Need advise with paint covered windows

Hey guys! First time poster here. I’ve just started my business and I had a question for you.

I’ve had a few residential clients that have requested me to clean their windows… No problem, BUT, their houses were built in the 80’s so they are wood jammed and repainted a lot.

That paint has caked onto the windows and the customer wants me to get it off…

Any thoughts as to what I should charge then for paint removal and if so what should I use? Steel wool or razor… Worst case deny service… (Even one pane of glass would bankrupt my business… I have no capitol to cover the cost of window replacement…)

If there is much paint, a razor is going to be the fastest way to get it off. You could also try solvents, but it’s slow.

You can’t go the razor route if you don’t have scratch waivers and are not willing to take the risk. These are post construction cleans (as far as I am concerned) and you probably are better off passing on them.
If you were to clean them, You should be charging accordingly to the condition. Post construction typically gets charged 2-3 times your normal rate.

Glass from the 80s if its not tempered you should be fine… I bet there are a bunch of scratches all ready under the paint.

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I, agree with charging 2-3 times. Razor all the way for me. I, like to use the small 1.5-2" blades, as it keeps consistent pressure. I would also use steel wool.

Thanks guys, it’s not construction clean up it’s just an old residential unit and the jams have been painted over and over…

Would it be a good idea to just have all older home (80s-90s) owners sign a scratch waiver just to CMA? Or does everyone get a scratch waiver when it’s not new construction?

We mean it is “like” construction clean up with all the extra work. That is why we would charge the same rate. I have yet to use a scratch waiver, so I can not answer that question. Good luck!

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It’s post construction clean up. It doesn’t matter if the work was done yesterday or 20 years ago. If they want the paint and crud cleaned off, they should be paying you for your time, effort and skill.

Like Steve said, there are probably scratches already on the glass for some time ago. I would do a scratch waiver to cover your butt, but if you want to chance it, I would AT LEAST discuss the possibility of scratches BEFORE you proceed with any work. Make sure they understand there MAY BE existing scratches that may be uncovered when cleaning it up, and you may yourself, possibly cause a few scratches cleaning off the paint and crud.


It may take you and extra 30-90 sec. to blade (6" preferred) an entire window with paint, then it might take you another 30-90 sec. to polish down the glass with steel wool. Add another $1-3 per side.

Pass on those type of jobs or explain that you cannot undo decades of neglect and abuse. It’s like going to get your car detailed and expecting them to undo years of never washing or cleaning it.

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Thanks for the input you guys I do appreciate it!

Ya make sure you use a pre-existing scratch waiver. Figure out your maintenance cleaning price An go 2 -3x more than that depending how bad. 6" blade changing your blades frequently, & wiping your blade frequently, & honestly if your new just pass there is plenty of work out there.
3 x might be a little crazy but you did say caked on so…