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Hiring a window cleaner in the Twin Cities this spring?

April 14, 2013 by

Maybe it is the first time for hiring a window cleaner, or maybe it is time to find a new one?  Here are some tips to finding a window washer in Minnesota that will leave your home looking great and not paying too much.

Different types of cleans window washers may offer you when you contact them:

  • Straight Window Wash- This means the window cleaner will ONLY wet your window with their strip washer and squeegee it dry.  Usually very little detail work is done in this type of washing and it is most commonly found in the commercial window cleaning world.  This should be a very cheap service when bid and for a good reason as you truly get what you pay for in any service and window washing is no different.
  • Construction Window Clean – Window cleaning a home for the first time after new construction can be a major undertaking due to the amount of debris on the windows.  While a home is under constructions a home can get LOTS of debris on the inside and outside of the windows.  Typically most new home builders do a pretty good job cleaning the inside of the windows, but neglect the outside since often the windows are not easily accessible.  The outside of the windows can have silicon from window installation, vinyl marks from the siding contractor hitting the window with scrap siding while siding the home, tar from the roof, paint, and splatter from brick and concrete installation.  This requires the window cleaner to spend extra time, usual twice as long cleaning your windows.  They will typically have to use a window cleaner’s razor scraper to remove most of these things off your window, sometimes 2-3 times before all debris is removed.  Because of the use of the razor there is always a slight risk of scratching of the window, especially on low quality tempered glass.  It would be best if homebuilders would protect your windows like they protect a newly laid wood floor so you as a homeowner do not have to clean up the mess after you move in.  Expect a window clean on a new home construction to cost 1.5-2 times the cost of a normal window clean.
  • Outside only window wash– For me this means I only wash the glass on the outside of the home and don’t clean the screens or tracks on the windows.  I typically will detail very well and wipe up the sill which some window cleaners don’t do for an outside only clean.  For me this differs from the “Straight Window Wash” because I will actually scrub your window after wetting with usually super fine steel wool to remove debris that straight washing does not remove.  The final product should leave the window darn near perfect.  This type of window cleaning is popular for those who have maids that do the inside of their home, homeowners looking to save some money by doing the inside themselves, and those who have their windows cleaned multiple times each year.
  • Inside and Outside Window Cleans – This is cleaning the entire window system.  Inside and outside of the glass, wiping tracks down, and wiping sill.  If tracks are REALLY bad there might be an extra charge for doing those, I have seen literally ½” of mud in window tracks before which goes outside of the normal duties of the window cleaner.  Both sides of the glass are cleaned including scrubbing or window cleaning razor blade, tracks and sills wiped down, and if the screens are not too bad wiped down with a towel.  For really dirty screens we do offer a wet wash that involves hand scrubbing and pressure washing. 
  • Water Fed Pole Window Cleaning – This is something newer to the window cleaning world and has its place, but can’t replace someone cleaning a window from 6” away.  Water fed pole systems involve using purified water, long 8’ – 24’ poles with a brush on the end.  To clean the window they scrub the window with the brush and rinse with the purified water at the end.  This system would work for homes that have already had a traditional window cleaning done and the cleaner knows they removed all debris on the surface since a WFP can’t remove things like paint, stain, glue, cement, REALLY dried on bird droppings, etc.  They are great for homes that get cleaned often and are not expecting a perfect clean since the operator can’t ensure that the window is REALLY clean from 15’ below it.  They also work great for homes with French Panes since these are really expensive to clean traditionally and the WFP can greatly reduce the cost of the job. 
  • Storm Windows – A window cleaner’s worse nightmare, well storms and French panes on the same home would be worse.  Storms are very time consuming due to the fact they must be taken apart to be cleaned and reinstalled adding lots of labor to the process.  Expect to pay 2-3 times the price for window cleaning on your home if your house has storms, it is twice as much surfaces to clean on each window, plus the pain to take apart and re-assemble.
  • Screen Cleaning – This is the biggest thing many window cleaners fall flat on their face when doing since they clean the screens inside the customer’s home spreading a cloud of dust and bugs.  Unless a screen is pretty much brand new it should be marked with a marker and taken outside of the home to be cleaned.  Some window cleaners clean the screen inside the home which is plain lazy and making a mess for you to clean up, some even show it on their website which is shocking.  If a screen is not too bad a simple wipe down with a towel will be good enough, some screens need to be scrubbed and pressure washed to come clean which is usually an additional cost to the homeowner. 
  • Screen Repair – Most window washers can also repair ripped and damaged screens for you, just ask and many will have the supplies with them.

 

What to expect to pay for window cleaning?  Some factors to consider include:

  • Type of window cleaning?  Is it a first clean, well that will cost more than follow up cleans in the future.  Most window washers will bid jobs for outside only, inside/outside, etc…
  • You get what you pay for.  This holds true in almost everything in life, window cleaning is no different.  I encourage folks to get multiple bids, but sometimes the cheapest bid is not the wisest decision.  You have to ask why the bid is cheaper?  Did the owner cut costs by not having proper insurance?  Is he hiring a bunch of kids with no experience or possibly background checks off the internet?  Is he sub-contracting it out to another company that does not have insurance?  And finally will the cheapest window cleaner do the job you expect?  I can promise you I will rarely be the cheapest estimate you will receive, but feel the value I offer outweighs some of the cheap alternatives that will leave you wishing you had called. 
  • How often are you getting your windows cleaned?  This can lead to discounts for multiple cleanings in the same year.  Don’t be afraid to ask. 

 

Some other factors to consider when hiring a window cleaner in the Minneapolis area:

  • Insurance – Are you protected in case something goes wrong while they are at your home?  We carry a 2 million dollar policy to make sure our customers don’t have to worry if something goes wrong, insurance is expensive and not all contractors have it.  If they have employees working at your home make sure they are all have Workers Comp insurance, if they don’t and something happens the bills can come back to you.  Don’t be afraid to ask if they do, any reputable company should be well covered. 
  • Employees – Window cleaning in Minnesota is seasonal work and it is hard to find good employees who are willing to be unemployed over the winter and lots are hired new each season.  Make sure your window cleaner has run background checks on all of their employees and are bonded in case something goes missing from your home.  These are people who have free reign over your home and you need to be able to trust they have your best interests in mind. 
  • Equipment – Make sure your window cleaner is equipped for the job so they can do it safe and in a timely manner while at your home washing windows. 

 

In the end having your windows cleaned should be a great experience and hopefully the contractor you pick becomes a long term friend that brightens your views each year.  Besides myself there is a ton of great window cleaners in the Twin Cities area that will make you glad you called.  I will warn you that window cleaning is a little addicting and once you get a taste for clean windows you will be seeing your window cleaner more and more in the future!

I look forward to hearing from you and you can get more information on my website listed below.

Thanks,
Barry Schindle

www.rivercityhomesolutions.com

 

 

Posted in: News, Window Cleaning, Minneapolis


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