MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do you clean the windows?
The dirty little secret about washing windows or mirrors is that you have to get the dirt “off”.
Most homeowners get frustrated when cleaning windows themselves because they simply smear the dirt from side to side and never really get the dirt “off”. As to our method(s) for cleaning windows, the short answer is that it depends on the type of window.
With rare exception, older exterior windows that are encased in wood we scrub and rinse – meaning that we climb the ladder, remove the screen, scrub down the window glass, the sill and the frame with a commercial window soap, and then rinse with a garden hose allowing the window to “sheet” dry. Newer homes with metal or vinyl windows, or those with replacement windows, we may choose to squeegee on the outside.
Our competition would have you believe we simply spray the window down with a hose and walk away – which is either incredibly naive or intentionally misleading – but here is the real irony: Even when it takes longer every single employee we have hired from a competitor who squeegeed exterior windows PREFERS to scrub and rinse. It is by far a more thorough cleaning and they get FAR fewer callbacks – even if it takes longer!
The reason is fairly simple – when you squeegee an exterior window you MUST be fast as you are fighting against the elements (sun, wind etc). Once the cleaner dries you are left with squeegee marks and smudges (remember, you have to get the dirt “off”). If you were to compare the 2 methods side by side, even under the most ideal circumstances for using a squeegee on the outside, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference once we are done.
Despite our success for 30 years, servicing the same neighborhoods over and over, the newer windows are very different. Many of them actually advertise having a film on the glass that allegedly “repels” dirt. This is a horrible development in our opinion as the end result is that it also repels the rain. Although this may sound good in theory, the practical result is that the rain will “bead” into drops on the glass. When the liquid evaporates, you are left with a very high concentration of the minerals that were in the rain water, a “water spot” – which eventually leads to a fish scale effect – similar to what happens if/when you don’t wipe down the glass walls on your shower.
Using a squeegee to clean these types of windows is NOT a long term solution, but it is in fact the only way to clean these types of windows. Be advised that even if you clean your own windows, or use another company, we strongly advise that you clean these newer windows on a regular basis to avoid the eventual hard water deposit buildup that WILL occur in time if left alone.
Regardless of the method, know that our obvious goal is to provide you with a job you will be pleased with. We do not advertise to the general public but instead focus on servicing neighborhoods across North Atlanta. The downside to that is if you do a bad job – everyone in the neighborhood will know. The up side is that if you do a good job, everyone will know. You may want to keep that in mind as you read throughout our website where we have countless neighborhoods across North Atlanta that we are still servicing after 30 years.
Is advance notice required?
DEFINITELY. As a general rule we stay fully booked 7-10 days in advance. In the more popular times of the year ( May and November ) we require as much advance notice as possible.
What happens in case of bad weather?
Window Works will not allow our service people to work on ladders in bad weather or rain. And you can rest assured that the rain will have absolutely NO impact on your clean windows. Although the reason people believe the rain will ruin their clean windows is unfounded, the reason they feel that way is understandable. The reality however is that a fine layer of dirt will build up on the glass over time, which people do not notice as it is happening, and then the rain comes along and disturbs the dirt on the glass and people automatically associate that the rain as the culprit for their dirty windows, when in reality the rain is simply the messenger.
What is the process for scheduling an appointment?
We make the process of scheduling as easy as possible. When you call, you will be assisted in helping you determine what you would like to have done. All appointments are scheduled 2 hours apart starting at 8am. When you schedule an appointment you will be given a specific day and time of our arrival.
How competitive are your prices?
By focusing our services to only select neighborhoods at specific times during the year, we greatly reduce many of our most expensive operating costs. Reduced travel between appointments and lower advertising costs are reflected in our prices and often times we are actually lower in price than the small 1 man operations with no insurance. In addition, our office is open Monday through Friday to answer your calls.
What should I do before you arrive?
If we are cleaning only the exterior windows, we ask that you un-clip the screens from the inside before we arrive. If we are cleaning both interior and exterior, we will un-clip the screens and re-clip them when finished.
If you are considering having your home Pressure Washed, Give us as much advance notice as possible. Because Pressure Washing will leave a white residue on the glass, you will definitely want to have the house Pressure Washed PRIOR to your window washing.
What if I’m not happy with the service?
Using a well established company can provide both security and comfort. Security in that the service you receive will probably be more than what you expected, and comfort because if you are ever disappointed, you know that any problem will be handled professionally and with priority.
What if I want to clean my own Interior windows?
It is much easier to clean the interior windows once the exterior is free of dirt and grime. If you prefer to clean the interior windows yourself, you will find the task much easier by allowing us to clean the exterior windows first.
Who will be servicing my home?
Many service companies often use temporary help or subcontractors to avoid the taxes and costs associated with full time employees. Many other companies use part time help for peak seasons. Window Works only employs full time, skilled and professional service people. They are clean cut, uniformed and fully insured. There is little doubt that our employees are the reason we continue to grow when other businesses fail.
A good Real Estate agent will always recommend removing your screens when selling your home. Fewer things will improve the appearance of your home at such little cost. There are, however, more important considerations.
Screens offer NO security benefits and trap everything from dirt and pollen to auto emissions against the glass and wood. In addition, removing your screens will easily add 1-2 years to the life of the paint on the windows. Accumulated dirt trapped by the screen retains moisture and quickly promotes mold, mildew and eventually wood rot.
More importantly, when aluminum screens oxidize (rust) the mineral deposit migrates to the glass. Window Works will not service neighborhoods where the builder has used aluminum screens. If caught in time, it is possible to remove the hazy buildup from the glass with several applications using a liquid abrasive.
The deposit from fiberglass screens is even more difficult. In fact, it is almost impossible to remove without causing more harm than good. In either case the film or buildup caused by the screen forces the water to “bead” as it does when you wax your car. When the water bead evaporates it leaves behind a high concentration of dried minerals that creates what is better known as a water spot. If left alone the water spots will become permanent.
Due to the uncertainty of how long any given job with storm windows may take, we simply do not service homes with storm windows.
Estimates for service can be given over the phone. You can use the pricing schedule to determine an estimate and we will recount your windows once we arrive. There are NO hidden charges, NO add ons, and you will only be charged for the actual number of windows that you are having cleaned.
As a general rule, Window Works will not clean Stained or Leaded glass windows. Most lead dividers do not react well to any type of cleanser and although they are a wonderful accent to any home, the soft lead construction makes the window incredibly sensitive and a very expensive liability if there is ever a problem.
If you are planning on having your house painted, make certain that you agree with the painters to scrape the windows when finished. Most window cleaning companies (Window Works included) will not scrape your windows and those that do can charge as much as several hundred dollars for an average home.
Double Pane “Fog” or Condensation
“Fog” or Condensation is very common in Double Pane windows. It is typically a result of severe weather changes, being in direct sunlight (where the window expands and contracts from being in direct sunlight) or “settling” of the home. Because the “Fog” is trapped between the 2 panes of glass which are sealed with rubber or silicone, your only options are to either live with the fog, or replace the window.
Although many people have expressed concern, it must be said that it is nearly impossible for you or anyone else (including window washers) to break the airtight seal that holds together the 2 panes of glass. The odds in fact , are nearly 99 to1 that if a person were to strike the glass hard enough to break the seal, the glass would break long before the seal would.
Heavy or Frail Items
Although our service people will go above and beyond in order to make the service you receive as pleasant and convenient as possible, they are instructed NOT to move any heavy, frail, antique or heirloom type objects in order to clean a window. Please make plans to move any such items prior to our arrival.