Window Cleaning Issues - Canvassing, pole systems, pricing, problems, etc.
r pole systems worth it ???????????/
Posted by seanc (seanc), 29 February 2004hello every one as some of you know i am new to this game and have seen a cheap pole system for sale £700
are they worth it and do you use yours all the time ?
many thanks to you all
Posted by replacement (Justin R), 29 February 2004Hi,
Yeah i started with a pole what some 2 - 3 weeks ago now i invested nearly £2,000 in it. I have started fresh so no round and i have not brought a round but things are going really well for me atm.
The main thing my customers love is the Frames get done and when they watch you they cant belive how much dirt comes out plus they love the idea that no one is invading there personnel space but looking though the windows which they love when theres a young family, nearly all my new customers have come from word or mouth which is the best way to advetise ( have got a 12 week advert running in local paper as well but not many calls from that )
Its a big learning curve with a pole and i am still learning now. One of the main reason's i went with a pole is anyone can clean windows or be an window cleaner and i wanted to be differnt i have got that and i find thats what alot of ppl like, some have even cancelled they regular window cleaner for me due to the pole.
Now i have had some problems with spotting where the water drys on 1 window but if you expalin this to customers and the process they look at you weird as they think you have not dryed the windows but i usally go back an 1hr or so later to check and see if there happy and every 1 has been over the moon.
I also give new customers an Information sheet about the system i use ( but find they dont read it ) plus an Card that Phil gave us all, they find this an pro touch and like it as they now when your coming back and the info they need on the system.
The advert i use is below if that helps..
Ps The webby should be finnished today once i get round it :s
Posted by Diamond_Vision (Jeff Brimble), 29 February 2004Good post Justin, very interesting that you are starting off from scratch with the pole and do not have to "convert" customers you already have. You will end up with a very valuable round of exclusive wfp cust. Have you noticed that some windows sheet and others form droplets ? The ones that sheet are the ones you will have no trouble with.
Are you doing the bottoms traditionally or with wfp ?
Keep us informed how things are going, the weather can only get better and you will get quicker - but dont drop your prices, put them up in April as an annual increase.
Posted by Reuben_Reynolds (Reuben_Reynolds), 29 February 2004Sean,
When looking at Systems on the market, look at wether they are a Reverse Osmoses DI systems, or just DI.
I see you live in Hampshire where the water quality is pretty hard, so just using a resin only (D.I)system could incur a high running cost if used a lot.
If you would like more info on filtration and costings on The Reach & Wash System please dont hesitate to contact me on E-MAIL below.
Posted by replacement (Justin R), 29 February 2004Jeff,
Thanks for the post i find nearly all windows sheet then form droplets, i use over 60 litres of water on the 1st clean and spend nearly 45min - 1hr per house on the 1st clean due to the new customers are going to inspect them very close.
Some might find spending an hr on one house alot of time and i agree it is but i do an proper job on the 1st clean and have only had 1 yes 1 window spot on me so far. ( this i think was when i did the tops of the frames and an massive droplet dropped onto the glass, lesson learned there never to tops of frames unless u wipe them )
I am using the WFP on all windows top and bottom, i dont think i can up my prices so soon so ill leave it this yr and up them next for the house in the picture that is priced at £8.50 and ill say i could do 3 too 4 in an hr when i get going. ( my aim within May is £20 per hr plus anything extra is a bouns and 9am till 4.30pm work)
The pole is the furture and ill say within a few months ill be making alot of money fingers crossed.
The other advantage i have with the pole and pure water is all the other things like Boats Cars Moblie Homes, in my town its an massive sailing town with over 3000 plus boats in the harbour and surroundings which i am going to market later, hoping my brother will water some weekend work might as well make full use of the system and make some money on his back
Down side moving the water barrels into the back of the car what a pain in the neck.
Posted by Rick (Rick), 29 February 2004i don't understand how you guys can say "poles are the future"? it just seems so impractical. for me, that fella in the photograph is just standing there with an applicator on the end of a stick. i can't understand how you would have enough leverage or pressure to scrub the window properly, or how you would edge the window off? can someone show me a website that explains how this whole "squeegee on the end of a great big stick" thing works?
Posted by easycleanwindows (easycleanwindows), 29 February 2004I think your getting a liitle confused its not an aplicator its a brush on the end of a wfp system and yes you can have enough leverage to scrub the muck off we use ours upto 80feet and still do a great job.Pure water is aggresive so asoon as it hits the glass,frames etc its picking the dirt straight up and results are great.
Posted by Rick (Rick), 29 February 2004so are you telling me that you have a little generator pumping the water up to your brush?
Posted by easycleanwindows (easycleanwindows), 29 February 2004No not generator two pumps on seperate battery that ump from 700lt water tank with two di resin chambers that produce pure water
Posted by williamx (williamx), 29 February 2004I thinking of buying a Aqua Tec trolley system from www.window-tools.com. Can anyone tell me what they are like to use and any pitfalls they might have. I live in Birmingham which I have been told is a soft water area, does anyone know?
Posted by replacement (Justin R), 29 February 2004To find what if your water is Hard or Soft just ring your local water company and there tell you on the phone there and then.
For Hard water your need an RO Unit and for Soft water your need an DI tank, you defo will not need both i have hard water and just use an RO unit and my TDS readings are 000.
I use an trolley system but not the one you mention i find the pitfalls are carrying water barrels to the car when full thats all, bouns are easy to transport to and from a job and it looks good plus loads more like clean water all the time, you get all windows , you can get frames at same time, you are not looking through bedroom windows which is an massive plus with young families worried about pedo's.
Really anit that many neg points on an WFP but they have massive plus points. Best to shop around and see whats on offer then go for the one that mets your needs.
Posted by gibbouk (gibbouk), 29 February 2004peter's system from window tools. is a great entry level system. i bought mine from him a year ago. for under 1300 quid it does all that is needed for a domestic light commercial round. i dont use it on every thing but with more and more new houses being built with porches and hard to reach windows it is worth it for them. i just got a contract for 3 storie show homes on the back of selling the benifits of this. its basic with no frills but i am currently working on a new trolley for mine. the reason is because i am going to fit a tank into my van and only use the trolley for places that the hose wont reach.
Posted by Diamond_Vision (Jeff Brimble), 29 February 2004Rick if you want to see the future dont miss the Fed show for hands on experience Mind you for many of us who bought when prices were high, poles are the present and if you wait 5 years they will soon be the past.
You need to stay ahead of the competition.
Keep an open mind and GET TO THE FED SHOW OR REGRET IT ?? I made my own, its a backpack.
JUSTIN look round for rectangular oblong ex MOD black plastic water carriers . They fit in the boot easier
Posted by Silly_Philly (Philip Hanson), 29 February 2004Hi Justin R
I'm very impressed with your leaflet, and most importantly, you seem to have a very positive attitude to your new business.
I think we would all congratulate you on what is very clearly a professional approach. Well done!
Down side moving the water barrels into the back of the car what a pain in the neck.
Careful here, its very easy to hurt your back. I heard of someone who uses a trolley and some planks to get their barrells in and out.
I suppose the good thing about starting up with a WFP is that you have time to learn how to use it properly, as you get more customers. I could never spend an hour on 1 house now (unless it was a £40) but I would have had time to do that when starting up.
Keep us all posted as to how things go!
Posted by replacement (Justin R), 29 February 2004Thanks Phil but like you say "very clearly a professional approach"
This approach will get me the work i require and with my trusted WFP will reach other areas normal window cleaners cant.
Below is an house i did the other day and the lady as happy for me to take pictures of before and after this window has an plant in the way and her regular window cleaner never did this, as i have an WFP you can judge for yourselfes the results.
As you can see i am sure once they start talking about me i can have a very good round which will pay very well indeed, and thats the benfits of an WFP.
Posted by stevekennedy (stevekennedy), 1 March 2004 Hi Justin
Pics look good. You say you wouldn't clean the top of frame, do you mean just when it's above a vent or do you only clean the glass
Posted by replacement (Justin R), 1 March 2004Hi Steve,
I will not clean the frame where it overlaps the window as it builds up water and drips on the glass leaving either water marks or dirt, i could dry this with a cloth but for the hassles it anit worth it plus the customers are happy as well.
I just got back from a few jobs and had one new customer phone up and say how clean her windows are specially the frames, so looks like i could be on a winner mind u anit got no more work today as i just started, going down the loacl Tesco in a min as there glass is really dirty, wish me luck.
Posted by stevekennedy (stevekennedy), 1 March 2004Hi Justin,
I think Tesco's are on a national contract. You may be able to work as subcontractor. It's probably being done with a pole already but just very quickly with no rinsing. This is what I am discovering up here in aberdeen. Hope you get the contract
Posted by replacement (Justin R), 1 March 2004Yeah Tesco have national contract but they got my business card there now, see what happens.
Posted by stevekennedy (stevekennedy), 1 March 2004just priced a golf club today. When I arrived the guys doing it already had just left. They were using a pole and left a right mess. They are giving poles a bad name
But, maybe i will get the job since, unlike them, I will rinse the glass
Posted by brownie (brownie), 1 March 2004hi justin
ive had my system now for a couple of months and had trouble with awfull spotting on windows.
i was advised to spend more time on the 1st clean which i hav been doing today.i was spending over 30mins on a detatched house.but i am really struggling because all my windows bead off and do not sheet. i have been going back in the bright sunshine and they are spotting at the top and down the sides. i still dont know if my technique is ok or if im not spending enough time on them,but i will persist......my water is 000.
im going to spend more time on each house tomoz to see if that helps.....windows that bead really cheese me off.
let you know tomoz....brownie
Posted by replacement (Justin R), 1 March 2004Sorry to hear that i can tell you what i do, but i am no expert in the matter as i only had it a few weeks now. But one thing is i dont get no spotting.
Ill list down what i do on 1st clean..
1, Frames brushed then rinised. Try not to touch the frames again on this clean. ( works for me )
2, Windows Up and Down with Pole then i bash the pole brush on the window to lose any crap, i then go onto another window and do the same as above.
3, 5 mins later after i cleaned the 1st window i go back and clean it again with an up and down brush, i then do an downward movement brushing any thing left down instead of an up and down movement.
4, Give the windows a good rinse.
This way i find 95% plus windows sheet with water and the other 5% ish dont but i think my downward movement has something to do with the windows not spotting but anit 100% sure.
With doing the windows this way i have had 1 window spot and i think that was due to an massive water droppet dropping from the top frame onto the glass.
The thing i have not mentioned is Flow Rate on 1st clean i use FULL FLOW and can use anything from 60 ltrs - 100 ltrs plus per 1st clean its alot of water but hay no complaints yet and all look great.
Now what i found today when i finnished early as i am build my round up, was no problems so i got home and praccy again on the windows ( must have the best cleaned windows in the town now anyway ) i changed my flow rate down and washed each window on an differnt flow rate i need to get this right cos i cant use 60-100 ltrs per house when i do them so this is really important testing time before the 2nd clean ( when i do it again tomorrow ill record the rates did'nt do it that today d`oh ).
Now on my 2nd clean i dont intend to use that much water or spend that time i have been on them so i do the frames as normal and an up and down brush with and downward movement after then finnish with a rinse i used differnt flow rates with differnt results below.
(1) On an very low flow rate ( dripping out ) the windows did not clean very well but left some small spotting.
(2) On have the flow alittle higher windows looked much better cleaned but more spotting.
(3) On an higher flow windows where flippping great but had some small spotting again in (1)
(4) On an even higher flow must have been atleast 1ltr a min windows very nearly perfect but had 2 dry water marks.
So what i have found is use loads of water on the 1st clean and spend some quality time on it. Also for 2nd clean's flow rate is really important with an WFP too high you use to much water too low you get bad finnish.
Now like i have said i am no expert on WFP i am learning all the time but i find the main wash works great for me, but i am worried about the 2nd clean thats why i am testing hopfully ill get the correct flow rate and right way to do them tomorrow, ill report back on my findings for you.
Hope that all makes sense trying to watch TV and having my son shout in my ear about them goals dont help when typing.
Posted by stevekennedy (stevekennedy), 2 March 2004Hi Justin,
We are using a similar technique to you. We are also using a lot of water. 1 ltr per minute minimum. We have had 1 complaint from 400 houses. But I suspect we have spotted more than that. We are not sure just how much to clean the top of frame. In your pics you seem to have washed the top of frame Can really see the contrast.
What size of brush are you using for domestic. My poles have mostly 18" which I find a bit too big for houses. Was thinking of getting 12" brushes
Posted by replacement (Justin R), 2 March 2004I got an 16" Brush its soft, sometimes i think an harder brush would be better but never used an hard brush.
Does anyone else use an hard brush and whats better hard or soft brushes?
Posted by stevekennedy (stevekennedy), 2 March 2004I got my poles from Ionic. They seem to have two brush types. Residential (Fairly soft), Double Trim (bit stiffer with more bristles). We are getting into the corners better with the DT brush. We like the size of the residential brush and the quality of the DT brush.
Just wondered what others are using
Posted by Polepro (Polepro), 3 March 2004Steve,
Ionic do a 12 inch double trim brush too.
Posted by Diamond_Vision (Jeff Brimble), 3 March 2004The Ionic DT brush is based on the Tucker DT ( they get them made to the same spec, but the tucker brush has Du pont triangular filaments, think the Ionic one has round filaments. Its a good brush whatever. For domestics you need something about 10-12"
Remmber to charge double the price for doing the frames etc.
Posted by L.Doubtfire (L.Doubtfire), 3 March 2004Is there anyone using the 18,30,or even 40 foot `Ionic` residentail pole?
I` m thinking of upgrading . The only concern I have is the brush.It is a
little light on the bristle content,although deep,that does help with the
rinsing especially if your using the pump that myself and Jeff Brimble uses.
At present I`m using the 12 foot model with good results on say monthly
work where the glass ain`t too dirty.In actual fact,the Ionic residential pole
is the only pole to my knowledge that is compatible with the pump that Jeff
and myself use.We both have adapted and made our own to our own `speci`.
Salmon do a good brush,with a little drilling for the jets.Anyone else reccomend
a good brush for our trade doing pure water work?
Lewis Doubtfire,Gleem Clean (Blade Runner)
Posted by stevekennedy (stevekennedy), 4 March 2004Hi Polepro, thanks I'll get in touch with Ionic about the 12 inch brush.
Jeff, I think I am way too cheap. I have converted most of my customers onto the pole, just doing upstair at the moment. I didn't want to shock them too much by increasing prices
I am, however doing all the frames etc. Did you put the prices up immediately or did you ease them up
Lewis, have you looked at Vikan brushes I bought one for my conservatory roof cleaning service a couple of years back. It seemed quality and wasn't too heavy or expensive. Might need to drill to put in jets as the water comes out of a channel in the middle. www.arco.co.uk under "vehicle maintenance"
Don't know if these are still too heavy for the res pole
Posted by Diamond_Vision (Jeff Brimble), 4 March 2004Steve, My prices are based on when I used to ladder,I found that the wfp Made life safer, I am still happy with the prices although I increase without fail annually in the Spring-summer. If you are too cheap you have a BIG problem. Take a long term look at it gho back to some customers tell them you got the prices wrong and the new price is.... and see what happens, then if it works just put everybodys up.
When laddering I found that cleaning the frames took me almost the same time as cleaning the glass and most punters wont pay double so I stopped doing the frames ! Some new members who have the time are doing the frames for free this is a very big mistake. Using a pole properly will increase your earnings and you wont fall off. But if your prices are wrong to start with, put them up or find new customers.
Maybe you should start a post about how to put up prices etc
Posted by L.Doubtfire (L.Doubtfire), 4 March 2004Thanks Steve,those brushes look something like the Brodex ones.
How do you go on if ya doing windows with deep ledges.?
There does look to be plenty of `give` and `splay` with em`.
Lewis Doubtfire, Gleem Clean (Blade Runner)
Posted by gibbouk (gibbouk), 4 March 2004the Vikan brushes have a split nylon filiment so as they wear the filament splits making the brush softer until they wear out. the range they do is pretty good loads of different applications. i have now switched to a brush like this and used it today for the first time the results where very good indeed
Posted by allseasons (allseasons), 4 March 2004
You can get that brush from www.cleantech.co.uk with twin jets about £30 i think phone and ask there are not on the website
Posted by stevekennedy (stevekennedy), 8 March 2004Hi Jeff, I think I was too generous in doing the frames for free. I will definitely have to send out a letter or something to get the prices up a bit.
Hi Lewis, I sold that pole and am using Ionics now. They have a gooseneck on them for ledges. I would use an unger angle joint (metal) with an extension. The extensions are available from www.cleantech.co.uk
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