Preexisting Conditions Waiver


Just wondering how many people are using a presexisting conditions waiver to protect themselves from preexisting damage on windows? If so, do you need to somehow document the preexisting damage for it to be effective?

Thanks for any input.


I have not used this waver yet but the more i here about window cleaners in my area having problems with hurd, and newcastle customers I am definately going to start. especialy since alot of work I get are those windows alot of window cleaners in my area wont even do a house with hurd or new castle. therefor tons of customers that need them done. I do usualy explain to my customers about the problems involved with cleaning heat treated glass. And that im not responsible for their windows concidering other cleaners have done them before.


I use one. Usually on older homes or if I notice any blown seals on my estimate.Preexisting Conditions Waiver.docx (45.2 KB)


Thanks Tony. I found a copy of that waiver along with the Tempered Glass waiver while researching FD last week.

Do you document any pre-existing damage if you find it? Not sure how else you could prove it was pre-existing if it came down to it. Would it be considered too late to document damage while cleaning the windows, since that’s when you are most likely to notice any damage? It seems like I could probably point out some type of pre-existing damage on most jobs.


I try to point out any issues like broken seals, torn/bent screens, scratches or any kind of debris on the windows when I do the estimate. I also do a complete walk around of a job before any tools come out of the truck, just in case there has been some kind of “change” since the bid. I know it is really hard to believe and extremely rare, but sometimes you will present a bid and before you get back to do the job they will call in painters, or siding guys or masons…

When we arrive to do the job, we present the damage waiver before we start work


I either bring it to their attention if they are home on the estimate or I video it before we clean. Haven’t had a problem yet.


How many window cleaners use those kind of waivers on every job?
I understand the reason for using them on older homes or other types of contractors before you (blown seals, scratches, etc.) but to do that one every client seems kinda of over kill to me, anyone else?

I have them sign a damage waiver (for fabrication debris and pre-existing damage) when i offer to use a blade.

I never carry on my tool belt a blade, that way I cannot be blamed for this kind of damage at all because all that touches the glass is cloth material and rubber because that’s all that should be touching the glass unless your using a damaged piece of equipment… am I wrong here?

Trust me, I’m learning like the rest but if I’m wrong, I want to learn. :slight_smile:


My heat-treated glass scratch waiver includes language pertaining to prexisting conditions and defects.

I use it for every job – residential and commercial; first-time cleans, maintenance, CCU.

Just because you have no scraper present doesn’t mean a customer won’t blame you for scratches. I provide customer education with regard to fabricating debris to all potential customers.

BTW, I don’t scrape because a customer requests me to, I scrape because I am a WC’ing professional.


My waiver has this language in it for pre-existing damage as well. :slight_smile:

BTW, I don’t scrape because a customer requests me to, I scrape because I am a WC’ing professional.

Point taken, thanks! :wink:


I see so many windows that are so dirty before I clean them that I would [I]never[/I] have known if they had any scratches to begin with - I educate/inform the customer as I go if I do see anything arise.


I have seen ones that clearly state that “client agrees there is no pre existing inventory list of scratches”

could be changed to include, exclude anything really

I like that “inventory” word, pretty concise


That’s “EXACTLY” what i do as i work through the home of my clients.
I have not had any complaints so far and when i bring up a bad seal or big scratches, most of them already know and acknowledge them all.

Only a few of my clients have not known of some of the scratches or hard debre (Concrete, paint or other non-organic matirial) on the windows but never had a complaint from any of them.

Now, i’m not saying that there is not someone who’s looking for anything and everything to try to sue for .
Unfortunately when monies is your ultimate goal, you get those kind of people who will do whatever they can (including lying) to make you fix something that is not your fault and without proof that it was not you who provided the damage then it is something that you cannot avoid if you want a good reputation.

All in all with that said, i think it depends on your client base and how much you run across this type of customer in the areas your working to determine (if your not doing it to every customer) weather your going to have them sign a waiver or not.
As i see with a few on here, they do it for all customers and as for me i do not and only when the need arises for non organic to be removed do i ask the customer to sign a waiver.

The choice is up to you but i like hearing what others say who have been in the business, based on the area they live in and the percentages they come across as far as customers who are looking to blame you for problems they either did not know about or are just dishonest.


To me, it’s easier to have one policy for all customers.

I’m much more comfortable having the discussion before service begins, as opposed to running to them everytime I run across an issue to advise them of my policy.

I still point things out, but there are no sudden surprises (and, they’re not always present when an issue arises.). Besides, fabricating debris scratches may not be visible right away.


So Garrett,

You’re for the signing of a preexisiting waiver no matter what because of what you cannot see before cleaning the windows right? Do you personally get one signed for every job to protect your company?


I’m 100% for pre-existing waivers. Unfortunately, I’m more of a “hand-shake” kind of guy and haven’t implemented waivers yet - mostly due to “lack of organization on my part” = laziness, I know. Just yesterday I put together my waivers for FD, issues regarding Resi-windows, comm-windows, and Pressure Washing. They’re digital now, all on my iPad, with a signature program that emails them the waiver, cc’ing me so we both have a copy. I’ll start implementing this on all upcoming jobs, especially power washing.

I feel I have an open and friendly relationship with all of my customers as I am cleaning their home - most are so happy just to have the dirt off that they aren’t surprised what I find beneath it.


I completely understand…The waiver does put things on a different level that disrupts how I would like things to be…


How so, Eric?


Hey Larry,

Allow me some imprecision here. I’m talking Ideally not necessarily about understanding The Way Things Are…Let me think out loud…Having them sign a waiver (to me) is acknowledging the suspicions that we have about each other as human beings. I wouldn’t need a waiver if everyone trusted me to tell the truth on whether I (or an assistant) did or did not do something that may come up or may not have been known about by the customer beforehand.

I was in a tight spot cleaning a window once and a small painting got bumped off the wall (it was low to the ground) and when I picked it up I noticed a tear in the canvas. My heart sank but I knew I had to tell the customer. I didn’t hear a tear nor did I see me rip it (basic sense perception) but I did not know, with philosophical certitude, that I [I]didn’t[/I] rip it. I was thankful to hear from the customer that it had been ripped before…But if the customer had been irrational for whatever reason then the situation [I]could[/I] have been ugly.

I am not trying to complain that we live in this kind of world so much…We must learn to bob/weave and move to the rhythm of reality that is being pumped out and meet that challenge in a Steven Segal or Tweety Bird fashion. But I would say that it adds an ugly complexity that is neither True, Good or Beautiful even though our dealing with it can be those things.

Yeesh! I am sorry for the TMI…Thanks in advance for The Grace!


Eric, I agree that humans living in the world we live in today do indeed have these suspicions, as much as we’d like not to, and especially not have others feel that way about us. I know every time I take my car in to get the tires rotated I feel like I’m about to get lied to regarding the condition of my tires. And I almost never get out of there without buying 1 or 2 new tires. Am I right, am I getting robbed, or is it possible that while my intentions are to get the tires rotated every 3,000 miles (which is like every 2-3 months for me) I probably actually forget and wait until it’s been closer to 10,000, highly raising the chances that the inside of my tires are already balding and needing to be replaced?
So, isn’t it also possible that someone, anyone else could have scratched up windows, or broken something that we as window cleaners will come into contact with while working in our clients homes, and we could be blamed for it’s (pre-existing) condition? I don’t know about you, but as much as I want to “treat my customer’s right” and take care of their needs, I can’t run a profitable business if I’m paying for other’s mistakes. So, I have a waiver on my proposals/contracts that not only covers fabricating debris and heat-treated glass, but states that we “will not be responsible for any pre-existing conditions that do not respond to standard cleaning methods…” and then it gives examples. I don’t think this makes me or my company any less professional. Do you refuse to use Itunes because it has a “terms/conditions agreement” that you must agree to each time you download the newest update for it? Those are like 57 pages long. Do you think anyone actually reads them, or knows what they’re agreeing to? At least with a “pre-existing condition” waiver, you are making clear to your clients what you will and will not do for them. That’s just business.



I would agree with you on having it as part of your Proposal/Receipt instead of having it as a separate sheet to sign, that way it is more professional and if they ask, you can tell them it’s on the proposal or receipt they signed. :slight_smile:

Question here…
Do any of you “NOT” use a bid sheet for bids?
Do you use email, over the phone talk or other means to convey your bids to your potential clients?