High rise is the way to go in Toronto

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My name is Nick Blodans and I am the Director of Sky High Window Services Ltd in Toronto, Canada. My background in window cleaning started with a fascination with heights, construction, and rope work.

Throughout my childhood I loved heights and anything to do with climbing. I was always climbing rocks and trees, which turned into cliffs, bridges, and the roof of my schools.

As a teenager I worked in all areas of construction and gained a well-rounded knowledge of most trades, tools, and heavy machinery. I did everything from concrete forming to the finished paint job. As a result, I jumped the ranks from an individual contributing labourer, to starting a subcontracting company where I managed a team of labourers working on contracts all over the GTA.

After a few years of working in construction, I turned down a supervisor role for a growing developer that I did work for, to attend college. My post secondary school was PreFirefighter services at Conestoga College, where I excelled in rescue techniques and firefighter operations.

Since I was such a rope nerd in school, I thought I would try my luck and obtain work with a high-rise window cleaning company on my summer’s off, and the rest is history.

Since that humble beginning, I ventured into the window-cleaning world quickly learning everything I could as a subcontractor for many of the largest high-rise window cleaning companies in Toronto. As a subcontractor, and with more years of experience down the road I trained and supervised window cleaners in many different areas of window cleaning; including bosuns chair, swing stage, boom/lift, ladder/scaffold systems and de-ionized water-fed (Tucker) pole. I also dabbled in high-rise window caulking (fireproofing buildings around the GTA) and building restoration work to help round my knowledge of everything “working at height”.

In 2013, my father and I decided to go into business together and incorporated Sky High Window Services Ltd. and since then we have only been on the rise (pun intended).

We have been exponentially growing every year maintaining over 100 building contracts in the GTA. We have worked on buildings up to 75 story’s using a permanent rigged swing-stage system and have replaced glass, descending 670′ using ropes.

Toronto is currently the No 1 city in the world for condominiums on the rise, and they are only making them more and more architecturally, in other words complex and challenging for window cleaners. Enter Rope Access. Although OSHA Window Cleaning Regulations somehow remain in the past (last renewed in 2012) Rope access is the way of the future for window cleaning in Toronto.

More and more buildings we maintain are permitted rope access rather than traditional techniques such as swing-stage because it’s proven to be safer, more cost effective, and allows for more technical/advanced maneuvers without the negative effects on the body or the surrounding environment.

Rope access doesn’t cause damage, it requires less manpower, it is less invasive/intrusive/disruptive and it’s all rigged for easy rescue, making it the safest way to accomplish work at height.

The future of Sky High Window Services Ltd is to become the first IRATA based rope access window cleaning company, which will make for a safer and cleaner future for all of Toronto. With Rope Access, Sky High will be able to reach new heights, and tackle more architecturally unique buildings with efficiency, all while ensuring the safety of everyone at all times.

(Thanks to Chris Purdy, founder of CRAS (Canadian Rope Access Specialists) that I am a certified IRATA technician. CRAS has brought IRATA and Rope Access to other parts of Canada.

Written by reader Nick Blodans
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