Team Clean, Inc.Team Clean, Inc.
Green Cleaning

Green Cleaning: Why It’s Important

Carpeting, flooring, waste bins, windows, bathrooms; all areas of your building need to be cleaned, that’s a given.  Nobody is ever delighted to walk into a dirty building or room.  Cleaning is important to maintain the look and feel of your establishment.  What’s more important than that?  Your health. Routine cleaning takes away dirt, allergens, and food sources for pests who carry bacteria and disease.  Air quality is a big issue especially for those who have a chronic health condition.

Ok, so, we’ve cleaned and polished, and reduced any contaminants in the air; We’re done, right? Not so fast.  How did you accomplish that clean?  What kind of products are you using?  To some this might seem “nit-picky,” but it is a very valid question.  Are you using the safest products to achieve the goal? Cleaning chemicals are known to be abrasive and powerful solutions that are meant to destroy dirt and odor.  Often these chemicals are branded with disclaimers and warnings about the effect they might have on health.  These products can be a danger.  Working toward using safer “greener” products can reduce or eliminate the dangers revolving around using such abrasive chemicals.

According to EnvirOx:

  1. Safer products reduce worker’s comp issues. Right now, six out of 100 custodial workers have a chemical-related worker’s comp claim per year.
  2. Safer chemicals also reduce surface wear & tear. If it’s safe for the environment and safe for people, the product probably isn’t going to hurt your carpet, either.
  3. Sustainable, concentrated chemicals often have a high yield — that is, the concentrated chemical makes a lot of in-use cleaning product. This can lead to big in-use savings over ready-to-use products that end up in landfills.

Taking steps now to move toward safer cleaning products will save you money, and create an even healthier environment.  Team Clean proudly uses green cleaning products in our operations.  Ensure the safety of your facility and the well-being of your staff; all while saving money. It’s a win-win.

Floor Care

Focus on Floor Care this Summer

No matter the type of flooring environment your facility is equipped with it is essential to maintain it properly during the summer months. The choices that building owners and designers have to work with when it comes to the type of flooring continues to evolve, but no matter your style choice or preference your floors need to be maintained properly and pristinely.  Simply put, your floor appearance will deteriorate if it is not addressed routinely and professionally.

Besides the general appeal of your flooring, it is paramount to ensure that your floors are properly maintained for the safety of your guests.  Most slip accidents happen when floors are contaminated. Effective cleaning should remove contamination and reduce the risk of slips. Incorrect cleaning can lead to a build-up of contamination, making the floor more slippery.  Machines can clean floors effectively if they are maintained and used correctly by trained operators.  In correct or untrained use could result in the build of both contaminants and cleaning products.

Additionally, it is important to consider the cleaning products being used on flooring.  Deterioration of appearance may be expedited by using inappropriate cleansers with an incompatible floor surface.  You need a commercial janitorial service that knows the right product for the job, and how that product will affect the quality of the flooring.  From dry dirt to black heel dirt, having the necessary knowledge and experience is imperative to execute the job correctly.  Building owners and facilities managers need to be aware of the fact that this type of dirt needs to be removed daily in order to avoid premature flooring failure and replacements.

You can save on cost in the future if you do your research now.  Find a company that has a Quality Assurance program and hands-on training with their team from experienced industry professionals.  That is the formula for your success this summer as you maintain your flooring to impeccable standards.

Low Price

There’s a reason the price is so low…

We’ve all been to stores and seen advertisements for a big “doorbuster sale”; these price bargains often will bring customers flocking to the store eager to buy. Others, meanwhile, are more cautious when something is being sold at an unusual value. Skeptics of such sales are quick to quip, “doesn’t low price mean low quality?” Often we find out the hard way.

Bargains could mean a substantial shift in a specific market, desperation on the businesses part. Or, it could mean the opposite; a fortunate prosperous company simply wants to pass down the savings to their customers. If you’re in the market for a service, though, a low price will make the buyer a lot more skeptical.

Unfortunately, there are many companies that use the bargain price gimmick to pull a fast one on their customer. Whether it be a contractor that has promised you one price only to discover a dramatically different invoice at the jobs completion. Or, a fine-print service agreement that leaves you footing the bill for undisclosed charges at the time of signup; there are many reasons you should do your homework when scouting for a service.

When it comes to something as important as the health and safety of your building or property’s guests or employees you should always invest the time and research to make the informed choice. You want a company that has knowledge, has a proven track record, and has the results to back it up. Don’t regret your hasty decision down the road.

Quality assurance is a pledge that Team Clean commits to, and enforces in all areas of our business. We customize our service to your facility’s needs, and our hands-on management process ensures it is impeccably executed. You won’t see that kind of stewardship in the clearance aisle.

AllergensAllergens

Quick Tips on How to Reduce Allergens at Home or at Work

Spring is in the air, which is usually a good thing, unless you suffer from allergies.  Sneezing, wheezing, coughing and runny or itchy eyes can make it tough to get through the work day, with lost focus and lost productivity.

It is said that 10 to 30 percent of the American population suffers from allergic “rhinitis,” which is an inflammation of the nasal airways caused by breathing in allergens.

Allergies are among the top three reasons people miss work, and they can have a significant effect on productivity, so it’s very important for business owners to recognize that they should do some simple things that can reduce anyone’s exposure to allergens and other irritants.

One of the most common allergens in homes, dust mites are often passively carried form home to the workplace.   Eggs can be carried into the office environment on clothing.  Carpets, upholstered furniture and even cubicle walls may give harbor to dust mites. Requesting frequent carpet cleaning and dusting your work area with a microfiber cloth or wet rag can help reduce dust mites in your work area. Some recommend installing a small HEPA (for “high efficiency particulate air”) cleaner to clean the space around your immediate work area.

Even if you work in a pet-free building, you may be exposed to cat and dog hair.  Pet hair is carried on clothing and becomes part of the indoor environment. If possible, avoid placing allergy sufferers and pet owners in the same workspaces and provide hair removal rollers at the office.

Seasonal allergens such as pollen can enter the workplace through ventilation, and through the opening and closing of windows.  Make sure that your office has good air filtration. Changing air filters regularly and proper maintenance of heating and air conditioning systems at least twice a year are recommended.

Cleaning fluids and air fresheners release volatile organic compounds into our air, too. These fumes can irritate lungs causing respiratory distress and shortness of breath. Avoid using plug-ins and aerosol air fresheners and switch to cleaning products with no “VOCs”.

And you may want to encourage employees to get an allergy test.   They may think you know what triggers their allergies, but they could be wrong. Managing allergies requires knowing what your triggers are.   One example is the employee who thought she was working in a building that was full of mold, dust and poor air quality, but allergy testing showed it wasn’t the building.  She was allergic to cat hair. Her runny nose and itchy eyes were a result of her allergies being triggered by her cat-owning co-worker who had carried her pet’s hair to the office on her clothing. Consult with a certified allergy specialist to do an accurate assessment of allergy triggers.  And while allergy medications like antihistamine medication may ease allergy symptoms, they can also have you falling asleep in the boardroom.  Try taking a non-sedating antihistamine or asking your doctor about getting an allergy shot which may provide longer-term relief without the drowsy side effects.

Above all, maintaining a clean and healthy work environment with regular inspections, professional and detailed cleaning, and properly operating heat and air filters and systems, will help keep you and your team allergy-free and happy to better enjoy the spring.

Quality Assurance

The Importance of Quality Assurance Program in Janitorial Services

When selecting any partner/vendor for your custodial and janitorial needs, a key factor is that company’s Quality Assurance program.  You need to find a partner that has a cleaning system engineered to consistently produce a sanitary and healthy environment, whether the commercial facility is a school, public building, multi-tenant residence or office, business or industrial location.

Quality control is a large part of any facility manager’s job.  Making sure that your facility or facilities are clean, and that upkeep and safety standards are maintained, is crucial, as is discovering possible efficiencies.  There are a few benefits you should look for from a custodial/janitorial company’s cleaning system, such as a proven system of employee selection and training.  Qualified employees are the foundation of consistent service.  You need a partner that has an aggressive personnel program that finds and systematically trains employees to assure high cleaning standards.

Also, you need to find a company with technical expertise.  Commercial cleaning has moved past the “mop and bucket.”  Consistent quality requires state-of-the-art equipment, supplies, and compliance with Federal, State and local standards and regulations.  A good commercial cleaning company needs an ongoing technical research program that provides the right equipment, cleaning techniques, and protection.

Your commercial cleaning company should also have a robust Quality Assurance program.  Their program should include inspection reports, regularly verifying the quality of their work after the cleaning is complete. This reporting is shared with you and archived for your records.  That commercial cleaning company will also ask their customers to rate the quality of their service regularly, possibly once a month or once per quarter.  This rating provides objective feedback regarding your individual satisfaction.

A great commercial cleaning company also regularly visits your business on a regular, personal basis, taking the initiative to visit your facility (or facilities) during business hours to discuss your needs, as well as checking in on the progress of their efforts at your location.  They will have a clear and responsive contact person for you to communicate with on a regular basis, especially in case of an emergency.  They should have a way of tracking your customer communication and requests, to ensure timely completion, and be accountable with records and reviews of all categories for both management and cleaning staff to confirm consistent service excellence.

The objective of any commercial cleaning company’s Quality Assurance program should be to promote a pro-active facilities stewardship philosophy. Their inspectors should inspect, evaluate and document the appearance of your buildings. With additional information on the buildings, operations and facilities managers can plan appropriate cleaning and maintenance actions before they find the need to initiate a call.

Finding the right commercial cleaning company takes a little time, but identifying a vendor with a proven Quality Assurance program is a critical factor that will help you make the correct call.

commercial cleaning services US

The Importance of Having a Clean & Professional Work Environment

Spring is nearly here, and while some thoughts turn to baseball, others think about March Madness, have you thought about some spring cleaning at work?

Take a moment right now, and give a good look around your office.  Ask yourself, when is the last time it was thoroughly cleaned? You probably have a lot of other things on your plate right now. However, it is always important to make sure that you are not neglecting the need to have a clean office.

The office is the main headquarters of your business, where your employees spend at least eight hours of their day, and where all the hard work and innovation happens. It is also the environment in which you meet with business associates and clients, whom you want to give a good impression.  If your office is dirty, messy and unorganized, it will have numerous negative effects on the success of your business.

There are many commercial cleaning companies who will provide this service for you, giving the office a thorough cleaning from top to bottom very efficiently.  There are numerous advantages that a clean office can bring.

Healthier employees is a big one — if your office space is dusty and unclean, it is much more likely to foster the spread of the flu and other diseases between your employees. The airborne dust will also cause your employees with allergies to suffer from sneezing, sore throat, runny nose and itchy eyes. When your employees feel sick because of a dirty office, they need to take time off work to recover. If they are suffering from allergies because of a dirty office, they will feel tired and irritated all day long at work, and therefore they will be less productive workers.  Keeping the office clean avoids this.  Employees who are healthy and happy are more productive and perform better work, so taking care of their health will help the bottom line of the company.

A clean and tidy office and work environment also gives your business a professional image.  A messy office can make your clients and business associations think that you are unprofessional and disorganized. They could assume that if you can’t be bothered to clean your own office, how much effort will you put into doing good work for them?  A negative first impression could cause you to lose clients, and could lose you a lot of respect in the professional world. A clean and tidy office will impress any guests and let you show off your business properly because it shows that you pay attention to the details.

Thoroughly cleaning the office means not only removing the dust and dirt but organizing files and work stations so that they are more efficient, leading to higher productivity.  Disorganized offices cause a huge amount of stress because folders, files and memos are always going missing under huge piles of paper on desks. Employee desks should be organized and clear rather than so cluttered that you can’t see the surface.  Having clean and fresh smelling air, as well as sparkling facilities, will give your employees a mental boost which will allow for better concentration and a stronger work ethic.

Once your office has been professionally cleaned, you can encourage all employees to do their best to keep spaces organized so you can continue to enjoy the benefits of a clean office.  It could be a fun way to get your team further involved in the business, and keep everyone happy and healthy.

New Clean SNew Clean Standardstandards

New Standards for Facility Managers to Prevent Legionnaire’s Disease

Are you aware of the new standards for facility managers to prevent Legionnaire’s Disease?  ASHRAE Standard 188 establishes minimum legionellosis risk management requirements for building water systems. Building owners and facility managers are now responsible for implementing Water Management Plans that will keep building water systems free of Legionella contamination.

It was passed to protect building occupants from legionellosis. The standard aims to minimize occupant risk by outlining the minimum steps required to prevent Legionella contamination of building water systems.

Legionellosis refers to two illnesses: Legionnaire’s Disease and Pontiac Fever. Both illnesses are caused by exposure to Legionella bacteria and commonly lumped under the name “legionellosis”.  The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 8,000 and 10,000 people are infected with Legionnaires’ disease every year. But it’s likely that underreporting puts the number closer to 100,000. Legionnaires’ disease is a serious concern because more than 10 percent of cases are fatal.  Pontiac Fever is a less-severe, flu-like illness that can also result from exposure to Legionella-contaminated water.

ASHRAE Standard 188 is “is intended for use by owners and managers of human-occupied buildings and those involved in the design, construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance and service of centralized building water systems and components.”
Note that while the new standard affects various professions, building owners and facility managers will have final responsibility for building water system safety and meeting ASHRAE Standard 188 requirements.

The new standard applies to both new and existing buildings, and their associated water systems (potable and non-potable).  Per the new standard, building owners and/or management must:

  • Meet minimum legionellosis risk management requirements for building water systems (both potable and non-potable), as specified by the standard.
  • Conduct a Building Survey to identify risk-factors for Legionella-contamination and occupant exposure.
  • Appoint a team of staff to develop and implement a Water Management Program that meets risk management principles outlined in the Standard.  While the Standard outlines necessary elements of a Water Management Program, it does not require use of any specific control strategies to meet risk management requirements.

 

Five high-risk water systems features are singled out, including: potable water systems, cooling towers and evaporative condensers; whirlpool spas; ornamental fountains and other water features; and aerosol-generating misters, atomizers, air washers and humidifiers. Very specific compliance requirements are outlined for these water system features because they present a greater risk for legionellosis. If your facility has any of these features, you will want to check out both Standard 188 and ASHRAE Guideline 12.

 

If you’re looking for the standard to provide a ready-to-go legionellosis risk management plan, you won’t find it. While the standard sets out requirements for risk management plans and offers general suggestions, it does not dictate exact steps or regulations that must be included in legionellosis risk management programs.

So, for example, the standard requires building owners and managers to control microbiological activity, scale and corrosion through water treatment methods. But the standard does not require that any specific water treatment methods that must be included in legionellosis risk management programs.

Instead, the standard is meant to provide a basis for building owners to work from, so they can develop Legionella control strategies and maintenance procedures that will be effective in their facilities. In other words, the standard tells you what requirements your plan must meet, but it doesn’t tell you how to meet those requirements.

We recommend working with a qualified janitorial and custodial cleaning services vendor to inspect and identify any possible areas of concern, and developing a strategy for future preventative measures.

 

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