Tuesday 30 June 2009

The Biggest Squeegee in the World

As the Slayer squeegee takes dominance in the squeegee market, look at this 8 foot monster below. This squeegee made by window cleaning resource is being used more & more by window cleaners everyday. A personal favorite of mine, it seems to be taking America by storm adding to the range of squeegee's available in your bucket. Available in the USA here & soon in Europe. Available in a multitude of sizes: 5", 6", 8", 10", 12", 14", 16", 18", 20", 22", 24", 26", 30", 36" and a massive 96". More information here.

Monday 29 June 2009

Tallest Cherry Picker & Other Window Cleaning News

Bradford firm on the up: A specialist window-cleaners is extending its reach after taking delivery of the UK’s tallest cherry-picker. Bosses at Blade Access, in Bowling Back Lane, West Bowling, Bradford, will use the £600,000, 230ft Wumag access platform for “extreme window cleaning”. It will scale tall buildings across West Yorkshire. And it will enable work to be carried out in the environmental technology sector. Jamie Bairstow, 29, who co-founded the company six years ago with Mark Bell, bought the cherry-picker from Sky King, a specialist company in Leicestershire. Mr Bairstow said: “When we originally formed the window-cleaning business, we had to hire out platforms. Then we got a fire engine platform and now we’ve got the biggest cherry-picker in the UK. It looks like we’re going up in the world!” Pictured: From the left, co-founder Mark Bell, area sales manager Martin Cowley and co-founder Jamie Bairstow.

Tired of hearing people passively ask what's being done about downtown's vacant storefronts, a small group of volunteers has taken it upon themselves to bring curb appeal to the area's commercial real estate. This summer, the dark and dusty store windows that dot Center Street and Merchants Row will be replaced with colorful cloth backdrops, furniture and theater prop displays, unconventional art and more than a few flocks of paper cranes. "We're a small group of volunteers who are just very interested in seeing the beauty of Rutland shine through," said Carol Tashie, of the group City SEEDs — formerly known as Farm to City — which promotes socially engaged economic development.
"We thought we could take advantage of the fact that those windows offer a frame for getting people to locate their businesses downtown," she said. With the permission of the property owners, all of whom have been receptive to the idea, City SEEDs has already spruced up three window fronts, including the former Army Navy store on Center Street and the old Book King on Merchants Row, and hopes to have all decorated by early August, said Steve Eddy, another member of the group. Eddy is the former owner of Book King, but doesn't own the now-vacant space he formerly occupied.

Wow is owned and operated by Andrew Kidd, whose slogan is: “Windows that make you say, ‘WOW!’” He makes the world say Wow! in Burien, Normandy Park and Seattle. We don’t know for sure, but our research reveals that back in school Andrew’s nickname was “Streak Free.”
Do you run a business? Well, if you do, Andrew is announcing a $30 “Special for Businesses” which includes two windows and a door, cleaned inside and outside, for just $30. Wow! And for homeowners, be prepared – it’ll be like your windows changing from analog to High Def. Throwing a party for the 4th? The last thing on your To Do list is always washing the windows. “Allow us to do it for you,” Andrew says. “And call me about Senior Discounts.” A new view courtesy Andrew and his crew, who like to say: “Give us a call. We’ll come see you so your customers can too!” Oh, we were just kidding about the “Streak Free” nickname, but Andrew really is a lifelong Burien resident. He loves it here. Wow window washing.

Racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart received a special 70th birthday present yesterday - the freedom of his childhood home. And when he visitied his former schools in Dumbarton, he opened his heart on his battle with dyslexia. At Dumbarton Academy, he told fellow dyslexia sufferer and Formula One fan Harry Watters, 14, he could "be the next Lewis Hamilton". "Einstein was dyslexic and if I hadn't won three world championships, I would be the world's best window cleaner - seriously.

Ecover, the world-leading pioneers of ecological cleaning are packing their most powerful punch yet with a brand new range of hard surface cleaning products that put their competitors to shame. While they’re even tougher than petrochemical products on household grime, they’re brilliantly gentle on both the environment and your skin.
Guaranteed to leave your home sparkling clean, this hard-working range harnesses the power of nature through pioneering ingredients called Eco-Surfactants1. Developed exclusively by Ecover’s ecological innovators, these new ingredients mean the new range is proven to clean as well as – or better than - the UK’s leading conventional brands2.
The range consists of two new products: Ecover Power Cleaner and Ecover Window & Glass Cleaner; as well as two new formulations of household favourites, Ecover All Purpose Cleaner (previously known as Ecover Multi-Surface Cleaner) and Ecover Multi Surface Spray Cleaner (previously known as SquirtEco).
Ecover Window & Glass Cleaner – RRP £2.69 (500ml) - this brand new product can be used on windows, mirrors, glass and chrome. Up against Mr Muscle Window Cleaner, it took victory on performance and finish, and was described as ‘efficient’, ‘very effective’ and ‘easy to use’ in consumer research.

Travellers leave dangerous rubbish in their wake: A Shefford Woodlands man has been left with skips full of rubbish, including piles of asbestos, after travellers set up home in his field. Charles Byam-Cook, who lives at Oakhanger Park, said that more than a dozen caravans and camper vans had converged on his property after cutting a hole in a fence. Mr Byam-Cook said that they spent more than a week on his land before finally moving on of their own accord, on Sunday, June 14. However, he has now been left with a huge clean-up operation after discovering that they had left heaps of debris. “I have had to get two skips to clear it all and one especially for all the asbestos,” said Mr Byam-Cook. “There were empty bottles, beer cans, household rubbish and old gas cylinders – but what was more tiresome was all the other rubbish they left.” Mr Byam-Cook said that this included old doors and window frames and wood with nails sticking out of it. He added that among the rubbish left he had also found two boxes of flyers, offering cleaning and roofing services.

Top 10 Michael Jackson moments: Number 3. Bubbles
Bubbles was Jackson's favourite pet chimpanzee whilst he lived at the Neverland ranch. In out-takes from Martin Bashir's documentary, Bubbles is said to have used Jackson's private toilet and completed basic household duties such as dusting and window cleaning aided by other chimpanzees. It was rumoured that Bubbles was banned from the Neverland premises having punched Jackson in the face. A statue of Bubbles and Jackson can be found at the Alstrup Fearney Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo Norway, having been purchased for $5.6 million by an ananymous buyer in New York in 1991.

Powerful software to make your cleaning business more efficient. Now you can easily record and view info on every cleaning job you have done: floor care, carpet care, self-employment, window washing, custodial training and many other areas related to the cleaning industry. You can use the scheduler to find the best fit by viewing dates, times and distance of other scheduled services to set an appointment for a customer. Each customer's history is stored and conveniently displayed on the customers main screen for ease of look up. This historical recount is complete and permanently stored with each customer for quick reference. It's perfect for workers to plan working hours so that the orders do not overlap with someone else and keep track of scheduled appointments. It'll store the information about clients, such as their address, telephone, email and comments. This modern and extremely handy program makes management a real pleasure. You can view the information about payments, daily income for any day at any moment when you need it. For those people, who work in Microsoft Outlook, it's possible to export data. Export of data is available to different formats: XLS, TXT, HTML, XML for its adaptation for other programs. In case of crashes or virus attacks, there is an auto backup function with a possibility to remove old archives automatically.

Newspapers tell window cleaners what to charge! If you hire a window washing service, the charge to wash 12 double-hung windows from the inside and exterior of a house will be $156. You can do the job for $16, the cost of the materials, and save a whopping 90 percent for your effort. Those materials include cleaning solution and a window squeegee and scrubber. You also need a stepladder, bucket and lint-free clean rags for washing and drying. Washing windows is a good two-person job that goes quickly when one worker cleans the exterior while the other cleans the inside.
Washing windows is a no-brainer if you have a single-story house. However, the job gets dicey if you have a two-story house. Unless you already have an extension ladder, consider washing the first-floor windows and hiring a service to wash the ones upstairs. You'll get the best results if you wash windows on a cloudy day because sunlight dries the glass quickly, which causes streaking. Pro cost: $156 - DIY cost: $16 - Pro time: 1.8 hrs, DIY time: 3.3 hrs, DIY savings: $140 - Percent saved: 90 Percent.

Couple celebrate 70 years of marriage: It's an anniversary which most people struggle to reach... 70 years of marriage. But for Bill Mitton, 99, and his wife Doris, 91, it was yet another extraordinary milestone in their extraordinary lives. The happy couple tied the knot three months before the outbreak of the Second World War, on June 24, 1939. And for the past 64 years, they have lived in the same house in Whitehall, where their family grew up. At the bungalow in Wineberry Close the pair celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary, surrounded by five generations of their family. Bill worked as a fireman during the war and then as a window cleaner for many years before going on to work for Crittall Windows in Brislington, until he retired at 65.

Angry leaseholders accuse Lambeth of "plucking figures out of the air" after service charges soar: Homeowners have accused Lambeth’s housing manager of giving them inflated bills for service contracts that do not exist in order to plug a financial black hole. Last week estimated service charge bills for 2009/10 dropped through the letterboxes of thousands of Lambeth Council properties leaseholders. In many cases, estimated charges for services such as heating and hot water more than doubled, adding hundreds of pounds to residents’ yearly bills. Other services - such as communal block cleaning costs and window-cleaning - have also rocketed. Leaseholder representatives say this is wrong as contracts for services on some estates have not been decided. One Herne Hill resident reported a jump in block cleaning costs from £35 in 2008/9 to an estimated £650 this year on his yearly bill.

Sunday 28 June 2009

Swapping Programming for Window Cleaning

Steep thrills for the benefit of Mr Keyte: Daniel Keyte has been working 220 metres above the Sydney city centre without a safety net. All that is between him and oblivion is rope and hope. He has just spent four days dangling off lines more than 52 storeys above busy George Street while he scraped away corrosion and slapped paint on the 40-metre steel pole atop the Ernst & Young building.
Mr Keyte, a former Canberra IT programmer, used to watch window cleaners outside his high-rise office and realised they were their own men, free as birds. It looked more pleasant than being cooped up with computers. Once he would have been called a steeplejack but Mr Keyte, 27, describes himself as an industrial abseiler, a workplace application of the rock climbing he took up as a teenage hobby to overcome acrophobia.
"That's all behind me now. The only way you beat your fear is to face it and the Ernst & Young was our tallest assignment so far," Mr Keyte said. "To be honest, it wasn't a big problem. The weather was nice, sunny, little wind - besides, I've climbed higher stuff."
His day job has funded climbing expeditions to many rocky hard places, including the Blue Mountains, Victoria's Mount Arapiles and peaks in New Zealand, Thailand and Europe. The rising number of tall buildings has enabled his Canberra company, Rope Access Engineering, to expand to 10 climbers in just a couple of years.
They are different from window cleaners, who work from the relative safety of platforms slung down the sides of buildings. "We'll do any job that can only be reached by rope," Mr Keyte said.
He has been dropped into air-conditioning ducts, swung around radio dishes at NASA's Deep Space Network complex at Tidbinbilla and dangled off tall buildings. "Much of the work involves finishing off little jobs that have been left behind when the builders quit and nobody can get at the work because it's too high or too far down," Mr Keyte said.
He nearly completed a human biology degree at the University of Canberra, but quit to work in the public service with computers - not exactly a great apprenticeship for being a tradie in the sky. "I grew up on a diary farm and a lot of the jobs I did at uni were practical ones that required using your hands, so I can get by," he said. "Of course, we can't do stuff that requires certified tradesmen, so we work with guys to get them into place to do the work." Mr Keyte said there were no uniform national laws concerning work safety in high places.

Saturday 27 June 2009

R.I.P. Tippy Tom? Ex Homeless Window Washer

This is one very and surprising news; the most searched hottest trend on Google today is the keyword “Tippy Tom Died“. The fact that Google trend reflects the most searched online information on a certain topic proves that the news of Tippy tom’s death is a burning issue. Enough in importance to have been placed on the top spot. The question now is, which many are obviously wondering, who is Tippy Tom? He does not sound familiar in any remotely possible way too.
Tippy Tom is a 45 year old homeless New Yorker who has been on the streets for over two decades. He came in to public notice after getting featured on the Opie and Anthony Show. The man is a gay and is also reported to have been tested HIV positive. It is reported that before fate turned her back on him, Tom had been a well settled, successful business man with a family of a wife and a kid. His business of window washing was quite flourishing. However, he had a problem with gambling and that could have been the reason that he had ultimately landed on the streets.

So, this is the sad story of homeless Tippy Tom’s life. Whether he is dead or not is something that still needs verification. As of now, news pouring in from various ends say that Tippy Tom had passed away on the 6th of May. It has been quite sometime that the matter came to be noticed, it seems. Only in days to come will we be sure if Tippy Tom’s death is for real or he is just another victim of ‘internet hoax’ series, that has been sparked off recently.

Friday 26 June 2009

The Carbo Clean Water Fed Pole

The Carbo Clean Pole Wash Systems from the Netherlands:

The Carbo Clean Pole is a strong and extremely low-weight cleaning pole, made of carbon, designed for telescopic glass and façade washing, up to a height of approx. 13.5 m. With the Carbo Clean Pole you can wash up to 4 floors without the use of a ladder. Having an ergonomic shape the pole has a handy grip. Due to the special shape it is easy to recognize the front and rear of the pole, so that the brush will always be correctly positioned to the face the glass.

The Carbo Clean Pole washing brush is no ordinary brush, but specially provided with a so-called window-sill brush. This windowsill brush is particularly intended for the cleaning of the protruding parts of an object. By choosing carbon as a base material, the Carbo Clean Pole has a lower weight and is stronger than other telescopic washing poles. Total length is 13.5 m. Consisting of 8 pole sections of 1.7 m. each, the Carbo Clean Pole weighs approx. 4 kg and has approx. 2 kg less weight than other poles available on the market.
The Carbo Clean Pole exists of separate sections of 1.7 m or 1.2 m., which can be put together by means of the fixing system (two conical parts). So, if you have to clean at a lower height, simply do not use all the sections, thus reducing the overall weight.

The Carbo Clean Pole exists of two conical parts sliding into one-another. A stainless steel spring clip in the lower part locks in a recess in the upper part. In order to release the two parts, push the spring clip at both sides of the Carbo Clean Pole. Now you can slide out both parts again.
You can easily store the separate poles into the special movable and collapsible Carbo Clean Pole cart.

Thursday 25 June 2009

Window Cleaning News

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ Visual Effects Supervisor Scott Farrar: “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”, opening June 24th, is the second film in the series based on the Hasbro toy/cartoon. Scott Farrar, whose long career has roots in the first “Star Wars”, supervised all the complex visual effects. Farrar, who gave a precise overview of the challenges and proven results in upping the ante from the first Transformers film. The Visual Effects, which I handle, is essentially things that are not there on the day that I’m going to put in later. For example, a robot has to stand on mark ‘A’ and walk to mark ‘B’.
For that, I use what is called ‘low tech for high effect’, window washer poles with Production Assistants standing there. Then I might have a person walk from A to B, or have those poles extended to the proper height of the robot, because the camera operator needs to know what to look for, where to frame for a robot when they are looking through the camera. We can at least establish where a robot will be and how high he is. I am there as a visual referee. I can imagine those robots much better than most, because that is what I’ve been doing for long time. It’s all imagination.

Jordan Could Marry A Window Cleaner: Katie Price And Peter Andre Less Likely To Reconcile As Katie Considers Im A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. Katie Price And Peter Andre’s Split is becoming messier by the day and that has led to bookies William Hill lengthening their odds on the pair getting back together. Reconciliation Now Out Of The Question William Hill had been offering 2/1 that Jordan and Peter Andre could reconcile presumably under the assumption that it could all be an elaborate publicity stunt. Things have taken a turn for the worse for the pair though and William Hill have pushed out the odds of a reconciliation all the way to 10/1. You can get huge odds of 250/1 with William Hill that once again Katie Price meets her next husband on the show and William Hill are betting on the profession of Jordan’s next husband. An actor is favourite at 5/2 whilst a fellow model is next best at 4/1 with William Hill. A footballer wouldn’t be a surprise and that is overpriced at 6/1 whilst you can get 100/1 on it being a window cleaner!

Compass Group’s ESS extends defence contracts: ESS Support Services Worldwide, part of Compass Group, has picked up several new defence contracts and extensions worth more than £3.7m a year in total turnover. These include a four-year extension from support services company Carillon of the ESS contract at RAF Spadeadam in Cumbria. The deal, worth £1.4m in total turnover, includes catering and cleaning for around 250 personnel at the base, where Compass has provided services already for more than five years. Arborfield, home to the Army’s School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, has also extended the contract held by ESS there by two years. Having been on site for the past decade, ESS will continue to provide catering, cleaning, general refuse, hazardous waste disposal, road sweeping, tailoring, shoe repair, laundry, domestic assistance and window cleaning at the site.

Cleaning Services in Australia - New Company and Market Analysis: This is the replacement for the December 2008 edition of Cleaning Services in Australia report. Industry Market Research Synopsis This Industry Market Research report provides a detailed analysis of the Cleaning Services in Australia industry, including key growth trends, statistics, forecasts, the competitive environment including market shares and the key issues facing the industry. Industry Definition This report relates to firms that provide window, building, telephone cleaning or similar cleaning services (except carpet cleaning, shampooing services, steam cleaning or sand blasting of building exteriors). Report Contents The Key Statistics chapter provides the key indicators for the industry for at least the last three years. The statistics included are industry revenue, industry gross product, employment, establishments, exports, imports, domestic demand and total wages. The Market Characteristics chapter covers the following: Market Size, Linkages, Demand Determinants, Domestic and International Markets, Basis of Competition and Life Cycle. The Market Size section gives the size of the domestic market as well as the size of the export market. The Linkages section lists the industry´s major supplier and major customer industries. The Demand Determinants section lists the key factors which are likely to cause demand to rise or fall. The Domestic and International Markets section defines the market for the products and services of the industry.

Benefit concert for musician (ex window cleaner): A benefit concert for one of the area's beloved musical brethren will take place tonight at Jax, next to the Pickle Barrel Night Club in Killington — an evening of music, family and friends with a large lineup of local artists performing. James Rohn died just before the holiday season last year. From his years as a drummer with rock and country bands to his days of blues projects and bass and percussion adventures with large ensembles and small acoustic trios, he covered it all with a bright sense of humor.
Rohn, who also worked security for author Stephen King and hung from scaffolding as a window washer, drove a Harley Davidson motorcycle and also a limo from time to time, ran a driving range and took great photos. Rohn's ashes will be taken to the VA Memorial earlier in the day via Harley Davidson, and immediately following a concert marathon will kick off at 5 p.m. featuring many of the bands Rohn worked with throughout his career. Lending their music are: Joey Leone, Ziggy Jager, Dave LaFountain, Steve Kyhill, Jim Disabito, Annie Somers and Jon Turin, Green River, Lazy Boy & The Recliners, Wayne Canney, Mr. Blues and Rick Redington & The Luv.

Baby Yvie continues to defy the odds: ONE baby Guernsey girl has defied doctors’ expectations by surviving a series of gruelling operations. Yvie Margetts, aged 18 months, was born with a heart defect which resulted in four operations - including two open heart - but three weeks ago she returned to Guernsey and has never been better. ‘Doctors have said so many times they don’t know how she has made it through the night. ‘She has just made up her own rules and they have no idea how she keeps pulling through. She has always beaten the odds,’ said Yvie’s mum, 27-year-old Laura.
A week after 18-month-old Yvie was born, Mrs Margetts and her husband, 28-year-old Daryl, a window cleaner, were told she had a heart defect. The family were referred to Southampton Hospital but an operation could not be performed until she was at least six months old. A further MRI scan revealed Yvie also had neurological problems. The pons, an area of the brain which controls sensory information and regulates respiration, had not formed properly. ‘There is no name for her condition and it is not genetic, but all of her problems stem from this neurological problem,’ said Mrs Margetts.

Role reversal - Bosses come clean: It was a night shift with a difference as workers who normally clean floors and windows got the chance to order their bosses around. Senior managers from Festival City Mall swapped their suits and ties for brooms and dustbins as they spent an eight-hour shift finding out what it is like to clean up after all have left for the day. Johnny Moura, a housekeeping attendant at the mall, had the task of ensuring that Tom Miles, Director of Shopping Centres at Al Futtaim Group Real Estate, did his job for the night.
Moura, originally from Goa, India has been working at the mall for two years as a window cleaner and bin emptier. “I felt so proud that he would spend the shift with us to find out how we worked.” The ‘shift’ began at 10pm. Moura said, “I only had to explain to him how to do things once. He did it without any complai nts. “Everyone who is on my shift was very happy that the managers took time to see how we work. “It is a long shift and there is a lot of walking about but he handled it very well. He spent part of the night cleaning the windows on the link bridge to Ikea and did a very good job.”
Tom Miles told XPRESS he had learnt a lot from the experience. “The last time I did anything like that was a couple of decades ago when I worked as a janitor in my high school,” he said. Around nine managers took part in the event, accompanied by 20 “supervisors” who made sure they did the work properly. Miles said: “The supervisors were the workers who would normally do the jobs we were doing. “The whole inspiration for this came from one of the managers who felt it would be a good way to understand what our staf f experience. “It’s definitely made me appreciate the work that they do. “One of the things I never realised was how many people are still in the mall in the early hours.”
Rafiq Qureshi, the security and housekeeping manager, had to operate the mobile cleaning machine throughout the shift. He said: “It was my job to clean the floors of the entire mall.
“It’s really been a worthwhile exercise and everyone who took part had their eyes opened to what our staff do. It was great to see the reaction from the people who normally do the shift and was a real boost to morale.” The exercise was so successful that plans are afoot to hold similar exercises once a month.

Make purchases without cash: In a tough economy, more business owners are conserving cash by bartering for the stuff they need. Even in modern times, bartering remains a practical choice for small businesses. It's a cash preservation tool, something that's especially useful in a tough economy. It can also help move unsold inventory or put idled staff to work. Done right, bartering can even drive new cash business. But increasing numbers of small businesses are joining barter exchanges that make it possible to arrange trades within a large online network. U.S. exchanges now boast about 250,000 small business members, up from 200,000 five years ago, according to the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA), based in Rochester, N.Y. Because so many swaps are informal, the size of the small business barter economy is hard to gauge. Typically, bartering activity spikes during economic downturns. Meyer expects the total volume of U.S. barter transactions to grow 10% this year (historically the annual growth rate has hovered around 5%). "Right now many small businesses are starved for customers," he says. "If you're a savvy owner, barter is just another doorway that brings customers into your establishment."
For better or worse, many business owners gravitate to informal barter because the deals tend to stay off the books. It's hard for the IRS to uncover an instance of bartering if neither party reports it, says Tom O chsenschlager, vice president of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Washington, D.C. But informal barter has drawbacks. Would-be traders must locate a counterpart for each transaction. And some swaps simply don't make sense. It might be impractical to cut a $10,000 barter deal with a restaurant, for example. Would you really want all those chicken dinners? And what if the restaurant went out of business before you'd claimed your grub? By contrast, joining an online barter exchange can expand your network of trading partners and provide access to a much larger selection of goods and services.
Thanks mostly to the Internet, the U.S. currently boasts some 500 barter exchanges, up from about 40 in 1980. Kar trades through an outfit called BizXchange that's headquartered in Bellevue, Wash. Here's how it works: Say a printing company uses the exchange to buy $1,000 worth of Kar's coffee. Kar will receive $1,000 worth of trade dollars that he can use to pay for any good or service offered on the exchange. He d oesn't have to barter directly with the printer. In fact, if the printer goes belly-up, Kar keeps his 1,000 trade dollars. He could split up his barter purchases, buying 500 trade dollars' worth of lightbulbs and 500 in window cleaning. "An exchange is like a small closed economy with its own currency," explains David Wallach, executive director of IRTA.
Most barter exchanges charge a onetime membership fee (typically around $250) plus a monthly fee ($30 is standard). You also pay the exchange a commission of 5% to 8% on each barter transaction. The fees buy access to a broader range of barter transactions than you could structure for yourself. You also get to join an online community consisting mostly of small business owners.

Jaime Paramo is nailing his way along this roof in Fort Worth where the surface temperature could top 140 degrees. "It's hot to the touch. It's almost like touching a burner on a stove." The summer weather that's making it so tough on these workers, however, is terrific for business. Keith Carpenter, who owns Panther City says the hotter it is, the more customers he gets. "They feel the storm season has passed by June, July and August, so I start, the leads I get in April and May, people are ready to put their roofs on in June, July and August."
You might think a day like today would also mean big business for this ice cream truck, but not even a lick. Kevin Medrano says, "You can say that's a myth. Really in summer, people just decide to stay inside and they don't come out."
Also feeling the heat are these window cleaners. They're in a race against time and the increasingly hot sun, which makes it difficult to get their work surfaces streak free. Kris Radau says, "You just have to get the water off the glass 'cause the water evaporates fast. You don't want to leave a bad job. You want to leave a good job."
There are times right now redoing the job is unavoidable. That costs the owner of Fort Worth Window Cleaning, Inc. time and money. Rhett Caraway has also had to cancel or postpone work because customers call and say it's simply too hot. One woman, concerned about the health of the windows cleaners in the heat. Rhett Caraway says, "She said well I just looked at my thermometer on my back patio and it said 114. Why don't you come out in September? So, that cost us a job right there." Comment: Now read below!

Cool summer ahead? Pictured: Window cleaner Ryan McCord braves Tuesday's rainy weather. He says the cooler temperatures this spring are similar to those four years ago. Yellowknife's summer has been cooler than normal and the weather is not predicted to improve, according to Environment Canada's senior climatologist David Phillips. "May was just brutal, and June hasn't been much better," he said. Despite predicting more of the same cooler temperatures for the rest of summer, Phillips said the computer forecasts were not totally convincing, and it could go either way. "The good news is I don't have a lot of confidence in the forecast," he said. "There was no clear majority. We just had to flip a coin and make a call."

Mendoza celebrates washing windows: LIHU‘E — When pain, environmental sensitivities, fatigue and cognitive dysfunction took over Karin Zoe Mendoza’s world, her successful window washing enterprise came to an end. She was unable to maintain any kind of regular scheduling, and with two teen-aged children to care for, Mendoza applied for Social Security benefits to help provide for the children. But she was still determined to be productive and independent. “I don’t know what to say,” Mendoza said, tears of appreciation and gratefulness welling in her eyes. “The people at the Kaua‘i Branch of the state Department of Human Services Vocational Rehabilitation and Services for the Blind Division were very encouraging.”
Mendoza said from her very first phone call, the staff was always encouraging. Through the assistance of the vocational rehabilitation office and VR specialist Laurel Brier, Mendoza carved out a profession that expanded her capabilities and placed her into an environment that is conducive toward her limitations. “I work very part time, now,” Mendoza said. “If it wasn’t for them (the Kaua‘i VR staff), I wouldn’t be here today. I think I’m going to cry.”
Today, Mendoza is a giver, inviting someone who is ailing, grieving, or otherwise in need, to her home office for a very special facial. She invites her clients to relax, put asisde their troubles, and enjoy an hour of indulgence and healing, liberally seasoning the session with words of wisdom, kindness and gratitude. Karin Zoe Mendoza, left, accepts a state legislative commendation from state Rep. James Tokioka, D-15th District, Wednesday, after being announced as the Kaua‘i vocational rehabilitation Employee of the Year. Cordova said the VR department will continue to increase public awareness about the true capabilities of the department’s rehabilitants, promote positive attitudes and raise the bar of expectations held by the general public toward people with disabilities.

Wednesday 24 June 2009

The Latest Window Cleaning Videos - Good & Bad

Chris gives details on the WCR sticker contest. Get creative and win CA$H.

Three engineering students of PolyU won the first Runner-up prize for designing a window cleaning robot at the Student Contest Final organized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International (ASME) in Boston on 2 November 2008. It was also the first time that a team from Hong Kong came to the top in this international competition.

TaskBroadcast is a site for service professionals, to bid against each other & hence push down prices. The site works by allowing the customer to upload a photo or video of their task creating a "home service auction". Very rarely do these type of service hunters look for anything other than best price.

It makes washing your windows a breeze! The EasySqueegee™ is extremely easy to use and one should be in every household.

Here Jody Wright tackles a $190,000.00 Dale Chihuly chandelier....located in Corona Del Mar. She gives a basic explanation as to her plan of attack. This fixture is hung over a spiral staircase which makes matters a bit more twisted. (get it?) Scaffold was specially built to provide us access to this fixture...It hung from a sky light, that got very hot around lunch time.

Cleaning the dome at a South Korean Airport. The Dome covers a fantastic and amazing inside garden. The cleaners climbed to the top with no safety equipment whatsoever.

Winnipeg, Canada - I can't believe he tied off to a staircase railing!

In the Phillipines last week, window cleaners on a cradle get caught out unexpectingly from the strong wind and rain that came that afternoon.

Tuesday 23 June 2009

The New Wagtail Glass Scraper

Willie Erkin from Wagtail presents the new glass scraper from his stable of inventions. For those who already have the latest range of the "blue ribbon" line, you will understand how the notches on the orbital handle can be fixed with the sliding switch. This is put to good use with the addition of the scraper model shown below by Willie himself below in the video. This is definitely one to go on my wish list!

Pivoting scraper for glass.

Adjustable pivot to the angle of window frames.
Wet scraper to minimise scratching.
Extension pole, same tool wets and scrapes.
Easy blade replacement.
Optimal scraping angle to window.

Lucky Escape for Window Washer in Salt Lake City

Window Washer Survives Three Story Fall: Salt Lake City, UT - A window washer harnessed on a high rise building in Salt Lake City fell three stories and survived. The man was able to swing himself and break through a window to stop his fall. After crashing through the window, the man lowered himself to the ground, but he suffered cuts to his head.

Window washer crashes through window when rigging fails: A window washer was injured when his rope chair gave way and he swung 30 feet, crashing into a window. The man was working by himself Thursday afternoon on a building at 370 E. South Temple. He was lowering himself down the five-story building when his rigging failed. He fell half way down the building, swung into and through a window. He was able to lower himself down to the ground. Workers in the area saw what happened and helped the man. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition with cuts to his head. Officials have not released his name or the company for which he works. A 21-year-old woman inside the building, sitting right next to window was also injured. She suffered some minor cuts from the shattered glass. She was treated and released on scene.

Man Who Fell from Scaffolding Gets Special Father's Day: Thirty year old Michael Whiting is recovering from that fall - he says he's happy to be with his family this fathers day.

Monday 22 June 2009

Window Cleaning - A Natural High

A natural high: Jeremy Warren, a reporter with "The StarPhoenix" survives a day spent with high-rise window washers. Every time I walk across a tall bridge or step out on a high balcony, I imagine myself jumping off. Not on a suicidal whim but out of curiosity for the - excuse me - fallout.
On Thursday morning, while walking a 30-foot stage lift hanging 22 stories above the ground at The View (the former Milroy Apartments) on Fifth Avenue North, I didn't have time to mull the jump. I was working with a five-man crew from DJ's Windows and Aerial Access who allowed me to tag along as they worked two jobs in downtown Saskatoon, one to move the stage and the other a high-rise window cleaning gig. By 10:30 a.m. we had moved the stage, a narrow walkway used for high-rise window cleaning and maintenance, and we now had to test it for the contractors who rented the contraption.
My job was to take it up 22 stories and back down with another employee. We stood at opposite ends, each controlling a small motor to lift the stage. We're hooked into a lifeline independent of the stage and we dangle one foot over the side to push away from the building at spots where residents have opened windows. With both hands occupied and one foot on the stage, I lean back on the outer railing for balance. It's a precarious situation, and as we slowly rise my one sturdy leg shakes from the pressure and nervousness. About 10 stories up, I'm sneaking a glimpse of cars getting smaller and smaller when an elderly resident pokes her head out a window. "Peek-a-boo," she says. I flinch and for a quick melodramatic moment I think it's Death in my deceased grandmother's image ready to push me over the side. "Nice day for a climb," I say as the stage passes her window. We get to the top, take a brief moment to look over the edge and head back down.
Owned by the gregarious Dave Nichols, DJ's Windows and Aerial Access has been in business for 25 years, travelling all over Saskatchewan and as far as Alberta for jobs. The 13 employees are jacks of all trades: The company does snow removal, street level and high-rise window washing, power washing and stage and scaffolding rentals, which means they set up and tear down the equipment. "Anything high, we do it," said Nichols before we left his west-side office Thursday morning. "And without the staff I'm nobody." The staff is a hearty crew, a mix of young and old. From the moment I sit down in the office that morning to the end of the day there's a steady drip of coffee for all of us and deluge of swearing and scouting for women. If there isn't a rope or wiper in hand, it's a cigarette.

"This job is almost an addiction," said Rick Schellenberg, the company's foreman. "By the time winter hits, you're looking to hop over a building again. I'd rather be rappelling down a building than anything else we do. It's the most relaxing thing just hanging there." Mix interesting days on a window-cleaner's swing with good company and solid boss - a remark made by several employees - and this is one attractive job. The pay is decent, too, with bonuses for finishing a job quickly."People pay to do this on the weekend," said Rick Wilkins, a young British ex-pat. "We get paid every day for the same thing."
The day starts at 9 a.m., and after a few coffees and equipment checks we head off to the Milroy Apartments, in the midst of a condo conversion. The stage used by contractors to caulk the outside windows is rented and our crew has to move it from the right side to the left for the contractors.Up the stairs to the roof and there's a panoramic view of downtown Saskatoon, the river and Kiwanis Park on a clear June day, but the heat of the sun quickly drains any joy from the sight. While the others haul up cables and take down the lifts, I'm told to move weights from one patio to another. There's 15, 55-pound iron weights, and when I'm done my hair is sopping wet with sweat. The water jugs, it turns out, have been forgotten in the truck below. The counter weights -- the iron blocks, aluminum rails and several ropes -- are set up and angles precisely measured. Then we descend to the street to test the stage with one quick lift and drop before heading to the second job.
Dangling in front of windows every day offers a glimpse into private lives - in the bedroom or at the office - where personal habits can be protected by cubical walls but not by the window six storeys high. Of course, the reverse is true. Anybody can see a window washer's office. Before heading out, and without prompting from me (although it was the first question on a mental list), this story is told: On Wednesday, the first sighting of the season. Not a mosquito or pelican or bumble bee, but flesh. High above the street washing windows, a couple of guys from the crew spot two women in the next building watching them. One gives a quick flash and the other fakes a flash, teasing the guys dangling high in the air.
Our second job for the day starts on the roof of seven-storey building at the corner of 25th Street and Third Avenue. After a coffee break, the crew splits and sets up the window-cleaning swings on opposite sides of the building. When window cleaning, one person slinks into the swing, which consists of a one-by-two-foot piece of board and carpet padding that dangles over the roof's edge. The window washer slowly moves down the building, making one continuous swipe with a soap brush and a second with the wiper blade on each window. A bucket dangles from the swing's edge, dripping water to create inkblot patterns on the street each time a blade is dipped.
I'm supposed to replace one of the three men rappelling down the front of the building after they finish one drop. Within a minute of me taking to the swing, the storm clouds we've been watching for an hour cover our location, dropping rain and blowing a hard wind. Weather is the ultimate boss in the precarious job, and we speedily dismantle the swings and gather the loose equipment.
I miss my chance. We drive back to the office around 2 p.m. and grab another coffee for a staff meeting just as the storm clouds begin to clear. Pictured below: Jeremy Warren is hoisted to the 22nd floor at The View on Fifth Avenue

Sunday 21 June 2009

A Window Cleaning Bag of Goodies..

Window Cleaning Resource have updated & upgraded the American forum. Chris Lambrinides tells us what's new in the video below. Some neat features, probably the best forum around for navigating & finding topics for your window cleaning business.

Tony Evans a.k.a. Mr Squeegee of "A New View" Window Cleaning in Iowa has just followed on from his Winter how-to series: "Weather or not" for the new Summer version. The first episode is below. Great stuff as always from Tony.

Let the "Window Cleaning -Balcony Access - Championships" begin...

Window Cleaning with the wfp in Colchester...

Yes, I know that is a silly, maybe even a stupid, concept! Yet it often occurs to me that many businesses are working every day in the same manner as a baseball team playing without home plate.

Without home plate the batter wouldn't know where to stand, the pitcher wouldn't know where to throw, baserunners wouldn't know how to score, and the game wouldn't make any sense. Without a goal line on a football field the game would be total chaos. Without a finish line bicycle racers would end up all over Europe instead of riding down the streets of Paris at the end of the Tour d' France.

It is the focus on the goal that makes sports so alluring, competition so thrilling. Business is just like that... almost. The difference is that business goals are not physical realities like a basketball hoop or the edge of a swimming pool. Business goals are far more abstract, often negotiated or even arbitrary, based upon the ambitions of owners, executives, and managers and those are the effective business goals. They are plenty of ineffective business goals that need to be addressed also.

I'm surprised that many business are working without clearly defined, well articulated goals. They have difficulty leading their staff forward into the future because the staff doesn't know were the future lies, how to work towards it, and what will happen when they get there or even if there is a there there. So they all come to work in the morning and, robotlike, go through the motions of trying to do business, satisfy the customers, and satisfy the boss without having firm criteria for satisfaction.

Every member of a sports team, from a Little Leaguer to a Major Leaguer knows what it takes for the team to win the championship and what he or she is expected to accomplish every game in order to win. Does the staff in your business know what is expected? Do they know how the company is keeping score? Without clear goals they are working without reason. Give them something to focus on. Start winning.

Search This Blog