Window cleaners wash and dry inside and outside glass on buildings. They are usually employed by building maintenance firms or for window cleaning companies. They perform many different functions in cleaning.
- Large business and industrial firms often employ window cleaners on a permanent basis. There are many well-known window cleaning companies.
- Window cleaners work in both private homes and in offices washing glass surfaces. You will find them in many other types of buildings.
- They clean more than just windows. They often polish mirrors, glass partitions, and other glass surfaces using sponges, brushes, or wet cloths.
- Window cleaners work on windows that are above the ground floor quite often. This takes some bravery. They use ladders, scaffolding, or swinging seats. Oftentimes they have to crawl outside through windows to get to the safety belts and brackets used to support them.
They typically apply cleaning solutions to the surfaces but sometimes they just use soapy water. After washing the window, they use a chamois skin, or a squeegee to dry so that dirt and dust do not immediately build up again. And remember, sometimes they are very high up doing all of this.
Education and Training Requirements
There are no educational requirements specific to window cleaners. You must be eighteen to apply but most training is done on the job. Sometimes there is a demonstration of how to do something, other times it is trial by fire. It depends on the employer. Union workers go through a six-month apprenticeship to teach workers about the different cleaning solutions, scaffold set up, belt and ladder safety, and how to use all of the equipment involved properly.
Once a worker has enough experience they can become a supervisor for a large window cleaning company. Some cleaners are able to go into business for themselves because starting a window cleaning company requires only an investment in tools and equipment. People keep building things with windows, so the need will always be present. Dirt is a never-ending resource it seems.
Window cleaners have a tough job. They have to be able to do typical manual labour type things like bending, stooping, climbing, and reaching, but they have to be able to do it from really high up. Good or bad weather, they are doing their job outside. A fear of heights is not an option and good balance is a must. The risk of injury is pretty high because they are working above the ground lifting heavy equipment and water is involved. Slipping on wet surfaces or falling from a ladder or window ledges are not unheard of. They are not common occurrences, but they happen. Window cleaners can be expected to work thirty-five to forty hours a week, alone or in teams. Due to the nature of the work, they are typically members of a union to ensure fair work practices.
So as you look out of your clean window from your amazing view, remember that someone had to get outside of that window to clean it. When you see a window cleaner, show them a little love and thank them. Even if they are inside now, or cleaning the front of a shop window, chances are they have had to do some scary things to get there. Let them know that they made your day better.