Have you ever looked up at the window washers ten or twenty stories up, on a scaffolding hung from the roof, and wondered, what the heck are those guys thinking? Well, 20 years ago before we got into this business, we sometimes wondered the same thing.
You’re probably wondering if it is scary. It is! But, we’re really pretty well protected up there. We get to see some great views too!! It is pretty interesting work, so we thought we’d answer some of the questions we’ve heard people wondering about.
Washing New York Skyscraper Windows
Some New York buildings are getting their windows washed all year long. It can take two or three months to finish washing the windows on some buildings. And once the job is finished, it is time to start all over again.
Most of the glass skyscrapers launch a basket from the roof that moves side to side, and up and down. People often wonder how we get the baskets up there. Well, we don’t. They’re already there. Almost all New York skyscrapers have baskets and scaffolding for window washing permanently attached to their roofs year around. They’ve also got supplies up there, and a water source specifically for the window cleaning crew.
The rigging that holds the basket whistles and rattles in the wind. Wind is actually the biggest danger for window cleaning technicians. If gusts reach 25 miles per hour, scaffolding gets rolled up, and work is done for the day, or at least until gusts drop down to a more reasonable 15 miles per hour.
It may all look pretty scary, but it is relatively safe, at least if you are in New York. We have the country’s strictest safety laws, and New York State has a union-approved apprentice program that makes sure all window cleaning technicians have the training they need to stay safe, and to do the job right. They complete more than 200 hours of training, and have to spend 3,000 hours working on the job before their training is complete.
Don’t Call Them Window Washers
Everyone we know in this business agrees, though no one is quite sure why, that they don’t like the term window washer. Maybe it sounds too much like a machine. Window cleaning technician seems to be the preferred nomenclature. Once you’ve completed all of that apprentice training, it is reasonable to want to be thought of, and referred to, as a professional.
What We See Through All Those Windows
People ask very often what kinds of things we see when we’re looking in all of those highrise windows. Well, it is usually pretty boring. Sometimes it’s funny — you’ll catch someone doing something embarrassing because they don’t realize anyone can see them. Sometimes what you see through the windows doesn’t make any sense at all — there’s just no way of explaining things that seem utterly out of place. And, yes, sometimes what we see is NSFW. But, we’ll leave that to your imagination.
Those are all of the secrets we’ve got for today. Maybe we’ll share more next time. Meanwhile, don’t forget to call Total Window Cleaners for all of your commercial and residential window cleaning needs in Manhattan and Brooklyn.