City’s new skyline boosts window-washers

July 17, 2012 09:30AM

One industry that has been quietly benefitting from the city’s increasingly glassy skyline is the window-washing industry. The New York Times reported that window washer services have been in higher demand of late, as professionals are needed to maintain the city’s growing population of tall steel and glass buildings.

Whereas windows in brick-clad buildings can usually be cleaned by an entrepreneurial superintendent from the inside, and the structures’ remaining facades are rarely scrubbed, glass and steel buildings present a completely different set of complications.

They need to be washed about twice a year to avoid looking as though they’re covered with giant smudged finger prints, the Times said. The cost of cleaning their exteriors can run as high as $50,000 for jobs that require several weeks of work. (See a video below of window washers cleaning the exterior of the rising 1 World Trade Center.)

But some buildings take even longer. For example, the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle takes two crews about three months to clean, while the 76-story New York by Gehry tower at 8 Spruce Street in Lower Manhattan can take six to nine months to clean, depending on the weather. [NYT]