In his inauguration speech as president, Barack Obama said that a country’s greatness and the extent of its imagination could be seen in the height of its skyscrapers. But tall buildings are battered by the elements and unfortunately the resultant filthy windows could diminish their greatness.
Keeping the windows of tall buildings clean is a challenge however. Extreme window cleaning requires skill and adherence to health and safety protocols. We take you through extreme window cleaning in pictures, suggesting how to tackle each task.
1. The “quick” clean
Your commercial building may have a few grime spots on its windows. All that is needed, you think, is a quick clean with a rag and Handy Andy. Besides, you don’t have a big budget for window cleaning services.
But the window cleaning of even a two or three storied building carries enormous risk. The higher the building is, the more dangerous the job becomes. While it may seem cheaper and easier to get a casual worker to do the job, this is a very risky move. If that person falls or injures themselves, you will be liable.
2. Green for extreme
Window cleaning of tall buildings is daunting and even laborious. It may be difficult to know which method to use. A building manager may want an effective approach that also ticks the ‘environmentally sustainable’ box.
One of the ways to be clean and greenat the same time, is to use a water-fed pole system for extreme window cleaning. Because this reverse osmosis method doesn’t use chemicals, the use of de-ionised water means that dirt is less likely to stick to the window than when soap or chemicals and tap water are used.
De-ionised water is free from minerals and is pumped through a pole with a brush head. You’ll save electricity costs too – its not requiredfor this method.
Another benefit of the water fed pole system is that it’s much safer than any other window cleaning method. In addition, signage, awnings and skylights – all of which do not allow for rope access – can be cleaned with ease.
3. To rope access or not to rope access – that is the question
The higher your building, the more complex window cleaning becomes.
Traditionally, cleaners were suspended in a ‘bosun’s chair’, which is a method of suspension. However, according to the Business in Vancouver <hyperlink to http://www.biv.com/ >“The bosun’s chair system is entirely unsafe and, in our opinion, unjustifiably so, and should not be allowed.”
As safety standards evolved, rope access became the go-to for extreme window cleaning. Rope access is a method that incorporates a two-line system and a harness. Unfortunately, it’s usually laborious. Luckily, it’s not the only available option.
If your building is less than five stories, a water-fed pole system (see above) may be preferable to rope access. If you’re entrusted with maintaining a skyscraper, rope access is risky, in which case a hydraulic platform should be used.
A hydraulic platform is either on a self-moving platform or on a truck. A bucket containing one or two window cleaners elevates them to their desired height.
Hydraulic platforms, or cherry pickers are used to clean skyscrapers of up to 10 stories, and are ideal for buildings with windows situated in hard-to-reach places.
It is always good idea to get a professional window cleaning service to assess your needs and then suggest the best method.
4. Be safe rather than sorry
Safety cannot be emphasised enough. Avoid unfortunate incidents and call The Specialists today – their window cleaning services are conducted in the safest way possible.