Saturday 31 July 2010

The MidWest Window Cleaning Show 2010 Live

Kevin Dubrosky the window cleaning coach gives his seminar, part 1. This years IWCA Key note speaker! 99% of window cleaning business owners need some serious help with their marketing systems, and are not satisfied with the results they are currently obtaining. Kevin can help! Check out Kevins website.

Kevin Dubrosky the window cleaning coach gives his seminar, part 2.

Build your business through direct mail - Chris Lambrinides from Window Cleaning Resource, and All County Window Cleaning. Learn how to successfully implement direct mail into your business. Fabricating Debris Seminar - Tony Evans from a New View Window Cleaning.

Videos to be added as they become available...
New videos uploaded live can can be viewed as always at Window Cleaning Resource.

Friday 30 July 2010

Spray On Solar Glass - Window Cleaning "Add-On?"

Spray On Solar Glass A Coming Reality: There have been plenty of shouts and rumors about see-through solar glass, but until now the technology had not reached the point where anyone was ready to begin commercial development. That appears to have changed, as New Energy Technologies, Inc., of Maryland, recently announced that researchers working on its proprietary Solar Window technology have achieved a series of breakthroughs that will allow the company to unveil a working prototype of the world’s first-ever glass window capable of generating electricity. The University of South Florida Research Foundation has granted New Energy an exclusive, worldwide license for technologies to enable commercial development of the product.

Until now, the limiting factors appear to have been the need for metals and various expensive processes that block visibility and prevent light from passing through glass surfaces. New Energy see-through solar glass is made possible by the world’s smallest working organic solar cells, a nanotechnology application developed by Dr. Xiaomei Jiang at the University of South Florida. Unlike conventional solar energy systems, New Energy’s solar cells are capable of generating electricity from both natural and artificial light sources; according to the company, they outperform today’s commercial solar and thin-film technologies by as much as 10-fold.

Technical hurdles surpassed in recent months by New Energy’s researchers include testing of these nanotech solar cells, measuring less than ¼ the size of a grain of rice, which generate electricity from both natural and artificial light sources; development of a patent-pending process to spray SolarWindow coatings onto see-through glass using commercially available technologies; and the ability to spray SolarWindow coatings onto glass at room temperature, eliminating expensive high-temperature or high-vacuum production methods commonly used by current solar manufacturers.

Sphelar cells are the new 'power windows': Developed by Kyosemi Corporation, Sphelar solar cells are one of the most intriguing solar solutions that we have seen in a while. On display at the recent PV Expo 2010 in Tokyo, these tiny spherical cells gave us a glimpse of how windows in buildings might be used to collect solar power in the not-so-distant future. Sphelar cells are solidified silicon drops measuring 1.8 mm in diameter and are highly transparent, which is advantageous for a number of reasons. They can be embedded in glass to create a transparent solar cell window, capable of absorbing light from any direction or angle. Because both sides of the glass can collect light, this should translate into highly efficient energy harvesting.

The cells can also be embedded in flexible surfaces, allowing for them to take on unusual shapes or be bent if necessary. The Sphelar Dome is one such example, designed to absorb more energy in the early morning and late evening unlike a flatter design. Have we seen the last of roof-mounted solar panels? It's exciting to think that a day may come when these 'power windows' could be in buildings everywhere, integrated into existing structural designs.

Thursday 29 July 2010

Window Cleaners: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The Good...

Norwich man's diabetes cured by weight loss: A Lakenham window cleaner has managed to transform his health after losing more than five stone. John Batterbee used to take eight tablets and two insulin injections a day for his type 2 diabetes, but no longer needs any treatment. His high blood pressure has improved and so has his sleep apnoea. The 38-year-old, who has his own window cleaning business, was due to have drastic weight loss surgery when one of his customers, Hayley Hooper, suggested he join her Slimming World Group. In the past 28 weeks he has lost 5st 3lb and gone from 20st 5lb to 15st 2lb.
He said: “I had a bad experience a few years ago at a different club when I got put down in front of everyone, and I decided that sort of thing was not for me. I have had a problem with people who tell you to lose weight when they haven't been there themselves. But I found out that Hayley had lost weight on that diet as well and that changed my attitude a bit. I went along and it has been brilliant ever since.” Now he has swapped deep-fried chips for oven chips and thrown out the deep fat frier. He uses a low-fat cooking spray for frying and snacks on fruit and vegetables instead of crisps and pasties.
He said: “The health benefits are amazing. I feel quite annoyed I let myself that way to start with. I don't like looking fat and I hate looking at pictures of how I used to be. “My ideal weight is still three stone off, and that still seems like a long way. But my target when I joined Slimming World was 15st and I am only 2lb off that.” When he went to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for his annual diabetes check last year, the doctor warned him that he had to improve his health. Mr Batterbee said: “I told him 'I am really struggling with my weight, I have almost given up.' When he suggested weight loss surgery I just jumped at it, it was what I wanted to hear.”
Mr Batterbee, who is married to Sharon and has a 10-year-old son and two adult stepsons, had been referred to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital for weight loss surgery, and was due to have a gastric bypass. But by the time he had an appointment there he had joined Slimming World and had already lost two stone, though he was still eligible for surgery. When he returned for a pre-operation check-up two weeks ago he had lost more weight and was told he no longer needed surgery. He is currently waiting for the results of tests to show whether his diabetes has gone completely. He said: “If I had had the surgery there would have been major side-effects. It is brilliant not to want or need that now.”
About 31,000 people in Norfolk (excluding Great Yarmouth and Waveney) have diabetes, and around 2,300 people are diagnosed with diabetes each year. It is estimated that at least half of all diabetes cases could be prevented if adults kept their weight to a healthy level. Khin Swe Myint, consultant physician in diabetes at the N&N, said: “I am very pleased with John's progress. He has lost a substantial amount of weight through his own efforts and this has led to a reduction in the medication he needs, including insulin.
“There are many benefits to weight loss for patients with diabetes who will feel much better and have more energy. Patients commonly require less medication for blood pressure, diabetes and indeed sometimes may also cure their sleep apnoea which could be associated with being overweight.” Hayley Hooper, who runs the Slimming World Poringland Group, said: “I am really proud of John and the support the members of the group have given him each week.”

The Bad....

Jailed Liverpudlian heroin courier & window cleaner claimed he was forced at gunpoint to make trip to Shetland: The latest Liverpudlian heroin courier to be jailed at Lerwick Sheriff Court said he was forced at gunpoint to make the trip to Shetland in punishment for having beaten up a man with drug gangster connections. To avoid having his legs broken in revenge David Garnett, 39, of Lawrence Road, Liverpool, concealed bags of heroin inside his body and caught the bus to Aberdeen before boarding the NorthLink ferry on 26th May. Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie told the court on Wednesday the police had intelligence about his activities and were waiting at the Holmsgarth terminal the next day for “yet another Liverpudlian to come off the boat with diamorphine concealed in their rectum”.
Garnett initially refused to co-operate despite an X-ray at the hospital showing he had four packages in his abdomen. A warrant had to be obtained to allow a laxative to be administered against his will. Mr MacKenzie said the four packages of heroin had contained 780 individual wraps of £20 bags worth a total of about £15,600. He told Sheriff Graeme Napier that, as he had heard umpteen times before, the drugs mule had been coerced into smuggling heroin into Shetland. One day in Liverpool he had been walking his dog along a canal when he got into an altercation with another dog-walker. Garnett administered “a severe beating” to the man, Mr MacKenzie said.
Unfortunately the man used his family connections high up in the organised crime world to exact retribution, causing Garnett to be before the court facing years in jail. His defence lawyer Tommy Allan pointed out that Garnett’s string of previous convictions had not involved drugs but he had been ordered to go to Shetland or have his legs broken. “He was quite clear that they were serious about this,” Mr Allan said. Since his first court appearance in Lerwick in May Mr Garnett, a window-cleaner and car-washer, had co-operated and always intended pleading guilty, Mr Allan told the court. The Sheriff was amazed Garnett could get work as a window-cleaner with such an “appalling” criminal record, which included stretches inside. He jailed him for 40 months, backdated to 31st May since when he has been on remand.

And the Ugly....

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Q & A With Mark Poole Of Portland Window Cleaning

Mark Poole of Portland Window Cleaning gives us his story:

We started Waterworks NW based in Hillsboro and Portland, Oregon 12 years ago. With a heavy background in pressure washing after managing a pressure washing company for 6 years I left the company after I found out the owner was cheating customers. With 3 weeks to make our mortgage payment I sold my motorcycle, bought a truck and some equipment and started handing out fliers. Our services included window cleaning, gutter cleaning, pressure washing & roof cleaning. In 2009 we restructured after a slowing economy and with the power of the internet & started Portland Window Cleaning, Portland Pressure Washing, Portland Roof Cleaning and recently purchased Portland Gutter Cleaning. This project took the better part of a year to complete, but the plans are just starting for these companies, whose owners are not old enough to to even watch PG movies yet. We feel very fortunate to have these companies and have big plans as we develop these high quality customer service orientated companies and groom their new owners for the future.

Questions & Answers with Mark Poole:

How long have you been window cleaning – what got you started?
We have been window cleaning for 12 years. What got me started was a desire to have my wife stay home with our children. I had a pressure washing background and helped a friend clean a couple windows part time. He moved and I asked if he would mind me adding his old customers to Portland Window cleaning.

What do you hate/love most about window cleaning?
I love going into a home with dirty windows and seeing the customers face when we are done cleaning them. I hate the feeling of not being able to let go of the work. I am addicted to perfection and need to tell myself to take breaks.

What are your favorite tools in the trade?
Well, I think we are one of the only companies around using water fed poles on residential homes every day. We carry our water on board and have Gardiner carbon fiber poles. So setup and take down is very quick, we simply flip a switch and we are cleaning.

What percentage of wfping to traditional window cleaning do you do?
In the 2 1/2 years since using water fed poles we have cleaned exterior windows on 3 homes using traditional methods only because of old wood frames. 99 percent of our residential and commercial clients enjoy risk free window cleaning and peace of mind knowing we are not on ladders.

In your neck of the woods, it rains a lot – how do you cope with this?
We do not clean windows in the rain, unless it is a regular commercial account. Our residential customers appreciate our flexibility in dealing with the weather. We clean lots of gutters as well as pressure washing. If we can do the work safely, we will work. We can also compress our work weeks if needed to work around the weather. There are many other aspect of the company that employees can work on if it is unsafe to work on homes because of the weather. Money isn't everything, but our safety is very important.

What do you think the best marketing medium has been for your company?
Word of mouth, although the internet is a great marketing tool, quality workmanship and great customer service goes a long way.

What other services do you provide?
We own multiple companies which do a variety of services such as Window Cleaning, Gutter Cleaning, Pressure Washing & Roof Maintenance.

Who do you look up to in the industry & why?
I don't know many in the industry. There are many that have built large companies and have done a lot for the industry such as Chris and Alex from WCR. I do not really look up to anyone as each of us have our own goals. But certainly I would have to give credit to Kevin Dubrosky who has helped many companies earn more money while working less hours.

What’s gonna be your next biggest purchase for the company?
Well, we just purchased a large commercial pressure washer from Landa Northwest. We need more sprinter vans for our fleet. We will be purchasing more carbon fiber water fed poles for Portland Window Cleaning.

The most treasured piece of window cleaning equipment you have?
The Gardiner water fed pole.

Any family? Are they involved in the business?
I am the father of 3 children, and have been married for 12 years. My wife takes care of the family and our home. Maybe when the kids are older she might want to work for Portland Window Cleaning.

Do you favor one supplier or do you shop around?
We have had our same vendors for quite some time. Landa Northwest being at the top of the list.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

What do you do to relax?

If you could live anywhere & window clean – where would it be?

Mark Poole & his team have a blog that showcases his work. Mark can be reached on Portland Window Cleaning (503)844-6700.

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Window Cleaning News With Falls & Con Men

Friends of Steve Zalopany plan 'fun' raiser for him (on Aug. 1): MOBILE, Ala. -- If a man’s wealth is measured in friends, Steve Zalopany is a very rich man. Zalopany, who owns a professional window washing company, was cleaning the façade of the Infirmary 65 building at Dauphin Street and I-65 when he fell, injuring his spine. His son, Stephen, was able to contact 911 and follow directions to keep his father alive until the ambulance arrived to take Zalopany to USA Trauma Center. Zalopany was then transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, accompanied by his wife, Terry.
Now, friends and neighbors have rallied together for a fundraiser in his honor. Money raised at the event will be used to make the family’s home handicapped-accessible to accommodate Zalopany’s wheelchair. The “fun” raiser is Aug. 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Camp Grace. It includes food, swimming, inflatables and musical entertainment. Before the event begins, there will be a brief prayer service at 12:30 p.m., led by family friend Scott Vernon. Friends are welcome to attend. Many of Zalopany’s family members plan to attend the fundraiser, including his son, who is entering the University of Alabama this fall, and his daughter, Kelley, who will be a senior at Auburn University.
There is a $25 donation per person, but additional financial and in-kind donations are welcome, said coordinator Mary Beth Bradley. Checks can be made payable to the Steve Zalopany Benefit Fund and mailed to P.O. Box 82085, Mobile, AL 36689. “I’ve known them for years,” said Bradley. “When Terry called me in tears one day, I just knew I had to do something.” Many local businesses have already pitched in to help with the fundraiser. Pollman’s Bakery is donating cookies and brownies. Jim and Susie Sherman of Firehouse Subs on Grelot Road are donating 100 sandwiches and beverages. Cammie’s Old Dutch Ice Cream Shoppe is providing sweet treats. Diane Codifer will be offering massages. Bob Omainsky of Wintzell’s Oyster House is donating 200 hamburgers and buns, with Dew Drop Inn providing hot dogs. And Camp Grace has donated use of the facility for the event.
Vernon, who owns Bowhunter Pro Shop, has donated a fully-rigged hunting bow as a raffle item. Only a limited number of tickets are available, and a good number have already been purchased. While tickets may be purchased at the door, reservations are requested by July 28; e-mail Bradley at Tickets are also available July 27 and 28 at UMS-Wright Preparatory School from 4 to 6 p.m. at the columns near the football stadium, and at Automotive Painters Supply at 1000 East I-65 Service Road North between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., next to Budweiser-Busch Distributing.

Sheriff raids Phoenix cleaning company: Maricopa County sheriff's detectives raided Valley View Building Services in central Phoenix Tuesday morning, searching for 25 people suspected of identity theft and fraud. Five people were taken into custody, four of whom were in the United States illegally. "When we went in there, one of the ladies was hiding her Mexican I.D. in an enchilada,trying to conceal the identification," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Dozens of deputies, with a search warrant, and a sheriff's bus rolled up to the business, near 19th Street and Buckeye Road, about 6 a.m. The bus was backed up to the door. In a press release announcing the raid, the sheriff's office said, "A three-month investigation has revealed that the company has furnished, at a minimum, one employee who was working on the Fort Huachuca military base in Sierra Vista and was determined to be in the United States illegally."
Arpaio said the search was continuing for other illegal immigrants who might be working for the company. "We did serve another search warrant on the residence of the owner and, going through the papers, we're going to determine which work sites that the others may be working at."
Wednesday's raid was the 37th workplace raid the sheriff has conducted since Arizona's employers sanctions law went into effect in January 2009. More than 500 people have been arrested, most of those in the U.S. illegally. Valley View focuses on cleaning up new and remodeled commercial projects and larger residential projects and also provides window cleaning services, as well as specialized temporary cleaning labor.

Readers recommend songs about manual labour: "What's my line?/ I'm happy cleaning windows," sings Van Morrison, "I'm a working man in my prime." This is evinced by an impish charm, apparent as he bounces from job to lunch break to spots playing sax in "that down joint". The message of the song is simple – the window cleaner's happy in his work – and the lyrical vignettes combined with delicate, upbeat R&B (with Mark "That ain't working" Knopfler on guitar) convey that feeling wonderfully. Van's window cleaner is an auto-didact who reads Kerouac and disappears home to listen to Jimmie Rodgers. No doubt he's tuning in to Blue Yodel No 8, in which a man who loves to work can find but none and sets about berating (and yodelling at) the ungrateful employed.

Who would want to be the Prime Minister? Well, not me - I've been sat here trying to imagine being in David Cameron's shoes on that first morning sitting in the big chair at Number 10. I start by opening up the current account bank statement. A big fat zero! I gingerly turn to the overdraft and discover it now stands at over £150 billion quid. Crikey. I see that we are borrowing millions to pay off the interest on our borrowings. Blimey O'Reilly! I discover the previous occupant of this huge leather chair has signed up dozens of contracts for projects at zillions of pounds he must have known he could never pay for. Lo and behold, the poor old army boys are still waiting for those eight helicopters and the new boots promised five years ago. Ah – a chink of light! I've just found that we now have 4,000 new Government organisations looking into everything from "should child carers be allowed to wear bracelets" to "how many ladder rungs can a window cleaner climb up, carrying a bucket of water and a chamois leather".

Bolton Trading Standards is warning elderly and vulnerable residents to be on their guard against rogue traders selling overpriced insulation products. The warning has come after a salesman spent an hour trying to convince retired physics teacher Brian Liptrot, aged 70, that he needed a chemical spray to cover his eight widows, at a cost of £3,500. The man called at Mr Liptrot’s house in Winslow Road, Hunger Hill, after the pensioner had received a call from a spokesman of what he believed was the Government’s Warm Front team. The caller said Mr Liptrot could be eligible for grants to further insulate his home and asked if their representative could call to do an assessment. When the man came he filled in a tick sheet of improvements that had been carried out to insulate the house then asked if Mr Liptrot if he had “self-cleaning windows”.
When he said no, it became clear that the man was a salesman and he told Mr Liptrot that without a spray covering his windows he would not get an energy efficiency certificate which he would need if he ever wanted to sell his house. Mr Liptrot said: “Then he quickly told me I was eligible for a grant and the price dropped to £1,750. He was here for about an hour and I just couldn’t get rid of him. “He wanted me to sign up there and then but when I told him that I wanted to check a few facts he closed his briefcase and made a swift exit.” Mr Liptrot has since found a DIY spray on the internet to insulate his windows which can be bought for £5, per four windows. A spokesman for Bolton Trading Standards said they had had reports of salesmen in the Hunger Hill area attempting to sell energy efficient products like the window spray. He warned residents not to buy from cold callers. To report a rogue trader, call 01204 336 586.

Guilty thief gives back £160 he stole from a pensioner's purse... with interest: A crook who stole a pensioner's purse was so racked with guilt that he returned the cash, plus £40 extra, with a note of apology containing his name and phone number. Simon Crewe, 26, had posed as a window cleaner to steal from the 85-year-old widow's home in June, making off with £160. Sentencing him to two-and-a-half years in prison at Leicester Crown Court, Judge Sylvia De Bertodano said that by writing the letter he had in effect confessed. 'You paid the money back under cover of a letter, effectively turning yourself in,' the judge said.. 'I do accept that you were trying to make amends. Custody has to follow no matter how much remorse you feel.
'What makes this so bad is that someone elderly and vulnerable was targeted in their home.' Crewe was on license from a seven-year sentence when he carried out the burglary in June in the Knighton area of Leicester. Prosecuting Alan Murphy said he had been carrying a ladder when he called at the elderly victim's home. The woman, who has not been named, assumed he was her window cleaner and, while she left him outside to go upstairs on her stairlift, he made off with her purse. Mr Murphy continued: 'Eight days later he put a letter through the woman's door returning her money with an extra £40.
'Crewe said he was sorry and left a contact number. He later told the police he argued with his partner about money and went out looking for window cleaning work, but was tempted on seeing the purse. 'He said the victim was "a nice old lady". He immediately felt bad but was too scared to return it for several days, having burnt the the woman's purse and bus pass. 'The letter returning the money upset her even further and left her confused.' Sally Bamford, defending , said her client would have got away with it - if not for the letter. He had changed his behaviour since his last sentence, and become more sympathetic to victims of crime. 'It was an impulsive act and he did what he could to put the matter right,' she said. 'He handed himself in to the police and became emotional in interview. He takes full responsibility.' Crewe was convicted of four distraction burglaries in 2004, with 47 similar offences taken into consideration.

Caller steals man's wallet from house in Leicester: Police are appealing for public help after a 79-year-old man had money stolen from his home in Leicester. A man, who regularly cleans the victim's windows, called at the house at around 1610 BST on Monday. After a short while he left, then returned minutes later saying he needed to go into the house to collect something he had forgotten. The housholder realising his wallet was missing, but the window cleaner drove off in a red car. The man police would like to speak to is described as white, about 30, around 5ft 10in, of medium build with blond, curly hair combed back. He spoke with a local accent. Pc Louise Gibson said: "This man cleans the victim's windows about once a month so we are very hopeful that someone in the area will know him and be able to help us with our inquiries. "We would also like to appeal to other window cleaners who think they may know who the man is."

David Noton was first inspired to become a photographer by taking pictures of Scotland's landscapes. Now he is back to exhibit his art. While he took to the world of photography with all the relish of a youngster, Noton could point to an esoteric CV even before he picked up a camera. In what he now describes as his "wilderness years," he served stints as a window cleaner, a glue factory worker, and a dispatch rider, before signing up with the Merchant Navy.

REMEMBER!! - “One of the most common home accidents is the mixing of products containing chlorine bleach with those containing ammonia,” says WTC. The combination creates chloramine gas, which is highly irritating to the lungs. Since many cleaning products contain ammonia, the inadvertent mixing must be avoided. Mixing bleach and acids results in the release of chlorine gas, according to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, exposure to which can cause coughing and breathing problems, burning eyes and, at high levels, vomiting, pneumonia and even death. Products containing acids include vinegar, some glass and window cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, drain cleaners and rust removers. An “incompatibility chart” listing many chemicals that will react with bleach is available at the Chlorine Institute’s website.

Man falls through glass roof: A man is being treated for very serious injuries after an incident in Bedford town centre on Saturday afternoon. The man is believed to have fallen through a glass roof to the rear of premises in Halls Court, off Harpur Street. He was taken to A&E at Bedford Hospital with what have been decribed as very serious injuries. There is no description of the man at present, who was not carrying any ID. The incident was reported to police at 3.45pm on Saturday, July 24.

'Thief's' 45ft plunge next to shoppers: A man being chased by a security guard fell 45ft to his death through the glass roof of a busy shopping centre. Dean Macauley, 25, died after hitting a flagstone floor on Saturday, just missing a mother with a pram. He had allegedly stolen from a nearby Marks & Spencer store when he took to the roof in Bedford. The glass shattered and Macauley, a local, sustained severe head and chest injuries as he hit the floor. At least 200 witnesses heard a "loud bang". Ambulance crews found him dead at the scene. Jan Page, owner of Arcadia sweet shop, said: "There were a lot of young children around. It was horrific. He was a complete mess." Macauley's inquest has been adjourned.

Closed head injuries are tricky to cope with: Question: My child was just beginning to ride a bike when he hit a parked car, was thrown up in the air, landed and was unconscious for the rest of the day. Though he is physically healed from the accident, he seems changed in some way, often forgetful or puzzled, more easily frustrated and even full of rage. We are trying to sort out what to do next.
Answer: Whether a person is a 70-year-old who tumbles off a ladder washing a second-story window or a toddler who falls off a riding lawn mower when his dad loses control, closed-head brain injuries can be the result. They are sneaky rascals because although our loved one seems physically just the same, something has happened in the brain's wiring causing changes in the people we care about.
Within one and a half years of sustaining a potential brain injury, a survivor should be assessed by a neuro-psychologist to learn of the type and severity of differences in thinking, language, concentration, abstract reasoning skills, planning and following through. Other symptoms should also be carefully noted, Markides writes, such as "lack of insight, reduced concentration, memory deficits, slowed response time, irritability, socially inappropriate behavior, communication problems, headaches, depression, visual and hearing problems." Currently, 5.3 million survivors need long or lifetime support, the website reports. Long-term health effects can include epilepsy, more predisposition to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, etc.

Boy falls 16 floors and lives: A teenager miraculously survived with minor injuries after falling 16 storeys from his family's Manukau City apartment through a carpark roof on to a concrete floor. The 15-year-old was in a stable condition in Middlemore Hospital this morning, four days after the 40m- to 50m-plunge from the top floor of the Proximity Apartments in Amersham Way, near the Westfield Manukau mall. He is believed to have suffered only a broken wrist, a broken rib, a gouged leg and internal injuries. Medical experts are amazed he was not killed. The building manager, Jason Epps-Eades, said the carpark roof broke the boy's fall and probably saved his life. "He's going to be okay. It's just incredible that he survived." The cause of the fall is not yet known and Counties-Manukau police are investigating. Witnesses said the boy might have been playing on the balcony.
One tenant was smoking on his apartment balcony at 9.30pm on Thursday when the teenager fell in front of him. The tenant raised the alarm immediately. "The sound [of his impact] was probably heard by everyone on that side of the building," said a Proximity Apartments staffer.
"People thought it was a car crash, but when they looked out their windows and saw the body, there was screaming, just screaming, and a whole lot of people coming downstairs." Housekeeper Kaa Wehi was working on the other side of the apartment complex and dismissed the large crash as the sound of a car misfiring. She thought nothing of it until she saw the teen's family rushing past her. "The boy's mum ran out of the elevator on the ground floor, shouting, 'Is it my boy? Is it my boy?' God must have been with him. He's got an angel looking after him, that's for sure."
Ms Wehi said the mother had been in bed, leaving the boy to finish his homework on his laptop. "[His parents] are dumb-founded about the whole thing. I saw the family every day - he was a good boy." The teenager - believed to be an old boy of De La Salle College in Mangere East - crashed through the carpark's steel roof, insulation and metal webbing, which saved him from directly hitting the concrete floor. He was taken to Middlemore Hospital in a serious condition, but has since stabilised. He is expected to leave hospital this week. His family were too upset to speak publicly yesterday. Mr Epps-Eades said the apartment balconies were "very safe", with railings that were chest-high to a tall person.
An intensive care medicine expert said yesterday that it was rare for someone to live if they plunged from more than five storeys, and "freakish" if they survived a fall from 16 storeys. The boy did not have head injuries, which was the most common cause of death after falling from a height. The specialist had dealt with one case where a man had fallen eight storeys and survived on "sheer luck". The key to the Manukau teenager's survival may have been that he avoided falling head-first. An American study of 200 falls showed a person is just as likely to survive a five-storey fall landing feet-first as they are a one-storey fall headfirst. A New York doctor who had dealt with a high number of falls said in 2008 that the death rate from a three-storey fall was about 50 per cent, but people who had fallen more than 10 storeys almost never survived.

  • December 2007: Window cleaner Alcides Moreno, 37, survives a 47-storey fall from a Manhattan skyscraper. His scaffolding broke free and he was able to use that as a form of protection as he fell.
  • May 2008: A 22-year-old Ohio State University student survives after falling about six storeys from a 10th floor balcony of a Hilton hotel in Florida. He lands safely on a conference centre roof after another balcony helps break his fall.
  • June 2010: 4-year-old Joey Williams falls six storeys from a Miami apartment building after chasing a balloon over a balcony. He lands in a palm tree.

Abu Dhabi feels Dubai chill as Emirate accepts money is scarcer: Times have changed for the Alimad Engineering and Contracting Company in Abu Dhabi. Two years ago, the developer was building everything from 20-story glass towers to luxury villas. It's now shelving projects, the latest a $US12 million contract with a client who has $US2 million and the banks won't give him any more money, said Ziad Ali, whose father founded the company 20 years ago. "When investors don't get funding, we don't get their business," Ali, 24, said by telephone from his office.
If the palm-shaped islands and skyscrapers of Dubai came to symbolize the excesses of the economic boom in the Gulf, the less glitzy Abu Dhabi represented the sobriety. Yet after Abu Dhabi, home to more than 7 per cent of the world's oil supply, spent $US20 billion bailing out its desert neighbor, it too is having to accept the financial crisis is catching up. Abu Dhabi, the largest of the United Arab Emirates and home of the capital and central bank, forecast a second consecutive budget deficit this year, according to statistics included in a government-guaranteed bond prospectus released last week. Spending will exceed revenue by 84.9 billion dirhams ($US23.1 billion) this year after 126.5 billion dirhams in 2009.

The tallest residential building in central London is also unique for being the first skyscraper in the world that has wind turbines integrated directly into its building fabric. Although the building is officially called the Strata Tower, it has been nicknamed the Razor. An apt enough nickname for the silver and black building that stands 147 meters (485 ft.) tall. Designed by BFLS, who were earlier known as Hamiltons, the Razor is already a distinct and recognizable profile on London’s skyline. The Strata tower, which has just been completed recently, is topped with three building-integrated wind turbines that will provide eight percent of electricity needs that will be required by the building – which will cover the mechanical and electrical services in the building including three express elevators and automated window cleaning rigs. Special design has been integrated into the turbines to ensure that minimal noise is generated, in order to not cause a disturbance to the penthouse residents, who will be living right below the turbines.
In addition to this, there are several green building strategies that have been implemented in the structure that is sure to make it the clarion call for regeneration in the Elephant and Castle area, where it is located. Natural daylight and natural ventilation has been incorporated as far as possible, even in the apartments that are high up. A quarter of the development has been designed to function as affordable housing – targeted at people who earn less than £60,000 a year. This means that the second floor to the tenth are affordable housing and the rest of the 43 floors have luxury condos, ending at the penthouse. The building offers residents a good view right into the heart of downtown; and floor to ceiling windows in each apartment ensure spectacular views from each one.

Five fearless volunteers are preparing to walk barefoot over 20ft of broken glass this week to raise more than £1200 for the Barnardo's Caern Project and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS). The JCI Edinburgh team will be taking part in the Glasswalk Challenge at Edinburgh Zoo on Friday. They have each raised at least £150 in sponsorship.

Monday 26 July 2010

Another Aqua-Dapter Video For Water Fed Pole Work

Aqua-dapter is a brand new water fed pole flow controller, developed by window cleaners, for window cleaners. Alex Lambrinides of Window Cleaning Resource goes in to detail with this new English invention making waves in the window cleaning industry. Window Cleaning Resource are the first U.S. company to stock the Aqua-Dapter in the United States.

See also here & here for previous news.

Since their introduction to the industry, water fed poles have been a successful and hugely useful tool for cleaning, however there are problems with existing methods of water flow control.

For instance, consider the existing methods:

1. Triggers; work well for flow control but can be awkward to use. They also leave an irritating loop of hose which can twist, making water fed poles difficult to extend, and also the obvious trip hazard.
2. Holsters; these are attached to your waist, which in turn means you are attached to the hose. As well as feeling rather restrictive, you also get the problem of wet trousers!
3. Hose tail connector taps; provide a definite on/off control, however are not practical for controlling the flow between windows.

Aqua-dapter is fitted to the top section of your pole, and connected to your brush.
The control mechanism is operated from the handle, by pulling the hose to switch the water flow on and off.
The tap can also be turned manually if you are working on ground level windows.

Size: Aqua-dapter comes in a standard size, to fit the top section of poles with a diameter of 20-23.5mm. If you need a different sized fitting, we can provide an adapter to fit.

Hose: The unit comes as standard with 10 metres of high quality low stretch hose, which stays consistent in hot and cold weather. Extra hose can be supplied to order.

Weight: The Aqua-dapter adds about 100 grams to your pole, once you have cut it down to size (see FAQ).

Construction: Aluminium and stainless steel; injection molded plastic.

Warranty: The unit comes with a 12 month manufacturers guarantee on parts.

Testing: Machine tested for 30 minutes spinning the tap at 500RPM. 15,000 turns and still working as new.

Sunday 25 July 2010

Balloons & Gels May Help Window Cleaners With Tendonitis & OsteoArthritis

How a balloon could lift pain from your shoulders: A small balloon is the latest tool for tackling chronic shoulder pain. The balloon is implanted in the shoulder and then pumped with fluid to the size of a small orange. This then acts as a cushion between the bone and damaged muscle and tendons, preventing further damage and allowing the inflamed tissue to heal. Around one in five Britons develops shoulder pain at some time; the most common cause in the over-40s is a rotator cuff injury. The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons which secures the top of the arm into the shoulder joint.

Common rotator cuff injuries include tendonitis - where the tendons become inflamed through being overused or overloaded - and bursitis, where a fluid-filled pad that cushions the tendons becomes irritated and inflamed. A fall or lifting too heavy an item can also cause tears in the muscles or tendons of the cuff. Rotator cuff injuries become more common with age because tendons and muscles weaken. Sportsmen and women involved in activities which require repetitive movements of the shoulders such as rowing and swimming, or people whose jobs require reaching, such as painting and window cleaning, are particularly at risk.

Some conditions including rheumatoid and osteoarthritis can also make injury more likely. Although a rotator cuff injury can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy, in some cases surgery remains the only option. Traditionally, this involves repairing any tears in the muscles or removing worn bone that may be jutting out and causing muscles and tendons to snag on it. However, this carries the risks associated with a general anaesthetic. The new device, on trial at four centres in Italy and Israel, can be implanted as an outpatient under local anaesthetic. The treatment is aimed at increasing the size of the space between the bone and cuff to reduce contact and therefore pain.

During the trial, patients had a tiny incision made in the skin using a special hollow implanting tool. When it reached the rotator cuff, a folded and deflated balloon was inserted through the tool and left at the tip. A syringe connected to the other end of the implanting tool was then used to inflate the balloon using saline solution. The procedure takes around ten minutes. Once inflated, the balloon - developed by Israel-based BioProtect - acts as a barrier between the injured tissue and the bone, allowing it to heal. Over time the balloon degrades, although research from pilot studies suggests that the benefits of the extra room in the shoulder remain - so, in theory, preventing the problem happening again. A spokeswoman for Arthritis Research UK, which funds research into rotator cuff injuries, said the device sounded promising. 'We will be interested to see the outcome of the trial, and most importantly whether the beneficial effects are sustained once the balloon degrades.'

A gel injected into the knee could help prevent osteoarthritis. The liquid gel turns into a solid once inside the joint and creates a kind of scaffold that helps new cartilage grow. Cartilage acts as the body's shock absorber, stopping bones rubbing together. But once it has been damaged or worn away, it is not very good at regenerating. The new gel - developed at the Northwestern University in IIllinois, U.S. - addresses that problem. Once the gel sets, it forms a kind of fibrous matrix made up of hundreds of tiny tunnels. A special ingredient in the gel then binds to certain growth factors in the blood - these are chemicals that, in high quantities, can stimulate the production of new cartilage. With a high level of growth factors 'trapped' in the matrix, cartilage cells begin to thrive. The gel, which is still undergoing testing, could be available in three to five years.

Also click below to see the article from American Window Cleaner Magazine.

Saturday 24 July 2010

Breast Cancer From Household Window Cleaning Products

Another reason why house-holders should hire a professional window cleaner. For the next time she says "no thanks, we do them ourselves."

Household cleaning products linked with cancer: A study released July 20 found a possible link between breast cancer and the use of household cleaning products which contain carcinogenic substances such as methylene chloride. The study included 787 women from Cape Cod, Massachusetts in the US who had been diagnosed with breast cancer between 1988 and 1995, and a further 721 control subjects.

The report found that the association between breast cancer, combined cleaning products and combined air freshener products doubled between the highest and lowest quartile of self-reported household product use; e.g., a large number of participants who used the most amount of cleaning products believed that such products were linked with cancer. The association between cleaning products and breast cancer was highest amongst participants who believed that pollutants contribute ‘a lot' to the risk of breast cancer. However, according to the report little association was made between pesticide use and breast cancer.

Though the study states that cleaning product use contributes to increased breast cancer risk, it also notes the difficulty of retrospective surveys in distinguishing between valid associations and recall bias. Household cleaners are of interest to cancer researchers as a number of them contain ingredients which cause cancer in animal mammary glands, such as nitrobenzene found in soaps and methylene chloride which is found in fabric cleaners.

Glass/window cleaner: Glass cleaners emit an ammonia mist, which the user breathes. Although ammonia is a poison, glass cleaning products do not carry a warning label.


AMMONIA - Acute health effects: Can cause headache, loss of sense of smell, nausea, and vomiting. Can irritate skin and eyes, leading to permanent damage. Can irritate nose, mouth, and throat, causing coughing and wheezing. Can irritate lungs, causing coughing and/or shortness of breath; higher exposures can cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs.
Chronic health effects: Repeated exposure can cause chronic irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Repeated exposures may cause bronchitis, with cough, phlegm, and/or shortness of breath.

BUTOXYETHANOL - Acute health effects: Can irritate eyes, nose, mouth, and throat. Exposures at high levels can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and unconsciousness. Chronic health effects: May damage liver and kidneys. Long-term exposure may break down red blood cells, causing anemia. May be a teratogen, causing damage to a developing fetus.

BUTYL ALCOHOL - Acute health effects: Can irritate skin, causing a burning sensation or rash on contact. Can irritate and burn eyes, leading to tearing and damage. Inhalation can cause coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, headache, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness; higher levels can cause unconsciousness and irregular heartbeat.
Chronic health effects: Repeated contact may cause drying and cracking of skin. Exposure can damage liver, heart, kidneys, hearing, and sense of balance.

ALKYL POLYGLYCOSIDE - Acute health effects: Inhalation or contact with material may irritate or burn skin and eyes. Fire may produce irritating, corrosive and/or toxic gases. Vapors may cause dizziness or suffocation. Flammable and/or toxic gases are generated by the combination of alcohols with alkali metals, nitrides, and strong reducing agents. They react with oxoacids and carboxylic acids to form esters plus water. Oxidizing agents convert them to aldehydes or ketones.

DIETHYLENE GLYCOL N-HEXYL ETHER - Acute health effects: Ethers tend to form unstable peroxides when exposed to oxygen. Ethyl, isobutyl, ethyl tert-butyl, and ethyl tert-pentyl ether are particularly hazardous in this respect. Exposure can cause irritation of eyes, nose and throat.

ETHYLENE GLYCOL - Acute health effects: Irritation of eyes, skin, nose, throat; lassitude (weakness, exhaustion); headache, dizziness, central nervous system depression; abnormal eye movements (nystagmus); skin sensitization; INGES ACUTE: Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of coordination, stupor, convulsions, unconsciousness; rapid heart rate, congestive heart failure; kidney damage, failure (delayed). Health Effects: Irritation-Eye, Nose, Throat, Skin---Moderate (HE15) CNS depression (HE7). Affected organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, CNS.

ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL - Acute health effects: Is an irritant of the eyes and mucous membranes; at high concentrations, it causes central nervous system depression. The first generation offspring of treated rats had early growth retardation. Acute exposure to isopropyl alcohol causes eye and mucous membrane irritation and may cause incoordination and narcosis. Ingestion causes gastrointestinal pain, nausea, vomiting, and may cause coma and death.

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