One of the biggest PITA’s of this job has been taking ladders inside of homes for cleaning interior skylights. Furniture or other obstacles can sometimes make ladder placement a nightmare.
Another thing is that using a squeegee can be risky due to dirty solution running down the dry-wall chute and staining it. For this reason I do not use an extension pole to squeegee skylights. If using a squeegee you better be up there to quickly catch any solution that runs down onto the dry-wall.
I’ve used a micro fiber cloth wrapped around a white scrub pad and clamped in an Unger Fixi-Clamp on an extension pole but the results were a bit lacking.
Recently I stumbled upon the idea of rolling up an already folded scrim sort of like a rolled up newspaper and clamping it into the Unger Fixi-Clamp. Spray a bit of 50:50 (denatured alcohol : DI water) onto the scrim to make it a little damp. Attach the Fixi Clamp to your favorite extension pole and clean those interior skylights from floor level instead of laddering up.
I’ve used this method twice with good results. The scrim cloth is the only cloth I know of that works well (actually better) when it’s slightly damp. The dampness helps make the dirt stick to the scrim and also prohibits any lint on the scrim from breaking loose and staying on the glass.
After cleaning one skylight it may be best to re-roll the scrim so the next skylight will be cleaned with a fresh part of the scrim cloth.
I’d like for some of you to try this method and see what kind of results you get. It surely beats taking ladders inside and is a time saver and possibly a life saver compared to laddering up to interior skylights. It’s also very cost effective for your customers as opposed to what you have to charge them for the time, risk, and liability when laddering up to clean interior skylights.
If you try this method, please report back to this thread any feedback you may have.
Easier way to solve inside skylights is simply buy yourself an extend and climb ladder, its about 3ft when folded and real easy to take inside homes then you extend it as high as you need it from there, look for it online.
Also, cleaning those skylight are much easier too using the sprayway glass cleaner, either spray direct or onto your cloth.
Cyborg, you’re missing the whole point. The purpose of using the scrim and 50:50, in an Unger Fixi-clamp on an extension pole is to eliminate the need for any kind of ladder inside for skylights. No need to move furniture to allow footing room for the ladder and no worry when ladder footing is impossible.
Use whatever cleaning solution you like. But the 50:50 DI water and denatured alcohol is awesome, especially with the scrim cloth.
While you can of course use a pole to clean inside skylights it doesnt get the same detail as a simple ladder does (even if it means spending 3 minutes moving something) and those fixi clamps are a total waste of time and cheaply made, have had 2 break on me within days, they aren’t worth $5 let alone over $20
I typically charge more on homes because I take my time to move stuff and do more detail work as oppose to rushing in and quickly using a pole, too many things are missed when using poles. As for the scrim not tried one yet so can’t really comment on those just yet.
Cyborg, the damp scrim works amazingly well and actually does a thorough job. As I pointed out in my initial post I have had less than satisfactory results using other cloths on an extension for skylights and that I refuse to squeegee skylights with an extension pole due to run-off onto dry wall.
I feel that as far using an extension pole on skylights goes, the damp (with 50:50 solution) scrim does the best job and is about as good as laddering up.
You’ll have to try a scrim and use it slightly damp in order to realize just how well the damp scrim can clean a pane of glass. You don’t have to squeegee the glass and you don’t have to use a wet cloth for scrubbing followed by a dry cloth for buffing. Just a damp scrim on a clamp on a pole and wipe the glass clean. It really does a fantastic job and saves the time, hassle, danger, and liability of using a ladder for interior skylights.
You owe it to yourself to try the scrim.
And besides, Aren’t you originally from England…The land of window cleaners that use scrim?
I have a home I do every year and its pretty simple but of course I start to moan once I arrive at the skylights. I usually pull out the combo ladder, move all the furniture, place a 6’ x 12’ canvas drop cloth and still need to pole a little bit because these suckers are 8’ long and on a slant. As you can imagine, I get pretty worried about the dirty water run down.
Point being; I’ll try your novel scrim idea next time on skylights and get back to ya. Sounds like a great, time saving work around.
It’s also very cost effective for your customers as opposed to what you have to charge them for the time, risk, and liability when laddering up to clean interior skylights.
Oh, and about the money saving aspect (because it’s quicker). The customer pays me X amount to clean their windows and if I’m done sooner, they still pay X amount.
I’m right there with you on that Mark. Especially on existing accounts. But if you wanted to give a small price break on a new account you may edge out the competition and still make your target hourly earnings or even better by using the scrim on a pole instead of a ladder.
Oh yeah, I should’ve mentioned it’s probably easiest to get the right amount of moisture on the rolled up scrim by using a pump spray bottle to spray on the 50:50 solution.
The Unger Fixi-Clamp works just fine but if you’d rather use the dry T-bar & Sleeve you could wrap the scrim around the dry sleeve and use a couple of those orange & black spring clamps from Lowe’s or Wal-Mart to secure it.
As far as wetting the scrim, you don’t want it 100% wet, just damp enough to wipe off the film and dust that gets on the interior skylight glass. That’s why the pump spray bottle is handy. You can just spray a mist onto the scrim instead of submerging it into solution or pouring solution all over it.
I’ve just spent a little time today working with this Scrim technique trying to improve or perfect it. I don’t have any skylights here at my house so I just picked several double hungs throughout the house to work on. This is actually better because I can see the results up close and personal.
No need for a pole so I just folded the Scrim 4 times then rolled it up like a newspaper and clamped it into my Unger Fixi-Clamp. The length of the rolled up scrim is about 9" long so this is a good fit.
I sprayed a mist of my 50/50 (DI water and Denatured Alcohol) onto the rolled up scrim to get it damp but not completely wet. I cleaned the inside of the double hung panes on a bedroom window and got great results. I then went outside and used the folded scrim in the Unger clamp to clean the exterior of the same double hung window.
The exterior is much dirtier so I had to get the scrim a bit wetter in order to get the grime off. There were some tiny micro streaks left on the glass because the scrim was wetter than usual when I do the interior glass. I eventually found a remedy for this streaking which I’ll explain later.
Some of you don’t have an Unger Fixi-Clamp and some don’t like it so I decided to try the the Scrim clamped onto a T-bar with a dry scrubber sleeve instead of the Unger Fixi-Clamp. I attached the folded up scrim to a 6" fixed T-bar using 2 of those medium sized (4 inch) black and orange spring clamps that you can get at Lowe’s or Wal-Mart.
I found out quickly that the dry scrubber sleeve had to go. So I simply wrapped the folded Scrim directly around the 6" T-bar and secured it with the spring clamps. It was much more snug and I actually liked it better than the Unger Fixi-Clamp because there was more like 360 degrees of usable scrim surface as opposed to apx. 180 degrees of usable surface with the Unger Clamp.
The 6" T-bar is definitely the way to go. I found that I could spray the lower half of the rolled up scrim and get it as wet as needed to clean the glass and leave the upper half of the rolled up Scrim dry. Scrub the glass with the damp or wet side then rotate the T-bar to use the dry side of the Scrim to buff all of the solution off of the glass. No streaks left on the glass at all.
I’ll be using this technique with the fixed 6" T-bar and 2 medium sized spring clamps from now on. The advantage is that you now have two sides of the rolled up scrim to work with. Keep one side dry and ther other side damp or as wet as needed to clean dirtier glass.
This technique works well and will eliminate the need for ladders when cleaning interior skylights. This is also one more of the many advantages of the Scrim cloth available here at WCR.
Please feel free to experiment with this technique and offer any improvements that you may run across. One poster mentioned using a T-bar and it turns out that the T-bar (but without dry sleeve) works better than the Unger Fixi-Clamp.
I just wanted to say that I wouldn’t recommend this Scrim on a T-bar method for exterior skylights but I guess it could be done on some of them. This method is intended pretty much for interior glass, skylights in particular.
Simply fold a Scrim cloth 4 times and drape it over a 6" fixed T-bar then secure it with two 4" spring clamps. There will be about an inch and a half of Scrim extended beyond each end of the 6" T-Bar. Attach the T-bar to your pole, spray on the 50/50 on one side of the scrim and your good to go. The Scrim cloth is magic!!!
I hope to submit pictures of the scrim clamped on the T-bar as soon as I can.