Eduardo joined us this year in April all the way from Chile! Eduardo always puts safety first which is our #1 core value at Black Tie. When it comes to safety, he is not only concerned with his own safety but also the safety of his colleagues.
Eduardo is excellent at managing his time and meeting deadlines while ensuring his quality of work is always top-notch.
Whatever the job is, big or small, Eduardo always has a can-do attitude and an open mind to learn new skills or try out a new technique.
He is an excellent team player. If he finishes up for the day early, he will help his colleagues to finish up the task or pull up ropes.
STAFF 📸 CONTEST
Congratulations, @DAVIDFAZV, the winner of Black Tie’s October Staff Photo Contest w/ 266 likes
Hat’s off to our 2nd place winner @drewlacarte w/ 127 likes
And coming in at a close 3rd place, @samuelhalifax w/ 120 likes
And a big thank you to everyone who submitted their photos.
Most property managers are somewhat familiar with the terms “acid wash”, or “chemical clean”. But how can you determine with certainty if this is needed? And what factors should you consider before booking the service? Below, we will answer these questions and provide some helpful guidelines around booking your next acid wash.
Why does the building need this?
So, you just had the windows cleaned on a building you manage, and were told “This will need an acid wash”.
Those comments may have come directly from your service provider, or may be the result of several complaints from residents, pointing at their stained windows and demanding better results. Whatever the case, the cause of staining on glass will generally fall into one of two categories:
Construction debris: On newer buildings, it is not uncommon to find that the initial post-construction clean was not done as thoroughly as required. We quite often find remnants of silicone, paint or exterior membrane that was not cleaned off properly. It is also very common to find mineral deposits or concrete slurry resulting from rain water dripping down from the unfinished concrete slab and onto the glass, during the construction process. An acid wash or chemical clean will definitely be needed to remove those stains.
Mineral deposit accumulation or hard water stains: This type of staining occurs over time, and is caused by rain water hitting various surfaces on a building. The raindrops pick up minerals, and subsequently drip down and dry on the glass, leaving stains that look like water spots. This is very common on brick buildings or buildings that have elements of uncoated concrete or aluminum.
In both instances, an acid wash will be required to remove those stains.
Example of glass and window frames stained with minerals leaching from brick and mortar above.
Example of stained railing glass resulting from water hitting the concrete pavers and splashing on the glass and staining it over time
What does the process look like?
The most effective product to remove mineral deposits from glass surfaces is hydrofluoric acid. This product is extremely toxic and presents a serious health hazard to workers if not handled with proper care. It also has the potential to damage glass and other surfaces it comes in contact with, so doing your due diligence and hiring experienced professionals is key.
The process usually entails application of diluted acid to the affected windows, followed by thorough scrubbing using mops and non-scratching scrubbing pads. The glass, gaskets, window components and surrounding areas are then thoroughly rinsed using a low-pressure hose. For a perfect finish, we will sometimes recommend to follow the acid wash with a regular squeegee clean, as the process can leave drips and water spots behind. Work can be performed from ropes, swing stage, or a boom lift.
Is timing important?
Most people associate window cleaning with sunny summer weather. However, when it comes to chemical clean or acid wash, cooler cloudy or rainy weather is best. Here is why:
The chemical absolutely cannot dry on the glass: If it does, it may etch it and permanently damage the windows. This makes working in the sun near impossible and the whole process much more difficult.
Worker safety is paramount: That’s why when working with dangerous chemicals, a full rubber suit and gloves are required which become extremely uncomfortable to wear in the summer heat.
Cost Savings: There may be cost savings in having this done in the off season. Window cleaning companies may offer better rates once the peak summer season is over. Also, performing this work in the rainy season may allow you to eliminate the final step of detailed squeegee clean, hence eliminating that extra cost altogether.
Now that you have all the information on hand, you are ready to book your chemical clean. Here is a quick summary of what you will need to make your project a success:
Understand the issue – Is this an existing building with staining that happened over time, or is this a new project in need of a post-construction clean? If dealing with more than just staining, a full post-construction clean might be needed, and an acid wash may not be sufficient.
Vet your service provider – Do not be afraid to ask questions! Ask about the process. Ask for a Safe Work Procedure document specific to chemical clean. Ask about the product used and the MSDS sheet. Make sure to get at least two references that back the legitimacy of your provider, and ensure that the references are specific to acid wash.
Discuss Timing – Make sure your clients understand that optimal timing for this work is different from regular window cleaning. This will make booking the service easier and may also save your clients money.
Of course, if you have any questions around acid wash or post-construction cleaning, we would be happy to answer them. Our team has over a decade of experience in post-construction work and has developed clear safe work procedures around acid cleaning.
Pictured from Left to Right: Kim O’Pray – FirstService Residential; Tracy Po – BOMA BC; Ines Howie – Ultratech Cleaning Services Ltd.; Krishna Nault – Black Tie Property Services
Pictured from Left to Right: Krishna Nault – Black Tie Property Services; Kim O’Pray – FirstService Residential; Michael Glassco – IAQ Consultants; Kyle Tusim – Tremco; Muneesh Sharma – BOMA BC
Northview Golf & Country Club – Surrey, B.C.
August 19th was our first industry golfing event since the lockdowns. We are so grateful for the chance to spend a day in the sun with our industry peeps! It was refreshing to meet new friends and reconnect with those we haven’t seen in a while.
A big thank you to BOMA BC & their incredible golf committee for organizing a well-run and impressive event, the BOMA BC Golf Classic at Northview Golf & Country Club. It’s events like these that make us such proud members of BOMA.
It was a gorgeous day and we can’t wait to see you out there again on the golf course.
We want to say a big THANK YOU to all of the amazing property managers that were able to make it out to our Industry Happy Hours in Calgary & Edmonton this past July.
It was fun & revitalizing to connect in person over some good food, tasty cocktails and lively conversations.
If you missed the July Happy Hour, don’t distress comrades! There are more drinks and laughs to be had and many more faces we’d be delighted to see. WE WILL BE BACK!
Some kind words from our guests…
“Thank you so very much for the invitation to your Black-Tie Industry event at Rodney’s yesterday (bringing West Coast seafood to Calgary was outstanding), it was such a pleasure meeting you and also getting to meet and collaborate with fellow industry professionals.“
“I would also like to thank you for hosting the Happy hour it was a lot a fun and we love to get to know our vendors it gives us a little more confidence when we know who is handling our buildings.”
Contrary to popular belief, glass surfaces are actually porous and over time, if not cleaned on a regular basis, glass will start to deteriorate as dirt and contaminants bond with the surface and begin the oxidation process.
This can be avoided by having a regular cleaning program in place, where glass gets professionally cleaned at least once a year.
It is a well known trick of the trade in the real estate industry: getting the windows washed prior to a showing is one of the most cost-efficient ways to increase curb appeal. It is an easy and economical way to beautify your surroundings, preserve your investment and extend the life of your windows.
2. Envelope Cleaning and Maintenance
Speaking of curb appeal, envelope cleaning is also important, as it helps showcase properties in their best light and also preserve the exterior building envelope. Dust and accumulated dirt resulting from air pollution can permanently bond to exterior surfaces of buildings and create permanent damage if not cleaned regularly.
Whether using power washing or soft scrubbing methods, cleaning the exterior envelope will restore your buildings to their original condition and will help identify areas needing repair work such as caulking and painting.
3. Dryer Vent Cleaning
Annual dryer vent cleaning is a must, both for the performance of the appliances, but more importantly, for the safety of building occupants.
Lint accumulated in the dryer vent ducts restricts air flow, which in turn affects the performance of the dryer and can cause it to overheat, and in certain cases, to catch fire.
Black Tie recommends that dryer vents be cleaned, inside and out, at least once a year.
Every month, we get so excited to see the amazing photos that our Black Tie team sends in to us at Black Tie Vancouver headquarters. This is for the Black Tie’s Instagram contest taken from the perspective of our window cleaners. It is so fascinating to see a day in the life of a window cleaner in beautiful Vancouver.
Love the insta handle! Hope this “bad wizard” can work some magic with that window cleaning. James is an industrial climber and irata rope technician who anticipates a great season ahead! Photo is pictured above.
From one of our very own women in trades – Here is Kirsten who jokingly says “surely we only do this job for photo ops.” The photos are great! But I do hope she loves this window cleaning for more than just the photos.
@drewlacarte (Drew Lacarte, Black Tie Construction Team)
Here’s an entry from Drew showing his “Tag team Tuesday” shot while doing a post-construction window clean at Lougheed Heights. We love seeing our crew hanging together.
Wow! What beautiful colours on this one. If you look on Pawel’s caption, he says “Friday office be like …” Amazing, I wish it was Friday right now, am I right?
Congrats to the winners and thank you for everyone who submitted their beautiful photos to our Black Tie’s Instagram Contest. We appreciate you and what you are doing. You are a big part of our community and we love to to share the great views and crazy things you guys do.