“I don’t do windows.”
Beyond just an obscure Willie Nelson song title, this uniquely American catchphrase not only represents the limits of what we’re all willing to do but speaks to the physical challenge of that necessary task—cleaning windows.
We all appreciate access to lots of natural daylight in our commercial buildings, but any property manager will tell you that keeping those windows sparkling bright is a full-time job. And removing those stubborn hard-water stains and effervescence is not just about aesthetics, it’s part of the crucial maintenance that ensures your building stays in good shape.
The glass gougers
Those streaks, that white haze—where does it even come from? Here are the primary culprits:
A few misplaced sprinkler heads can cause a lot of mischief on your windows in the form of hard-water stains. Water naturally picks up minerals – especially calcium, magnesium and sodium – as it travels through the ground. Known as hard water, these minerals stick around on your windows long after the water has evaporated.
While these stains can be removed fairly easily if they’re caught early, they become more and more stubborn the longer they bake on the glass. And over time, those minerals can start to carve tiny etches all over the face of the pane, giving your windows a cloudy and dirty appearance. Hard water can also wreak havoc on the seals between the glass and the window frame.
Old gaskets and seals
If you’re in charge of an older building, you probably already struggle with window gaskets. As they fail, they can create dark, oily streaks on your windows. The sealing throughout the building may also reach the end of its life, leaving a white, chalky residue. When that residue is baked in the sun for a while, it’s nearly impossible to remove from glass.
Be sure to watch out for these other causes of ugly windows:
- Precast leaching and run-off
- Oxidation of metal building materials
- Eroded window glazing
- Pollution/acid rain
- Paint runoff
The sheer solution
As challenging as this all seems, the benefits of regular window cleaning and maintenance is crystal clear: Not only will your building maintain that professional and clean appearance year-round, but you’ll save money on your maintenance costs over the long term. When you compare the cost of glass replacement, you’ll end up saving hundreds of dollars per window if you invest in window cleaning that specializes in removing hard water stains.
As the Efficient Windows Collaborative explains, the cost of keeping up with regular cleaning is worth it:
“Window frames, glazings and sealants may have different useful lives. Yet, window systems are expected to last at least 20-30 years and they can often be much more expensive and difficult to replace than other building systems.”
We use the most advanced chemicals available on the market – including Bio-Clean and OneRestore – that remove nearly all of these troublesome stains. Bio-Clean is a non-chemical, non-acidic-based cleaning product that’s safe to use on all glass surfaces without harming the environment. And OneRestore is a versatile cleaner that not only removes stains from virtually any surface but is particularly effective at removing metal oxide stains (including copper stains) from glass. We use it often when we’re working with schools, medical facilities, office buildings, or any other facility.
Our trained and professional technicians use a two-step process to remove these typical hard-water stains and effervescence that plague so many of our clients. Once the stains are removed, we finish with a standard window cleaning that leaves windows and frames with a shine you can be proud of. Our high-altitude window cleaning services can also tackle those upper floors that need the same level of attention.
You may not do windows, but that’s OK—we do!
Jason Lopez is operations manager with SG360, a facility services company specializing in janitorial, facilities management, restoration services, and inventory management. How do you keep your windows looking their best? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page or on Twitter @ServiceGroup360.