The expression “You get what you pay for” rings true more often than not, but one of the exceptions is in window cleaning. After almost forty years of owning Diamond Window Cleaning, Inc. I have found that both the best and worst window cleaners all charge roughly the same amount of money, which means that many home owners are paying for a new Audi and getting a used Fiat. Why would savvy consumers make such a rookie mistake? For the same reason people do anything wrong…they lack information (particularly industry specific information) or more simply stated, they lack a defined set of buying criteria.
So, since you are already paying for it, how can you get the Audi performance from your window cleaner? First and foremost, do not hire a commercial window cleaner to clean the windows in your house. Going commercial in your home is so horribly wrong for three reasons: Poles, rags and ruts. A quality window cleaner will always use a ladder and not a pole to clean your windows. The reason why should be obvious. Would you inspect your newly cleaned windows from 20 feet away or would you want to get right up next to the window to check the quality of the window cleaning? The window cleaner cannot see the window well from twenty feet away either. Could you clean a very high ceiling fan better with a pole or from scaffolding that allowed you to get right up on it? Window cleaners cannot clean windows as well with poles as they can when right up next to the glass—no matter their experience. If your window cleaner uses poles you are paying for an Audi and getting a Fiat. If commercial window cleaners charged half the price that Diamond Window Cleaning, Inc. charges, then a very good argument exists to use commercial/residential window cleaners for your window cleaning, but they very often charge the same or more.
Secondly, high quality window cleaners never wipe the window with a rag after they use a squeegee (commercial window cleaners do not even understand this point). Rags are for the frame but should never be used to wipe the actual glass because they leave marks. Commercial window cleaners always follow up with a rag on the glass and will even put a rag on the end of a pole and wipe the glass after they squeegee it. Why? Because that is how they do commercial windows and they are in the commercial window cleaning rut.
Finally, the old rut: In the days of dirt roads and horse drawn wagons the roads would have wagon ruts cut into them by the thousands of trips taken by passing wagons. Once those ruts were cut into a road it was pretty much impossible to travel that road without the wheels of your wagon following in those old warn ruts. Gravity just took over and the wagon was forced into the low spot on the road. People often get into ruts as well. Commercial window cleaners cannot help themselves but to clean your windows the same way they do their commercial accounts. Diamond Window Cleaning’s crews do 100% residential work and we stopped hiring window cleaners with experience because all the training in the world could not get them out of the rut of sloppy window cleaning the commercial way.
So why does any home owner continue to use these commercial/residential window cleaners? Because even a Fiat has four tires and gets you to your destination, but as a window cleaning consumer you need to ask yourself this question: Why would I pay for the superior quality of an Audi and then take possession of an inferior Fiat? So what are the buying criteria for window cleaning? No poles, no rags on the glass, and no window cleaners who do commercial window cleaning.