Bundle up! It’s time to talk about your winter window cleaning strategy.
Ah…. the nice, crisp air of winter. The cold wind feels good after spending hours in an overheated building. And the quiet of a snowy day is always nice, too. Some things, however, get a bit more challenging when the temperature drops, such as winter window cleaning.
It would be nice if freezing and below-freezing temperatures could keep windows from getting dirty, but that’s just not reality. At the same time, good ole’ soapy water and single-digit temperatures aren’t the best mix, unless you like your windows coated in ice.
In some areas, winter weather can even make window washing a necessity. All the grime, salt, ice, and freezing rain can result in windows that are nearly impossible to see through. On top of all that, if you don’t offer winter window cleaning, there’s a chance your customers will find someone who does.
In other words, if you offer window cleaning to your clients in summer, spring, and fall, they’ll expect it (and need it) in the winter, too. The question is really more about how to improve your winter window cleaning plan than it is about whether or not you should.
From workloading to maintenance schedules, Janitorial manager can help you organize your entire operation. Schedule a free call with Janitorial Manager and make your work easier and more profitable.
Your step-by-step winter window cleaning plan
Like a lot of things in your commercial cleaning business, the real success of a winter window cleaning plan is in the preparation. Once everything is in order, it’s just a matter of carrying out the details. And, of course, since this is a plan, you can use at least some of it throughout the season and in the following years. That way, you get a good return on the time and effort you put into it.
1. Get ahead of the weather. If at all possible, work with your clients to clean windows thoroughly before cold weather settles in. This won’t prevent the windows from becoming dirty, but it will give you a better starting point.
2. Talk to your clients. If you use outdoor spigots to clean windows for your clients, you’ll want to find out if they turn them off for the winter. If they do, you’ll need to find a solution. That could be turning them back on while you’re working or bringing your own winter window cleaning product.
3. Use the right cleaning solution. There are several solutions for winter window cleaning that will prevent freezing. Some people recommend automotive windshield wiper fluid, while others suggest creating your own blend from rubbing alcohol, water, and dish soap. Whether you buy, adapt, or make your own cleaning solution, make sure it’s appropriate for your area. For example, you likely don’t need a cleaner that will prevent freezing at below zero temperatures if you’re in southern Arizona.
4. Get some gloves. At a minimum, you want to ensure you and your team have waterproof rubber gloves available. This is to protect your hands from the cold, as well as to protect them from cold cleaning solutions. In colder climates, you may need to upgrade to gloves made for working in frigid conditions.
5. Acquire the right gear. In especially cold areas, you’ll need more than just waterproof gloves. Warm hats and jackets are a necessity if you’re working outdoors in cold weather. And if you’re outside for any length of time, consider getting hand and foot warmer packets. These are inexpensive, fit right inside your gloves or boots, and release heat for up to 10 hours.
6. Use a wrap. To help keep your hands warm, use a wrap or a rubber sleeve on any handles on your equipment. Metal handles absorb all the cold within a 5-mile radius and transfer it to you. Okay, that’s not entirely true, but it sure does feel like it sometimes.
7. Ensure the area is safe. Once you have your gear and cleaning solution together, it’s still important to ensure that wherever you’re working is safe. For example, look for large chunks of ice that might fall from roofs or trees.
8. Determine your no-go point. Winter weather can be both unpredictable and unforgiving. It’s essential to determine when you need to postpone your winter window cleaning. Whether temperatures are too low or winds are too high, there comes a time when it’s beyond challenging to do this kind of work outdoors. Talk to your team, talk to your clients, then reschedule.
Obviously, winter weather in Florida is much different than in Minnesota. While it might be ideal to wait for a 60-degree day, that won’t always be an option. So, you may need to make some adjustments depending on your location, as well as local weather patterns.
In any case, flexibility is a must when you’re dealing with weather conditions. But how can you be flexible when you have a tight schedule and clients to accommodate?
That’s where janitorial scheduling software is an invaluable addition to your organization. Take the stress out of stressful situations, so you can focus on getting the job done.
Manage your hiring, scheduling, training, and more, no matter what the weather brings. Get started now with a free call to Janitorial Manager to learn how mobile-friendly janitorial software can help you strengthen and grow your business.