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how to access and clean high interior church windows

window cleaning picture of high interior church ladder access

about a month ago dennis, a new window cleaning business owner who's signed up for my 6 month window cleaning business mentoring program, asked me how he could access these interior church windows for cleaning. he sent photos which i've made into a composite to get a better overall picture of the job's troubleshooting / or glass access requirements. also, i'd like thank dennis for allowing me to use his pictures for this tutorial.

the following article is based on my recommendations to safely and accurately access these windows for cleaning.

here's the image key:

"white" <---> = (place 32' extension ladder top here)
"yellow" <---> = (place 24' extension ladder top here)
"blue" = (ground movement)
" ---------[]" = (clean these windows from corresponding ladder or ground location)
"letters a through l" = (suggests ladder stations for window access)

safety first

dennis, the first thing you need to asses is whether or not the framework of this interior glass wall can support your weight and an extension ladder resting in various places on the structure. from the pictures you sent me, it looks as though it's a sound structure but, you're are going to have to determine that on your own based on information you can obtain or by your own observations. let's start with troubleshooting this job site, or...

how to access the windows for cleaning

1. move pews, (if possible), and other obstructions before setting up ladder(s)

2. add "ladder mitts" to ladder tops to create greater ladder stability and eliminate damage to wood

3. set up ladder at point (a) and continue cleaning through point (l)

4. finish cleaning window "side" with ground movements

5. repeat process on other side of glass

other safety and cleaning suggestions

1. preventing ladder slippage

either have an employee hold ladder base or add a "ladder stopper" to ladder base to minimize slip-out when cleaning other side of glass. it appears as though there is a potentially slippery floor on that side of windows. learn more about ladder safety < here.

2. detailing windows

make sure to carefully dry towel along top window edge of roof line glass... angled cuts of glass love to leave dirty water drips, long after the window cleaning process. i always suggest minimizing the amount of "detailing" i.e.. (using a micro fiber or other type of towel on window after squeegeeing), but in the case of angled cuts of glass... detailing top is a must.

3. removing sill dust layer

use a natural sponge, also known as a sea sponge, to soak up excess solution from bottom window sills. you may want to have an extra bucket of water available at the site to use for sea sponge rinsing exclusively. there's bound to be a lot of dust on those sill bottoms and you won't want to contaminate your clean window cleaning solution every time you come down a ladder to rinse sponge.

dennis, congratulations on acquiring this account! it's a great project anytime of the year but, especially in winter when interior work makes sense.

- andy engstrom


further notes

because it was difficult for me to determine the position of the pews from the pictures dennis mailed me, i made the previous recommendations based on the idea that extension ladders had the necessary space to be properly erected and used to access windows for cleaning.

consequently, the pews on right side of photo were too close to back wall and were bolted to the floor so, ladder use was not possible... instead, scaffolding needed to be erected and used to access glass for cleaning. and yet, the illustration still serves as a good example of how to stage extension ladders for this type of window cleaning.

scaffolding is available for rent at most heavy equipment rental companies. check your telephone's yellow pages directory for more information on scaffolding rentals.

discover how you can get personal mentoring, from me, for your window cleaning business by clicking here:


andy engstromabout the author: andy engstrom specializes in teaching real people how to start profitable window cleaning businesses that make $40,000 to $100,000 (or more) per year. to get instant access to all his most profitable window cleaning business strategies, tools, and resources,

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