Thursday 30 September 2010

Window Cleaners Have It Easy

Amazing Video: One Scary Journey To Work! An extraordinary video showing transmission workers scaling the terrifying height of a broadcast antenna has become a massive online hit. The six-minute film, shot using a helmet camera, follows the progress of two engineers as they scale a 1,768ft pylon. The video, filmed in the US, had more than 900,000 hits on YouTube. The progress of the pair is understandably slow, with much of the ascent done without the benefit of a safety harness, as it would impede the climb. And their work is made more difficult as they have to carry all their tools, weighing up to 30lbs. In case anyone is in doubt about the height to which the workers climb, the top of the antenna shown in the film is higher than Chicago's Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), the tallest skyscraper in the US. According to OLE, there's been interest from tv companies and organisations that want to use it as an example of how not to do it. So next time you're off to work with your bucket on a belt & twenty foot ladder, share a thought for these guys.

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Window Cleaner Pictured With No Health & Safety Training: Dubai

Nerves of steel or completely mad! What it takes to be a window cleaner in Dubai: It's one thing building some of the world's tallest towers. But what happens when the windows need cleaning? Perched on a narrow sill hundreds of feet above the ground on the 34th floor of a Jumeirah Beach apartment block, this chap demonstrates nerves of steel as he gives the windows of a 34th floor apartment in Dubai's Jumeirah Beach the once-over with a long handled brush - without a safety harness. As he takes his life into his hands, at least he has the sense to hold on to the window frame, even if it is by his fingertips, as he goes about his task. He was snapped making sure the windows were sparkling by a resident in a neighbouring apartment block. When it comes to safety among its massive immigrant workforce, the Dubai authorities have a dubious record. Conditions in which immigrants are expected to work has been a subject of discussion in the United Arab Emirates for many years. Yet the majority of these employees have no voice, especially when it comes to their own safety. They are also aware that, if they are deported, there are thousands of others willing to take their place. Click pictures to enlarge.

Tuesday 28 September 2010

New Low Pressure Window Cleaning System From RHG

The new low pressure system from Reach Higher Ground (RHG): For a number of years now, RHG has been developing water purifiers for window cleaners in the USA.  Most of their systems are trolley based with motors, pumps, and/or batteries for large scale production while in the field.  Their latest system has gone powerless.

The system features RHG's own filters.  Being the only US firm to have developed their own filters, RHG is able to develop systems that have capacities and low prices like none other. The system includes a 21" Carbon Pre-filter, designed to remove the chlorine from the inlet water.  Two 21" RO membranes create over 1 gallon per minute at 60 PSI of line pressure.  They remove 95% of the inlet TDS at that pressure as well.  The final stage in this 4 stage system is a 21" DI to remove the remaining TDS and polish off the water. The system weighs only 40 LBS and is slightly larger then your rectangular window cleaning bucket. Here is a video of Shawn Gavin showing off the new device.

Monday 27 September 2010

Premier Video + New Products From Window Cleaning Resource

Window Cleaning Resource have added a number of videos of both new products and ideas from members of the forum. The first video is a premier to the window cleaning world as Josh with his series of "The Biz" talks about networking and how it helps your business. Only from Window Cleaning Resource (WCR) & premiering here!

Salvatore Marino shows off a neat new window cleaning extension pole that was a painting pole!

A new Unger T-shirt contest from WCR & also featuring the "Super-Hero," which is a neat invention from Unger that will let you detail the windows utilising your strip washer.

Mr Sanchez demonstrates how to hold a store front door, while still cleaning the windows. That's great customer service!

Alex demonstrates the Gardiner SLX WFP water fed pole system. Comes standard with a reach around from Reach Higher Ground.

Curt Kempton from 5star window cleaning is featured in issue #1 of Window Cleaning Business Owner Magazine "how I roll" article. Curt gives us a nice tour of his amazing set up.

I woke up the other day looked at the calendar 9/24/2010 and realized that we have officially been in business for 10 years. Step back to June 2000 I was working with a local window cleaning company. Like all jobs I had back then it quickly fell apart, it lasted officially one month. I was let go for working to slow, or so they told me. I now realize that some people are destined for self-employment, and I am in fact unemployable. I needed a job quickly; my girlfriend’s dad got me one at a local printing place he worked at. I hated it but it paid good, my whole time there I couldn’t stop thinking about window cleaning so I planned to bail once the fall hit and start my own business. My time at the printing place was spent scheming, planning and researching the new endeavor. My mind was officially in window cleaning a couple of months before I launched. Read more...

Saturday 25 September 2010

Introducing Misty - The Indoor Window Cleaner

Introducing Misty......the latest new product from Brodex machine systems (BMS): So many of you requested an internal window cleaning system for your commerial applications. We've listened to your feedback and developed a new product which we have already started to supply throughout the UK. The Brodex Misty is a Complete Commercial Internal glass and surface Cleaning System. It's everything you need for safe and profitable internal cleaning, with its high storage capacity and time saving features you can remain on-site until the job is done.

Safety First – Misty is a long reach cleaning option (60 foot working height) so no need to hire in expensive access platforms and scaffolding.

Faster – The Misty is a portable system and can be moved around quickly, the kit has time saving features built in such as fast Snap-on Heads and a 50 litre water capacity. You can stay on-site longer without needing to re-fill your tank (cleans up to 1000m)

Going Green – no detergents are used in the Misty system, Brodex Pure Water Cleaning is all you need for a top class professional finish

Saving you money - The cost saving when using a Misty system will benefit you as a company. Removing the need to hire expensive Access Platforms and Scaffolding, one operator operation and washable consumables will give you the competitive edge needed to secure your large commercial contracts.

 • Fine Pure Water Mist

• No need to collapse the pole to moisten microfiber head

• Easy change Microfibre heads are washable.

• Enable High level Cleaning up to 60foot

• 2 Head Sizes – 10” and 16”

• Top Quality Lightweight Telescopic Poles

• No Chemicals or Detergents

• Fits in any van

• Large Volume of Water (50 Litre)

• No waistband, pump or battery to carry
All Orders Received during September will benefit from the introductory price of £1,795 + VAT - Offer ends 30th September 2010. Brodex can be reached on  0800 161 3212 or E-MAIL: Alternatively you can e-mail to receive the full Misty datasheet. Increase Profits - Improve Efficiency - Reduce Costs – Work Safer!

Friday 24 September 2010

HomeOwners Do Window Cleaning The Hard Way

Clean windows offer a moment of clarity: In a foolish spurt of enthusiasm the other day, I decided to tackle window cleaning in our home. I knew for sure that window cleaning time had arrived when I pulled open the drapes one morning to see what the weather was going to be like for the day. The sun was just poking its head out for the day too. That's when it seemed like a zillion fly specks and a smoggy film showed up its best on my patio door. I hurried to the cleaning cupboard, grabbed the liquid sure-to-make-them-sparkling- clean window spray and started squirting my windows. Nothing was going to stop me until every window in the house was done, inside and out.
There seemed to be no point in washing the windows, without washing the curtains too, so I took down the kitchen and bedroom curtains after spritzing those windows and crammed them into the washing machine . . . before I could change my mind. After I had rubbed the indoor panes until both arms ached and the tips of my fingers were sore, I grabbed another roll of paper towel and headed outside. Although tempting to just turn the garden hose on to the windows and let them dry, I wisely decided against such action, knowing full well after they had dried they would be more streaked and spotted than ever before.

Determined to have sparkling clean windows just like in the advertisements, I got out the ladder, took off the screens and began scrubbing. By the way, any advertising that claims certain products make window cleaning fun and easy should be against the law. There's no such thing as fun window cleaning. Easy is questionable too. Some of those outside windows at our house aren't the easy things to get at, or to reach when you finally do get close enough. I didn't realize the ground in the one flowerbed was still as moist as it was from the previous night's soaking and when I went to step on the ladder one side of the ladder began to sink. I knew I was losing my balance but could do nothing to save myself without wrecking the clean screen I had in my other hand.

I felt rather foolish -and probably to passersby looked even more so! - as I attempted to hang on to the ladder with one hand, the screen with the other and straddle a shrub . . . without stepping on any of the lovely red geraniums below. By mid-afternoon, all of the windows had been cleaned, the screens washed, window trim scrubbed and the curtains ironed and put back in place.

By bedtime I had aches and pains in muscles I didn't even know I had. I couldn't wait for the next morning to arrive so I could pull back the curtains and admire the newly-polished windows. What I failed to realize though was that a few drops of water had flipped on to the kitchen window when I put the screen back. The morning sun caught them though, for when I yanked back the curtains there was a lovely big spatter, a few smaller spots and a streak stretching from the top of the window to the bottom. That's okay though. Later that day I was using my hand mixer to make some vegetable dip. The mixer slipped in my hand and splattered dip all over the bottom of one of the freshly-cleaned-and- ironed kitchen window curtains. No point in having clean curtains if the window isn't clean either!

Thursday 23 September 2010

Sell Less Stuff to More People

"Why You Need to Sell Less Stuff to More People" John Warrillow: Are you trying to grow by selling a lot of stuff to a few people or one thing to a lot of people? If you want to sell your business one day, I’d encourage you to consider selling one thing to lots of people. In fact, if any one of your customers represents more than 15 percent of your revenue, it may be time to diversify. Being overly reliant on one customer is not just risky now, but it will also discount the value of your business when you’re ready to sell it down the road.

So how do you diversify your customer base? Instead of selling lots of stuff you are good at to a few customers, focus on selling a smaller list of things you’re world class at to a broader group of customers. In my research company, we used to get the bulk of our business from just three companies: a bank, a phone company and a software maker. We would do focus groups, telephone surveys, consulting, workshops — I’m surprised we didn’t end up offering window-cleaning services.

When I decided to position my company to sell, I needed to dramatically decrease our reliance on the loyalty of my three best customers. I decided to pick a couple of our best-selling services, bundle them up and sell one thing to more companies. We went from serving three customers to having more than 100, with no one customer worth more than 5 percent of our revenue. The diversity of our customers was an important reason we were acquired in 2008.

Seth says…

In his book The Dip, Seth Godin argues that to get past the inevitable lull a business suffers after the startup honeymoon, you need to do some strategic quitting to become the world’s best at one thing. I spoke with Seth this week, and he shared the example of the Candy Shoppe, a fantastically successful retailer just north of Toronto. Each week in the summer, Torontonians evacuate the humidity of Toronto and head for a region sprinkled with hundreds of lakes a couple of hours north of the city. The Candy Shoppe is strategically located on Highway 11 about 90 minutes north of the city and perfectly situated to intercept weary travelers on their way north with a carful of restless kids.

Hundreds of other Highway 11 retailers each try to hawk a lot of stuff — everything from propane to wild blueberries to butter tarts — to the small number of customers who happen to stop. As a result of their sell-lots-of-stuff-to-a-few-people strategy, they are totally forgettable businesses. At the Candy Shoppe, though, all they sell is candy. You can get salted liquorice, Bassett’s Sherbet Lemons, Turkish delight — just about anything to satisfy your sweet tooth but nothing other than candy. The Candy Shoppe sells one thing to lots of people and has become one of the most successful candy retailers in the world with the average customer spending $60 per visit. If you feel as though you’re overly reliant on a handful of customers, it’s time to pick one or two things you can be among the best in the world at and start selling less stuff to more people. How about you? Are you focused on share of wallet or share of market?

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Escaped Killer Found Cleaning Windows + News

Escaped killer found cleaning windows: A sadistic murderer who went on the run from jail has been found in Blackpool working as a window cleaner. Neighbours in Marton today spoke of their shock after discovering killer Matthew Taylor living on their street. The 25-year-old tortured and stabbed a man to death during a sickening robbery 10 years ago. He had been serving time at Kirkham Prison, but went on the run in March after failing to return to the open jail following home leave. Taylor was finally caught on Thursday when police found him at his partner's home in Cleves Court, Marton (pictured). He has now been sent back to prison to complete his 10 year sentence.
Taylor was just 16 when he, together with accomplice 17-year-old Christopher Pownall, was found guilty of the murder and robbery of Simon Bailey. The 39-year-old victim was beaten and had bleach poured over him before he was stabbed to death in his Stockport home. Residents on Cleves Court today said they were horrified to learn Taylor was living in a flat on their street. One neighbour, who saw last week's arrest, said: "There were loads of police everywhere wearing riot gear. "It's worrying – what if he comes back? It's pretty shocking to think he was living here and it was six months before he was found."
The killer, who formerly lived in Stockport, pleaded guilty to remaining at large from prison at Blackpool Magistrates Court. The court added 125 days to his sentence. Taylor will now serve at least another year in prison. He told the court he had packed his bag to surrender himself at a police station the day of his arrest. Angela Shelmerdine, defending, said her client failed to return to the prison because he was scared as his parole was coming up. She said: "After he failed to return to prison he committed no offences. "He started work, getting cash-in-hand jobs from friends, involving gardening and mechanical work. He also got a window cleaning round.

That's Smart, Kid-Friendly Glass: With these glass panels, doodling on the walls isn't discouraged - it's required. Looking for a way to let your kids make their mark on your walls without, well, destroying your home in the process? Check out this brilliant new product from Skyline Design, a company dedicated to providing eco-friendly decorative glass for the home. The Kids Glass collection combines color and imagination in the form of clear panels of safety glass (the same glass used in car windows, designed to withstand shattering) with patterns printed on the back. Originally designed to entertain kids in hospitals and day cares, Kids Glass can be drawn on with regular marker, which then cleans up easily with window cleaner or a chalkboard eraser.

Doggie drool remover: The current pet travel safety drive being spearheaded by Toyota to ensure that all pets are properly restrained in moving vehicles means that dogs are more likely to fog up car windows if they aren’t allowed to ride with their heads outside. Yecch is a special window cleaner to remove doggie drool from any glass surfaces in the car. Made by Bissell, the special formulation is applied with a soft brush to loosen the sticky goo and has a squeegee to remove the slobber and restore visibility. Available in specialty pet stores countrywide.
Bringing your pet along for a trip involves more then just getting them into the car and hitting the open road. You need to consider your pet's safety on the long ride. Does your pet get carsick? Do you have a restraint in place for its safety? Is your pet too skittish for car travel? We've put together our top five safety tips designed to help make traveling with a pet in the car a more enjoyable experience for everyone. Keep reading to find out how to get to your destination without any pet-related incidents.

Windoro stays vertical using neodymium magnets: Called Windoro, the robot consists of two separate modules that clean the window by spraying detergent and scrubbing away with a series of spinning pads. Unlike the Stickybot we looked at recently that mimicked gecko biology to scale surfaces including glass, Windoro relies on neodymium magnets that pull the two modules on either side of the window together with enough force to allow it to stay vertical. The researchers chose this method instead of vacuum power because they found it wasn’t as safe or reliable and would require the vacuum to be on at all times just to keep the robot in place.
With the magnets, Windoro will stay on a window from 10 - 25mm (0.39 - 0.98-in) thick, even when powered down. Once in place, Windoro uses distance measuring sensors, attitude determination and collision detection to stay on track as it performs its window washing magic. The robot reportedly took around 300 million KRW (approx. US$258,500) to develop and the PIRO team plans to release it commercially next year targeted for use in high-rise buildings. Now that the floor and windows are covered we’re awaiting a vacuuming robot that clings to the ceiling to banish those hard to reach cobwebs. See previous blog here.

It was decided two weeks ago to send the Large Yacht Code 2 to consultation for three months. It includes new regulations regarding submarines, helicopters, radio and window cleaning, Towner said. Apparently, the practice of hanging off sailboat tracks meant for masts and rigging can be unsafe, so the MCA is writing some regulations about it. The Large Yacht Passenger Code, 1336 Code, is being written by the Cayman Islands and he said he thought it might be announced at METS in Amsterdam in November. The Maritime Labor Convention is being discussed this week in Geneva and it is still unclear how it will impact the yachting industry.

Installation of protective bird netting will soon be completed at Scarborough’s Grand Hotel thanks to abseiling workers. The netting will prevent birds, specifically seagulls, from building nests on the 143-year-old hotel. Hotel manager David Ayllo said: “The programme began in May but then some kittiwakes built a nest. They are a protected species due to their declining numbers, so the installation had to wait to be completed.” It is necessary to prevent the gulls, which are regarded a nuisance in some parts of town, from disturbing hotel guests with their mating calls. Their droppings are also responsible for a significant proportion of the hotel’s cleaning expenses. Mr Ayllot said: “The seagulls can play havoc for the hotel and have disturbed guests. This should make all the difference. “It has been a huge success and it will really make a massive difference to the guest experience.” Planning permission was required to install the protective netting and it is expected to be effective for around five years.

Court hears Norfolk Four appeal in Richmond: Derek Tice's applications when they spotted his criminal record. After searching for six months, he landed a job as a window washer, his first employment since leaving prison. As a convicted felon and registered sex offender, Tice has severe limits on his career and his life, said his father, Larry Tice. On Tuesday, lawyers argued whether Derek Tice should remain under close legal supervision or have convictions for rape and murder erased from his record. A three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond questioned lawyers about the case and the legal strategy used during Tice's original two trials. Tice was part of a group of sailors, known as the Norfolk Four, convicted in the 1997 rape and murder of Michelle Moore-Bosko. William Bosko, an enlisted sailor, returned from a deployment and found his wife dead in their Ocean View apartment.

Taste Napa Valley,” a wine tasting scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 14 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., Oklahoma City. The tasting will be a come-and-go event benefiting the museum. A silent auction also will take place. Participating restaurants will be at the Petroleum Club. Silent auction donors include Crystal Clear Window Cleaning.

Because here's the reality: doing something new is much harder than saying it. A new job that's in your field is itself a massive change. You might think I'm being a bit pessimistic, and that I just need a little belief in myself to get something off the ground. But really, that's not the problem--I believe in myself, but I know better that it really is that simple. People don't seem to realize that whatever job they suggest, IT'S ALREADY TAKEN. And there are 50 people on a waiting list when the position of window washer or lawn mower opens up. Those who haven't been poor for a while would do well to remember that it takes more than a month to get back on your feet after a huge economic setback, and it will take more than washing windows to do it. Most people in my position are not averse to any sort of work they can do to make ends meet, but in this arena, there are one million gladiators too many.

Tuesday 21 September 2010

A Window Cleaners Fight Against Cancer

‘Amazing, upbeat attitude’ helps in battle with cancer: Doris Clayton was giddy. Giddy as in giggly, talking so fast she had to pull her car off to the side of the road. She was on her way to her chiropractor when we first connected. But it was her oncologist who had just called with some pretty exciting news. Blood tests showed her cancer level was down a tad. Which is great news, as this was the second time the numbers had decreased since Clayton had to stop conventional treatment a couple months ago after becoming allergic to the chemo.

Clayton has been battling “a very aggressive form of breast cancer” since 2004. She’s been through chemo three times in the past six years. And each time the cancer came back, “it did so with a vengeance, starting with a small lump in my breast and metastasizing later to lymph nodes, liver, chest cavity, bones and the fluid around my brain.” Without treatment, Clayton, a Sandwich resident who owns a window-washing business, figured it was a matter of time before the cancer finally won. Then a couple months ago, Yorkville chiropractor Dr. Nathan Thompson “gave me a book to read ...”

Clayton figures Thompson knew she had cancer since she’s bald and doesn’t wear a wig. But the chiropractor told me later “so many people know Doris and her amazing, upbeat attitude” as she fights cancer. Thompson offered her a book called “Cruise Ship or Nursing Home,” which touts fighting disease through a natural approach that includes a no sugar low carb diet. With her oncologist’s blessing, Clayton started seeing Thompson at his center. The chiropractor adjusted her spine, which he said must be aligned properly in order for the central nervous system to do its part in healing, and put her on the strict no-sugar diet.

“We don’t treat cancer,” Thompson was quick to point out. “But we work on getting the body healthy.” And part of that process, he said, is building a better relationship between the brain and the body and getting rid of toxins that can feed the tumor. One month later, Clayton said her cancer cell count went from 66.9 to 64. And on this day, she’s positively ecstatic because it dropped a few more points. She’s not out of the woods by any means. “But you can see it’s definitely headed in the right direction.” Plus, she feels wonderful, said husband Jim, her staunchest supporter. She’s not only dropped 25 pounds, but her hair, even her eyelashes are growing back. “Girls don’t know how much we love eyelashes until we don’t have any,” Clayton quips.

Dr. Mohammed Raheem, Clayton’s oncologist at Dreyer Medical Clinic and an integral part of her ongoing fight with cancer, is thrilled his patient is feeling well. But that’s not necessarily surprising, he noted. When patients take breaks from chemo, as can be necessary in long battles with the disease, they inevitably feel better. Nor is it uncommon for the cancer cells to stabilize for a time. But he is far from convinced a no-sugar diet and spinal adjustments are going to make a difference in the long run. And his greatest concern is that patients will turn away from more conventional medical treatments.

Clayton understands these concerns but doesn’t let them rain on her parade. Curing cancer has a lot to do with attitude, she says. And neither of her doctors disagrees. Clayton, a musician who sits on the board of directors for the Northern Illinois Bluegrass Association, said when she was first diagnosed, she named her tumor “Tina Tumor … because Tina (Turner) never did nuthin’ nice and easy.” Then she went about trying to live each day with the same spunk and determination. A couple weekends after her mastectomy, Clayton was playing her upright bass at a festival. And today she’s leading a bluegrass jam at Dickson-Murst Farm in Montgomery.

“When Dr. Thompson handed me that book, it was meant to be,” she said. “Until today I thought about dying every day of my life for the last six years. Today, I’m thinking about living.”

Doris loved all things musical at a very early age. At the age of nine, she started singing with the family on the front porch of their home while her mother accompanied them on the accordion. While attending high school in Southern Missouri she did cross the line to rock music but in her twenties, she returned to the bluegrass music that she loved. Doris once attended a bluegrass festival in Norway, IL where she saw Bill Monroe. From then on she attended every bluegrass festival she could. At that point she was not aware that besides listening to the music, there were jam sessions taking place as well. She would listen to the music and then go home!

Another milestone for Doris was through hammer dulcimer player Bill Robinson. She loved the sound and the looks of those beautiful instruments so she purchased an experimental dulcimer made from plywood with the proviso that if they wanted to sell it, they would sell it back to Bill. Doris played that instrument for a little while before graduating to other instruments, but the dulcimer still hangs on her wall as a reminder of her musical passion.

Doris has an interesting musical life, having played in several bands including “The Bottom Line”,“End Of The Road” and ”Smokey Mountain Haze”. The most recent band she played with was “Truman’s Ridge” . Doris states that “the band members were like brothers to me”. Truman’s Ridge made their first CD in 2009 and performed at festivals in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri. Due to health issues, Doris had to retire from the group but still continues to fill in at jams with musicians like “Lillie Capes and her Hello Dollies”, her favorite jam buddies from “Bluegrass Escape” and anyone else who needs a bass player!

Before Doris became an active musician she was an avid equestrian. She purchased what she described as the best horse she ever owned – a double registered buckskin quarter horse – from NIBA member Skip Sittig. He noticed a banjo in the corner of her house, asked if she liked bluegrass music, and before she knew it, she was attending her first jam at Harding. She then bought an 1890 German bass named “Truman” which had been played at a political convention attended by Harry S. Truman. Doris researched the history of this instrument and wrote an article on it which was published in “Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine” in January 2002.

It has not been all play and no work though. Doris served on the NIBA board for about eight years as treasurer, membership chairperson, and flier distributor. She has also organized three fundraisers at the Sandwich opera house to raise money for the Fox Valley Older Adults Association. In 2008 and 2009 she organized “Bluegrass in the Streets” in Sandwich. Even now, despite health issues, she is taking an active role on the NIBA board of directors. In 2005 Doris was awarded the “Ambassador of Bluegrass Award” by Terry Lease and the Midwest Bluegrass Association. In her acceptance speech for the Ambassador Award Doris stated “If all the people in the world could be as nice as the people in bluegrass, wouldn’t this world be a wonderful place.”

Monday 20 September 2010

Window Cleaning News

A window cleaner could be taking a swipe at stardom after making it through to The X Factor bootcamp. Luke Stevenson, aged 30, from Horwich, had not officially entered The X Factor auditions, but went to the MEN Arena where they were being held with the hope of turning his singing hobby into a professional career. Unfazed by the lack of a sound system or backing music, Luke made his own by bolting a CD player to a wheelie bin and regaled the waiting auditionees with a rendition of Tony Christie’s Amarillo. The show’s staff were so impressed by his inventiveness that they took him to the front of the queue, and he found himself auditioning in front of a 6,000-strong audience. His quirky performance, complete with the bin, was featured on The X Factor spin-off show, The Xtra Factor, on Saturday. And he revealed that Louis confessed his performance made him want to cry.
Luke sang Boyzone’s Gave It All Away, the last single by the band to feature Stephen Gately, who died last year. He said: “After the show Louis told me that he didn’t say it in the auditions, but my performance really moved him and nearly made him cry.” The judges put Luke through to bootcamp. “I’m really chuffed with myself for getting through to bootcamp — the whole experience so far has been great,” he said. During the auditions Simon Cowell told Luke he did not see him as a million-selling artist.

What is it and who is it suited to? Window cleaning is not all buckets and suds and step ladders. It’s a lot more dangerous than that. If you believe research conducted by Churchill Insurance way back in 2004, window cleaning might even be the most dangerous job in Britain. Thankfully, it’s not quite as risky as such surveys suggest: things have become a little safer with the passing of time. “Window cleaners now have equipment that allows them to completely eliminate the need to work at height,” Damian Whittaker of the British Window Cleaning Academy (BWCA) explains, “Modern window cleaning is no longer the dangerous job it once was.”
Perhaps because of this dangerous reputation, window cleaning has suffered from something of a poor public image in the past, but don’t let that deter you. Window cleaners come from all all walks of life. While a City background may not be what you expect from the MD of a successful window cleaning company, there are many who have just that.
Christopher Turner, who set up The London Window Cleaner in 2006, for instance, is a former hedge fund manager. “I was actually in a hedge fund for the charitable sector; and I spent eight years in charity work before I left,” he says. “There are lots of people in the business from the City. I got out because I wanted to go back to something that was fundamental, something practical and useful and that would always have a market.”
A City background is not a prerequisite of course – although it might help with your start-up costs. Window cleaning is often a family business and, according to Damien of the BWCA, there are a few husband-and-wife teams around. Like most start-up businesses, entry is limited only by commitment and interest. In times of downturn especially, many people who have lost their job use their redundancy payment to start a business in something like window cleaning. So if you want to take up your squeegee and ladder, don’t let the scare stories put you off. Read on for our tips on how best to start up.

SURPRISING TREND: In addition, a newly released ServiceMagic survey found that in the last quarter, 59% of homeowners considered green alternatives for their home improvement projects. Energy-efficient windows topped the list of projects, with an increase in window service requests up 81% from last year in the same quarter. Of those who invested in windows, 83% did so for energy reasons with cost savings from increased energy efficiency being the top motivation. However, only 19% of homeowners surveyed were motivated to conduct home improvement projects because of tax credits. For homeowners who did not consider green alternatives for their remodeling projects, 50% of them were not aware of the eco-friendly options, while 27% did not like the green product choices and 16% found the cost of green products outweighed the benefits.
Moreover, less than 10% of homeowners requested green or energy-efficient alternatives for their home improvement projects. “A surprising trend this quarter is what we are learning about consumer purchasing behavior around green and energy efficiency,” says Craig Smith, ServiceMagic CEO. “While we show a fairly decent level of awareness for green and energy efficient alternatives, it isn’t translating to action beyond window projects.”

Window cleaner caught drink driving after darts match row: A 42 year old man who incurred the wrath of his wife when he was late home from a darts match got in his van and drove away to avoid confrontation. Unfortunately he had been drinking and Blackburn magistrates heard Gary Kendall was stopped by police because of the erratic nature of his driving. A breathalyser test showed him to be more than double to legal drink-drive limit. Miss Clare Knight (defending) said Taylor, who has a window cleaning round in Clitheroe, did not want to argue with his wife in front of their children. "He left the house with the intention of driving to Clitheroe, sleeping in his van and going to work the following day," said Miss Knight. Kendall, of Poets Road, Burnley, admitted driving with excess alcohol. He was banned from driving for 17 months and fined £115 with £90 costs.

Police issue security alert following robbery: Police enquiries are ongoing into an incident which saw an elderly pensioner attacked and robbed in her own home. The 77-year-old woman suffered a broken thigh after a terrifying ordeal at Smithyends in Cumbernauld Village, on Friday, September 3. The distressing episode began when a bogus caller turned up at her door pretending to be a window cleaner. This was simply a means of gaining access - and his next move was to push the lady to the ground, run into her house and steal her purse. Police have issued a set of guidelines on how best to deal with bogus callers, who often claim to be working for utility companies. Some may even wear the 'hi-vis' fluorescent jackets, but that does not make them genuine.
•Ask to see identification. No-one genuine will take exception to this. Check identification carefully - does the photo on the card look like the person at the door? Contact the company concerned if you are in doubt.
•Bogus callers are not above pretending to be friends or relatives of neighbours who are out - asking to come into your home to wait for them, leave them a note, or to make a telephone call.
•Consider installing a spy hole in your front door and a door chain.
•Only when you are 100 per cent happy that they are genuine give them access to your home. If not then ask them to leave and close your door.
•If you think a bogus caller has called at your door contact the police immediately. Try to give a description of the person.
The earlier the police know that bogus callers are in an area the quicker they can investigate.
To contact Cumbernauld Police Office call 01236 503900. You can also call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111

To mark Roald Dahl Day, the winner of the Funny prize set up in his memory selects his favourite tales from 'the master' - 7. The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me: A giraffe with an extending neck, a pelican with a bucket-sized beak, a dancing monkey and a boy with big ideas join forces to create the Ladderless Window-Cleaning Company. Their biggest job? To clean all 677 – yes, six hundred and seventy-seven – of the Duke of Hampshire's windows. Expect chaos in this lavishly illustrated silliness.

Give your arms a good workout by washing all the windows in your house. The up and down and around movement will challenge your biceps and triceps and give you more toned arms than ever before. The more muscle in your body the more calories you burn during sedentary moments. Don’t shy away from window washing and keep your windows pristine all the time. Another household chore that is useful for weight reduction is to redecorate and move your furniture around....

DIY Dangerous: I still am not persuaded of the best way to clean out gutters and de-clog them. I would prefer to be on the ground, of course, but that doesn't seem to be the best option when you can't SEE into the gutters themselves to clean them and test for proper drainage. I have been on the roof several times now and have cleaned out the most accessible/lowest gutters as well as half of the roof surface debris, but there are some gutters that are even higher up that make me uncomfortable. I have not run water into any of them to test for drainage, and I have not attempted to unclog the one that I know is clogged (can see it from an upstairs bedroom window). I just haven't figured out yet what the best method is and I don't want to remove gutter pieces if there is a way to declog without disassembling. Unecessary and ignorant disassembling is the root of all DIY hell. Just ask anyone who didn't really have to take apart plumbing pipes but did anyway...I guess of course there's always the option to just hire someone. But I'm kind of cheap. If I CAN do something myself by learning the right methods, I'm willing to try it. I do have a short list of things I won't touch though - most electrical, orange peel texturing, and most plumbing work. Most everything else, I'm game to try, but I'll be the first to admit I'm no expert. I am just another hopeful sucker who's become DIY Dangerous.

Jail for cruel conman who preyed on elderly: A serial predator was jailed with these words ringing in his ears: “You deserve the loathing of the good folk of Tyneside.” Time and time again Shaun Bell (pictured) has ripped off pensioners by posing as a window cleaner. In June he was given one last chance to keep his freedom after targeting an 84-year-old disabled woman in her own home. But within a few weeks he stooped to a new low by fleecing then robbing an 89-year-old man who has been left terrified by his ordeal. Bell spun the same old lies about cleaning windows and intimidated the pensioner into handing over cash for work which had never been done. When the pensioner eventually got wise to Bell’s evil ways and hid his wallet in his pocket, the low life resorted to violence, pushing him and yanking the wallet free, injuring the victim’s hand and wrist and tearing his trousers.
Now the 27-year-old heroin addict has been jailed for five years and nine months after he admitted robbery and fraud. Jailing him at Newcastle Crown Court, Recorder Duncan Smith told Bell: “You deserve the loathing of the good folk of Tyneside. “You are a predator who preys on the elderly and I should make an example of you. “The elderly cannot protect themselves against intrusion so the courts will intervene to protect them.” In passing sentence the judge made Bell look at pictures of the bruising he had inflicted on the 89-year-old telling him “you did that”.
Bell, of Eslington Court, Teams, Gateshead, had been up in court for the earlier offence in June this year after carrying out a fraud against an 84-year-old disabled woman, in which he used the same facade that he was a window cleaner. On that occasion he was allowed to keep his freedom after pleading for help with his drug habit. The court heard he had also targeted an 82-year-old woman who suffers from dementia in a burglary in 2008 and had only been out of prison for that offence for five days when he targeted the 84-year-old. Then in July this year he turned up at the 89-year-old man’s house in Gateshead to demand payment for, he said, cleaning his windows. The pensioner disputed that any work had been carried out and invited Bell in to prove his point. But the low life persisted in asking for £5 and made his victim feel so uncomfortable he eventually gave him the money as he feared otherwise he would not leave. The next day Bell turned up again, this time spinning a yarn about having cleaned the windows he had missed previously and made the pensioner hand over £8.
Three days later he was at it again, knocking on the back door and asking to be let in because it was raining. The kind old man allowed him in, only for Bell to start claiming a note the pensioner had handed over on a previous occasion was a forgery and telling him he wanted paying again. Michael Bunch, prosecuting, said: “The pensioner felt uncomfortable and put his wallet in his pocket. “Bell then pushed him back and made a grab for the wallet, forcing his hand in his pocket.
“He said ‘don’t try fighting you will only get hurt’ and pulled the wallet with such force the pocket ripped.” Bell then took £30 out of the wallet and scattered other documents on the floor before fleeing. The victim said in a statement: “I feel disturbed by the actions of this man. “It has prevented me from sleeping and has badly affected me.” Geoff Knowles, defending, said Bell had been a heroin user since he was 13 as his dad was also a drug addict. Mr Knowles said: “I don’t attempt to excuse what he did but he had found someone who was prepared to give him money at a time when he continued to suffer problems which required ready access to cash.”

I was hoping to show an awareness of other people in our communities. Many of them are immigrants. Everybody has a story but one never knows the trials and tribulations they have gone through to be here,” she reflects. “With the showing coming out it is sorta a good time with all these immigration issues coming up. The ‘right-wingers’ are complaining about immigrants taking jobs. Immigrants are not taking jobs. They often work for below minimum wage at jobs some Americans don’t want. When my grandparents came here, my grandfather was a window washer. My grandmother worked in a hat factory. This is now just another round of immigrants that this country was built upon.” More on Nina Talbot.

Three St. Louis area franchises of Fish Window Cleaning Services Inc. won top sales awards from the company: Fish Window Cleaning of St. Charles County; Fish Window Cleaning of South County, Jefferson County, St. Louis city and Metro East; and Fish Window Cleaning of St. Louis County. Education Technology Partners, Fish Window Cleaning Services Inc. and Schaeffer Manufacturing Co. all placed on the 2010 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies.

A peer's daughter who smashed her Land Rover through church gates in Worcestershire in a "blind fury" has been convicted of dangerous driving. The Honourable Linda Granville, 61, daughter of the late Lord Granville, was also convicted of causing criminal damage to Great Malvern Priory's gates. She jumped a red light, narrowly missed pedestrians and hit two other cars in Malvern, Worcester Crown Court heard. Granville, of Malvern, claimed her vehicle's brakes failed. It prompted a concerned window cleaner to close the church gates and another witness to contact the police. But she then smashed through the gates - causing £1,500 of damage - before hitting a stationary Peugeot which was pushed into a hedge.

A burglar claiming to be a window cleaner stole a 94-year-old woman's pension money. The man got inside the house in School Road, Penn, High Wycombe,only to be disturbed by the resident. He asked if she wanted her windows cleaned, but was told no. After leaving he walked around the side of her home and looked through the side window. The The victim later discovered her handbag and purse, which contained her pension money, had been stolen. It happened on Wednesday between 8am and 9am. Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed a man acting suspiciously in the area around the time of the offence to contact them. This message to residents was issued by officers: “Distraction burglars prey on the elderly and vulnerable. "If you see people calling at houses and are suspicious of their intentions, you are urged to contact police immediately.” Householders should never open their door to a stranger and IDs should be checked if possible, police advise. Anyone with information about the burglary should contact Det Sgt Nicola Pocock at High Wycombe police station on 0845 8 505 505 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Company cleans up dispute over windows: Dear Greg: I had 11 windows on my small house replaced by Accurate Window and Door. They are Anderson double-hung windows that tilt in for cleaning purposes. Six of the windows will not tilt in because the plantation shutters inhibit them from tilting. The installers never tried them before leaving. The windows were all smeary after installation, and I said, "Are you going to leave them like this?" And they said, "Window cleaning's not our job!" I know it was hot that day, but really. I don't know what to do. I can't afford to redo the shutters so the windows tilt. RIA MERK.
Dear Ria: Accurate Window and Door has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. This doesn't mean it never makes a mistake; it means that when stuff happens – as it will – the company steps up. "My sales rep, Tim, and Mrs. Merk have different opinions as to whether we covered the issue of the tilt cleaning feature not working for her because of the plantation shutters," said owner Jim Heidish. But he chose to tilt in your favor. "I offered to send my service man once a year to clean the windows outside," Heidish said. "She suggested a refund for what that cost would be to the company. We hashed it over and reached what I believe to be a fair settlement." Update: Ria reports that two days later she received a $1,000 check from Heidish. "He said I'm now his personal customer — if there's anything he can ever help me with, to call him." He meant windows, Ria, not pizza delivery.

Chapelfield helps the planet: Behind its bright open spaces and glittering shop fronts, Chapelfield has been quietly taking huge steps forward in its drive to reduce its environmental impact. The centre was also the first of its type to offer free electric and hybrid charging points in its car park. Non-bleach based, citrus and enzyme products are used for cleaning inside the centre - and all external cleaning is completed with biodegradable products. Water used in window cleaning does not use chemicals or detergents so that no contaminants end up in Chapelfield's water system.

I bought a Cumberland News on the way to Brunton Park, home of the famous Carlisle United. I always say that, in my head, thinking of the overexcited north London bloke on the PA system at Tottenham who exclaims: "Welcome to White Hart Lane, home of the world-famous Spurs!" All football clubs are world-famous - in their own little worlds. There was an obituary of someone called Fred Armstrong, who had died aged 90. I cut it out to file with my CUFC memorabilia, once I had spotted the subheading: "A war hero and Bill Shankly's window cleaner". Shankly was Carlisle's manager from 1949-51. Surely being his window cleaner should have had top billing. Sub-editors these days, eh?

Sunday 19 September 2010

Window Cleaning Events, Jobs & Flyers

The Master Cleaners of America conference (MWCoA) Dallas, Texas FREE Seminar: LOCATION: Plano Centre, 2000 East Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, TX 75074. Confirm Your Attendance here with the President. The definite window cleaning event to attend.

Schedule of Events Saturday November 6th:
  • 8:30 AM Meet and Greet.
  • 9:00 AM Fantastic & FREE Advertising Methods - Jack Nelson - Founder and Former Director MWCoA.
  • 9:30 AM The Importance of Customer Retention with Kraig Dyer, President Master Window Cleaners of America.
  • 10:15 AM The Power of Pure Water Technology - Shawn Gavin, Pure Water & WFP Expert
  • 11:15 AM Grow Your Business To Multi-Crews with Mike Draper, J. Racenstein Rep.
  • Noon Lunch Break Lunch break at Best Western Park Suites * FREE to all attendees *
  • 12:45 PM WFP Demomstration at Best Western Hotel with Mike Draper - JRC and Shawn Gavin - Reach Higher Ground.
  • 2:00 PM Round Table Discussion on Fabricating Debris Issues.
  • 3:30 PM Increase Your Income With Add-Ons with Kris Weigal, NanoPhase Technologies.
  • 4:00 PM Jeff Flint, Envicoat 25 minutes
  • 4:30 PM Q & A Session Followed by Door Prizes Given Away *Must be present to win*

September 29th and 30th 2010, Charlotte, South Carolina.. Please join Window Cleaning Resource teaming up with the National Cleaning Expo', piggy backing on the CETA show, September 29th and 30th in Charlotte, SC. This will be our last event for this year and we have ALOT of amazing and exciting things planned. With hundreds of attendees already confirmed and over 65 vendors, it is a must, even for the networking alone! Please stop by the Window Cleaning Resource booth and visit us!
Hands On Tools! Everybody would love to get their hands on each piece of equipment they buy, but sometimes it's not always that easy. Now it is! We will have Pure Water Carts by IPC Eagle and Waterfed Poles by Facelift, Gardiner and SimPole. We will also have great deals on waterfed pole equipment and pure water carts. There will also be LIVE hands on demos so you can actually get these things in your hands and see what works best for you.
Great Deals! There will also be scratch glass removal demos courtesy of GlassRenu in the Window Cleaning Resource booth. If you've been thinking about getting into scratch glass removal this is the time of year to do it. GlassRenu has hooked us up with a special offer just for National Cleaning Expo attendees. We will be selling GlassRenu machines, contractor grade, for only $995! That's $1200 off of the normal price of $2100!
Giveaways! Giveaways! Giveaways! You won't want to miss what we're giving away at this event. Look out for a SimPole Waterfed Pole Giveaway along with a hand tool starter kit giveaway. Not to mention National Cleaning Expo will be giving away an $11,000 Hot Water Pressure Washer Unit. Sign up here.

PULIRE EURASIA: Free entry - 30 of September till the 2 of October, 2010: An Innovative and Interactive Platform for the Euro Asian Cleaning Industry. Pulire Eurasia provides an innovative platform to experience new technologies and solutions at an international level in the cleaning industry. It is a strategic place for companies with consolidated operations in the Eurasia region and also for those looking to expand their commercial interests in this region. “Pulire Eurasia” places itself in the global exhibition network of the cleaning industry as a standpoint for accessing the market in South-Eastern Europe, the Gulf region, Middle East and Central Asia. Turkey is one of the main producers and exporters of technology in the cleaning sector.

Ausclean is a unique opportunity for companies in the cleaning and support services industries to market, sell and promote their products and services. If you are involved in the cleaning or building maintenance industries, don’t miss the 15th biennial Ausclean incorporating BSM Expo taking place at Rosehill Gardens, Sydney, Australia from 27-28 September 2010. Ausclean incorporating BSM Expo 2010 will provide a unique opportunity for you to interact with and sell to the whole spectrum of professionals linked to cleaning and maintenance of buildings and venues.
Ausclean, Australia’s longest running and most recognised cleaning exhibition. Held once every two years, Ausclean attracts thousands of key decision-makers from businesses, local councils, government departments, major venues and the health, hospitality and tourism industries. Many of the attendees are responsible for the maintenance and management of large-scale facilities including industrial, commercial, hospitality and retail buildings.

CLEAN 2010: 26th -28th September - Reed Exhibitions, in association with CLEAN Middle East, is pleased to invite all cleaning professionals to the sparkling new launch of the Middle East Cleaning Exhibition 2010 (CLEAN 2010). Held in Dubai, the established center for commerce in the Middle East, the three-day exhibition and conference will bring together companies with existing operations in the region with international players who are looking to reach out to new markets. The Middle East Cleaning Exhibition 2010 (CLEAN 2010) is the only regional platform dedicated to gather international players from the global cleaning and environmental hygiene industry to showcase technologies, products and processes. Held in Dubai, the established center for commerce in the Middle East, the three-day exhibition and conference will bring together companies with existing operations in the region with international players looking to reach new markets.
Formerly known as Gulf-Cleantech, CLEAN 2010 features a new look and a more comprehensive profile to firm up its market position. The event is organised in association with CLEAN Middle East magazine, the first industry magazine in the region with a readership of 15,000 professionals and buyers. The cooperation is expected to create show awareness among qualified buyers from various economic sectors such as facility management, food safety, laundry, residential and industrial, public health, municipalities and government agencies among others. CLEAN 2010 introduces new marketing facilities that are focused on innovative communication approaches to attract providers and their targeted audience. In addition to an international network that will complement efforts to make the show a success, Reed Exhibitions has pioneered a networking program that will facilitate an effective matching of business interests among participants of the show.

ProClean Ireland - 13th & 14th October - presents a unique environment in which to do business. The event is the only place where you can meet face to face with other cleaning industry professionals, all looking to source the latest products, services and innovations within the Cleaning Industry. Organised by Opus Business Media Ltd, who have over 45 years of experience within the Cleaning Industry, ProClean Ireland will see the introduction of new and exciting feature areas and an educational content to ensure the event meets the needs of a rapidly evolving industry. Exhibitors will include Manufacturers, Distributors and Support Service Organisations. The two day exhibition is an ideal opportunity to reach key buyers, specifiers and decision makers within the industry.
ProClean Ireland will deliver the audience you want to see.

Prevent Accidents – Get Proper Safety Training - IWCA Hands-On Safety Training. Chicago – October 8. Register now here. OSHA research concluded that 100% of window cleaning accidents might be eliminated with proper attention to the application of equipment, and the proper training of window cleaning professionals. Learning proper window cleaning safety techniques is important for everyone, NOT just for those who utilize Rope Descent Systems or Suspended Scaffolds. If you specialize in residential or commercial/ground window cleaning, it is essential that you have proper safety training. Did you know that the majority of window cleaning accidents occur while using ladders? Are you utilizing water-fed poles in your business? Do you know the best practices and safe techniques to ensure you are using them effectively? Learn how to keep your employees safe and in turn keep your productivity up and your costs down. Also, learn more about the International Window Cleaning Association and how it can help you in your day-to-day business.
  • 7:30 a.m. Breakfast and Introductions
  • 8-10 a.m. Plan Ahead for Safety
  • 10 a.m. -Noon Working Safely around High Rise with Rope Descending Systems (RDS)
  • 12-12:30 p.m. Lunch
  • 1- 4 p.m. Working Safety Around Route/Residential
  • Hands-on demonstrations: Self-rescue - Ladder Safety - Aerial Lift Safety
  • 4:00 p.m. Glass Fabrication Awareness
IWCA Member Registration Fees $129.00
Non-Member Registration Fees $189.00
10 or more Additional Registrations $119.00

ISSA/INTERCLEAN 9 - 12th November 2010 - Orlando, Florida - is the number one trade fair formula in the professional cleaning industry, jointly organised by Amsterdam RAI and its alliance partner ISSA, the leading cleaning industry association worldwide. No other trade shows bring such a wide range of resources related to the cleaning industry together under one roof. Whether you're looking to find suppliers or distributors, expand your company's global presence, solidify customer relationships, stay ahead of industry trends, or network with your peers, ISSA/INTERCLEAN trade shows provide these opportunities—and much more, in venues around the globe! This site offers you access to dedicated sites on our ISSA/INTERCLEAN events worldwide. In the menu on the left you can select the exhibition of your choice for detailed information.

Memorial Service for Don Chute:
When - Friday, October 1, 2010 - 2:00pm
Where - Georgia Governor's Mansion, 391 West Paces Ferry Road, Northwest Atlanta, Georgia. Tel: 404-261-1776
Dress: Nice Casual (No neckties) Party into Paradise.
Don's wake following the memorial service is at the Woodbine Station Clubhouse, Corner of Sandy Plains Rd. & Pebble Hill Dr. Marietta, GA 30062
Designated Driver shuttles to/from hotels.


Racenstein are opening a job position in Secaucus, NJ this month. This would be an "in office" job helping out with the inbound phones as well as picking up the phone calling window cleaning companies trying to develop their personal "book" of accounts. If you know somebody in North Jersey that enjoys sales (and is someone that has that personality where you might like to buy from them) send them Steves way for an interview. 8 to 4:30, 9 to 5:30 or 10 to 6:30. Likely to be 3 weeks in the office and 1 week out visiting window cleaners. Contact: Steve Blyth on

Vikan are market leaders in the manufacturing of high quality, food grade cleaning equipment and microfibre systems into the UK market. We are seeking a highly motivated sales professional, located within easy access of the M25. Previous field sales experience is essential and knowledge of the food and healthcare industries would be a distinct advantage. More importantly, you must be able to demonstrate a proven record of success, be a proactive self starter, with a high customer service ethic. A key focus of the role will be the development of our existing distributor network along with identifying new business opportunities. A consultative and conceptual selling approach will aid your success which will be driven through your strong relationships with customers as you add real value to their business. In return we offer an excellent package to include a competitive salary, plus target based bonus scheme, company car and all the benefits associated with a successful market leader. Please send your application along with an up to date CV to:

Paul McQuillan gives away another flyer created for window cleaning. This flyer is totally editable and comes in a Word document as well as PSD for those of you using Photoshop. Click the picture above to take you there. Sign up for free, for all Pauls templates.

Search This Blog