Why Clean Your Windows?

As mentioned in this article, cleaning your windows can be boring, strenuous and dangerous. So you might not want to bother at all. However, making sure your windows are clean is more important than you might think. Here’s five reasons why.

Removing allergens. The dust on your windows can collect over time and cause hay fever. Most humans are allergic to house dust, so if you find you’re particularly sneezy or your eyes are particularly itchy, maybe it’s time to get your windows cleaned.

Dirty windows are unsightly. This is harsh but true. Windows just happen to look a lot nicer when they’re clean! Your house guests will be jealous of your shiny clean windows and lovely views into the back yard (you’d be surprised what a difference it makes). You will feel house proud and hygienic.

Natural light is good for you. Following on from your shiny gleaming windows being prettier, you’ll be more likely to open up your curtains to let the natural light in. Also, a build-up of dirt can create a film on your windows that might stifle the amount of light that is coming in. By allowing more light in, you’ll get more vitamin D, which is an essential nutrient that the human body cannot produce on its own. Exposing yourself to more natural light will help your circadian rhythms, or sleeping pattern, which in turn will make you a happier, more productive person!

You’ll save electricity. And once you’ve started opening your curtains more often, you won’t need to switch on the light as much! This will save you money on your energy bill, and help the environment.

Avoiding hard water stains. When you regularly get your windows cleaned, you can help to avoid hard water stains. These are drip-like marks on your windows which do not go away with regular window cleaning alone. This can be very expensive to rectify, and could permanently affect your windows!

If you think you’ve heard enough, give us a call! We can help you get your windows clean in a Flash.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas on a Budget

In a similar vein to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day gives you the opportunity to show your loved one how much you truly appreciate them, because lord knows you probably don’t do it year-round (this is a joke – you definitely should do it year-round). But even though we don’t really need a single day of the year to spoil our significant others or, better yet, tell someone how you really feel, it’s still somewhat expected of you to acknowledge February 14th. If you’re stuck on ideas for gifts, here’s some inspiration for you that won’t cost your life savings.

Bake something. It’s a widely acknowledged fact that the way to a man’s heart is through his belly. I would say the same is true for females too. This is the cheapest way to make someone feel special and like you’ve really put some effort in. Make some heart-shaped cookies or a decadent dark chocolate brownie. Chuck them in a nice box and voila! You have one dirty kitchen and one happy boo.

The cheesiest, lamest, sappiest object you can find. Rather than giving your better half something meaningful, why not be ironic and head down to the $2 shop and grab a small teddy bear holding a heart-shaped red pillow with some kind of cringe-worthy phrase on it. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like tacky clichés.

A night at the arcade. Because you probably can’t afford a real diamond ring, but if you score yourself enough tickets you might be able to trade them in for some kind of plastic alternative. And your partner will know how hard you worked for it.

Pick some fresh flowers. Getting an elaborate bouquet of flowers can often end up being incredibly costly. Instead of all that, sneak into your neighbour’s backyard where they work tirelessly all year to perfect their manicured lawn and immaculately designed flower bed, and clip off a few of their roses. Hand-deliver them to your lover for extra effect, but just make sure said lover doesn’t go bragging at community meetings about it.

Easter chocolate. Why be traditional when Easter chocolates are already in the supermarkets? Everyone knows Easter chocolate tastes better than normal chocolate, and better yet, they come as super cute bunnies or baby chickens or even bilbies if you know where to go. Plus, I’m pretty sure Coles currently has a two for one deal on mini eggs rn. Everybody wins.

Get their windows cleaned. I know, cheap shot. But hey, there’s nothing more beautiful than your own house, and imagine how thrilled your partner would be to have crystal clear windows for Valentine’s Day. It’s a practical gift that your lover will love. And if you get it done with Flash Window Cleaning, it definitely won’t break the bank!
Better yet, mention this article and get 14% off your next clean, in honour of February 14th!

Valid only for residential cleans booked between 10/02/2017 and 14/02/17.
Terms and conditions apply.

 

Windows of the World: Stained Glass

Religion and art have seemingly always gone hand-in-hand, especially for Catholicism. Commissions for artwork by the church served many purposes; to give a visual depiction of a particular story, to educate the illiterate, dogma, and simply the pure beauty of the artworks at hand. Paintings, tapestries, sculptures; many have stood the test of time and been analysed, interpreted and deconstructed by students of both religion and art, and provided immense wonder and joy to those who stand in the presence of such masterpieces.

Perhaps one of the most fascinating and invariably beautiful of these mediums, is that of the stained-glass window. Light is symbolic in many religions, so it only makes sense that this would be harnessed to bring religious art to life.

Stained-glass windows are created by cutting glass into appropriate shapes and fusing them together with lead, creating a latticework which is called ‘came’. Impurities in glass cause the different colours, hence early glass manufacturers figured out that by adding different metals they could manipulate the results, allowing for a spectrum of different colours. Eventually, artists realised that this method was expensive and impractical, and opted instead for painting neutral-coloured glass. Unfortunately, the colours of these windows deteriorated much quicker than the previous method.

These days, glass is much cheaper and cutting glass is far easier to do. You can probably take a lead-lighting course at your local community centre; a luxury many of the early artists would not have had available to them.

Some of the oldest stained-glass windows are unfortunately under threat from our modern environment and climate. Even throughout various wars, many stained-glass windows were left relatively unharmed, which is either because of their removal and storage in safe places, or sheer good luck. Air pollution and humidity are a significant threat against these beautiful art works. Acid rain, grime build-up and temperature fluctuations also pose a risk to the longevity of stained glass.

Double-glazing is a practical means to protect the glass. As I am sure you would be aware if you’ve ever considered getting your own windows double-glazed, this can help to insulate your home, and would do the same for the stained-glass. It keeps the glass away from the elements, and hence will help to prevent an erosion. In 1861, England’s York Minster was equipped with double-glazing, only with the intention of insulating the building. In turn, this process has definitely helped to preserve the beautiful stained glass. The key is to leave a small gap between the window and the glazing, where humidity can be controlled, much like between a painting and its protective glass in a gallery.

Double-glazing however only offers protection to one side of the window. The other side is subject to modern heating systems; which medieval churches were obviously never built to withstand. Another suggested protective method would be to create a controlled micro-climate around these windows, independent of the heating system inside the church. This is potentially impractical due its complexity and costs, but in order to preserve these stunning artworks, it may be necessary and worthwhile.

Despite the conservation efforts in place, my suggestion would be for anyone who is interested, make sure you give yourself the opportunity to see these amazing windows around the world before the deteriorate to the point of illegibility.

Sources
Elliott, Sara. 2008. How Stained Glass Works. http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/arts/artwork/stained-glass.htm
Frenzel, Gottfried. 1985. The Restoration of Medieval Stained Glass. http://www.icomos.org/publications/93stain5.pdf
2016. The Lead Came Technique. http://www.freepatternsforstainedglass.com/lead-came.html

108 Australia!

Melbourne Window Cleaners are tackling the highest skyline in the nation!

hero_a108_3

The Australia 108 building in Southbank is leading the way in the race to be the highest residential tower in the Southern Hemisphere (319 metres tall). Due to be completed in 2020, this building will be complemented by another seven skyscrapers over 200 metres high that have been approved.

Window Cleaning in Melbourne is set to literally go to new heights, read more here…

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbournes-skyline-to-become-tallest-in-the-nation-20160212-gmstuj.html

Flash’s Short History of the World (Window Cleaning!)

Did you know that glass is one of the oldest materials around? Discovered in 7000 BC, but not organised and produced in Egypt until 4000 BC. The mass production of glass then occurred in the late 18th century.

The advent of the mass production of glass meant one thing, we needed innovative ways to clean it.

Hence the traditional rubber squeegee and applicator was born. This tool could meet the demand of glass in home, office/admin buildings and sky scrapers to name a few. The first squeegee was bulky, heavy and required the removal of twelve screws to change the rubber blade. This made window cleaning extremely slow and inefficient.

Enter Ettore Steccone who patented the modern single blade squeegee with a flexible and lightweight brass handle. He patented the invention and dubbed it the ‘New Deal’. This revolutionised the trade from 1936 and his squeegees are still used today. ‘Ettore’ is still a leading provider in squeegee development and wholesale. Coincidently, 1936 was the first time the ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’ song was played by George Formby in the movie ‘Keep Your Seats, Please’. It was even banned by BBC for being ‘too racy’ at the time!. To have a listen to the song click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfmAeijj5cM.

Similarly, another man who took the squeegee industry by storm was Henry Unger. In 1964, Unger founded his name brand and began exporting the latest products from the United States to Germany. It was this initial kick start working from his Grandmothers basement that allowed Unger to become an innovative worldwide window cleaning brand. Since then, Unger continues to pride itself on working closely with cleaning professionals to create the best cleaning alternatives.

As buildings continued to get taller and more complex over the 20th century, the demand for safer methods of window cleaning became apparent. With accounts of window cleaners falling to serious injury or even death, safety had to improve.

Enter the Building Maintenance Unit. The BMU was made a key component to cleaning large drops of glass on sky scrapers and other buildings far too high to reach with extension or telescopic poles and safe than previous high rise window cleaning methods. These were produced by one main provider from 1955, E.W Cox who originated here in Australia. To this day the company employs over 350 BMU experts and teams of engineers who continue to improve the safety, accessibility and design of BMUs.

More so, there are continuous new ways to clean windows. A recent invention, the water fed pole allows cleaning with a brush, telescopic pole and purified water. These systems allow the highest quality clean at further heights from the ground where a squeegee and applicator fail. When the telescopic poles become too high, it can be extremely difficult to maintain pressure on the squeegee to perform a consistent clean. The water fed poles put ease into high reach cleaning.

The history of window cleaning is a unique and interesting story. Only upon the mass production of glass did the need for detailed glass cleaning become apparent. Since then, the cleaning tools and methods have evolved to meet the ongoing safety and efficiency demands of the window cleaning industry.

If you would like historically good all around service, visit: flashservices.com.au for more information.

The Gutter Cleaning Vac Pack!

For as long as we can remember, gutter cleaning has been completed via ascending and descending a ladder countless times. Flash is now making gutter cleaning simple, efficient and even more competitively priced with our new gutter vacuum.

Allowing  over 40 ft of reach with both feet planted on the ground, our team is excited to provide a modern, safe way to complete that essential gutter cleaning job!

Call Flash today to get the gutter vac over to your house, business or body corporate today!

(03) 9887 1822            www.flashservices.com.au

 

 

New Vehicle Joining the Crew!

We are stoked to have a new vehicle join our Melbourne window cleaning team! The Volkswagen Caddy Runner is fully loaded with window cleaning gear to take care of your window cleaning requirements! It’s high fuel efficiency minimises our environmental footprint and carbon emissions (Comb 6.8l/100km).

If you see our sign-wrapped car (by our friends at Graphic Street), be sure to give us a wave! 

Flash Window Cleaning Melbourne.

http://www.window-cleaning-melbourne.com.au