Cleaning Windows

As a building owner or manager, having the correct information about cleaning windows of high-rise buildings will help you choose the best method. You are making an important decision because you are accountable for the results as well as staying within the maintenance budget. Then there’s safety to consider. You are also responsible for hiring a cleaning team that is reputable. So, how do you achieve the balance?

Having insights into the methods and equipment used in commercial window cleaning will help you make the right call. Armed with the information you need, you will ask the potential contractors the right questions to achieve the best result, at the right price. This post describes some common window cleaning methods and the pros and cons of each.

High-Rise Building Window Cleaning Methods

Each of the methods used to clean windows has merits. The height, materials or usage of the particular building will determine which is most appropriate. These are some options to get a perfect finish on windows in commercial buildings:

Water Fed Pole System

How it works: Purified water is applied to the surface. It is free of sediments and minerals that would lead to spotting and streaking on a surface when the water dries. The high rise window cleaning team works from street level, so no ladders are needed. Telescopic water fed poles have water pumped up to scrub and rinse the windows and the frames.

Positive features: A simple and affordable method. The force lifts dirt but doesn’t damage the infrastructure. It’s also an eco-friendly cleaning option, as it doesn’t use detergents. It is safer than other methods for the cleaners and doesn’t disrupt the functioning of the building.

Best used for: Structures up to five stories. Used for cleaning glass roofs, atriums, skylights, cladding buildings, signage and canopies.


How it works: A cradle is suspended over a building façade – typically secured by an existing integrated cradle system in the building. It can then descend over the façade giving the cleaning team access to the windows. A cradle may be referred to as a “building maintenance unit” (BMU).

Positive features: It is quicker than abseil access, as heavier buckets of water can be carried. It allows crews to reach vast heights safely.

Best used for: This is the best option for skyscrapers, tower blocks, and sports grounds.

Mounted Platforms

How it works: The cleaning unit is mounted on a specially equipped vehicle.

Positive features: Truck-mounted platforms have excellent height reach. Also, because the unit is mobile, it is a flexible option for window cleaning. It can be adjusted to the building’s height or cleaning needs and saves time as set up is quicker than some other methods.

Best used for: This method is preferred when a building doesn’t have an existing cradle system. The design of the building may mean that cleaners can access the building facades from a mounted platform.

Abseiling/Rope Access Window Cleaning

How it works: The window cleaning team uses rope access to get across the facade of the building. They use high strength rope, pulleys, and braking equipment to lower themselves over the building’s edge in a harness. They descend using brake and pulley equipment. They use suction cups on the glass to control their moves across the window pane. They move at a uniform pace down a building to clean the windows evenly.

Positive features: No heavy or specialized equipment involved makes this an affordable option. The team can also get much closer to windows to achieve a meticulous finish.

Best for: Buildings with complex structures, because the team can reach places that would be more challenging using other methods. Domed buildings can also be cleaned using abseilers. Abseil cleaning frees you up from purchasing a cradle or needing to have it serviced.

Choosing the Best Option For Your Building

You will need to take into account the height and complexity of the building involved. You will also need to balance the needs of the tenants. Having the windows cleaned in a way that doesn’t disrupt their routine is preferable. The less interruption or inconvenience to them, the better.

Most importantly, check that the contractor you work with has the necessary equipment, safety processes, insurance, and licenses. They also need to show that they have a thorough understanding of the materials on the building’s facade, so their method used to clean the windows doesn’t damage the material in any way.

The frequency of cleaning also varies. If a building is in a quiet, clean area, its windows will need to be cleaned less frequently. If it houses industrial work or medical facilities, has a high volume of foot traffic, is located on a busy street, or is near water, an airport, or an area with many birds, it will need cleaning more often. This may be another factor you should consider when choosing a method to clean the windows.

We hope you found this blog post What You Need To Know About Cleaning Windows In High-Rise Buildings useful. Be sure to check out our post Things to Consider When Choosing a Commercial Cleaning Agency for more great tips!


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