Question: Does anyone use a backpack for waterfed pole? I think it would work great in those places where your hose from the van gets wrapped up or stuck with obstacles like trees, bushes, etc...
I found some great ones with poles on UK sites but with the exchange rate they would cost too much to import.
John Lee Window Cleaning - Smoky Mountains, TN
I use a 4 gallon backpack garden sprayer that works well. If I am quick on the valve I can go for about 25 windows before I have to refill. It's just really hard on the shoulders/back to be using a pole and having the weight on as well.
I think I did it all for under $40.00. I just went to The Home Depot and got a pump up backpack garden sprayer. I had to spend a little time in the fittings department, but I found it all there.
Window Pro Inc - Omaha, NE
Question: I see we're going to have some cold nights soon, and my garage is not insulated. Are there measures that need to be taken for the winter? Should I be draining my DI and R/Oand ro tanks - or at least the carbon and micron filters? How late in the year do you use your pure water system before you prepare it for cold weather?
Shiny Windows, Inc.- Billings, MT
I use mine year round, but my DI is in the basement. I fill tanks in the van and take the water to the job. You will want to wrap your system with insulation. Also get an air tank and blow all the water out of lines. You do not want any lines or fittings to freeze overnight. You might want to put some type of portable heater in your garage, or in your van.
John Lee Window Cleaning - Smoky Mountains, TN
You can clean in marginally freezing daytime temps, because the building heat will keep water from freezing on the glass. And sunny weather helps. But it's hard to guess whether it will get cold enough at night to ruin hoses, fittings or filter cartridges, so you need to be smart about that. Drain everything that can freeze, or run a heater. In the north, it keeps getting colder at night. You'll know when to pack it in for good; when it's no longer worth the hassle of draining or heating your system every night, or when your customers have turned off all their outside hose bibs.
Window Cleaning Network - Oconomowoc, WI
Question: Can anyone give me an idea of what to expect from a book keeper and what to expect from an accountant? I've never had this business basic explained to me. What do they do for you? How do they charge?
Alpine Window Cleaning - Missoula, MT
A book keeper is someone, generally not college degreed, who understands basic double entry accounting and can maintain the accounting records of your business using a chart of accounts either prepared by him or her or by an accountant. A book keeper is capable of paying your bills, managing your accounts receivable and accounts payable, making deposits, reconciling accounts, and sometimes processing your payroll and payroll taxes. An accountant is almost always college degreed, and a CPA is an accountant who has passed rigorous tests and has "hands on" practical experience in the field. A CPA can do everything a book keeper can do plus provide guidance and advice in such areas as making acquisitions, creating a business that could be sold at a profit if and when you would decide to leave the trade, help you plan for your retirement, assist in developing a strategic plan for your business, prepare your annual tax returns, income tax planning, process your payroll and handle payroll taxes, etc. You would benefit most from a CPA who specializes in small business accounts.
A CPA may charge twice per hour or more than a book keeper would charge. A good CPA could teach you fairly quickly to keep your own set of books if you would choose to do so.
Wise small business owners include a competent CPA on their team of advisors which usually also includes an attorney, a small business insurance specialist, and a banker at a minimum.
ClearPro Window Cleaning - Phoenix, AZ
Question: I just walked about a 10,000-15,000 square foot mansion with the most ornate chandeliers I've ever seen in my life. There are 23 chandeliers of different shapes and sizes. Real crystal, all of them. Some plated in real gold. And some of them have colored glass with pieces shaped like fruits and other decorative creations. About half of them contain 250 pieces or more.
I wasn't sure how to bid the job, so I just counted/estimated the total number of pieces 4,000 - and counted about 4000 pieces, so I bid $4000. Does that seem like a lot? I didn't think I should touch the job for much less considering the liability and time it will take.
Anyway, I got the job, and I'm planning on cleaning them all by hand with wet and dry towels using our window cleaning soap solution. I've used that before on other chandelier projects and it turns out beautifully, but with this much volume, can anyone tell me a better way?
ClearView Industries, Inc - Santa Barbara, CA
Microfiber cloths & deionized water. One damp cloth, one dry. Easy, safe, effective, and cheap. I do not recommend getting any of the metal wet. Most light fixtures have a clear coat over the metal (brightwork) and over time, microscopic cracks can form. Introducing liquid to this equation can cause irreparable damage to the brightwork, tarnishing, etc. We dry dust all metal with a treated dust cloth first, then concentrate on the glass/crystal/bulbs. I recommend taking a lot of pictures, not just for your brag book, but in case you have to dis-assemble anything.
How many hours do you think it will take? At my 85.00 per hour on "easy" fixtures, your $4,000 would give you 47 hours to do them. Divide that by 2 guys. Some fixtures need a "catcher" under them, and the catcher swaps out with the cleaner to reduce fatigue.
First Klass Window Cleaning Inc - West Allis, WI
I'm wondering, what type of treated cloth do you use on the metal?
ClearView Industries, Inc - Santa Barbara, CA
I've had excellent results with Ritz branded dust cloths.
Best Window Cleaning Service - Paradise, CA
Question: Does anyone know if there's a way around the no-compete clause that I signed when I worked for my last company? I am actually already planning on taking my work elsewhere, but I don't have a copy of the no-compete, and I wonder if no-compete meant don't work in that area, period or if it meant don't try to take your previous employer's customers. They've been good to me and I wouldn't want to burn any bridges by doing that.
I would think that if you signed a no-compete agreement you should live up to your end of the agreement that you signed. If you have hired or plan on hiring employees you are going to expect them to abide by the written agreements you make with them.
G&S Window Washing, Inc � Troy, MI
I agree, however there are situations of employment that one can be deceived or even cheated by an employer. That makes such an agreement a breach of contract. (Pay cash, send a 1099 like your are a sub, no mileage when promised mileage for your own auto, ext.)
Mark S. Reinhart
Award Window Cleaning Services, Inc - Grand Rapids, MI
A lawyer needs to look at the non-compete. My lawyers taught me that a non-compete is only good if it was signed before the employee started, or if the employee received some type of additional compensation for signing. An example would be if you are being promoted and have additional pay and responsibilities.
If they signed during employment, they signed under duress and the document is worthless. Companies force employees to do many unfair things. A non-compete for a manager, supervisor or someone who has confidential knowledge about your operation, these hold up in court. Most non-competes are too broad and will not hold water. You can not stop a window cleaner from leaving you and going to another company; this is restraint of trade and the courts have ruled against this time and again.
Expert Window Cleaning - Round Lake Beach, IL
The right thing to do would be to go to the company that you signed that agreement with and see if there's any way you can work out an arrangement. That's what you did when you signed the agreement - that's what you need to do to try to work around it. If anything you are doing is felt to impede on that previous employer, even if you don't necessarily agree, you have given your word - what do you want that to be worth?
Leo's Window Cleaning - North Texas
I know I've tried to help former employees when they've kept their word. You just never know how and when, but good things happen when you are a person of integrity
You can keep your word AND go in business by:
b.) Driving to your work, (since non-competes must be a reasonable area),
c.) Call or visit to your previous employer, let him know that you do not intend to go after his work, and try to work it out so everyone is happy. For example, suggest you do residential if he is a route company.
Great Lakes Window Cleaning - Lansing, MI
The American Window Cleaner magazine is the #1 trade magazine devoted to the window cleaning industry and to the professional window cleaner. With a circulation of 8,000 active, involved window cleaners throughout the United States, The American Window Cleaner magazine is an indispensible professional.