Home Service Companies that Include Window Cleaning

Are One Stop Shops the Way to Go?

The simplicity of calling one company to take care of multiple services for you is likely an intriguing concept. Some home service companies have developed an extremely successful model which often began as one core service and over time branched out to several services. And there is a good chance that the services that followed the original were in some way complementary or related.

SERVPRO is just one example. They began in 1967 as a painting company, but in 1969 changed to a cleaning and restoration business. They got bigger and expanded their offerings and still exist today. All their services revolve around the aftereffects of damage to property, such as fire and flooding.

There are other nationally-known companies that are successfully using this model. It’s quite doubtful, though, that you would get a home or building restoration company to mow your lawn or walk your dogs after lunchtime. But you might find a local pet sitter who will walk your dogs, play with them, take them to a dog park, even check your hummingbird feeders and fill them if needed. Perhaps even clean up messes in the backyard that animals tend to create. On that side of the coin, would you expect that such a good pet sitter would by default build your new deck as expertly as any builder?

The one-stop shop concept can be good if the services are related. If they are unrelated, you probably will do better finding an expert for each service. 

What Problems Are There With Companies That ‘Do It All’?

You may be disappointed if you trust one contractor to personally do a wide variety of services due to less expertise in some areas.

It’s fair to say that many contractors do a variety of things well and have the sense to know when they should network with another contractor for what they cannot do well. I know some. I feel I can say after decades of being a window cleaner that I don’t often need help on window cleaning projects unless time constraints are severe. But when I am asked about taking care of things such as carpet cleaning, floor maintenance, or house cleaning, I happily refer my customers to someone I know is a better choice in those fields.

One potential issue may be that any man, woman, or teenager who is serious about starting a business and increasing revenue will be tempted to take on all sorts of tasks that bring in revenue. The term ‘hungry’ is often used in this context, meaning the individual is intent on doing whatever it takes to gain traction and become gainfully employed. This may mean saying yes to any request, related or unrelated to the initial service being offered. The excitement and promise of piling up cash and merely being asked to do more things can be exhilarating when first starting out.

Some guys or gals have a working knowledge of several helpful services and decide to lay all their cards on the table. If you go on Facebook or other social media platforms, you’ll see this. You may see it on billboards or on vans and pickup trucks. It may read something like this “Call JJ for everything! We do roofing, snowplowing, excavation, pressure washing, junk removal, and much much more! Need something else done? We’ll do it.” What’s the problem with this? Maybe none at all. But unless you know JJ is great at, let’s say roofing and he is beyond reproach in his dealings, you’re only hoping that he’d be great at excavation or pressure washing.

Don’t get me wrong, it is truly possible you can find one person that just happens to provide all the varied, unrelated services you need, and does excellent work on all counts. But let’s be honest; I don’t know too much about excavation, but I know there are zoning codes and variables that I’d insist someone bringing heavy equipment to my house knows about inside and out.

Plumbing and electrical are other examples. Some things are not worth guessing about. I’d want to be 100% certain that a jack of all trades could do it legally and correctly. In the state of Pennsylvania where I conduct most of my business, plumbers must be licensed to legally plumb. Pennsylvania does not require electricians to have a license for general practice, but municipalities may have certain requirements.

It may be that currently there is no easy way to pay for all the services you need or want in one shot. For that reason, the attraction of getting sufficient but not necessarily top-grade results for everything is an option if you are willing to live with the possible consequences.

How About Home Service Companies that Include Window Cleaning?

Generally speaking, housekeeping services can do a decent job cleaning windows that are easy to reach. There are some types of windows that may be better handled by professional window cleaners with special equipment and experience.

It is not particularly difficult to wash a door pane or windows that can be reached just by standing up tall on one’s tippy toes or by kneeling down. As long as a member of the cleaning crew uses a good cleaning solution, a good wiping rag, and good technique the results should be pretty acceptable. One could even use water and paper towels and with some patience and persistence do a good job. It may take more time than hoped for, but it can be done. The potential concerns and challenges begin when there are obstacles to easily cleaning the glass. I’ll discuss a few of them and shed light on why optimal results usually are best obtained from professional window cleaning companies.

  1. Removable grills or muntins on the glass surface  the task gets a bit more difficult when a window panes cannot be cleaned by large sweeping motions due to these fixtures. In essence, one medium to large pane of glass can turn into 8,12, or even more little panes of glass. Some grills are easily removed, some are not so easy. The temptation is certainly there to hand clean the glass and leave the grills intact. There are inherent challenges to this. Too much spray on the glass will probably get behind the grill and eventually drip down to a lower part of the visible glass. This will require several times having to double-check and fix. Many companies that clean carpets, windows, or interiors of homes may assure the homeowner “we don’t cut corners, we clean them”. A glass panel without the grill removed or with a muntin which can’t be removed can now have, in practical terms, not just 4 “corners”, but 24, 32, maybe 60 “corners”. This presents a greater challenge to make everything look great. And it’s tiring and frustrating when the hoped-for results are not quickly forthcoming.
  2. Windows that are fully or partially out of reach  I’ve seen this before and no doubt will see it in the future: A window pane that is very clean up to a certain height with the top several inches still filthy. The circular border between clean and dirty is very clear. This, of course, is a result of someone’s standing reach being limited to that particular level. An easy fix to this would be using a short stepladder. Many homes have ‘standing level’ glass with added windows a few feet above. Maybe these can be reached with a short stepladder, maybe not. The next step would be to borrow or bring along a 5foot or taller stepladder. Perhaps a short pole could be used instead of a ladder if the cleaning crew has an appropriate scrubbing device and squeegee to reach a higher level. Detailing the glass and sills to perfection may not be so easy. Now if there are grills or muntins on higher glass, then a service company which is not equipped for this will simply say they can’t clean these. Furniture or deep recesses such as a kitchen sink counter may be obstacles that are a frustration to service companies that focus more on other aspects of cleaning in a home or office.
  3. Very high windows just like windows that are a little hard to reach, some homes have prominent or showcase windows that are more than a little hard to reach. They may be among the most important windows in a home that need to be crystal clear. Skylights can be included in this category as well. Without special equipment, which incidentally many professional window cleaning companies have, the outsides would have to be accessed  by getting on a roof.
  4. Stains and contaminants that aren’t easily washed off in a perfect world, windows would just have a little dust and dirt on them, or maybe a little haze or grease from what goes on in living spaces. Getting such contaminants off windows is not overly difficult. When things like bird poop or shotgun fungus (those black dots all over glass that is near outside mulch) show up, that is much more of a challenge. How about wood stain and paint drips or paint overspray that is on glass that other contractors failed to cover while doing their thing? Windex or Sprayway and a rag will not remove these things. No amount of elbow grease will help either. Professional window cleaners have the know-how and means to make what animals or careless contractors made look bad, now look good!

  Who Will Best Suit Your Window Cleaning Needs?

If your house is large and amazingly clean windows are a high priority, you will fare better with a professional window cleaning service. 

I take nothing away from legitimate cleaning companies who are happy to proclaim “we do windows!” instead of the slightly humorous popular line- “we don’t do windows”. It is wonderful when the ambition and follow-through are there and such a trusted company can add another service, and do so effectively and safely.

Larger and more involved window cleaning projects are by and large better served by companies specifically dedicated to this. My company cleans thousands of locations each year, which include residential or commercial. We can usually tell when there has been an attempt by someone to clean difficult windows and when there has been nary a hope of even attempting. It is my belief, and I know the belief of many others, that making the customer happy is right at the top on the list of priorities, along with making a good living. That is one reason why a number of house cleaners, builders, and property managers ask us to take care of more involved window cleaning projects. There are even exterior-only cleaning businesses that will refer window cleaning projects out to us when the homeowner really wants the inside windows cleaned as well. With good networking and good coordination, it can be a win-win-win. The property owner, coordinator, and service provider are all happy. How can you beat that?

If you’d like to discuss this or have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me at dan@danwagnerwindowcleaning.com

Dan Wagner Window Cleaning has been serving home and business owners since 1986. Areas covered include Honesdale, Hawley, Narrowsburg, Beach Lake, Damascus, Pleasant Mount, Equinunk, Forest City, Carbondale, Scranton, Dunmore, Lake Ariel, Mount Pocono, Tannersville, Stroudsburg, and others.