Fighting back on Fab debris and low-e issue


#1

Ok so this is just thought that popped in my head. It might be just crazy but instead of keeping it to myself I thought I would share it and see what you think. Don’t be too harsh as it is just an idea.

Here’s my suggestion to combat the fabrication debris and the low-e issue, which I think will be a major mess if it gets popular.

Why don’t we team together as an industry to educate consumers, builders and contractors on these issues. We can put together a website and SEO the site so it comes up first in the search engines under key words for windows and glass. I think with as many companies that are on WCR this could happen pretty quick. We can explain the problems and suggest to the manufacturers what we as an industry believe is the solution to the problem.

In the mean time we can suggest to the consumers and contractors on the site that they only purchase quality products. We can list recommended manufacturers who adhere to those standards and or at least change their policies on what they will guarantee as a quality standard. This can be automated by having a legal contract that is a quality adherence guarantee on the site that companies can sign and contractors and consumers who purchase their product can print off as a guarantee of quality when purchasing from that company. As new companies change their policies and standards they can go to the site and sign the guarantee that remains on the site for download.

We could even send an email out to contractors and manufacturers. Just purchase an emial list. Just get the ball rolling and let it build like a snowball.

We can have printable waivers for contractors and window cleaners. We can have printable letters for contractors to send to their manufacturers requesting adherence to the quality standards put out by our new organization formed to combat this issue.

We can ad a list of qualified window cleaning companies who are educated on the FD low-e problems that they can call for window maintenance.

At the very least it would help educate the contractors and consumers about the FD issue. It might even take a big chunk of sales away from companies who don’t have quality standards.

What do you think? Genius or crazy? Be nice :slight_smile:


#2

This fight has actually been going on for years now and there are a few sites that talk about the FD issue right now. The IWCA used to have seminars at their annual convention on the issue and Dan Fields has been spearheading this fight and continues to help wcers across the country fight lawsuits involving bad glass. While I admire and agree w/ your intentions there is a section of our industry that have given up fighting and now promote not using razors (of course this new low-e 4 sided garbage eliminates their options as well) and the IWCA has now formed a glass committee that is partly composed of GANA (Glass Association of North America) members who are only interested in dumping the problem in our lap. In fact there is only one window cleaning member of the glass committee that even promotes using a razor. The others are all advocates of “alternative methods”. In fact the IWCA isn’t even doing a discussion on FD at this years convention.
That being said I’m always open to helping educate wcers on bad glass.


#3

Tony thanks for your input. I am well aware of the history of the issue along with the other websites. Dan fields has helped me over the years on dealing with some scratch problems on a few jobs Where there was a problem and I had to deal directly with the manufacturer. Dan is a great guy and has done a great job spearheading addressing the FD problem. His resources are invaluable to our industry.

Both Dan fields site Stop Scratched Glass - Home and Window Cleaning networks website [url=http://www.scratched-glass.net/]Scratched Glass and the issues related to the cleaning of Tempered Glass do a great job of educating builders and window cleaners on the issues of FD, and providing resources to help protect the window cleaner and builders. However they are not designed to educate the consumer about the issue or contractors who do not have a current problem with scratched glass, ass they only come up in the search engines if you are searching for resources on scratched glass.

The reason window and glass manufacturers have so much clout on the issue is that consumers and contractors are not widely aware of the issue. So the people who are purchasing the products do not know to look for the defect and therefor the manufacturers are not held accountable for their defective products.

If when contractors and consumers saw a website come up on how to choose quality windows for your next purchase when they searched for replacement windows or even window repair then they would have the opportunity to be informed before making the purchase. The hope would be that they would become an educated consumer and influenced to only purchase from quality manufacturers.

I think the small window cleaning industry alone does not have enough clout to change the practices of the massive glass and window manufacturing industry. However the window cleaning industry does poses the ability to educate the consumers who do have the clout to change the practices of the manufacturing industry with their purchasing power.

For me it doesn’t matter if some in our industry have given up. They have given up because the approach that has been taken to address the issue with manufacturers has not worked. I think it has not worked because they know we don’t have the clout to hurt them directly. However the consumer (homeowners, builders and contractors) does. Rather than applying pressure directly to the manufacturer, apply the pressure to the consumer to leverage their clout with the manufacturer.


#4

In the past some have suggested making a bad fabricators list and making it public. There are litigation possibilities w/ this since the manufacturers claim there is no defect. I currently use a waiver and education w/ every client and builder I work for. I do have one suggestion. Perhaps we can coordinate our efforts to do home shows in certain areas where builder and homeowner education are a main component.


#5

I think the best approach is to focus energy where you can reach the most people in the shortest amount of time with the least effort and the lowest cost. Hands down that’s the internet. The key is to put the information in from of the consumer (builders contractors and homeowners) in an a way that peaks their interest. We can’t rely on them searching for the information we have to hand them the information and motivate them to read it and act on it. So a creative and informative website that equips consumers to make a quality purchase. SEO the site for what consumers are searching for in regard to making a window or glass purchase and give it an intriguing title line and bam the consumer is likely to pay attention to the information and even act on it. we could even give them a gift certificate for a cleaning on their new windows from the listed window cleaning contractors if they purchase from quality listed manufacturers, as an incentive to act on the information. Every little bit helps.

I think legal issues is a mute point as 80% of all cases Dan fields has been involved in the manufacturers have settled out of court. The other 20% that went to trial have been won by by Fields. They know they don’t have a case in court. His main piece of evidence was the article put out by the glass industry outlining and admitting the FD problem with dirty rollers. We wouldn’t even have to attacked the manufacturers directly on the site, but quote their own words and say according to the glass industry… like a reporter would do.

The issue is the information about FD is available to the consumer but consumers do not know the problem exists so they are not looking for the information. All we have to do is get the info where they can see it and get them to read it along with a few reasons or even incentives to act on it.


#6

Maybe The FD page on this site would be a good starting point.


#7

I don’t know a whole lot about SEO. But I think it would have to be a site geared as an easy read for consumers. If its too technical they will be less likely to read it. I think it could be done effectively its just a matter of how many window cleaners want to make the effort to support it.


#8

That is the real problem right there! It’s the same reason the IWCA is flipping on the FD issue. A growing number of wcers have given up on the fight.


#9

Do you think they gave up because they did not see a viable way to effect change with the manufacturers? Aside from the lack of support does anyone feel this would be an effective method?


#10

I personally didn’t care about the issue for along time until I read the thread on low-e now being applied to the exposed portion of the glass. I now realize that if we don’t fight back the manufacturers are going to continue to cause problems for us. You may feel that its too much effort to fight back but what about the efforts you have to make to train your guys on new methods of cleaning and having multiple methods for various job types? How much time and pay does that cost you. Or what about when your guy doesn’t spot the exposed low-e and swipe a razor across? Oops! now its your problem. If we stand up and fight this I think we could force change, which would be in our favor.


#11

I think it was fear of what would happen if they ran across bad glass and got sued. Some never had faith in using a waiver and education and others preferred the alternatives so they could charge more to the client.


#12

Now don’t think we have the problems as much.
As over there. FD

It appears that manufacturer tells you how to do a basic window wash what not to use scrapers chemical and such.

But we all know in the real world that we get paint, concrete, silicone and all the other stains will get on the glass.

Why is that manufactures are not telling as how to remove these sort of stains debris off the glass?

What we should be using and how?

Has anybody actually asked the manufactures for this sort of info?

Make them accountable instead of playing the blame game.


#13

Can you clarify the part I separated? I read it as you saying “others” use alternatives to make more money. I’m not as deep into the issue as you but in my opinion, alternatives minimize risk, and I bet the " others" are making the same money per hour.

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#14

I have talked at length w/ many alternative advocates and one of their “selling” points to me would be the extra you can charge for using alternatives.