First commercial building

Hi there

I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible, but I always fail at doing that :slight_smile: .

My company was called to submit a bid on a commercial building (bank + office building) just 2 Story high and too be honest we you I haven’t count the windows yet, I have everything on paper next to me but I wanted to post first to show the pictures taken there. I’ll update information later.

I’m new to this trade, I bought my company less than a month ago, 5 years old doing 99% residential. I learn fast and the residential part of it is pretty much under control, but practice makes perfect.

In the pics you’ll see a lot of white spots which is dust accumulation and there’s a lot of road construction next to the building. I’ll be there tomorrow to clean just a couple of windows to see how it turns out and to show to the Property manager to:
1- see if the get excited with before-after
2- see how clean I can get them and set their expectations.

Access is a little tricky, probably due to my lack of experience - I think that an articulated lift will do it.

I “suggested” an initial “deep” cleaning Inside and outside with scraper and so, and after that we can do maintenance ( thinking about WFP), I did mentioned that the other banks (2) that we service are visited 1/month, and she said “once a month?”, so I think you can work that out later.

Sorry to have you guys reading so long, I’ll post pics so you better understand where I’m at.

Any advice will be appreciated, I’m reading through the whole commercial part of this board like crazy and in less than an hour I’ve learned a lot.
Thanks for sharing … knowledge and experience.

a few more pics.

there’s a lot of building run off (??), pretty sure about calcium build-up under that “regular dirt”.
I have no pics of the main entrance of the office bldg, which is a wall of glass, like 25ft high with a lot of dirt, and a few “Bright spots” like efflorescence (don’t know if that’s the right term to use).

I want to hear what everyone has to say and then evaluate if is something that I can handle, because I don’t want to take more than what I can chew, that can hurt the company professionally, which is already established , but in the other hand if we do it right, for the right price, making a good profit it could be the first step to cross to the commercial side of business.

Thanks again

So, what kind of advice/input are you looking for, specifically?

Kevin, pricing should be a good one to get started.
Probably the pics posted are not clear enough to show you around the building so you can see how good or bad the access to the windows is.
I’m insured, is just myself, one full time employee and for sure I can get help if the timeframe is reduced.

I you guys think there’s not enough, or not to specific information just ask me … being my first commercial bid is 100% possible that I didn’t look where I should have.

Hmmm…yes, the old pricing issue…

My advice is to use this very basic formula:

[B]A[/B] = # of hours you will spend on this job
[B]B[/B] = $/hr wage you would like to earn (you decide this, no one else does)
[B]C[/B] = $ you will have to pay others to help you complete the job
[B]D[/B] = $ you will have to spend on equipment/training

Your price should be = [B](A x B) + C + D[/B]

Keep it simple. Don’t worry to much about how much your competitors would charge or other stuff like that. Just use this formula. For values above that you are uncertain of, guess high, to cover your you-know-what.

thanks a lot Kevin, and I’ll take it like I’m getting paid to learn, but there’s no room for screw-ups with these people, they’ll sue the hell out of you :slight_smile:

Another thing that I’m interested in is HOW to tackle the job.

I don’t have a WFP but if can be used I’ll be willing to buy it to use in future jobs.

I’d rather spend the money in something that I’m gonna keep and use over and over and no money on rentals.

The thing is scraper or some sort of scrubbing will be needed for sure. I’ve read something about a steel wool sleeve and pole from the ground… that’ll be great since I can do it myself or with little help.

Please advice

I believe you’ll need more then just steel wool,scraping etc. Most likely the aid of a chemical to help & hopefully remove those deposits.

I would stay CLEAR of a HF hydrofluoric acid unless your certain you know what side of the glass your contending with? Safe-Restore would be my first choice with Sorbo hard water remover,possibly both in conjunction?

As for price determine your set per pane price the higher you go the more it should be(at least more for the uppers) coupled with ladder sets and other nuisance charges like hard water removal/restoration you have to endure.

Then…as mentioned figure what you want your hourly to be and compare that to your per pane + extras and adjust accordingly.

That would be the simplest way!:wink:

Thank you Craig, but as I said, I’ll be doing a couple of panes to see how it turns out, if we’re talking about a cleaning job I’ll jump feet first, but if we’re talking restoration here I’m not sure what I’ll do. I think that I’ll get to know the “customer” a little more tomorrow since i have to spend sometime there, and see what their expectations are.

Thanks again for your input :slight_smile:

Bottom line is…jobs like these involve both. Sometimes the scope of restoration or the removal of hard water stains depends on several factors accessibility,how easily they remove etc.

You can’t very well clean it without removing the existing stains(unless there ok with that)? Or…the staining will not lift or remove. If it is a “Silicate Deposit” you may have your work cut out,even if a majority of the staining removes being basic calcium-magnesium comes off… you could still be faced with some silicates remaining.

Just take all this into consideration before submitting the bid;)

That’s why I came here looking for advice.
As I said due to my lack of experience is possible that I’ve overseen a lot of stuff, I’m not trying to make a lot of money out of this, but use it to gain experience and learn for the next project.

please keep this thread open and let me know your point of view.

I still have to hear from those who will tackle this job using another methods if any other is possible.

thanks again

stay away from hydrofluoric acid.

It is very dangerous and toxic. Always wear chemical resistant gloves…NOT latex exam gloves. Hydrofluoric acid, if you get it on your skin, especially hands, will go directly to the bone and is toxic to the bone. It is a big time bone cancer causer. It does not dilute well in water (insoluble) so anything you spill does not “just wash away.” Also, make sure you don’t damage the windows when cleaning them. These windows look like they have been neglected for some time. Be careful that you are not being set up

We did a similar job once, it was covered in hard water stain from the sprinkler system , looked like waves running along the wall and the glass,
Thankfully we had told them that we would make an attempt to remove it and based on the time 3-4 panes took we would resubmit a bid to remove it all, It turned out to be close to an hour a pane, they decided against it and we just did a regular wash, That was worse case scenario though, as the building was empty for about 3 years with the sprinklers going regularly all summer

Regarding an HF(hydrofluoric acid) such as CC-550 it is narley stuff and yes…it is VERY wise to wear proper equipment PPE because HF seeks calcium and can be detrimental in more ways then one!

More on HF Hydrofluoric Acid Burns: Background, Pathophysiology, Epidemiology

When dealing with a chemical such as an HF “proper knowledge” is vital also common sense knowing…what side of the glass your contending with? HF is OK to use on the Air side of the glass NOT the Tin side.Because all glass made in the U.S. IS “Float Glass” so those that deal with it need to get educated.

If you apply HF to the tin side of glass you can wind up with “Tin Etch Haze” commonly known as cooking the glass,smoking the glass etc. Once that occurs your pretty much “assed out” unless you have a polisher like a SRP or similar. It’s the acid’s reaction to the tin that has migrated into the substrate during the float process (making of the glass)

The only sure shot way to detect the tin side from the air side is with the use of a UV light,angled correctly it will throw off a grayish hue/reflection if its the tin side whereas the opposite side the “air side” there will be no reflection it will be clear that tells you it’s the air side.

Most just test a small area (usually the lower portion) of a window to see if there is a reaction.unfortunately…I’m a firm believer that temperature of glass,direct sunlight & dwell time all play a significant role in the severity of the etch.

For those that will be attending the WINDOW CLEANING PICNIC this coming July 26th i will be giving a seminar on “Stains & Chemicals” if you want to see first hand and learn i highly recommend you attend;)

thank you guys for all the advice, but I’m going to pass on this one, I don’t feel ready yet, AND doesn’t seem an easy one … just that fact does not scare me away, but after talking to the customer I, now, know for sure that they’re going with the lowest bid - she mentioned that they did it with the people doing the pressure washing.

IF someone is interested PM me and I can give the contact information and even talk to these people to tell them that I’m sending them somebody.

I live in Katy,Tx 10mins away from Houston, and the only that I know is local is Manuel with Elite WC

again, thanks for the interest yo guys