Gone are the days of the window cleaner battling their way up a slightly unstable ladder to valiantly reach the upper windows of the house or office, only to nearly be blown down the street by an errant gust of wind. Why? Because for the last ten years water fed poles have made their lives and ours, far easier and more efficient.
What is a Water Feeder Pole (WFP)?
Water feeder poles started out to reach higher level windows in the London area so there was no need for climbing up ladders and risking a nasty accident in doing so. The poles make use of a specially filtered water that also eliminates the need for a detergent to be added, which in turn means there is no need to climb up and rub off a window to get that high shine finish.
Are the poles safe?
Safer than climbing a ladder! In reality, the height that a pole can reach is largely dependent on the material used to make it. Therefore, window cleaners have different compositions of poles depending on their customers. So for those whose customers have windows less than thirty feet, a fibre glass pole is used. For higher jobs up to sixty feet, a carbon pole is used, as it is stronger but lighter to handle. Sometimes, if the heights are sixty feet and over, a rope system is used to add extra security to the job.
Do they save customers money?
When working at levels above the ground and first floor, the price of the job will also include an element of the risk taken to do the job. In other words, the higher they have to go, the more it is going to cost you. But by using a water feeder pole, the window cleaner doesn’t need to climb ladders and risk an accident to do the job so this can reduce the cost of the job. It also reduces the cost of doing the job because it is quicker than the old fashioned bucket and ladder method – there’s no ladder climbing to start with!
Is the pole eco-friendly?
For those who are worried about the impact of everything they do on the environment, then the water feeder pole is an eco-friendly option. This is because the pole eliminates the need to use detergents and other chemicals that then wash off the building and onto the ground below. Instead, the poles make use of various natural elements including salt and carbon sediment to do the cleaning and these are simply absorbed into the natural environment.
So why no detergent?
Detergent isn’t needed because the water feeder poles make use of tap water that has been specially filtered. This is nature’s cleaning solution without chemicals or artificial cleaners involved and therefore is of no harm to the environment. This lack of a detergent also means that there are no stains left on the windows by the chemicals, which are one of the leading causes of smudged and misty looking windows.
My windows still look dirty after the first clean!
Sometimes it can take one or two times for us to be able to get rid of those years of residue that has built up on your windows so we don’t always guarantee perfectly clean and fresh windows after the first clean. Sometimes it takes two or three attempts to blast away all that detergent and other cleaning products but it will happen and once it does, your windows will sparkle with a natural shine.
Why are my windows wet?
Due to the pure water used in the poles, the windows will be left wet and will dry naturally with no streaks or smears. By wiping them with a cloth, all this would do is spoil this finish and possibly make the window smudged again. What the poles do is make use of the natural elements to do the job.
What’s wrong with climbing a ladder?
While there’s nothing wrong with climbing a ladder to clean windows, and in some locations this is still the best option, the Health and Safety rules are changing to discourage the practise and window cleaners have to follow suit. Since 2005, there have been regulations in place about work heights that mean that scaffolding is needed over a certain height. In turn, insurance companies have begun to charge an increased premium if ladders are used and this can be very costly, unfortunately meaning window cleaners have to increase their prices to the their customers. By making use of a water feeder pole, this issue is eliminated – no ladders means no increased premiums and no increased cost for customers.
The other benefit is that a pole can be used in more weather conditions than a ladder ever could be. No one wants to be up a ladder in the wind or want a ladder falling over onto their car or conservatory. But a pole can easily be used with no risk to person or property.
So no-one will be looking in my window?
No, there is no need for anyone to climb up and look through your window to clean them when using a water feeder pole. For some people, this is irrelevant but for some, the idea of a stranger looking into their home makes them uncomfortable. For others, it is those embarrassing moments when you open the curtain to find yourself face to face with the window cleaner wearing something other than what you would have worn downstairs! Because the work is done by a man or woman on the ground, this issue is removed entirely.
We don’t need scaffolding to have the windows cleaned?
For owners of three and four storey buildings, under the new regulations there would be a need to erect scaffolding for the window cleaner to do their job. The good news is that using the new poles means that the need to put up scaffolding, with its associated costs, is removed. It makes cleaning the windows far less expensive and a headache too.
By Jason Korinek.