For the last of our three articles about window cleaning, we’re going to look at abseiling. This one is the visually most scary looking option but if completed correctly is highly effective. This option requires the window cleaners to hang by ropes from the roof and clean the windows by stopping at each one on their way down the building.
We’ve looked and can’t see any history to who was the first person to think this a great idea so we can’t apportion any praise. The process requires a person fully trained in abseiling to start with. A lot of the operatives come from a rock climbing type background.
They can then secure themselves to the roof by the following methods:
* Special equipment designed for the purpose. If your building has these they do have to be tested every six months to make sure they are secure.
* By taking a set of weights to the roof which are used to counterbalance the operatives to ensure safety. The downside is taking them up there and the possible damage. The upside is no continual maintenance cost to the building.
* By securing around sections of the building. Again, this option can be used but generally is the least preferred option.
You’ll often see this happening more in city centres where using a cherry picker would not be possible. The operative takes their own supply of water and cleaning fluids with all implements used tied to them so they can’t drop them. It does get a good finish as the operate is at the window cleaning it. It’s also quiet and can be done nearly all day during light hours (cherry picking is often between rush hour).
This can also be an economic route to building repairs at height such as painting windows.
It does come with more checks and potential health and safety costs but can be a great solution where its too expensive to cherry pick, but we can’t say we’d like to do it!