PHOTO CREDIT: ABM
After a long, hard winter in most of the country. Spring is much welcomed! It’s the time of renewal. What can facility managers and building owners do to ensure their property and grounds are ready for the new season?
Getting a fresh start with spring cleaning is a smart, proactive move to protect and beautify your facility. A well-cared-for building also enhances the health and morale of the people in it. Take a look at these areas to help you review your maintenance program for the coming year.
1) Spring Walkthrough
Catch small problems now before they become big ones. Addressing small details can add up to huge improvements in appearance and functionality. Ask your facilities services provider, janitorial company, and/or handyman to walk through with you, focusing on details you’d normally overlook. Some things to inspect for repair/replacement are: doors (door sweeps, door stops, sticking locks, etc.), corner guards, tile and grout, light switches and face plates, ceiling tiles, countertops and shelving, cabinets and hinges, and fire extinguishers. And don’t forget how much fresher everything looks with new caulking and a new coat of paint on the walls – the warmer weather can make Spring a great time to give new aesthetic life to your facility.
2) Look down – Floors & Carpets
Winter is harsh on flooring. It’s time for that once-a-year deep cleaning. Stripping and waxing (or other care appropriate to the material) will extend the life of your hard surfaces. Shampooing carpets will keep them new looking and also reduce allergens. Wait until the worst of the spring pollen is gone, and then have your carpets cleaned according to Carpet and Rug Institute guidelines. Schools should also schedule the annual (summer) maintenance of their gym floors—wood floors usually require light grit screening followed by cleaning and application of a solvent-based gym finish to protect the floor and keep it shining.
3) Are Restrooms Fresh as a Daisy?
Of course daily cleaning is necessary, but periodic deep cleaning is also a must. The dirt and germs that inevitably build-up over time can be attacked now by sanitizing all restroom surfaces, fixtures, and floors. Do mirrors need to be replaced, sinks re-caulked? Are repairs/replacements necessary for toilet paper and hand towel dispensers or baby changing stations? Be sure that you’ve been paying attention to occupant comments about restrooms and don’t forget to periodically perform your own walk-throughs to ensure nothing is missed.
4) Condition Air Conditioning Units
It’s time to give that A/C unit a thorough spring check-up so it will cool efficiently when the hot weather comes. Coil cleaning can not only boost operating efficiency but can also improve indoor air quality, which keeps everyone healthier. Consider the fact that the A/C unit has been sitting unused all winter, and that means dirt and sludge build-up—which, in turn, means odors, allergens, high operating costs, and even degradation or possible failure of the unit. Preventive maintenance this spring will keep everyone happy this summer.
5) Spring and Green Go Hand in Hand
If you’re already using sustainable processes, perhaps you could spring forward to take your program to the next level. Your facility services provider can make recommendations on the latest products and procedures.
If you haven’t incorporated sustainability into your facility, talk to an expert who can help you begin with simple changes that will make big differences. At a minimum, your cleaning program should use Green Seal certified chemicals and/or bio-based cleaning alternatives. To further enhance your results, you can incorporate supplies and equipment, such as recycled paper towels, microfiber cloths and mops, Carpet & Rug Institute-certified vacuums, touchless soap and towel dispensers, and automatically flushing toilets. Sustainability programs can be cost neutral when considering all of the proven economic and health benefits.
6) Freshen Up First Impressions
Make people happy before they even walk in the door. Now is the time to plant seasonal flowers. Whether you have a formal landscaping plan or just a few pots by the front door, flowers will make the right impression. Greenery inside your building will also create a welcoming environment. Ask your facility services provider about grounds beautification, maintenance, and potted plant care.
The right facility services partner can take care of all these tasks and more—efficiently and cost effectively. You’ll have a new spring in your step, hearing all the compliments and knowing your “to do” list is done.
Bob Clarke is senior vice president, sales and marketing of ABM's Onsite Services model. Reach him at Bob.Clarke@ABM.com.
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