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Window Cleaning Issues - Canvassing, pole systems, pricing, problems, etc.


Posted by jontydog (jontydog), 6 February 2004
Hi all this is me first post on here and I was wondering whether you domestic window cleaners work through the rain or not as I get abuse from the mrs if I am home when she gets home from work.

Posted by STEVE71163 (Steve Lowe), 6 February 2004
Hi jontydog
                 Welcome to the forum Smiley  I don't work in the rain because the customers don't like it and i don't much myself either. I would rather go back on a dry day and do a good job rather than get complaints and end up loosing a job Wink

Posted by Rob_B (Rob_B), 6 February 2004
Up until now I have always stopped working when it rained, but the weather we have had lately is making me seriously consider working through it.

All the other wcs around here seem to get away with it and we do have to make a living.
Posted by mickeyfat (VGC), 6 February 2004
well i dont...but i would like to
when you get a new custmer ask if they mind some do and some dont...make a note and if you get a bad week you can go do them...we went out and did it before and if they said go away then we came back when it was dry !the people that are out have no choice...i have to earn
Posted by Silly_Philly (Silly Philly), 6 February 2004
This month has been terrible.  My strategy to deal with it is this:

I will soon be phasing in a pole system, and have printed a leaflet for customers telling them all about how wonderful it is.

Among the advantages to do with safety, I have said that "because pure water leaves no soap residue, it can be performed in any weather without affecting the standard of cleaning (despite common belief, rainwater itself is very pure and does not cause windows to become dirty)"

This will make it possible for us to work in the rain from now on if necessary.  We just need some raingear.

Posted by paul (paul), 6 February 2004
we work in the rain all the time we get behind slightly on schedule but seem to catch up by the end of the month.if its heavy rain we stop and sit in the van till it passes over  Grin
Posted by Simon_King (Simon_King), 6 February 2004
I don't use a wfp but I know a man who does! Iam sure rainwater isnt pure enough not to make windows dirty. I know the wind is the worst culprit but snow is very bad too. I know wfp systems work but I dont see how using them will keep windows cleaner longer. Having said that I think we will all have wfp systems one day. I think the insurance companies will price us out of using ladders. But to get back to the weather and wfp systems do you think your customers will believe you. Iam not being funny I just think they will be sceptical.
Posted by Silly_Philly (Silly Philly), 6 February 2004
Hi Simon,

I know you're not being funny, it's a fair question.

I am sure rainwater isnt pure enough not to make windows dirty

Here I disagree.  Rainwater has effectively been "distilled" by the water cycle, and usually has less than 0.7ppm TDS.  Have a look at these results of a study done near Essex.
Sanitary Examinations of Water, Air, and Food
A Handbook for the Medical Officer of Health
By Cornelius B. Fox MD, MRCP, LOND.
Medical Officer of Health of East, Central & South Essex

since water up to about 10ppm TDS can be used for window cleaning, this is well within acceptable limits.  It is the wind that makes windows dirty, and also rainwater dribbling down from above the windows, having dissolved salts and dirt, and then evaporating on the glass.  Not the actual rain itself.

do you think your customers will believe you

Good question.  I don't intend to make a big deal about it, just to give us the option of working in the rain if we really need to, and prepare them for the possibility.  There is certainly no technical reason why you couldn't work in the rain.

Posted by Simon_King (Simon_King), 7 February 2004
Hello Silly,
Go for it mate! Lets face it with all the poor weather we've had I think we will all end up working in the rain soon! We live in a very hard water area ( N.E.LINCS) and my mate showed me how pure his system was running at. O.OO ppm. He then tested the 'fresh' water I had in my boot. 288ppm!He only does commercial but I am dying to see what sort of results you can get on leaded windows. When you get one will you let me know how you get on. Thanks.
Posted by Rob_B (Rob_B), 7 February 2004
Hi Simon,

Your ppm is quite low compared to mine. I live in North Lincs and my reading is 715ppm for tap water.

Posted by Simon_King (Simon_King), 7 February 2004
Hi Rob,
715! Do you use a wfp on houses. I think we,ve just sidetracked this thread!
Posted by WavieDavie (WavieDavie), 7 February 2004
Reading these results, I thought I'd do a little experimenting . . .

Cold tap water 48ppm  Hot 92ppm  Red wine 156 BUT x10 in small figures on the screen - that's 1560!

As you can tell, Edinburgh's a softwater area and you don't need RO up here, just the DI filter.
Posted by WavieDavie (WavieDavie), 7 February 2004
Oh my aching ribs!

s o f t w a t e r is what I put in - guess what it thought I meant!!
Posted by peterf (peterf), 8 February 2004
Dave, is the hot tap water 92ppm before or after you have bathed in it?

Posted by WavieDavie (WavieDavie), 8 February 2004
Ya Cheeky B!

(Dear Admin - a Cheeky B is someone from Broxburn!)

Straight from the tap, Peter. We have a combi boiler, so it's mains water from the cold tap and mains going into the boiler, heated up, and gains 44ppm from the machine!

I wonder what impurities are in the wine though.

Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 8 February 2004
Back to the weather
I have just done a little job this morning it takes me about 1 hr, but with me living next to the sea and all the wind that we have been having it took me 1hr 35 mins  so most of my domestic customers will be the same I used GG4 as well
Posted by allseasons (allseasons), 8 February 2004
on 02/08/04 at 10:37:52, Majestic wrote:
Back to the weather
I have just done a little job this morning it takes me about 1 hr, but with me living next to the sea and all the wind that we have been having it took me 1hr 35 mins  so most of my domestic customers will be the same I used GG4 as well

Do you really work on a sunday?
Posted by easycleanwindows (easycleanwindows), 8 February 2004
I would never consider using our wfp syetem in rain to do houses the expense would be colossal.Not just having to get all your equipment out then spending hours clening all the mud,grass etc off it wouldnt be cost effective.By the time youve done the houses cleaned your kit up you would have wasted alot of man hours and money.Remembering that wfp have to work harder depending on your water hardness you could clean many houses but you would have depleted your resin tanks within days.Stick to the squeege in the rain id rather know i could get back out and catch up when its brighter than be wet allday and loose money.
Posted by Majestic (Majestic), 8 February 2004
Yes I only do the one job a health centre, as in the week you cant get near it  to park A empty car park , I drop my lad off at swimming do the job then go back for him
Posted by jontydog (jontydog), 11 February 2004
I couldn't really consider a wfp system so that is out of  the question as I can't drive plus it would be too much hassle.  Quicker and easier using ladders.  I was just wondering what you all thought as i am getting stick off customers for being late on my round
Posted by WavieDavie (WavieDavie), 11 February 2004
i am getting stick off customers for being late on my round

If you've got too many customers, start putting up your prices - starting with the ones who moan - or drop the lowest priced ones.

If it's because of the weather, just ask them how many days of rotten weather there's been since the last time you've been round. They might answer that there's been four or five - maybe more - say "Yes, and I'm only two days late, now you're supposed to say, 'Gosh you're only two days late, that's fantastic, I'm really glad you're my window cleaner!' you're supposed to say, Missus!"

Fight fire with fire Wink
Posted by Ken (Ken), 13 February 2004
Quicker and easier using a ladder?!
I did a job for a friend yesterday that normally takes him and a mate 2.5 hours; I was all done in an hour twenty for the same money!
Dude, you need to get driving and pole up, it's the way forward.
Posted by Duke (Duke), 21 March 2004
Smiley We clean even on rainy days, ok, not if it's pouring down, but drizzle or spitting is OK. Our philosophy is that the Customer is paying for a regular service, and raining or not...we are still removing a months build up of dirt.....they seem happy enough, in fact some think we are
However..Health and Safety issues are wont catch me up a ladder in the ice and snow...or on soaking wet decking. In fact the boss needed to remind himself of this only a few weeks ago...wet decking...on his own..ladder went....result = 17 stitches in his chin, as he landed face first on top of it !  Let's be carefull out there guys, time off the job is more expensive than getting that extra £8 in !

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