Will WFP clean very (10+yrs) dirty windows

Hi, I have only heard about WFP, I have cleaned windows over six years now with traditional methods, poles, ladders,etc. I just got a chance to bid on 31 large buildings at a local university, some are 4 & 5 stories tall some with dble hung, some with muntins, to my knowledge these may not have been cleaned for 10 plus years. A lift will not access much of the job due to landscaping. Will I be sorry investing in a WFP or sorry that I bid on the Job?
Any advice or help is appreciated, sorry no pics.

I think a WFP would be a great way to tackle this job. Of course you want the right pole for this circumstance. I’d suggest a Gardiner SLX w/ a Reach Around gooseneck from Reach Higher Ground. That way you can use a scraper or steel wool sleeve on your WFP to take care of those really bad windows.

Hey Matt

Chances are its gonna be tough with a wfp on this one. I could see it working if you had maybe a 2nd pole with a Ettore super brush on the end… If you sorta pre scrubbed with that and gg4 or gg3 then followed up with the wfp it could work.

You could also think about using some Safe Restore on the windows before WFPing them. An approach similar to what Curt Kempton used on the Biosphere 2.

Yep, Curt did a bang up job on that biosphere…seen the job on his site yesterday. Said he used a light acid…dont know what he used but he pressure washed and went behind it with the pure water. The news report said something interesting too, said that the previous window cleaner was working on it for 3 days and just walked off the job…

Made Curt look great! There has been many a job that I wanted to walk on but didnt. I think this is a great opportunity for you if you bid it right. Maybe it would be best to go back and get some pictures to post. Then we can see the condition of the glass and make a better suggestion.

First cleans can be very hard. As you said how long it has been could be many years. Using a wfp for the first time comes with a learning curb. All that has been suggested will work, just make sure you allow enough time in your pricing for cleaning the windows several times. Even with doing it old school you would have to clean more than once, scrupulous, scrape, squeegee, steel wool etc. If you wfp wash frames good lots of rinse, then the glass and rinse it well. You will not be able to reach 4 and 5 floors with SLX. Chris and Alex have the 50 ft Simpole which comes with hogs hair brush which cleans better on dirty windows. We will soon also have a 60 and 85 feet pole. The weight is under 10 lbs because it is all carbon fiber. If any wcers are close by you that can use a wfp they may help you for a day on the job

The SLX comes in a 52ft length. Why would you not be able to do at least 4th floor w/ it?

Heres the issue with a job like that. There are going to be mistakes. If you nose to glass the job it’s going to take forever but look great. Your still going to have issues with perception of quality. You can clean every plate in every building and the one you had a hard time reaching is the one they comment about. Or the one you thought was cleaned cause your helper told you it was. You will need a crew to complete this job. If you don’t hire and do it yourself, you might as well ask them for a full time job. Or you can WFP and prescrub. You can realisticly get this job done by yourself with a wfp. Prescub really well, don’t be afraid to soak’em down. With windows that are sitting directly in the sun, that I have to prescub because of time. I will wfp them right after the scub. Otherwise let the cleaner soak on the glass and do its job of lifiting the junk off and out. You’re still going to have the same possiblity of the perception of quality. Anything you do on a large job like that, that’s what the end result comes down to. I think wfp is the only way to go on this one. 4 helpers, 4 poles (2 scubbers 2 wfp). You sit back and compose the music.

I agree. One red flag I see is this:

Are the windows made of wooden frames? I would think that if they’re double hung they’re probably wood on a building of that size. If the windows havn’t been cleaned in 10 years, i would almost bet money that the windows are in poor shape paint wise…

And when you got wooden frames that haven’t been maintained you’ll usually find that the paint is cracking and peeling. Because of this it will begin to rot, so you’ll have chunks of the frame missing. Windows like these can be a real disaster with a WFP.

If the window frames are wood, and they’re in poor shape, it may be best for the school to have them repaired before you clean them.

However, if the window frames are in good shape, I’d have a few poles going at once due to the size of the job. You’ll drive yourself nuts doing that by yourself.

Hope you get the job and it all goes well!

Thanks everyone for the great advice, and help on best equipment to start with for WFP. I bid on the job with big ladders, and lift cost in mind, if I do get the Job it will pay for a WFP system plus my shortfall through the Ohio winter!
By the way my daughter and her husband help me as well so I’m not alone, but just a little nervous with such a big & high possible job.
Thanks WCR for this great forum!

Sounds like you’ve got all your bases covered then. Don’t worry about it being big or high. If you can clean one window you can clean 1000 windows… and if those are up high it’s no problem, just takes something to get to em. One step at a time and before you know it the job is done…

And another thing, even if you don’t get the job, you’ll find yourself a lot more confident bidding other jobs simply because you now have more experience in bidding.

For really dirty windows, HOT water is very good!

A simple tankless propane heater (Less than $200 off ebay) can be used to heat the pure water as it is needed.

It would be fair to say that with windows that haven’t been cleaned in 10 years it will be slow going, and some windows may require a second clean,… but even taking that into account I reckon it’ll be quicker than using ladders.

So, how did it go? Did you get the job?

Before getting to the job, practice, practice, practice, try it on your own home. Run that pole all the way out and get the feel for the weight and how to handle the WFP. Don’t rush the job because you will be sorry later, drips and spots will show, take the extra time to rinse really good EVERY window. I have done large jobs by myself with a WFP, (Like the one you are referring too), It can be done, but give yourself plenty of time.

Maybe if your not real sure about using the WFP, go ahead and get it, then start using it on smaller job and work your way into those great jobs.

10 year old windows? Maybe do half WFP the other half “The old way” see what looks best and go for it.

It’s been my experience that a wfp will clean anything that a stripwasher and squeegee will clean. If extra scrubbing is needed with a stripwasher, then the same goes for wfp. If extra methods…scraper, wool, acid, etc…are needed with stripwasher and squeegee, then they’ll be needed with wfp also.

However, if all that is needed is stripwasher, elbow grease and squeegee, then a wfp will do just fine…it’s just a matter of scrub time, scrub pressure, and rinse time.

But, I wouldn’t use such a job as my first one with a wfp. You really need at LEAST a couple jobs under your belt before you even attempt this one with a wfp.

Let me know if you need any help. I’m an hour from you, have a 60 footer and 2 years of strictly WFP work under my belt.

I just got a PM asking about if I got the Bid or not on this big job.

Here was my answer to the PM.

Hi, I so far have not heard a word yet, I don’t know if it was their plan for the year 2010 planning budget or not. However I spent 12 hours walking around campus counting windows, and typing up 30 plus itemized pages. It would be nice to know what was going on, but the contractor who had me bid said he hasn’t heard anything either and he said that this university sometimes takes its time to get back with people. Thanks for asking but I’m still in suspense on this one!
Many times I’ve had people call me out of the blue and when I ask how they heard of me they say, oh you gave me a card two years ago while you were cleaning windows at the license bureau!
People are funny like that, and then you get those all day house jobs that call you on an April Tuesday and want the job done by that Saturday. At least they are calling me, right.
Thanks for asking about my thread, I would rather have told you about my overworked crew and fat bank account, but this is what it is for now.
Matt Perry

(ps) I have built a website since this thread was originally posted and I’m not that good with computers, so I’m learning alot with this project, feel free to check it out.

I just happened to stumble upon this thread.

Even though this thread is quite old, I have two things to say… Wow I didn’t know that Curt cleaned Biosphere 2! And hey Matt, did you get that job or what? If so how did it go and what did you use to do it?

It took 12 hours to put the bids together and I have not heard a word as of today. I have since then invested in a WFP system and I would not want to give it up. It is saving time on jobs with two or three stories to clean and does as good or better than traditional.
We started with a used Tucker 50+ foot and DI tank for $200 off of a retired window cleaner. then we got a job that required hip boots! This job has paid for an RO unit, a 23’ unger fiberglass pole, and a 40’ Gardiner SLX!
Video below
Thanks for asking!



[QUOTE=Perry Window Cleaning;137000]It took 12 hours to put the bids together and I have not heard a word as of today. /QUOTE]

You have a lot of time invested in this potential job. Have you taken 5 minutes to follow up?