window cleaners liability waivers: 3 waivers you can use to safeguard
your business assets from customer damage claims
operating your own
window cleaning business is not only financially rewarding but, it also
allows several months free time off the job every year; time you can use
to do as you please. this is because most window cleaning businesses are
seasonal, only operating during the cleaning season.
therefore, it's important
to take steps to ensure your finances and freedoms are safeguarded by
the use of documents that will release your business from liability if
damages occur on customer's window glass.
during the course
of this article, i'll show you 3 liability waivers you can use to protect
your business from financial damages caused by customers and construction
companies suing you.
these are the 3 types
of cleaning jobs that pose the highest risk to window cleaning companies:
- post construction
- glass restoration
- awning cleaning
1) tempered glass scratch liability waiver:
window cleaning is, in my estimation, the most likely place you or your
employees will cause damage to glass.
fines caused by fabricating debris, in poorly manufactured tempered
glass, will cause you to scratch glass when using razor blades and scrapers
to clean glass. although the use of razor blades and glass scraper are
the best, and most commonly used method to remove items like stickers,
glue, decals and paint during a post construction window cleaning, it
also may expose your business to a lawsuit, if damage to glass occurs
when you are cleaning it.
glass fines can be
extremely difficult to detect, especially during a construction cleanup.
this is because the layers of construction debris coating the glass can
make seeing glass fines difficult.
even if you test a
small area of glass with a razor blade to try to detect the presence of
glass fines, the layers of paint, caulking, stickers, glue and other construction
materials may mask your ability to hear the "gritty" sound a
razor makes when scraping over fines.
remember, glass fines
are caused by fabricating debris during the tempering process of flat
glass. the "roller" side of the glass can pick up tiny shards
of glass from the rollers and bake it right into the glass.
but, because not all
tempered glass released for public use is free of fabricating flaws, an
unsuspecting window cleaner, at some point in the windows life, may scratch
it using standard razor blading techniques. if this happens to you, you
may be blamed for the glass damage and may be held responsible for the
cost of replacing the glass.
this is where the
use of a "post construction window cleaning liability waiver"
is essential in protecting you from costly glass replacement. this
liability waiver needs to be signed by the general contractor before you
start the window cleaning process. the waiver must be written in such
a way to release you and your employees from liability and legal action
caused from the use of razor blades and glass scrapers.
here is a sample "tempered
glass scratch waiver" posted at the iwca website i know you'll find
this is a sample tempered
glass scratch waiver you can use but, i'd suggest having your legal council
look it over to make sure it fits the needs of your business.
2) glass restoration liability waiver:
the use of glass restoration
chemicals can be extremely effective in removing hard water stains, oxidization
and other atmospheric pollutants from window glass surfaces. it's important
for you to let your customer know that not all glass can be restored
to its original, crystal clear shine.
window glass left
exposed and unmaintained for long periods of time will develop stains
on the surface of the glass. and, if left long enough, may even change
the molecular structure of the glass.
surface stains usually
fall into the "phase 1 corrosion" category which can, in most
cases, be removed by following the restoration chemical's manufacture
recommendations of use.
on the other hand,
if you find the glass falls into the "phase 2 corrosion" category,
the glass's molecular structure has been altered and regular chemical
use will not remove the problem stain. in this case the glass will need
to be replaced or you can remove the stain with the use of a professional
grade window glass grinder.
glass grinders will
actually remove a layer of glass and may cause a visual distortion in
the glass. so, it's important to become as proficient in the use of glass
grinders as possible to produce the best results for your customers.
in most cases you'll
be restoring glass with phase 1 corrosion. in most cases, restoration
chemical work wonders, but on rare occasions they can actually make the
glass look worse. this is due to the way the chemical reacts to a particular
piece of glass.
so, you'll need to
let your customer know...
- there is a possibility
the staining won't be completely removed from problem glass.
- there is a possibility
that the stain will "reappear" sometime in the future.
- there is a possibility
that the chemical may have a negative reaction to the stained glass
and glass replacement may be necessary.
- if you are using
a glass grinder to remove deep scratches and phase 2 corrosion, there
is a possibility the glass may have visible distortion after the procedure
to protect your business
and to educate the customer about the benefits and potential side effects
of restoring their glass, a glass restoration liability waiver is needed.
this waiver needs to be signed before any restoration work begins.
here is a sample "glass
restoration liability waiver" posted at the winsol website:
by the way, winsol
is the chemical manufacture of a popular glass restoration product called
"crystal clear 550".
3) awning cleaning liability waiver:
when ever you are
working to clean a fabric material that has been exposed to the elements,
there's a chance that the fabrics state of deterioration and the application
of chemicals to said fabrics, can cause an undesirable outcome such as...
(cracking and discoloration). this can be the case with awning
awnings are made from
different fabric types and have different types of finishes. it's up to
you, the professional awning cleaner, to understand these differences
and apply the correct chemicals and cleaning methods to these different
materials. even with a great knowledge of these differences, damage from
the application of correct chemicals and techniques can happen. the reason...
...in many cases,
it's difficult to determine the state of deterioration by look or feel.
in any case, an "awning
cleaning / restoration liability waiver" is a prudent measure you'll
want to present and have signed before any work is to commence on your
customer's awnings. winsol has an "awning maintenance waiver"
posted at this address as a sample of what your company might produce:
owning and operation
a window cleaning business can be rewarding financially and allow you
plenty of free time to do as you please. therefore, safeguarding your
business with the use of liability waivers will help give you peace of
business assets from damage claims when performing higher risk cleaning
about 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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