Wind - when do you wimp out?

I’ve been doing my monthly bookwork this morning and peeking out my window watching the weather. I have a job at 1 p.m. today I’m considering cancelling on. I don’t have a helper available to hold my ladder and I have to use a 32 ft ladder today. We have some 20 mph winds. I feel like wimping out, but I just got back from a week long vacation and need to do some catching up.

I need some good horror stories so I can convince my customer to let me reschedule…

I put safety first. I tell them that because I work on my own I always have to think safety for me and my clients. All it takes is one time taking a chance and it’s game game over, not just for the window cleaner, but everyone else involved. That falling ladder can do serious damage to property and other people passing by.

Btw, it’s not wimping out, it’s being a smart operator.

We have a policy to check what the wind speed is gusting to. If it’s 25mph or higher then we reschedule. It’s the gusts that can cause the most danger because of the unpredictability factor.

i was set to go up a 3 storey seafront place today. Even though it was a bit gusty i set up my ladder. various schoolkids were walking by near to my ladder,suddenly one kid starts shouting "wahwahwah "through the downstairs window at whoever was inside. then a firms van turns up alongside,starts unloading a cooker on the street ,lots of polystyrene ripping noises . this mad combo was enough to give me the heebie-jeebies and i ended up bringing down my ladder and a gust of wind caught it a little as i put it down.

well i just rounded up someone to hold my ladder. hope there’s no gusts…

OHSA states up to 25mph and it’s a no go. Last year we were manlifting a 3 story office building. The 1st day we got there, it was gusting pretty bad. News stated like 30 to 40 mph. I was not going on the lift no matter what they paid us. The office president came out in the morning and made a comment to the effect “It’s not that bad come on you can get up there” I know he was 1/2 joking but I invited him in the lift and told him I would fully extend it 65ft up and let him make the managerial decision. LOL he quickly passed and said “I guess we see you tomorrow.” Safety first people, with or without and employee. Live to clean another day.

I wouldn’t consider it wimping out if you think your safety is on the line. Also, you shouldn’t have to “convince” your customer to reschedule, especially if it’s a safety issue.

20 mph doesn’t sound that bad, not really sure what that is though, what about 3 kmph? (edit: whoops, I meant 30kmph)

I use those rubber mitts on the ladder tops or a ladder standoff that also has rubber tips, that helps a lot. If you also have someone to hold it, I don’t know, I’d have to be there I guess. I’d probably put a bigger angle on the ladder and have someone foot it, I know it’s not ideal. I’ve worked where I would have to tie the top of the ladder to the eave it wouldn’t blow over when I was off it. Didn’t want to get trapped on the roof but now the ladder stand off solves that.

But a 32’ ladder is pretty high, it could be challenging just walking it around the house if it’s windy. I hate high ladder work. I feel safer 300’ high in a rope chair with saftey line then I do at the top of a 32. The only ladders I carry regularly now are a 5’ step (that’s my favourite:D) a 16’ and a 20’.

20 - 30 mph depending on what ladders we are going to use. I once tried to do a job in some heavy gusts, setup my 24’ ladder, turned away for a second and poof it fell over, landed on a retaining wall and bent up my werner ladder. It even had bullhorns on it. So now I am very careful with the wind.

Not to mention the danger of using any pole in those high winds. It can easily whip it around and break the window or do other damage.

cleaning windows in the wind is the worst. I would just cancel and have a fun day off

This is such a topical discussion in light of the death of the Notre Dame student recently

I tried to post the link, but couldn’t. Just Google Declan Sullivan and see how he died in 25 MPH winds.

My rule of thumb…

If I’m standing outside, the wind gusts and I say “Whoa” to myself, its too windy. Day off

Somebody here has that link in their sig, I saw it just the other day. He was using a sissor lift, but was it really the winds? I wonder what his footings were like, I didn’t pay close enough attetion.

Well the wind slowed down to 15 with a only a couple strong gusts. The 32 footer was only needed on one window and was actually more sturdy feeling than the 24. I think i’ll set my max at OSHA standards of 25 mph, that seems about right for what I experienced today. The wind thankfully didn’t turn out to be a problem, and I didn’t feel unsafe.

wind comes north west round my parts. if you have a job w/ more than one wall, just just check the others.
on the high rises you can usually start in the morning (6:30) before the wind picks up on n.w. areas. by 10 10:30 you jump on the other walls. but if your ears are flappin in the wind on all areas just wrap it up and enjoy the rest on your day.

Wind, of course, is of great concern to pure water and WFP users due to issues over pole stability and user, bystander, and property safety (in addition to the standard quality/spotting concerns.)

The customer is always usually pretty fine if you explain to them the issue about the wind. I had a job today $540 got to the house with my helper, was way too windy so moved the job to another open day I had and she was fine with that and fully understand. Of course would of sucked had she said she was having a party and needed them done before this weekend, guess at that point I would of passed on the job anyway, safety comes first - trust me isn’t fun to be flying through the air from a 24/32 ft drop. I’m not 21 anymore so don’t tend to bounce too well on the ground

Yep, I totally agree, 25mph gusts can leave you in a bit of a mess!!!

wow i kinda wish i worked for some of you guys. ive done 24’ ladder work with 35+ mph gusts of wind, no one holding my ladder while my boss and our 3rd guy washed all the main level windows. it was so bad i had would have to stop squeegeeing to grab onto the window frame so i wouldnt blow over. im only 135lbs it doesnt take much to push my skinny butt off a ladder.