Archive for Window Cleaning

How to Choose a Waterpole Brush

Waterpole Brushes - Rectangular & Radius

Waterpole Brushes – Rectangular & Radius

With a Pure Water System, the bulk of the work is done by the the Waterpole brush. What brushes are available and which one should you choose?

Waterpole brushes come in a variety of styles and materials. Each type has its pros and cons. Choosing the right style for your use is based a great deal on preference.

Rectangular vs. Radius

A Rectangular Brush has a straight brush body and is great for straight surfaces – meaning they work well for windows. This is a great brush, because it accomplishes the ideal goal of maximum brush contact with the window.

A Radius Brush has an angled brush body and works well for cleaning window sills and window frames or other uneven surfaces. This brush is also useful for non-ideal situations.

The picture at the start of this article shows the profile view of both a Rectangular Brush and a Radius Brush.

Synthetic Bristle Vs. Boar’s Bristle

Synthetic Bristle brushes are the most common brushes used for Waterpole cleaning, because they are less expensive. They can be made of nylon, polyester, or a combination of the two.

Note: Synthetic brushes often come “flagged” meaning the ends of the bristles are split to make them softer and better able to hold water. These flagged bristles are usually the best option for window cleaning.

Boar’s Bristle, or other natural animal-hair bristle, brushes also work well for window cleaning, because they hold more water than Synthetic Bristle brushes.

Bi-Level Brushes

Bi-level Brushes feature dual-cleaning surfaces which make them ideal for cleaning hard to reach areas. Usually these brushes have short, stiff bristles and longer, softer bristles, accomplishing good surface contact on most surfaces.

Solar panel brushes

Solar panel brushes are usually made of very soft bristles. These brushes are usually Synthetic Bristle and are yellow to denote that they are for solar panels. They are available in either a Rectangular Brush or a Radius Brush.

Do you have additional questions about Pure Water systems and the products available?  Comment below or email us from the About Page!

Or… Shop for Pure Water systems now!

Window Soap & Winter

Winter Window

What is the best way to keep my window soap from freezing?

During the winter, this is a common question I receive from window cleaners.  Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer to this question.

Why?  Well, the purpose of window soap is to lubricate the squeegee and to keep your water from evaporating off the window too quickly.  The most effective way to lower the freezing temperature of water is an alcohol additive.  However, this is somewhat counterproductive, because alcohol will cause the water to evaporate more quickly.

Adding alcohol is also adding more chemicals to the equation of window cleaning.

So winter window cleaning becomes a balance of factors.

If the weather is not too bitter cold, it may be more effective to use warm water in your soap mixture.  Be aware, this will also cause soap to evaporate off the window faster.

If you do use an alcohol additive, make sure you use cold water.

What types of alcohol can be added to window soap to lower its freezing temperature?

  • Methyl alcohol (Methanol) – A good source of this is automotive windshield washer solvent
  • Isopropyl alcohol – Also known as rubbing alcohol
  • Ethyl alcohol (Ethanol) – Commonly used as a solvent in the form of “denatured alcohol,” which is drinkable alcohol with poisonous additives to make it undrinkable

There is also Ethylene Glycol (most commonly automobile antifreeze), Propylene Glycol (often used for “pet-safe” antifreeze), and Glycerol or Glycerine (which was formerly used as automotive antifreeze but is more commonly used now in sprinkler systems and is non-toxic).  These are not as commonly used in window soap as antifreeze, but are present in some commercial cleaners.

For more information on types of antifreeze, check out the Wikipedia article on the subject.

In addition to evaporation time, it is also important to pay attention to the dangers of working with alcohol mixtures.

Keep in mind:

  • Alcohol is flammable
  • Read all MSDS information carefully
  • Keep chemicals in clearly marked containers
  • Remember that you will be coming into close, prolonged contact with these chemicals, and that makes them more dangerous
  • Gloves and good ventilation are always important

For more information on safely using alcohol as an antifreeze additive, see the AWC article Using Alcohol, by Gary Mauer.

Above all else, always be aware of what chemicals you are using and how to use them safely.

Do you have additional questions about window soap, antifreeze, and the products available?  Comment below or email us from the About Page!

Or… Shop for soap now!

How to Choose a Pure Water System

Choosing the Right Pure Water System

What Pure Water system is right for you?

To answer this question, we must answer a few more specific questions first.  These questions regard, TDS, work height, and frequency of use.

What are the average TDS levels of the Tap Water you will be using?

Choosing the Right Pure Water System

 

If they will be less than 150, you can use just a DI Resin filtering system.  Otherwise, you should consider a multi-stage system.

You can check your area’s average TDS levels with this website: http://www.zerowater.com/tds.aspx.

What heights will you be working at?

Choosing the Right Pure Water System

Basically: will you need a booster pump?

If you are only using a DI Resin filtering system at heights of less than 30 feet, you should be able to get away without a booster pump, as long as you have adequate pressure at the tap (about 30 PSI).  Otherwise, you will probably need a booster pump paired up with multi-stage system.

Remember: A booster pump is not needed for heights less than 30 feet or work with just one pole, but it will lengthen the life of the RO Membrane.

How often will you be using the Pure Water System?

If you will be cleaning with the Pure Water System infrequently, a DI Resin filtering system may be more cost effective.  This is especially true if you are just starting out and want to decide if a Pure Water System will work for you and your business.

A DI Resin filtering system will require less maintenance, which may counter cost of lower DI Resin life with higher levels of TDS.

Do you have additional questions about Pure Water systems and the products available?  Comment below or email us from the About Page!

Or… Shop for Pure Water systems now!

How to Choose a Waterpole

 

Choosing the Right Waterpole

What waterpole is right for you?

To answer this question, we must answer a few more specific questions first.  These questions regard work height, pole weight, and price.

Remember: There are several compositions of waterpoles available and this affects their price, work height, and pole weight, as well as rigidity.

How high will you be working?

Choose a composition, rigidity, and length best for the height you need to work at.

  • Less than 30 feet – Aluminum and fiberglass
  • Up to about 40 feet – Fiberglass and carbonfiber/fiberglass hybrids
  • Up to about 65 feet – Carbonfiber, including HiMod and carbonfiber with Kevlar

How long will you be working?

Choose the lightest composition possible when you will be working for long periods of time.

  • Heaviest – Aluminum
  • Medium weight – Fiberglass
  • Medium weight – Carbonfiber/fiberglass hybrids
  • Lightest – Carbonfiber, including HiMod and carbonfiber with Kevlar

How much do you want to spend?

Choose the waterpole of a length and composition that will also fit your budget.

  • Cheapest – Aluminum
  • Medium cost – Fiberglass
  • Medium cost – Carbonfiber/fiberglass hybrid
  • Most Expensive – Carbonfiber, including HiMod and carbon fiber with Kevlar

Do you have additional questions about waterpoles and the products available?  Comment below or email us from the About Page!

Or… Shop for Pure Water systems now!

Choosing the Right Waterpole

 

Add-On Services: Changing Light Bulbs

Add-ons: Changing Light Bulbs

As I mentioned last week in the article about dusting tools, this week I’m going to cover light bulb changing tools.  These two add-ons might seem a strange suggestion, but they’re really not.  Window cleaners have access to helpful tools that home owners might not have – particularly extension poles.  With the quick attachment of a tool, you have access to high corners and light fixtures, and this can be an added value to your customers.

Why Change Light Bulbs?

Light bulbs come in all kinds of types and sizes, and some are more problematic than others.  Changing the light bulb in the reading lamp on the living room table, no problem.  Changing the recessed lighting in the ceiling track-lights, that’s a whole other story.

Just remember: there are many different types of bulbs, much more than there used to be!  A good list of the types of light bulbs you may encounter is available from the American Lighting Association.  There is also a comparison of types of lighting and their cost over time from NPR, which might be useful if your customer asks.  Basically, CFL bulbs are the most efficient room lights and LED lights are best for directed lighting.

Problems to Keep in Mind

Light bulbs come many styles and have many different lighting fixtures they fit into.  Some of these lighting fixtures may place the bulb in a spot or at an angle that will make changing it from the ground impossible.  If you have a ladder or some way to climb – safely – to the bulb to change it, do so, but don’t attempt unsafe bulb changing.

Also, be careful of already broken bulbs or bulbs that may break while you are changing them.  This is not only dangerous to you but to your customer if the light bulb fragments get everywhere.  Mercury can also be a concern with CFL bulbs.

Exercise caution and remember to recycle CFL bulbs.

What Products Are Available?

We have many light bulb changing tools and kits available from Ettore, Unger, and Mr. Longarm.

Ettore Light Bulb Changing Kit

Ettore Light Bulb Changer Kit – This kit includes everything you need to change almost any light bulb, even broken bulbs.  Just attach a tool to an ACME-threaded pole and you are ready to go.

Mr. Longarn Light Bulb CHanging Kit

Mr. Longarm Light Bulb Changer Kit – This kit is also a kit for various sizes and types of bulbs.  Use the tools with an ACME-threaded pole for easy high-access.

Unger Flood Sucker Light Bulb Changer

Unger Flood Sucker – For changing large flood light bulbs.  It has several small suction cups to grab the surface.

Unger Sticky Fingers Light Bulb Changing Tool

Unger Sticky Fingers – For changing various sizes of bulbs.  It has spring-action fingers with rubber-coating for grabbing on.

Unger The Bebbe Light Bulb Changing Tool

Unger The Bebbe – This tool is specifically for changing broken light bulbs.  It even has a tray to catch broken glass and is insulated to protect you from electricity.

Other Considerations

Adding light bulb changing to your services can bring added value both to you and to your customers.  Just remember, like with window cleaning, these add-ons can have pitfalls that you should be aware of and ready to either conquer or decline.

Do you have additional questions about changing light bulbs and the products available?  Comment below or email us from the About Page!

Or… Shop for light bulb changing tools now!

 

Add-On Services: Dusting

 

Add-ons: DustingThis week, I want to touch one of two add-on services that window cleaners might not think about – dusting.  (Next week, I’ll cover the second – changing light bulbs.)  These two add-ons might seem a strange suggestion, but they’re really not.  Window cleaners have access to helpful tools that home owners might not have – particularly extension poles.  With the quick attachment of a tool, you have access to high corners and light fixtures, and this can be an added value to your customers.

Why Dust?

Dust happens to everyone, and most people don’t like to dust.  A big part of not wanting to dust, though, comes from not having the right tools.  Well, if you have those tools and the extension pole to use them, this will be a very helpful service to offer your window cleaning customers!

Dusting ideas:

  • Cobwebs in high corners
  • Ceiling fans and their blades
  • Tops of bookcases and appliances
  • Walls

Problems to Keep in Mind

With dusting, keep in mind that many knick-knacks are fragile.  Always take care in dusting anything that looks breakable.  When in doubt, decline to dust.  Ceilings, fans, walls, and the tops of bookcases or refrigerators are your best bet.

What products are available?

We have a number of dusting products available from Ettore, Unger, and Pulex.

Unger Ceiling Fan Duster

Ceiling fan dusters – These come in two styles, bristle and microfiber, and are shaped specifically for ceiling fan blades.  They can also be bent to adjust their size to the fan blade.

Ettore Cobweb Duster

Cobweb dusters – These are plastic bristle brushes, with the bristles “flagged” to make them softer and usually have a dome-shape.  These brushes are great for high corners where cobwebs usually accumulate.

Unger Pipe Duster

Pipe Brushes – These have bristles and are adjustable to many shapes.

Ettore Wall Brush or Ceiling Fan Duster

Wall Brushes – These are interchangeably considered bristle-style ceiling fan dusters or wall brushes.  Their oval surface is great for rough-surface walls that may accumulate dust and cobwebs and other debris.

Unger Lambswool Duster

Surface Dusters – These come in many styles from hand dusters to flat dusters to lambswool or ostrich feather dusters.  Use these for shelves with books and/or knick-knacks or the tops of shelves and appliances.

Other Considerations

Adding dusting to your services can bring added value both to you and to your customers.  Just remember, like with window cleaning, these add-ons can have pitfalls that you should be aware of and ready to either conquer or decline.

Do you have additional questions about dusting or changing light bulbs and the products available?  Comment below or email us from the About Page!

Or… Shop for dusters and light bulb changing tools now!