Hey guys. I have been doing some CCU this year and just wondered what is everyone finding that really works for them-- that does NOT involve using a scraper blade?
I currently use a magic eraser, as well as some of that denatured alcohol. I have also found out that a old credit card or a stiffer plastic of similar size works very good and will not scratch glass.
Other than that, I really have not found a better alternative for my 6 inch Triumph angled scraper and a double edged razor blade (the 1.5 inch ones). That being said, I would like to get away from using blades. After 16 years doing many CCU’s and windows, I really don’t want to concern about “scratching the glass”. I am by no means sloppy, if anything I am more meticulous than I should be…but, there has to be some kind of great alternative…right?
Does the cleaner that removes concrete/stucco from the windows do a good job? I think 97 percent of scratches are caused by rocks/concrete getting dragged with blades…but that is just my opinion don’t quote me. I do not want to touch these with blades. We are discussing no more CCU period as we just don’t have the time for them as they are the biggest time consumers ( I understand you can make more doing CCU). The only drawback to turning it down is you possibly miss out on a lifetime customer— but what good is that is they aren’t taking routine every 1-2 month cleaning? (or even weekly— oceanfront property is non-stop due to salt spray) I don’t consider a “first cleaning” the same as a “CCU”— it is night and day difference and I’m sure you all know what I mean. But, they can’t all be routine multiple times a year accounts…(or CAN THEY? Yes, they can…if you sell it to them!! But I digress…)
Being as though a “scratch waiver” really doesn’t protect you, do you find yourselves turning down other CCUs? Do you guys have any special chemicals or methods you have come across? I would love to hear them, the magic eraser was a game changer for me so was the denatured alcohol— what’s next?? Have you found something that has helped you during CCU? Got any tricks up your sleeves you want to share with our brothers and sisters who wield the squeegee blade?
Thank you, I will order some to try (the concrete removal chemical). I have never used bronze wool, or steel wool (I would use bronze between the two as steel rusts so fast) How about one of those new 6 inch Mayaker or whatever bronze wool pads??? Would they be the same?
Normally I will just scrub and hose the windows with a hose and pole/wand combo, which I think is step number 1 regardless (Other than insides, lol)
Appreciate it man, I don’t do a ton of it, but if I do…I’d like to have my arsenal grow and be better prepared for anything on the horizon in the future.
Particles get stuck in the plastic then you drag it back over the glass again, no thanks.
Titan Oil-Flow will dissolve or loosen paint and debris, then you can gently scrap with a clean razor the big stuff and Magic Eraser the other.
There will always be risk of scratching glass that has construction debris on it. Abrasive cement and stucco that gets caught in plastic scrapers will do just what one would imagine it does.
wash off the stuff, don’t use the bronze wool on concrete or debris. the pad is convenient but o feel a good roll of wool is superior. as @Garry said stuff get on everything so be patient.
I’m personally now limiting the ccu to two great client that are contractors
I refuse to do any CCU for many of the reasons that you mentioned, and simply because I hate doing it. I have found that there usually isn’t a correlation between the company hired to do the CCU and the company that gets hired for the maintenance cleaning.
It’s not that I hate doing it. It feels great when you spend 20 (TWENTY) hours on a new construction clean in/out and the owners see the difference. HOWEVER, the glass they are putting in nowadays plus the lack of prep from the contractors (covering windows, etc) just blows my mind. But because you were the only one to touch the glass (or so they think) you are who they blame. I am not saying this happens often, but boy it has been the routine on these CCU lately.
There are post construction cleaning companies established for a reason.
By the way I am not saying I can’t do CCU because I scrape glass or anything lol. The things people can’t see because the windows are so bad are hard to identify without constant notifying the owners/contractor. There was a job I did that had what looks like a clay roof tile accidently hit the brand new glass and left clay mark and DEEP scratches on it. If I did not immediately stop and show the contractor, chances are the blame goes toward the last person there (Me)-- not technically the person who originally did the problem.
A thorough walk-through before, during and after is sometimes necessary. I do not want to throw anybody under the bus, but I for my own safety I will walk and point out any defects before I get started. 95 percent of people will understand it is there, some get it replaced, others just say “no big deal”. 5 percent will think your squeegee channel and rubber “scratches” the glass…
It is your duty to yourself to do a thorough walk through and even circle things with a china marker to bring to the attention of the home owner or contractor before starting the CCU. Part of the reason CCU’s cost 2 to 3 times as much to do is not only the debris cleanup but the time involved with pre-inspection of every window.
My first steps are to remove any concrete - as Gary pointed to - that can turn into a problem. I don’t compare the Triumph plastic blade to the Unger metal blade - that is a false comparison window cleaners are making - they are different tools. The first purpose of the plastic blade is to show the customer you’re not taking chances with their expensive purchases. It’s sales - not technical first. I am using the 6" Triumph plastic as a way to sweep the glass which knocks out lots of little bits of random stuff. If there were patches of concrete larger than a fingernail I’d have to go to a concrete remover.
On the outside I wash down lightly with a brush so I can spot what to do faster. On the inside I am soaping up several windows at a time to weaken what is bonded to the glass. I think this action with a scrubber sleeve makes work with my plastic razor easier. I sweep hard and fast and lift.
After the hard stuff is removed I quickly soap and squeegee the window so I know there is no grit to get trapped under my scrubber.
To scrub - which is usually spot cleaning and not the whole window - I make a scrubber sandwich where a 3M red pad - the highest grit that doesn’t scratch I’ve found is used with a magic eraser and a bronze wool pad. When I wave this across the glass - usually with water and a cream abrasive or a safe solvent the outcome is almost magical - the silicon, paint, adhesive melts off.
I don’t believe the glass work is what makes my results very good. It’s when I use japanese filling knives to shield wall plaster and use a quality knife to score a margin, then using a green, red pad with magic eraser to scrub the frame that the ultimate result makes the whole window pop back to new as seen in those glossy magazines houseowners love. I believe this is what most of my competition ignores. It makes more sense to see it in person - even tiny paint spots in the wrong place can disrupt a person’s field of vision and prevent the framing effect making the result look perfect. I don’t use this system with all customers - just people who appreciate it. I even skip most of the frame work and tracks if somebody’s main priority is lowest cost.
The best system really is to have a two person team - one on glass, the other on frames. Glass is quicker than frames so they should clean up the tracks first.
I don’t have a good solution to spray foam or air tightness tape on frames. I’m using careful work with a sharp knife, Trim10 and alcohol but it takes too long.
I agree this can happen - but I see it as mostly about correct technique than the tool. Trapped grit is probably the main way windows get scratched - but somebody sweeping without lifting is using the wrong process.
Metal blades are still useful to me when concrete is painted over the glass but for general light sweeping I can’t do without my plastic blade. Between that and the scrubber sandwich it makes fast work compared to the stress of using metal blades to sweep every part of the glass and not knowing if glass fab defects or rust or some other source of scratches is going to show up as hundreds of lightly scored lines in every window. I think most window cleaners have had that happen once. I never had to pay out for it - but it sucks so much I can’t bring myself to confidently sweep all glass - I know on most glass in the past this was never a problem but all glass I deal with now is sensitive to scratching.
I got a bottle of Oil-Flo to test after hearing so many things about it on here. Do you just use it to loose up paint or are there other uses? I’m trying it on tar soon - but I hoped it might do for spray foam on upvc frames - and I’d like to know if there are any problems - should I avoid oil based paint?
Yea, just scraping over entire windows with any blade I think is a bad idea. Maybe old old glass, but it has been a problem for years. Plastic is just too risky to me as its softness allows lodged debris to stick to it. I never use a razor on dry glass, it always gets a good soaking in the are I need to use the blade. Very, very rarely do I scrape an entire window unless the construction crew did such a piss poor job that anything will look better than what they left. Oil Flow dissolves paint and stucco. I apply, let it dwell a few moments or while I initially clean the next window then come back and wipe off the Oil Flow and debris, then heavy soapy water, inspect and repeat if needed.
I know some folks use plastic blades, and if it works fine for you then by all means have at it; I’ll avoid it since 85-90% of my work is very high end homes.
I like your thinking Garry. Fenster-Journeyman nice way to go about it, good process.
Again, CCU are all about HOW WELL THE CONTRACTOR PREPPED THE WINDOWS. Some jobs require nothing other than a good magic eraser and some denatured alcohol. Some require top to bottom scraping. Some require the magic eraser, denatured alcohol AND a scrap from top to bottom. I prefer the first ones, but that is why they call you to do all of them…
I started in 1995, CCU exclusive, all new homes.
I lived with a 6 inch blade in my hand and ran it across every piece of glass I ran into.
I learned how to “feel” the glass and know when to go easy and when to go gentle.
Pads are great (#0000 or bronze) but, they pick up all that crap on the glass and become infected with grit. (including magic erasers, which are great but, still pick up grit, paint, concrete, grout, stucco, etc.)
All that stuff was put there by someone that didn’t properly cover the glass and keep their over-(whatever) off the glass.
bottom line: if it’s gonna (MIGHT) scratch the glass, decide if you want the liability vs. the money.
Chemicals; up the price dramatically in my world.
Look before you bid.
Run… I stay away from CCU, except for a couple long time customers accept WFP exterior and blade free interior ( overspray on tempered; call the painter ), stickers: get a small blade and a charge.
CCU = we did what we wanted, we didn’t care, not going to be our problem, we’ll make sure of that, but you, you miss a step and we’re gonna blame you for everything
did we mention that in effect we are auctioning off our jobs to the lowest victim (bidder)
double win (or lose) depending which side of the coin you are on
imagine a plumber doing all the groundwork piping and the concrete guys fill concrete over all the piping, then expect the plumber to dig out his pipes, but not mess up the foundation concrete and all the pipes to look clean without concrete on them
or the drywall guys cover over every electrical thing and the electrician needs to find every socket and put in it pristine condition and the drywall better not be affected and look perfect