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Window Washers (From CHECKBOOK, Spring/Summer 2012)
Go to Ratings of 8 Delaware Valley Area Window Washers
Window Washers

Many housecleaners don’t do windows. On our Ratings Tables, we show ratings for companies that specialize in this task. For ratings of companies that clean carpets and rugs—another specialized task—click here.

Our surveys ask customers to rate window cleaning services “inferior,” “adequate,” or “superior” on several questions: “doing work properly,” “starting and completing work promptly,” “letting you know cost early,” “neatness of work,” and “overall performance.” For each company that received at least 10 ratings, our Ratings Tables report the percent of surveyed customers who rated it “superior” (as opposed to “adequate” or “inferior”) on each question. (Our customer survey and other research methods are further described here.) 

On average, customers rate window washing services higher than housecleaning companies, but this probably has less to do with the quality of the companies than with the relative difficulty of the jobs: Doing a great job washing windows is easier than cleaning an entire home. 

For firms that were evaluated in our last full, published article, our Ratings Tables also show tallies of complaints we gathered from local Better Business Bureaus (BBB) for a recent three-year period. Where we were able to, we have also reported on our Ratings Tables complaint rates, calculated by dividing the number of complaints by our measure of the number of full-time-equivalent window washers working for the companies. The complaint rates take into account volume of work and the fact that companies that do more work are exposed to a greater risk of incurring complaints. 

You can check current BBB complaint information on any company by visiting or calling the BBB that serves the area where the company is located (click here for contact information). You can check current customer survey ratings by clicking on the company’s name on our Ratings Tables and, in the details under our listing for the company, click a link to go directly to the BBB’s most up-to-date report on the company. 

The price index scores shown on our Ratings Tables are based on price quotes our shoppers obtained for three jobs. As with housecleaning companies, prices vary substantially so we recommend you use these scores only as starting points for your own shopping. 

It’s usually easier to get price quotes for window cleaning work than for housecleaning jobs. If you provide detailed specifications, most companies will quote fixed prices over the phone. 

To obtain accurate price quotes by phone, you’ll need to provide a list of the number, types, and sizes of windows to be washed. Determine the dimensions of each window by measuring the length and width of the frame and then counting the number of individual panes, or divisions. The more panes, the longer it takes to do the work, which increases costs. 

Decide whether you want them to clean the inside, outside, or both surfaces of the windows. An important factor is whether outside surfaces can be cleaned from inside the house by tilting in window sashes. If you want storm windows cleaned, list them also. 

Break down the list of windows by first and second floor (or additional floors), and note if any windows have to be cleaned from a ladder. 

Oxidation, which can occur where water lands on glass after passing through metal screens, can also affect costs. It causes pits and rough spots that must be removed by carefully scraping or washing the glass with a mild acid solution. A window with oxidation usually costs $1 to $5 extra to clean, but, depending on the amount of oxidation, may cost up to $10 extra. If your windows have an oxidation problem, companies may need to inspect the work in person before offering accurate price quotes. 

As with housecleaning services, make sure the company you hire for window cleaning carries general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Be around when the work is done, inspect the work, and voice any complaints before the workers leave. 

State and Local Government Consumer Agencies

Delaware Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Unit
820 North French Street
Carvel State Building
Wilmington, DE 19801

New Jersey Office of Consumer Protection
124 Halsey Street
P.O. Box 45025
Newark, NJ 07101
1-800-242-5846 or 973-504-6200

Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General
Bureau of Consumer Protection
14th Floor, Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120
800-441-2555 or 717-787-9707

Burlington County Consumer Affairs
49 Rancocas Road, 3rd Floor
Mount Holly, NJ 08060

Camden County Consumer Protection
Jefferson House, Lakeland Road
Blackwood, NJ 08012

Gloucester County Consumer Protection
254 County House Road
Clarksboro, NJ 08020

Philadelphia Regional Office of the Bureau of Consumer Protection
21 South 12th Street, 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Better Business Bureaus

Better Business Bureau of Delaware
60 Reads Way
New Castle, DE 19720

Better Business Bureau of New Jersey
1700 Whitehorse-Hamilton Sq. Road
Trenton, NJ 08690

Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Pennsylvania
1880 JFK Boulevard #1330
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Go to Ratings of 8 Delaware Valley Area Window Washers Back to top