Choosing the right option for cleaning a high rise building depends on multiple factors. The height, and therefore scale and safety, is a significant challenge and will rule out some of your potential choices. Other buildings come with different problems like structural complexities that require specialized window cleaning methods.
As with any maintenance on a large commercial or residential property, budget and time frames are also considerations. You’ll want to prevent interruption to the workers and residents where possible too.
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What you don’t want to do is rush into a decision and hire the first high rise pressure cleaning contractor you come across. Because of the safety protocols required with high rise buildings, you want to ensure that the team you choose to work are reputable, are insured, have the training and equipment needed, and care about delivering quality results.
Knowing the window cleaning options available will give you some insight into the various options that may be suggested to you by a contractor when they supply you with a quote for commercial window cleaning. You’ll be able to weigh up if their suggestion is the most cost-effective option for your particular building and circumstances, and which is the most appropriate for the building based on its height and structure.
Option 1: The water fed pole system
This is the least complicated method of washing windows of a high rise building. It’s also the most affordable and is, therefore, a popular choice for many commercial buildings. Using pure water applied with force removes dirt from the surface of windows without damaging the infrastructure. Tap water is purified and pumped through telescopic carbon fiber poles, that are connected to brushes. These have jets that push the water onto the windows. The dirt is loosened and washed away by water jetting out through the poles. As well as effectively cleaning windows, it can be used on cladding, signage, canopies, and even glass roofing.
This method of cleaning windows leaves them streak-free and without droplet marks because of the purified water. The impurities and minerals that would leave a residue are removed. The water force does the cleaning, so no detergents are added to the process, making this an eco-friendly option. Because the crew work from ground level, it is also comparatively safe. However, because of this, it is also only suitable for buildings that are up to five stories high.
Option 2: The cradle method
This is a highly specialized method of cleaning high-rise building windows, with a cradle suspended over a building façade giving access to the panes. When assessing if your building is suitable for this method of cleaning, a contractor will, of course, take into account the height of the building, but will also assess the integrity of the building and suitability. For example, if the building is relatively new, it will like to have been built with an integrated cradle system. The benefit is that there are no limits to the height of this building system that can work with, and because no scaffolding or ground access is needed, there is no interruption to residents or workers.
Options 3: The mounted platform method
As an alternative to using a cradle, a mounted platform can be used on building facades. It is often mounted on a specialist vehicle. This is useful as it can easily be moved around in response to specific cleaning challenges and is versatile as it is adjustable. For complex buildings, this makes it user friendly for crews who may need the option to move it around to gain access. There are limits to the heights of buildings it can work on, but this system can handle good heights when mounted on a truck.
Either way, this tends to be a versatile and effective choice. Crews may prefer to use a platform that is mounted as it can be moved around or adjusted to make it appropriate for the building’s size and design/layout and can quickly bet set up to complete the task.
Option 4: The abseiling/rope access method
If a cradle isn’t an option, then abseiling is another popular method for high rise window cleaning, particularly on buildings with complex structures. The cleaning team uses rope access to get across the building’s façade without the need for heavy equipment. This makes it less expensive as no big setups or equipment are needed to undertake the work. Another plus is that the crew can easily reach places that would be more challenging using other methods. They can get closer to windows and ensure they are thoroughly cleaned.
As with all contractors, it’s a good idea to ask for proof of their licensing and insurance and request recent references from clients who have hired them for work similar to your building.