Hercules Window Cleaning company strives to provide best-in-class service while remaining transparent and competitive. Below you will find our guide on “How to Qualify a Window Cleaning Company” so you can be well informed when it comes time to choose a window cleaning company.
Window Cleaning Pricing
Most window cleaning companies base their pricing on two factors: Hours and Hourly Labor Charges.
Number of Hours Required
- Although cleaning times vary from building to building (see below) the proper amount of time to clean the windows of a given building should not vary much from one contractor to the next.
- Different buildings require different equipment and façade access systems. Some buildings can only be accessed with lifts or scaffolds. The façade access method required by the building has the greatest impact on the hours required to clean the building.
- It takes longer to clean high rise windows than ground floor windows because of set up and rigging time. Each building is different. Large overhangs and tall parapet walls increase rigging time. .
- It takes longer to clean windows that are serviced infrequently or are in areas with high auto traffic.
- It is important to clearly specify which glass surfaces are cleaned and which are not. For example, if exterior glass panels are not specified some bidders may include them in their quote, while others may not. The difference can be substantial.
Hourly Labor Charges
- High rise window cleaning requires training, experience and skill. These window cleaners are often members of the Service Employee International Union and Journeyman base wage rates are currently approaching as much as $20.00 per hour. Insurance, benefits, equipment, administrative and other expenses have driven hourly charges to $50 or higher in most urban markets.
- Experience matters. High rise window cleaning implies a certain amount of risk. The only way to mitigate this risk is to hirer experienced and properly trained window cleaners.
- Low rise window cleaning can be performed at a lower hourly charge because less training , experience and specialized equipment is required.
Window Cleaning Plan of Service
According to ANSI-14, the window cleaning standard approved by BOMA, OSHA and the International Window Cleaners Association (IWCA), Window cleaners should provide a plan of service prior to commencing work. It is helpful to discuss elements of this plan with each bidder so that you can be assured that they are all using the proper methods and equipment for the building. If bidders are using different methods or equipment, this may explain significant price differences. This plan should include the following:
- When windows requiring suspended equipment will be cleaned.
- Where the public may be exposed to overhead hazards.
- What fall protection and prevention systems are to be used.
- What equipment will be used.
Look for experience in similar types of buildings. Ask how their employees act and appear in the presence of tenants and other building visitors. Ask how flexible and available they are when scheduling window cleaning. Do they get the job done when they say they will? Do they deliver the quality level that they promise?
- Building security is a higher priority than ever. Does the bidder perform careful background checking and drug screens? Are background screens repeated periodically?
- Does the window cleaning company experience annual turnover? Turnover is a symptom of poor management practices and also may be used to keep costs low by removing higher skilled workers who have earned raises and other premiums. Inexperienced workers have less training and can expose the building owner or property manager to increased risk.
How long has the window cleaning company been in business? Have they changed names or ownership repeatedly? Can they provide financial statements? Are they creditworthy?
Insurance for high rise window cleaning contractors has become increasingly difficult to obtain. As a result it is more expensive and many contractors are faced with difficult decisions. Make sure to check the following when reviewing a bidders insurance certificate:
- Do all of their policies have the limits required by building ownership?
- Are the underwriters rated A10 or higher by A. M. Best?
- Do they have current coverage for the contract period in question or are the certificates outdated?
- Are the certificates in the name of the contractor?
- Require that the building owner and property manager be named as additional insured. This is the only way to assure that the insurance is valid and remains in force.
Compliance By Property Management Professionals
Property management professionals as well as building ownership is required to comply with ANSI-14. Failure to do so increases exposure to OSHA and civil liability as a result of unsafe practices, accidents or inadequate documentation.
Owners, or their representatives are required to obtain certification of their roof anchorage system, and to identify the location and number of anchors needed to pass the requirements of ANSI I-14 Standard. The following questions should be addressed prior to window cleaning operations:
- Which type of roof anchorage system is required?
- How are the window cleaners required to be connected to the anchors?
- Has the system been inspected by a structural engineer for integrity?
- Has a roof plan with approved anchors been documented and provided to window cleaners?
- Has the window cleaning contractor designated an OSHA compliance officer who conducts and documents regular monthly training meetings, and has this documentation been made available to property management?
Hercules Window Cleaning company has been performing high rise commercial window cleaning for more than 50 years. Are window cleaning experts are ready to answer any questions you may have and help guide you through the window cleaning process.
Give us a call at (314) 965-1150, or click here to receive a free estimate within 2 business days.