Commercial Window Cleaning
In the U.K., the demand for commercial window cleaning services is growing at modest rate according to some industry experts. The combination of increased building construction and the perception that window cleaning is dangerous has led to a shortage of dependable and qualified window cleaners.
Commercial window cleaning is obviously more involved than residential work due to the size and height of commercial buildings. Where residential window cleaning has all but eliminated the need for ladders and heavy equipment, commercial cleaners still require the use of cherry pickers, safety harnesses, abseiling, and cradles to reach their larger buildings. Ground-based systems are becoming more widely used for smaller locations.
Legal and Safety Issues
With the exception of Scotland, licensing is not required in the U.K. for commercial window cleaning services. However, proper training with a reputable organization such as the British Window Cleaning Academy is a necessity to avoid tragic accidents and potentially expensive liability issues. Local regulations in some places may even require certified training.
In 2005 the U.K. Health and Safety Executive issued new Work at Height Regulations requiring, among other things that work on high locations be carried out from ground level or other suitable means whenever possible. The regulations have given rise to new technologies allowing commercial window cleaning companies to work as high as 75 feet while standing on the ground. Proper inspection of all equipment and safety systems for working at height are also now required.
Statistically, the safest method of commercial window cleaning access for tall buildings in the U.K. is employing ropes and harnesses. This method involves individual cleaner’s abseiling down the face of a building with ropes attached to the structure's roof. The system allows for quick and safe access to windows without disturbing traffic below or interrupting business inside with the noise and visual distraction associated with cradle systems. Companies employing rope access have a decided advantage over those who do not.
Building a Successful Business
Even though commercial window cleaning is in high demand, building a successful business requires efficiency and good customer relations practices. Commercial clients need a weekly visit at minimum and some request more. The efficient scheduling of rounds that takes into consideration geographical locations, building size, traffic patterns, and other factors can make or break the window cleaning enterprise.
A dependable and skilled workforce capable of doing the job correctly and interacting with customers is another great asset. Larger companies with a dedicated team of cleaners have found that company uniforms and marked vehicles add a certain level of professionalism their customers appreciate. In a competitive market where pricing structures are often tight, that image of quality and professional attitude can be the difference between success and failure.
With commercial window cleaning likely to be around for quite a while, new start-ups and franchise opportunities are expected to continue being available. It is an easy and profitable way for U.K. residents tired of the office grind to own their own business and enjoy the freedoms associated with it.Back to Top