Powerwashing sills and frames (newbie)???

Discussion in 'Water Fed Pole Cleaning' started by bundybag, May 20, 2015.

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  1. bundybag

    bundybag Newcomer
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    Hi Everyone, I'm brand new to this and have not cleaned any customers windows yet but am in the process of setting up by getting all the equipment and canvassing for customers. I have bought a facefilt bigboy backpack wfp system and am going to use that until i can afford a full van mounted system. Anyway, I was testing the equipment on my own windows today and noticed that i could not get the sills or frames very clean(at least as clean as I would like them to be if I was paying someone to clean my windows, or clean enough to feel like I have done a good enough job). I was wondering is it ok to powerwash the sills and around the frames to remove bird poop/spider webs/whatever else that stuff is that gets on there, and then use wfp systems to clean the windows, at least for first cleans and has anyone tried this, or is there a better way??.

    Appreciate all the help, I typed this in a hurry so I apologise if my grammar makes your eyes bleed.
     
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  2. Smurf

    Smurf Banned
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    Would be novel to see a window cleaner using a pressure washer to clean plastic window frames and sills that's for sure. I'm sure your customers would be quite baffeld and concerned too.
     
  3. Smurf

    Smurf Banned
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    Oh forgot to say hi & welcome to the forum :thumbsup:
     
  4. bundybag

    bundybag Newcomer
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    So thats a no then?? ha. How do you clean sills and frames??
     
  5. Smurf

    Smurf Banned
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    #5 Smurf, May 20, 2015
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
    If you are talking about white plastic frames & sills that don't come clean using wfp method and/or quickly wiped over with a damp microfiber cloth then it's classed as plastic restoration work which should be added to the cost of the clean.

    You can use various types of chems, detergents, cream cleaners etc like

    virosol
    ubik 2000
    pvc cream cleaner
    pvc solvent cleaner
    flash concentrated gel
    cilit bang lime & shine
    a mix of white vinger & washing up liquid
    etc etc

    Also comes in handy to use
    magic sponges
    white none scratch pads
    microfiber cloths
    Hand sprayer
    etc etc

    And not forgetting lots of elbow grease

    On really bad sills & frames that just using pure water don't get them clean then it's best to clean them by hand. However sometimes on higher windows you might get away by just pre spraying with a chem and scrub with a wfp brush, none scratch pad on yer pole. Then rinse down and or wipe off properly.

    The main thing is whatever you use is make sure if it gets on the glass to rinse it off properly and don't let it dry out on the glass.

    virosol & ubik 2000 seems quite popular to be used as chem boost to aid cleaning fithy glass too but you could also add any detergent to the brush or pre spray it on.
     
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  6. bundybag

    bundybag Newcomer
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    Thank you for the very detailed response,it has helped alot. I will look into the chems and try them out at home to see if I can get my own sills and frames clean using them.

    About charging extra, I'm not sure if that would fly where I live in Ireland, maybe its because I'm a newbie but I would nearly feel embaressed asking for more for a job that I think most people would imagine is included. I know a lot of people here charge double for the first clean too, something I don't think I could see myself doing, but maybe will in time once I build up confidence at it. Would doing the sills and frames plus windows at the regular price be a good way to get the word out about good service fast??? Or is it severely shortchanging yourself.
     
  7. Taxlossloz

    Taxlossloz Grand Master
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    If you do a really good job on first clean then you will never need to do it again as it's just maintenance clean
    If it's a thirty min house but you spend ten mins extra the first time then that's fine - but if it takes twice as long as normal then you should charge extra - that's my opinion anyway . Just try and be reasonable - MOST customers will be happy to pay - some will take the pee
    Good luck - also you must have very strong spiders to need jet wash for webs !!
     
  8. Jake

    Jake Grand Master
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    You can use a pressure washer mate, it does work, but be sure to class it as a higher prices service or a 'first clean' service. Once there clean they will be easy to maintain on subsequent monthly cleans...
     
  9. spruce

    spruce Grand Master
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    #9 spruce, May 21, 2015
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
    Elbow grease at the rock face is the only way to get frames pristine again. That takes time, lots of effort and should be charged extra for.

    Whilst much of that staining is pollution, we have quite a number of window frames that blacken due to deteriorating rubber weather seals and some lead deposits. If we clean them by hand today they will look just as bad next time we call. Now we don't bother to whiten these problem window frames. Some of the black will come off with the clean but not all.

    On occasion we put a squirt of Cif on the brush and give it a scrub, but then you will needs lots of water to rinse it off. You won't have that luxury with a backpack. And it won't get the frame perfectly white. I guess it can be likened to cleaning your teeth. Whilst regular brushing keeps then clean and your mouth fresh, the only way to get actress white teeth is with a teeth whitening procedure. That's costly and the results aren't always guaranteed.

    Don't do more than your customer expects. Whilst it's good to exceed your customers expectations, there is a limit to how far you go. Where do you stop? Why not run the brush over the soffits, fascias and gutters whilst you are there? After all, it will only just take a few moments and will look much better. And remember, if you do something extra off your own bat that your customer hasn't agreed to, then the cost to rectify any damage, water leaks etc. will be solely yours.

    If you do a UPVC restore with every clean then you will be making a rod for your own back. Quote for a window clean which includes frames and sills. Everything will be left clean but will still have stains. Then offer a complete UPVC restore at an additional cost and leave them to make the decision. If you offer that service, then you need to be able to get to each window with a ladder, so be careful.

    There are companies around that offer a UPVC restore service, so it might be an idea to get an idea of what they charge. If each window frame and sill can take up to 20 minutes to restore, then calculate your cost per hour to do the job + the cost of materials.

    Also you need to test each window and sill if you use a chemical liquid UPVC restorer (not taking about cif etc.) We have had an instance where the cleaner has reacted to the plastic.

    Get your playing field well laid out mentally before you start and stick to it. Dare I say this! You don't want customers who expect a 100% clean. You are looking for customer's who are happy with a 90% clean. Your job is to clean the glass as best you can as well as the frames. A window clean does not include cleaning all the paint off the windows left over by a sloppy painter, that is extra.

    As Smurf says, don't consider using a pressure washer on windows. i think that Jake could get away with it if he is experienced at using a pressure washer, but I'm not and I wouldn't. (On a couple of occasions we have been blamed for causing blown windows by our customers with just using our water fed pole. Can't imagine how much ammunition using a power washer with give these customers.)

    When starting out, you will pick up lots of dross customers that others have dropped. Be quick to recognise these customers and remove them from your customer base immediately. The moto on another forum is the 3 C's; Canvass, Clean, Cull.

    I wish you the best.
     
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  10. peter rogers

    peter rogers Grand Master
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    were do u live in ireland mate

    for every 10 i quote on upvc white resortation work i get 1 of them as i charging alot to do it as it is hard

    some sills wont come back to new if painted some upvc sills just wear out ie brown upvc going faded

    but moral is u will get it if u ask im in belfast
     
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