How Often Should Commercial Windows Be Cleaned?

Michigan Commercial Window Cleaning

Regarding Commercial, Retail, Office, Medical and High Rise Window Cleaning Scheduling

There are three main considerations when scheduling window washing frequency; aesthetic appeal / image and prevention of glass surface damage.

  • Location
    Height above ground, street/sidewalk proximity, vehicle and pedestrian traffic all are significant factors affecting effective window cleaning frequency. Landscaping, sprinkler systems and building architecture also all play a role.
  • Environment
    External impacts such as exposure to wind and rain and the intensity thereof, the amount and composition of airborne particulates and organic vapors are all significant factors; in addition building design and facade materials also effect the glass and can cause glass surface damage that may be very expensive to remediate if not properly maintained.[1]
  • Image
    Now more than ever people will form an impression of the establishment they are entering even before even opening the door.  Crisp, Bright and Clean windows send a message to Customers, Clients and Employees and answer unspoken questions in their minds.  Such appearance considerations are particularly a factor when a presentation of cleanliness and/or financial stability and trustworthiness are desired such as in Restaurants, Health Care Facilities, Insurance/Financial Institutions and Professional Offices.
  • Budget
    If a constrained budget is an issue; Neglect may be far more expensive mid-long term, than appropriate maintenance[2] It may be possible to design a glass maintenance program which addresses all of these concerns and considers your budget.  Please call Great Lakes Window Cleaning, Inc. (517-482-4040) for a consultation.

Recommended Window Cleaning Frequencies;

  • Restaurants / Food Service;
    • Interior and exterior surfaces, often at least once a week
  • Retail Establishments;
    • Exterior surfaces and interior of doors, every two to four weeks
    • Interior surfaces as needed.
  • Medical Facilities, Financial Institutions;
    • High traffic areas weekly
    • Ground floor and pedestrian areas monthly
    • High rise surfaces two to four times a year.
  • Professional Office Buildings;
    • High visibility / traffic areas every week or two
    • Exterior surfaces four to six times a year[3]
    • Interior surfaces twice a year.

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  • “Schedule a window cleaning at least biannually. Window cleaning is frequently overlooked as part of the maintenance plan.  As a result dirt can become etched into the glass and can’t be scrubbed away.  “Dirt chemically adheres to the glass surface,” says Fischer. “In order for that window to look clear again, you have to polish it with a pumice stone to get the etching off.” Fischer points out that the pumice stone works costs 10 times more than the cost of a window cleaning.”

BOMA Magazine, May/June 2012 article: Pay Now or Pay Later, page 42 ¶ 1


  • “A building specific window washing program is not only necessary to increase immediate aesthetic appeal, but also to mitigate the onset of window stains on the windows exterior surfaces.”
  • “Absent an aggressive window washing maintenance program, the building will more than likely develop some form of stains more rapidly than those that regularly wash their windows.”
  • “If stains do occur, a window restoration project will likely be necessary to remove the windows of such stains. These projects can be very expensive.”
  • “The costs of replacing the windows altogether is something that has to be considered.”
  • “The suggested frequency of exterior window washing services can typically vary from two times to four times, or more, per year.”

Building Owners and Manager’s Guide to Exterior Maintenance Management,
ISBN # 978-0-9778587-6-7 page 26-27


  •  “Airborne particulates, runoff from concrete facades and spotting from hard water sources represent three common forms of contamination that can affect glass. Each of these elements can act either individually or in combination with the other to severely degrade glass surface quality and compromise performance characteristics.”
  • “Both concrete runoff and certain types of water spots can chemically bond to glass surfaces. As a consequence, the lack of systematic washing and maintenance often leads to situations in which eventual glass cleaning procedures become more labor intensive and commensurately more expensive than normal.  In severe cases, even higher priced restorative techniques may be required in order to refurbish soiled glass to its original brilliance and luster.”

The Systematic Cleaning and Restoration of Architectural Glass, by Paul Düffer Ph.D.
International Window Cleaning Association Technical Bulletin


[1]The Systematic Cleaning and Restoration of Architectural Glass, by Paul Düffer Ph.D. International Window Cleaning Association Technical Bulletin

[2] BOMA Magazine, May/June 2012 article: Pay Now or Pay Later, page 42 ¶ 1 Published by the Building Owners & Managers Association www.BOMA.org

[3] BOMA Guide to Exterior Maintenance Management, by Marc Fischer, ISBN # 978-0-9778587-6-7page 27 ¶ 2 Published by the Building Owners & Managers Association www.BOMA.org


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