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preventing heat related illness:
window cleaning in high heat can knock you off your feet

window cleaning in direct sun exposure, high heat and humidity, is a recipe for heat related illness' such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. during the course of this article, we'll look at ways to prevent, detect and cure the symptoms of heat illness.

as an aid in publishing accurate information, i've referenced articles from the following commercial web site's and united states government agency sites:

united states department of health and human services - center for disease control and prevention

new jersey department of health and senior services

e medicine consumer health

web md

people suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. i wanted to address this subject because, as a professional window cleaner, i know know first hand the powerful effects heat and sun exposure can have on the body.

back in 1996, i had a window cleaning company in nashville tennessee called, "music city windows". being an alaskan and new to the nashville area, i was ill prepared to deal will the summer heat and humidity. after the course of a few days, while cleaning storm windows for a number of residential clients, i fainted from heat exhaustion. due to a lack of the right kind of fluids and sun screen, i was so dehydrated i had to take four days off work to recuperate.

some window cleaning jobs can allow you to stay out of the direct sun by cleaning areas in the shade and following the shade around a building as the day passes. unfortunately, this scenario is relatively unlikely for most residential and commercial job sites. so, if you are forced to do window work in the heat, here are a few tips to prevent heat related illness...


  • don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. drink a couple of glasses per hour of liquids that do not contain caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar, these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. a sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and applying a sunscreen of spf 15 or higher; the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “uva/uvb protection” on their labels.
  • wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • try to rest often in shady areas.

free window cleaning tips owner andy engstrom window cleaning via a man lift.recently, i worked a whole day in the direct sun and heat window cleaning via a 40' man-lift at a 5 story apartment complex. i followed the prevention techniques (above), except for the "wide-brimmed hat", but found i needed to take greater measures to maintain proper body temperature.

so, i periodically soaked my head, arms and legs in cold water. in addition, i soaked my hat in cold water as well.


(learn how you can profit wildly by integrating man-lifts into your window cleaning or pressure washing business by clicking here).

symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  1. heavy sweating
  2. paleness
  3. muscle cramps
  4. tiredness
  5. weakness
  6. dizziness
  7. headache
  8. nausea or vomiting
  9. fainting

the skin may be cool and moist. pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow.


heat exhaustion: this condition often occurs when people exercise (work or play) in a hot, humid place and their body fluids are lost through sweating, causing the body to overheat.

heat stroke: this medical condition is life-threatening. the person's cooling system, which is controlled by the brain, has stopped working, and the internal temperature has risen to the point where brain damage or damage to other internal organs may result (temperature may reach 105+°f).

curing heat exhaustion:

get in and air conditioned environment. at greater lengths, take a cool shower or bath. drink cool nonalcoholic beverages and get plenty of rest. if heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke. seek medical attention immediately if symptoms are severe or last longer than one hour.

i'll see you on the streets cleaning windows,

- andy


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,

visit: window cleaning business

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