Sunday, 4 December 2011

Window Cleaning News

Free Window Cleaning Business Owner Magazine Issue #1: WCBO (Window Cleaning Business Owner) issue #1 can now be download free of charge as a pdf. Just click the picture to take you to the download site. In this issue:
  • Pro Window Cleaner Spot Light - Salvatore Marino
  • Manufacturer Spotlight - Cody Thomas GlassRenu
  • Regular Features: Marketing, How I roll, Leadership, In the Field, Manage, Sales, Money, New Product Alert, Tech, Web, Web Again, Thinking Outside the Bucket, On the Road, Safety, The Hard Numbers & Fun.

Thanks to Randy Mills of Pioneer Services in California for tipping me off on this video. Amelia Rudolph, founder of Project Bandaloop, shows off her group's unique, skyscraper-scaling style of dance.

RE: Lost: The Desire To Work - a letter from Jeffrey Miller, Noah, Chris and Tyler, Window Washers.
We would like to respond to Mr. Callahan’s recent letter regarding the youth of today and the fact that he feels this group has lost their desire to work. He says he doesn’t see young people mowing lawns or washing cars, etc. A friend and I started a window washing business while at CHS. This business continues today and is the source of our college money. We have some amazing clients and we learn something from each of them. We give back to the community along with another entrepreneurial graduate from CHS, Luis Madrid, in the form of an annual scholarship to a senior at CHS who has best demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit while in high school. There is a pool of candidates each year.
We were not alone in starting a business while in high school. There were and still are students who walk dogs, do tutoring, do small errands, etc. We often get requests for additional small jobs, which we do ourselves or we send a qualified young person out to assist. Over the years this work group has refurbished a yacht deck, moved boxes in, boxes out, and moved furniture around, picked up packages, gardened, removed trash, put up light bulbs, delivered items, put up Christmas lights, dug holes, and/or assisted with just about any small job that was requested. Many continue to do these jobs assisting residents even as they moved on to local colleges. We have a running list of those who are always looking for work they can do after school or on weekends.
The young people in Coronado are working or would like to work, but it is sometimes difficult to connect the two. We have tried to assist with this, however, if you look at this from a different point of view, you will see that times are much different than those you described. Finding after-school work is difficult, if not impossible. No one wants to hire a ‘kid’ to mow their grass, when they can get a gardener with his own equipment. To work in a post office as a teenager these days would never happen … too many adults want that job. Parents are afraid to let their kids go out to look for work and residents are afraid to have someone new in their homes and everyone is worried about liability and lawsuits.
So Mr. C., we challenge you. Call us to do your windows. Call other young people for your odd jobs. Use your voice to help young people who want to work by encouraging a spot in the Eagle where they can post their ads at a reduced rate. We know from experience that advertising and other expenses can be costly. Encourage other residents to support their local labor pool before looking at other companies/individuals. No, not every young person is motivated, but there are many who are. We grew up working on weekends and after school and many of our friends did the same. Of course, we have many years of experiences ahead of us, but that saying, “It takes a village …” Well, it does, but fortunately … we have a Village. Encourage others to look for these young locals when they have work to be done.

Harry Hunderman wasn’t amazed when his colleagues recently rappelled near the top of the Washington Monument, because he’s done it himself, on the dome of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison. The WJE “Difficult Access Teams” have worked the heights in Chicago, The Willis Tower, John Hancock Center and BP Amoco Building, along with Soldier Field. They’ve gotten down and dirty in the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. And yet few structures could have provoked a reaction like the Washington Monument. The WJE people feel they just have clients to serve, even if it means being latched to ropes or working from the relative safety of window-washers platforms. Somehow the WJE staff has married the outwardly dull, office-bound callings of engineering and architecture with the thrill of alpine-style adventure.

GRAND RAPIDS – The inconvenience of getting kicked out of his office for a day didn't faze Haris Alibasic, who knew the temporary imposition during a $1.2 million window replacement project would result in years of benefit for Grand Rapids. The feeling has been experienced by workers throughout the building's eight above-ground floors as two months of work are expected to wrap up in the next week, leaving the structure with energy efficient double-paned glass that will knock off about $40,000 annually from the city's utility bills. “A project of this magnitude is an important step to meeting our energy conservation goals and reduce our consumption,” said Alibasic, the city's director of energy and sustainability. “It will help us save money and become more sustainable.”
Single-paned windows installed in the mid-1960s left workers baking in the summer and freezing in the winter. Screens placed over the windows in 1977 were known for collecting dirt, bugs and spiders that gave the appearance of being constantly dirty. Once completed, contractors will have removed and replaced 640 panes on city hall's second through ninth floors, 54 more lining Calder Plaza and 11 along Monroe Avenue NW. The entire project, which also includes swapping out lights and installing motion sensors, was paid for with a federal grant directed at finding energy loss solutions.

Oakland aims to add more businesses to its “green certified” list: What do the Chabot Space and Science Center, PGAdesign, Red Oak Realty, The Tip Top Bike Shop, Mr. Sparkle Window Washers, and Baja Taqueria have in common? They are all “green” businesses in Oakland. Oakland is currently home to 138 green certified businesses—restaurants, stores and offices that meet county standards of energy efficiency, water conservation, recycling, and waste reduction, among other things. City officials aim to certify 100 more by next fall thanks to a recent push by Oakland’s recycling program to spread the word about green certification and help business owners complete the process. “I personally notice when a business has a green certification logo in their window,” said Becky Dowdakin, supervisor of the city’s recycling program. “Every business is supposed to be in compliance with general regulations, but it impresses me personally when a business goes beyond that. Read the full story by Brittany Schell at

A designer drug that simulates cocaine that is marketed as "glass cleaner" has replaced "bath salts" in many smoke shops across the Tempe area, rendering all but useless an emergency federal ban enacted last month to stem the sale and use of the potentially lethal bath salts, officials say. The legal sale of the white powder that is altered slightly from "bath salts" for less than $20 in smoke shops, on websites and in some liquor and convenience stores is sending a rapidly rising number of patients to emergency rooms, treatment facilities and poison centers, officials say. State Rep. Matt Heinz of Tucson, a physician, said he will push for bills in the upcoming legislative session to ban the dangerous chemicals found in synthetic cocaine and marijuana, and more importantly, to penalize the businesses that sell a substance causing psychosis, extreme agitation and unnatural strength in users.
Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman wants Arizona to join the 28 states that prohibit the manufacture, use and sale of the drug. "Every smoke shop on every corner is now selling this," Hallman said. "They are pretending it is not for human consumption." Just this past weekend, Hallman said, he was on Mill Avenue and aided a young woman who was suffering side-effects from the glass cleaner. No one in Arizona has died yet as a result of using the "glass cleaner" that is molecularly similar to the banned "bath salts," drug counselors and city officials say. But the hallucinations, paranoia and agitation often triggered by snorting, injecting, eating and smoking the drug have led to arrests on crimes caused by the side-effects, police say. One patient had walked through a plate-glass window oblivious to pain, Heinz said. Others have stabbed and cut themselves, have been so agitated police stunned them with Tasers, or have spent days experiencing paranoid hallucinations.

More Than 3,500 Children Work to Support Families in Bolivia: The Bolivian families of low income force many children to work as a shoeshine, peddlers, window washers, carters. According to the recent survey “Infancia Sin Derechos”, carried out by the Observatorio Infanto Juvenil, by the University Gabriel Rene Moreno and by the founding of Projects and Study Services and Analysis (SEPA), approximately 3,500 children and adolescents work on the streets of Santa Cruz Montero, Camiri, San Ignacio de Velasco and El Torno. Among these children, 40% do not attend school and only 35% live with their parents. In addition to not having any health insurance at work, they are excluded from medical care, and 4 out of 10 are mistreated at work, school and family.

Algae Problem in Your Fishtank? Find Out Which Species Really Eat Algae: Various South American suckermouth catfish are effective algae-eaters. The most popular are the various species sold as "plecos." The namesake for the group, the common pleco (Hypostomus plecostomus), is an excellent algae-eater but is not the best choice for most hobbyists. Dealers sell small, inexpensive youngsters without warning that they can grow to 2-foot adults. However, if you want an algae-eater to keep with large fish, the common pleco is a good, hardy choice. Plecos can readily handle gold or green slime. Their tough, rough lips will reduce green dot algae to a certain extent, as well. Plecos may have a face only a mother pleco could love, but they make the best window cleaners.

Seth Glick, 27, is a Movember participant who joined the movement to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer research. Glick decided to grow this iconic moustache specifically to stand apart from other participants, in an effort to have more conversations about prostate cancer than he did last year. It's a smart move in a month when more men are deciding to grow facial hair for the cause.
EDMONTON — A charitable month of moustaches is at the end of its growth. Movember, a play on combining the word “moustache” with the month of November, is a movement to raise awareness and donations for prostate cancer research through the novelty of growing groomed facial hair. The end of the month is here and men who have grown moustaches are eager to shave, but also count the funds they’ve raised, which might be less than they’re used to. Seth Glick, 27, a Wolf Willow resident and west-end business owner of ClearSkies Window and Gutter Cleaning, is the man of the mo’ment. He’s grown a classic handlebar moustache with twisted curls on the end, reminiscent of ‘80s baseball pitcher Rollie Fingers, all in the name of helping the cause. “I heard about Movember and I thought, ‘That’s kind of cool,’ ” said Glick. “Instead of running a race, you grow a moustache all month, that’s kind of funny.”

We find 10,417 outdoors jobs up for grabs right now: As part of our Get Britain Working campaign, we’ve unearthed an impressive 10,417 jobs across the UK. For many of us, staring at a computer screen day in day out or working in a shop or factory fills us with dread. The good news is that, if you’re prepared to face whatever the weather has to throw at you, there are jobs to be found across the whole country. You could decide to work on the land, you might want to improve the environment, perhaps you prefer plenty of contact with people, or maybe the construction industry is for you. There are opportunities across the UK, in towns and cities, as well as in the countryside. Careers are available at every level and you can join after leaving school, college or university, or after gaining experience in other roles. If you want you can even set up on your own offering services such as gardening, dog walking, or window cleaning.

Why are women dumping their husbands in their sixties? Shirley Sandford, 75, who divorced her husband of 35 years when she was in her early 60s. ‘It took a lot of courage to leave my marriage,’ she says. ‘I grew up in an era when you stood by your husband through thick and thin. Years ago, women stayed in unhappy marriages largely because they couldn’t afford to leave, but I have always had my own career. ‘I took the final decision to leave on the morning of my youngest son’s wedding. I looked in the mirror and thought: “I can’t do this any more.” My ex-husband ran his own window cleaning business, but he only used to work in the mornings. And while he sat in front of the television every afternoon, I came home from work to a schedule of domestic drudgery. ‘I took care of the children and did all the cooking, cleaning and washing. Previous generations of women would have put up with it, but I just snapped. I wanted the rest of my life back before I got too old to enjoy it. I am so much happier now I am on my own, and I don’t have any contact with my ex at all.’

The dirt on window cleaner: A reader bought a voucher from Yazoom and is having terrible trouble trying to redeem it: Denise writes: "It was for a $69 house-lot of window cleaning. I phoned the company the next day but there was no answerphone and no one picked up. I emailed Yazoom and they assured me the answerphone would be enabled and sure enough it was. I left a message, and texted. No reply. I called again and got a live person who said to text details and he would get back to me. Nothing was sent back. I called and texted him four or five more times all to no avail. Yazoom does not even bother to reply now ... The voucher has now expired."

Paul J. Molz Jr. of Bensalem passed away Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011, at home surrounded by his loving family. He was 75. Born in Philadelphia, he was a resident of Bensalem for 45 years. He was a graduate of Lincoln High School, Class of 1953. Paul was the owner of Paul's Window Cleaning and retired after 45 years. He was also a mechanic and, along with his son, was very involved in sprint cars, modified's and eventually antique cars. He was a Jeff Gordon fan and just loved racing. Relatives and friends are invited to attend his viewing from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Tomlinson Funeral Home, 2207 Bristol Pike, Bensalem, and again from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home. Interment will be in Sunset Memorial Park, Feasterville.

The 100 Biggest Stories of 2011: The Colonel Takes Lunch to New Heights - KFC launched an extreme menu makeover by dispatching the Colonel to personally deliver its new $5 Everyday Meals to window washers working nearly 40 stories up at Chicago’s River Bend building in May. Facebook fans were asked to name people in need of a “So Good” extreme lunch delivery, and after the votes were tallied, KFC decided to bring lunch to one of America’s most extreme occupations, high-rise window washers. Also on the blog here & here.

A former window cleaner from Hull died from inhaling toxic gases after an intruder attacked him and set fire to his holiday apartment in Spain. Charles Stabler, 64, was staying at his flat in Benalmadena, Costa del Sol, when a man broke in, robbed him and set fire to the property in April 2009. His attacker was caught by police and later convicted and jailed for 25 years for Mr Stabler’s murder, an inquest at Hull Coroner’s Court heard. Recording a verdict of unlawful killing, coroner Geoffrey Saul said: “(Mr Stabler died from) multi-organ failure caused by the intoxication by the inhalation of toxic gases as a result of the domestic fire.” The brief inquest heard that an intruder broke into Mr Stabler’s third-floor apartment on April 9, 2009 and attacked and robbed him. Mr Stabler received a number of injuries as a result of this assault but they did not contribute to his death, Mr Saul said. The intruder then set light to the premises and Mr Stabler was found unconscious and rescued by firemen. He remained in a coma for three weeks until he died on May 1, 2009.

Charred body found from UBL building: Islamabad: A charred body of a man working in the United Bank (UBL) was found on Friday from the eighth floor of the building where a massive fire erupted on Thursday, police said. The recovery was made when a cleaning contractor of the building approached the police with the complaint that one of his workers working at the building as a cleaner was missing since Thursday morning. The contractor further stated that the worker “Ghulam Farid, 35, a native of Attock“ went to 14th floor of the building where UBL offices are located to perform his duty and the fire incident took place.
In response of the complaint, the Kohsar police came to the building which was sealed on Thursday evening after the incident and conducted search of the cleaner along with the colleagues of the missing person and building management. After hours long search a body was found buried under debris at eighth-floor of the building which was under the use of Hashwani Group. Ghulam Farid was identified by the contractor through his shoes. Later the body was shifted to hospital for autopsy and other necessary legal process. The presence of the victim at the floor raised several questions, which, the local administration said, would thoroughly be investigated.

A funeral service was held at All Saints’ Church, Driffield for Charlie May of Wansford Road, Driffield, who died in the Alfred Bean Hospital on 2nd November. He was 97. Charlie was born in Bradford and attended school there. After leaving school he joined the army and served in France and North Africa.  After leaving the army he became a bus driver in Bradford.  After moving to Driffield he worked as a bus driver for EYMS until retirement. He also worked at The Trout Inn and had a window cleaning round.

Man conned pensioners in window cleaning scam: A Fraudster who scammed Harborough pensioners in a window cleaning con has been ordered to complete 40 hours of unpaid work in the community. Kevin David Gibson, of no fixed abode, turned up at the elderly residents’ homes in Highfield Street and Burnmill Road claiming to be a window cleaner collecting money for work he had done. They gave him the cash and the scam was only revealed days later when the genuine window cleaner turned up. Gibson (27) was arrested on Monday and appeared before Hinckley Magistrates the following day, where he was convicted of two counts of fraud. He was sentenced to a 12 month drugs rehabilitation order and 40 hours of community service. The offences happened earlier this month, the court heard. Now officers investigating the two incidents are appealing for other victims to come forward.  Sgt Mark Williams, of Harborough Police, said: “This was an excellent result with some swift action from us and the rest of the criminal justice system. “There is potential for Gibson to have approached other people in their homes and carried out the same crime. If you have recently been approached by a man requesting money for window cleaning, who you feel suspicious of, please call us so we can investigate the crime.” Anyone with any information is asked to contact Sgt Williams by dialing 101, following the instructions to leave a message for a police officer, and when prompted keying in the officer’s identification number 2241. Alternatively, phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

MoD staff fear for families’ security: Striking public sector workers took to the picket lines on Wednesday morning outside MoD Corsham to show their anger at the government’s pension reforms. Around 20 representatives from two unions, Prospect and PCS, were protesting outside the base, in Westwells Road, about the reform plans which they feel will force them to pay more for their pensions and work for longer before they can retire. Union members, who started their picketing at 7am, lobbied workers on their way into the base. John Streeter, 57, Civil Service President of Prospect, said: “I was involved in the strikes in 1979 and this has a much different feel, back then, it was about pay but now this is about something much bigger, the robbery of pensions for many generations of people.” He added: “The protests today are absolutely vital as this dispute is something which will affect around 4 million people and the government will have to take note.”
Civil Servant Nicola Williams, 41, who works at MoD Corsham took to the picket lines because she felt the pension reforms would significantly hamper her family’s financial security. She said: “I think today is starting to gather real momentum in what we want to highlight locally and across the country. As a mother of two young children I am very concerned for the future. Myself and my husband are both out on strike as we feel these reforms will have a huge affect on our family. “We’ve already had to start recalculating our finances, we’ve cancelled our window cleaner, thinking of getting rid of our milkman and changed supermarket as we are nervous about what the future holds. Today, for example we are both losing a day’s wage, so close to Christmas which isn’t ideal but it is a fight we had to support.”

Tips for Christmas lights: It may be a cold forecast for the weekend, but many people will be heading out to put on Christmas lights. But climbing up on the roof in slick conditions can lead to some nasty falls. Experts have some tips to stay safe: be careful with ladders, look for cracked or broken sockets before installing strands, and wear the right shoes. "They want to make sure they have the right pair of shoes on if they’re going to be on the roof, a good pair of hiking shoes,” said David Peterson, president of Clear Choice Window Cleaning. “If they’re going to be on shake shingle, you need cleats on."The Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that 12,000 people nationwide end up in emergency rooms because of holiday decorating accidents.

Have you recently checked your home's gutters? If not, you could be in for some major problems. Angie Hicks, of consumer group Angie's List, says  "Your gutters should last about 20 years so it's important to properly maintain them, but more importantly your gutters are your first defense against water coming into your house. So if you are not cleaning your gutters once or twice a year, you can have serious water problems." Angie's List explains the benefits of clean gutters:
  • Clogged gutters can cause problems with water damage, by allowing water through the foundation level, window wells, or roof line. This can then lead to mold. 
  • Clean gutters can help prevent landscaping erosion and cracks in your home's foundation. 
  • Gutters filled with debris fill faster with water and ice and weighted down can collapse. Gutters can also overflow with ice and snow, leading to ice damming. This can lead to water being trapped on the roof, forced under shingles and up the roof line.
Angie's List reveals tips on proper maintenance and ways to extend the life of your gutters:
Twice a year: Gutters and downspouts should be inspected and cleaned at least twice a year - once in the spring and again in the fall after the leaves have stopped falling. Homes in heavily wooded areas may need a cleaning three or four times a year. Expect to pay about $100 or more per cleaning, depending on the size of your home.
  • What you should look for: Regularly walk around your home and look for leaking or sagging gutters, loose or damaged fasteners, and streaking in front or back of the gutter. 
  • Check gutter screens/guards: Gutter protection systems can help keep debris from settling in the gutter - allowing water that does collect to flow freely through the downspouts. But that doesn't mean these products are maintenance-free. Check regularly that these are not damaged or clogged with leaves.
  • Time to replace? If you notice your gutters pulling away from the fascia board (the board that holds the gutter) or your gutters to continue to overflow after having already been cleaned, it could be time to replace them. The cost to replace aluminum gutters is between $4 and $7 per foot. 
  • Don't forget gutter miter seams: Be sure gutter miter seams, the corner seam where gutters bend, are caulked properly. Miter seams not caulked can eventually lead to the gutter board or soffits rotting out. Pay special attention to drips from seams occurring over walkways, or leaks that may be causing harm to the adjoining wood fascia. These should be repaired.
Angie's List hiring tips:
  • Licensed & insured: Working on gutters requires the use of a ladder, which can be dangerous. When hiring a professional, check that the company is licensed and insured - ask to see their policy - do they have worker's compensation protection for employees? Check that YOU have enough homeowners insurance. 
  • Be informed: If you have to replace your gutters, there are many types available today (aluminum, vinyl, copper, stainless steel) so be sure you learn about the pros and cons of each. 
  • Read the fine print: When purchasing new gutters, be sure to read all the details before signing a contract. Check the warranty - look for a warranty that runs at least 20 years.
Scientists working at Simon Frasor University have created a robot "gecko" that is capable of climbing walls the same way as its reptilian counterparts, according to a report by the Vancouver Sun. Though it borrows its technology from nature, the robot runs on tracks and actually looks more like a small tank than it does a lizard. The device could soon be used to perform all kinds of jobs that are perilous for people, such as inspecting nuclear power plants, cleaning skyscraper windows or performing search-and-rescue missions in collapsed buildings. The robot performs its gravity-defying task by utilizing a clingy silicone compound that has been formed into tiny bumps shaped like mushroom caps. It works thanks to a little known chemical force called the Van der Waals force, the weak force that attracts molecules or the components of molecules. The force accounts for molecular attraction not caused by a covalent bond or the electrostatic interaction of ions.
In nature, geckos also take advantage of this force when they climb walls. "The adhesive pads on geckos follow this same principle by utilizing a large number of fibers, each with a very small tip. The more fibers a gecko has in contact, the greater attachment force it has on a surface," said Jeff Krahn, one of the researchers working on the gecko-like bot. Another advantage of the technology is that it doesn't leave behind any kind of sticky residue, which is a necessary byproduct of other forms of adhesive like glue or tape. It is therefore ideal for tasks such as window-cleaning. So far the 240-gram robot prototype isn't as versatile as a living gecko, as it is only capable of sticking to glass or whiteboard-like surfaces (geckos, on the other hand, can climb on almost any surface, even rough ones like concrete or tree trunks).

Estimating Expenses Before Buying Your First Home: If you are like most people embarking on their search for a first home, you will do a certain amount of math. You will look at your current budget, size up your down payment and figure out what sort of monthly mortgage payment you may be able to afford.  But the list of new expenses, previously handled by the landlord, only starts with line items like property taxes. There are monthly condo or co-op charges or homeowners association fees. Insurance, electricity and heat will probably cost more than they used to, and there may be a new water bill, too. The expenses will differ a fair bit depending on the size of the home, but there are others — a double-digit number of others, alas — that are fairly predictable. Not all will hit you each month, but you should save for them as if they will, so you are not turning to credit cards when they do.
This list will get you started, though a good home inspector can provide you with one as well. Our list includes estimates (in today’s dollars) from service providers in the Chicago and Los Angeles areas that are highly rated on Angie’s List, which ranks local merchants. Costs may vary depending on your region, and some of you may well mow your own lawn or clean your gutters or not have a swimming pool to worry about. But much of this is unavoidable, and if you shoulder it all, you’re looking at roughly $900 each month on average. Ignore it in your home-shopping budget at your peril. WINDOW WASHING L. A. McMahon Window Washing in Schaumburg, Ill., charges an average of $150 for an annual interior and exterior spring cleaning, or about $13 a month. GUTTER CLEANING About $100 annually, according to L. A. McMahon, which performs this service, too, or about $8 a month.

The scandal of rogue factors: The Property Factors (Scotland) Act will force property managers to be registered for the first time and introduce a body to resolve disputes. And for householders who have run into difficulty with their factors, it is a welcome step forward. Three years ago when Andy Kennedy queried a bill for gutter maintenance – opting not to pay until he received an explanation for the charge – he was taken to the small claims court by his factor. By the time the case was heard, Kennedy said his initial bill of £120 had escalated to nearly £2000 with penalty charges and interest. The factor agreed to drop the extra charges after the sheriff expressed concern about the penalties levied. It is a problem which affects people across Scotland. Edinburgh City councillor Gordon Buchan, who has intervened in cases involving factors, said: “In Edinburgh you need to have a licence to become a window cleaner, but you can just call yourself a factor and do the job.”

No comments:

Search This Blog