Tuesday 31 August 2010

The Window Cleaning Resources Newsletter

The August 2010 issue of the Window Cleaning Resources newsletter has arrived. To view your free copy just click here or on the front cover above. Mark Henderson says “Doing our best to keep you up to date with industry developments.” To make sure you always get your free newsletter, sign up on the Window Cleaning Resources Newsletter page.

Monday 30 August 2010

Bartering & Other Window Cleaning News

Bartering Keeps Small Oklahoma Businesses Alive In Tough Times - OWASSO, Oklahoma -- The economic recovery appears to be stalling, and new figures out Wednesday show the past three months of new home sales are the worst on record. Unemployment remains near double digits, and job growth in the private sector is slowing. And let's not even talk about Wall Street.
But some area small business owners are showing some Oklahoma ingenuity to get by during the tough times. It's called "business bartering," and the practice is going strong. At Andolini's Pizzeria in Owasso, they make 22 different kinds of specialty pizza. "I just try to make my favorite pizza and hope that it will be someone else's favorite pizza, and I think we kind of hit the mark," said restaurant owner Mike Bausch.
When the economy started its downward spiral, like many small business owners, Mike Bausch looked for ways to save money. He couldn't skimp on ingredients, but could sacrifice on extras: like window washing. That's when John Wyatt stepped in. Wyatt owns a window washing business. "Having your own business, you can't really beat it," said window washer John Wyatt.
His idea helps the pizza restaurant and his window washing business which has slowed down because of the poor economy. "I love to eat," Wyatt said.
So Wyatt and Bausch reached a deal that helps both: bartering pizza, for monthly window washing. "It is the ideal definition of a win-win," said Mike Bausch, owner of Andolini's Pizzeria. "Of course I can't do exchanges with everybody, because I can't barter my mortgage payment or my electric bill, but it does help out," Wyatt said. Wyatt says with small business budgets tight, bartering helps businesses keep up a nice appearance and earns him things his family would ordinarily spend money on. "I've done exchanges for golf clubs, furniture, eye exams," said John Wyatt, "Everybody has something that you may want or need."
Restaurant owner Mike Bausch says bartering makes sense in good economic times or bad. "I haven't paid for an oil change in years at this point," he said. And Wyatt predicts with the economy still struggling, more small business owners may turn to bartering until things get better. "Instead of going under or closing your business down, you might think of this first," said Wyatt. Wyatt says trading window washing for eye exams and contact lenses is probably the most unique barter he's made. But, he's also traded window washing for free family vacations in Branson as well.

Working together helps Brevard businesses cut expenses: Local businesses are getting creative in the ways they cut costs. They say their innovative ideas trim expenses without hurting their products and services, keeping their customers happy. Almost four years ago, Albert Sanders and his wife Ellen, the owner of Palm Bay-based Ichiban Cleaning, sought out fellow cleaning competitors to work together on several of its contracts. Ichiban — Japanese for No. 1 —teams with Fish Window Cleaning, Fox Janitorial, which specializes in floors, and Clean Sweep Carpet Care. It helps, Albert Sanders said, that while all the companies are in the cleaning industry, they don’t have the same specialty. They also don’t share proprietary information. But the move allowed Ichiban Cleaning to offer those services to its customers without having to invest in the equipment it would need to do the work in-house, said Albert Sanders, the company’s chief executive officer and executive vice president. The idea was out of the norm for the competitive commercial cleaning industry, where companies typically don’t like sharing business information, Albert Sanders said. “It was the philosophy of work with your competition instead of fighting against them,” he said. “Why fight when you can all get along and make money?” Said Ellen Sanders: “We took a chance and we built a relationship.”

Modernism’s moment: Inigo Manglano-Ovalle’s gorgeous and unnerving film installation Le Baiser/The Kiss best illustrates modernism’s cold heart. Set in Mies van der Rohe’s famous glass cube Farnsworth House, an architectural commission that ended badly for both client (Dr. Edith Farnsworth) and architect, The Kiss plays with the power dynamics between artist and patron. Running on two back-to-back screens enclosed in a metal and glass box, Manglano-Ovalle’s film follows a uniformed window washer as he carefully squeegees the exterior walls of the house. A sullen-looking young woman stands inside, behind the thick glass, listening to music on headphones. The two protagonists are wholly unavailable to each other, and their class difference is obvious – while he works, she plays.

A fast-growing regional industrial cleaning business has expanded. UK Commercial Cleaning Services, based in Washington, Wearside, has opened a depot in Swindon, Wiltshire, creating 20 jobs. The depot will give the company access to a number of major cities including London, Norwich, Bristol and Cardiff, as well as achieving managing director Tony Earnshaw’s aspirations of opening an operation in the South. He said: “Choosing Swindon as a hub for our operations in the South was an obvious choice because it gives UK Commercial Cleaning easy access to a number of key cities along the M4 corridor, unlocking huge business potential.”
It is the latest success for the company, which rose to national prominence when Duncan Bannatyne made a £100,000 investment on television’s Dragons’ Den. Mr Earnshaw, 26, started the business by buying a window cleaning round for £300 when he was 19, turning it into a company with a turnover of more than £1.5m. Earlier this month, the firm announced it had been been awarded a three-year deal to provide services to 304 Bupa care homes across England, Wales and Scotland. Also here.

Emmy Awards Nominations: Outstanding Cinematography For A Miniseries: Dirty Jobs • High Rise Window Washer • Discovery Channel • Produced by Pilgrim Films and Television, Inc. for Discovery Channel, Douglas Glover, Director of Photography, Troy Paff, Camera Operator, Carston Bell, Camera Operator.

Why Vote Bill Lussenheide For United States Congress ? Bill is a longtime self-employed businessman and has been a talk show host on several large California conservative radio stations. He is a Constitutional candidate from California in the 45th district for 2010, running under the AIP banner. Bill Lussenheide used to also own & run Sunshine Window Cleaning in Menifee, California.

There's the famous story of the man who fell out the window of a skyscraper. A workman cleaning a window on a high floor shouted to the man "How are you?" The unfortunate fellow replied, "So far, so good."

£5,000 worth of jewellery stolen: Bedfordshire Police are appealing for witnesses following a burglary in Renhold this week. Between 7am and 5pm on Tuesday (August 24) the thieves smashed a window of a property in Renhold before entering the house and stealing jewellery with an estimated value of £5,000. The jewellery consists of a number of necklaces, bracelets, rings and a watch and is of significant sentimental value. Pc Kevin Howes, investigating the burglary, said: "The burglar or burglars have clearly targeted the jewellery and these items are of considerable sentimental value to the victim. "A man who said he was a window cleaner was seen acting suspiciously in the area and we would urge anyone who has seen anything suspicious or is offered any gold jewellery at a low price to contact us immediately." Anyone with any information is asked to call Bedfordshire Police on 01234 275142, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Summit window cleaner wins award: Tim Satterly, owner of the Fish Window Cleaning franchise in Silverthorne, was recognized as the Micro Market Star Performer at the Fish Window Cleaning convention in St. Louis, Mo., July 29-31. Satterly's franchise led all other like-size franchises in sales performance during 2009.

Final ride for charity cyclist Donald, 75 . . . after 2,000 miles: He's already cycled nearly 2,000 miles for charity and had pledged to give up this year. But 75-year-old Donald Thompson will be completing a final 100-mile cycle ride in one day this weekend. The fundraiser from Colerne will be among dozens of people taking part in an annual ride for the charity Action Medical Research.
Mr Thompson took part in the challenge, which sees riders going from Bath to Kempton Park in Middlesex, for the first time in 1987. Since then he has completed the route annually, raising thousands of pounds for the organisation which funds medical research in the UK. Mr Thompson, who has been a keen cyclist since the 1950s, still uses the same bike he did when he began taking part in the event – and has only needed one change of saddle since. He said he had planned to stand down from the challenge this year but after his window cleaner decided to sign up for Sunday's ride, decided to keep going to provide moral support.

For whatever reason, people in my house like to download the latest Sims add ons or leave their computer downloading titanic files with the internet open whilst they stand outside for half an hour chatting to the bloody window cleaner. This always happens when I am either a) in the middle of a blog post, which then freezes before saving b) just pressing the 'Publish Post' button c) trying to reference an online source for my assignment's bibliography or d) all bloody three.

Cambridge Who's Who: Nardine Bellew, President, Chief Executive Officer of General Safety Services Corporation, has been recognized by Cambridge Who's Who for demonstrating dedication, leadership and excellence in business management. With 20 years of professional experience, Ms. Bellew serves as the president and chief executive officer of General Safety Services Corporation. Specializing in leadership development and business management, she supervises 20 employees, plans and develops strategies, manages administrative functions including finance, marketing and public relations, interacts and follows up with clients, and writes proposals. She is a member of the Associated Subcontractors of Massachusetts, Inc., The Associated General Contractors of America, Master Window Cleaners of America and the International Window Cleaning Association.
In 1991, Ms. Bellew completed coursework in Business Management and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts. In 2004, she established General Safety Services Corporation, a woman-owned window washing company that provides interior and exterior, and high-rise and low-rise window washing services. The company has achieved the State Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certifications. They use the newest and safest tools, equipment and techniques in the industry to provide the best service in New England. Ms. Bellew is proud to state that she has successfully increased the company's revenue from $500 to $1.2 million over the years. She attributes her success to her customer service skills, good reputation and work efficiency.

Secrets of the gecko: A Stanford mechanical engineer is using the biology of a gecko's sticky foot to create a robot that climbs. In the same way the small reptile can scale a wall of slick glass, the Stickybot can climb smooth surfaces with feet modeled on the intricate design of gecko toes. Mark Cutkosky, the lead designer of the Stickybot, a professor of mechanical engineering and co-director of the Center for Design Research, has been collaborating with scientists around the nation for the last five years to build climbing robots.
After designing a robot that could conquer rough vertical surfaces such as brick walls and concrete, Cutkosky moved on to smooth surfaces such as glass and metal. He turned to the gecko for ideas. "Unless you use suction cups, which are kind of slow and inefficient, the other solution out there is to use dry adhesion, which is the technique the gecko uses," Cutkosky said.
The toe of a gecko's foot contains hundreds of flap-like ridges called lamellae. On each ridge are millions of hairs called setae, which are 10 times thinner than a human's. Under a microscope, you can see that each hair divides into smaller strands called spatulae, making it look like a bundle of split ends. These split ends are so tiny (a few hundred nanometers) that they interact with the molecules of the climbing surface.
The interaction between the molecules of gecko toe hair and the wall is a molecular attraction called van der Waals force. A gecko can hang and support its whole weight on one toe by placing it on the glass and then pulling it back. It only sticks when you pull in one direction – their toes are a kind of one-way adhesive, Cutkosky said.
"It's very different from Scotch tape or duct tape, where, if you press it on, you then have to peel it off. You can lightly brush a directional adhesive against the surface and then pull in a certain direction, and it sticks itself. But if you pull in a different direction, it comes right off without any effort," he said.
The team's new project involves scaling up the material for humans. A technology called Z-Man, which would allow humans to climb with gecko adhesive, is in the works. Cutkosky and his team are also working on a Stickybot successor: one that turns in the middle of a climb. Because the adhesive only sticks in one direction, turning requires rotating the foot. "The new Stickybot that we're working on right now has rotating ankles, which is also what geckos have," he said. "Next time you see a gecko upside down or walking down a wall head first, look carefully at the back feet, they'll be turned around backward. They have to be; otherwise they'll fall."

The second episode of Shatner's new series investigates a small Texas town where witnesses claim they saw U.S. air-force planes in hot pursuit of UFOs. It's just one the of many fantastical and unbelievable real events or phenomena the show explores in its first season. Others include a highrise window washer in New York who survived a 50-storey fall, boulders seemingly moving of their own accord in Death Valley and two San Francisco sea lions that may have predicted an earthquake.

The original Curious George stories are also kind of meandering. For example, in Curious George Takes a Job, George makes a mess in an Italian kitchen, then gets a job as a window washer, then falls off the building and gets sent to the hospital, where he accidentally inhales some ether and gets stoned, at which point he gets picked up by the man in the yellow hat and makes a movie about his life in Hollywood.

Sunday 29 August 2010

Make Your Own Window Cleaning Ledger

"Viewmore Window Cleaning" is a family operated business with 2 generations working in the window cleaning industry. John Harrington is the owner/operator and has been living and working in the Bayside suburbs of Melbourne for over 25 years. Two years ago his son Daniel joined the business and together they have been able to offer a genuine service to their clients based on good old fashion service and values." This article was kindly submitted by John Harrington of "Viewmore Window Cleaning" in Melbourne. Don’t forget to visit his website - Melbourne Window Cleaning – Viewmore Window Cleaning.

Window Cleaning Forum Australia is aiming to become an interactive site with high quality information about window cleaning in Australia. Having noticed that there was no online discussion sites for window cleaning in Australia, and that the only specific information required you a fee to join their site, Daniel decided to start his own with the hope that contributing window cleaners across the country will help grow the site." See part 1 here.

Make your own ledger for $5

Introduction: Part 2 of the DIY Window Cleaning equipment feature follows on closely from the first project. I’d like to thank all those who commented on, featured and linked back to my first article. I’m glad to have been able to provide you with some valuable and free information. Today we will learn how to make your own attachment to add on to any pole to use it as a curved style. This attachment achieves the same purpose as the pole we made in the first project but it is detachable so you are able to remove it from your pole at will. I made this ledger myself from scraps I had left over from the first project, it’s total cost for me was absolutely nothing, but you can make it yourself for less than $5.

  • 1 piece of irrigation pipe the same as in the first article. Approx 40cm long.
  • 15cm of wooden dowel (same diameter as a broom handle).
  • Wood plane or sander
  • Heat gun
  • Optional - Black spray paint
Step 1: Assemble your equipment on your work station, and clear the area you plan on working in. You can see the items I used in the photo, but I accidentally left out the wood plane and spray paint but they are easy to find.

Step 2: Using your wood plane or sander, simply contour the end of the wood to make the shape of a window cleaning tip. Leave the other end of the wood untouched as we will be placing that inside the irrigation pipe to keep the tip in place.

Step 3: Like in the first article, you need your heat gun in order to bend your pipe to the angle you want. If you are using this as a ledger, you can customise the shape of the curve and its location along the pipe to suit an individual task (eg. A pesky 5” ledge on a shop front you can’t reach the bottom of properly). The irrigation pipe comes in all widths and lengths which allows you to create a completely custom ledger for your work and one that suits your technique. To bend the pipe, turn your heat gun on and aim it at the point of the pipe you intend to bend. Once the pipe begins to heat up, you will be able to pull or push it to reach the angle you want for your ledger. Just remember, like in the first post, your pipe will bend back slightly as it cools, so you can place it in water to cool instantly.

Step 4: By this stage you should have a curved piece of pipe and a 15cm long wooden window cleaning tip. Depending on where you placed the curve on your pipe, you made need to shorten the length. Again using your heat gun, point it at the end of the pipe that the tip needs to go in, after about 15 seconds on the highest heat, the pipe should become malleable enough to slide the tip in. Let the pipe cool and you're done!
Optional Steps:

1. If you want to, you can spray the wooden tip of the pole black to match the pipe. Or just buy a cheap window cleaning tip to use instead. Either will work.

2. Mark the pipe to use it for wagtails. It is important that you have a wagtail squeegee lined up in the center of the pole so it works the best.

About the Author: This article was kindly submitted by John Harrington of Viewmore Window Cleaning in Melbourne. Don’t forget to visit his website Melbourne Window Cleaning – Viewmore Window Cleaning.

See it in action: You can see a working example of this ledger in action in this You-Tube clip.

Saturday 28 August 2010

Confessions Of A Window Cleaner

Confessions of a Window Cleaner: Window cleaning is a uniquely British profession. Steve Carver uncovers how it is turning into big business. Minimal start up costs, cash in hand and no licence necessary, window cleaning sounds like a tempting option to recession victims or immigrants wanting to start a new life. In fact it's been described by one insurance company as the most dangerous job in Britain and the battle for pitches can be fierce and furious. The world's fastest female window cleaner, Debbie Morris gives Steve Carver some pointers before he heads into the world of soap and squeegee's. A high proportion of the window cleaners in the UK are followers of Jehova and Geir Perry uses his experience selling God to market the values of shiny glass, honest work and enough time in the day for his faith. In the spiritual home of George Formby Steve faces his biggest challenge, gaining a head for heights at the top of Blackpool tower and testing his new found skills on the oldest window cleaner in Britain, Alan Forest.

Broadcast on: BBC Radio 4, 11:00am Friday 27th August 2010
Duration: 30 minutes
Available until: 11:32am Friday 3rd September 2010
Category: Factual

Were you expecting this? ..

Friday 27 August 2010

The Cowboy Window Cleaner

They call him Cowboy (By Dave Bakke): "They call me Cowboy. Cowboy the Window Cleaner,” says Robert McClure. “I can’t hardly walk down the street in this city without someone calling out, ‘Hey, Cowboy!’ ” McClure has been a fixture on those Springfield streets for about 35 years. You might not know his name, but there is a good chance you have seen him. He does windows — cleans them from one side of Springfield to the other. Forty clients or more use him. He cleans the glass at Fairhills Mall, Mel-O-Cream, Capital City Shopping Center, Henry’s Appliances, Qik-n-EZ, Fifth Street Flower Shop, doctors’ offices, dentists’ offices, Caritas Bingo Hall, and that’s only a few. Name a place. The Hilton? Yep. He washes both sides of the glass from inside the tallest building in town. “All but the 30th floor,” Cowboy says. “You can’t clean those from the inside, and it’s too dangerous for me to get out there.”

The Hilton calls every year or every other year. It takes Cowboy a month or two to clean the windows on 29 floors. The Hilton is a nice paycheck for him. Other places, not so much. But he makes up for it in volume. When he started washing windows as a student at Lanphier High School, Cowboy never thought he would still be at it today. It was Lanphier where he earned his nickname — he always wore cowboy boots to school. He says his epilepsy made it impossible for him to get hired anywhere after high school. “As soon as I put that down on the application,” Cowboy says, “it’s ‘bye-bye.’ ” Of course, that was long ago. He doesn’t fill out applications anymore. He realized that washing windows was his path. In his early years, he did The Hub and Fishman’s Sporting Goods on Washington Street and Sandy’s Drive-In on North Ninth Street. All of them are gone. “I’ve seen a lot of businesses come and go,” he says.

In the meantime, he has met the rich, the movers and shakers and the regular folks just trying to keep their business’s doors open. Developer Denny Polk? “That’s my buddy.” Mega-Realtor Charlie Robbins? “I knew him.” Hercules Gekas at the legendary Coney Island hot dog shop? “I did their windows for years.” It wasn’t long after Jack Gibson opened Gibby’s Orbits, his restaurant on South Ninth Street, that Cowboy showed up. That’s how he does it — goes to new businesses and makes his pitch. “I told him I clean my own windows,” Jack says, and Gibby’s is practically all windows. “But then he told me about his history and the epilepsy and about how he has cleaned windows all over Springfield for almost 40 years.” The result is that Jack has one less job to do, which is good because he is already the waiter, owner and janitor.

Cowboy starts working as early as 4 a.m. seven days a week. He has a few buildings to clean, and those are done early or on weekends. Because of his epilepsy, someone else has to drive him to jobs. When no one can do that, he walks. “By god, I can walk,” says Cowboy. “I’ve walked this city from one end to the other. I’ve walked it many and many a time.” “He’s a character,” says Pat O’Connor, owner of Fifth Street Flower Shop. Cowboy was born in Alabama, and Frank likes to tease him about that. Cowboy, as you can probably guess, can give as good as he gets. Cowboy says he sometimes draws a crowd when he cleans windows on a busy street. “They must love the way I swing that squeegee around,” he says. “I can wash some windows now, I’m telling you.” And what do you wash them with? “I ain’t tellin’.” Moving on, then …

There are perks to having washed Springfield’s windows for so many years. Sometimes, for example, a dentist will clean Cowboy’s teeth for free in exchange for window washing. The day he cleaned the glass at Gibby’s, Jack gave him a box of his famous mini-donuts. And there are the flowers and that bench in the park. On a warm summer’s day, in the fall, and in the snow, Robert McClure, not Cowboy the Window Cleaner mind you, but Robert McClure, finds a bench in Enos Park and he relaxes. He lights up a cigarette, and he thinks about … her. “I think about her all the time,” he says. He still can’t talk about her without being overcome with emotion. She is Bobbie Jean McClure, his wife. His late wife. “We were married 20 years, somewhere in there,” he says. Bobbie Jean was manager at Coney Island. After she died in 2002, the restaurant closed for a week. Robert still carries in his wallet a cracked and worn memorial for her that the funeral home gave him.

Robert had pictures from their wedding engraved into Bobbie Jean’s gravestone. He goes to Oak Ridge Cemetery to see it almost every day. He told me it’s nobody business if he goes 100 times a day. I am surmising from that that someone might have told him he goes there a little too much. There is a bench in Enos Park. Professionally engraved into it are the words, “In Loving Memory of Bobbie Jean McClure.” I asked him, “How did you get that put on there?” “Friends,” Robert said. Like he says, he knows a lot of people. Sometimes he knows the right ones. That includes Pat O’Connor at Fifth Street Flower Shop, the guy who teases him about being from Alabama. Every week or two, Frank manages to find an extra bouquet of flowers lying around. He gives those flowers to Robert. Robert lays them on Bobbie Jean’s grave. “I loved that woman,” he says through his tears. Still does.

When we were done talking, we walked out of Enos Park. The farther we went, the more Robert vanished and Cowboy returned. I tell you, it was like a window closing.

Thursday 26 August 2010

Privacy Glass & Film - What Window Cleaners Should know

Get ready for more window films & coatings as marketing is bombarded at you from every angle. DigiGlass is one of many companies that coat glass & even walls (bottom picture) with other quality cleanable coverings. Although this isn't a new idea, it seems that more & more will appear now that DigiGlass at least has developed a film that meets with UK legislation with it's fire rating. The Class “O” fire rating ensures that the safety, security and branding potential of printed window film is now available for use in applications where fire safety is of particular importance. DigiGlass sought the rating following an enquiry into the potential installation of printed window film on passenger trains. In order to utilise the marketing and branding opportunities DigiGlass offers the client required certification that the product complied with relevant safety legislation.

What does this mean for the average window cleaner? Since the product is usually installed on the inside surface, it shouldn't bother many "outside only window cleaners." I have however come across exterior lamination & this does pose a problem. Water fed pole users in public areas will have to think about the slip factor & the public at large as many of the films will be added in high public concentration areas. Some of the poorer film quality from other companies will scratch with a water fed pole brush head & by the time you know it the damage is already done. I talk from experience.

For those of us that maintain interiors as well - it poses more work. For one, the drag from a squeegee is typically worse & overlapping in an "S" technique should be kept to a minimum. Even straight pulling becomes harder & drys out faster. Experience on this type of covering is crucial to keep your speed up. I recommend the Wagtail Whirlwind for this particular type of work for its wet & squeegee capabilities with minimal changeover work.

Detailing will also become more work, as we have to detail intricate cut-outs (pictured) in the coverings - this will leave more streaks. Going slower over these areas will help enormously with detailing afterwards. Don't think you can just take your scraper out either to remove those stubborn marks - you'll pass through the film like butter! A scrim will remove most hard to move marks, even making it wetter for more power without effecting the luster of the film. Because film is more phobic to dirt, this often helps in high dirt build up areas. Finally be careful with some of the scrubber covers you choose, these can often lead to damage on the poorer quality films.

Personally speaking my biggest problem with window coverings is the lack of attention to cleaning the glass before these films are applied as they are often cleaned by the installers themselves. Often I find spots & marks that are under films due to the fact the installers only use a chemical containing isopropanol or similar that shines the surface making it easier for the installation & not the longevity of the appearance. This is noticeable as time goes on. Removing the film? This is another topic entirely, the longer the film is on the harder it is to remove. Sun adds to the bonding of the film to the glass & old film comes off in shards, not in sheets. More often than not - the film is placed on defective tempered glass where the window was in bad shape in the first place & was used to disguise the fact. So uncovering the film for the new shop owner only leads to another being applied or a whole new window.

On the plus side for the business shop owner -PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) window film has a range of benefits and applications, which can all be enhanced by the utilising the marketing and branding opportunities. DigiGlass offers the client required certification that the product complied with relevant safety legislation. Dave Macdonald, Managing Director of DigiGlass commented, “The Class “O” Fire Rating was an important achievement for DigiGlass and came about as a direct result of client demand. “ He added, “The rating has broadened the appeal of printed window film far beyond its traditional market and will ensure that we will see some really innovative applications of the product in the near future. It is especially pleasing that DigiGlass is at the forefront of the developments in what is an exciting and growing industry.”

One of the key benefits of 100micron PET film is its shatterproof protection, which complies with The approved code of practice for Reg. 14. The fire rating compliments the existing benefits to provide a robust and cost effective solution for businesses seeking to bolster the security and safety of glazed areas. Of course this decision is often not only a business wish but also a legal requirement. DigiGlass printed window film is already finding application with Architects, Interior Designers and Corporate Clients who are exploiting the opportunity to produce bespoke graphics for internal and external glass areas. Often through marketing or design agencies, corporate clients are using DigiGlass to enhance the appearance of glass areas and maximise the opportunities for branding. The unique DigiGlass print process incorporates white into the design process to provide seamless high impact graphics that give the appearance of being printed direct to the glass.

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Three Window Cleaning Updates For Wednesday

Hertfordshire window cleaner's award for chasing gang: A window cleaner has received a bravery award from Hertfordshire police for tackling an armed gang who were breaking into a jewellery shop. David Guest, 63, was cleaning windows next door to The Jewellery Workshop, High Road, Bushey Heath, in May 2010 when he confronted the three men. He chased them despite being threatened with a sledge hammer. Mr Guest has received a certificate of commendation for bravery for his "great courage".

Ch Supt Julia Wortley, of Hertfordshire Police, said: "Although we wouldn't encourage members of the public to confront offenders in every circumstance, especially if they have weapons, we are really appreciative of David's courageous intervention." Ch Supt Wortley told Mr Guest: "You acted with great courage and as a result, you prevented these criminals from achieving their goal, which was obviously to steal jewellery and other valuable items. "You stood up to three men who could easily have caused you harm, refused to back down when they threatened you and when they ran off, you persisted by trying to catch up with them."

The men abandoned the robbery and left empty-handed. Mr Guest said: "I'm very honoured to be given this commendation. "I acted instinctively and would do it all again without a second thought. "It was only afterwards, I realised what could have happened. I couldn't just stand there and observe when they were so blatant." Police continue to investigate the incident. See why David became famous.

A delighted Edward Meakins, a former window cleaner has expressed his relief at being allowed to stay in his family home of 74 years. The 83-year-old was presented with a had delivered letter from Barnet Homes on Monday explaining staff will not be pursuing action to force him from his Cricklewood home. The housing management organisation had said the bachelor would not be able to remain in the three bedroom property, in Cloister Road, after his sister Margaret died in May. But following huge public outcry, Barnet Homes backtracked, and Mr Meakins said: “I'm over the moon.

“At first, I couldn't understand whether I had got the house or not. I had to take it to a friend who said 'that's it, you've got the house'. “It means everything to me, I can't really explain it. After all these years of living here with my sister, I couldn't understand why they wanted me to more out. “It is not as if I had just come here, 74 years is a long time. It has been a terrible wait for me. I don't know how long I could have carried on really.” The letter to Mr Meakins, from Barnet Home chief executive Tracey Lees, said she recognised the pensioner “may be feeling a great deal of anxiety about your housing position”.

She then went on to confirm that if he does wish to stay in the home, then Barnet Homes will not pursue any eviction proceedings against him. Mr Meakins' plight, which was exclusively revealed by the Times Series, attracted support from thousands of people on Facebook, with hundreds more signing online petitions. And the former window cleaner said: “I am very pleased with the support I received. “To those people who have supported me, I am very grateful for what they have done for me. “It was lovely to hear about the support. Now I can carry on with my life, and continue looking after my garden.” Previous blog here.

Window Cleaning Platform 18-storey fall: Two construction workers, who happened to be siblings, died after falling from an 18-storey building in the capital's Motijheel yesterday. The deceased are Abbas Bepari, 32, and his younger brother Swapan Bepari, 30, of Muladi upazila in Barisal. They fell with a window-cleaning platform while using it to paint the WW Tower. This latest accident is a stark reminder of the gross negligence in safety measures for construction workers. Statistics show, more than 70 construction workers died in workplace-related accidents over the last six months in Bangladesh.

The window-cleaning platform hurtled down and crashed on to a steel case of a generator below on the footpath behind the building, narrowly missing pedestrians, said witnesses. The workers died instantly as they fell in front of the Wari Club. The iron window-cleaning platform, falling from such a height, also damaged windowpanes of the building, they added. Mohammad Sohrab Hossain, nephew of the deceased, said another worker Rokon was mixing paint on the roof while his uncles were painting the top floor perched on the rusty platform, which was hanging riskily at the rear of the building.

Our correspondent visited the spot and found the wires attached to the platform to be rusty and worn. Ziaul Aziz, who supervised the construction work of the four-year-old building, said Abbas Bepari provided the platform as he took the contract of painting the building. "Abbas agreed to complete the work for Tk 6.5 per square foot using his equipment and manpower while the authorities would be providing with the paint," he said. However, several workers denied this and said the old platform belonged to the building authorities and was lying on the rooftop for the last four years.

Shahjahan, a worker, said, "The platform was used during construction of the building, a fact which the authorities are well aware of." Officer-in-Charge Tofazzal Hossain of Motijheel Police Station said they were investigating to detect the cause behind the accident. Kaiyum, cousin of the deceased, filed an unnatural death case in this connection yesterday, the OC said. Sekandar Ali Mina, programme director of Safety and Right Society, an NGO working to ensure safety and workers' rights, told The Daily Star that a third of the total workers who die in workplace-related accidents are construction workers. He said 70 out of 175 workers who died in workplace-related accidents this year are construction workers. Last year, 100 construction workers died while the total death toll in workplace-related accident is 272. Recent Scaffolding falls.

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Scaffold Accident Keeps Window Cleaners Aware

Reported initially as a window cleaning accident...

Man who died in scaffolding accident from Bolivia: The two men were caulking windows at Laurens Place condos next to the Maritime Center when the three-story scaffolding gave way around 4 p.m. Monday. According to Charleston police, 33-year-old Pablo Condora fell in the water and 42-year-old Wilfredo Barrios Jaldin fell to the concrete below. Condora was transported to MUSC and the Jaldin died at the scene. Both men worked at Traditional Surfaces and a coworker, Nelson Flores, pulled Condora from the water. Flores told police that the men were caulking the area of the third floor balconies and Condora was on the scaffolding and Jaldin was on top of a ladder. At that time, both the ladder and the scaffolding began to fall over and Condora fell into the water while Jaldin landed on the walkway near the surrounding condominium building. Flores said he wasn't sure why the scaffolding and ladder fell. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was contacted.

Scaffolding collapse kills 1: One man fell to his death and another was injured Monday afternoon when a work crew's scaffolding collapsed at a waterfront condominium complex in downtown Charleston. The men were working on windows at Laurens Place, beside the Charleston Maritime Center, when the metal scaffolding gave way about 4 p.m., said Charles Francis, police public information officer. One man plunged to the ground and was pronounced dead at the scene, Francis said. The other fell into Charleston Harbor. He was rushed to Medical University Hospital for treatment, Francis said. The extent of his injuries could not be determined.
The Charleston County Coroner's Office confirmed the death, but authorities did not release the name of the man or the company he worked for. Laurens Place, on Wharfside Street, is between the Maritime Center and Union Pier, a tony complex with sweeping views of the harbor. The incident occurred at a section of condos with balconies facing out on the water, between two docks. Witnesses said they saw at least three workers on the scaffolding shortly before it went down. The scaffolding was about 20 feet off the ground, and workers had set up an extension ladder on top that reached to the third floor, they said. Craig Morris saw the setup as he set out on the Carolina Belle. "When I saw that I was like, 'What are they thinking?' That is so dangerous."
When the boat returned, Morris saw the crumpled scaffolding and emergency workers surrounding the scene. The scaffolding and extension ladder lay in pieces, stretching from a path beside the condos across a jumble of rocks leading to the water. The dead man's body appeared to have landed on the path, just before the rocks. Four co-workers of the men sat behind the yellow police tape, pacing and looking down at the ground as they waited to give their statements to authorities. They declined to comment when they finally left the area shortly before 6 p.m.

This comes on the heels of charges laid in the scaffolding accident that killed 4 workers in Canada..

Charges laid in scaffolding accident that killed 4 workers: Charges carrying fines of up to $17,000,000 have been laid against two companies that ran and supplied a platform that collapsed in Etobicoke on Christmas Eve, plunging four migrant workers to their deaths. Individual executives and supervisors at the companies could also face years in jail after a total of 61 charges were issued by the provincial labour ministry Saturday. They come after an exhaustive, seven-month investigation into the Dec. 24th incident, which saw five eastern European workers fall 13 storeys from the side of a Kipling Ave. apartment building. One of the workers miraculously survived. Some 30 charges were brought under the Occupational Health and Safety Act against Metron Construction Corporation, who employed the workers. Another 16 were levelled against a director of that company and eight more against a Metron supervisor, said ministry spokesperson Matt Blajer.

Platform supplier Swing ‘N’ Scaff faces four charges while three were laid against a director of the company. Each of the corporate charges carries a potential $500,000 fine, Blajer said. Penalties for the unnamed individuals range up to $25,000 in fines and a year in jail for each allegation. The tragedy, the city’s worst workplace accident in a generation, sparked a provincial review of the system that protects Ontario workers and a safety blitz of construction sites. The blitz led to the shutdown of 784 dangerous jobs on sites throughout Ontario. Together Saturday’s charges paint a picture of shoddy or absent maintenance, supervision and construction and a woeful lack of safety training at the Kipling Ave. site. Together the charges paint a picture of shoddy or absent maintenance and supervision, and a woeful lack of safety training and equipment. None of the charges has been proved in court.

The charges allege “failure to ensure workers use proper devices to prevent them from falling... failure to ensure the platform was not overloaded (and) failure to ensure the platform was designed in accordance with regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act,” he said. Charges also relate to allegations of inadequate training, instruction and supervision on fall prevention, a failure to ensure the platform was supplied in good condition and a lack of proper maintenance and adequate inspection. Ministry stop work orders on the site were issued against Metron at least twice in the months leading up to the accident, mostly dealing with safety concerns.

John Cartwright, president of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council, said the charges point to a serious and thorough investigation by the ministry. “I would say I’m very pleased that the ministry has obviously combed all of the details of what happened at this tragic event,” Cartwright said. He said, however, that criminal charges should be brought against the employers, in order to further deter others in the “underground economy” who often take advantage of migrant workers.

Some employers “really prey on immigrant workers, refugees who don’t feel they have any right to stand up to for proper safety conditions or demand the proper training necessary,” he said. The dead included 40-year-old Vladimir Korostin, a father of two from Uzbekistan who was seeking refugee status in Canada. Also killed were Aleksey Blumberg, a newly married refugee claimant from Ukraine, and Russian Alexander Bondorev. Fayzullo Fazilov 31, perished as well, while a fifth man, Dilshod Marupov, who managed to hang onto the collapsed platform momentarily before falling, suffered serious leg and spinal injuries. Metron president Joel Swartz did not reply to email requests for comment. Hearings into the charges will begin at the Ontario court of justice in Toronto on Sept. 30.

In January, bowing to pressure from organized labour and relatives of victims, Queen’s Park said it would review the system that protects workers in this province. Tony Dean, the respected former head of the Ontario Public Service, was named to chair a panel of safety experts, labour groups and employers to recommend changes by next fall. Since 1990, more than 400 workers have been killed in construction mishaps. Premier Dalton McGuinty said he was “absolutely committed” to ensuring the safety of work sites. “I would be eager to receive any recommendations to see what more we may do to make sure that our construction sites are safe,” McGuinty said. The expert advisory panel will go beyond the construction industry to review the entire system of occupational health, safety, prevention and enforcement, Labour Minister Peter Fonseca said at the time. “Even one death or injury in a workplace is too many,” he said.

Monday 23 August 2010

Window Cleaning News

Who's living there? Owner-occupied houses decline in Clark County: Before she bought a new home in 2004, Debra Michaud couldn't understand why a sales agent kept assuring her "only 20 percent" of neighboring houses would be sold to investors with no plans to live there. After all, she had not asked about out-of-town landlords or even considered what they might mean for her new neighborhood. But Michaud soon realized that many homes were sold to non-resident owners after all and quickly leased to tenants who, she said, didn't care for their homes, congregated in the street day and night, attracted criminals, and intimidated other residents. Crime has become such a concern that no-parking red zones line every inch of curb in her subdivision, speed bumps were installed and "No Loitering, Police Enforced" signs are posted in all public areas.
"We had the police here all the time. There was gang activity and a lot of break-ins. It was a scary place to live. This street was so bad that neighbors wouldn't come here to trick or treat," Michaud said. Her neighborhood lies near Commerce Street and Centennial Parkway in the northern outskirts of North Las Vegas. Michaud, who owns a window-cleaning business with her husband, purchased the home at a time when real estate values were skyrocketing and investors thought Southern Nevada real estate looked more prosperous than other investments. Now Michaud, her neighbors and hundreds of others who bought in those days live in neighborhoods where 40 percent or more of the homes do not belong to the occupants.
Public officials and others are quick to point to Las Vegas' foreclosure and unemployment rates, the worst or near worst in the nation, to explain the decline in home ownership. With Southern Nevada's unemployment the highest in the nation, and with the newest crop of outside investors - some from as far away as Guam and Israel - paying cash for 40 percent to 50 percent of the foreclosed homes for sale, Debra Michaud is worried what the future holds for her neighborhood. If an original investor who paid more than $200,000 for a home chose to lease to undesirable tenants a couple of years ago, she contemplates aloud, who will the new investor, who paid $100,000 or less for the same house, allow to occupy it? "I am afraid it will happen again," Michaud said. "They don't care about the neighborhood because they don't live in their home. All they care about is getting their money."

An 85-year-old widow claims she is forced to ‘live in a pig sty’ despite having paid her flat service charges in full for three years. Dina Sale bought her ground-floor flat at Ainsworth Court, Belgrave Heights, Darwen, three years ago after the death of her husband, Cliff. She pays a £57.55 monthly to Manchester-based property management firm Stevens Scanlan as a service charge for maintainence and insurance. Mrs Sale, who has mobility problems, said: “At first everything was lovely. Now I can’t open the blinds, they are so dirty. “The windows have not been cleaned since last August.
A spokesman for Stevens Scanlan, said the problem had occured because half of the tenants of Ainsworth Court had not paid their service charges. He said: “All owners pay into a fund for services and they are jointly liable. "We are administrators who just collect the money that is paid. "Legally, we can’t underwrite the payments to people like the gardener or the window cleaner on behalf of the other people who fail to pay. “The money that has been paid by tenants is used for essentials such as buildings insurance, third-party liability and electricity for the communal areas. “Health and safety must come first before cosmetic things like gardening, but it’s not correct to say that they have been suspended – they are just less frequent.

A former Carlisle window cleaner who falsely claimed nearly £45,000 in benefits has been ordered to cash in his investments to pay back as much of the money as he can. Stephen Nicholson, 58, of Linden Terrace, Harraby, was handed a 36-week suspended jail sentence in June after admitting claiming benefits even though he had up to £40,000 in the bank. A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at the city’s Crown Court yesterday heard that he had already repaid nearly £21,500. He admitted that he had benefited by another £22,000. But, because he had only £10,187 left in his bank accounts, that was as much as the court could order him to pay. He will go to prison for eight months if he does not pay within 28 days.

Eric Silver, owner of the local Fish Window Cleaning® franchise, received the Rising Star Excellence Award for the midwest region at the company’s annual convention held in St. Louis in July. The award recognizes his franchise’s overall operational excellence, sales revenue, and account development during 2009. Silver’s franchise provides commercial and residential window cleaning services to customers in Denton, Corinth, Lake Dallas, Hickory Creek, Argyle, Westlake, Trophy Club, Roanoke, Little Elm, Oak Point, Aubrey, Gainesville, Decatur, Krum, Justin, Ponder, Crossroads, Sanger, Valley View, and Prosper, Texas. St. Louis-based Fish Window Cleaning has over 220 locations in the United States and is the largest window cleaning company in the country. The organization ranked 182nd on Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2010 Franchise 500.

Whether you're considering renovations in order to sell your home or simply want to increase the property's overall value, small improvements can lead to big payoffs. One of the most cost-effective ways to improve the appearance of a home's interior is to clean the house thoroughly and reduce clutter, said Pat Petrosillo, a real estate broker in Wappingers Falls. Petrosillo also suggests shampooing carpets and putting some elbow grease into window cleaning. "This may sound nuts, but if windows are clean they sparkle more," she said. She said, "Houses are selling, but not for what people are expecting." "It's priceless what some simple cleaning and de-cluttering can do for a home," she said.

How to Get Fingerprints Off of Anything: The almighty baby wipe takes care of grubby fingerprints on mirrors and windows. It seems to be able to cut through grime easily, and without leaving unsightly streaks. If you've already tried to clean your window or mirror and you're dealing with streaks, get your hands on a microfiber cloth, like the ones that come with a new pair of glasses (but you'll find bigger window cloths at the grocery or hardware store). Microfiber cloth is almost perfectly suited for cleaning glass surfaces, and often works great completely dry.

Now that you're impressed with all my ant knowledge, which has been of no help whatsoever, here's how to get rid of them in your house: window cleaner. Yep, Windex or some other variety of window cleaner will wipe away the ants. More importantly, it will remove the ant scent trail, which will leave all the other ants without a clue as to where to go to bother you!

Frank McCowan has a song in his heart - a song about Oakland. It's a beautiful ballad he has composed and would like adopted as Oakland's official song. Wanting to create a lasting tribute to his favorite city, McCowan wrote "Oakland, California" back in 1983.He has diabetes, arthritis, and walks with a cane. He no longer drives, but he doesn't need eyeglasses. He still travels - Egypt a few years ago - and he mows the lawn at his East Oakland home, literally across the street from San Leandro. "I'm making it," he said with a smile. McCowan once played the bass and sang for such local bandleaders as Chuck Phillips, Junius Courtney, Olen Greenwell and Clarence "Candyman" McGuirt. "I liked singing ballads," he said. "That was back with the big bands." Those were side jobs. McCowan was a laborer, mainly a window washer. After retiring, he went back to his native Oklahoma for two years, but couldn't stay away from Oakland and thus returned to the scene of his fondest musical memories of 50 years ago, when Seventh Street was hopping with blues and booze.

If you have some things that go bump in the night, there's a new company that may be able to help you figure out just what it is. Jim Berkowitz and Eileen Higgins have recently opened Queensbury Paranormal Investigation Team and will investigate any potential paranormal activity free of charge. Berkowitz works for the post office, and Higgins is a nurse, and the business is the pursuit of a hobby. Both have had personal experiences with the paranormal, and now have the equipment to discover and record this activity. A couple of years ago, the pair ran a janitorial company and were cleaning an old building on Warren Street at night. "I always felt we weren't alone in that building," Berkowitz said. "On our third night there, a woman in a black dress walked by the bathroom."

If the very idea of a spray-on film that can turn windows into solar collectors sounds too good to be true, think again. After all, Japan's University of Tokyo did come up with a Wi-Fi-blocking paint, while a number of companies including Konarka have developed solar cells that sit within the window.
Pushing the envelope on solar panel technology is Norwegian company EnSol, which has patented a prototype thin film solar cell technology designed to be sprayed onto any glass surface. In fact, plans are afoot for a thicker solution to coat exterior walls or be used in the form of "clip-together" solar roof tiles. If this technology works as planned, it could take away the need to plonk big solar panels on rooftops, particularly in industrial settings.
Unlike traditional silicon-based solar cells, EnSol's film uses metal nanoparticles embedded in a transparent composite matrix. Ensol's collaboration with the University of Leicester's Department of Physics and Astronomy could have the product seeing the commercial light of day by 2016. Pictured - Testing EnSol's spray-on film inside a deposition chamber.

Preparation for Malaysia's 53rd Independence Day: Workers are seen completing the glass tinted works of the Malaysian Flag 'Jalur Gemilang' onto window panels of a building in Kuala Lumpur in preparation for celebrating the upcoming Malaysia Independence Day. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Bird Friendly Glass Helps To Prevent Birds Flying Into Them: Someone has apparently crunched the numbers and estimated that more than 100 million birds are killed every year due to collisions with glass surfaces – not to mention the untold numbers of beverages spilt by surprised people as a bird slams into a nearby window. Birds see the tree or sky reflected in a window or the environment behind the glazing, but not the glass itself. German company Glaswerke Arnold (or Arnold Glass) has come up with a simple way to prevent these collisions by producing a glass that appears normal to humans but is visible to birds.
Working on the principle that birds possess the ability to see light in the ultraviolet spectrum, the company’s Ornilux Bird-Protection Glass borrows a trick from orb-web spiders that protect their laboriously woven webs from birds flying through them with a special UV-reflecting silk. Recognizing this, the company developed the glass with a patterned UV reflective coating that makes it visible to birds while maintaining transparency to the human eye.
The glass was first introduced in 2006 but the company has released an aesthetically improved version with a crisscross pattern. Developed in collaboration with the Max-Planck-Institute for Ornithology, this latest version is called Ornilux Mikado because, when looked at against a backlight, the coating looks like a randomly unfolding layer of the game Mikado pick-up sticks.
Testing at the Max-Planck-Institute for Ornithology at the Ornithological Station in Radolfzell, Germany resulted in a bird strike reduction of up to 75 percent in comparison to standard double glazing. Not sure if any animals were harmed in the testing procedure but if so, they obviously gave their noggins for a good cause. Glaswerke Arnold’s Ornilux Mikado Bird-Protection Glass picked up the red dot award for product design 2010. See previous blog here.

Float glass manufacturer, Sezal Glass today said it has formed a 50:50 joint venture company with UK based CGI International for marketing fire rated glass under the brand ''Pyroguard''. "We have formed a joint venture company with UK''s CGI International called Sezal Firebaan Glass for marketing fire rated glass under the brand Pyroguard," Chairman and Managing Director of Sezal Glass, Amrrut Gada said. Our UK partner offers fire rated glass which is heat resistant for between 60 to 120 minutes, and the time frame can be enhanced depending on the consumer demand, he said. The company expects the market for this type of glass to grow by 40 per cent in India amidst rising security concerns. "In future we expect huge demand for this type of glass to come from sectors like defence and railways, as the security concerns are rising," Gada said, adding there is also demand from commercial buildings, hospitals and shopping malls.

Family Scammed Out Of Rental Home: INDIANAPOLIS - A family who recently moved to Indianapolis lost a $450 rental deposit and is now searching for a place to live after being taken by a scam. The couple was duped by two men who claimed to be in charge of renting a duplex at 142 S. Emerson Ave., on the city's east side. Kristen Carr said she believes the men broke into the duplex to show them around. After being provided with a rental receipt and keys, Carr and her husband, Chad Yattaw, realized the keys did not work. "It's awful. It's horrible. I can't believe somebody would do this, and they knew we had kids and what the situation was and still took advantage," Carr said. The couple and their three children are now staying at a hotel. They were hoping to move into their new place over the weekend. "I mean, they took from my family. Obviously they're taking from what's closest to me," Yattaw said. "I'm a high-rise window washer. I risk my life every day to make the money that I make."

There's something about living with other people that calibrates your tidiness against each other and assigns one person the role of Clean Freak (aka The Nag) and someone else the role of Messy Pig (aka The Nagged). It's a widely held misconception that clean freaks are female. Wrong. I live with a Domestic God and I don't say that to brag. It's hell. My husband may not be able to bake, but he is a very tidy guy. Organised, too. I am neither tidy nor organised domestically and this causes many problems. For him. But for me, too. May I please speak up on behalf of messy people and state it's not fun to be told constantly how to be less messy? Pretty soon, you're lying on the couch in stained pyjamas defiantly flicking belly-button lint on the floor, while your partner whips on a white glove to do the finger test on window sills while glaring at you from across the room. The thing with cleaning is that it's a war of attrition. It's not that Messy People will never clean. We will and we do. It's just not as ... you know, urgent, for us as it is for Tidy People.

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