Understanding Routine and Non-Routine Cleaning ProceduresWritten by Michael Draper
When contracting to clean glass a contractor must understand the type of cleaning that they will be performing in order to protect themselves from liability. The International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) and Glass Association of North America (GANA) have written a joint bulletin placing window cleaning in two different categories, that being Routine and Non-Routine and each have different criteria.
Let’s look at Routine first and the information here is taken from the Joint Bulletin Proper Procedures for Cleaning Architectural Glass Products (GANA 01-0116). This document states that routine cleaning is with water and a non-abrasive cleaning solution. The tools we are familiar with are also listed such as mop and squeegee and both are acceptable by the bulletin. Water Fed Technology is also listed as Routine and an approved method. A caution is given to make sure no metal comes in contact with the glass and to not allow any foreign particles to become trapped in mop or on water fed brush as they could cause scratching. Razors and Metal Scrapers are listed as tools not to be used in routine cleanings.
This is an interesting point and for added emphasis I will repeat razors are not considered routine cleaning. With proper understanding of this bulletin, it becomes very clear how to protect yourself as a window cleaner.
Before I go further into that point let’s consider what Non-Routine Cleaning consists of. According to the bulletin there are two primary areas of that we need to concern ourselves with that is Post Construction Cleaning and Restoration. What’s interesting about the bulletin is how we arrive at having to perform non-routine cleaning of glass in the first place. The Bulletin states that careful protection of glass is required during all phases of the construction process. It calls for protection of the glass during all phases of construction. The bulletin goes so far as to say that if glass isn’t properly protected during all phases of construction it could cause irreparable damage to the glass. Remember the window cleaner hasn’t started yet. Let me state again if the glass isn’t protected in all phases of the construction process it could cause irreparable damage. What items would cause that?