Educational facilities today recognize the importance of cleaning schools in a manner that supports student learning and makes a good first impression. A lack of cleanliness creates a negative environment for children, teachers, employees, school staff, and others within the facility.
Professional school cleaning services emphasize training and safety and employ techniques that satisfy strict requirements and local laws. Many janitorial businesses approach school cleaning projects with a clear goal of maintaining high standards and paying close attention to detail.
Professional janitorial services are companies that consider custodian services as a program that represents an area of their core business. Expert custodian service depends on a diligent cleaning process and standards based on years of experience recognizing opportunities and achieving results.
Professional cleaning services and janitorial school cleaners understand the concerns including the health of the kids, staff, and entire community. Commercial cleaning services support the school environment in terms of reducing cases of the flu and harmful bacteria and viruses.
Types of Schools and Learning Centers
There are many types of schools and learning institutions. We have elementary schools, grade schools, and high schools. There are private schools, charter schools, colleges, universities, and more.
Tomorrow’s career professionals originate from a diverse mix of local learning centers.
Common Rooms and Areas That Might Require Cleaning
Many different spaces and areas may exist in public school buildings, university campuses, and across school districts. For example, lecture halls, hallways, restrooms (bathrooms), classrooms filled with desks, cafeterias, and more.
These sites often have common areas with high-touch surfaces that require more frequent support to limit germs. Aside from the interior cleanliness of school buildings, they might have exterior cleaning needs such as for a parking lot.
In some cases, exterior areas require window cleaning, pressure washing a wall or parking lot, etc.
Maintaining a clean environment throughout outdoor areas improves morale, fosters a family environment, and sends a positive message.
Such messages improve how the school is perceived by visitors, clients, suppliers, and others.
Creating a Cleaning Plan: Area Cleaning vs Team Cleaning
The National Center for Education Statistics recently compared custodial plans involving area cleaning compared to steam cleaning. The traditional methodologies typically use area cleaning—particularly in smaller school settings.
Area cleaning uses a primary custodian that works throughout the day performing various tasks in one building or department. Here, the custodian has a designated site and handles floors, stocking restrooms, removal of trash, etc.
Team cleaning uses a group of workers, often responsible for multiple buildings or sites. In some cases, an individual might handle exclusively floors, desks, or windows.
Studies suggest that team cleaning represents the option capable of delivering the highest efficiency. One advantage includes creating “specialists” within a team for certain tasks that might develop time-saving methods.
Another advantage to the team concept is that a multi-site school district may only need one of each equipment type. Here, it may streamline concerns regarding maintenance, inventory, and other challenges.
What Details Must Exist in a Cleaning Plan?
A report called Cleaning Operations from the APPA – Leadership in Educational Facilities explored the realm of custodial operations. The APPA issued some of the best aspects of creating a plan as follows:
- In terms of the costs of custodial services, 90% generally is devoted to labor and 10% toward supplies and equipment.
- Each task should be clearly identified and the location and frequency determined, i.e., daily, weekly, or monthly intervals.
- In terms of frequency, remember that some high-traffic areas may need more frequent disinfection.
- Develop an estimate of the time needed for performing each of these tasks, which can increasingly become more precise.
- It is often helpful to further classify the plan by location such as building, department, floor, or other areas.
- Identify the tools and equipment needed for performing the task and any cleaning solutions or supplies that are required.
Key Health-Related Considerations in Cleaning School Facilities
Spaces 4 Learning recently addressed a variety of health-related issues and concerns involved with safe school cleaning practices. Many facility managers recently face challenges involving their facility’s ventilation systems, particularly with older (aging) HVAC systems.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, government regulators and health safety advocates are encouraging the adoption of more robust ventilation and filtration practices. A potential problem arises among those with older HVAC systems and systems where maintenance was deferred or postponed.
Spaces 4 Learning claims that meeting the improved ventilation standards creates substantial stress on systems that will break down. In many cases, decisions are needed regarding making improvements to existing systems or simply upgrading the system.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) raised points. As facilities strive for allowing enhanced outdoor air entry that effectively dilutes germs, they might be introducing other pollutants.
In efforts to deal with these concerns, the system may require more filtration or more advanced forms of filtration. In the meanwhile, the HVAC system is required to work much harder for maintaining circulation, which could trigger system failures.
Here, implementing improvements in ventilation, filtration, and outdoor air entry actually could worsen results. In addition, outdoor air in many areas contains substantial humidity, which potentially promotes the development of mold.
In response, many facilities realize that they can no longer defer maintenance due to the risks. This could result in substantially higher ongoing costs using the same existing budget.
As HVAC component age they generally become less efficient and consume more energy to maintain the same conditions. This is a potentially harsh reality for many professionals in school districts.
Potential Access to COVID Relief Funds as a Solution
Cleaning & Maintenance Management discussed how a school district might have remaining federal coronavirus funds on hand for improvements. For example, New York City’s district allocated more than 600 million dollars for cleaning, repair, maintenance, engineering, and more.
Specific allocations included 50 million dollars for cleaning-related supplies and personal protective equipment. Further, they dedicated more than 20 million dollars specifically to repairing ventilation systems, partitions, and air purification products.
What Are Green Cleaning Practices?
In addition, the cost of green products is more competitive in recent years. Indeed, having a clean-looking school is a goal; however, environmental policy and extensive education suggest that “green is good.”
Green cleaning involves using eco-friendly products that won’t harm indoor air quality or trigger allergic reactions. A recent report from Cleaning & Maintenance Management (CMM) outlined some of the most common considerations when implementing eco-friendly programs.
The CMM study emphasized the importance of setting goals, particularly goals where progress can be tracked. Set a reasonable timeline and consider milestones along the way.
For example, transitioning to using exclusively recycled materials or earning some green certification or credential. Remember the importance of ongoing evaluation and reevaluation that identifies inefficient processes or safety risks.
Consider alternatives to single-use or disposable paper products, identify ways of conserving water, and explore new organic product options.
Finding a School Janitorial Cleaning Service
Locating a professional school cleaning company may take some time as not all providers offer a wide range of services. It is generally the best approach to spend as much time as needed when choosing a provider for education accounts.
Keep in mind that finding a truly quality cleaning company for your needs and budget may require some work. However, finding an organization with the proper skills, requirements, and schedule availability is a worthwhile activity.
Try to gain access to colleagues, local business owners, commercial building managers, or providers of maintenance services in regard to these issues. These individuals might have used providers for their own cleaning or know of someone from when they were with previous employers.
Adopt a simple approach based on relevance rather than turning the search into a complex set of events. Search methodologies vary but remember the importance of looking deeper than simply advertising or other marketing messages.
Gather information regarding any previous experience in universities, trade schools, daycare centers, or other educational institutions or types of schools.
Some questions to ask a potential school cleaning company are similar to what you might ask applicants for employment such as:
- How many years of experience?
- Do the team members undergo sufficient training?
- Is the staff screened and background checked?
- Do they have the proper tools and supplies for cleaning carpets, electrostatic disinfection, or other projects and programs?
- Depending on your school calendar, is the organization available to assist with events such as open house days or holidays?
Leading Commercial Cleaning Company for Schools and Other Educational Settings
The experienced professionals with Servi-Tek Facility Solutions create customized programs for clients operating in many commercial environments. Our team will work with private schools, larger public school districts, colleges and universities, and more.
We recognize that “one-size-fits-all” programs are never appropriate for dynamic environments with unique configurations and property conditions. The trained experts we employ have a wide array of tools and equipment at their disposal.
Keep in mind that our organization is a commercial cleaning company that is also well-versed in facility maintenance and engineering. We encourage you to contact us today for a consultation and look forward to speaking with you.