Owing to the greatly enhanced marketing opportunity offered by the Cleaning Show 2013, which is co-locating with the IMHX International Materials Handling Show, several traditional Carpex/Windex exhibitors have elected to use a greater percentage and in some cases all of their marketing budget for this event.
Visitor numbers at the Cleaning Show 2013 are expected to significantly increase thanks to the co-location with IMHX, making this an event that no serious supplier to the cleaning and allied markets can afford to miss.
Few companies wish to attend both Carpex/Windex and the Cleaning Show 2013, and as a consequence Carpex/Windex 2012 has been cancelled.
The next Carpex/Windex exhibition will therefore take place in 2014.
Studio Arts are the leading UK based web design company specialising in providing websites for window cleaning companies.
To view some of the website designs available you can visit their site by clicking the picture above or visit the Window Cleaning Services directory which is an exclusive directory of websites already designed for clients.
“Never clean windows in the sun!”
– That’s the advice given in many housekeeping magazines. But is it true?
For the general householder it is good advice, but a professional window cleaner cannot afford to be always dictated to by the weather.
Especially when using traditional methods, cleaning in the hot sun can cause problems so here are some tips to avoid the smears and shadows.
Shadows left on the window are caused by the solution drying before the squeegee blade can carry it away.
On overcast days you may soap up a few windows at a time and two or three minutes may pass before you squeegee them all clean. However, when the weather is warmer it is important to blade the window as soon as possible after it has been mopped to avoid leaving shadows and streaks. Here are a few tips for getting good results even when window cleaning in the sun;
1. Only wet as many windows as you blade before the water dries.
It is best just to soap up one or two windows at a time so that the solution does not have chance to dry. The two handed technique of mopping and blading simultaneously is good in this situation because the solution is carried away almost immediately and doesn’t get chance to dry.
2. Use combination tools
When using a tradtional pole combination tools such as the Unger Vice Versa, Ettore Back Flip or Wagtail Flipper will save time switching tools.
3. Use more water
The most obvious tip is to use more water. Wetting the window more will give you more time to blade it before the solution dries. If you are using a water fed pole then you should rarely encounter problems unless the windows are really hot. – In which case the answer is to just use more water
4. Use less soap
Another practical tip is to use less soap if you use washing up liquid. The solution tends to evapourate quicker if you use too much soap and you will be more likely to leave streaks.
5- Minimize detailing and use of cloths
Using a cloth on the window in the sun is a bad idea. The less you use a cloth on the window for detailing the better. Sometimes you can do more harm than good when detailing causing smears with a cloth that are more noticeable than the original mistake. Take care when using the squeegee to not miss bits in the middle of the window and practice your technique to minimize the amount of detailing necessary.
These tips should help you achieve good results when cleaning windows in the sun however, if non of the above work for you then use a water fed pole system with pure water!
New Unger HiFlo™ nLite – Evolutionary Water Fed Pole Technology for Professionals
Unger is ushering in a new age of enlightenment with the launch of HiFlo™ Unger nLite pole– the most advanced water-fed pole system to hit the market in years.
This latest innovation from Unger, the company that provides smart cleaning solutions to more than 80 countries worldwide, will change the way that windows and façades are cleaned forever by combining the best features of its telescopic and modular poles into a brand new system that delivers unrivalled results and adaptability.
The key features of the new Unger HiFloTM nLite system are:
- Perfect balance – better rigidity for more control, and yet up to 50% lighter in weight thanks to its carbon fibre technology
- Hi tech design – every part of the system, from clamps and levers to brushes has been created to deliver the highest standards with cutting edge looksEase of use
- Comfort and safety – the weight/rigidity balance makes HiFloTM nLiteeasier and more comfortable to use, even for longer periods of time
- Easy assembly – extensions can be added quickly and easily, and equipment adjusted to tackle any cleaning situationAdaptability
- Mix and match – only use as many poles or attachments as you need
- Multi-talented system – the HiFloTM nLite can be used to clean glass and building facades, stain
less steel, solar panels, signage, and vehicles
- Unique hose management system – allows the user to have the hose inside or outside the pole. The highest professional cleaning standards are even easier to achieve with the HiFloTM nLite system thanks to its perfect balance between weight and rigidity. Not only are the poles lighter than conventional versions, the use of cutting edge design and technology means that even when extensions are added rigidity is not compromised, and yet the weight and ergonomics of the system still make it a pleasure to use.The four section master pole cleans up to a height of 6.63m/22ft, but taller locations are easily reached by adding two-stage extensions to the base of the master pole. These extensions, each adding another potential 11ft of reach but crucially not adding anything to the width and feel of the pole, measure 35mm in diameter – an optimum size that fits easily into the hands of the professional for quick and comfortable cleaning. Even if you’re cleaning to a height of around 65ft the HiFloTM nLite offers the ‘gold standard’ in terms of ease of use and results – because it combines just the right amount of rigidity to control your cleaning, but in a lightweight system that’s better for the professional to use.Every part of the new system has been designed specifically with the user in mind. The clamps, which adjust pole height or attach the extensions, are simple to operate – no fiddly allen key-type devices needed – and easily adjustable to ensure the right tension; plus the gooseneck attachment is made from carbon fibre, again keeping weight to a minimum. Even the brushes are lighter – but that doesn’t mean less features or functionality. On the contrary, a selection of brushes are available, one of which, at 60cm/24in, is large enough to quickly clean solar panels, featuring bristles designed to get into the smallest corner and help with scrubbing actions. Whereas conventional brushes usually only have two jets, HiFloTM nLite brushes can feature up to ten quick release jets, making it much easier to control the water flow and rinse surfaces.Dave Rogers, Unger Europe’s European Sales Manager, said: “We believe that the HiFlo™ nLite is a truly revolutionary new product, the next generation of water-fed cleaning pole systems. We are confident that HiFlo™nLitewill be received enthusiastically by window cleaners and contract cleaners across the globe, thanks to its innovative features, ease of use and cost benefits. The launch of HiFlo™ nLite is a high point in Unger’s history, a real leap forward in the evolution of professional cleaning equipment.”If you want to be ‘enlightened’ the HiFlo™ nLite will be unveiled to the global cleaning industry on stand 1.205 at ISSA/Interclean, Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands 8-11 May.www.ungerglobal.com
When is a scraper blade needed?
The following situations would likely require the use of a scraper blade.
- After construction or decorating work has been carried out.
- Stubborn dirt or stains such as egg, bird excrement or splashes caused by pressure washing.
- When adhesive tape, vinyl lettering or stickers need removing.
- The first time windows are cleaned after many months or years.
Checks to carry out before using a scraper blade
Scraping glass with a scraper blade can damage the glass. Certain kinds of glass are more susceptible to scratches than others.
- Check if glass is scratch resistant and suitable for scraper use. (It is not recommended to use a scraper on Plexiglass, crown glass, solar glass, safety glass (ESG) etc.
- Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions.
- Perform a scrape test in advance on a hidden section.
- Before starting work, check the glass for damage and report it if necessary.
How to use a scraper blade correctly
- Never use a glass scraper on dry glass.
- Always use the blade on a wet surface.
- It is best to use with a soapy cleaning agent. This lubricates the blade and makes it easier to see where you have passed the blade (think of it a bit like shaving a beard!)
- Always scrape in one direction! Never pull the scraper back. (Dirt accumulated on the blade can be trapped under the blade and pulled over the surface of the window causing scratches.)
- Apply even pressure holding the blade flat against the glass. The corners of the blade can cause scratches.
- Change or reverse the blade if it becomes blunt, rusty or chipped.
- Clean the blade regularly by swishing it about in a bucket of water.
- Do not keep an open blade in your work pouches. Always replace the cap or retract the blade for your protection.
It is a good idea to ask the customer to sign a Scratch Waiver Form. (This is basically a simple form which states that you do not accept responsibility for any scratches that occur and that the customer understands that the task does carry an element of risk.)
Use the appropriate kind of scraper for the job at hand.
It’s dark, it’s cold, it’s wet and you have to go to work.
The last thing you need after dragging yourself out of bed is to find that your efforts were in vain because your equipment is frozen and unusable!
Yes, winter is here and we know what that means. Cold hands and water freezing on the windows.
Thankfully, it’s not every day that temperatures fall below zero so it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast each evening so you know what to expect in the morning. Most winter related problems can be avoided with good preparation.
Here are some winter window cleaning tips so as to be prepared and keep your business running as smooth as possible over the winter months.
- · Look after your equipment
When water turns to ice it expands and that is why anything full of water is at risk of cracking or breaking when temperatures plummet.
If the forecast is anywhere near zero degrees or below then prepare the evening before.
Prevention is the best cure so bring any wet gear into the warmth of your house or some other place that is protected from the cold. If you have a trolley system or backpack in a van left outside then bring those in too.
At particular risk is the RO unit. RO units have fragile membranes which can easily be damaged in freezing conditions. Some window cleaners have these units mounted directly in the van or even worse have a static system placed outdoors. If this is the case then you need to take measures to protect the unit from the cold to minimize the possibility of damage.
- · Install a heating system
Many window cleaners install a heating system in the van. There are various kinds of heaters available. Oil filled radiators are a popular choice as they often have a thermostat and can be left on a low setting overnight. Some are electric and you therefore would need to run a power cable to an electricity source. (The van doesn’t need to be heated to 20 degrees as long as it remains above zero your system won’t freeze.)
Unlike kerosene or other oil heaters, the oil inside of an electric oil radiator warms but never burns, so there is no need to refill it. This reduces risk of fire, eliminates the smell that can permeate the entire house when a fuel burning heater is present, and saves money that would be spent endlessly on heating oil purchases.
Paraffin heaters and electric fans are another option but these each have their draw backs. If you don’t have a way of keeping the van warm then you should insulate your system as best you can and drain it of any excess water.
Other more sophisticated ways of preventing the system from freezing include electric trace heating, also known as electric heat tracing. This system maintains the temperature of your system pipes. Basically, an electrical heating element in contact with the pipe runs along the length it and is covered with thermal insulation to retain heat losses. The heat generated by the element then maintains the temperature of the pipe thus protecting it from freezing.
- · Reduce water spillage
Apart from equipment issues, freezing cold weather also poses problems whilst cleaning. An obvious danger exists when using water fed poles in sub zero temperatures and that is that the water falling on the ground is likely to freeze and thus cause a potential hazard for those passing by so the less water spillage the better in freezing conditions.
There are two things that you can do to tackle this:
The first thing would be to reduce the amount of spilt water in the first place. If you generally use a water fed pole system evaluate whether it is possible to use traditional methods which require the use of less water. (Note: Using ladders is risky at the best of times and using them in the snow or ice is just plain foolish.
With the right tools and some practice a good window cleaner can use an extension pole on most windows that you can get to on a ladder. Practise makes perfect! Alternatively, you could always offer just to do downstairs at a reduced price.
You may decide to use a water fed pole for the upper windows but traditional methods on the lower levels. You can also reduce water spillage by turning down the water flow. The other thing you can do is to give a generous spread of salt on the areas of spillage. Give particular attention to areas that people are most likely to tread. (Bear in mind however that salt is corrosive and can cause lasting damage some surfaces such as concrete. )
In some cases like in the picture below you wouldn’t really need to worry about water spillage. It’s just a matter of common sense at the end of the day.
- · Avoid water freezing while you work
Often the biggest problem for window cleaners when temperatures drop below zero is the fact that water can often freeze on the glass or even in the pipes of the wfp system.
If a building is well heated on the inside then in most cases water is unlikely to freeze on the window. Avoid cleaning the windows of places which are unlikely to be well heated internally.
Various hot water systems are available on the market for window cleaners. Using a hot water system in the winter is obviously advantageous in that it stops the water from freezing in the system while you work.
When using water fed pole systems the water is left to dry on the window so there is more chance of the water freezing. In some cases it may be best to use traditional methods so that windows are left dry. You don’t want to have a lot of soap residue left on the window the next time you clean using pure water so don’t use too much soap and choose a product which leaves little residue such as Glass Gleam or Ecoverbiological washing up liquid.
If using traditional methods then you can use additives in the water to lower the freezing point of the water. Try mixing the water with screen wash (windshield washer fluid). Anti-freeze, or methylated spirits, may be added to a mixture to give the product a lower freezing temperature. But bear in mind that methanol vapor is harmful when breathed in, so more popular now is an ethanol (or isopropanol) and ethylene glycol. Take care too if you smoke as these liquids are often highly flammable.
Some use vinegar in the water but actually the kind of vinegar you typically find in the supermarket has a freezing point of -2° C so it is unlikely to have much effect on the freezing point of your solution.
- · Dress for success
Your choice of clothing will affect your morale as well as your pocket. If you are cold and wet then you are not likely to make it to the end of a working day before wanting to quit. If you do stay out all day cold and wet then you likely to be staying home with the flu as your reward. So investing in good quality clothing that will keep you dry and warm and that allows you to move freely makes good business sense as well as good common sense.
Use decent boots that don’t let the water in. Snow boots or Wellington boots might not qualify you for the front cover of a glossy magazine but your feet will thank you for it.
Most of your body heat escapes through your head so be sure to wear a hat. If you really want to get kitted out warm and snug then visit a shop that sells clothing for mountaineers, skiers and snow boarders. Usually this kind of gear is breathable, comfortable, warm and waterproof.
- · Be realistic
Realistically you are not likely to cover as much of your work as you usually would but something is better than nothing. Give priority to your best work. Do you have work to do which is under cover or inside cleans? If you keep an eye on the forecasts then you can plan ahead to schedule these kind of jobs for when it is likely to snow or be extremely cold.
Sometimes road conditions and parking issues caused by heavy snowfall are to take into consideration. If things are really bad then maybe you could catch up with some business administration, business accounts or the like or perhaps do some telecanvassing accompanied by a nice hot cuppa!
Or you could just take the day off….after all “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!”
Just in time for winter, Unger has announced the re-launch of its protective Neoprene gloves range, with an impressive line-up of new features and improvements.
To begin with solid reinforced stitching, as well as a glue seal, have been added along the seams to achieve extra durability and protection against water ingress. Yet the gloves feel soft and comfortable on the inside with the thread on the seams virtually undetectable due to the “blind” stitching technique.
The standard Neoprene version will keep your hands warm and dry, whatever the weather, with added protection against the wind due to adjustable Velcro straps around the wrist. Made of 3mm thick 100% rubber Neoprene, just like the former versions, the new gloves feel more flexible due to the material enhancements.
The premium ErgoTec® version is now loaded with more features than ever. In addition to the Velcro wrist straps and great insulation against cold, the screened-on silicone patch on the palms offer exceptional grip on all tools.
New knuckle inserts and pre-curved fingers enable the gloves to follow the shape of the individual’s hand. Combined with the ultra smooth feel of the 95% Neoprene and 5% Nylon material on the inside, the ErgoTec® gloves provide a natural skin-like feel and fit.
Both standard Neoprene and ErgoTec® gloves now come in 4 sizes – S, L, XL and XXL, and are available from Unger dealers nationwide.
If you fancy trying a pair for yourself, here is a bit of a great news. Unger UK is giving away 5 pairs of the Neoprene Gloves to 5 lucky winners – for your chance to win text UNGER followed by your name and address to 66777. The winner will be drawn on December 16th 2011, and notified by Unger directly.
Competition is open to UK and ROI residents only.
The team behind the number one Window Cleaning brand utilised its world class expertise to produce an easy-to-use, one step System for indoor window cleaning. The System is perfect for any user without window cleaning experience and does not require extensive training – just a few practice runs. It also offers safe and quick access for cleaning high level windows, skylights and glass balustrades, with Unger’s best selling telescopic pole.
So, how does it work? The essential component of the Indoor System is a 20cm wide Padholder with a swivel head, featuring Velcro backing. Depending on the level of soiling a user can choose between 2 microfibre pads, attachable to the Padholder with Velcro. The pad with ultrafine, short fibre is ideal for every day cleaning, as well as polishing of glass and mirrors. For periodic washing or heavy soil, Unger provides a more absorbent 15mm microfibre pad. Fit the Padholder with the right pad onto a pole, spray the pad with deionised water and you are ready to go!
Why deionised water? Purified of minerals, deionised water provides a streak free finish, without the need to squeegee or dry the windows, resulting in sparkly clean finish and improved time and labour efficiency. All you need to do is simply wipe the glass or mirror surface until clean and leave to dry on its own.
There are 2 System kits available within the new HiFlo™ Indoor Window Cleaning System. The Starter Kit (RRP £48.70 excl. VAT) is designed for those already in possession of the basic cleaning equipment and consists of the Padholder, 5 Polish Pads and a thread Adapter – which means that the Padholder fits onto any existing Unger pole.
A complete Master Kit (RRP £98.42 excl. VAT) also includes the Unger 2.5m TelePlus™ pole, a Sprayer on the Belt as well as the practical ErgoTec® Belt and Pouch for storing clean Pads.
The System, covered by Unger’s 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee, simplifies the cleaning process for indoor windows and other fixtures, saving time and money with improved safety.