows." But one of the downsides to PVC is its tendency to expand. So why would you want it? "PVC is the most economical product on the market," says Mr. Milne. "So say windows are $10,000 in PVC, they may be $14,000 in fibreglass." Given that PVC is cost efficient, they are the current industry standard - which is why most companies that make the cranks and the hardware for window companies are designing them mostly for vinyl windows. The price A 60x60-inch picture window costs $900 to $1,100, installed.
  • Fibreglass
Fibreglass has been around for years, but it's still a relatively small player in the world of windows. Its big advantage is that it expands very little, allowing the caulking that holds the seal to outlast other installations. "Fibreglass does not expand any differently than glass," says Mr. Milne. "It's made of glass. It's glass fibres." People concerned about having the highest energy efficiency will search out fibreglass products. But they are more expensive, and there are limitations, such as it's hard to get them made into curves. The price A 60x60-inch picture window costs $1,300 to $1,500, installed.
  • Wood
Wood is the original window frame material, but these days it's used for high-end jobs and comes with regular maintenance. "It's usually someone who appreciates a wood finish on the inside," says Mr. Milne. Given Ottawa's weather extremes, it's hard to keep paint on a wood window. Wooden windows usually have aluminum cladding on the outside and wood on the inside. "Some people forget the wood and let it go. Then it peels inside and it's not as good a look as the vinyl window." The price Wood windows have a bigger price range, just like wood furniture, because there will be different qualities of wood. Prices range between $900 and $2,000 for a 60x60-inch picture window, installed.
  • Aluminum
Aluminum has been widely used in high-rises for its strength and longevity, which is of utmost importance when dealing with high winds several floors up. They are light, strong, low-maintenance and easily formed into complex shapes. However, they conduct the cold, so it will tend to be a chillier window. "You go on the balcony of a 17th-floor apartment building and feel the wind blowing. You want a window that's stronger to hold that glass," says Mr. Milne. He says aluminum expands a certain amount too. "It's less than vinyl, but more than wood or fibreglass." The price Similar to vinyl for a 60x60-inch window, ranging from $900 to $1,200, installed.

Life behind a wall of glass: As a nation we Brits like our privacy and generally prefer to play out our home lives with blinds closed and curtains tightly drawn. Not Henry Squire, pictured, who lives in a house in which the entire façade is clad in huge sheets of glass. This floods his rooms with light — but also gives anyone walking through Paradise Park in Holloway, North London, an eyeful of his supersleek kitchen and taste in soft furnishings (white). Contemporary architects have embraced expanses of glass because of the way it maximises natural illumination. Agents say that enthusiasm for this kind of design is growing and prices regularly exceed comparable properties with regular windows.

Squire, 37, is a director of Squire and Partners, the architectural practice working on the controversial Chelsea Barracks redevelopment. Having helped to design the Holloway glass home, he put his money where his mouth was and moved in some six years ago. Living behind a glass wall sounds frightening to the bashful, but Squire has embraced it. “Fear of overlooking is a very English phenomenon,” he says. “You can walk through very nice parts of Chelsea and Belgravia and you are looking straight into people’s houses. It is terribly easy to deal with: you just shut a blind.”

Trevor Abrahmsohn, the managing director of Glentree International, is about to put the glass-heavy Hillside House in Highgate up for sale for about £5 million. “Walls of windows do wonderful things to a room,” he says. “It is almost shocking when you go into a house like that on a dull day and see how bright it is.” Living in a glass house is not without complications, however. “The big issue I have found is maintenance, because unlike brickwork, you do have to clean it,” Squire says. “To keep it looking really good, you ideally need to clean it once every six months, or even every quarter.”

Some environmentalists take issue with glass. But Chris Wilford, head of sustainable design at PRP Architects, says it does not necessarily produce an environmental calamity — boiling in summer and requiring air-conditioning, and expensive and difficult to heat in winter. “There are some fantastic glass products on the market with good insulating value, so you can build houses that are flooded with light but are very efficient too,” he says. “And a lot of glass means you don’t have to have the lights on all the time.” When it comes to investment potential, Paul Jarman, a director of Savills estate agents, says that glass houses do a little better than their brick-built peers. “The young City money would much rather have a glass house than something traditional,” he says. “The sub-forties want a house that has all the latest technology built in and a glass house will have that. “Buyers also like to have nice, open, airy rooms, and by having glass the feel is much more spacious and open and connected to the outside.”

One concern that comes up again and again, though, when it comes to glass houses, is security.
No official data exists about whether you are more likely to be burgled if all your worldly goods are permanently on show. But Abrahmsohn believes that glass houses could actually be a turn-off for burglars. “If you get a bit of glass that is 8ft high and 6ft across, it’s very difficult to try to cut out a portion of it,” he said. “You could cut your leg off. It is also usually toughened and very hard to break and you can’t jemmy it open like you can a rotten window frame. In the trade it is a known fact that they [glass houses] are very hard to get into and therefore burglars hate them.”

The pros:
  • Expanses of glass flood a house with light, making rooms feel bigger and taking advantage of any views.
  • Natural light eliminates the need to have so many lights on.
  • Glass properties are relatively rare and popular with young house-hunters. This can push prices higher than for equivalent, conventionally constructed properties.
  • Glass houses are low maintenance — aside from the window cleaning.
  • There is no need for painting or repointing.
  • Glass houses are usually contemporary and so tend to come with the latest technology, from ambient heating systems to computer-controlled lighting.
The cons:
  • Some people may find being so exposed a problem, although this can be mitigated with opaque or tinted glass or blinds.
  • The glass will need to be cleaned every four to six months, possibly by specialist window-cleaners.
  • If whole walls are glass, there is less space for shelves and cupboards, or to hang pictures, than in a conventional property.
  • A badly designed glass house can be too hot in summer and very costly to heat in winter. Check the energy performance certificate in the Home Information Pack. Look for a rating of D or better.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Window Cleaning News

Fall from height warning given by former window cleaner: A former West Midlands window cleaner who broke his hip and wrist when he fell from a ladder has added his weight to the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) efforts to eliminate workplace injuries. Ken Bradley, 63, was cleaning the windows of a house in Dudley in July 2006 when the ladder slipped and he fell. "I felt the ladder slip from under me and I grabbed a window to try and stop myself from falling. But I couldn’t reach. I don’t really remember much after that until I woke up in hospital but I do know I was lucky to escape with the injuries I got," he said. Brian Martin, HSE inspector, said that Mr Bradley's accident shows that any fall from height can have devastating consequences. The HSE recently re-launched its slips, trips and falls campaign, which aims to make people aware of the risks of working at height, among other workplace dangers.

Police in the Driffield area are urging possible victims to come forward after police arrested a man for fraud by false representation. Police have arrested a 27-year-old Driffield man in connection with a number of alleged offences. It is alleged a man knocked on several doors in the Driffield area on Thursday 04 February between 1545hrs and 1630hrs, claiming to be the residents' window cleaner and asking for payment. It is alleged some home owners paid the man a sum of money, whilst others became suspicious and refused to pay the man. The 27-year-old man has been released on police bail, pending further enquiries, until a date in February. PC Simon Marshall said: "We have had many victims coming forward with regards to a man alleging to be their window cleaner.

Missing man found: A 33 year old man who had been missing for two weeks has been found safe and well. Police appealed for help in tracing window cleaner Alexander Wileman after he went missing from his home in Albermarle Drive, Wantage, on Wednesday, February 3. Police spokesman Daniel Donovan said Mr Wileman was found safe and well at Victoria Station in London at about 11am today. He is currently being driven to an Oxfordshire police station. Members of the public were thanked for their assistance in trying to find Mr Wileman.

Frost-bound building firms get cash help: Building groups, gardening companies and window washing firms can claim government help to pay workers who have been left without anything to do because of the long period of frost. Social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner has agreed that companies which have been affected by the wintry weather can apply for temporary unemployment benefit (ww) for staff for February and March. Some 400 claims have already been made and thousands are expected, the Financieele Dagblad reports.

Bus riders now shivering on the curb at Fifth Avenue and State Street in downtown La Crosse could have been using a heated transit center blocks away — had its construction gone as planned. But passengers and city officials who’ve waited more than 15 years for the transit center will wait at least another eight months. The Grand River Station, bid for about $21.6 million, is about eight months behind schedule and $2 million over budget, though still within the contingencies for the project. The project has had 24 change orders to date, some small — such as $2,000 for sprinkler revisions or an additional fire valve hose — and some pricier, such as $109,000 to install window washing equipment. Many of those, Hutchens said, are the result of incomplete architectural information from the start.

A Turkish investor has brought the basic ‘Roomba’ model of US company iRobot to the market, selling 500 units in only 45 days. Ali Tan Şerbetçi says the company plans to sell its products in the Middle East through Turkey. iRobot, a United States-based company with a 75 percent market share in the global home robots market, has entered Turkey with its “Roomba” model. The robot, reminiscent of a Frisbee, has a diameter of 30 centimeters and a height of eight centimeters. The robot is able to calculate the layout of a given area and clean it without human intervention. The 'Roomba' reminiscent of a Frisbee, has a diameter of 30 centimeters and a height of eight centimeters. The “Scooba” model, which uses water and detergent, will be on the Turkish market in April and will sell for 1,200 liras. “Scooba was designed for working couples, families with children, those who have pets, elderly people and the disabled,” Şerbetçi said. “It brushes and washes an area of 80 square meters and completes its cleaning without touching carpets and the like.” After Scooba, the company plans to introduce window cleaning and security robots to the market.

Ultra-thin glass coating for buildings on the way to UK: German company says new product is green and suitable for almost any surface. An ultra-thin coating is being promoted as the next big thing for protecting the surfaces of everything from hospital equipment to buildings. Called Liquid Glass, the flexible and breathable glass coating is being marketed by its German maker Nanopool as a coating for wood, stone, fibre, plastic and glass and ceramics.
The coating is approximately 100 nanometres thick (500 times thinner than a human hair), and according to the manufacturer it is food safe, environmentally friendly and can be applied to almost any surface. The coating leaves surfaces easy to clean and anti-microbially protected. Neil McClelland, UK project manager for Nanopool explained some of the principles behind the product, saying, "In essence, we extract molecules of SiO2 [silicon dioxide] (the primary constituent of glass) from quartz sand, and then we add the molecules to water or ethanol." Liquid Glass is on the market in Germany and will soon be available in the UK. It has already been trialled for the protection of monuments in Turkey, including the Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara.

A plane crashed into a Northwest Austin building that houses federal offices about 10 this morning, injuring several people and sparking a fire that sent plumes of smoke into the air that could be seen for miles. A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said the crash, at the Echelon 1 building in the 9400 block of Research Boulevard, was “apparently a criminal act.” Austin Fire Department Division Chief Dawn Clopton said that the FBI would be taking over the investigation. Joe Williams, co-founder of the company, and Cynthia Reed, her boss, ran to a nearby truck with window washing equipment and ladders. “By some miracle there was a truck that was for cleaning windows and there were ladders,” Olivarez said. “They were putting ladders up against the building trying to get people out,” Olivarez said. “It looked as if they couldn’t get out, like both the floors were on fire. There was smoke protruding out of all the windows. It probably took about four minutes for the entire parking lot to be filled with smoke.”
They began to get out people until fire trucks showed up with their own ladders, she said.

Window Cleaner Knew: A second long-running business in Birmingham’s Brindleyplace has been refused a lease renewal amid claims the landlord could damage the long-term success of the district. Spiritual health shop Zen is the latest tenant to be turned down by the British Airways Pension Fund after hair salon Umberto Giannini was told it too would have to leave. They claimed they were the last to know and even a local window cleaner was aware plans were afoot to “kick all the smaller people out”.

In celebration of Black History Month, University of Rhode Island students and faculty attended the Black Inventors Exhibit on Tuesday, to pay tribute to and learn about the famous inventions of lesser-known black inventors. The exhibit showed that without black inventors, we would live in a world without traffic lights, mops and golf tees. Sandra Lamb, co-founder of the organization, said some of the tools featured, particularly the early technology, are from Africa, which she bought from a flea market in Massachusetts. The exhibit also displayed simple inventions like a window cleaner and a lemon squeezer.

For Mayor: Don Marsh: I'm Don Marsh, and my wife and I have been married for 32 years and raised both our children here. I am the owner of Marsh Window Cleaning, and I've spent the last 29 years serving the private sector in a position where what matters are positive results that can be seen with the naked eye. This is the kind of bottom-line-driven governing and transparency that I will bring to City Hall.

Giuliani also spoke about 9/11, said youth council member Garrett Weeks, and told the audience it was a day where a lot of people showed their leadership skills. One example he cited was an event that took place on an elevator in the World Trade Center. The power went out after one of the hijacked planes slammed into Tower One, Giuliani said. This caused the elevators to stop working. Six men were on one of the elevators. Most of them were executives with the exception of window-washer Jan Demczur carrying his bucket and a squeegee. As the men were trying to figure out how to get out of the elevator, Demczur realized they could use the pole on his squeegee to pry open the door so he directed the men in helping him. The elevator opened to a thick wall. Demczur took the lead again and took the sharp edge of his squeegee handle to scrape away the wall. After digging through three layers of drywall they were able to free themselves from the elevator. Demczur is not only considered a hero, but a leader as well.

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