There are no two ways about it: High rise window cleaning is dangerous work. The highest windows on ultra-tall buildings, like New York’s Empire State Building, stand hundreds of feet above the ground. While some modern high-rise window cleaning jobs are done by robots, much of this work still gets done by human workers (with a great tolerance for heights). A fall from a job is deadly.
Add other factors like the wind at great heights and issues with weather and you add even more risk to this job. These and other factors demonstrate why you should hire professional window cleaners like Squeegee Squad to clean your commercial high rise windows.
Safety Concerns: Why Should You Hire Professional Window Cleaners?
Due to the danger factor, professional window cleaners must get a great deal of training to teach these window-cleaning professionals how to do their jobs as safely as possible. Commercial high rise window cleaning requires strict adherence to safety standards, and should not be taken lightly. Proper training, knowledge, and experience are a core value at Squeegee Squad. We use rope access, powered platforms, aerial lifts, ladders, and water-fed poles to safely access a wide variety of different commercial window cleaning applications.
Commercial high rise window cleaners must also have the proper insurance: They need both Worker’s Compensation Insurance and general liability insurance.
How Do Pros Clean High Rise Windows?
Window cleaning professionals use a variety of tools and equipment to clean high rise buildings. Aside from the standard cleaning tools you’d expect with any window-cleaning job, like buckets of cleaners and squeegees, there are also tools that help the pros navigate the height factor. These tools include portable davits, the Bosun’s chair, the carriage, or the boom among others.
Here’s a brief look at each of these cleaning tools.
The Boom: This is the piece of equipment that you probably expect to see at a high rise window cleaning site. This is partly due to the fact that it’s among the oldest kinds. It’s also among the most commonly used. It’s basically a platform that carries a team of professional window washers. It’s a permanent system that’s attached to the top of a building.
The Carriage: This piece of equipment is similar to the one above, but with a definite advantage. Whereas the design of the boom only allows for up or down movement, the carriage, due to its design, also facilitates left and right movement. It’s attached to a rail on the rooftop, which allows for left-to-right movement. Like the boom, it holds a number of professional window washers.
Portable Davits: These tools are a bit like a crane and pulley contraption. As the name mentions, they’re portable, so they can be moved from site to site, depending on where the demand for window cleaning is.
The Bosun’s Chair: This device carries only one window washer. It allows for the cleaning of “tricky” areas, like the corners of buildings, where two windows meet.
How Often Do You Need to Clean High Rise Windows?
The answer to this isn’t as cut and dried as it seems. How often a high-rise building gets its windows cleaned depends on where the windows are located.
The windows on the lower floors are subject to more daily grit and grime from traffic, “dirty” street-level winds, and more. As such, you’re looking at getting a good cleaning at least once a month and possibly more, depending on the location of the building.
As for the highest windows on buildings in, let’s say, New York City, the location of those windows, or more specifically, the buildings attached to the windows determines cleaning frequency.
For example, when you consider a building like the Empire State Building that is on 34th Street in Manhattan’s Midtown, it’s going to see a lot more traffic being in the city, than a building that’s not in such a high-tourist area. The cleanliness of a building like this reflects on the city and the building itself, so there is more motivation to keep the windows looking pristine.
A building’s location in the city also determines how quickly the windows get dirty or not, based on the traffic, the pollution, and other factors. Again, New York City offers an excellent example of what happens. Because many of the streets and the skyscrapers that sit on them in Midtown Manhattan are on streets that run parallel to each other, a wind tunnel effect is created when strong winds blow. This kicks up more dirt and grime than on more open roads in other cities. As such, the windows (and everything else) get really dirty.
All of this is to say that in some cities, it’s enough to clean the windows of a high rise building two, maybe three, times a year. However, in bigger cities where there are a lot more factors involved, window cleaning can and does happen more often at the city’s high rise buildings. Additionally buildings near the ocean accumulate salt spray on the exterior over time.
Finally, tenant expectations have a lot to do with this, too. If the tenants of a building want the windows cleaned more often, that is a deciding factor as well.
What Kinds of Businesses Benefit From High Rise Window Cleaning Services?
The above answer hints at the types of businesses that would benefit from professional window cleaning services. Any business that’s located in a high-rise building in a big city benefits from a window-cleaning service. This is particularly true if the business’s building sits on a major thoroughfare.
Additionally, businesses that must project a professional, pulled together image, like law firms, financial institutions, medical facilities, and the like, also benefit from having their windows cleaned professionally and often.
It’s also important to say here that, for businesses like these, it’s not just important to keep the windows looking pristine. The surrounding real estate around the buildings should be cleaned, too. It’s not uncommon for such businesses to also request power washing on their sidewalks, on the sides of their buildings, in the parking lots, and more. Older professional buildings also benefit from building restoration work that removes issues like rust, provides caulking and waterproofing, and more.