“Galileo” television team accompanies a construction cleaner in hochstadt

The poles are not heavy – but they are expensive. The carbon work unit costs about 2,500 euros, says carsten dippelt, technical operations manager at kindler gebaudereinigung in herzogenaurach, germany. Such long poles with a water-fed brush attachment are the working tools of building cleaners. With these they can also reach flat areas that are far above the ground.

An interesting job, but one that few people know the ropes about. That should change. For the "X-days" series therefore accompanied a four-headed team of the television program "galileo", running on pro 7, the building cleaners of the company kindler. "Galileo"-reporter martin dunkelmann took on the daily challenges himself. "I do the job of a building cleaner for three days", he explains.

Because the shortage of skilled workers is also affecting the cleaning industry. Three industrial trainees are currently being trained at kindler, as well as three in the office, as the technical manager dippelt points out. One of the trainees is bastian reichelsdorfer. The 21-year-old has been learning at the company for two and a half years, he is almost finished. "I’ve already taken my intermediate exam and I’m just waiting for the results", he tells us. Yesterday, however, he slipped into the role of lecturer and shared his expertise with reporter dunkelmann.

Varied work

The company kindler exists for almost 20 years. The employees work in the french regions, around erlangen-hochstadt, nurnberg or bamberg. Plant manager dippelt is convinced by the profession. "It’s varied, you work somewhere else every day." You also get to go places that others never get to go to. But building cleaners don’t just make glass facades shine again. They are also active in textile and wood floor cleaning. Building end cleaning is particularly exciting, says dippelt. They are often the last people to work on a new building before it is occupied.

Bastian reichelsdorfer became aware of the profession through relatives and acquaintances. "A friend of mine also learned how to do it", he says about his decision for this activity. He also likes to be in several places in one working day. "You need a basic understanding of cleanliness, so you don’t miss anything", he has already learned.

If glass bottles are cleaned, it is important to work with osmosis water, he said. "This is purified water that does not contain minerals", explains dippelt. This makes the cleaned glass shine without lime and streaks when it is dry. "We bought the technical equipment for this ten years ago especially for the bird’s-eye view", says the technical manager. The building, which also houses the local editorial office of "frankischer tag is housed, is cleaned twice a year. To make it flash again, the employees have to work for about three days.

The training is particularly appealing to technology enthusiasts, because the job involves not only an important chemistry component but also a great deal of mechanical work. Kindler also regularly offers its employees further training, for example in lifting platform technology, says plant manager dippelt.

Cleaning is not cleaning

For him it is especially important to emphasize that cleaning is not equated with cleaning. Dippelt compares it to cleaning teeth. "Anyone can brush their teeth. But not everyone can work as a tooth cleaner", he explains.

For flat areas that are far above the ground, a special glass cleaning ladder is used. The upper part of the ladder is tapered, its end is formed by a rubber band and a roller. This means that the aid can be leaned stably against edges, for example at the transition between the window and the wall of the house. Once it almost happened to him, trainee bastian tells us, that the little wheel was moving while he was standing on it. Fortunately, he was able to prevent the case from being overturned.

Work in the high

As the work often takes place high above the ground, interested passers-by regularly stop to watch. As trainee bastian polishes a last spot on the window pane on his ladder at a height of about three meters, a concerned employee comes rushing out of an adjacent shop. They have been watching through the wide windows for a long time. "I was worried that the young man was about to fall off" , she says. Bastian reichelsdorfer, however, remains calm, saying he knows what he is doing.

Plant manager carsten dippelt is also responsible as a safety specialist for protecting employees at the workplace and checks the work sites beforehand. "Most accidents happen at two meters high", he sums up, but also includes household chores in his daily routine. Because when you’re standing high up on the ladder as a building cleaner, you’re highly concentrated. The trend, however, is increasingly toward the use of technical devices. The lifting platform replaces the ladder, for example, so that you no longer have to climb up yourself. "But it is an advantage to be free from giddiness", he says.

Over the next three days, martin dunkelmann’s production team will also visit other places where professional cleaning is required for the television report. "Today they also go to the daycare center."

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