Investing in WFP equipment is an expensive proposition. Far too expensive to allow it to gather dust in your storage area. On the other hand, you must have it ready to go when you land the big office complex or university campus. The timing can be tricky. If you start up your business and you already have jobs with multiple three, and four-story buildings lined up, the decision is easy. If, at first, all you are doing are storefronts and small to medium houses, the wise thing to do might be to hold off.
What exactly is WFP? It is an unconventional method of cleaning windows using tall poles with a brush head attached and a filter of some sort to produce pure water that runs thru a hose attached to the brush. The window is scrubbed and then thoroughly rinsed. It may sound simple, but it is an ingenious idea that has revolutionized the window cleaning industry. The poles have evolved from being made out of aluminum and fiberglass materials to lightweight, strong, and stiff carbon fiber, making even five-story buildings reachable. And the methods of producing pure water (so the windows won’t get spotty, just like the spotless car wash) have come a long way, from de-ionization tanks to 5-stage Reverse Osmosis carbon sediment systems so big and complex that it takes up all of the bed of your pickup.
Using WFP has its drawbacks. It is physically demanding (although not as demanding as going up and down and moving a ladder all day), and it is hard on the neck, back, arms, and shoulders. Sometimes windows are near traffic and get coated with oily exhaust pollution. Since you are using water and nothing else, the WFP is ineffective. The water hose will freeze if you are in a climate with cold winters.
However, if your company does a lot of buildings, WFP is standard equipment. It can eliminate a lot of ladder and bosun chair work. And it can reduce labor costs by half at times. That gives you an enormous competitive advantage over companies that do not employ WFP equipment. Your Workmens Comp insurance will be lower if you can get the work done from the ground instead of using ladders or coming off the roof. And it is easy to train a novice worker to do pole work, far easier than training him or her on how to fan a squeegee. And sometimes, some structures are inaccessible to lifts or bosun chairs, and WFP is your only hope.
There is a great variety of equipment on the market nowadays. Everything from man-portable systems, 5-stage truck mounted units and de-ionization tanks. Some have pumps as part of the system to improve water flow. A TDS meter is a must. It measures total dissolved substances (just stick the meter in a cup of water produced by your system). It tells you when your water is dirty and will spot the windows. Then it is time to change the filters or switch out the DI tank.
The type of window cleaning company you own will determine the WFP equipment you will need, or if you need it at all. Virtually all medium and large window cleaning companies have and use WFP because the advantages are too great. When you land the multi-building complex that goes quarterly, or a property manager has a lot of commercial offices he or she wants you to do, it is time to consider it. Acquiring wfp is one of the marking posts in the expansion of your business. It separates you from the smaller operations. With it, you can take the larger customers.