SQUEEGEES: A GUIDE


INTRODUCTION

IF THERE IS ONE TOOL THAT DEFINES A PROFESSIONAL WINDOW CLEANER, it’s certainly the squeegee. For over 100 years window cleaners have been able to clean quicker and better than those using towels to wipe the window clean. There is a surprising variety of squeegee options available, which can be intimidating when you are trying to make a purchasing decision. This guide will help you sort through the options so that you can decide what works best for you and make sure everything is compatible.

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THE PIECES

The Pieces

A SQUEEGEE IS MADE UP OF TWO PARTS: CHANNEL AND HANDLE. Channels come in a variety of lengths so that you can get the one that works best with your job. Most window cleaners have a variety of lengths on hand to handle different jobs. The handle holds the channel, and it the part of the squeegee you will grab and hold onto.


Channel Diagram

YOUR CHANNEL HOLDS YOUR SQUEEGEE rubber, which wipes water off of the glass. It will have an extruded metal piece, the rubber, and usually a clip that holds the rubber in place (see clipless channels below). All of the channels that we sell include a rubber and, if applicable, clips.


RUBBER

T Shaped or Rounded

 

Rubber comes in two shapes: Rounded and T Shaped. Make sure when you choose rubber that it matches the channels you are using. The two shapes are not compatible.

CHANNELS

Standard or Wide Body

 

Channels come in Standard and Wide Body. Standard channels are thinner and come in shorter lengths. Wide body channels are thicker and come in longer lengths.


Clip Style Channel

 

Clip style channels use end clips to hold the rubber in place. Clip style channels come with clips pre-installed. You can also purchase replacements separately.

Clipless Style Channel

 

Clipless channels have notches on the back, allowing a clipless handle with teeth to grip the rubber. If you have a clipless channel make sure to get a clipless handle to match.


MATERIAL


ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST DECISIONS TO MAKE is what material you want your squeegee to be. Material is one of the biggest factors in how heavy your squeegee will be and how rigid your channel will be.

POLE AND FIT


Pole

 

Tapered Tip

Most squeegee handles will fit onto most tapered tips on poles. Simply push it onto the end until it’s snug. If your pole doesn’t have a tapered end, but just a threaded end, add a threaded wood cone to make the connection.



Pole

 

Brand Specific

Some brands such as Ettore and Unger have designed their handles to work better with their poles. The pole tip will have a locking mechanism that fits into the handle, securing it in place. The is a convenient feature, but you should note that these poles will still work with other brands of handles and these handles will still work with other brands of poles.


HOW TO DECIDE

 Jeff Klass

Veteran Widow Cleaning Expert Jeff Klass
Offers His Advice On How To Choose The Perfect Squeegee



A BUILDING CAN PRESENT MANY CHALLENGES TO A PROFESSIONAL WINDOW CLEANER. It can be comprised of thousands of tiny panes, commonly called “frenchies” or cut-ups, or it can be large plates of glass. Obviously, you don’t want to use a six inch squeegee on a 6 foot wide pane of glass any more than you’d try to cram a 36 inch blade into an 8 inch cut-up. Choosing the right tool for the job and having a wide selection of channels and handles at your disposal is going to be key to your success and profitability. We would like to say that payday loans win the uk direct lender, they are trusted lenders where you can rely and get some financial assistance.


At my company, we have channels ranging from 4.5 inches wide up to 30 inches wide, with numerous custom cut to fit sizes in between. We keep spare 18 and 14 inch channels in stock specifically as “cutters”, on the off chance we come to a job and it has a pane size that we do not have a cut to fit channel ready. We will cut channels to allow single stroke window cleaning.

My thought process has always been to remove the maximum amount of water in the minimum amount of strokes. On small panes I have found this is often best accomplished with custom cut to fit channels. On large plate glass like storefronts and car dealerships it means that you’re going to need to learn how to work with the larger channels like 28 inch, 30, or even 36 or 40 inch channels. However once you learn the proper use of these channels, your productivity jump will be well worth the initial struggles. We run time based businesses, so saving time on the job is important.




The material the channel is made from will also make quite a difference.


Aluminum Channel

 

The material the channel is made from will also make quite a difference. Like most of us who have been in this trade for many years, I broke into it using brass squeegees and handles. I have since switched to aluminum channels with plastic composite swivel handles. I like the versatility that the swivel handle gives me when working with a pole, the quick change feature when swapping channels, and the weight reduction of both the aluminum and plastic components. Since it’s often cold in my state, we wrap our handles with grip tape to give us a bit more grip in all kinds of weather conditions, and to keep it from being so slippery when it ices up in winter. Many old pros still prefer the heft of that trusty brass in their hands. A dear friend of mine has switched to the ultra-light weight aluminum handles and channels as he’s gotten older, and swears he’ll never use anything else. It really does come down to what feels right when you have it in your hand.


Speaking to the versatility of the handle – don’t forget the specialty handles. These are long reach handles that allow you to close out deep silled windows while on a pole. Once you take some time to learn how to use them right, and get good results, they can save you hours of ladder time. We have many commercial buildings that we have used these deep reach handles on for years with great results. Swivel handles are another great innovation that can really help with your pole work. You no longer have to use a squeegee blade fixed at a ninety-degree angle to the handle and cut in from the side, come into the top and pull straight down. You can kick the blade over at an angle, slide the channel up one side of the glass, and pull horizontally across the top of the pane, eliminating pull downs, or “curtains” as veterans call them. Other type of swivel handles allow you to literally fan or “snake” your squeegee all the way down the glass with enough practice.


A well outfitted window cleaner is going to end up with truck filled with much of what is described above. Not all of it will be used all the time, certainly. But ask yourself this – would you rather have it and not need it, or need it and not have it? Order up some new handles and tools of the trade and take them out for a spin. You might just be able to shave some time off that next job. And time after all, is money.

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Ben MakuhSqueegees: A Guide

Comments

  1. Bill Roberts

    Jeff,
    Great demo and good points. May I also add you are a craftsman because of ingenuity and your years of experience.

    Saving time on the job does not mean giving deeper discounts but being reimbursed for your knowledge and skills you know! One of my friends just forced himself out of business because he kept giving deeper discounts!

  2. Pingback: How to Clean Your Windows Like a Pro -

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