It is rare to find a homeowner who makes the time to clean their windows themselves on a regular basis. Not only is it time consuming, but it can also be dangerous. Ladder use by inexperienced operators is becoming a growing safety concern. According to the World Health Organization, the USA leads the world in ladder deaths. Every year, there are more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths in the U.S. that are caused by falls from ladders. In fact, most ladder deaths are from falls of 10 feet or less. We recommend saving your own time, energy, and health and making the small investment to hire a professional window cleaner. But, before you hire just anyone to service your home, there are some important topics that should be considered so that you hire a qualified and reputable company.
The Richmond window cleaning market offers home owners a variety of window cleaning companies to choose from. Generally speaking, there are 3 types of companies in our market. There are large, and small, companies that have been around for decades, there are even more start-up companies and franchises, and then there are “fly by night” companies, or here today, gone tomorrow companies. Since there are 3 vastly different types of companies, there are many considerable differences in quality of service offered. As a homeowner, and potential consumer of window cleaning services, it is important to do your research up front to ensure that the company that you will be hiring is qualified to complete the job to your standards.
We recommend that you ask these 5 questions before hiring a professional window cleaner. If the company cannot meet these qualifications then you may ask yourself if you are using the right company for the job.
1. Insurance – Is your contractor properly insured with both worker’s compensation and general liability coverage? In the event that someone falls or is injured on your property you want to make sure that you are not at risk of being sued as liable.
Our Answer: Yes, we carry both worker’s compensation insurance and general liability coverage. We are happy to provide copies of our insurance certificates upon request. For over 5 decades, Spotless Window Cleaning’s professional window cleaners have been delivering high-quality results without incident to our customers.
2. Experience – Does the contractor have the experience to effectively and efficiently complete your job on time? There is an art to window cleaning that can take years to learn. One cannot simply pick up a squeegee and a bucket and become a qualified professional window cleaner.
Our Answer: Spotless Window Cleaning is the oldest and largest company of our type in the area. We have been providing high quality services to Richmond, as well as the state of Virginia, since 1962. With over 50 years of experience, we know that we have the proper tools, experience, and expertise to effectively and efficiently service your home. In 2014 we were selected as the best window cleaning company by Richmond Magazine.
3. Safety – Has your contractor been properly trained in safe practices?
Our Answer: Safety is always our #1 goal. Spotless Window Cleaning technicians are trained on the proper and safe use of all of our equipment. Some of our important safety focuses are on preliminary site assessment, ladder safety, extension pole safety, and pressure washing safety. We have numerous scientifically proven tools in service that allow us to maintain maximum safety for all parties on every job.
4. Education – Is your contractor knowledgeable about proper cleaning methods?
Our Answer: Spotless Window Cleaning technicians attend monthly education meetings. These meetings focus on proper safety practices as well as proper cleaning methods. Our technicians are trained and educated in all aspects of proper window cleaning, pressure washing, and gutter cleaning. Our management department is also very proactive in the search for the most cutting edge and safest tools and equipment for our technicians to utilize in every line of service that we provide. With over 50 years of service it is safe to say that we are highly educated with the Richmond market.
5. Professionalism – Does your contractor represent him or herself in a professional manner, making sure that you can take pride in the quality product provided?
Our Answer: All Spotless Window Cleaning technicians are required to pass annual background checks and wear a photo identification badge at all times. Our technicians are professionally uniformed and wear collared shirts. We are clearly identifiable as Spotless employees. We have professionally lettered vehicles that are marked with our logo and telephone number. We guarantee that our entire staff is polite and courteous. And, we take great pride in the fact that our technicians use the best available tools and solutions on each job. We represent one of the window cleaning industry’s premier service providers. We are committed to providing you with exceptional services and professionalism from start to finish so that we can develop a strong relationship with you for years to come. You will not be embarrassed to have us working on your property.
Power Washing / Pressure Washing:
Power washing uses mechanical equipment to create a high pressure stream of water to remove mold, algae, lichen, moss, and other contaminants from a surface. This jet of water is used for cleaning a wide variety of surfaces and objects. Cleaning agents are not always used when power washing; however, when they are used they are applied with low pressure and followed by a high pressure rinse. Most power washers have interchangeable tips that give the technician more versatility with the ability to change the spray angle as well as water pressure. This is very beneficial when it comes to cleaning multiple surfaces on the same service trip. Although power washing seems like an easy enough proposition, it is a task that is best performed by a qualified professional.
The term and technique of "soft washing" is a growing trend that is becoming much more commonly used in the pressure washing and roof cleaning industries. Basically, it means to clean surfaces using softer pressure than most people would associate with a pressure washing service. In fact, most of the "power washing" services offered by professionals today fall under the soft washing definition.
Soft washing is seen by many professionals as the superior method for cleaning the exterior of homes. It is safer than power washing and also provides better results. Soft washing is essentially the use of cleaning agents to clean surfaces rather than using sheer pressure. Once the site has been prepared for cleaning (ie: moving furniture and plants) the technician will gently apply a mixture of professional grade cleaning agents to the affected area, usually siding. This mixture is designed to kill the mold and mildew, as well as lift the dirt off of your siding. The cleaning mixture is applied thoroughly with low pressure, allowed time to dwell on the surfaces, and then rinsed with low pressure. The low pressure application and rinse is similar to that of a garden hose. Instead of using high pressure to rinse the surfaces, the technician should focus on volume of water.
Soft washing is gentle and non-abrasive yet highly effective. Not only is it safer for your home, but it is also more efficient than power washing. Soft washing allows professionals to clean your home better and faster while using less water in the process. A qualified professional in the pressure washing or roof cleaning trade should have a good working knowledge of many different kinds of cleaning solutions and how to safely and effectively use them in the soft washing process.
Cleaning a home properly is not about how much pressure you can use; it’s about using the proper cleaners with the proper procedures to clean it. To ensure that no damage is caused, major pressure washing or soft washing tasks are best left for the professionals. Professionals have the right equipment and cleaning agents to safely and effectively clean your home, while ensuring that your property is left free of any damage. Please be advised that owning a power washer does not mean that you have the right tool for every job.
For the do-it-yourselfer out there that has his/her own pressure washer...simple tasks such as pressure washing sidewalks, outdoor furniture, or cars are great tasks for amateurs. As you become more comfortable you may decide to expand your skill level and try cleaning other areas of your home. However, if you do attempt to use a pressure washer around your property we suggest that you practice in an inconspicuous area before diving in to the whole project. It is also important to understand that when using a pressure washer it is very hard to see a potential danger before it is too late. Most of the time homeowners cause irreversible damage to their property before they even know that they are in danger.
Save your own time and energy, hire a professional!