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    Evergreen FAQs

    From window cleaning to home maintenance, we have been committed to excellence for over 25 years.

    Evergreen FAQs

    1. Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

    Yes, on all three. Here’s a link to our file at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

    2. Do you work in the rain?

    Yes. It rains 42% of the year here in the Seattle area, so our field techs are equipped and well-trained to work safely on roofs and ladders in the rain. If you don’t like the idea of having work performed on your home in the rain, please choose a sunnier month for service over canceling on short notice. Short-notice cancellations create scheduling difficulties and negatively impact the livelihood of our field techs.

    3. Why is window cleaning non-taxable, while all my other services are taxable?

    Interior and exterior window cleaning is considered a janitorial service and non-taxable by the DOR. Gutter cleaning, roof care, pressure washing, and all repairs are non-janitorial and taxable.

    4. Do you wear shoe-covers and use drop-cloths when doing interior windows?

    Yes. We use drop-cloths over carpeted areas and furniture that is not easily movable. We also wipe up any drips from hardwood and tile floors. And we always wear shoe-covers when entering a home.

    5. I have UV ray film on my windows. How will you clean it?

    Exposed UV ray film is becoming a rarity these days in the Seattle area, but we still find it on some older panes. It can only be cleaned with soap and squeegees. No abrasive should ever be used on it no matter how dirty it is. While we are pretty good at spotting it, we really appreciate being notified of its existence before beginning a job.

    6. Do you use razor blades to clean windows?

    We use razor blades sparingly and never on tempered glass, which is often covered with microscopic fabricating debris. These tiny bits of glass debris come from the rollers used in the manufacturing process and are easily nicked off by razors, leaving scratch marks behind that are especially visible in sunlight. Modern tempered glass is usually marked as such in a corner and are placed (per construction code) in places where the glass could easily be broken. It is found in and near doors, over bathtubs, in showers, on staircases, in skylights, on any pane near to the ground, among other places.

    7. I have stickers. Can you remove them?

    Yes. We will remove a few stickers free of charge, but will need to add an additional charge for more than that.

    8. Do you move objects away from the windows before cleaning them?

    If the objects or furniture are easily movable and present no risk of breakage we are happy to move them for you and replace them. If there are many small objects in front of the windows, it really helps us do our job more efficiently if they are moved beforehand.

    9. Do you do construction cleaning?

    We no longer take on new construction window cleaning, though we might make exceptions for existing customers depending on the scope of the project.

    10. How often should I have my windows cleaned?

    We recommend having them cleaned no less than once a year, but many customers have us come more often. A common request is to have the interior windows cleaned only once a year and the exteriors cleaned twice or quarterly.

    11. Why are my windows foggy?

    Fog is a common problem in double-paned thermal windows. When they are made, the gas between the panes is sealed in. If the seal breaks, the gas leaks out and moisture leaks in causing fogging in the window. Unfortunately, the best remedy for fixing this problem is to replace the window. However, before you go throwing good money away, first check with the installing contractor or manufacturer to see what warranties exist on your windows. Many of the high-end brands come with decent warranties.

    12. Won’t steel wool scratch my glass?

    Steel wool (#0000) or brass wool is used by most premier residential window cleaning companies to remove all those bits of organic material missed by every other scrubbing device. Steel wool is softer than glass and cannot scratch it. It also has the huge advantage over razor blades in that it rolls over any microscopic fabricating debris that might have been “cooked” into the glass during manufacturing (see the next FAQ for more on this). Sand, dirt, and concrete particles can scratch glass when trapped on anything dragged across the glass (whether a squeegee, steel wool, or a rag). This is why we use fresh steel wool, squeegees, and rags on each job. Be advised: while steel wool and brass wool will not scratch glass, other cleaning abrasives like SOS pads will absolutely scratch it and should never be used to clean it.

    13. I need to replace some windows or skylights. Do you have any brand recommendations?

    While each homeowner will need to tailor any purchase to their budgeting and taste requirements, we do have some general recommendations from a maintenance standpoint:
    a. Because of the all-too-common problem of leaky seals and foggy windows, make sure you get a solid warranty from a brand with the staying power to back it up.
    b. Acrylic, vinyl, or plastic skylights (or windows) should always be avoided. Sometimes, particularly in skylights, they are installed for safety to protect against falling limbs. However, be advised that sap (and other matter) is impossible to remove without doing damage to the skylight. In our estimation, acrylic skylights are installed without any thought of future maintenance and within a few years are a big disappointment to most homeowners.
    c. For cleaning access, screens should always be removable from the outside. Most are, but a few odd brands allow inside-only removal. These add time and cost to cleaning.
    d. If you want more energy efficiency, pay the extra for argon (or krypton, xenon, etc.) thermal windows with low-emissivity coating between the panes. Don’t buy regular panes with a view to applying UV ray film after. Even the best film doesn’t clean well after a year or two. And if you do happen to purchase the film, it should never be applied to the window exterior.

    14. Are there any surfaces you don’t pressure-wash?

    We clean almost every type of surface with a few exceptions. There are some surfaces we won’t do owing to a high potential for water damage or others for which we are unequipped to do safely.

    15. How often should I have my flatwork pressure-washed?

    Some people like the clean look of annual pressure washing, but as with any type of pressure cleaning, it wears the surface over time. For those who want to spread out their pressure washing services to every other year or more, we recommend keeping the surfaces free of debris, rinsing it down as needed, and applying an outdoor cleaner such as 30-Seconds or Wet & Forget to keep the green away.

    16. How do you clean roofs?

    Please see our options here.

    17. What types of roofs do you clean?

    We clean most roof types: composition, aluminum, cedar shake, torch-down, pvc, and many types of tile. There are a few exceptions, however. We no longer clean soft aluminum tiles for example, due to damage liability. We air-blow cedar shake, but don’t wash or stain it. We also don’t clean roofs we aren’t equipped to clean safely or roofs in need of replacement or serous repair. If you have any questions about your own roof, please contact us.

    18. Why does your company use pressure-washers to clean roofs?

    See the detailed answer to this FAQ on the bottom of our Roof Care page here.

    22. What about all the debris on my roof? Won’t it just run down into the gutters after you’ve cleaned them?

    If there isn’t much debris on the roof, we will sometimes include an air-blow with the gutter cleaning and it will be listed on your estimate. If it’s not listed, and you think you need it, tell us. We’ll be happy to add that service.

    21. Do you clean the downspouts when cleaning the gutters?

    Yes. We make sure every downspout is clean, often using snakes and hoses. If the clog is bad, we may need to take the pipe apart and put it back together. This is included in the basic gutter-cleaning price.

    20. Do you clean roofs with air-compression?

    We use air-blowers (leaf-blowers) to remove loose debris from roofs, and we use high-volume, low-pressure pressure washers to clean roofs that require cleaning, but we don’t use compressed air on roofs. We want to provide excellent service to our customers and haven’t been convinced yet that air-compression cleaning does a great job. Unlike water, compressed-air leaves a lot of dirt behind, yet it is still quite hard on the roof. If a roof must be cleaned and made to look like new, pressurized water in the hands of an experienced tech is the way to go. If routine leaf/debris removal is required, a regular commercial backpack blower is all that’s needed to get the job done.

    19. How often should I have my roof washed?

    The best option for the life of your roof, whatever type, is to never wash it (or brush it, for that matter), but to maintain it regularly by blowing off the debris and treating (i.e. killing) the moss. However, this might not cut it for aesthetic preferences, especially if maintenance has been long-neglected. Aluminum, rubber tile (faux slate), and thick concrete tile may be washed every few years as needed without causing leaking or reducing the life of the roof. And those who simply must have their composition roof looking completely new in a very short period of time (e.g., the house is going on the market), washing may be the best option. If you have questions about your own situation, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our techs.

    23. Can you clear an underground drainage pipe if my overflowing gutters are the result of an underground blockage?

    Yes. We now have the equipment to handle many underground blockages up to a hundred feet. However, this is a different service from gutter cleaning and will be listed on quotes and invoices as a separate line item. If you are interested in this service, please let us know.

    25. Do you serve my area?

    This list is not all-inclusive, but here are many of the cities and neighborhoods we serve regularly in Washington State:

    Clyde Hill
    Hunt’s Point
    Lake Forest Park
    Mercer Island
    Mountlake Terrace
    West Seattle
    Yarrow Point

    24. Should I install a leaf-filtration system on my gutters?

    See long answer here.