Get a ladder? Nope. If you needed one then this blog post would be a waste of space. There is no need for a ladder that will slow you down and increase the risk of injury.
Too many people assume that a ladder is automatically necessary when dusting, window cleaning, or other tasks necessary for high areas. In fact they will pull out the short ladder just to reach a ceiling fan and dust the blades?!
It’s 2019 (or 1969 in the cleaning industry) so it’s time to put the ladder and caveman club away and get civilized. Take some easy tips from our cleaning service and keep your feet on the ground while still reaching for the stars.
The equipment list is short but can be modified with various attachments for specific tasks.
16′ Fiberglass pole – A 16′ foot fiberglass pole with a standard threaded end will generally fit the following attachments:
A 16′ fiberglass pole will give you about 12′ of usable height from the point you are holding it (usually waist high so about 15′ total). Fully extended it is not stiff enough to actually be useful as it will flop around and be impossible to control.
19′ Aluminum Alloy pole – A 19′ foot fiberglass pole with a standard threaded end will generally fit the following attachments:
Aluminum alloy poles will give you most of the full extension as usable. So, held at the waist, you can expect about 20-21′ of usable extension for dusting and about 17′ for window cleaning.
25′ Carbon Fiber pole – A 25′ foot carbon fiber pole with a standard threaded end will generally fit the following attachments:
Carbon fiber is the ultimate but expect to pay about $200 or more vs $39.95. It is the only realistic way to clean anything at 20-25′. While you can go higher you’ll need a back brace and some real nerve to do that. Generally much past 20′ and you’re moving into professional cleaning territory that only our janitorial division – engineered clean does.
While pressure washers aren’t included in this article you can use them for outside windows but special technique is required to keep the windows from streaking up. Usually you need to follow them up with a pole and glass pad.
The number one limiting factor when doing high places with a pole is the stiffness of the pole and your ability to get a clean grip (especially on glass) on the surface and effectively clean the corners and edges.
The other limiting factor is the core back strength of the person pushing the long pole around. Poles, therefore, don’t totally replace ladders but can reduce the need for them dramatically.
Also, for short distances there are many 8′ poles that work great for ceiling fans and high cabinets as they are light and allow you to bring them up above waist level (giving you about 12′ of usable height).