Let’s face it – we’ve all been there when it comes to icky, grimy windows. Over time they just get dirty, and so you might be thinking about hiring a company to wash them and get rid of the grossness once and for all. But windows are breakable, so you want to make sure that you hire a reputable window washer to take care of the glass. We spoke with Nathan Neal of Squeeky Kleen Window Washing to find out what to look out for when hiring a window washing company.
We asked Nathan what he loves most about what he does, and he said that he most enjoys, “Working outside, meeting new people, and learning about the window business.” Wait a second. Nathan’s been washing windows since 2003—what does he mean by learning about the window business? He clarified by saying, “There are all different types of window and glass. From antique windows to restoration glass to the modern double pane windows with different coatings on them. There is always something new to learn.”
Here are a few things that Nathan told us you should keep your eye out for when you’re hiring a window washing company.
They should be fully insured with proper insurance.
The term “proper insurance” was a new one for us, so we asked him to explain. “A few years ago I learned an expensive lesson,” he said. “I had $4 million worth of liability insurance. My insurance agent assured me that I was protected. Then I found out about a policy exclusion that cost me thousands of dollars I had to pay for out of pocket.”
Naturally, we had to know what this exclusion was that had cost him so much. As it turned out, Nathan’s former policy had a workmanship exclusion. What that means is that if a window washer dropped a ladder on the homeowner’s car, then the homeowner is covered and insurance would pay out the claim. However, if that same window washer were to, say, scratch your window on accident while trying to remove paint with a razor blade…not covered. And that’s Nathan’s story about how a $.25 razor blade wound up costing him thousands of dollars.
As you can imagine, Nathan replaced that insurance company with one that covered “workmanship” mistakes. The lesson for you as a homeowner? Check for “proper” insurance. Then make sure that workmanship is covered under their policy. You don’t want to be stuck with scratched windows.
Is the company environmentally friendly?
Does the window washing company use harsh chemicals, or are they environmentally conscious? Nathan said that all you need is a dab of Dawn dish soap to “make your windows shine again.”
Are they a bonded company?
The window washers might be entering your home. Wouldn’t you be more comfortable knowing that your window washers have a clean background? A company that bonds their employees takes 100% responsibility and accountability for them. You should always demand that all employees entering your home be bonded.
Do your research.
Nathan advised that if you’re looking for a window washer, you shouldn’t take the first bid you get. “Always accept two or three bids before making a decision. Make sure that you compare apples to apples.” This is important because window washers might have a different definition of what it means to wash your windows. Some might hand wash your windows. Others might spray them down. And there are some that might pressure wash them.
So, you’re going to want to ask them a few questions:
- What is your process for washing my windows?
- Will you use razor blades on my windows? (As we learned from Nathan’s story, not a good idea.)
- Will you use a pressure washer to clean the windows? (Again, not a great idea—window sills can easily be damaged by the force of the water, and pressure washing can also cause water damage. Plus, pressure washing could actually break your windows.)
Nathan’s most advised method for washing windows is good old-fashioned “nose-to-glass.”
Will they use ladders?
Many window washers do not have liability insurance coverage for using a ladder or going on a roof. That sounds like a recipe for disaster. Nathan said, “That’s why when it’s impossible to wash the window by hand we use a water-fed pole with purified water to wash your windows. This is the safest way without getting on the ladder. You’ll love how your windows come out.”
Do they use subcontractors to clean windows?
If the window washing company does use subcontractors, do they and all of their people have proof of insurance coverage? Be aware that if they don’t have coverage and they hurt themselves on your property, they will most likely sue you as the homeowner to cover medical expenses. Nathan advised that you should “insist on hiring a window washing service that only uses employees and not subcontractors. Then make sure that all employees are covered by liability and workers’ comp insurance.”
Having clean windows will make your house look shiny and new. Plus, it makes it easier for the sun to shine in and brighten up your morning. We hope that you found these tips helpful in your quest to find a window washing company for your home. If you have any questions or would like a free window washing quote, you can reach Nathan at http://squeekykleenga.com.
We at Atlanta Insurance are serious about helping you protect your home, your most valuable investment, in any way we can. Contact us today if you’d like to get a free quote on your homeowner’s insurance – we’re here to help.