As a high-rise window cleaner we are often asked to expand what we do to include other things that need doing way up there – flat roof clearance (flat roofs are often left for years without anyone looking at them, in which time mosses, grasses, plants and even small trees can grow up there with roots that can damage water-proof membranes), fault/damage assessment (though it’s not something we are paid to do, while we’re up on ladders or abseiling down larger buildings we do look out for issues that landlords, residents’ associations and management companies may need to know about, such as damaged sills, cracked panes and dislodged pipework), and gutter cleaning are among them. It also helps that we have all the right equipment and health and safety training to do these jobs safely, swiftly and efficiently.

One of our most recent jobs was for a new client in Croydon. They have a low-rise residential apartment block, built in the 1960–70s, three storeys high at the front, four at the rear (due to a garage level). They found us on, so it’s nice to know that our reputation proceeds us. All they wanted was for us to clear some troublesome gutters for them. The management company had received some complaints about a leak in one of the apartments in the block and they’d assumed that the problem was gutter-related.

When we arrived, the first thing we did was conduct a camera survey to identify where the issue was and what could be done about it. We use an extending pole system with a water-fed brush to clean low-rise block windows, so we were able to place a camera on the end of the pole to see up the 3–4 storeys to where the gutters were. They were indeed semi-clogged, but, due to the relative positions of the problem apartment and the gutters, we didn’t believe that this was the cause of the leak. Further investigation discovered a flat roof with its asphalt membrane bubbling, showing that water might have got in underneath it. We used our ladders to get up there to review the situation a little more closely and could feel the movement of water underfoot, something that absolutely should not be happening – we reported this to the management company so they could get a team of roofers in.

The gutters still needed cleaning so we used our telescopic pole system again, this time with an industrial gutter-cleaning vacuum on the end to clear it. Much of what was removed was wet, sludgy moss that may well have washed down from the flat roof with the membrane problem. But, half a day of cleaning later, the gutters were clear and the leak issue had been identified.

In the old days we would have used ladders to survey, investigate and clear, putting us at a greater risk to health and safety, and requiring more manpower and time. However, all this can be done now with cameras and our telescopic pole systems, making it safer and speedier than ever, and meaning that we can complete jobs like this far more cost-effectively for our clients… probably one of the reasons why we’re so busy!

For all your window cleaning and gutter clearing needs, whether you have a house or an entire block to manage, call London Window Cleaners 020 3954 2900.


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