Commercial Cleaning Services for Schools
School settings are educational environments that should strive to maintain a healthy environment that meets the goals needed for learning.
Educational buildings are better learning environments when a comprehensive plan is developed for cleaning solutions that meet quality standards.
Why should school administrators and other decision-makers consider a professional school cleaning company that has teams of professionals with experience?
The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association recently posted data suggesting that educational facilities are a breeding ground for viruses, bacteria, and germs.
Some of the facts they released regarding the need for professional school cleaning services are as follows:
Studies by government offices show that the common cold results in kids missing roughly 22 million school days.
Many school boards are unaware of the fact that students miss more than 30 million days from the flu.
Having commercial cleaning services helps budgets by saving money, as teacher absences today cost over $25 billion annually
Types of Education Facilities That Benefit from Commercial Cleaning Company Services
Having professional cleaners perform janitorial cleaning services maintains student health and fosters a quality learning environment. A school environment with quality cleaning systems in place makes a good first impression in addition to enhancing indoor air quality.
Cleaning plans and programs are appropriate for preschools, elementary schools, high schools, and colleges or universities. A safe environment reduces the spread of germs in almost any place such as campus facilities, public schools, or private schools.
Companies staffed with commercial cleaners deliver professional janitorial services using proven methods that protect children and give parents peace of mind. The experts who clean schools use proven products, processes, and cleaning services based on years of experience.
People should also remember that very young children, such as those in daycare centers, are more susceptible to risks. Daycare centers also have a staff of employees with exposure to risk who likely appreciate professional cleaning services.
Regardless of the setting or situation, addressing cleaning needs reflects well among customers or clients. A clean environment with a regular cleaning schedule and a program of disinfection are also critical for any retail business.
Schools Are Multi-Purpose Environments With Different Cleaning Needs
For effectively cleaning schools, facility managers and professionals responsible for maintenance services should gather information into a checklist. For example, a list of areas includes classrooms, hallways, bathrooms, common areas, lecture halls, and staff breakrooms.
Other examples found throughout the halls might include a library, athletic areas, or science labs. Areas such as classrooms or offices commonly have water fountains, desks, carpets, and equipment.
Maintaining a clean space might involve cleaning floors, washing windows, vacuuming carpets, and wiping down hard surfaces or light switches. Sections of the property with visitor access such as entryways are often high touch
What to Look for in a School Cleaning Company
A school administrator, facility management staff, or another decision-maker should choose a provider of school cleaning services wisely. You should consider asking some of the following questions:
- How many years of experience does the organization have?
- Does the owner-operator or management team demonstrate a commitment to ongoing communication and other customer service practices?
- Do they offer specialty services such as power washing, electrostatic spraying, tile and grout cleaning, or post-construction or project cleanup?
- If applicable, will they consider providing short-term assistance during or following special events that arise during the year?
- Are new hires subject to background checks?
- Do they have a current or past client or customer operating in a similar educational environment?
Remember the importance of choosing a service provider that will work with you on a written plan and agreement. The documents should address all important details in an organized manner and be easy to modify and update.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting
In the aforementioned paragraph, we emphasized the importance of creating a written plan. Similarly, the EPA’s recent guidance for cleaning and disinfection supports this idea.
The EPA suggested listing all the types of surfaces and materials that will need attention. “High-touch” areas such as lobbies, bathrooms, and entryways often have doorknobs and light switches that need more regular disinfection.
The EPA emphasizes the importance of always cleaning a surface with soap and water first. This is necessary, particularly if you will be applying a disinfectant, to ensure the surface is clear.
Many disinfectant products exist in the market today; however, the EPA reminds us that some regular household products are also effective. For example, create a bleach and water solution using 1/3 of a cup of bleach with a single gallon of water.
Alcohol-based solutions also represent a good basic disinfectant option, assuming the concentration is 70% or more. Cleaning product safety should be a key concern as many of these options may create harmful interactions.
Remember to exercise caution when cleaning any facilities with very young children, as they often put things in their mouths. Some cleaning and disinfection products could contain harsh or toxic chemicals that pose health risks.
The EPA is largely the agency responsible for the approval of many products used for commercial cleaning and disinfection. The EPA’s List N contains products that are safe and effective against variants of COVID-19 and other emerging viral pathogens.
CDC Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools: Ventilation
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have continued their efforts to educate the public regarding proper health and safety. In the days since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, substantially more data regarding the importance of proper ventilation has surfaced.
Schools represent settings that typically have large, interconnected HVAC systems used for heating, cooling, and ventilating the facility. While these systems are increasingly efficient and generally perform well, they might pose health risks.
Germs, such as those in the form of tiny airborne particles, may be circulated throughout a building by these systems. Some of the latest recommendations involve installing MERV-13 air filters, using germicidal UV lighting, and limiting any excess humidity.
The EPA’s Clean Air in Buildings Challenge is a valuable resource for those with responsibility for school cleaning, health, and safety. Some of the most notable recommendations include finding ways to bring fresh outdoor air.
Fresh outdoor air will help with limiting the concentration of germs, particularly in crowded areas with lower ceilings. Proper ventilation also helps prevent areas of moisture from developing dangerous mold that creates respiratory concerns.
Creating a “Green” Cleaning Program That Protects Students and the Environment
New York State is the first to mandate the use of eco-friendly cleaning products in all elementary and secondary schools. This requirement applies to both public and private educational environments for the protection of students and staff.
The N.Y. program encourages building a team consisting of at least a single representative from each major building or department. This strategy encourages forming a diverse team potentially consisting of students, administrators, faculty, and others to serve as stakeholders.
Next, an assessment is performed that identifies the goals and determines the practicality based on key factors. Factors to consider include the number of people that regularly occupy each area and assessing the specific layout and conditions.
The next goal involves compiling an inventory of all cleaning products needed and the required tools and equipment. This process is completed by referencing the OGS list that specifies the products that are approved according to safety guidelines.
The following list contains the primary goals of a green cleaning program for schools and similar educational settings:
- Minimize the possibility of exposing any students and other building occupants to toxic chemical agents
- Continually striving to improve efficiency by adopting preventative strategies and improved cleaning processes that conserve resources and save time.
- They are reducing costs by potentially purchasing items in larger quantities, improving inventory management, conserving water, and more.
- Improving indoor air quality by selecting microfiber products, installing high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) air filters, and maximizing ventilation where possible.
Is Green Cleaning More Expensive for Schools?
There is some concern regarding whether using green cleaning products and applications will drive up costs. The N.Y. State Office of General Services Environment Services (OGS) has addressed this concern and remains committed to its goal.
For example, the OGS contends that green options are becoming increasingly more “cost competitive.” Further, those who are finding price disparities should consider products available in a concentrated form designed for dilution with water.
Other input from eco-friendly advocates from The Roundup explained that some organic products are somewhat more costly. This additional cost might stem from higher raw material costs and using more expensive eco-friendly packaging materials.
Overall, feedback suggests that green products are comparable to others that pose health and environmental concerns making them worth it.
Provider of Comprehensive, Cost-Effective, and Eco-Friendly Commercial Cleaning Services
The team of specialists with Servi-Tek Facility Solutions creates “win-win” relationships with clients seeking superior commercial cleaning services. We understand the challenges that professionals responsible for educational facilities face in maintaining a healthy, safe, and positive learning environment.
Our experts will assist you with developing a customized, detailed, and flexible cleaning plan that meets or exceeds your expectations. This is achieved through understanding your goals, conducting a rigorous property assessment, using technology, maximizing efficiency, and minimizing costs.
Contact us today for more information.