~~The enemy: Broken seals, Paint, Mineral deposits
There are a few things that my squeegee just can’t deal with (Don’t tell him though, he can be sensitive). The first is broken seals. Almost all windows nowadays have two panes of glass with a gas filled space of a half of an inch or so separating them. Over time as the house settles, or the windows are exposed to extreme temperatures, or they are simply of low build quality, the seal that keeps air and moisture out of that space breaks down and in creep the elements. Sometimes what you might think is nothing more than dried raindrops on the outside of your windows are actually trails of built up condensation in between the panes of glass! In some cases the air and light combine to create strange symmetrical diagonal lines, and in the worst cases, the windows fog over almost completely. Sometimes the windows are under warranty and can be replaced, sometimes a small hole is drilled to let out the moisture. Whatever the case, my squeegee is powerless against the broken seal.
Paint. I can scrape some of it off but sometimes the sprayer has left so fine a dusting and it’s baked in a la pottery kiln and just isn’t going anywhere
Mineral deposits. Paradoxically the very thing that cleans your windows can be that which makes them most ‘dirty’. After evaporation, the particulate matter that is suspended in water drops is left to cook onto your glass and boy does it ever. At a certain point it goes beyond dirty and becomes damage. Some scrubbing and a little CLR can get rid of the lighter stuff and there is a compound called cerium oxide which isused to buff off a layer of glass in serious cases but this is beyond the scope of what I do. Time is the ultimate factor here, if it’s been too long since they’ve been cleaned the likelihood of damage goes up. Thankfully this isn’t horribly common but I do come across it. Your best defense is: keep the sprinklers off the windows, don’t hose off your windows and allow them to dry in the sun, and get them cleaned regularly.
At this point I've convinced you that I'm an affable guy and offer a service that you'd like. Well then, simply give me a call or shoot me an email to get yourself on the schedule. I can usually get you in within a week or two. As for what happens when I knock on your door, click here to see 'what to expect.' I appreciate the time you took to read and for even considering me, thank you. I look forward to finding a spot in your rolodex!
"Sounds Great! Where do I sign up and what can I expect?"
Chances are I've already sized up your house or neighborhood and given you a price based on the size, time required, and degree of difficulty that your home presents. The price I give is for the cleaning of your interior and exterior house windows. Things that can affect the bottom line are variables like: sunrooms, french windows (little windows within windows), storm windows that come apart, window wells, interior french doors that you'd like to include etc. If you have a special case, call or email me with specifics, I'm always fair. Ancillary services such as screen or track cleaning are available at an additional cost. More information about that is available on the services page.
If I haven't given you a price, correspondence is necessary. There is just too wide an array of shapes and sizes of homes to put a number here that you can expect. If you absolutely must have one, it'll be a thousand dollars ;). If you email me with an address, I may have prior knowledge of your neighborhood or can look it up on google street view and give you a very good idea.
With a long washer I apply water and a mild detergent to the window surface and scrub a little. In all my years I have found no secret 'eye of newt' formula that magically whisks away all the dirt and grime better. I do have some chemicals for particularly troublesome water stains and, while I don't like to, I carry an array of razor blades to scrape off some gunk if it's absolutely necessary. Then using an appropriately sized squeegee, I take it all off. It really is pretty simple and straight forward. If you're now thinking "I could do that" I refer you to the above paragraph and videos ;) Whatever water is left behind I soak up and wipe down with one of several dry towels I carry with me throughout the job.
Interior & Exterior Window Washing
"I don't do windows." The calling card of most maid services. Why not? Well for one it's time consuming. Being as how it's my bread and butter and the bulk of the work I've been doing for the last 10+ years, what would take a home owner or even a house cleaner a full day to do, I can do in 3 or 4 hours. Secondly, it's difficult to master. Ammonia, vinegar, spray cleaners, newspaper, waxing or waning moon, whatever formula or secret you've tried it can be downright infuriating to see those streaks once the sun comes pouring in. While 'perfect' is a difficult goal, it's what I strive for. The technique required is really more of an art than a science and it takes some practice to become competent. And practice is what I've had. To the tune of around 3000 homes. Thirdly, it can be a little hair-raising. Traipsing across your rooftop or leaning out with one foot while on the top rung of my 28 foot ladder which is planted on uneven landscaping is routine for me. Don't let this be you: