The Ultimate Guide To Abseil Window Cleaning

by | Oct 1, 2020 | Abseil Window Cleaning

Do you want exceptionally clean windows but worry that your building is high-rise and may be awkward to clean?

Abseil window cleaning may be the option for you. With access to reach high-level buildings and awkward angles, abseil window cleaning is often the best way of preserving the cleanliness of a tall building. It’s often the only way.  


Read on to find out everything you need to know about the accreditations required, the training and health and safety undergone and why abseiling might be right for your commercial property.

What Is Abseil Window Cleaning?

  • Abseil window cleaning, also known as rope access window cleaning, is the perfect solution for large complex residential and commercial properties. It doesn’t have the limitations that other window cleaning services can have with access and height restrictions.
  • This makes it suitable for all high-rise buildings, even those with unique and challenging architecture. By descending from your building with industrial-strength ropes, experienced rope technicians are granted maximum flexibility.
  • It looks dangerous and risky, but abseiling is extremely safe and efficient. It’s regularly used to clean high-level commercial and residential buildings such as offices and apartments.
  • Unlike other approaches such as MEWP’s and water-fed pole window cleaning, abseiling doesn’t require any ground access other than the front door. This means businesses can carry on as usual with no disruption.


Download The Essential Guide To Abseil Window Cleaning


How Do Abseilers Clean Windows?

Whilst sailing high, abseilers manage to clean windows exceptionally well whilst being able to descend safely.

They use a combination of high strength rope, pulleys, and braking equipment. With this equipment, the abseil team lower themselves over the edge of the building in their harnesses, using their brakes and pulley equipment, they’ll start to slowly descend once they’re in a position of safety.

If anchor points aren’t installed, professional window cleaning teams will bring their own counter-weight systems. They can use tools such as suction cups to allow them to move back and forth.

Abseil Window Cleaning

Naturally, a priority when it comes to abseiling is safety. Anchor points are an essential component when completing a clean. They are built into the façade of a structure to provide a point at which the equipment can be securely fastened to for support.


Anchor Point Testing For Abseiling

Having safe and reliable anchor points are essential when undergoing a clean. When there are unsafe eyebolts and anchor points, it can lead to serious health and safety risks such as:

  • Potential injury to staff
  • Lack of compliance – ensuring safe working conditions is vital
  • Potential damage to the infrastructure of the building
  • Either of these issues is a serious problem when it comes to abseiling and can result in further disappointment with the reputation of the building and who manages it.

    Abseil Window Cleaning

Anchor points must be tested regularly to ensure the safety of cleaners abseiling. They will need to support not only the weight of the cleaner but their equipment too.

Testing anchor points is best done by the cleaning team that you regularly work with. As they will understand how the building is cleaned and therefore where the key anchor points are positioned and how the pressure and weight will be distributed.


What Training & Qualifications Are Required?

Due to the heights involved, a wide range of measures is adopted to guarantee that abseil window cleaning can be completed safely, as well as efficiently.

This includes conducting a site survey and risk assessment of the project to detect any challenges and to make sure that the work can be carried out securely.

Abseil Window Cleaning

When looking for companies that provide abseiling as a solution, it’s important to look out for key training certificates and qualifications, including:

  • Level 3 Rope Technicians (This means they are at the highest level of professional schemes IRATA – Industrial Rope Access Trade Association)
  • Safe Contractor Approved
  • Federation Of Window Cleaners
  • CHAS accredited
  • ISO 14001

Before any company undergoes a clean, they must first complete a site assessment to assess any risks with the building. This will also outline the approach of the clean and understand which approach will work best, not only for the building but for the occupants too.

If abseiling is the chosen cleaning method, a full PPE inspection should be carried out to make sure the safety equipment is completely set up to a high standard before any high-rise window cleaning commences.



What Are The Benefits Of Using Abseiling?

Abseiling is often the go-to solution for cleaning large residential and commercial buildings because of its many benefits. It’s the safest option for hard to reach areas, it causes minimal interferences and it’s ideal for buildings that lack equipment infrastructure.

Residential block window cleaning on large sites can take time to get all the windows cleaned. Services such as cherry picker window cleaning could cause more disruption on larger sites as the machinery moves with the cleaners.

Abseiling allows the window cleaners to be completely independent in their movements, saving time and hassle.

A Safe Option Even For Hard To Reach Areas

Architecture and building design continue to evolve year on year with more unique structures being built than ever before. This can include domed roofs, curved buildings, sharp hard to get to corners and much more.

Abseiling can be used to overcome these struggles and clean these hard-to-reach areas as it has no height limits and requires no machinery at ground level.

Abseil Window Cleaning

Even the slickest of buildings can be built and not have the right infrastructure for cradle cleaning or the space at ground level for cherry pickers and MEWPs.


As abseilers drop down the outside of the building there are very few if any limitations. This makes it the go-to solution for high-rise buildings.


It Causes Minimal Interferences

Other methods can involve the closing of walkways and entrances to clean the windows of the building. Having no machinery at ground level with abseiling means office workers and tenants can carry on without any disruption and carry on with their days.

It also ensures the local area and pedestrians aren’t being disrupted, as access in built-up areas can be limited.


Types Of Buildings Cleaned Using Abseiling

Abseiling is a popular choice for high-rise large residential and commercial properties due to its associated benefits.

Chelsea Bridge Wharf is a prime example of a site using abseiling. Having high profile residents with apartments varying from studios to luxury penthouses, the tenants expect nothing less than outstandingly clean windows all year round. The windows and the balconies on this site are cleaned every 3 months, with anchor points and monorails tested every 6 months.


A lot of residential high-rise buildings use abseiling as the cleaners can easily pull in on a balcony, clean the windows then descend or move across to the next one with ease. Other methods may struggle to get behind the balcony to reach the windows.

The Ultimate Guide To Abseil Window Cleaning


Windows can be a key design element of a build with some spanning across entire walls. Cleaning them not only make them look good but also maintains the quality.

Having someone cleaning them up close regularly will ensure any crumbling of infrastructure is spotted early, preventing it from becoming a bigger problem that could arise.


How Often Should You Get Windows Cleaned?

The frequency in which the windows should be cleaned can change depending on several varying factors. These can include: ­­

  • The location of the building – a high traffic area or urban environment might require more cleans than a suburban area.
  • Design and structure – depending on the design of­­­ the building such as material and colour, some show up dirt and grime quicker than others
  • The season – in spring and summer you may have to increase the frequency of the window clean as the sun will make any grime and dirt more obvious.

How Much Does Abseiling Window Cleaning Cost?

When looking at costs with abseil window cleaning, we have to be able to compare solutions for the same situation. Often, the only alternative to abseiling window cleaning is to use a cradle, but that’s not as simple as it sounds.

Cradle equipment is expensive to buy and use, and there’s a huge upfront investment required. Some buildings aren’t suitable for the installation of a cradle because they’ll require access to affix a pulley, so there are no safe and economical alternatives to abseil cleaning.


Is Abseil Window Cleaning Right For My Building?

If you want your buildings exterior to look its best – then abseil window cleaning may be for you. This is because, when deciding on the right commercial window cleaning service, sometimes the only viable solution is abseiling.

If your building is high-rise and not many other cleaning options are possible you can be assured that abseiling can clean your building exterior properly. No matter if you have domed glass roofs, a building that cradle pulleys cannot be attached to, a tall building with no level grounding and heights that exceed those viable for water-fed pole systems.

If you fit this criterion, abseil window cleaning can deliver a sparkly clean result for your building exterior.

How Aquamark Delivers Exceptional Cleans With Abseiling

Aquamark recognises the diversity of issues that you experience and the elements that you need to manage day in day out. That’s why they’ve designed a unique approach to commercial window and glass cleaning, with abseil window cleaning being one of the available solutions.

So rather than the windows and exteriors being cleaned on the building you manage being something that creates more problems than it solves, instead it’s managed in ways that creates more valuable customer experiences for all. That’s for you and the building occupants.

They’ve purposely aligned their process with what’s important to you and the building occupants, making it a better experience, whilst delivering you with the highest quality clean.

They work to keep you informed of progress in ways that you find useful. They offer live updates via their In-Touch Live Status app. So, with just a couple of clicks or taps, you’ll know exactly the progress of your clean instantly.

This enables you to focus on your work priorities, whilst they focus on implementing the most effective window cleaning programme for your building.

When you’re looking at renewing your contract for window cleaning, why not contact the team at Aquamark to schedule an assessment of the building and site to discover if abseil window cleaning is the right solution for you.


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Abseiling offers complete flexibility for not only the cleaners but the building’s occupants too. It delivers an excellent clean and can be used on any building as it has no height restrictions and it can reach even the tightest angles.

Be sure to check out the company you go for has the right accreditations and safety measures in place for rope access. If you have a unique building shape, abseiling is likely to be the only window cleaning method suitable for your needs.

Abseilers work as a team, supporting each other with no need to interfere with the occupants or disturb pedestrians at ground level. Offering you with a quick, sufficient solution that has as minimal disruption as possible.

About Aquamark

Aquamark recognises the diversity of issues that come with managing large residential and commercial properties. That’s why they’ve designed a unique approach to commercial window and glass cleaning that creates valuable customer experiences for all.

With their unique In-Touch Live Status Checker, you are kept updated with what has already been cleaned, what is currently being cleaned and what’s still left to clean, in just a few clicks.

This gives you full transparency-allowing you to focus on work priorities, whilst they focus on implementing the most effective window cleaning programme for the building.

They are not only recognised as a highly credible commercial window cleaning company in London but nationwide across the UK. This is down to their extended commercial window cleaning offering which includes: abseiling window cleaningcradle window cleaning, water-fed pole window cleaning, cherry pickerconstruction cleans, building cleans and commercial gutter cleans.

When you’re looking at renewing your contract for window cleaning for a reliable, high-quality clean with professional window cleaners, or you want to explore which solution is most suited to the building you manage, contact the team at Aquamark.

You can book your slot for a free site assessment here, or if you’d prefer to chat, pick a time that best suits you.



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