If you are thinking about cleaning the windows of your home, make sure to follow some basic safety precautions. If in doubt, consider the services of professional window cleaners.
Before placing you ladder, look up. Watch out for anything that may block your path while climbing the ladder, such as laundry lines, the branches of trees, or electric lines.
On surfaces like concrete, a steep angle is usually best for your ladder. If placed too far from the wall, it could otherwise slip from underneath you. On the other hand, the ladder should not be so steep that your risk falling over backwards. A good rule of thumb is to place the ladder by a distance equal to one-quarter of its height.
The danger of ladder slippage depends on the surface type – for example, soil poses little risk, since the legs may dig firmly into the ground under your weight. However, if the ladder sinks suddenly into the earth, it may cause you to fall.
For this reason, some tradesmen advise placing a flat sheet of wood beneath the ladder, and securing it with ropes attached to stakes driven into the ground, or some fixed object. If for some reasons this is impossible, it’s best to have another adult place one foot against the ladder’s base and hold onto the rails.
Note that wooden decks or concrete may also become slippery – especially when wet. Never place your ladder on snow, ice, or mud.
If your house is located on a hill, with the slope of the ground falling steeply near the wall, it may be difficult to set up your ladder safely, although crevices in the ground may help. If the slope runs to the right or left, it may be possible to create a level area for your ladder, placing some object such as a flat paving stone beneath one of the legs. However, this should be attempted only with caution.
Climbing the ladder
One of the main risks when cleaning window is that your ladder will begin to slide, causing you to fall. This often happens when reaching too far in an attempt to clean a window without descending the ladder and changing its position. Avoid stretching, and always keep your hips between the vertical rails of the ladder.
Another cause of instability is climbing too high and using the top rungs of the ladder as steps. This increases the risk of falling and should be avoided.
A third factor that may cause you to lose control is a sudden shift in the ground below. If your ladder is positioned on soil, for example, the ladder may suddenly sink into the earth. If surprised by the sudden motion, you may find your ladder sliding sideways. If sudden movements occur, consider choosing a more level location to place your ladder.
Window cleaning fluid
Safety also includes avoiding toxic chemicals. Many people use home-made window cleaning fluid that contains nothing more than two teaspoons of vinegar for every one litre of warm water. This can act as an excellent window cleaning fluid which can be easily made.