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Kleenwell

Windows close to a brick factory

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Kleenwell

Hi all

i have been asked to quote a town house that is very close to a brick factory

the custy said that his old window cleaner suddenly refused to visit because of the brick dust.    Am I asking for trouble by taking on this job?   Would any of you guys take it on?

 

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Part Timer

Without seeing it I couldn't answer for certain. Price it as a first clean  and make sure you give them a good rinse before you clean. If they are really bad then it will probably be best to leave it. 

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Iron Giant

If it's going to to be like a sand storm on almost daily basis and windows are going to take 2-3 times longer than a regular clean every clean then it will need to be priced accordingly.

Personally I wouldn't touch it, if the above happens to be the case as they could dry a mess every time and the situation isn't going to change.

County Durham Lad

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spruce

I would be worried about the paste the brick dust and your water will make. A paste will scratch the glass like valve grinding paste. I agree with @Iron Giant and leave it for some newbie who isn't experienced enough to stop and ask questions before diving in head first.

Edited by spruce

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Kleenwell

Ok so it is a cement factory.   I have been and looked at the job.  The guy didn’t seam worried about scratching.  But he did request the windows be dried after.   Soo, is it possible to get a squegee to put on my pole in place of my brush?  I don’t have a ladder to reach the 3rd floor so trad dry it is out of the question

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Moor

I would have said ‘no, sorry’ as soon as he asked them to be dried.  

Its always a mistake to agree to a service you don’t offer.

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Kleenwell

Trouble is, I’m fairly new, and il take any work I can at the moment.   He’s prepared to pay well he said 

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Moor

Fair enough, however, given that you are unsure if a squeegee fits on your pole tells me you have never tried to squeegee a window 3 floors up with a bendy pole. It won’t be easy. Also I f he’s willing to pay well he’s expecting you to do a good job, if you don’t then you won’t keep the job for long.

Personally I would explain that I will clean the windows but I don’t offer a drying service. 

It sounds like you have already made your mind up to do it though.

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Part Timer

Wrap a microfibre over your brush after finishing. As it's dusty he knows with wet windows they will be dirty straight away. 

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Kleenwell

I did say to him that I would have to get a squeegee to fit my pole.   I understand it won’t be the easiest task, but money is money.    From what I can gather, as long as they are reasonably dry, he will be happy.   His old cleaner just stopped showing up and he never dried.   It’s a monthly maintenance job aswell so it’s a regular income for someone who has very little work at the moment.    The microfibres over the brush sound a good idea in place of a squeegee 

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wee man
I did say to him that I would have to get a squeegee to fit my pole.   I understand it won’t be the easiest task, but money is money.    From what I can gather, as long as they are reasonably dry, he will be happy.   His old cleaner just stopped showing up and he never dried.   It’s a monthly maintenance job aswell so it’s a regular income for someone who has very little work at the moment.    The microfibres over the brush sound a good idea in place of a squeegee 
It won't work, it will end up a mess, also trying to use a squeegee at that height would be a nightmare. I know you don't have much work but I really think you need to walk away from that job.

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Part Timer
1 hour ago, wee man said:

It won't work, it will end up a mess, also trying to use a squeegee at that height would be a nightmare. I know you don't have much work but I really think you need to walk away from that job.

Sent using the Window Cleaning Forums mobile app
 

And why, I have done it countless times on fascias and especially soffits. It will remove the vast majority and should prevent bad spotting. Even if it doesn't leave them really clean what risk is he taking. Customer not bothered about being totally dry so worst case scenario, as long as he's got the scratching comment in writing / text, is he's asked not to go back. 

I suppose he could sit on his backside and earn nothing. Fairly certain if he can do it there are others in the vicinity looking for a windie that will try. 

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wee man
And why, I have done it countless times on fascias and especially soffits. It will remove the vast majority and should prevent bad spotting. Even if it doesn't leave them really clean what risk is he taking. Customer not bothered about being totally dry so worst case scenario, as long as he's got the scratching comment in writing / text, is he's asked not to go back. 
I suppose he could sit on his backside and earn nothing. Fairly certain if he can do it there are others in the vicinity looking for a windie that will try. 
I just think he would be better knocking doors with his time instead of taking on a job were in my opinion there's no way you can do a good job. Your man sounds like a nightmare, probably why the other window cleaner stopped coming.
I'll say it again in my opinion there's no way you can do a good job with a clothe offer your brush three story's up.

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Part Timer

This is exactly the type of replies I talk about. Yes it will be awkward and yes it might not come out perfect but the customer says, according to the OP, he isn't concerned about potential scratches and doesn't expect a perfect job. So we should warn him it will probably be a PITA and probably not be a job longterm and then advise him, in our opinion, the best way to do the job. 

He's a newbie looking for work and experience, good or bad, let him learn on the job. After 1 wash he might say you guys were right or he might have found a street where 10 customers want their windows cleaning. 

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Iron Giant
11 hours ago, Kleenwell said:

I did say to him that I would have to get a squeegee to fit my pole.   I understand it won’t be the easiest task, but money is money.    From what I can gather, as long as they are reasonably dry, he will be happy.   His old cleaner just stopped showing up and he never dried.   It’s a monthly maintenance job aswell so it’s a regular income for someone who has very little work at the moment.    The microfibres over the brush sound a good idea in place of a squeegee 

 
I would recommend buying a squeegee if you don't already have one and wfp one of your own downstairs windows then wait a minute or so and squeegee the glass this will give you an idea of the drag you will get just blading spots of water at a low level and you will get drag, The microfibre is a good idea in theory but this also has its own issues depending on the microfibre you use it can leave it's own drag marks and fluff again try this on your own windows. 

I am simply offering advice as a windy of over 18 years and I know full well the issues that can arise, I get were @Part Timer is coming from we all need to make our own mistakes in order to learn, But I also agree with @wee man  you would be far more productive door knocking than potentially feeling pushed into a job because of money and have a client almost dictating what he wants from you as a cleaner, the job will take 2-3 times longer every time and unless you charge accordingly as in double or more.

Also I work across a number of new housing developments in my area so know full well the challenges of dust and the extra cleaning required, I have 3 houses right next to a site compound and right next to ongoing building work and these 3 houses take me 2-3 times longer every time because the level of dust is ridiculous in between cleans , The clients accept that I do my very best to achieve the best results giving the location of their chosen new house to the compound but things will change moving forward as the building work will come to an end and no I don't squeegee any of the windows and I gain new jobs almost everytime I go on to the estate I have had 5 new clients sign up in the last 3-4 weeks 

Edited by Iron Giant

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spruce

Does the cement factory work 24/7 @Kleenwell?

 

We have taken on a new job on the estate that's being built next to ours. Whilst building is still in progress their windows get filthy. We do the job last thing on a Friday afternoon when building work ceases for the weekend. Its also just a couple of stone's throw from our house so not inconvenient to do. This won't be forever as @Iron Giant says building will finish at some time in the future.

 

We do an internal window clean at 30' with squeegee and applicator and I can tell you its a skill I still haven't mastered. It will be even more difficult at height as there will be no slip assistance on the windows as there is when using soapy water.

 

I'm with @wee man when he says to use that time and canvass straight forward work. This job will cost you in the end. When a potential customer says his previous window cleaner stopped coming that starts to rind alarm bells with me as it does others. There's a good reason why he stopped coming which, if you take the job on, you will also discover. Customer's don't always tell you the full story.

The first post was that this customer was next to a brick factory. When you get there its next to a cement factory.

 

From experience we weren't selective when we started window cleaning. We just ended up with a lot of drama jobs that 'drained' us. Unfortunately when you are new and in need of work like I was, its easy to take on everything because its money earnt to survive. If that is genuinely the case, then plan at some future time to cull this type of work when you are better able to do it financially.

 

If you do decide to take it on, I would also suggest you get him to sign a waver absolving you from being responsible for any scratches on the glass before you do a first clean.

Edited by spruce

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Kleenwell

update

today i cleaned the windows near the factory.   

as advised, i rinsed well before the brush touched the glass.

the came up lovely.

then, as advised with drying,  i tied a microfiber around my brush

i ordered 2 70cm square ones,   one for the front, one for the back.

again, this seamed to work a treat.  dry clean glass.

then when i returned to the front, there was another windy cleaning 4 doors down.

had a chat with him and he said the dust has never caused him any trouble i.e scratches or clumping.

he even went on to advice me of 2 houses i should knock on.    picked up one of them for an 8 weekly.

 

so all in all, not too bad of a job, customer pays for the extra time to dry and 2 houses on the same cul-de-sac on the same day.

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Part Timer
15 minutes ago, Kleenwell said:

update

today i cleaned the windows near the factory.   

as advised, i rinsed well before the brush touched the glass.

the came up lovely.

then, as advised with drying,  i tied a microfiber around my brush

i ordered 2 70cm square ones,   one for the front, one for the back.

again, this seamed to work a treat.  dry clean glass.

then when i returned to the front, there was another windy cleaning 4 doors down.

had a chat with him and he said the dust has never caused him any trouble i.e scratches or clumping.

he even went on to advice me of 2 houses i should knock on.    picked up one of them for an 8 weekly.

 

so all in all, not too bad of a job, customer pays for the extra time to dry and 2 houses on the same cul-de-sac on the same day.

Well done, old adage, suck it and see. 

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