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Window Cleaning Rx for Your Home: An Interview with Kim Little of Clear Carolina Window Cleaning

By Kim Little

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

It is a family-owned company that stemmed from my retirement from law enforcement and my wife Terri from the medical field. It formed in June of 2003 and has experienced growth from there. We have 2 full-time employees and 3 seasonal part-time helpers. We are based in the Sandhills area of NC near Pinehurst and serves both NC and SC.

We specialize in residential and commercial window cleaning and related services, i.e., glass clarity restoration (removing hard water spots from glass) and recently expanded to add pressure washing / soft washing. I am presently serving as President of Master Window Cleaners of America, a nonprofit trade association for route/residential window cleaners and window cleaning business owners.

What is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to cleaning windows and keeping them clean?

Believe it or not, it's dirt. Anything from "doggie boogers" to fingerprints. And our old friend: tree pollen. We have cleaned countless kiss prints from windows (why would anyone want to kiss a window?). And I still can't understand for the life of me why anyone would have to touch a glass on a door that opens for them automatically. And contrary to popular belief, rain does not dirty a window; it's the dust and dirt that collects on a window screen that gets the window dirty.

How do you typically clean house windows (your process) and how often should it be done?

We advocate most homeowners get their windows cleaned at least twice a year--once in spring and sometime in the fall before holiday entertaining. If the home is in an area that may be prone to collecting dust and dirt such as in a high construction area, then they may want to consider outside cleaning quarterly. For most commercial buildings, once a month is satisfactory; high-volume areas such as restaurants and salons, at least twice a month if not weekly is ideal.

We use traditional tools and equipment such as squeegees and scrubbers and ladders and extension poles to do our cleaning. We also have invested into the latest technology in pure water window cleaning that doesn't rely on soaps or chemicals to clean windows. It is safer, more efficient, and helps keep the window cleaner longer. We can also clean the frames, tracks, and sills with our process, which some window cleaners fail to clean.

Are there any options available for green window cleaning products?

As a matter of fact, pure water window cleaning is the greenest cleaning product. It is simply tap water that is generally purified on site to remove all contaminant from it that results in a product that cleans windows without soaps or chemicals that dries to a spot-free shine. It therefore leaves the windows without a film of soap that squeegees leaves behind that usually attracts dust and dirt. For inside window cleaning, there are several environmentally friendly soaps that produce excellent results. We use those products in our cleaning solution.

Is there anything that homeowners can do to help keep their windows and screens in good shape in between cleanings?

They can use non-ammonia foam sprays or spritz rubbing alcohol and wipe dry with a lint free cloth to clean up dirty spots on their windows. Avoid inexpensive blue liquid spray cleaners (a pro's real friend--the streaks it leaves behind gets us called back rather quickly) as it has components that leaves a film on the windows and streaks on the windows. If you don't ever open your windows, take the screens off and store them. Screens are notorious for collecting dust and dirt as well as trapping insects between them and the window.

As mentioned before, when rain passes through the screen, that grime is deposited on the window surface and window sill. Without the screen, the grime that collects on the window can be rinsed off while it rains. Rain water itself is generally pretty clean and can help keep the window washed off. By the way, many window cleaners collect rain water to clean windows.

What advice would you give homeowners about professional window cleaning?

Call a professional to do your window cleaning. They are legitimate business owners that care about what they do. They will have proper insurance coverage to protect their clients and have proper business licenses if required for their area; use quality, safe equipment and work in a safe manner; attend training seminars to improve or enhance their business; and use professional products to do their jobs. Additionally, homeowners that intend to sell their homes, professional window cleaning is the no.1 presale improvement that generates the best return on investment as measured by a higher selling price (Money, June 2003).

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

Our office number is 910-974-7506. If we are out of the office simply leave a message. We monitor our voicemail several times a day. Kim's cell is 910-724-4442. Terri's cell is 910-727-6073. They can visit us on the web at www.clearcarolinawindows.com. And my email is kim@clearcarolinawindows.com.

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About The Author

Kim Little is President at Clear Carolina Window Cleaning.

Phone: 910-974-7506

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