If you are starting a window cleaning business you need to decide if you will be using traditional window cleaning methods or a water fed pole system.
Water fed pole systems can be said to be controversial and have their fans and detractors alike. This technology uses a pure water machine to remove any of the chemicals usually added to tap water, and then connects that pure water via a hose to a long brush, allowing windows to be remotely cleaned in a fast and effective way. The water fed pole system is based on the idea that the chemicals usually added to potable tap water leave white marks on windows, requiring extra cleaning to remove. The pure water removes these traces, whilst also being far more effective at removing dirt than tap water is.
The big debate, however, is on whether the system is really the way forward for all window cleaning businesses. To help you decide, let’s weigh up the pros and cons.
Firstly, the use of pure water makes the water fed pole systems much more effective than the traditional method. Because of the deionized water, absolutely no dirt is left on the window which means it stays clean for longer. Even better than that, the pole system cleans the entire window, which is preferable for two reasons: not only does it look much nicer to have a spotless window matched with a sparkling frame, but it also prevents dirt from collecting around the outside of the window. Even better than the effectiveness of the water fed pole system is the peace of mind you can gain from cleaning each window remotely, making the system far safer to use than the old balancing on a ladder method. This also means the system can be used in locations where traditional methods struggle. Insurance costs should be significantly reduced because operatives generally clean upstairs windows from ground level thus the risk of falling from ladders is eliminated.
However, the water fed pole system does not come without its downsides. Firstly, and most obviously: the system is far more expensive than a sponge and squeegee will cost you. Even a cheap system will cost you over £700 if you buy from a professional, and this obviously makes it a very significant purchase for a beginner to the system.
The water fed pole system also tends to be less reliable in freezing conditions as pure water has a far lower freezing point than tap water, meaning that there can be real setbacks on a cold day when you find your barrel has frozen over. Window cleaners working in harsher climates may prefer the flexibility and simplicity of a bucket of water, a sponge and a squeegee.
Finally, the system requires more time to maintain as you need to regularly check the resin levels and the effectiveness of the pure water machine. In comparison, the traditional method is a lot simpler.
All in all, it must be agreed that the water fed pole system is an exciting development in the long-term future of the window cleaning business.
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However, it is not universally heralded by all window cleaning businesses. The technology results in faster, safer and more effective cleaning operations, but you may decide that the cost, reliability and high maintenance of the water fed pole system could be too much on the “con” side to be worth the purchase.