The most common method for cleaning high rise windows is using rope access. Rope access window cleaners should be IRATA qualified in order to provide a professional, safe service, whilst working at height.

With shops and offices window cleaning can be carried out using traditional methods or a small water fed pole system. Public Liability Insurance is cheap and easy to get, no qualifications are required and there is minimal risk.

With high rise window cleaning there are more barriers to entry and the risk associated with carrying out the work is much higher, and therefore it is important you choose the right company.

Request a Site Visit

Firstly, you need to establish the most appropriate window cleaning method to clean the high rise windows. Our high rise window cleaning teams will carry out a site visit. They will look at the height, access around the building and access to the windows, discuss the different options with you and answer any questions that you might have. They will also suggest the most cost effective method and the method that will cause minimal disturbance to the building occupants.

High Rise Window Cleaning Methods

Dependant on height and access high rise window cleaning is carried out using the water-fed pole system, a mobile platform (for example a cherry picker), a cradle or via rope access.

Whilst window cleaning using water fed poles is the safest method, most of the time the poles are not long enough to reach the highest windows.

High Rise Window Cleaning using mobile platforms

Where water fed poles cannot reach the windows or where access is an issue, using a hydraulic lift or mobile platform (otherwise known as a cherry picker) is the preferred method. These machines allow operatives to clean windows using traditional methods and up to approximately 220 feet, however they must only be operative by window cleaners that hold an IPAF license.

High Rise Window Cleaning using a Cradle

Some larger and older buildings may have a cradle that is fitted to the building. Our professional window cleaners are experienced at using cradles but they can only be used if they have been tested and the necessary maintenance records are in place. The liability is on the building owner and the window cleaning team to ensure these records are in place.

High Rise Window Cleaning using Rope Access

The most common method for cleaning high rise windows is using rope access. LaddersFree approved rope access window cleaners are IRATA qualified and provide a professional, safe service in all major cities and towns across the UK including London, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, Plymouth, Sheffield, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Rope access window cleaning can be carried out using two methods. Windows can be cleaned via abseiling where the operatives hook onto permanent anchor points or where these are not available using a dead weight trolley system.

Dead weight trolleys systems are expensive and are therefore only used by the leading commercial window cleaning companies. Weights are added to the trolley and the system can be taken to the roof of a building. Window cleaners can then set up anchor points to the trolley enabling them to use the trolley to hold their weight as they abseil down a building.

It is your responsibility – Risk assessments and Method Statements

Because The Work at Height Directive 2005 and other health and safety legislation places the responsibility of health and safety compliance on building owners and not just window cleaning operatives, it is important you ensure work is carried out safely to minimise any potential risk to your employees, your customers and the general public.  Don’t just go with the cheapest quotation. Making sure your window cleaning service provider provides you with copies of their accreditations and their public liability insurance is not enough. You need to ensure that the operatives are IRATA qualified and that the public liability insurance will insure operatives for working at height. Also, make sure a risk assessment is carried out and you supplied with a Method Statement.

As the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry. If there is ever any accident at least you can prove to The Health and Safety Executive what you have done to minimise the risks and what documentation you have requested.