How Large Buildings Clean Their Windows  

If a building doesn’t have windows, it’s reasonable to assume it’s either underground or hiding something. From humble homes to towering high-rises, windows are a feature that buildings rarely go without. This scenario puts forth a fascinating question concerning logistics.


These buildings are tall. The glass is high up. Ladders aren’t going to work too well. You’re looking at a challenge because if you get something wrong, your crew is going to fall. There’s plenty of risks, and there can’t be that many people who are willing to take them.


How, exactly, does a large building get its windows cleaned?


The answer can vary. For example, back in the 50s, cleaning windows meant washing. Window cleaning Perth and elsewhere meant men would strap into leather harnesses and hook themselves to the sides of the structure. From there, they’d start washing the glass.


Usually, tiny ledges were the primary anchors. If one hook failed, it was possible to dangle from the other and stabilise from there. This changed when the glass curtain wall became a thing, changing how windows are treated about the building.


The way facades changed caused people to change how their windows got cleaned. Outside access became more important, and most architects allowed for rooftop access. From there, equipment would be fixed so the cleaning team could lower themselves level by level as they work.


Modern technology is also responsible for a few changes. Sophistication started coming into play, along with better features to improve safety. With the heights that these people work in, safety is one thing you don’t want to skimp out on.


Facade-access equipment came back as part of the standard gear. These were designed to allow crews to clean windows even without a flat-roofed structure. With the popularity of recesses and slopes, this became essential equipment.


The gear is usually built with two arms that act as supports. They help in washing windows, along with hoisting the crew when needed. Safety features are standard here, even if they’re not apparent.


Most buildings are only washed once or twice a year. The only exceptions are instances when there is some stain that needs cleaning now. For example, there’s the story of someone that managed to get several gallons of raspberry jam stuck on a high-rise window. That needed cleaning.


Some companies are employing window-cleaning robots. These are automated and take away the risk of the human crew falling to their doom. However, robots like these are pricey and aren’t readily available in most places.


Regarding what gets used to handle the physical element, not much has changed.


There are stronger cleaning products now, for those special stains. However, things like squeegees and rags remain the standard. Soapy water is usually the product of choice unless there’s something that requires a stronger chemical to break down a stain.



Elbow grease and effort are still typical. People still do the cleaning in most places. Automation and machines haven’t been rapid to invade this industry, at least.

Top Home Renovation Mistakes

The right home renovations can add money at resale. But home renovations can be expensive. How can you know what renovations will return that cash when you sell? Experienced realtors and contractors know the answer to this question, so I asked them.


“Cost overruns are common,” said one contractor. “No matter how well we budget, we always find something that complicates the job, or the homeowner changes their mind about something. It’s like building a custom home; there are surprises.”


“So what you are saying is that a homeowner wanting to renovate should plan carefully?” I asked.


“Exactly. Do the research before diving in. We see a lot of people diving in all excited about, say, knocking out a wall to open things up and then finding out that the replacement structure is very expensive.”


One realtor told me, “Homeowners should reconsider a new wallpaper project. Wallpaper looks just great for about three months and then it’s dated. I hear prospective buyers say, ‘Uh, we will have to tear off that paper,’ almost every time they see flower wallpaper on a walkthrough. It’s a negative.”


Another item is when a homeowner knocks out a wall to expand a master bedroom by eliminating the bedroom next to it. “Sure, the master is glorious and wonderful, but now on resale you have a two-bedroom home instead of a three-bedroom home. Believe me, this will bring the home value down, even if you have three baths,” said the realtor.


Another contractor said, “Converting a two-car garage into a family room is one renovation project that we get that will cost more to do than you think, and on resale doesn’t add much. If the new room is in a garage without any windows, most code inspectors will not allow you to use it as a bedroom either. And folks do like garages.”


The one mistake that I saw a lot when I was a home inspector was homeowners deciding to do the renovation work themselves. I am not saying that qualified folks shouldn’t jump in and do some or all of the work, but make sure you are really qualified. Sometimes people don’t know what they don’t know. DIY renovations can be pretty obvious and disinviting to home buyers.


One example was a bathroom in a home where the homeowner had installed all the fixtures himself. The wrong plumbing traps, fittings, and couplings were used, the hot water line was going to the toilet (they did not notice it), and three faucets had slow leaks. The buyers liked the home but balked at a $1500 estimate to fix everything to meet code in that “upscale” bath.


“I’ve seen people spend a lot of money for a very swanky and upscale kitchen. While they really liked it themselves, when they went to sell they only got about 20% of that cost back. The reason was that the home just wasn’t on that price point or in an area with other homes that would have that kind of upgrade. So tell your readers to do a thorough analysis before they decide to spend a lot of money on the kitchen, unless they are going to stay in the home.”


The lesson here is this: research and planning are critical if you want to renovate. Find out what the return on investment is (the internet, contractors, and realtors can help) before you start, and get at least three proposals before you begin.

Ensuring Safety in the Kitchen

Kitchen safety is paramount. The bathroom might be the part of the house where people have the most accidents, but the kitchen is a close second. Given all the sharp things there, it’s probably a good idea to cover how to be safe while preparing food.


The first step is in making things safe for children and pets.


Of all the people in the household, it’s kids and small animals that are most likely to get hurt. They run around without much concern for what’s around them, and that means they might knock over or bump into things. Unless the kid is learning how to cook, they don’t belong in the kitchen.


Be sure to keep things like knives secure, in places kids can’t reach. This doubles for anything heavy that can be moved or anything that makes heat.


Space things out, so there’s room to move without bumping into things. Measuring your kitchen helps with this since it gives you an idea how much you have to work with.


A renovation to add a little extra space could be good. Whether you tear down walls or make adjustments suited to the available space, adding more room can help your workflow, too.


Here’s another quick tip. Stir food away from the body. Splashes and ricochet can sting and burn.


What you wear can help keep things safer for you, too.


Don’t go into the kitchen barefoot. Wear good, sturdy shoes in the kitchen. You never know when you might slip or accidentally drop something. That will hurt if it lands on your feet. If it’s a knife, you might even be injured.


Don’t wear long, flowing sleeves either. Those can end up catching fire. Synthetic clothing, in particular, can be dangerous because it melts on your skin.


Take your time and don’t rush. If you rush, you forget things or not notice significant details.


Clean up all stains as soon as they happen. This isn’t just about keeping clean. A stain can cause you to slip and injure yourself, so getting rid of them as soon as the cooking allows is integral.


If you’re getting a renovation, consider removing any sharp corners or angles.


Even if they’re in a high-up cupboard or countertop, these can still hurt. You might still bump into them, for instance. Removing them can help reduce accidents and injuries. While you’re doing this, making overheard storage less “pronounced” can cut down on people’s heads hitting them.


I think you’re better off having a surface that reduces the chance of slipping.


If you’ve got smooth ceramic tiles, that looks nice. If it gets wet, then you’re at the same amount of risk slipping as you would be in your shower. While the look of a rougher surface might not be to your liking, there are ways to get smooth surfaces that won’t cause you to slip.


As you can see, there are many ways for you to make your kitchen safer. A more secure kitchen is a happier kitchen overall.

What you need to know about Roofing

Damp proofing is vital if you are a building owner. It is referred to the measures taken to stop moisture problems within a house. Damp problems are triggered by rainwater. If nothing is done to eliminate dampness, it can cause health problems and damage a property. The best way to prevent dampness is to install a damp proofing barrier in walls or floors. This barrier is usually called a DPC (damp proof course). It is designed to stop water seepage into interior surfaces. A damp proof course also protects timber from decaying and keeps the entire building from structural damage.


Leaks are a major cause of damp

Leaks are a leading cause of damp with a house. Whether the leaks are concentrated on a single area of a wall, they can trigger penetrating damp or wet rot. If you have noticed some localized damp areas on your wall, it may be time to seek waterproofing services. Prior to doing so, check the nearest gutters and downpipes. If any of these components are faulty, you could be dealing with a damp issue. Next, examine the area for cracks, damaged joints or rotten seals. Presence of these small problems could mean that rain water could be seeping out of a pipe joint within the damp area. A damp that appears beneath a flat roof indicates that the felt is weak. If the damp area is right beneath your window, the problem could be badly fitted window sill and frame. Dampness around your chimney breast may indicate damaged flashing and tiles.


Two kinds of damp

Rising damp – It occurs when the DPC becomes faulty or bridged. You have this sort of problem when dampness is localized only to the bottom of your ground floor walls. If there is a newly installed patio or flower bed, it could be the root of the rising damp. The issue can be solved by removing any soil that is lying against the wall and letting the flattened area dry. In case there is no bridge that has been formed, maybe your damp proof course has become faulty and it needs a repair. A professional damp treatment specialist should be requested to repair a faulty DPC.

Condensation damp – Dampness may arise from inside the house rather than outside it. This is normally called condensation damp. Condensations forms when the warm moist air comes into contact with cool air. If this condensation or a lot of water vapor stays within the property, it causes a condensation damp. Proper and continuous heating and ventilation is the only way to eliminate this problem. If air ventilation in the house improves, the amount of condensation and black mould problems can be reduced.


How to seek damp proofing help

If you have damp issues in your house, the only way out is to seek help from a professional. There are specialists on the internet and most of them claim to be the best options. So it is wise to select a professional that is known to be thorough, reputable and quick. You can read reviews online to discover the top damp proofing experts in your area.