Window Cleaning Training

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

Window cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, and gutter cleaning are tasks that many homeowners have had to tackle at some point themselves without help. So what makes a “professional” outfit generally abler than a homeowner at such tasks? The truth is, at least in some cases, we, might not be abler than our customers. However, that is exactly what the professional people in leadership at our franchise strive to accomplish. The greatest obstacle for a cleaning company is training its generally unskilled recruits. This might help account for the fact that industry-wide, repeat customers for cleaning companies is only about 50%. And since we are being honest, most of us “old-timers” had to learn to do the tasks as we went along. Studying environmental science and becoming a state-licensed Michigan builder gave me an acute advantage starting out in this business at a graduate-level decades ago. Our continuing education has included obtaining multiple certifications through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Training Certifications. What is more Happy Window Cleaning has for the past five years had Cherie, a Juris Doctor, and Coast Guard Auxillary Officer working as our office administrator, taking charge of research and development of the franchise. Strengthening our training programs has been our top priority and we continue to work with trade organizations and my alma mater to fulfill this obligation. Finally adopting a profit-sharing business model has helped most of our employees take ownership of their jobs.

Nowadays, new cleaning technicians, working for established companies, at least, are instructed with both hands-on and training modules, ours are called; “The Happytude Series”. These training tools outline what to do in most circumstances that people will encounter on the job. Even so, there are literally thousands of different types of windows and hundreds of window manufacturers that have contributed to existing homes. There are certain types of windows that are less prevalent than others and some that haven’t been manufactured in over a hundred years! The problem is that even with all of our training, people still, process things differently, and new people whether they be Dean's list students at University or coming from other trades still require time on the job, to fully assimilate the training into their daily practices.

Over time, our retained recruits become proficient and learn how to disassemble and clean windows of many types much faster than a homeowner can. Others find or are rerouted toward a new path that better suits them.

In general, the division of labor and specialization that our organization offers benefits our customers because, given the repetitious nature of our work, we can generally “deliver value” faster than they can do the same thing for themselves. From one standpoint the “market value” of any given home service, in economic terms, is the value of a customer’s time, not the value of the window cleaner's time. Of course, oftentimes the quality of professionals (those being paid to perform a task) is better than what the homeowner can do themselves simply because we have become much more familiar with the nuances of our trade. For instance, sunlight, has a dynamic effect on one’s perception of soils and smudges on the glass, as natural light is constantly changing positions all throughout the day. Window Cleaners learn intuitively over time to “check the angles” or as Brad Carey, former owner of Brads Window Cleaning says "to do the chicken dance", to ensure that what looks good at 10 a.m. also looks right at 6 p.m. i.e., good workmanship.

Happy Window Cleaning Training teaches recruits the facts about the various kinds of surfaces they work with, such as glass is 5.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. They learn what soils are water-soluble, and the correct dilutions for cleaning agents. They also learn about anthropogenic substances like silicon, paint, and hard water stains. Using the "TACT" method of Cleaning they learn what tools work best on various surfaces and what not to use and do in certain situations.

But to really get a sense of the true nature of training recruits for window cleaning one must zoom out and take a look at the reality of our market. For those who practice the trade in cold weather climates, window cleaning is primarily a seasonal occupation. There is a great demand for our service in spring and the fall. That is about six months. But then there are deep valleys in the winter and less steep slopes in the mid-summer and early spring.