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Window Cleaner caused huge damage to glass.

  • 01-11-2022 7:47pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 21


    Has anyone ever successfully made a claim either through the Small Claims Court or the trades own insurance for damages to their property?

    Long story short, the window cleaner has caused about €3K worth of damage to our glass. Windows were installed about 12 months ago in an extension to our home. He has admitted to using a Unger scraper but he is denying that he caused any damage. Of course I know he did it, since I have cleaned the windows a number of times myself and I am 100% that the scratches were not there beforehand. I mean you cant miss them, they run down and across one particular window. I do have photographs of the windows showing that they were covered during construction and showing them gleaming afterwards and scratch free but I have no way of proving that he did this.

    Does anyone have any advise for me please? Can anyone please help?



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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,420 ✭✭✭zg3409


    If you have a business name and address or home address apply to.small claims. It's an easy process. Try to keep a record of all messages and responses ideally written form such as texts.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,420 ✭✭✭zg3409


    You will need a quote to replace glass only, like for like leaving old frame



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭walterking


    It will be very difficult to prove unless you have evidence.

    It may be repairable

    http://glasspolish.ie/glass-scratch-repair/index.html



  • Registered Users Posts: 21 jean3009


    It happened on Friday and we have already got a quote from the original manufacturer and installer and its coming in at just under €3K. I think there is a limit in the small claims court of €2K but worth going through the process I suppose.

    Yes, we have all of these, business name and address which is their home address too. I have WhatsApp messages but when he called to look at the damage he decided to record the entire conversation on his mobile phone in his pocket which he only told us as he got back into his van. The discussion which got heated due to his complete denial of any wrongdoing too place inside our home and with both my young children occasionally entering the room. In my opinion only someone with something to hide would resort to this low.



  • Registered Users Posts: 21 jean3009


    I think its beyond repair. The scratches on one window in particular are all the way across and all way up the window. The scratches are deep and in some cases there are hair type shavings still hanging on.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭godskitchen


    Why on earth was he using a scraper if you had previously cleaned the glass a number of times?

    Using a scraper would suggest that there was either residue from plastic, stickers or silicone, or, cement on the glass?

    Modern double or triple glazed windows often come scratched from the factory and often with scratches on the internal panes. Are these definitely on the outside? Did he also do the inside? Are you sure there are no scratches on the inside also?



  • Registered Users Posts: 21 jean3009


    It was an Unger blade, I have no idea why he would use this, the window was cleaned a few times already and certainly didnt have any silicone or stickers or construction debris whatsoever.

    Most of the scratches are on the glass inside the house i.e. he cleaned both the outside and the inside. I cant tell if there are any on the internal panes (they are tripple glazed units).



  • Subscribers Posts: 683 ✭✭✭FlipperThePriest


     He decided to record the entire conversation on his mobile phone in his pocket which he only told us as he got back into his van. 

    I'm pretty sure this is inadmissible in court. He can't just come onto your property and record you without your permission. Different story if it happened in public though.



  • Registered Users Posts: 21 jean3009


    This is one the worst panes, you can see the stroke of the blade quite clearly.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,959 ✭✭✭kirk.


    Jeez that's bad you have tried giving it a wipe to check

    I've used Stanley blades on my old windows to scrape stuff off don't think I ever noticed a scratch after it

    Hard to understand why he was using blades on a customer's windows you'd be mad like



  • Registered Users Posts: 21 jean3009


    "Glass

    1. Protect glass from all alkali materials and fluoride bearing compounds

    2. Never use scrapers, razor blades, steel wool or other metal tool on glass – the window supplier is not responsible for scratches occurring during construction or cleaning.

    3. Water used to wash the face of the building may contain contamination taken from mortar, cement, organic coatings etc. – it will damage the glass surface. "

    Directly from the manufacturers website.



  • Registered Users Posts: 24,129 ✭✭✭✭lawred2




  • Registered Users Posts: 2,577 ✭✭✭Nigzcurran


    Why would he have used a scraper, and how do you know it was a unger?



  • Registered Users Posts: 21 jean3009


    He told me in a message, "All the equipment I use is from Unger who is a worldwide reputable brand".

    Any product from a reputable brand can cause damage if used in a negligible way.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,147 ✭✭✭PGE1970


    If your windows specifically state that no blades should be used on them and you didn't tell the window cleaner this, you might have a problem (even if you didn't know this, it might be considered that you should have).

    That said, how did he not notice after the first window that damage was being caused?

    And, as he states, if he didn't cause the damage (the implication that it was there already?), why didn't he alert you to the damage on the windows before he cleaned them?

    Your problem might not be winning in the court, it might be collecting afterwards.

    Good luck!



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,577 ✭✭✭Nigzcurran


    So it’s a rubber squeegee type thing you suspect scraped it? Could you get him to show you all the tools he uses and see if you think any of them could have caused it?



  • Registered Users Posts: 21 jean3009


    The glass has a stamp in the corner of both panes so yes, I'm sure it is toughened glass or something along those lines.



  • Registered Users Posts: 21 jean3009


    No, it's not rubber, it's an actual blade... I'm sure it would take your finger off if not handled correctly. He had the blades in a plastic holder.



  • Registered Users Posts: 24,129 ✭✭✭✭lawred2




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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,781 ✭✭✭✭elperello


    Small Claims Court only applicable in cases where compensation sought is €2k or less.




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭godskitchen


    Can you ask the window cleaner why he used a blade?

    Something isn't adding up here



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,219 ✭✭✭10-10-20


    It's not that much of a mystery. Here's a window glass scraper as described by the OP. Very often the first cleaning of a window will need to remove paint splashes, mortar, silicon/mastic and other stuck-on debris, and a blade when used correctly will take this debris off without damaging the glass. But window technology has moved on and sharp blades aren't compatible with the coatings used on newer windows.

    I suppose it's like when we all moved to telfon frying pans and had to drop the metal utensils.

    That's pretty clear from the manufacturer's site. It really puts the ball back into the cleaner's court now.

    The photos tell the story pretty well too - it was a bladed tool operating in two arcs - top and bottom of the window. I'll guess that the Unger blade had been dropped on one side, hence the scrapes to the glass.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,205 ✭✭✭cruizer101


    I can't understand why there is such big scrapes, for one I would only use a blade in specific spot for a specific bit of dirt stuck onto window like a paint spot but also how did he not notice scraping as he was doing it in those long strokes



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,522 ✭✭✭Deeec


    Who was in the house when he cleaned the windows - did they see him use the blade?

    Your window does seem badly scratched - Whats baffling me though is why he used the blade all over the window? I would have thought it should only be used on a small area when something hard is stuck to the window. Using a blade all over the window is careless and my opinion window cleaner is responsible ( providing window wasnt in a bad state before cleaning).



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,744 Mod ✭✭✭✭whiterebel


    About 2 years after we bought our house, we got the windows cleaned on the inside, and the outside the following day. There were terrible scratch marks all over, but in this case the window cleaner pointed it out. He was very upset when I thought it was him, and he showed me his bucket. There was nothing sharp in it that would make scratches like it. Turns out that a lot in the estate had the same problem - it was down to the manufacturers. Wasn't spotted from the start because the windows outside were always dusty seeing as it was an ongoing building site.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭godskitchen


    Cool the jets. This wasn't a first clean of the glass, as the op said, so again, my question stands. I asked the op if there was any silicone or cement and the answer was no.

    As someone who has professionally calened windows in the past I understand how it works.

    As such, I can not understand why a window cleaner would ever bring a blade to a window that just needed cleaning. As the op said, he or she had cleaned the glass multiple times before the window cleaner went near the glass.

    I would also have serious questions as to why it is just this window that has the scratches. Was the blade used on any other windows and if not why not, if the glass didn't require it...... Just a random thing for a window cleaner to do? For a laugh?


    Something not adding up somewhere.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,219 ✭✭✭10-10-20


    OP, do you have a photo of the hair-type shaving?



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,344 ✭✭✭Ginger83


    It could end up he said she said and even if you win they might have no means to pay.

    What about home insurance for accidental damage?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 75 ✭✭Unsupervised


    Looks like it was caused by a damaged squeegee where the rubber wasn’t in correctly and the metal or clip did the damage or debris in the sleeve of an Unger caused it based on the arch motion of the scrapes.



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