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Traditional problems with wind

bigm1ck1

New member
Messages
10
Hi everyone I have been running a traditional window cleaning company for 5 years now.
I run it solely on my own and I'm at my limits for customers
The problem is the wind it always puts me behind because I use ladders and my customers do not want water fed pole cleans .
I was just wondering how other traditional window cleaners deal with the wind gusts and what are the maximum mph gusts you should go up a ladder.
Wishing all you fellow window cleaners sun and dry days for the rest of the year ;)
 

Steptoe

New member
Messages
1
In all honesty you should switch to wfp its safer and quicker. Why let your customers dictate to you how you should do your job?
I started off with ladders for a few years then made the switch to wfp 7 years ago. I lost 2 customers when I made the switch and have never looked back.
 

Jaygti

Well-known member
Messages
352
Location
South east
Firstly I can 100% guarantee that the vast majority of your customers will be fine with wfp.
If you sell it properly.

Nothing you can do about the wind I’m afraid,
I can still remember being up a ladder down the side of a house waiting for the wind to die down, so I could let go of the window ledge and get down and thinking what a **** job this is. it’s why I gave up trad In the end.
Now I’d rather work in Tesco’s than go up a ladder.
Sorry I can’t be of any more help
 

Iron Giant

Staff member
Moderator
Messages
8,987
Location
Durham
Hi everyone I have been running a traditional window cleaning company for 5 years now.
I run it solely on my own and I'm at my limits for customers
The problem is the wind it always puts me behind because I use ladders and my customers do not want water fed pole cleans .
I was just wondering how other traditional window cleaners deal with the wind gusts and what are the maximum mph gusts you should go up a ladder.
Wishing all you fellow window cleaners sun and dry days for the rest of the year ;)
I went out in all weathers when trad, sometimes when it was just too windy but I cracked on as best I could, ultimately it's only you who can decide what you deem safe,

back in 2008 I switched to wfp I was the first windy in my area to do so it was completely alien to me as well as everyone else, customers are very easily converted these days as it's more the norm compared to trad as they are as rare as hens teeth these days
 

spruce

The Sprucefather
Messages
7,933
Location
Teesside
Hi everyone I have been running a traditional window cleaning company for 5 years now.
I run it solely on my own and I'm at my limits for customers
The problem is the wind it always puts me behind because I use ladders and my customers do not want water fed pole cleans .
I was just wondering how other traditional window cleaners deal with the wind gusts and what are the maximum mph gusts you should go up a ladder.
Wishing all you fellow window cleaners sun and dry days for the rest of the year ;)
If you have a full schedule you will always get beyond of you can't work due to the weather. You might be able to catch a day up, but you won't catch a week up. Just carry on where you left off when the weather improves.

And please, get off ladders and go wfp. That's from a window who fell from his ladders - me.
 
Messages
62
Location
South East
I don’t think there is a specific wind speed limit for ladder work, but general rule of thumb for working at height is around 23mph or 12.5m p/second. Anything above that in the H&S world is deemed too dangerous to continue. Plenty of times I’ve had MEWP’s and scissors on jobs and we’ve been up and down / stop start due to wind speed.

Be careful whatever you do, especially if working up ladders on your own.

And maybe buy a wind speed meter for th windy days to be sure!
 

AllGleam

Member
Messages
95
Location
Nottinghamshire
WFP cleans frames better gets into the nooks and crannys, its quicker and you can reach windows you couldn't generally reach best to be safe matey and most custys will see its not many that do traditional on ladder and most are easy to convert and convince its better all around.
 

Jamie wilson

New member
Messages
5
Hi everyone I have been running a traditional window cleaning company for 5 years now.
I run it solely on my own and I'm at my limits for customers
The problem is the wind it always puts me behind because I use ladders and my customers do not want water fed pole cleans .
I was just wondering how other traditional window cleaners deal with the wind gusts and what are the maximum mph gusts you should go up a ladder.
Wishing all you fellow window cleaners sun and dry days for the rest of the year ;)
Heya mate iv been running my company a few years now in in regards to mph I'd say not much more than 12 but all depends on the pitch of the ladders the height of the climb as you know. It's always what you feel comfortable with. Nothing beats having someone to foot you though 🤙
 

mupps

Well-known member
Messages
229
Location
Tamar Valley Cornwall
Hi everyone I have been running a traditional window cleaning company for 5 years now.
I run it solely on my own and I'm at my limits for customers
The problem is the wind it always puts me behind because I use ladders and my customers do not want water fed pole cleans .
I was just wondering how other traditional window cleaners deal with the wind gusts and what are the maximum mph gusts you should go up a ladder.
Wishing all you fellow window cleaners sun and dry days for the rest of the year ;)
I had the same problem.... wet awful weather and then boom!.... when it dries up the winds replace the wet weather. That is when I decided to use the wfp! Also a gutter vac so I don't have to worry about any risks. Quite frankly I don't think it's worth risking you're life going up a ladder in any winds. I have told my customers that my public liability insurance no longer covers me using a ladder (a little white lie), and I've only lost 2 customers.
 

Ocahan01

Member
Messages
30
Location
N
I echo what the other guys say about water fed pole. Make the switch, the majority of people won’t even past comment on it. Explain to one’s who ask and just dump anyone that doesn’t want and isn’t even willing to try it. I’m not risking my life or mobility for someone who wouldn’t go up a ladder themselves. There’s still a place for trad and I still trad shops and some bungalows with wooden frames but 95% is wfp.
I switched a year ago and honestly it wasn’t easy but I’ll never go back to 100% trad or anything near it.
 

Daftoldgit

Active member
Messages
226
Location
Wiltshire
I never actually got blown off a ladder, but had it blow over a few times when I was standing on a flat roof, luckily someone was around to rescue me each time! I've seen side extensions you fit on your ladder, I don't know who makes them but they'd make it a bit safer at least,
 

spruce

The Sprucefather
Messages
7,933
Location
Teesside
I never actually got blown off a ladder, but had it blow over a few times when I was standing on a flat roof, luckily someone was around to rescue me each time! I've seen side extensions you fit on your ladder, I don't know who makes them but they'd make it a bit safer at least,
The new ladder regulations require us to use ladders that are made with wider 'outrigger' feet. This will make the ladder more stable in windy conditions that one without these 'outrigger' feet. These EN131 regulations are mainly focused on ladder manufacturers, but they did effectively 'ban' us from using lighter domestic ladders for non-domestic use.

However, if the ladder is being blown over, then you are possibly working in too windy conditions. If the weather is breezy then you could tie a length of rope to the top rung of the ladder and secure it to something or yourself when working from a flat roof.

But then again, H&S have guidelines regarding the safe working from a flat roof. They stipulate that the flat roof should have a guard rail or some fall arrest system in place. Marking a 2 meter line all around the edge or drop off of the flat roof and only working from inside that demarcated area could be a workaround. Working within this demarcated zone theoretically could mean you aren't working at height, but you are on sticky ground with that one if there is an accident, or you are reported.
 

Redditch windy

Active member
Messages
380
Location
Redditch
The new ladder regulations require us to use ladders that are made with wider 'outrigger' feet. This will make the ladder more stable in windy conditions that one without these 'outrigger' feet. These EN131 regulations are mainly focused on ladder manufacturers, but they did effectively 'ban' us from using lighter domestic ladders for non-domestic use.

However, if the ladder is being blown over, then you are possibly working in too windy conditions. If the weather is breezy then you could tie a length of rope to the top rung of the ladder and secure it to something or yourself when working from a flat roof.

But then again, H&S have guidelines regarding the safe working from a flat roof. They stipulate that the flat roof should have a guard rail or some fall arrest system in place. Marking a 2 meter line all around the edge or drop off of the flat roof and only working from inside that demarcated area could be a workaround. Working within this demarcated zone theoretically could mean you aren't working at height, but you are on sticky ground with that one if there is an accident, or you are reported.
it was my understanding that ladder regs apply to employed/ltd companies etc a sole trader would be free to chose the method THEY use,not any one else?
 

spruce

The Sprucefather
Messages
7,933
Location
Teesside
it was my understanding that ladder regs apply to employed/ltd companies etc a sole trader would be free to chose the method THEY use,not any one else?
The moment you work for money/reward on another person's property, then you are seen as a commercial entity. The latest EN131 ladder regulations at manufacturing level have spin on effects with us as users.

For example, I still have an old pair of domestic ladders on my roof rack of my van. I last used them about 9 months ago, and previously 2 twice in the previous 2 years. The reason why I purchased them some 20 years ago was that they were light and so were much easier to carry around from customer to customer when we worked traditionally. (We went wfp in 2004 ahead of the regulations.) BTW, those ladders are still in good condition, but I need to replace them due to their age.

No one has every stopped me regarding the ladders on my roof rack, but I realize that if I had an insurance claim because of them, my insurance company would give me grief.

Under regulation 6 of the working at height regulations, a ladder should NEVER be your first choice of work equipment. You are supposed to avoid working at height whenever possible. This is the issue for trad cleaners. Ladders are their first choice of reach equipment.
Window cleaners were specifically mentioned in the regulations. 1st alternative method suggested was to use WFP. The 2nd was to use scaffolding. 3rd was to consider not to do the job and 4th, the use of ladders.

With regard to your comment that the regulations apply to employers, the H&S website says the following:
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 require employers and those in control of any work at height activity to ensure that the work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people.
 
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