AHH winter, everyone’s favorite topic of discussion. If you have been in the trade of window cleaning for any length of time, you know that winter is the absolute worst. Colder weather makes you work slower, lots of condensation makes seeing what you are doing very difficult, you leave more behind when detailing, you’re constantly taking gloves on and off, changing types of rubber, the list goes on and on.
“If you are new to the trade, WELCOME to the struggles of winter!”
One of the biggest struggles I have found in winter is getting employees who want to wake up and play with water in below freezing temps. Our company is based out of Texas so the summer months can be rough but NOTHING is worse than the struggles of winter. Don’t you just love waking up 20 minutes earlier to defrost your car and scrape the ice off of your windshield? Then putting layers upon layers on to be hot inside of a house or commercial building then freeze to death when doing the exterior windows.
Another favorite struggle of mine is gloves. It’s so nice to have warm hands with gloves on, but a lot of gloves you can’t do anything with. They are bulky so you can’t hold your tools and if you buy the thin gloves, then they aren’t warm enough. Oh, the joys of winter. Working in the colder months for some reason no matter what music I listen to or what energy drink I pick for that day I just can’t seem to work fast enough.
The winter really does slow you down, which brings productivity and profits down.
Next on my list would have to be condensation and the struggles of winter detailing, whether you are doing storefronts all day, commercial buildings, or residential, the house or building is typically much much warmer on the inside than the outside, so there is always some type of moisture that makes traditional window cleaning absolutely impossible to see what you are doing. The marks and skips don’t seem to dry as quickly as they used to in the hot summer months, the towel tends to leave a lot more behind on the edges, just another struggle of winter.
Rubber tends to be a big topic in the winter months just because nothing seems to work well in the winter, medium to hard rubber tend to leave to much on the glass since they don’t grab the glass as well, they tend to glide. Softer rubber works better for the time being, but you see EVERY mistake you have, very very easily. I heard SteveO say in one of his videos that you really just have to do the best you can, and explain to the customer that it’s “winter time”. Yeah, couldn’t have said it better myself.
Thankfully I live in the south, but if you live up north I’m sure you are very familiar with your nearby gas station clerk, since RV fluid or antifreeze tends to be the additive of the season to keep on the truck. Whether you use antifreeze or straight methanol alcohol, it tends to make the rubber grab the glass a little more than the summer months. Just another daily winter struggle. It’s also a great idea to wear gloves when working with those chemicals.
One of the biggest struggles of winter is when the phone stops ringing. It’s something you just have to prepare your company for every year.
When it’s slammed, we want the days off. When it’s slow, we want the long days. That’s kind of how it goes around here.
Take the slow season for what it is worth and work on strengthening your company from the inside out, get ready for the next year with meeting your goals and new systems, clean the shop, find out what marketing worked for you this year and find a way to boost it for the next year. Winter comes with a lot of struggles BUT it also brings you back down to earth to realize, be grateful for the busy season and always know that the slow winter is never to far off, Enjoy both.
-By Austin Grubbs