Indoor window cleaning has always been easy to accomplish. However, when it comes to cleaning outside windows, the general cleaning contractor most often looks for a window cleaning company to subcontract the work.
Most contract cleaning companies do not want to get involved with the additional insurance or worker''s compensation issues when the cleaning of windows requires the use of ladders, lifts or other systems.
It has traditionally been much easier and less costly to subcontract the bid to a professional window cleaner or, in some cases, completely turn the cleaning over to a professional window cleaner.
With the recent addition of water-fed poles and equipment that purifies water, the need to subcontract or walk away from a window cleaning bid is an issue of the past.
Now, windows can be cleaned safely and quickly from the ground.
There is no need to climb ladders, ride lifts or go over the side of a building on a rope or a platform.
What''s more, the person designated to clean windows doesn''t have to be a "professional" window cleaner, as anyone can be quickly taught how to clean windows using a simple scrub and wash technique.
The cleaning process consists of a system that removes dissolved solids from the water.
When those dissolved solids are removed from the water, the water becomes the cleaning agent.
The "pure water," water without dissolved solids, wants to get back into its natural self.
It pulls the loosened dirt and grime away from the surface into itself.
Once the window has been scrubbed with the pure water, it is quickly and easily flushed off the surface.
With water-fed poles, most windows can be cleaned in less than half the normal time.
The windows are cleaned safely, quickly and even more thoroughly using just water — no chemicals are needed for most typical dirty windows.
The cost of this pure water depends on the type of system that is purchased.
The least expensive pure water is made with a reverse osmosis/deionization (RO/DI) system.
A typical RO/DI system can produce pure water for less than 3 cents per gallon, whereas a straight deionization system might produce pure water at up to $1.50 or more per gallon — depending on how hard the water is from the tap source.
The major difference of the cost per gallon in a RO/DI system relies on the reverse osmosis membrane to separate the water with a high content of minerals from water that has a lower content of minerals.
A reverse osmosis membrane can do this very inexpensively.
The water then goes through the final polishing deionization filter.
A straight deionization system relies solely on the deionization resin to remove the minerals, not separate the water.
In hard water areas, the deionization resin can be quickly loaded with the minerals causing a need to change the deionization resin filter more often.
Changing the deionization resin more often adds to the cost of producing pure water.
The poles available range from 12 feet to 65 feet in length and are capable of cleaning up to five-story buildings safely from the ground.
The shorter poles are normally made of aluminum or fiberglass while the longer poles are made from lightweight, durable carbon fiber or a combination of fiberglass and carbon fiber.
When the work being performed is higher up, a stronger and more rigid pole is needed.
There are a growing number of manufacturers adding water-fed pole window cleaning systems to their product line offerings.
As the technology matures and becomes more refined, it will become increasingly easier for contractors to offer window cleaning services.
This will add value to their service offerings and profit to their bottom line.
Patrick Marsh is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of IPC Eagle Corporation from St. Paul, Minnesota. He has 26 years of experience in the cleaning industry and has lead several companies in the development of equipment, chemicals and providing innovative systems for all types of cleaning. IPC Eagle is in a unique position as a leading equipment manufacturer and tool and squeegee manufacturer to develop innovative systems for window cleaning.