Tradional vs wfp

Discussion in 'Traditional Window Cleaning' started by Purus, Nov 29, 2011.

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  1. Purus

    Purus Guest

    Hi, just asking a question im afraid. I do traditional window cleaning but was wondering how good wfp actually is, I understand is can be quicker but is is actually as good as traditional? Does it leave such a good finish?
     
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  2. Once you have a couple of months ecperience using a wfp the results are far better than trad. The windows literally dry in perfect not a mark on them. once you have used a wfp you would never go back to to trad
     
  3. nearlyclean

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    I was trad and started using wfp just to do tops for the first couple of months then noticed how much better the finish was once dried, its like anything once you get the hang of wfp and its done properly it is much better than trad , some will disagree but I think the pros of wfp far out weigh the pros to trad and would recommend anyone thinking of doing w window cleaning long term to invest in some wfp kit
     
  4. badbusdriver

    badbusdriver Guest

    I have only ever done wfp, so cant really comment from experience, but the guy who trained me, and my pals brother-in-law, have both cleaned windows for over 10 years. Both started out traditional, both now use wfp, and both say they would never go back to traditional!.
     
  5. laddergarder

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    This question is probably one of the most commonly asked questions on window cleaning forums over the past few years, and the answer is different for everyone I guess. There is only one or two window cleaners near me that use WFP's and the main one between them uses ladders most the the time for domestics.

    At times ladders are more convenient and at times WFP makes more sense. Personally I looked at WFP extensively and found that in my case it made more sense to continue using ladders.

    The following reasons put me off using water fed poles: -
    1. Due to the fact I live in a flat, I cant get an easy source of water to fill my van up
    2. Even if I did, what about the filling times and the security of the van while it is being filled
    3. Extra cost of petrol and wear and tear on on my vehicle
    4. I simply wouldn't pay 10k plus for a system, and would me more likely to invest a cheaper system
    5. But what are the implications of that on my vehicle insurance, I have read this can invalidate your policy unless its a safety tested system like ionics
    6. I work in a town center most of time, and parking a ***htmare at the best of times, I often wouldn't be able to get parked that close to the jobs, so I would have to lug around a trolley system, would that save me time.
    7. WFP's do not remove bird **** etc, and have heard of some window cleaners using WFP saying first time cleans always need done twice. So I don't believe they do as good a job, but again have never use one, so cant say for sure.
    8. Even if they do save you some time, they are more expensive to run, so you would have to take on more customers to make the same profit as you would working trad.
    9. These systems are going to require maintenance and regular checking of TDS meters, there would be additional problems with lines freezing etc, and although on site, they may be faster, it take less than a minute to rack and un rack a pair of ladders, how long does it take, to real in all that hose and pack all that stuff up.
    10. If you do use a trolloy system, could it be lifted in and out of the van with water in it, or would be need a ramp - more time wasted either filling it up on site, or messing around with ramps.
    11. There are also safety issues associated with WFP's, back problems, danger of electrocution from over head lines, slip hazards for the window cleaner and for the customer, especially in winter, in Scotland you could turn your customers path way into a bob slay track with a WFP.
    12. There would be times when water fed poles are a waste of time, for example if the customer has safety gates over there windows, or a balcony which you could not use a pole to access those windows and a ladder would have to be used.

    I could of course write a similar list for using ladders, my point is though that WFP will not replace ladders in the industry and really is most effective when used in conjunction with ladders, and because it this, its doesn't in my opinion justify the investment that is required when compared to the minimal equipment required to clean windows using ladders.

    WFP's are an industry on there own, the sales of these things makes companies allot of money, but until there is a method which cost less and takes the same amount of time as a ladder, or costs the same and is quicker than using a ladder, or even better is both quicker and cheaper, window cleaners will continue to use ladders.

    Which method is better? is the wrong question. You should ask which method is best for me, and that all depends on how much you can invest, the type of work you are going to do, and most importantly, can you cope with bigger overheads, and less profit while you build your work up. ultimately, if you are just starting out, have 100 customers, and are thinking about going WFP, I think you would be mad. You will make less profit due to higher overheads and it is not wise to put that strain on your business in its early development.

    Both Trad and WFP in the same pond
    You would be competing with traditional window cleaners, if you did go WFP. Can you match there prices. Being compe***ive is a make or break for a business. Its a sad fact but customers will choose the cheaper window cleaner before they choose a more expensive window cleaner who shows up with a pitch about safer practices. What if overall, after all the talk from window cleaners who use water fed poles, its not that much faster once your take into account filling times, maintenance and time unpacking and repacking allot of poles and hose reels etc. You would be doing the same job, at the same price but making less profit because of higher overheads.

    Everyone is different, if you wanting to focus purely on large commercial buildings or even leading window like church buildings old museums etc, high access work, a water fed pole could do what a trad window clean cant, but in my opinion those jobs a few and far between. And as I am mainly residential, I don't mind not getting the odd one or two commercials that would be easier with a pole.
     
  6. Purus

    Purus Guest

    Thank you that really helps. It was what I was thinking also. I think I would prefer to concentrate on domestic sales!
     
  7. I feel i have to address all the point you made as i strongly believe a lot of what you have said and are thinking about wfp is not accurate

    1)an easy soruce of water is simply buy a fire hydrant key and stand pipe from ebay for £45 then you can fill up anywhere, this is how i fill my tank and have had no issues. Technically you need to get a licence from the water board usually for around £300 a year dependinng on the individual authority. I don't have a licence and have had no hassle what so ever.

    2)you don't need to worry about filling times as fire hydrants have a lot of pressure you can fill a 500 litre tank in around ten minutes or so as for security its not an issue when filling from fire hydrants.

    3) There will be higher fuel costs and wear and tear on the van however the extra money made by being able to do double the amount of work in a day far out weigh these wear and tare/ fuel costs.

    4)I have a decent system which i put together for around £1500, no where near 10k, its really simple to do.

    5) Itys is true that you have to inform your vehicle insurance company if you have a water tank in the back, this didn't effect my premium.

    6) checking your system with a TDS meter takes less than 30 seconds and only needs to be done once a week.

    7) I have never had any issues cleaning bird **** with a wfp in fact its easier than scrubbing with a shampooer.

    8) wfp give a far supirior clean than trad. on first cleans it takes slightly longer to clean the windows are you are usuually cleaning all sides of the frame for the first time in years and also the soap residue from previous trad cleans. however even first cleans are quickeer than a standard trad clean

    9) Reeling in a hose takes around 45 seconds its maybe slightly quicker than that to take your ladders of a van but how long does it take to go up a ladder clean a window come down the ladder move the ladder to the next window go up thew ladder clean the window etc with wfp its as simple as moving a few steps and placing the wfp on the window cuts the cleaning time in half

    10) if its too cold for wfp cleaning then its means with trad cleaning the water will freeze on the windows so not much difference. as for over head cable we are cleaning in residential street not under powerlines so risk of electrocution is the same risk as with using ladders as for back issues if used correctly then there shouldnt be any issues

    11) as for getting customers paths all icy its easy to avoid getting water on there path, and its easy to use wfp through safetry grills i do it on a daily basis there are plenty of videos on you tube that show how easy it is

    I think you really need to to have used both wfp and trad to realise what one is best. I beleive if you ask anyone who has used wfp and trad they will tell you wfp wins hands down everytime twice the work in half the time with far better results
     
  8. nearlyclean

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    Your forgetting you have to spend time putting on you pouch getting the bucket out washing scrims getting them dry changing rubbers,I use to think like you laddergarder but find since going wfp I have actually got more time,bird poo is easier and safer to get rid (no sSwear word!er to scratch glass) takes me 2 minutes to reel up a 60 m hose,30 minute to fill up in the morning (drinking a coffee and checking emails on phone) I can reach most windows without climbing over a porch and risk breaking tiles or slipping off. My prices haven't change because I use wfp as I view this as my choice but you can take on jobs that are higher paid because you have the tools,most people are at work when I clean their windows and only see the results.
    Its a bit like in the 1920s when machines started to be used on farms and started to replace farm labourers most farms now in this country use a combine harvester and plow their fields with tractors.wfp systems are already affordable plenty of systems for under thousand pound.you don't need a van either a backpack and 4 25 l containers in the back of a fiesta is do-able.
     
  9. badbusdriver

    badbusdriver Guest

    Sorry to have to say this laddergarder, but most of your points against wfp is simply wrong!. If you prefer using traditional, thats fine, its your choice, but posting nonsense like that, when clearly you dont know what you are on about, isnt cool. It may be your opinion that trad is better, but that doesnt make it so. Col has addressed your issues very well, but i would just add that a wfp system could actually be put together for well under a grand. The biggest single purchase, apart from the poles, would be a tank, which for a baffled 500 litre might be £200-250. But my brother, who is a mobile valeter, scrounged a couple of 200 litre drums for his van from a transport yard for nothing, so if you did that, all you really need is a pump, a di vessel, and a hose reel. Look on the internet at the prices, £10k?, where on earth did you get that from?. As for a bad back?, why?, ive had back problems for years, but since i started cleaning windows, they havnt got any worse, in fact if anything, i dont suffer so much as i did when driving buses. I would have thought the danger of falling off a ladder would potentially be much more serious than any you are likely to encounter using wfp. Your only 'real' issue that i can see is with regards to filling up, and as col has pointed out, there are ways around that. I also live in a flat, but i fill my tank at my parents, who have the benefit of having softer water than me. If my 500 litre tank is completely dry, it takes 40 mins to fill, but it very seldom is, so im usually there 25-30 mins, during which i get a cup of tea from my dad, and do my days paperwork!.
     
  10. laddergarder

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    colinvansmith:

    at the time when I looked into WFP's the water board where allot dearer than £300 pounds and you got a stand pipe which had a meter on it, and on top of the rent for the stand pipe, you had to pay for your usage based on the water you used, which worked out too expensive.

    I have had times when sun baked on bird droppings are difficult to remove with a sSwear word!per, I cant imagine a WFP removing that without any problems, but I cant say for sure, as I have never used one. However I did read that online from from who does use a WFP.

    badbusdriver

    An Ionic system cost in the region of 10k. Of course DIY kits can cost only a few hundred, which is s fraction of that. However my point was, would a 250 litter tank that is strapped down, stay strapped down orcrush me to death if I was in a bad traffic accident.
     
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