There can be no doubt that washing windows is tiring and takes some time.
However, regardless of its entertainment factor or lack thereof, it is a task that must be routinely completed.
Washing residential windows is usually fairly easy, but tackling window washing while suspended many meters off the ground is another matter entirely. This all begs the question of precisely how to clean skyscraper windows, given what an extremely hazardous the job is.
Equipment For Cleaning Windows
Because professional window cleaning technicians are required to operate at incredible heights, they need to employ a host of equipment that must be hauled along as they work. Generally speaking, a window cleaner will need to have a safety rope, rope protector, rope grabber, a descent tool, a lanyard as well as as suction cups. This group of items will prevent dangerous incidents and facilitate window cleaning that is fast as well as effective.
When cleaning windows on the side of a building, a worker will be linked to an anchor that is roof-mounted. The purpose of the anchor is to permit the cleaner to do necessary tasks while making a vertical descent. Perhaps you have observed that window washers do not descend in a fluid manner, but rather drop from floor to floor in a somewhat jarring fashion. The specifications of the building on which windows are being cleaned will determine how much of a drop to which a cleaner is subjected.
In the past, cleaning professionals simply stood on ledges of windows while grasping the frames as a means of support. That is unthinkable today, given that such a technique is entirely unsuitable for skyscraper work. In time, sturdy leather belts came on the scene, which were fastened to anchor bolts that kept the workers safe. Subsequent to that, scaffolding began to be used as an extra layer of convenience and protection.
These days, multiple methods for window cleaning exist, and which one is chosen for a given job will depend on several factors. The most frequently used mechanisms for washing windows at present at the boom, carriage, Bosun’s chair and portable davit.
A Bosun’s chair is intended for a washer who is working alone. It provides ease of access in tight corners and other parts of tall structures, but makes sure the washer stays comfortable in a safe, seated posture. This option is great for situations in which the washer will be working for an extended period.
The boom has been around for many years and is quite common. It is comprised of scaffolding capable of holding several washers, something which can be useful when many hands are needed. It should be noted that a boom is affixed permanently to a building’s roof and is used whenever necessary.
Growing in popularity at present, however, is the carriage. This is something that is mounted onto a rail situated on the roof, facilitating left and right movements across the building’s facade. Much in the same manner of the boom, the carriage holds more than one washer at once, but it provides much better movement and mobility.
The least expensive option in terms of washing mechanisms is the portable davit. This is able to carry multiple washing personnel and also allows access to a large section of a building facade.
Unique Facets Of Cleaning High Rise Windows
Clearly, washing the windows of a skyscraper is vastly different than tackling the same job at home. Handling residential windows requires little more than some fabric or paper towel, some soap or cleaning solution and a bit of elbow grease. But, when attempting to clean windows 100 stories up from the ground, the scenario changes quite a bit.
The environmental challenges that emerge at significant heights can be much more daunting than would ever be observed at ground level. Wind is great on a warm day, but when you are hanging off of a tall building, wind can pose a serious danger if the proper equipment is not at the ready.
Not everyone realizes that there are a number of bugs that proliferate at altitude. These have the ability to create a dangerous nuisance for workers as they hang high above the ground working to keep windows clean.
It is beyond dispute that window cleaning is a difficult way to earn a living.
The job is among the riskiest and most challenging around.
Though there are many pieces of safety equipment available to lessen the hazards, the truth is that it is incumbent on window washing professionals to stay at the top of their game, keep an even keel and do what it takes to keep the world’s skyscrapers looking beautiful all year long.