Ladders & Tall, Wide Windows

I’ve got a big house with big windows off the ground that wants to be a regular on my route. The problem is I don’t know where to put the ladder. The window is huge and I’m going to try to do it with a pole, but I think it’s beyond my skill level because of the size and shape and think it will require me getting a ladder. The window goes all the way to the roof overhang and leave no room above for a latter to lean. If I set it below I am not going to be anywhere near the top.

What do you do?

If you have pics, we can be of more help. Stabilizer arms are of help if it’s the right size window. Or sometimes I’ve had to set my ladder to the left and clean as much as I can right handed and then set my ladder to the right and clean as much as I can left handed. I usually have to do the left handed clean more than once cuz it’s not easy for me.

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What JackSmack said. Post a photo so we can see. Also might be able to use ladder mits or stand-off bar. I have even see a window cleaner bolt a 2x6 to the stand-off on a wide framed high reach window on a residential job. Also if it is a regular maintenance clean might not have to clean the whole thing every time just hit it every other time or whatever keeps customer happy.

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@AdamPWC, the didn’t want me to take photos.

Well now that stinks! Sorry, hopefully some of that advice can be of some help to you. 3 things I try to keep in mind with difficult jobs; 1-keep it simple 2-think creatively 3-be safe

Don’t over think things, with experience you will know right off hand how to tackle just about everything and you’ll also know your limits.

When I first started on my own, I knew how to clean windows. Now I know how to clean much more efficiently. With time, I can only hope to get better. You’re 7 months into this right? Learn the jobs that you’re most comfortable with and go for those, walk away if you don’t feel confident about some, with time and experience your confidence in yourself and your know-how will increase.

A bit long winded but eh… hope it’s helpful.

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@AdamPWC, I appreciate it, but I try to keep all of this in mind as it anyhow. Sometime I get frustrated with myself, but I have to remind myself that a ton of people have been in this for a long time and I’m really doing a great job of learning since I’ve not been at it nearly as long as most. That frustration and unwillingness to give up are what will make me do great.

Back to the original question, though, I really feel like this is probably one of the simple things you’re talking about and I’m trying to make it more complicated than it is. I’ll go back out and try to get a photo in the next few days. I’m feeling like I don’t know how to tackle this job just because of these stupid windows.

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How high off the ground is the top of the window? The longest multi-stage ladder, of which I would recommend the Gorilla Ladder version, is about 26’ fully extended which means when folded into the most stable position (in half) the top rung should be about 12’. With all four feet on the ground you should easily be able to stand on the very top and reach between 18’-20’ depending on how tall you are. Unlike conventional A-Frame ladders, the multi-stage ladders are more stable and you can easily work from the top rung without there being a balance issue.

Worst case scenario from there is to use a pole, but with you now being a lot closer to the top, you should not have to extend your pole fully and be dealing with a lot of flex. If you did some straight pulls with a pole from the top of the ladder you should be able to clean the window and get great results. Look into a swivel handle like a wag tail or a Moerman excelerator. I use an 18 inch Excelerator with a Fliq pad and Liquidator channel on my commercial higher flat glass panes. The nice thing about the Fliq pad is, if you screw up, you flop it back over the squeegee rubber and you soap again. You don’t have to collapse your pole to swap the squeegee for the strip washer and vice versa. Practice is the only way to get any better. If you have to wash the same window multiple times, so be it.

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I made this up recently after seeing this video. It has made a HUGE difference, I now look at jobs differently.

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May I ask why you don’t just use a Waterfed pole system? Much safer.

Or this. Perhaps there’s goop on there that needs to be scraped? Or he simply doesnt have a WFP?

Not all of us newbies are in a position to buy a WFP until established?

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Thank you for this video - I am going to get alot of use from this and feel alot safer as well.

It’s a great mod - the frames on massive windows can take the weight of a ladder with this mod. Really good for when things need scraping or something more aggressive than any WFP. It’s my favourite mod so far