Reaching Exterior Windows

Rappelling down the side of a structure might seem like the work of a superhero or spy, but it’s an everyday occurrence for certain building maintenance crews. Window washing may not sound like the most glamorous occupation, but when lifted or suspended 100 feet above the ground your perception might change.

Most cities have safety regulations regarding window washing methods. This is especially true in larger cities with tall buildings. Often, buildings up to three stories tall can be cleaned from the ground using lifts and telescoping poles, but sometimes, in order to reach exterior windows and glass, washers use special equipment.


When a building is within a certain height range, exterior windows can frequently be reached with various kinds of aerial work platforms called lifts. The tallest of these ground operated machines can elevate window washers over 100 feet in the air. Boom lifts and scissor lifts are two types commonly used in window washing.

A boom lift uses an arm that either unfolds or extends from a mobile base that can sometimes be secured with leveling feet and supports. A scissor lift consists of a platform raised vertically by a series of supports that unfold in an accordion style crisscross pattern. Both of these machines can get the job done efficiently and are safely rooted to the ground.

Suspension Systems

On many buildings of a certain height, permanent anchors are secured into the rooftop structure of the building. These safety anchors allow window washers to hook their suspension system into the infrastructure of the building itself, creating a strong and secure hold.

A repelling harness can be enough support for window washers, but occasionally a platform in the form of a harnessed seat gives a bit more stability. Cage systems, powered by on board motors, are often the most versatile and high tech platforms used for suspended Window washing. These cages can sometimes hold multiple window washers standing on the platform. This can mean a more efficient cleaning job, but requires a more technical equipment level.

It is important to note that City Wide crews have the experience and knowledge to assess your building’s needs in regards to window washing. With a quick evaluation, they will know exactly what, if any, suspension type is necessary for your facility. Leave it to the pros, and contact City Wide today to find out how we can save time and solve problems for you.