Monday 30 November 2009

Window Cleaning Tips, Videos & News

Chris Dawber aka "Wagga" & his fridge-freezer starts a series of how to make a cheap introduction backpack for water fed pole use. Chris says "Follow me in my learning curve while I construct a trolley system out of a backpack from what Iv'e learnt from others and forums." The second video deals with the Unger clamp & the 3rd & 4th video talks about adapting the Wagtails.

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Maurice Clemmons, the 37-year-old man wanted for questioning in the killing of four Lakewood police officers Sunday morning, has a long criminal record punctuated by violence, erratic behavior and concerns about his mental health. His criminal history includes at least five felony convictions in Arkansas and at least eight felony charges in Washington. That record also stands out for the number of times Clemmons has been released from custody despite questions about the danger he posed.
Mike Huckabee, while governor of Arkansas, granted clemency to Clemmons nine years ago, commuting his lengthy prison sentence over the protests of prosecutors. "This is the day I've been dreading for a long time," Larry Jegley, prosecuting attorney for Arkansas' Pulaski County, said Sunday night when informed that Clemmons was being sought in connection after four Lakewood police officers were shot dead in what authorities call an ambush. In Pierce County, Clemmons had been in jail for the past several months on a child-rape charge that carries a possible life sentence. He was released from custody one week ago, even though he was staring at eight felony charges in all.
Clemmons posted $15,000 with a Chehalis company called Jail Sucks Bail Bonds. The bondsman, in turn, put up $150,000, securing Clemmons' release on the child-rape charge. Clemmons moved to Washington from Arkansas in 2004. He was placed under the supervision of the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) for an Arkansas conviction, according to a department spokesman. The DOC classified him as "high risk to reoffend." His supervision was to continue until October 2015, the spokesman said.
He lives in Tacoma, where he has run a landscaping and power-washing business out of his house. He is married, but the relationship has been tumultuous, with accounts of his unpredictable behavior leading to at least two run-ins with police this year. Read more..

Display creative director Chris Parker puts the finishing touches on the annual Ballantynes Christmas window in Christchurch, NZ. In spite of the recession, Ballantynes would be putting on a great show, Parker said. "The frontage is worth $70,000 to $80,000, but in terms of world standards that is chicken feed. "Bloomingdale's [in New York] spends US$300,000 (NZ$413,000) on a frontage. What we can produce here in Christchurch is every bit as good for the money spent," he said.
The Christmas window has been popular since it began in 2002 and about 2000 people were expected to attend today's unveiling. "I just love seeing all the fingerprints on the glass at the end of the day – the number of kids who've pressed their little noses up," Parker said. In past years the window has needed cleaning up to four times a day – "a sure sign of success".

Tampa Bay Contest Seeking Young Inventors: Elementary and middle school students in the Tampa Bay area are vying for a chance to be named top inventor and take home a $1,000 cash prize. Last year’s finalist inventors created interchangeable shoe covers, a new insulin pump, edible taco tape and an automatic window washer. The contest was the brainchild of Anna Hopen, 10 whose father, Anton Hopen, is a patent attorney. “If a toy broke or an appliance didn’t work right, Anna would have a sketch of an improved product waiting for me when I got home from work,” Hopen noted. “At some point we both realized what a great opportunity this would be to motivate kids towards science and technology.”

Mark Strange of "Beautiful View" from Toronto, Canada gives us another installment with a few more unbiased reviews of products from Window Cleaning Resource in the window cleaners workplace, this week he is examining the opti-loc extension pole from Unger.

Mark's a glass act on the oche: Window cleaner Mark Petchey is preparing to step up to the oche at darts’ most prestigious venue after reaching the quarter-finals of a national competition. The 45-year-old, who lives in June Drive, Winklebury, Basingstoke, got through seven matches to win the south-east section of the John Smiths People’s Darts competition. He will now play on the main stage at Lakeside, Frimley Green, hours before the final of the World Professional Darts Championship. “Playing at Lakeside is a dream come true for me and I am really looking forward to it,” said Petchey. “I have only ever played in pub leagues and never done anything like this before. “I am practising every day now, putting in a couple of hours every night to prepare for the big day.”

If you have looked around for life insurance and have applied for term insurance quotes, you may have noticed that they may differ among the providers. So how do the providers reach their figures? Do they just make a haphazard guess and choose the first figure that comes into heads? Actually, they make the decision based on several different factors concerning you. Factors that may contribute towards your quotes. Usually when applying for term life insurance you are given a general quote based on your age, sex and general health. However if you are interested in the quote, the insurance provider typically then goes into further detail and wants to know a great deal more about you, so they can charge your premiums based on how much of a 'risk' there is of you dying! What you do for a living may be a consideration that determines how much you pay for your term insurance quotes. If you are a window cleaner and clean high-rise tower blocks from platforms, then you may be considered as being a bigger risk than if you have an office job.

And finally...

Sunday 29 November 2009

Safety Guidelines Using Waterfed Pole Systems

Safety in window cleaning using Waterfed Pole Systems (Initial Draft - 06/08/04)

Introduction: Traditionally window cleaners have relied upon portable ladders, platforms, scaffolds, bosun’s chair and cradles for access for window cleaning. In recent years many window cleaners have adopted the use of waterfed pole systems that facilitate the cleaning of windows up to 60ft/20 metres high from ground level. Avoiding the need to work at height is an obvious immediate attraction, however, there are various considerations to be taken into account.
These will include:
• Provision of uncluttered access to building facades.
• Designers of buildings to ensure reasonable access.
• Acceptance by everyone, including homeowners, that if they want clean windows they will have to accept that windows will be left in a wet condition and that the process may take 2-3 cleans before acceptable standards are achieved.
• Window cleaners accepting waterfed pole cleaning.
• Waterfed poles are not suitable for all types of windows and access.

Legal changes resulting from the Work at height regulations pending 2005 will further tighten safe practice. All those involved in window cleaning need to adapt if deaths and injuries are to be reduced. This information sheet sets out practical precautions to help window cleaners reduce risks to as low a level as possible, taking into account the needs of the job. It has been prepared in co-operation with the Federation of Window Cleaners and Waterfed Pole manufacturers.

Scope: For the purpose of this guidance, the term “waterfed pole” is defined as a telescopic pole
fitted with a brush and a means of delivering purified water for window cleaning. The use of purified water is an integral part of the cleaning process. The term “Load” is defined as the water treatment system/water delivery tank, waterfed poles and other ancillary accessories such as hose reels and warning signs.

Avoiding Risk: The use of waterfed poles removes the need to work at height and providing the window to be cleaned can be viewed from the ground without obstruction, it is possible to clean using a waterfed pole. Although adopting waterfed use may remove the risks involved when working at height consideration must be given to both operational risks and other obvious risks that apply to waterfed pole use.

When assessing operational risks consideration must be given to the location of the building,
its design site conditions obstacles, terrain underfoot, weather conditions and overhead power sources. The suitability of the operator with regard to their level of fitness and medical history and the need to identify any muscular or skeletal disorders that may develop as a result of operating a pole using poor technique. Less obvious risks include the consequences of carrying tank systems and equipment that are heavy, unstable, unsecured or incorrectly installed within a vehicle, as well as the small/slight potential for the spread of legionella disease caused by poorly maintained filter systems. Buildings on both industrial estates and domestic properties can present different risks than those in busy town or city locations, consideration must be given to the time of cleaning and traffic conditions and preventing public access to the working area. Warning signs should be displayed to warn of trip hazards presented from trailing hoses and the slip hazard presented by wet. Slippery surfaces. Hi-viz clothing should be worn by operators, especially when near to pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Consideration should be given to adverse weather conditions. Consideration should also be given to size of working and in the event of the waterfed pole being dropped or blown over.

Hazards associated with the use of waterfed poles:
• Trip hazards to general public presented by trailing hoses.
• Slip hazard presented from wet pathways.
• Slip hazard for operator while concentrating on work.
• Falls from height when working from flat roofs.
• Electrocution from pole coming into contact with overhead power source.
• Injury to others from falling poles or fabric of the building that may be dislodged.
• Injury to others from falling poles caused by incorrect handling or failure of pole.
• Injury through incorrect manual handling of poles and other equipment.
• Spread of legionella disease through poor maintenance of the system.
• Hazards from carrying tanks, systems and equipment that are overloaded, unstable, unsecured or incorrectly installed within a vehicle.

Road Safety: Journeys to and from the workplace are subject to documented risk assessment. Assessment of these risks will include security of the load to ensure that it does not shift under normal driving conditions, emergency braking or during a collision. Responsibility rests with the
driver of the vehicle; however, business owners have a responsibility to provide suitable vehicles, equipment and means of securing the load. Consideration should also be given to the potential for the overloading of the vehicles fitted with water tanks for when a water tank is full a vehicle is likely to be close to its maximum payload capacity. To assess road safety risks consideration should be given to:
• The design of water treatment/delivery tanks.
• The manufacture of water treatment/delivery tanks.
• The installation/anchorage of water treatment/delivery tanks.
• The payload capacity of the vehicle and the potential of overloading.
• The security of waterfed poles, hose reels and ancillaries etc.
• Driving conditions and braking distances.
Design and manufacture of tank systems and equipment should comply with HASAWA 1974
and PUWER.

Both professional and self-installations in vehicles should meet the requirements of:
• The Road Traffic Act.
• The Road Vehicle (construction & use) regulations.
• The Code of Practice “Safety of Loads on Vehicles”.
• BS: 12195 Load Restraint Regulations.

Legionnaires Disease: Legionella Bacteria can be found in low levels in most water sources, the presence of a few bacteria is in itself unlikely to cause a problem, it is when they begin to multiply that the risk increases. Legionella requires nutrients to multiply, these can be provided by sediment, scale, sludge and biofilms. These materials build up in the filters used to purify water, if not replaced at specified intervals filters may become a fertile breeding ground for legionella bacteria. Water temperature is a particularly important factor in the survival and multiplication of legionella, when the temperature of water rises above 20 degrees the bacteria begin to multiply, the optimum temperature being 37 degrees.

Contracting the Disease: The disease is normally contracted after the inhalation of the bacterium in small droplets (aerosols) or in droplet nuclei that are in the residue after the water has evaporated. Watered poles produce aerosols and it should be noted that aerosols are not restricted to the point of production. Under suitable wind conditions, viable bacteria can travel up to 500 metres. Legionella will not normally multiply in cold water systems or even hot water systems when the water is heated at point of use, or when the system is in regular use. However, legionella will multiply when the right conditions exist, these are:
• When sediment, scale, sludge and biofilms build up in filters.
• When water temperatures rise above 20 degrees (optimum temperature 37 degrees). Measures that should be taken to control the risk of legionella are:
• Replacements of filters at recommended intervals.
• Following the manufactures servicing recommendations.
• Keeping the system stored in a cool place when not is regular use
• If system cannot be stored in a cool place, drain tank and filters whenever the system is
to be left idle for more than three days during warm summer months. The release of legionella is also subject to the Control Of Substances Hazardous To Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002.

Used filters should be disposed of in accordance with local authority guidelines. Choice of tank system and equipment Will be determined by:
• The duration and extent of work.
• The height of windows to be cleaned.
• The site conditions.
• The means of purified water delivery required.
For some jobs waterfed poles may be used in support of other access methods, for domestic
properties to reach conservatory roofs or other windows inaccessible to ladders. On high rise
buildings to reach the lower elevations and link bridges or on glazed structures in support of

Waterfed poles may also be used from MEWPS. In addition to normal guidelines for MEWPS
operation, consideration should be given to securing the pole to the MEWP basket to prevent it falling if dropped. Procedures should be implemented to prevent snagging of any hoses trailing from the MEWP basket to the water delivery system. Procedure should include a banksman with a sharp knife to cut hoses in the event of a snag. For many buildings, however, waterfed poles may be used for the entire cleaning operation. Due to the physical rigor or prolonged use of consideration should be given to the weight of the pole, the lightest pole being the one that adequately reaches the top of the window but does not over reach i.e. do not use a 45ft pole to clean a window which is 20ft high. Composite poles will be best suited for use on sites such as those near to railways and electricity generating stations or substations or any other site that poses an increased risk of electrocution.

Purified water may be delivered to the waterfed pole by flexible hose from a variety of sources, those include de-ionising cylinders/columns or cartridges, vehicle and trailer mounted systems and static systems incorporated into the building design. Delivery hoses pose a trip hazard that can be minimised if brightly coloured hose is used and warning signs are displayed were ever hoses cross a walkway. Care should be taken to ensure that the weight of the filled water tank does not exceed the vehicles payload or towing capacity and allowance should be made for the weight of other equipment that may need to be carried as well as the weight of personnel travelling in the vehicle.

Maintenance: Waterfed poles are work equipment subject to the requirements of the provision and use of work equipment regulations 1998 (PUWER). Waterfed poles should be subject to:
• Pre-use visual inspection – Obvious defects i.e. worn/fractured/dented/bends in pole sections, loose clamps head/brush fittings, worn butt rings etc.
• Regular documented management inspections that take into account the degree of use and type of pole. In practise three monthly inspections are recommended.
• Procedures should be in place for handling any defects found that would include repair or replacement.
The use of waterfed poles requires little skill but can be physically demanding unless the correct techniques are employed. Waterfed poles in a poor state of repair will require more physical effort to operate. Regular replacement of filters ensures both the quality of the water produced for cleaning and the effective control of legionella bacteria. Manufacturers will specify the appropriate intervals for filter replacement; generally smaller filters shall require more frequent replacement than larger filters. In order to ensure that the installation in the vehicle continues to meet the requirements of regulations an annual inspection should be carried out by a competent person and any remedial work signalled by the inspection should be carried out.

Use of waterfed poles: When extending waterfed poles it is desirable to raise the pole vertically, when this is not possible it will be necessary to extend the pole to the desired length horizontally along the ground. Raising the pole from this position will be a two-person operation, one to stabilise the base and steady the pole while the second “walks” the pole up.

Manual Handling: It feels more natural to operate a waterfed pole by movement of the arms alone and this is acceptable for poles that extend to a height of 10 metres. For waterfed poles that extend beyond 10 metres excessive strain may be exerted upon the upper body when operated for extended periods. It is recommended that when operating poles that extend above 10 metres use of arms be reduced by greater use of leg/whole body movement. With experience comes the ability to work with the natural balance of the pole, less effort is expelled once the operator has mastered the balance technique and has learned to use the stored energy generated in the bending and flexing of pole as it is guided through the cleaning task. Even with the benefit of training these techniques take time to master and they are easier to acquire when shorter poles up to 10 metres are used. It is important both for development of new skills and in order to deliver acceptable cleaning standards, that new staff become experienced using short poles before moving up to poles that extend above 10 metres.

Measures to reduce fatigue:
• Operate poles with greater use of the legs, by stepping a single stride forward and back use of the arms may be significantly reduced
• Pole sharing with other members of the team.
• Switching from the left hand side of the body to the right, and visa versa.
• Taking regular breaks to undertake other tasks.
• Taking periodic breaks free from activity.

Adverse Weather: In windy conditions extra care should be taken especially when moving from a sheltered elevation to one more affected by the wind. Waterfed pole use is not recommended in winds above 25mph. Regardless of wind strength, watefed poles should never be left unattended
in an elevated position. Purified water is a poor conductor of electricity, however waterfed poles of aluminium construction should not be operated in any environment where they may contact or come within 2 m of a source of high voltage electricity. Any waterfed pole should not be operated when a risk of an electrical/lightning storm exists. During cold spells the likelihood of purified water freezing in the delivery hoses will adversely affect the use of waterfed poles. Systems that deliver hot water may be affected to a lesser extent and precautions should be taken to ensure that any water that may fall on to walkways is prevented from freezing by the prior application of sodium grit. Working in exposed positions The need to concentrate on overhead activity may expose the operator to further hazards that may include:
• Trips or falls.
• Falls from flat roofs.
• Collision with pedestrians or road traffic.

Risk Assessment: The purpose of risk assessment is simply to identify particular risks on any job in order to take precautions to minimise them, typically these may include:
• Instruction in the need for the operator to be vigilant with regard to the surroundings.
• Providing adequate PPE and/or roof edge protection or other systems.
• Giving consideration to the day and time of cleaning.
• Provision of hi-viz clothing.
• Cordoning off work areas to prevent public access.

Lone Working: Lone workers are defined as employees who work by themselves without close contact or direct supervision (this section does not apply to self employed window cleaners). No
window cleaner should work alone in any area or location that would involve increased risk to their safety. E.g. on a busy street or near electric. If working in a team on a single site, regular (hourly) checks should be made on any lone worker. If a window cleaner is dropped on a job to work solo, intervals between contacts should not exceed one hour. If a window cleaner is working solo for a full shift or day, a one hour contact system should be established, e.g. mobile phone or radio.

Personal protective equipment (PPE): PPE is not directly relevant to the use of waterfed poles and is limited to protection against adverse weather conditions. Hard hats may however be appropriate when use of waterfed poles may dislodge defective parts of the building fabric.

Training & Competence: All waterfed pole users should be suitably trained and competent. They should have appropriate knowledge, experience and practical skills for the work being undertaken. Personnel with different levels of responsibility, such as managers, will require different types of competence. There are at present no nationally recognised qualifications with regard to Use of Waterfed Poles. New employees will therefore claim competence on joining a company. Management must access proof of competence at the earliest opportunity. This competence is best assessed on a live contract.

The following criteria should be used at initial and ongoing assessments:
• Daily pre use check
• Manual handling
• Ground conditions
• Cordoning off
• Common Hazards
• Dos and don’ts
Any gaps in knowledge should be assessed and suitable training and/or supervision be
provided until competence is achieved.

Waterfed pole specific training covering all aspects covered in these guidance notes in
greater detail is available from The British Window Cleaning Academy (Accredited City &
Guilds NVQ centre).

Competent Person: A competent person may be defined as a designated person suitably trained or qualified by knowledge and practical experience to enable them to:
• Carry out their required duties at their level of responsibility.
• Fully understand any potential hazards related to their work.
• Detect any defects or omissions in that work, recognise any implications for health and safety, and be able to specify appropriate remedial action needed including refusal to do work if the danger is too great.
• Know their limitations and not be frightened to ask for help. In other words a competent person should not only be able to discover defects, but tell what effect they are likely to have.
Dos and Don’ts
• Don’t use a defective waterfed pole.
• Don’t use a waterfed pole in high winds.
• Don’t use a waterfed pole near to overhead power lines.
• Don’t use a waterfed pole during thunder and lightening.
• Do carry our pre-use checks of equipment.
• Always cordon off and/or display suitable warning signs when working in public areas.

The full pdf file can be downloaded from the FWC website.

Saturday 28 November 2009

Water Fed Pole Tips from Australia

Since this blog has been posted - it has come to my attention that Perry Tait may have been involved in fraudulent activity - he currently runs the "future of cleaning" websites & "reach-it" products. However the information contained within is still worth a look.

Perry Tait from Sydney, Australia shows an example of a 5 storey extel pole at the Foxtel building in Melbourne. The 6.7 kg Carbon Fibre pole is sold by Perry on his water fed pole website. An example of this is shown in the video below. In the other video it shows Perrys rubbermaid trolley with space for both traditional tools or perhaps different brush heads. Perry also sells water fed pole equipment from his other website - pureH20.

The following tips are found on the waterfed pole site - Please note that these tips are from the website & are no way endorsed by this blog!

BUY MORE THAN ONE LENGTH POLE ! By having the lightest pole possible for each job, you will be able to work endlessly.
If I am cleaning a 4 Storey Building, I will use the 15.9m pole for the 4th Storey... then swap to the 14.0m pole for 3rd Storey, often the 6.4m for the 2nd Storey and finally, either a Squeegee or a 4.1m pole for the Ground Work.

In Summary, Your Kit should look like :

Single Storey / Ground Floor 4.1m fibreglass pole (reach over ballustrades).
Double Story 6.4m fibreglass pole for close or an 11m pole.
Three Storey 11m pole for close or 14m pole for reach.
Four Storey pole 15.9m pole or 19.5m carbonfibre pole.

We recommend AGAINST running the water tube up the middle of each pole ! Having the tube inside the pole means the tube is exiting from the base of the pole, thereby being at the feet of the operator. This is a significant OHS Risk to have hoses under foot of the operator

Secondly, the tube running up and down inside the pole carries the dirt and dust from the ground into the inner mechanics of the pole, damaging the pole surface and interfering with the smooth sliding motion.

Thirdly, from a Time & Motion perspective, we recommend one Tube, one Brush per operator, and interchanging the poles. Having one tube per pole wastes time and space when working on Multi-Storey sites. With the tube going straight to the brush, you can quickly disconnect and connect with the same tube !

Remember - the 15.9m Carbon fibre Waterfed pole weighs less than 5kg and the 6.4m Fibreglass pole is only 1kg. You can see it is better to operate the right pole at the right height. Have a look at my photo again .. you can see the shorter pole against the building - ready to do the lower windows.


SMALLER # ONE : Smaller girth of the handle - less fatigue on hands;
SMALLER # TWO : Smaller compact length - reach all joins with arms;
SMALLER # THREE : Smaller extended length - pole more maneuverable;
SMALLER # FOUR : Smaller weight - you work longer with less fatigue.

So .. this explains why getting a range of window cleaning poles .. with a compacted length of no more than 2.2m is ideal. I have poles that are 2.6m - this is the only way to get a 19.5m telescopic pole without the lower handle being too round ! But it is ONLY FOR PROFESSIONALS !


The Carbonfibre and Fibreglass poles that you buy from us have, in my opinion, the BEST CLIP SYSTEM on the market. This relates to 'ease-of-use'. With the Clamp Style Clip, you can raise and lower the pole by any amount with ABSOLUTE EASE ! This means you can change the length of your Waterfed Pole. Simply raise the clamp / clip handle to lower the grip on the pole section, and either push the pole up to extend, or allow gravity to pull the pole down to shorten.
So, so, so VERY EASY ..... for both Fibreblass Poles and Carbonfibre Poles.


The Waterfed Brush must be at the right height, the right angle and alll the flocked brush bristles must be square on the glass. Whilst you could buy the longest water fed pole to clean ALL windows , it would be too heavy and cumbersome for lower windows. If you are cleaning 2 Storey buildings, a 6m window cleaning pole is perfect, but an 11m Carbonfibre pole is also as good.

Remember, in order for there to be agitation, the bristles must be square against the glass WITH PRESSURE ... No Pressure, you see straight bristle marks in the dirt (still) on the window ! If there are circle marks, you have not rinsed properly. If the circles are at the top of the window, you either missed, or you overwet the frame. If the cicrcles are at the bottom of the window, the rinse has been applied from the top, but the window has not been properly rinsed all the way down ... leaving dirty water at the base.

The way to get pressure from a shorter pole (less than 10m) is to use a Fibreglass Pole ... it has plenty of flex in it and you can bend the pole slightly to increase the pressure of the brush against the glass.

The way to get pressure from a longer waterfed pole (over 1om) is to use a more rigid pole like carbon fibre, move back from the glass, and let the gravity pull on your (heavier) pole ... PUSH the brush against the glass .. Now .. the window cleaning pole is not heavier because it is Carbonfibre ... it is heavier because it is longer.


FACT ONE : All water is PURE ! it is the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) that is not. All water evaporates without streak or spot .. it is the TDS that forms the Streak or Spot ! So .. the lower the TDS, the less the Streak or Spot !

FACT TWO : Water dries in circles ... all water evaporates and dries from the extremity to the centre. As it dries, some of the TDS stays where it was, but most of it gravitates to the centre. Then, as the water dries, it has no option but to remain on the glass - no different to leaving coffee in the bottom of your coffee cup !

FACT THREE : If, when it dries, the level of TDS on the window is COMMERCIALLY ACCEPTABLE to your customer, you can operate TWICE AS FAST with TAP WATER than you can with PURE WATER !!! That is FOUR TIMES FASTER THAN TRADITIONAL WINDOW CLEANING and all you need is the right WATERFED POLE !!!

If you do not know the TDS of your water locally, fill in the Enquiry Form and I will send you a professional TDS Meter (measures Temperature and TDS) for AUD$59.95 $5 P&H.
& STREAK FREE ! If the water is NOT PURE, the water will dry leaving marks equal to the amount of TDS in the water used to do the rinse !


There are several types of Pure Water Window Cleaning Systems ... and to understand how they work, you need to remind yourself about WHAT IS WINDOW CLEANING....

Forgive me for stating the obvious here ! Traditional Window Cleaning involves :

STEP ONE : Agitate the dirt on the glass into solution in water with the Applicator;
STEP TWO : Remove the water (with the dirt in solution) completely with the Squeegee ! The use of detergent is mostly only to assist Step Two .. as a surfactant to assist the squeegee glide across the glass surface and remove the (dirty) water.

Water fed Pole Window Cleaning involves ;

STEP ONE : Agitate the dirt on the glass with the Brush on the Pole into solution (Pure Water) ;
STEP TWO : Remove the (dirty) water by rinsing ALL of it off the glass with Pure Water.

This leaves the glass clean, but wet. If the water is PURE, the water will dry SPOT & STREAK FREE ! If the water is NOT PURE, the water will dry leaving marks equal to the amount of TDS in the water used to do the rinse !


Do not use twisting mechanisms that need a tool at each join .. you lose ALL the flexibility of getting the pole the right length, and accordingly, you lose the ability to easily keep the Brush Bristles Square against the glass !

Do not use a Fibreglass Poles over 10m extended - they are too flexible and bow towards the glass too early. AND THEY ARE TOO HEAVY !!!

Do not use Aluminium Poles - they conduct electricity, and they are too heavy.

Do not use Modular Poles - the sales pitch is great - you only need one pole, but you lose all efficiency ... Get 3 poles, one of each length and use the right pole at the right height - you will power through the work and not even be tired ! Phew .. that is enough ... don't forget - a little frank advice could save you money, or give you better value for your budget.

Friday 27 November 2009

Glass Palaces = Better Educational Environments

Whoever designed the school I've just started working at has obviously been properly briefed in the full range of stereotypical judgments it is possible to make on the young people who go there. Anyone's first impression on entering is that it bears a startling resemblance to Alcatraz. The key function of the building appears to be the lockdown. And then you enter the classroom.

The wall decoration of choice in my new classroom is the unpainted breeze block. Initially I'd thought, perhaps foolishly, that this was some postmodern nuance of architectural philosophy. "Ah. Well noted, Beadle. We keep the walls functional as an inverse correlative of the school's approach to learning and, indeed, to teaching – should it exist. The hue of the walls serves to minimise visual noise, and the exquisite sparseness means children can project their thoughts, hopes and aspirations on to the blank, grey canvas of the brick."

No such cobblers, I'm afraid. The walls aren't painted because, if they were, the bricks would not be able to breathe and the building would fall down. Given that it houses 1,200 students and there's quite a lot of glass, this would be considered a bad thing.

Speaking of glass, not since my days as a Penge window cleaner's assistant have I seen quite so much of it. The school is, for a limited period only, at the bottom of the league tables, and this, of course, inevitably affects admissions. Consequently, there are several boys and girls in attendance to whom Mr Naughty is not a stranger. Last year, so I am told, this fatal combination of naughty boy and glass palace combined, in startling symbiosis, with the presence of small stones in the bits where trees are planted, to produce an array of aural shivering effects and a glazing bill in the region of £13,000 a month.

The building is shaped like a cheese wedge, meaning that classrooms at the front of it have sloping ceilings, in the region of over 30 feet (10m) high on the righthand side, eight feet (3m) high on the left. Personally, this leads me to feel I'm teaching in an educational version of the crooked house amusements one might find in a post-communist, Hungarian fairground, though the kids tend not to notice. What they do notice, though, is that the rooms are unbearably hot in the summer, and that the only windows available for opening are narrow-eyed fellows whose bottoms are about 29 feet up in the air.

Teachers responding to a class's complaints of stuffiness must engage in a ridiculous ballet in which, with the aid of the school's single 30-foot long pole, they attempt to co-ordinate their hand movements to unhook the window latch at a distance of what must feel to them like several miles. So extreme is this distance, that the merest half-tremor of the little finger can cause the hook to miss the latch by an a cutely embarrassing distance. Whole double lessons are wasted as male students collapse into torrents of uncontrollable hysterics while gamine, female teachers attempt vainly to open a window. "Face it, miss," the boys chortle joyously and rhythmically, "you ain't got the control to get the pole in the hole."

When the window is finally opened, after several lessons marked by much hilarity and little learning, no one notices the breeze, of course; it's 30 feet up! A whisper across the foothills of heaven. Of no use at all to the earthbound.

The second floor, however, is so well acquainted with the heavens it tempts students to pay an early visit to them. The main corridor is a balcony many miles above the ground, with only a railing separating students and teachers from a meeting with their maker. I have held informal chats with colleagues on that balcony, my back glued with vertiginous fear to the wall furthest away from "touching the void". "What do you think of so and so's attainment so far this year?"

"I don't know. I don't care about education. I'm going to fall. Fear the railing! Fear the railing!"

This would be bad enough were it not for the existence of the viewing platform. At one point the balcony sweeps out, in a grand arc, supported by nothing, leaving the feebler student or teacher who stands on it feeling exactly as safe and secure as if they were teetering at the edge of a promontory overlooking a Norwegian fjord, supported only by a thin elastic band.

Thankfully the students seem to recognise the need to behave appropriately on the top floor. And, in all honesty, this particular glass palace is a far better educational environment than, for instance, the school I worked in where there were so few tiles in the roof that a man (whom the kids had wittily named Rufus) had set up home there; or the school in which the toilets resembled the seventh circle of hell so accurately that you were given a special award for risking the hem of your trouser in the bosom of the sit-downs. (And at least no one thought it would be a sensible idea to put a trading floor in the atrium!)

So, yes, it is better to work in a glass palace than a decaying wreck. The students seem to feel that the building respects them, and behaviour and learning are both showing a marked upturn. It wasn't like this last year, though, and the building was exactly the same. What reason, then, for the improvements? What reason for the fact that the glazing bill hasn't even reached £100 this month?

The reason is that a school is the human beings in it, not the fabric that surrounds them. The school in which I work is on a steep upward trajectory, and it is on this trajectory because the human beings in it, staff and students, are forcing it. It's all very well architects deciding to experiment on children with some of their more outré creative ideas, but if a school isn't managed well, by exceptional people, it will fail, be it palace or dungeon.

Thursday 26 November 2009

Window Cleaning News

Holocaust survivor & savior reunite: It had been 64 years since Joseph Bonder looked into the eyes of the man who helped save him from the Nazis, but all the memories came rushing back in a flood of tears and kisses yesterday as the two stood face-to-face once again. Bonder, now an 81-year-old retired window washer from Monroe Township, NJ, will spend a very special Thanksgiving with his savior, Bronislaw Firuta, 83, who flew from Poland to JFK Airport for a heartrending reunion. "For him, I owe my life," Bonder said as he showered Firuta with hugs, kisses and flowers. "This Thanksgiving, we will have dinner and thank God for each other."
Clutching his old pal's stocky shoulder, Bonder addressed his three sons and seven grandkids who accompanied him and his wife to the airport to meet the man who made their existence possible. "My dear beloved grandchildren, if [I] didn't survive, you wouldn't be here today," Bonder told them solemnly. The moment of joy was particularly bittersweet for Firuta, a retired transportation worker who lost his wife of 40 years just two months ago and whose house burned down a few weeks later. "My dear beloved Joseph. I came here to see you, even though all that has been going on in my life," said a weeping Firuta in Polish, then added, "We survived Hitler and we survived Stalin and here we are today."
Their remarkable tale began in the terrifying summer of 1941 when the Nazis occupied Poland. Bonder and his family faced certain death in the notorious Skalat Jewish ghetto. While his parents accepted their fate, they told Bonder, who was just 13, and sister Joan -- an 18-year-old teacher -- to go to the family of her 15-year-old student Firuta in the countryside for refuge. "Go to the Firutas. They are good people and they will help you," their mother said. Bonder said the family spent two years in hiding, from 1942 to 1944. When World War II ended and the Soviet Army liberated Poland, Bonder and Joan fled to America. She died 11 years ago. The Holocaust survivor and his rescuer spoke periodically on the phone and wrote letters, but they never met again until yesterday. Pictured: Joseph Bonder (far left) and Bronislaw Firuta yesterday at JFK .

WHITEWATER - A recent trip to Chicago paid dividends for University of Wisconsin-Whitewater young entrepreneur Jordan Leahy (pictured). The Darlington native won $3,000 in capital for his business, Clest LLC, at Northwestern University's third annual elevator pitch competition. Leahy beat 30 teams from major universities including the University of Michigan, University of Chicago, DePaul University and UW-Madison. The elevator pitch competition requires students to sell their business idea to someone in a very limited time frame in this case, the time it takes for a short elevator ride. "What's absolutely terrific about Jordan's win is that he beat students from some of the largest universities in the Midwest," said Bill Dougan, a management professor and adviser of UW-Whitewater's Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization. "This win is a confirmation of the quality of our students and of our programs in entrepreneurship."
With the prize money comes the title "Entrepreneur Idol" and an internship worth $25,000 at Illinois Ventures, a seed and early-stage technology investment firm focused on research-derived companies in information technologies, physical sciences, life sciences and clean technology. More rewarding than the prize money, however, were the connections Leahy made during the competition. "You never know when or where you'll meet your next investor," he said. Case-in-point: The day after the event, Leahy took a phone call from one of the elevator pitch judges. Troy Henikoff, a co-founder of, the largest Internet-based payroll company in the nation, is interested in learning more about Clest and plans to meet with Leahy.
"These judges are the 'real deal' in terms of evaluation," Dougan said. "They are very successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists."
This is not the first elevator pitch contest in which Leahy has won money. He recently won $300 at the national Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization's elevator pitch competition. "Jordan is just one example of the many entrepreneurial-inclined students at UW-Whitewater," Dougan said. "He has excellent networking skills and has access to advice from very successful state entrepreneurs. He also has experience in starting and running businesses. It's remarkable given his age." The 22-year-old Leahy launched his first business, a window-cleaning company, at age 15. Six years later, in October 2008, he successfully completed its sale. Today, he and UW-Whitewater alumnus Nick Guenther '09 own and operate Clest LLC, a monitoring service for parents of teen drivers. Parents purchase safety decals that ask, "How's my driving?" to place on the back of their teen's vehicle. Motorists can report hazardous driving to parents by calling a toll-free telephone number displayed on the teen's car. "Our mission is improving parent confidence and teen driving accountability," Leahy said. Leahy spearheaded the first youth entrepreneurs conference held at UW-Whitewater Thursday, Nov. 19. More than 60 college students from Wisconsin attended the event, which was part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. He was the 2008 UW-Whitewater Warhawk Business Plan Competition winner for the Rendlex Tool, an invention holding tools in the handles of cleaning implements. For more information about Leahy or Clest see their newest venture.

"Top 10 Window Cleaning Tips of 2008" eBook is Yours Free For Immediate Download! Here's what you'll learn about: Window cleaning marketing tools, How to eliminate business downtime during foul weather conditions, Squeegee rubber maintenance tips, How to clean windows in the direct sunlight, 8 ways to improve your window cleaning website, How to diversify your window cleaning markets, Free window cleaning business forms and templates, How to become a certified window cleaner, Creating safer job sites with the use of barricadesk, How to get post construction window cleaning work. This eBook is my gift to you just to say "Thanks" for your support!

As soon as Halloween was over, it was like a commercial: perfectly synchronized, the neighbors would all come out and start taking down the decorations as the smell of Windex and Pledge wafted through the air. The wives of the South Baltimore residents would bravely climb out their window on the second floor of their row homes to make sure they cleaned every inch. Some, like my grandmother, would step out onto their back roofs leveling themselves on their kitchen extension (that would probably make their husbands fall through the roof if they tried it) to clean the back windows as well. Christmas was a whole different story. It would snow every Christmas, but the synchronized window washing and decorating would take place despite the cold weather.

Marywood University, which operates a flight school, also will lease space in the center at a cost of $13.71 per square foot. The one-year lease will generate $2,400 in annual revenue for the airport. The board recommended awarding contracts to low bidders for window cleaning and natural gas service. PJ Window Cleaning of Plains Township submitted a bid of $60,000 for three years.

Over the limit in charge of car: A 38-year-old Trillick man who was found in charge of a vehicle when over the legal alcohol limit has fined £300 at Fermanagh Magistrates Court. District Judge Liam McNally heard how on August 30, a vehicle was parked at a lay-by at Maguiresbridge Road, Lisnaskea. The defendant, Samuel Farrell from Rosnareen Road, was observed staggering towards the vehicle before getting into the driver's seat. He was spoken to by police and it was noted that his eyes were glazed, his speech was slurred and there was a strong smell of intoxicating liquor of his breath. He failed a preliminary breath test and a subsequent evidential sample revealed 95 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. Mr McNally said he would consider the facts that there was nothing of this nature on Farrell's record, there was no indication that the defendant had put the key in the ignition or put the car on. He said he had entered a guilty plea. For these reasons he said he would not disqualify him. He imposed a £300 fine and endorsed 10 penalty points on his licence.

Maybe it's time for men's lib? To put it mildly, the male version of feminism has not got much traction in popular culture. You will find one or two male writers who do have that zeal. But they don’t speak for men. Most don’t know what masculism is either, and really don’t care. Then there is the casual sexism that shows up mainly in commercials. Men continue to have more spending power than women. But researchers in the ad agencies and marketing have known for years that it is women who have the biggest say in buying decisions, large and small. I would like to point out two examples of adverts that show that sexism works both ways.
1) The notorious Diet Coke “11.30 appointment” ad from the mid-1990s, which depicts women enjoying the drink while gawping at a topless hunky window-cleaner 2) The Carte D’Or ice-cream advert in which a woman throws what appears to be her boyfriend from a moving limousine because he has not bought her the correct ice-cream. Reverse the roles in these scenarios and you may see my point. They no longer seem like “a bit of fun” but are more likely to be interpreted as a group of pervy men gawping at a young lady and a man assaulting his partner!

Reaching out to the hungry: A local church group spent time last week helping those in search of a meal in St. Paul. For some guests this is their only meal of the day, said Dawn Haas, the site coordinator for “Loaves and Fishes,” which uses the St. Matthew’s cafeteria for the program it runs at eight sites around the metro that aims to feed the hungry. The St. Matthew’s site expects to serve nearly 29,000 meals in 2009. The King of Kings group, which is responsible for one night a month throughout the calendar year, will serve up well more than 1,000.
“Loaves and Fishes” staff members, who assist the groups that come in to cook throughout the week, said they appreciate the enthusiasm of volunteers like those at King of Kings. “It’s a fairly balanced meal and the guests are always impressed by the quality,” Haas said. “That’s because the groups of volunteers we have are great cooks.” Others like Tim and Laura Langmade and their son Trent, 6, are new guests to “Loaves and Fishes.” But they aren’t any less thankful. “This is an inviting place,” said Tim Langmade, who owns a small window cleaning business that has been struggling as of late. “The people serving are very kind and it’s a very friendly atmosphere for us to bring our son to.”

On the News that banks are trying to phase out cheques: Cheques prevent unauthorised debits from customers' accounts. Cheques allow customers to keep tighter control over their money. With internet banking, it is simple to pay anyone directly, using their sort code and account number. I use this facility for payments ranging from our window cleaner, paid every six weeks, to the Royal British Legion, once or twice a year. Without exception, everyone I have asked for their account details has responded positively, as it saves us both money, and is faster and more secure than posting a cheque.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Exclusive Jaret Premiere + Other Window Cleaning News

The New Star of WCR - hot off the press: 11 year old Jaret of "Jarets Window Cleaning" from Akron, Ohio maybe the youngest window cleaner going! This ultimate video in this series can be watched in high resolution from tomorrow at the Window Cleaning Resources website. Previous episodes can be found on this blog or eventually at window cleaning TV.


Window-washer who died after fall is memorialized at accident site outside of Grand Rapids Art Museum. In her little pink bonnet, 6-month-old Peyton Cotter seemed oblivious to the rain as she smiled at her grandparents and other relatives gathered this morning on the damp sidewalk outside the Grand Rapids Art Museum. She was also blissfully unaware of the bittersweet mix of emotions as museum staff dedicated a plaque memorializing her father, Tyler Cotter. The 21-year-old new father died after falling from scaffolding as he worked 40 feet off the ground cleaning the museum's windows.
Cotter's girlfriend and his daughter's mother, Samantha Goldner, said the family continues to struggle with their grief but the plaque among the landscaping along Monroe Avenue NW declaring the area the "Tyler Cotter Memorial Walkway" means his daughter will be able to see it years from now and remember the man who shed tears of joy when she was born. "I'm glad that when people walk by, they can clearly see it," Goldner said. "It means a lot."

Pictured above: Mark Cotter, Tyler's father, spends a moment with his granddaughter Peyton Cotter outside the Grand Rapids Art Museum, at a plaque installed to commemorate Tyler. Peyton was born shortly before Tyler died in a window-washing accident at the museum.
Pictured below: Judy Cotter, Tyler's mother, spends a moment with her granddaughter Wednesday at the scene of the memorial for Tyler Cotter.


SEATTLE - The 34-year-old window washer who survived an eight-story plunge on the job says what happened to him was a miracle. "I don't think it's luck. I know it's God (who) saved my life," said Eduardo Lozada, who spoke about last week's accident for the first time in an interview with KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Gary Horcher. Lozada said he's still not sure how it happened, but while he was washing windows at a downtown Seattle highrise Thursday morning, he suddenly started to fall. He said time seemed to slow down but that he was certain he was about to die on impact.
"I have to accept that it was my last moments, and when I let go of the ropes, I know I'm going to die. So in my mind and in my heart, I die for a minute, for seconds," he said. I say, 'OK, this is the end.' I say, 'God, forgive me, and take me.'" Lozada said he closed his eyes, and his entire life appeared like a single vision. "Everything, all your life just came through your mind, and you're able to see everything at once."
Somehow, the ropes clipped to Eduardo's harness broke his fall just before he hit the sidewalk. "I said, 'I'm alive. I feel pain. Oh my God, if I feel pain, it's because I'm alive! That's when I realized that God saved my life." Lozada suffered a badly sprained ankle and a swollen knee. The only bone he broke is in the tip of his pinky finger. He said he's never been a religious man, but his brush with death has awakened a new part of him and that every day is Thanksgiving. "For me, it's a new day every morning. I feel blessed every morning, from now on."
He said his gift is knowing that there is hope in every second. "Nobody's able to give you a new life except God, and he give me a new life. And I just hope that I do better in this one." Lozada said he can't talk about the investigation into the incident but he said that he's always felt safe on the job. He said if he were physically able, he wouldn't be afraid to go back to work. Click picture for video.


Construction workers rescued as mishap leaves one dangling: Two construction workers were rescued Tuesday after a window washer unit collapsed on the side of the 48-story Duke Energy Center under construction uptown. One of the men dangled 40 feet in the air from a lifeline while the other scrambled to the safety of a small roof. Both were equipped with safety harnesses and were unhurt, said Carlos Vergara, safety coordinator for the Batson-Cook Co., an Atlanta-based general contractor. The two were waterproofing and caulking windows on the side of the grayish-blue tower on the southern end of uptown between South Tryon and Church streets at Stonewall.
The incident is under investigation, and the company will file an incident report with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, Vergara said. It appears one of the motors that winches the platform and its steel cables up and down might have malfunctioned, he said. Workers responded by shutting down one block of Stonewall Street and rescuing the dangling worker with a cherry picker. The other worker was standing on a roof about 20 feet off the ground.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

An Email from Active Ion - Mobile Electrolysis

Just received this email below from those activeion makers. The "Ionator" now comes in 2 models, the "Hom" & I presume the old model was the "exp." Knowing no one in the professional window cleaning community that actually stumped up the cash to try one out, maybe someone over in the USA may be tempted with this offer below? You may remember the first post on this piece of equipment here: The Active Ion Cleaning Solution - Mobile Electrolysis. Remember to check out the comments from that blog. Now the email...

Introducing the ionator HOM™, a new family-friendly appliance that uses ionizing technology to convert tap water into a safe, effective cleaner and sanitizer. When used as directed, the ionator HOM has been tested and proven to kill harmful bacteria, as well as the 2009 Pandemic H1N1
Influenza A virus. We’ve taken the same advanced, expensive technology that’s been used for years to clean hospitals and restaurants and miniaturized it for affordable, everyday use. As the ionator HOM organizes and simplifies cleaning — eliminating all the messy, dangerous bottles of chemicals under your sink — some call it “the smartphone of cleaners.” Best of all, with just the ionator HOM and a faucet, you have a virtually endless supply of safe, sustainable cleaner. So safe, in fact, even kids can use it — learning good cleaning habits along the way. Stop the repeat purchases of harmful cleaners and make the next generation wonder why we ever used chemicals to clean!
As a thank-you for your previous interest, Activeion friends and families can own one at the pre-sale price of just $149 + shipping and handling. Order online and be sure to enter "family" in the promotional code field to receive your discount. Or call toll free, 866.950.4667, and mention the "family" offer. Offer valid through December 31, 2009. Order today to arrive by the holidays—quantities limited. Share this special offer with all your friends and family. Forward it today! Let's make the next generation wonder why we ever used chemicals to clean.

More videos here.

Monday 23 November 2009

Window Cleaning Videos

Water Fed Pole-ing in the Netherlands..

Don Marsh says "I don’t know how much of the news you are watching, but our country is in deep trouble financially." Read more..

A couple of high-rise guys learning to fly on the info-systems building..

Huell Howser visits the First Interstate building which is the tallest building west of the Mississippi (73 floors) and goes off the top with the window washers.

In this video Gary from Box Cleaning discusses the reach and wash system, how it is used in the window cleaning industry and how it allows a Window Cleaner to safely clean windows that are between 6 and 65ft high.

Winter has already arrived in Utah for Cascade Window Cleaning..

Gian Luigi from Italy with his magic glass cleaning head...

Mmmm - roof tunnel cleaning...

Fish window cleaning doing their ermm.. stuff.

More homeowners caught on camera..

And finally - we were all doing it wrong for all this time...

Sunday 22 November 2009

Thanks Walter Jowers of the Nashville Scene + Other News

Pinch pennies wherever you can, except on home repair by Walter Jowers: Here's what's bugging me - It seems to me that a fair number of folks who want some work done around their house want it done cheap—too cheap. Every day, I read or hear a request for a "reasonable" gutter cleaner, an "affordable" window washer, an "economical" chimney sweep or some such. It pains me to say that a fair number of people who are looking to hire cheap help have adequate cash. You'd think that money-minded folks would know that scraping the bottom of the hired-help barrel is the quickest way to screw up a house to the point where it might never get unscrewed.

Somebody tell me: Where are the unreasonable gutter cleaners? The ones charging neurosurgeon money for what used to be routine chores? How many such overpriced gutter cleaners could there be? You rich-as-the-sheik-of-Dubai gutter cleaners, let me hear from you. I might buy myself a bucket truck and join up.

Now, as for you tight-fisted homeowners: If your roof is way up amongst the tree canopy, and your gutters aren't so much drains as they are mini-moats, why wouldn't you pay the going rate—and even a pretty strong gratuity—for a guy to haul his 32-foot extension ladder to your house, wrestle it up against the edge of your roof and start scooping up your wet leaves? Keep in mind that all the while, he'll likely be fighting angry squirrels, head-pecking mockingbirds and killer wasps. He'll be working hard for the money, and he'll be lucky to get back on the ground with his skeleton intact. How much more "reasonable" could he be?

On the other hand, if you hire a gutter man who drives up to your house in a shiny new Escalade, or who puts your job on hold for a few weeks while he's off skiing in Aspen, you might want to consider hiring somebody with lower overhead. Most of the time, though, contractor overhead is just this simple: The gutter man has to pay his accountant to tell him how much tax he owes. Then he has to pay the tax. Once that's done, he'll be lucky to have a little money left over to buy tools and gasoline so he can stay in business. He won't be toting a duffel bag full of cash down to the strip club so he can make it rain.

Of course, a super-stingy homeowner might decide to avoid a worker who earns enough honest dollars to buy gas and groceries and keep the lights on at his house. That super-stingy homeowner might just decide to hire an unskilled and undereducated part-timer, somebody who just got fired from greasing the Tilt-A-Whirl at the carnival. The problem with that is, when you hire an off-the-books underground economy guy, you're likely hiring a tax-dodger who doesn't keep himself educated, doesn't have the right tools for the job, and can't offer any more than, "Golly, I'm sorry," if he screws up the job and wrecks your house.

And that's not the worst of it. If you hire a dirt-cheap worker, you might just be encouraging a backsliding, ne'er-do-well reprobate. It's the cheap-ass homeowner equivalent of helping Ted Bundy with his jumper cables. You satisfy his immediate needs and enable him to move on and harm others.

Here's an example: Some years back, I inspected a house that had the mark of the dimwit all over it. The house had just about every electrical problem that I'd ever seen, read about, or imagined. The cherry on this sundae was that the owners had just had the house inspected by one of my part-time cut-rate competitors, who told the new homeowners that their new house was just fine. I'll never know if that home inspector spoke out of ignorance, or was trying his best to flimflam his client so he could get more referrals from his benefactor, the saleslady.

So, you stingy well-to-do homeowners stop hiring from the bottom of the labor barrel, OK? Let me suggest that before you start hiring help, check with companies that have been around at least 10 years. Find the smart and honest souls who'll give you good leads. Finally, this: Don't take your neighbors' recommendations for laborers as gospel. The neurosurgeon next door might know how to fix a broken back, but that doesn't mean he knows how to clean gutters.

A Tunisian scientist working in the US is greatly contributing to the robotic revolution which is sweeping the industrial world and especially Japan, Europe and the US. A Professor of mechanical engineering at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Rice University in the US, Fathi Ghorbal, initially studied in Tunisia before receiving a B.S from Pennsylvania State University, an M.S from Carnegie Mellon University and a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana –Champaign. Recently, he was appointed as the Schlumberger Visiting Chair in Mechatronics and Robotics, in Paris. As the holder of the prestigious Chair, he will enjoy joint appointments at five of France’s ‘Grandes Ecoles’, including the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines, and the Ecole Polytechnique.
The Tunisian scientist has designed several robots destined to the aeronautical industry, pipelines as well as miniature robots for biomedical purposes. One of his major achievements is a robot dubbed “Inspector Bot”, equipped with its own source of energy, magnetic and electric sensors, video surveillance cameras and infrared lasers which is capable of achieving minute diagnostics not only of coastal erosions, abut also of underground and underwater pipelines.
Another of his inventions which has earned him considerable attention, is a robot which is capable of cleaning the window panes of skyscrapers. He is currently involved in the manufacturing of miniature robots based on nanotechnology. He is also the manager of a company dubbed “IT Robotics” which he has founded in Houston, Texas.

Sir Jackie Stewart: If I hadn't been F1 world champion I would have been.. a window cleaner. Formula 1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart revealed yesterday that he's also a whizz at cleaning windows. Sir Jackie, 70, even claimed if he had not been a racing driver he would have been a world champ with a squeegee and chamois instead.The Scot, who won three world titles in 1969, 71 and 73, says he hates streaky glass and prides himself on doing a good job. He said: "If I hadn't won the world championship driving a racing car, I would have won it cleaning windows. I am very good at cleaning windows. I have good attention to detail and I don't like to see streaks.
"If I could not have done what I did, I would have bought a pail and a sponge or a squeegee and I would have built a business."
Sir Jackie says he was attracted to menial tasks after being branded "thick" at school in Dumbarton because he was dyslexic, though the problem was not identified until he was 41.He added: "I see myself as the President of the Menial Task Division because I can't do the clever things - I couldn't be a lawyer, a banker or a doctor." He said it would have been his dream to have a window cleaning empire, staffed by fellow dyslexics.

H.W. Foote & Co. celebrates 100 years of business: The company was started in 1909; so we are celebrating our 100th year in business. The original owner was my great-grandfather, Harvey Wallace. The first site was in downtown Boston. It was originally a commercial window cleaning company. Later, the company expanded to include a painting contracting business. In the mid-1950s, his son, my grandfather, had this building constructed and moved the painting contracting business here. Then, in the early 1960s, the retail paint store was added. My grandfather and I had a close relationship.

CORDIA, the company set up to manage Glasgow City Council's direct and care services, has been praised in a UK-wide technology award scheme for its development of Blackberry and its use in home care. The limited liablilty partnership, which has a staff of almost 9,000, was commended as a runner-up in the Mobile Product Of The Year category at the UK IT Industry Awards in London. Cordia's in-house software staff created eRouter, which is now used by home carers. The application provides them with all the information they need about the people they care for - which saves time and could save lives. Cordia is based in the centre of Glasgow and says it can provide services to organisations across the UK. It has an annual turnover of about £154million. Among the services it provides in Glasgow are meals at home to more than 900 elderly people. It also does building and window cleaning, janitorial services, and school crossing patrols.

Mr Jobling suffered an epileptic fit two days before his death. His partner Valerie Rendal spoke to him on the phone the following day and he was saying illogical things. She said the confusion could have been an aftermath effect of the seizure. The next morning, window cleaner Martin Boddy saw him jump out of the window. He said: “I was cleaning one of the panes. He came and said ‘hello’. Then he walked back about six paces and said ‘move out of the way’. He headbutted the window and went straight through. It was just a shock.” Mr Boddy climbed down his ladder and, along with another window cleaner and a neighbour, helped to cover Mr Jobling with a towel and called an ambulance.
John Paul Jobling died after he leapt through a second-floor window at flats in Steward Crescent, South Shields, on June 3 this year. The 49-year-old, known as Paul, was seen “headbutting” the glass and falling through the broken window. An inquest heard yesterday that a similar incident happened in February last year when Mr Jobling jumped out of a window and injured his collar bone. Mr Jobling’s family members told the hearing he had been having problems with neighbours who were allegedly causing trouble in the area.

Service Charges: Do you think the service charge imposed by your landlord is justified? The pressure is growing on the companies that own and manage more than 100,000 leasehold flats and houses which are designed for older residents. The companies that run them charge significant annual fees for maintenance, services, management, and repairs. And when the leaseholders sell their home there is an exit fee to pay. They start at 1% of the sale price, but other charges are added on top and they can be considerably more. The Office of Fair Trading is investigating these exit fees which it says could be unfair. One site, on which there are a further six similar properties, is owned and managed (external property maintenance, gardening, window cleaning, buildings insurance, emergency call facility) by a Housing Association.

Roberts struck when window cleaner Mr Bates pulled up in Perrymans Farm Road to collect a payment from Roberts' neighbour. The grandmother brandished a large black-handled bread knife and raced towards the hatchback which was also carrying Miss Cartey, of Dagenham. 'Miss Roberts lunged at Mr Bates through the open side window of the Vauxhall Corsa in which he was sitting, shouting abuse and threats at both of the vehicle's occupants,' said Mr Requena. Lynda Roberts, 54, lunged a bread knife at Paul Bates through the window of his Vauxhall Corsa as her daughter Natasha Cartey sat cowering inside. Roberts then tossed blade away before rearming herself with a carving knife. A jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court took less than two hours to convict Roberts of affray following a three-day trial.

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