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Preparing your home for winter

Preparing your home for winter-

  1. Have your doors and windows properly insulated. Winter heating bills can get high but with proper insulation you can reduce that bill. Add weather strips, caulk and insulated window films to better trap your heat in your home. These are things many homeowners can do themselves or a handyman can do for you.
  2. If you have a traditional fireplace you should have your chimney serviced. A chimney sweep can remove built up soot and reduce the risk of fires. The chimney and fireplace should be services once a year or more often if you use them frequently.
  3. Protect your pipes. Pipes can take a lot of abuse when temperatures drop below freezing. Keep your home heated and when possible keep the temperature around your pipes above freezing as well. When the temperatures drop too low you may need to leave the faucets running to keep the water pressure active and reduce the chance of freezing.
  4. Cover outside spigots and remove hoses. The outside water spigots can freeze and crack which causes leaking. Have these serviced before winter begins and cover them to protect from freezing.
  5. Keep gutters clean. After the fall season your gutters may need to be cleaned out. Leaves can accumulate in the gutters and cause them to stop working or slow down. Keeping them clean helps to reduce the risk of the gutters freezing solid. Icicles should be removed to protect the roof and your home. Cleaning your gutters can be challenging especially if your roof line is high. Calling a professional is cheaper than you may think and a lot safer.
  6. Consider gutter guards. If you have a lot of trees you may want to install gutter guards to reduce the risk of clogged gutters.

These simple steps help prepare your home for a cold winter without a lot of effort. The changing of the seasons always brings new challenges for your home but also new fun.

Clogged Gutters Can Cause Serious Damage to Your Home

Nobody likes cleaning gutters! It’s messy. It’s dangerous. It’s time consuming! But, the alternative to cleaning them is letting them fill up with debris that can cause them to fail as a system. Gutters provide many benefits, not the least of which, preserving your home’s exterior. Your walls, roofing surface, foundation and landscaping can all take a beating when gutters become clogged!

Read more

How to Clean Antique Windows

A historic building can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be a time-consuming task. If you are responsible for an antique home or business, you’ll need to keep the windows clean. If the home has already been restored, then you just need to maintain them. If the home hasn’t been restored, you’ll likely need some deeper cleaning options. To clean antique windows, you need to make sure you don’t damage the window. That’s the first goal.


Start Small

 Dirt, oil, and general grime build up over time on your windows. Sometimes, all of those years of accumulated grime will require some pretty strong chemicals to remove. However, you should never start with the strongest chemicals. Always start light and work your way up. So, first, you should use some wadded up newspaper or a soft rag made specifically for cleaning windows. Spray clean water on the window and attempt to wipe off the grime. Loose dust and dirt will likely be removed by simple water. After you’ve done that, you can move to something stronger.

Mix a few drops of dish soap into the water. The dish soap should cut through most oils and grease. However, if the oil and grease is old, it might not be moved by dish soap. After that, you can move to diluted ammonia. Ammonia is the primary ingredient in many traditional window cleaners you might buy in a store. You can often dilute those store-bought cleaners 50/50 with water.


Go Big

 If none of that works to clean your windows, you’ll need to break out the stronger stuff. Cleaners with oxalic acid are often in powder form; they can scrub away grime but they won’t scratch the glass.

You should be particularly careful about using stronger chemicals if you have stained glass windows. Stained glass can either be painted glass or colored glass. If the glass is colored, you likely won’t damage it by using mild chemicals. If it’s painted, the cleaning process could damage the paint. If you have stained glass, it’s probably best just to call a professional. In fact, if your windows are old and fragile, calling a restorer might be your best option.

Professionals will have specific tools and chemicals that will clean stained glass or antique glass without damaging the glass. They’ll also be able to clean the window frames. You shouldn’t neglect the frames when cleaning the windows. Depending on what they’re made from, you might need separate chemicals entirely.

Should You Use Window Cleaner or Just Soap and Water?

When you’re doing some cleaning around the house, it’s important not to neglect the windows. Clean windows help you see better and maximize the amount of light in your home. They also make the facade of your home look better. When you’re buying the supplies needed to clean your house, you’re going to see a lot of different products that are said to clean windows. They often promise a “streak-free shine.” However, are any of them necessary? Could you clean your windows just as well with soap and water? The answer is mixed.

Yes And No

 If you are cleaning one or two windows or mirrors in your house by hand, a window cleaner will work just fine. The store-bought liquid in the spray bottle will clean your windows pretty well as long as you use a microfiber cloth. Some people use wadded up newspaper. As long as you’re not leeching newsprint onto the window, that should be fine. However, that’s not what you want if you’re washing the windows.

Cleaning your windows could mean cleaning up some spots or streaks of dirt on your windows. Washing them means removing any dirt or grime that might have built up. If you want to wash your windows or if you have a large number of windows to clean, soap and water is the way to go. You shouldn’t choose just any soap, though. Many types of soap have fragrances and chemicals that leave behind a residue. If your dishes smell like dish soap after you clean them, they have a residue of soap on them. That residue could be visible on your windows. Use a window washing solution to avoid that.


Window Washing Solution

 Window washing solution is typically a concentrated liquid that is meant to be mixed with water for the purpose of washing windows. This might seem like an unnecessary expense but they’re generally designed for use by professional window washers. Therefore, you will likely be able to get dozens of uses out of one large bottle of solution. You’ll also get clean windows.

You can mix the window washing solution with water in a bucket. Some are meant to be connected to a water hose or pressure washer. You should also buy window washing tools such as squeegees and microfiber cloths.



 Essentially, if you are spot-cleaning your windows, the blue liquid is fine. If you’re looking to deep clean multiple windows, buy dedicated window washing solution.

How to Properly Wash Your Car Windows

If you hire a professional to clean or detail your car, you’ll likely get it back with your windows absolutely sparkling. When you have your windows cleaned in your home, it is a nice way to make your home look better and to allow more light in. When you have them cleaned in your car, it’s also about safety. Clean and clear windows are absolutely essential to keeping your sightlines unobstructed. So, how do you wash your car windows to keep them crystal clear between professional washes?

Save the Windows for Last

 Saving the windows for last when you’re washing your car is important because soaps can run down from the roof of your car and contaminate the windows. Water can splash up and contaminate the windows. There’s just a lot that will get on your windows through the course of washing them.

Also, if it’s a warm day outside, that can cause the water or soap on your windows to evaporate faster than you can dry it. That will leave behind water spots.


Move it to the Shade

 The next thing you should do is move your car to the shade if it’s a hot day. Cars are made of metal and glass, two substances that heat up quickly. They can get so warm that any soap or water evaporates too quickly. You’ll then be racing to clean your windows before the washing solution dries up. Moving it to a shady spot is a better option if you can.

Buy the Right Cleaner

 Typical household window cleaners use ammonia as their primary cleaning agent. Ammonia is pretty harsh; it can eat away at any tint on your windows as well as degrading the rubber seals around your windows. You should choose either an automotive glass cleaner or make your own. To make your own, you could use a tiny bit of dishwashing liquid in a bucket of water. That is usually sufficient to clean windows.

Buy the Right Supplies

 You need something to apply the washing solution and something to dry the windows. A microfiber cloth is ideal for cleaning the windows. Dip it in your bucket of cleaner, rub it around, wash off the windows, and then dry them. A squeegee is the ideal drying tool. Clean cotton or a microfiber towel will work as well. A reusable cloth diaper might suffice as well.

Don’t forget to clean your windshield wiper blades; you’ll defeat your purpose if you smear dirty blades on clean windows.

How to Clean Your Windows Most Effectively


Washing your windows is no one’s idea of fun; however, many homeowners or business owners make it more difficult than it has to be. When they insist on using paper towels, wadded up newspaper, or some cheap sponge, they’re making the job less effective. Also, all of that rubbing will actually create a static charge on the glass. The charge will attract dust and dirt; it’s self-defeating. Instead, you need to stock up on the proper tools and do it right.

The Tools

 First and foremost, you should think of washing your windows instead of just cleaning them. You can spot clean then with a store-bought spray and a paper towel. That’s how you clean off a spot of dirt. If you need to actually clean the whole window, you need to wash it. That means soap and water. Invest in some microfiber applicators of different sizes. If you have a picture window or a sliding glass window, you should consider a strip applicator. They cover a lot of space. If you have small windows or segmented windows, smaller applicators will be appropriate. Pick something microfiber so that it is soft and absorbent but won’t leave behind lint.

Then, you need to select a squeegee. Select squeegees of multiple sizes or buy multiple and cut them to fit. A squeegee will get your windows clean and dry very effectively. Drying them quickly is an integral part of the cleaning process. Unless you use distilled water, the water itself can leave behind deposits that are generally known as water spots.


The Chemicals

 The other element to cleaning your windows effectively is the chemical you use. You should be using something that mixes with water. Some choose to plug the soap and water into a pressure washer that mixes as you spray. Others choose a bucket of soapy water. It’s just important that you pick the right cleaning solution. You need something that will cut grease and dirt without being harsh on your hands or on your window frame.

Many window washers will tell you that a squirt of dishwashing liquid in a bucket of water is very effective. It shouldn’t be so sudsy that they’re overflowing out of the bucket but it should be sudsy enough that you can work up a lather as you wash the window. You can also buy a dedicated window washing solution. They’re generally more concentrated, so you use less of them, and will eventually save you money in the long run.

Are Window Cleaning Drones the Future?

Technology has been pretty constantly changing for several decades now. The technology of window cleaning was bound to change. Some things are as old as time and will never change; you need water and a cleaning solution to effectively clean a window. However, the nature of those cleaning solutions changes as does the way it is delivered. There are delivery systems available now that we’re not even thought of ten years ago. One of the most significant is the window cleaning drone.


What Are They?

 There are two basic kinds of window cleaning drones that have emerged on the market in recent years. One type of drone has a cleaning solution and a squeegee on the drone. A pilot flies it up to each window, applies the cleaner and then cleans it off. These types of drones are popular in the imagination but they’re still not more efficient than a talented window cleaner. It is very difficult to apply with a drone the horizontal force needed to effectively clean a window.

The other type of drone is one that assists a human window washer. They’re especially useful for window cleaners who are abseiling, also known as rappelling. When you are on a ladder, a scaffold, or your rappelling, you’re very limited in what you can carry with you. That’s where a drone becomes very useful.

If you have someone on the ground who can fly cleaning supplies up to you while you’re on the side of a building, you can save a lot of time and effort that would be spent getting up and down off the building.


Who Uses Them?

 Window cleaning drones are becoming more popular and you might find one at a local window cleaning company. The companies that have window cleaning drones are still working out the most efficient ways to utilize this technology.

Also, smaller operations have begun to rely on this technology. As with many advances, the first adopters are smaller companies that are attempting to even a lopsided playing field. If your company only has a few employees, you can’t match the large crews of big companies. However, you can use work multipliers such as drones.

Drones can also be something of an advertising ploy; in fact, that might be their greatest benefit for a window cleaning company. Drones are popular with just about everyone; they’re popular as toys as well as tools and even military weapons. So, if you are running a company that utilizes drones, many customers will choose you just to see how well it performs.

Abseiling Is the Hot New Trend in Window Cleaning

There are several different ways to wash windows. One of the most common ways is to build scaffolding and allow the washers to stand on the scaffolding. They work their way up the building as they clean the windows. You can also use ladders. Ladders pose certain risks though. You can’t easily work side to side with a  ladder since they pose a danger of tipping over. So the window washer would need to climb down the ladder, move it over, and then climb back up. You’re also greatly limited for height with a ladder. There is a new trend that has emerged with window cleaning companies that has become very popular. That trend is abseiling.


What Is Abseiling?

 In the United States, abseiling is often known as rappelling. It is the process of descending a cliff, rock, or building face with a double-looped rope. The rope is affixed at the top of the structure. The window cleaner then wraps the rope around themselves, secures it to a harness and descends the building. Abseiling, or rappelling, has become one of the hottest trends in window washing because it is efficient and simple.

A scaffolding system requires complex building and a lot of space on the ground as well as on the side of the building. A cherry picker is very expensive and requires a lot of space. It also requires a lift operator as well as a window washer. Lowering a bucket from the roof is more efficient but it is still far more equipment; also, the bucket would have to be lifted from the ground which would require pulleys.

Abseiling window washers can move side to side easily. They can go up and down the building. They can wash a wide radius of the building without ever having to move their anchor points.


What Are the Benefits?

The benefits for the window cleaners are simple. They are able to quickly set up and begin washing your windows. They can use fewer washers with far less equipment. They’ll save time and money. The benefits for the customer are simple as well. There is far less disruption of your business while you’re having your windows washed. A few guys on the side of a building should not disrupt the flow of business. Also, it is quicker and less expensive for the company which means they can pass those savings on to you. It’s a great option for everyone.

How To Remove Paint From Windows

If you have ever painted your window trim you have probably had to get paint off your glass. This is a common issue but there is a right way to get the paint off and protect your glass.

First, take the tipe to prepare your space properly. Put painters tape up and cover the glass with protective plastic or paper. If you have divided windows this can be a huge project. If you have divided windows it may be easier to paint and then remove the paint from the glass.

The first thing to remember is to never scrape or scrub the paint off while it is dry. A lubricating solution is very important to prevent friction which can cause scratching. You can make an easy solution for protecting the glass with water, soap and vinegar or your favorite glass cleaner.

Next gather the proper supplies like a window scraper, the triumph scraper is a great option. You may want to use a plastic scraper if you are worried about accidentally cutting yourself. The hardware store sells scraper designed specifically for removing paint from glass. These scrapers are also great for removing paint drops on the floor or other places. Steel wool is another item you may need for broader areas of paint on your glass.

To remove the paint you will need to hold the blade at a 45 degree angle and push it towards the window frame. Avoid pushing the blade into the gasket. Life the blade after each pass. The paint should come off with just a few passes.

If the paint is hard to remove or on high windows you can call in reinforcements. Window washers are a great resource for all things window washing, including paint removal.

Mastering Streak Free Windows-

Cleaning windows is a big task and many people choose to hire a professional. Window washers are great but you may not always be able to use a professional. Learning the techniques and tips to get streak free windows is a great way to maintain your windows between professional cleaning.

Cleaning glass requires a lot of elbow grease, the proper tools and the right technique.

The cleaning tools are very important and necessary to get the best finished product. A squeegee is a necessary tool when it comes to cleaning windows. Microfiber cloths are also important and do not leave behind lint. Newspaper is also helpful when washing windows and doesn’t leave behind lint like a paper towel. Coffee filters also work similarly to newspaper.

The technique for streak free windows-

Using a sponge or cloth dipped in cleaning solution to wipe the entire window is the first step. After the solution is on the window you will want to use the squeegee to remove the solution. Wiping the extra solution on the edge off with a sloth. When you use a squeegee you will want to work in a continuous motion from the top to the bottom. After each window you will need to wipe the squeegee off with a rag.

If you are using newspaper or coffee filters you will want to apply the solution with a spray bottle and wipe in horizontal or vertical strokes.

It is best to clean your window when it is overcast or when the sun is not directly shining on your window to prevent the solution from drying before you can wipe it.

Avoid abrasive cleaners on the windows, this can cause scratching to the glass. Also paper remnants from paper towels can cause your windows to look less clean. Always use a damp cloth or wet the glass to remove spots.

The best way to streak free windows is to hire a professional but when that isn’t an option this technique works well.