Summertime is a great time for cleaning professionals and building managers to review their current cleaning regime. The summer months usually bring gentler weather and less foot traffic with people on summer vacation, giving building managers a chance to test out new cleaning techniques before the fall and winter wetness arrives. To help keep your commercial building – and its occupants – healthy, here’s eight quick tips to make the job easier.
- Keep your floors in focus. Your building’s flooring takes the brunt of the impact of nasty weather, more so than any other public-facing area. Dirt, water, sand, salt, ice melter, mud, chewing gum, and other debris sticks to people’s shoes and gets tracked into your building where it needs to be dealt with. Staying on top of preventative maintenance with scrubbing, sealing, waxing, and other necessary maintenance helps make ongoing upkeep that much easier.
- Magic carpet hide! Your carpeted areas are much, much dirtier than you think they are. Many building operators defer carpet cleaning until after the fall and winter, but you would be shocked at how much spring and summer pollens, dust, and plant debris gets tracked in from outdoors and hides deep inside the carpet fibres. As people walk over your carpeted areas, it stirs up this dust and pollen into the air and greatly impacts indoor air quality. Properly extracting and cleaning your carpets regularly is a must.
- Restroom remix. It’s easy for cleaning staff to get into a regular routine of cleaning the same items in public washrooms in the same order, sequence, and technique…which means that all the inevitable ‘missed spots’ are always the same missed spots. With each change of season, change up the cleaning sequence in the washrooms – you just might be surprised at how much dirt your people are missing.
- Matting makes a difference. Installing enough matting to cover off the first 15 linear feet of walking space inside your main entrances can stop 85 – 90% of the inbound dirt from foot traffic. It’s much, much easier to clean up messy dirt when it’s concentrated in one spot (like a mat!) than when it’s spread out all over your lobby and hallways!
- Step on a crack, break your back. Buildings settle over time, and concrete doesn’t flex – cracks are pretty much an inevitability once a building reaches a certain age. While you can’t prevent cracks, chips, and crevices from forming, you can fill and repair them! Unrepaired defects are an ideal hiding spot for hard-to-remove dirt and soil, and are a huge tripping hazard.
- Know your tools. Some floor care chemicals are only good when applied at certain temperature ranges, or require specific procedures to apply and remove for maximum effectiveness. And not all cleaners are good for all flooring types – VCTs need substantially different care regimens than LVTs, than stone tiles, than polished concrete…the wrong tools used on the wrong floors can cause a lot of permanent damage. Consult the floor manufacturer’s care instructions before starting any new cleaning process to avoid invalidating your floor’s warranty.
- Hip, hip, HEPA! An easy way to remember to change your HVAC’s HEPA filters is to do it when you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time. Twice a year is all you need!
- Green it up. A change of season can also be a great opportunity to switch to a new, more environmentally-friendly cleaning strategy. Many facilities choose to transition from conventional to ‘green’ cleaning programs when seasons change and the winter months can be a perfect time to transition to proven green cleaning chemicals.