how to get started in high rise window cleaning using (rds) rope descent systems
this article will give insights on what you need to know to get started in high rise window cleaning ...
... more specifically, rope descent systems window cleaning, using bosun's chair and gravity fed systems, and not swing-stage scaffolding.
as you can see in the picture above, my right hand is controlling my descent and my left hand is controlling my safety line's rope grab / fall arrest device. but, before you get started ...
one of the most important decisions you need to make when considering to start high rise window cleaning is ... why?
why get started? what are the benefits to you?
to explain further, let me share with you some of the many,
benefits of high rise window cleaning:
it allows you to ...
1. earn over $100 per hour
2. open your business to large high paying accounts
3. reduce the stress of scheduling hassles
4. gain greater respect from members of your community
5. generate more work by becoming more visible
6. blow away your competition
7. become available for giant government contracts
8. work in a safer environment than performing ladder work
9. have less physical stress on yourself and employees
i'd have to say benefit #9 is my favorite benefit. i happily, will choose to sit in the comfort and safety of a bosun's chair, than climb up and down ladders all day!
... not to mention the pay is much, much better.
once you've decided, "yes, i want to get started", you'll want to begin learning about specialized high rise window cleaning equipment and how to use that equipment to access hard to reach windows. needless to say, learning safe and legal procedures is a must!
here's a list of the most important ...
high rise window cleaning equipment:
1. bosun's chair
2. descending device
4. full body safety harness
5. shock absorbing lanyard
6. fall arrest device / rope grab
7. primary suspension rope
8. secondary safety line rope
9. suction cups
10. tool bungee's
11. rope protectors
12. self and assisted rescue system
13. portable roof rigger
14. tie-back clamps
15. canvas rope bag
16. convertible hand truck
on some building's roof tops, 2 anchors will be installed for every possible angle of descent. when these anchors are available, and the building owner has verified to you that the anchors have been recently tested for a 5,000 pound rating, the need for a portable roof rigger and tie-back clamp may not be necessary.
directly tying off to the anchors, 1 with your primary suspension line and the second anchor, your safety line, will eliminate the need for a roof rig. this technique is called "direct rigging".
again, it is necessary that a qualified, 'certified engineer' test the anchors before direct rigging is performed.
when you are ready for a thorough explanation of what this equipment is and how to use it, click on this link: high rise window cleaning instruction.
this may sound like an expensive equipment list but, in my experience, just acquiring 1 or 2 high rise window cleaning jobs will easily cover the cost.
here's an illustration to show the immediate benefit of just 1 high rise window cleaning account and how it can transform your window cleaning business into a money making machine!
as of 2011, the high rise building above is paying a little over $4,000 to get 1 (interior / exterior) window cleaning. the exterior takes 1 day to clean with 2 window cleaners and the interior takes 6 hours to clean with 2 window cleaners. so, in under 2 days, 2 window cleaners can produce $4,000 at this account.
imagine 2 window cleaners cleaning 114 store fronts in 2 days priced at $35 each... ouch! that sounds painful. my arms are about to fall off just thinking about it.
i'll take the high rise window cleaning job any day. it's easier, more fun, and more profitable!
learn osha approved methods of high rise window cleaning <--- here.
another consideration is learning how to assess a high rise job site. this happens before any descents are performed.
here's a list of some of the items you'll want to troubleshoot when making a,
high rise window cleaning job site assessment:
1. examine the roof and determine whether the anchors are installed to adequately cover each 'line of descent'.
2. if not, are the parapet walls certified to handle the load when tying back using a 'tie-back' clamp?
3. will you need to bring a portable roof rigging device?
4. and what size rigger will you need for the particular job site?
5. on the side of the building, are there obstacles that need to be addressed?
6. can you safely rappel over obstacles by protecting your ropes with 'rope protectors'?
7. on the ground below your 'work zone', will you need to use 'barricades' to protect other workers and the general public?
8. will you need to secure your tools using 'tool bungee's'?
9. will you need to coordinate your descents with the property manager to avoid conflicts with building tenants and other vendors?
these are some of the many concerns you'll need to address when making a high rise window cleaning job site assessment.
ready to get started? click here: high rise window cleaning instruction.
whatever you decide, i wish you a safe and prosperous journey into the world of high rise window cleaning.
the sky's the limit!
about the author: andy engstrom is a certified high rise window cleaner using (rds) rope descent systems. andy recently released the world's first and only downloadable high rise window cleaning training course called "extreme window cleaning", an 8 chapter (video) training system. download your copy: http://www.extremewindowcleaning.com