If you have questions about our company or our services you should be able to find the answer below. If you have additional questions not found in the FAQs please feel free to contact us for additional information.
Is True Shine a franchise?
While we take this as a compliment in that it implicates a certain level of professionalism, we are not a franchise. True Shine has been and still is a home grown, locally owned and operated small business since 1999. We also have a location in Chattanooga.
Is True Shine licensed, bonded and insured?
Yes, True Shine has taken every measure to be professional and provide peace of mind to our customers. Our employees are also covered by workers compensation in the event that they receive a work related injury.
We are also proud members of the Better Business Bureau. See our A+ rating here.
What forms of payment does True Shine accept?
True Shine accepts Cash, Checks and most credit cards. Currently we cannot process American Express payments.
Does True Shine guarantee customer satisfaction?
Our guarantee for our customers is simple. We do not expect payment until you are completely satisfied. When we finish a job we do an inspection with the customer before we even leave the property. That way if there is a concern we can address it immediately. However, if you notice something after we have left or were not present for the cleaning, just call the office and we will schedule a “touch up” at no cost to you. Furthermore, we are so committed to our customers that we even offer a guarantee on things we can’t control…like rain! See below.
Will rain mess up my newly cleaned windows?
In almost every case, rainwater on a freshly cleaned window will not spot or streak it. Rainwater is typically pretty clean and free of minerals and other substances that cause spotting on windows. Rain, therefore, will typically just get a clean window wet and then dry spotless. However, we would rather you not worry about the weather. This is why we offer a weather guarantee to our residential customers. If rain, wind or other weather messes up your windows within 3 days of service completion we will touch up the affected windows at no cost to you.
How often should I have my windows cleaned?
For our commercial customers we recommend a frequency that will essentially keep your windows clean all the time. This is an important part of your professional image. It takes a lot of hard work to earn a customer’s trust. Don’t compromise this effort by appearing dirty to your visiting patrons.
Our residential customers typically do two cleanings a year. This would be our recommendation if you want to maintain the cleanliness of your windows and home. It is our philosophy that a clean house is more enjoyable and our mission is to partner with homeowners to achieve this end.
Why do gutters need to be cleaned on a regular (typically annual) basis?
A quote from Wikipedia: “Clogged gutters can cause water leakage into the house as the water backs up. Clogged gutters can also lead to stagnant water build up which allows mosquitoes to breed and also allow grasses and weeds to grow in the gutter.”
Furthermore, clogged gutters will themselves begin to rust and break down if there is organic material keeping the gutters damp for long periods of time. The weight of this material will also cause gutters to sag and pull away from the house.
True Shine’s gutter clean out service is very inexpensive, especially in comparison to the potentially costly damage from a clogged gutter. Maintain your gutters proactively like your vehicle’s engine oil. Furthermore, if you combine gutter cleaning with other services it becomes even less expensive.
Will your low-pressure house-wash system (AKA pressure washing) damage my house or plants?
No, our house wash system is unique in that the low-pressure application of the formula and medium pressure rinse happens to clean homes even better than the dangerous, high-pressure methods many companies employ. If there is ever any doubt that your home is at risk we always do a small sample area to ensure the solution cleans properly. Plants are always rinsed prior to and after the application of the house wash formula…and then again when the house itself is rinsed.
How does that long pole you use do such a good job on my windows?
Good question! “Pure water window cleaning” or “water-fed pole cleaning” is the future of window cleaning for most applications. In fact, in Europe, due to strict guidelines for ladder safety, window-cleaning companies use these poles exclusively. Here in the States, where we have fewer restrictions on ladder use, we choose to use it simply because it does a better job. It also reduces risk by keeping our window cleaners on the ground.
The “magic” of pure water cleaning is a combination of technique and chemistry. Firstly, in order for the windows to have a chance at being clean the water has to be, well, water. By this, I mean H20 without minerals, chlorine, fluoride or any other micro particles that create spots once the water evaporates. True Shine has invested in what is essentially an expensive filter that turns tap water into H20. This pure water, once it is made, is a powerful cleaning agent. It acts like a magnet pulling dirt off the glass by bonding with it and then being rinsed off. Pretty cool, huh!? And it’s all done without chemicals!
The next step in the process is to find a pole that does a good job without breaking our backs. The poles that you see our cleaners use are made of carbon fiber and cost over $1000.00 each. They are amazing in that we can extend them to 35 feet and they only weigh 8 pounds!
Finally we are ready to clean some windows with this new technology. You would think that with all the money spent that anyone could clean the windows with this pole system. However, the windows still need to be scrubbed and rinsed in very particular way as not to leave dirty water behind.
The net result of all this is you get a window that has been cleaned thoroughly and rinsed with only pure water. It leaves no soapy residue behind that can attract dirt, which keeps your windows clean longer. The frames and sills also get a more thorough cleaning because of the volume of water that passes over them in the cleaning process. Lastly, the cleaner who cleaned your windows preserved his safety by staying on the ground.
For all these reasons, we love this system and intend to use it whenever it is possible. It is still the case, however, that most houses require a combination of hand washing and pole washing.
We have had a few customers who would prefer that we not use the pole system on their house. If this is the case for you then just let us know. We really just want you to have clean windows regardless of the method.
Does True Shine clean storm windows?
Yes we do! Storm windows are typically challenging but over the years we have developed some techniques to minimize frustrations and maximize clean. We can handle your storm windows no matter how big and difficult they may be.
I have some kind of condensation or residue that seems to be sandwiched inside the window. What is it? Can you clean it?
Foggy windows indicate the window’s failed ability to handle the moisture that inevitably develops due to the changing conditions it is exposed to. For example, as the sun moves across your house the windows heat up and cool down. As the temperature changes inside the window moisture is created. The window is designed to deal with this moisture. However, eventually the window unit breaks down and moisture starts to accumulate until it becomes visible.
Unfortunately, we cannot help you with this problem. We can clean both sides of the window and improve its appearance a little but the “fog” will remain. One option is to call Window Medics. They have a system that can remove the fog from your windows that is cheaper than window replacement. We do not endorse “Window Medics” we only mention them as an option. We are also aware that glass and window installers can sometimes take the “bad glass unit” out of the frame and replace it with a newer one. We have seen Binswanger do this at a customer’s house and they completed about ten windows in an afternoon.
For more info visit Window Medics Website at http://www.windowmedics.com/
Why does True Shine need a waiver signed before using a razor?
Typically we only need to have a waiver signed when we are doing a new house post construction window cleaning. This is when a razor is an essential window-cleaning tool that will likely be used on every glass surface of the house. The window cleaning razors that we use are specifically designed for glass cleaning and they will not harm the surface of the glass. Nevertheless, they are commonly blamed for causing scratches and other unsightly marks on glass after their use. Because of this common occurrence and misinformation we have a waiver signed before work begins.
So where do the scratches come from if they are not from the razor?
Most glass scratches occur during the construction process or as a result of poor manufacturing (Tempered Glass Defects). Window Cleaners only have the privilege of uncovering them. More below.
How is glass scratched during the construction process?
Glass is scratched in a variety of ways. First, it is not uncommon for glass to come from the window manufacturer with a few scratches already present. Then it gets shipped to the building site where it often sits in piles waiting for installation. During this time and even after installation, it is subjected to the conscientiousness of the multiple different contractors working at the site. Just imagine drywall crews, trim carpenters, flooring installers, masons and painters all working near and around your expensive windows. It is likely the case that they are not concerned with protecting your glass. The glass is especially vulnerable to scratching during this time due to the amount and variety of debris that is on the glass. For example, if the brick masons spilled mortar on your window and then someone later tries to rub it off they will scratch the glass. If the general contractor does not take serious measures to protect the windows they will certainly absorb many abuses during the construction process.
These abuses will go unnoticed because of how dirty the windows are. Most of the contractors who likely caused the damage will be long gone and paid before we show up on the scene. Now it is our problem…or your problem. We are supposed to come and clean the windows which have sheetrock mud, mortar drips, paint overspray, sawdust and more without scratching them. Let me tell you that this is a very challenging if not impossible task. Even if the windows are not already scratched then they likely will be after we scrub off all this debris. It is common practice to protect finished hardwood floors until project completion…why not the windows? Anyway, as you can imagine, this is how the razor gets blamed for scratches. We come in after all the damage has been done to the window, use our razors (because we have to) to remove debris and stickers and clean the windows. Voila! Scratches appear because we just uncovered them.
If you have construction work done and new windows are involved make sure that your contractor takes measures to protect the glass. Higher end window manufacturers often ship their windows with a protective film on them. Request window protection if is not included with your window package. Make sure your contractor knows that if the windows are scratched that they will have to be replaced on his dime…not yours.
What are tempering defects?
Let’s say that due to some perfect alignment of all things lucky and providential that your windows do not get scratched during the construction process. There is yet another force conspiring to damage your windows. This sinister and invisible force is a manufacturing defect often called “Fabricating Debris”. There is a link below for a more detailed description of this phenomenon but here is a simple explanation.
Fabricating Debris happens when the glass manufacturer doesn’t maintain his equipment and keep his plant clean. Then while the glass is still in it’s molten state dust and small particles of glass (glass fines, glass sawdust) fall on the glass. When the glass dries it will then have a “pimple” on it where the dust landed and fused with the glass. This pimple is invisible to the naked eye but it does in fact protrude from the glass. Even though you would never feel this little pimple, our Danish made stainless razors will catch them every time! That’s right, as we use the razor to remove the debris that shouldn’t be there in the first place, we can catch one of these pimples and tear it out. Then the little piece of glass that we just tore out gets rubbed on the window as we finish our pass with the razor. This piece of glass lodged in the razor scratches the glass. That’s right, glass scratches glass. Again, it is not the razor but the glass pimple now removed by the razor that scratches the glass. This creates the need for yet another waiver. This one, however is for the contractor. He/she should have a waiver signed from the window supplier that protects him from these defects and requires replacement by the supplier if they are present.
Here are some helpful links regarding glass scratches:
What is “hard water stain”?
Hard water stains occur from a variety of causes but the basic end result is mineral build-up stuck to your windows. Even though this build-up can usually be removed it is considered a stain because a standard window cleaning will not remove it. A lot of people are familiar with mineral stains on their glass shower doors. This is an example of a hard water stain. However, from our experience, many of our customers are surprised when we show them hard water stains on their windows. It seems that hard water stain is often thought to be dirt. As you can imagine there is some disappointment when we clean the window and expose the stain. I know we are always disappointed because we want nothing less than a perfectly clean and shiny window. As it is, we are left with a clean window with a drippy haze on it.
So how do the windows get a “hard water stain”? Sometimes, rainwater running down the brick or concrete façade of your house will deposit lime from the mortar on your glass. Over time this lime becomes visible as a haze or like drippy water. Other times the overspray from your irrigation will do the same thing.
The good news is that in most cases we can remove it. We keep hard water stain remover chemicals on our trucks that will remove this stain. If you are interested we would be happy to provide an estimate for this service.
It needs to be stated in this section that aluminum screens also cause a build-up type stain on windows. Most modern windows are screened with nylon but higher end windows typically use aluminum screening. Aluminum screens when placed on the outside of windows will stain the glass. We can usually remove this screen stain with hard water remover.
What other services does True Shine provide?
Our staple services of window cleaning, gutter cleaning and pressure cleaning often lead to other necessary building services. We are honored by our customers’ trust and the fact that we are often asked to perform other services. Here is a list of other services we have provided over the years.
- Caulking and weatherproofing
- Blind and picture hanging
- Minor gutter repairs
- Gutter guard installation
- Flood light replacement
- Wasp nest removal
- High dusting and surface cleaning
- Christmas light hanging
- Blind Cleaning
- Bird Proofing
- Basement or garage clean out and organize
- Ceiling fan or other fixture hanging
If you have a home maintenance need that isn’t on the list just ask. If we can’t handle it we likely know someone dependable who can.