Window Cleaner using a Water Fed Pole to Clean House in Snowy Conditions

What do window cleaning professionals do in the winter?

photo by Craig Hendzel

What do window cleaning professionals do in the winter?

When the weather outside is frightful, and the covers on your bed feel oh-so delightful, it can be a major struggle to wake up, lace up your boots, and get on your window cleaning grind. But slush on the ground and a pile of snow on your truck shouldn’t stop you from going out and getting it! Although some people believe window cleaning is a “seasonal” job, the folks bundling up for a 5 am residential appointment in the heart of January would say otherwise, as would the window cleaner hunkering down in their office chair, creating mailers to send out in the springtime.

No matter what time of year it is, there is always something that can be done to propel you further into creating or maintaining a successful window cleaning business. So, don’t let a little snow stop you from running your empire. In this week’s Window Cleaner University article, we’ll talk about what window cleaning professionals do in the winter.

Save Your Money

We’ve heard the phrase, “hope for the best and plan for the worst.”

Now, we’re not saying to become pessimistic and expect bad things to happen. In fact, we are saying the opposite. Due to the fact that we already know it gets quiet in the wintertime, we suggest adopting a realistic mindset so you can set yourself up for success.

Adopting a pragmatic attitude will save you the trouble if your funds drop when the temperature does. If the thought of winter’s got you worrying, schedule extra work for yourself as early as that year’s spring, summer, and fall to put aside enough money to cover your winter bills. Plan ahead and save cash for food, work gear, home improvements, vehicle repairs, cold and flu medicine, and even a little extra for some hot cocoa for the family. Having enough cash to cover you will provide you peace of mind and give you more time to handle other winter window cleaning matters. Hope for the best and plan for the worst, and if it ends up being a warmer winter, then you’ll be in even better shape than you had planned. Either way, it is a win-win situation.

Get the Right Gear

When the temperature drops, there are many things to consider, like the discomfort of wet towels over the shoulder, frigid fingers and toes while washing, and boots slipping on the ice and slush. Not to mention water freezing before you bring your squeegee to the glass, hardened rubber, and more dangerous surfaces. Before tackling the winter season, it is a good idea to ask yourself: what kind of gear do I need?



Bundling Up

Before getting out there, taking care of yourself first is essential, and bundling up is key. If you’re not already covered from head to toe, treat yourself to a hat that covers the ears, consider snagging a pair of the super-warm Youngstown Winter Plus Gloves, and add an extra layer, such as a moisture-wicking shirt that keeps you dry. To prevent slipping on the ice, which can be a major bummer, getting yourself a pair of removable ice cleats for your boots can be a lifesaver! Preparing yourself for winter with warm and safe clothes to keep you going is an investment that will change how you clean in the, plus prevent injuries. Long-line waterproof jackets that go past your thighs can protect you from a cold, wet leg from a BOAB. Insulated boots worn over wool socks will help keep your feet warm and dry. Since we lose most of our heat from our heads, hats are an absolute must. You might feel like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but it will be easier to work in the cold, and your body will thank you.

The Right Tools for the Season

In warm weather, we often have to worry about our water evaporating, but in the cold, we have to prevent it from freezing onto the glass. Luckily, methanol is a widely available chemical that many window cleaners add to their usual soap solutions. If you’ve never used methanol before, you can learn more about it by downloading WCR’s Methanol Safety Packet, which includes a safety sheet, an MSDS sheet, a safe handling guide, an employee waiver sheet, a safety meeting guide, and a sign-off sheet for when you educate your employees.

For the squeegee slingers out there, soft rubber in the winter is an absolute must. This is because the lower the temperature is, the harder your rubber will become, which will cause skidding over the glass, which makes uneven lines and streaks. Grabbing a pack of soft BlackDiamond Round Top Squeegee Rubber can help and works well with most Ettore, Pulex, LTWC, Wagtail, Moerman, Steccone, or Unger squeegee channels. If Sörbo is your preferred tool, some soft BlackDiamond Flat Top Squeegee Rubber will do you justice.

Switch up your Services

If you’re struggling to get appointments with your usual customers, consider going after other job types. Some residential customers are snowbirds and go away to find warmer weather, and some just don’t have the desire to get their windows cleaned due to the constant snow. So, it’s up to you to build up your schedule without them. If you’re usually a residential cleaner, going after storefront or commercial jobs can not only help you during the winter but trickle into your calendar during the warmer months, too. You could be potentially grabbing a new client that another window cleaner dropped because they wanted to hibernate in the winter while you were busy putting your good name out there!

Many businesses on main streets get splashed with salt and slush yet still get foot traffic. This may encourage them to give you a call to beautify their storefronts. Many cleaners say that routes help them survive in the winter, even though they’re usually lower in price. But, the amount of them you could tackle in one day can build up and provide the income you need to keep chugging along.

Larger commercial buildings also still run as usual, with people working in them every day. They may need a window cleaner to clean the interior and exterior glass and sills to keep rampant germs at bay since everyone is staying inside. Buildings like these would be great places to approach when your usual callers are quiet.

Plan for the Busy Season

“If you’re not advertising, you’re not in business.”

If the winter season fills you with dread, think about this phrase and spin it into a positive. Now you can finally take a rest from the heavier “hands-on” work and make great strides on your marketing and advertising for when the weather warms up! Reviewing and analyzing your previous year by going over your year’s metrics, frustration points, and successes can help in a huge way. Make changes and write them down, so you know what to do for the new year. Create targets and goals, and devise a plan that you can follow up with throughout the year. You can even make time to focus on getting your equipment fixed up, so it’s working like new for the warm weather.

Then, take the time to focus on your marketing. Make flyers, set up mailers for the spring, and get your designs in order and on order. WCR offers outstanding Printing Services that provide you with tried and true templates as well as options to customize your own design. Finally, develop a budgeting plan so you can be even more financially secure for the following winter. Keeping track of inflation and how prices are looking can show you where you’ll possibly need to tighten your belt and how you can spend a little extra money on investments for your business.

Still Have Questions?

Don’t sweat it! If there is anything you’re unsure about, want to learn more about, or need advice on, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Window Cleaning Resource is here for you 24/7, with the help of our super-friendly window cleaning experts.

Having owned their own window cleaning business, too, they have tons of information on window cleaning products, business tips, and more, even if you want to talk shop.

This equipment and HUNDREDS more products can be discovered on our fantastic Window Cleaning Resource platforms!

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And most importantly - get out there, believe in yourself, work hard, and don’t forget - the rewards of this career are bountiful - so have fun!
Talk to you soon!
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