As a high rise window cleaner, you should select your equipment with care. This is especially true of your rope, which is the backbone of your rope descent system. Deciding between all of the ropes can be confusing, so let’s focus on the two most important things you need to know when selecting your lifeline: stretch and durability.
The first thing you need to know about rope is how much it stretches. For professional window cleaning (and any other rope descent work), you need a low stretch rope. If you’ve ever been rock climbing and fallen on your rope, you’ve noticed how stretchy it can be. The stretch absorbs the shock of your fall, keeping you uninjured. But, imagine that you are trying to descend and then stop in front of a window. With a high stretch rope, you’ll be bouncing up and down and won’t be able to position properly. Trying to clean a window while bouncing is a frustrating prospect to be sure.
All of the rope that we carry at abc is low stretch and is suitable for high rise window cleaning. However, some of it is low stretch, and some of it is static (super low stretch). Either is fine for window cleaning, and the degree of stretch is a matter of preference.
Durability vs. Hand (Feel)
Rope is a compromise between durability and hand (how soft it feels and how easily you can tie knots with it). For most ropes, greater durability means a worse hand (stiffer), and the trade-off for a better hand (softer, more flexible) is worse durability. You will have to decide what’s more important to you. Consider these three common ropes:
PMI Classic EZ Bend
Static (11mm 3.7% Stretch)
New England KMIII
Low Stretch (13mm 6.8% Stretch)
There’s a lot more that can be said about rope, and there are plenty of other factors that might influence your decision. That being said, these are the most important things you should know, so you’re off to a good start.
What would you add? Let us know in the comments.