The International Window Cleaning Association has long been involved with glass issues, specifically surface scratching. Research and education is evolving due to science and the innovation of glass products. Knowledge about glass products old and new enables window cleaners to be proactive and understand the surface we clean and maintain every day. Becoming familiar with this page will allow you to stay current with glass research provided by the Glass Education Committee of the IWCA.
The International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) and The Glass Association of North America (GANA) released a joint Glass Informational Bulletin (GIB) titled Construction Site Protection and Maintenance of Architectural Glass outlining the need for proper protection of architectural glass throughout the construction process to all general contractors and builders. Please click here to view the bulletin.
Also Found in Technical Bulletins in the Resources Tab (click here) we recommend you become familiar with and have available for reference the bulletins:
- Help educate builders about potential glass quality problems before they become scratches, and the importance of job site protection of glass. Window cleaners can now download documents from the IWCA site to be included in a Builder Information Packet Pages. Send this packet of information to builders in your area along with your proposal or marketing materials.
- Study the IWCA’s Talking Points posted here, to help understand the IWCA’s position before attempting to explain potential glass issues to builders and other customers.
- Some tempered glass surfaces are highly susceptible to scratching, the IWCA recommends that you study the latest joint release from IWCA and GANA (Glass Association of North America), “Proper Procedures for Cleaning Architectural Glass” and have an open dialogue with your clients about what methods will or may be used to clean their glass, and the potential issues that may arise from deployment of these methods.
- The IWCA recommends a glass scratch liability waiver for all window cleaning contracts, before any work is done. Click here for an example of a Cleaner to Builder liability waiver. This waiver is simply an example provided for informational purposes ONLY. The IWCA recommends you have competent legal counsel review any waiver you may choose to deploy in your business.
Cleaner to Builder Liability Waiver
This is an example of a tempered glass scratch waiver; the IWCA cautions that your own legal counsel should review all of your contracts and waivers.
Tempered Glass Waiver
Releasing Window Cleaner From Any Liability On
Tempered Glass Scratching During Cleaning
Due to widespread problems with poor quality tempered glass scratching during construction window cleaning, INSERT COMPANY NAMEwill not be liable for any scratches on any tempered or heat strengthened glass.
It is accepted and understood by ALL parties that properly used razor blades and scrapers are standard tools and techniques for construction window cleaning and can safely remove limited amounts of construction debris (plaster, paint, texture, tape, stickers, etc.) from quality glass, without scratching the glass surface.
Furthermore, it is accepted, the use of razor blades and scrapers will be employed on all construction window cleaning and no other cleaning method will be offered by INSERT COMPANY NAMEto remove construction debris from any glass surface.
If Builder does not choose to have window cleaner use razor blades or scrapers, Builder must cover all glass during entire construction process, which would protect glass from any construction debris and eliminate the need for INSERT COMPANY NAMEto use razor blades and scrapers to clean the glass.
This clause must be included on all contracts. If this clause is not acceptable, there is no contract between INSERT COMPANY NAMEand Builder.
____________________________ __________________________ __________
INSERT COMPANY NAME Authorized Signature Date
Builder Education Packet
IWCA Builder Education Packet
Window cleaners – Use a builder education packet to educate builders about potential glass problems before they become scratches. Download and print these documents, and send this vital information to builders in your area along with your proposal or marketing materials.
(Before discussing the issue with builders, we urge you to read the IWCA’s Talking Points and to familiarize yourself with each item you intend to include in your packet.)
Paste into your own letterhead and customize as needed.
Cover letter A – includes your offer to help reduce likelihood of scratching
Note: As written, the cover letter refers to a glass scratch waiver that you have included. We include a sample waiver; the IWCA cautions that your own legal counsel should review all of your contracts and waivers.
A copy of the joint IWCA/GANA job site protection bulletin, released in 2010. Web Link
A copy of the revised joint IWCA/GANA Proper Procedures for Cleaning Architectural Glass Surfaces bulletin Web Link
Your own tempered glass scratch waiver for the builder to sign. Click here for an example of a Cleaner to Builder liability waiver.
Possible Damage Waiver example emailed separately.
This sample waiver is for informational purposes ONLY. The IWCA recommends you have competent legal counsel review any waiver you may deploy in your business.
Your own marketing materials – brochure, business card, proposals, etc.
Glass Talking Points
Talking Points – Understanding and Explaining the IWCA Bulletin
- For decades, scrapers have been used by the window cleaning, glass, and building industries. Millions of scrapers have been sold by suppliers to these industries, and to homeowners.
- Scrapers won’t scratch uncoated glass when properly used. They have long been a standard and practical method for removal of debris such as paint, adhesives, or stickers from uncoated glass, not only during construction cleaning, but throughout the useful life of the window.
- Scraping is often the most practical method for removing certain types of construction debris.
- Scraping is often the only practical method that will yield a client accepted result. Scrapers are used to remove larger pieces of debris. This labor saving method helps keep costs to the client down, and can reduce the need for more labor intensive restoration methods.
- Scratched glass is a major issue that has plagued all glass related industries
- Window glass is technologically far more advanced than it has ever been, and those advancements bring changes in the way the glass should be transported, stored, protected, handled, and cleaned.
- The IWCA advises window cleaners to stay engaged with advancements in glass products and cleaning methods.
- The IWCA recommends a glass scratch liability waiver for all window cleaning contracts, including maintenance contracts when significant scraping may be needed.
- When construction window cleaners are asked to use alternative methods instead of scraping, the result may possibly not be satisfactory to the client. The IWCA recommends an open and honest dialogue regarding any cleaning methods used on glass, their potential results, and potential damage that may occur through no direct fault of the window cleaner.
- If construction window cleaners are required or requested to reduce scraping to a minimum, they should still require the builder to sign a glass scratch waiver.
- Protecting glass surfaces during construction is required under the directive of the joint IWCA/GANA bulletin “Construction Site Protection and Maintenance of Architectural Glass”, released in 2010. The IWCA also recommends protection of window frames, where warranted. Often, metal frames left unprotected are subject to irreparable damage or require expensive restoration be attempted.