On a clear day you can see forever - but only if your windows are cleaned correctly.
Steven Benner, owner of Benner Brothers window cleaning service, may know better than just about anyone in the state how to clean windows. And he does it in record time.Benner was declared the "Fastest Window Cleaner in Utah" by the International Window Cleaning Association during a medley window cleaning contest at its national convention in San Antonio, Texas. Benner competed with window cleaners from 40 other states and foreign countries.
Benner takes pride not only in his speed, but in the quality of his work. Since he was 14 and looking for more money than an allowance could give him, Benner has observed, learned and developed window-cleaning procedures that have helped his business increase by 50 percent each year during the past decade.
"Lots of people think there's a secret soap or chemical we use to make our windows so clean," he said. "It's not - it's the equipment we use and our technique. Believe it or not, the first thing you have to have is a good cotton towel."
When Benner came to attend Brigham Young University, he brought his business with him. He officially started it in Utah on Oct. 1, 1979, with his brother, Chris, helping him for a while. Now Benner has more than 20 employees working for him and is hoping to fill six more positions soon.
"This has been the busiest year we've had," Benner said. "Our growth has come because we concentrate on serving the customer."
But customer service runs a close second to his first priority - safety.
Safety is paramount to Benner's business, because he contracts to do the windows of many of the high-rise buildings in the state. His employees not only clean windows but become experts at rappelling.
All of his employees go through an intensive safety program and are currently getting their yearly recertification.
"If you don't know what you're doing, it can cost you," Benner said.
That goes as much for safety as it does for the method for cleaning windows. Benner uses special window treatments to help maintain the clean look of the windows, with the treatment acting as a dirt repellant.
Benner says that other than actually breaking a window, spraying it with a garden hose is the ultimate no-no. "Hosing off is bad for the glass," he said. "It's just about the worst thing you could do to it."
Depending on the size of the home, the cost to clean windows runs between $35 and $175. Some homes are as low as $15 and others as high as $1,000.
Benner Brothers also has a new Ultrasonic machine that cleans blinds, and the company also sells window-cleaning supplies. His cleaners will also clean windows at construction sites.
Benner has a "no-appointment-needed" policy and often returns to his customers three or four times a year. For more information about Benner Brothers, call 226-0695, or visit the business at 240 E. 800 South.