In today’s “lousy” economy there are many of folks looking to earn an alternative source of income once the unemployment checks stop trickling in. We should give accolades to the go-getter’s and their work ethic, but at the same time it might be a wise decision to ask a few questions before you let any Joe of the street into your home (regardless of the service or product offered). For now we will be directing our questions at a cleaning service, more specifically window cleaning.

1. Liability Insurance

A credible window cleaner should and will have a valid certification of liability insurance.  Most residential window cleaners are insured  at a minimum of $500,000, and in most cases most insurance companies don’t offer lower limits.  It is a great sign to see a window cleaning holding  $1,000,000 limits or higher because its shows  they are not skimping by with the absolute bare minimum.2.  Reliability It can almost be assumed the number one complaint from those who use a window cleaner is the “reliability factor”.  Whether you receive an over the phone or on site estimate for your window washing needs, make sure he or she takes time to put you on the schedule and you are not a on a fly-by basis, make sure you can tell they care about you and your home.

3. Safety and Quality of Work

While you are “interviewing” your window clener for the specific job at hand, make sure to ask these questions about safety. The last thing we all want is an injured window cleaner on your property.

  • How do you clean the exterior windows? Most will say with an extension ladder or a sectional lad
    der. This is a good sign.  Also possible ask them how they will manage to deal with uneven landscaping or a really high or hard to access windows. A seasoned window cleaner will be quick to answer. A new yet precautious window cleaner will explain their feelings and should tell you how they feel about the situation. No clean window is worth one’s life.
  • What do you use to wash the windows with? Please expect to hear “with a squeegee or a water fed pole”. If you hear any other  answers I would hesitate to pay someone to clean my windows. Windex and a rag will work, but will not yield professional results.

4. Professionalism

You should be able to determine the level of professionalism with your first contact with a window cleaning company or individual.  A fast response to an email,  a voice mail, and even better yet a real person to speak with on your first call is a GREAT sign. If you are dealing with an individual window cleaner, I would allow for 24 hours before hearing back, depending on the time of year. (spring and fall normally are hectic times of year for a one man operation).  Also, if you do receive a onsite estimate, a uniformed employee or individual shows they care about their own reputation and image.And just remember, you get what you PAY for. A  professional company or individual will treat your home like their own and will wash your windows like their own.  Look for boot booties and a sense of careful urgency while inside your home. Taking such precautions does cost money and thus why you might pay more with your window cleaning service.
5.  HonestyOver all the window cleaning industry has a respectable reputation, but don’t forget a few bad apples can still ruin the bunch.  You don’t need to judge a book by its cover but it is essential to do your research and ask the above questions to cover your bases.  Some other indicators are dirty, torn, and cruddy clothing, a negative charisma, forcing payment before the work is finished (sometimes expect to use your credit card for an upfront deposit with a larger company), and VERY VERY LOW PRICING.  Remember let the value of what your window cleaner offers determine the price you are willing to pay.