Team Clean, Inc.Team Clean, Inc.
Flu

SLOWING THE FLU: How the Pros Clean and Disinfect a School

When the summer ends and school returns, so does the flu. But the flu can be slowed and sometimes stopped when school personnel take these active measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Cleaning and disinfecting are part of a broad approach to preventing infectious diseases in schools. To help slow the spread of influenza (flu), the first line of defense is getting vaccinated. Other measures include staying home when sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and washing hands often. Below are tips on how to slow the spread of flu specifically through cleaning and disinfecting.

1. Know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.

2. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often

Follow your school’s standard procedures for routine cleaning and disinfecting. Typically, this means daily sanitizing surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, faucet handles, phones, and toys. Some schools may also require daily disinfecting these items. Standard procedures often call for disinfecting specific areas of the school, like bathrooms.

Immediately clean surfaces and objects that are visibly soiled. If surfaces or objects are soiled with body fluids or blood, use gloves and other standard precautions to avoid coming into contact with the fluid. Remove the spill, and then clean and disinfect the surface.

3. Simply do routine cleaning and disinfecting

It is important to match your cleaning and disinfecting activities to the types of germs you want to remove or kill. Most studies have shown that the flu virus can live and potentially infect a person for up to 48 hours after being deposited on a surface. However, it is not necessary to close schools to clean or disinfect every surface in the building to slow the spread of flu. Also, if students and staff are dismissed because the school cannot function normally (e.g., high absenteeism during a flu outbreak), it is not necessary to do extra cleaning and disinfecting.

Flu viruses are relatively fragile, so standard cleaning and disinfecting practices are sufficient to remove or kill them. Special cleaning and disinfecting processes, including wiping down walls and ceilings, frequently using room air deodorizers, and fumigating, are not necessary or recommended. These processes can irritate eyes, noses, throats, and skin; aggravate asthma; and cause other serious side effects.

4. Clean and disinfect correctly

Always follow label directions on cleaning products and disinfectants. Wash surfaces with a general household cleaner to remove germs. Rinse with water, and follow with an EPA-registered disinfectant to kill germs. Read the label to make sure it states that EPA has approved the product for effectiveness against influenza A virus.

If a surface is not visibly dirty, you can clean it with an EPA-registered product that both cleans (removes germs) and disinfects (kills germs) instead. Be sure to read the label directions carefully, as there may be a separate procedure for using the product as a cleaner or as a disinfectant. Disinfection usually requires the product to remain on the surface for a certain period of time (e.g., letting it stand for 3 to 5 minutes).

Use disinfecting wipes on electronic items that are touched often, such as phones and computers. Pay close attention to the directions for using disinfecting wipes. It may be necessary to use more than one wipe to keep the surface wet for the stated length of contact time. Make sure that the electronics can withstand the use of liquids for cleaning and disinfecting.

5. Use products safely

Pay close attention to hazard warnings and directions on product labels. Cleaning products and disinfectants often call for the use of gloves or eye protection. For example, gloves should always be worn to protect your hands when working with bleach solutions.

Do not mix cleaners and disinfectants unless the labels indicate it is safe to do so. Combining certain products (such as chlorine bleach and ammonia cleaners) can result in serious injury or death.

Ensure that custodial staff, teachers, and others who use cleaners and disinfectants read and understand all instruction labels and understand safe and appropriate use. This might require that instructional materials and training be provided in other languages.

6. Handle waste properly

Follow your school’s standard procedures for handling waste, which may include wearing gloves. Place no-touch wastebaskets where they are easy to use. Throw disposable items used to clean surfaces and items in the trash immediately after use. Avoid touching used tissues and other waste when emptying wastebaskets. Wash your hands with soap and water after emptying wastebaskets and touching used tissues and similar waste.

If the constant cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing put too much of a burden on the school’s staff to do the job properly, a professional janitorial service with in-school antibacterial and flu experience like Team Clean may well be safest way to go.

Team Clean, whose clients include primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, employs effective cleaning techniques to combat mersa (antibiotic-resistant bacteria) and stringent employment screening and hiring procedures, with the goal of producing an environmentally safe and clean facility, free from harmful bacteria.

Naturally, school bathrooms present their own challenges. Team Clean’s Spotless Restrooms program has been particularly effective in residence halls, which require detail cleaning in restrooms to eradicate harmful microorganisms that can cause serious illnesses. This program utilizes specialized equipment and Green chemicals to provide effective sanitation in these rooms.

Need more info? Take a look at these other CDC pages:

Recycling

Is Recycling Worth the Hassle?

The familiar recycling symbol can be seen on garbage bags, dump trucks and trash cans all over the world. The phrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is taught to school children. We all know that recycling is a simple way in which every person can contribute to making a better world. But surely there must be more benefits of recycling than just reducing the amount of trash we throw out. After all, it takes time and effort to collect, separate and send away that trash. But the fact is, there are many ways in which recycling makes for a better and happier world.

Recycling helps us…

Reduce the Size of Landfills: One of the biggest reasons why recycling has been promoted is that it does reduce the strain on our environment. By utilizing waste products in a constructive way, we can slowly decrease the size of our landfills. As the population grows, it will become difficult for the landfills to hold so much trash. When this happens, our cities and landscapes will face pollution, poisoning and health problems. Recycling helps to keep the pollution in check, and decreases it, little by little, over time.

Conserve Natural Resources: Scrap cars, old bottles, junk mail and used rubber tires are becoming common features of our landfills. All of these may seem endless, but the resources required to make them are vanishing quickly. Recycling allows all of these junk items to be used over and over again so that new resources do not have to be exploited. Recycling conserves natural resources such as water, minerals, coal, oil, gas and timber. Another benefit of recycling is that it allows more emphasis to be put on creating technology to utilize what already exists. This is why a number of industries support programs where they can receive large quantities of recyclable material to convert into new items.

Offer More Employment Opportunities: Recycling is a huge industry within itself. After you deposit your trash for recycling, it has to be sorted and shipped off to the right places. Thousands of workers are involved. Certainly, one of the major benefits of recycling is that it creates more jobs in the community and provides stability to the entire process. Throwing the trash away creates some six to seven jobs at best, where recycling can help create close to thirty jobs.

Offer Cash Benefits: Recycling is not all about being charitable and doing what is good for the environment. If it were so, everybody would recycle out of the goodness of their hearts. Most governments have policies in place that give financial benefits to those who recycle. People that take aluminum cans or glass bottles to the recycling plant get a cash benefit in return. In fact, many teenagers can pick up recycling as a way to make extra money on the side. Old newspapers, appliances, plastic, rubber, steel, copper and even beer cans can be sold for money.

Save Money:  A strong economy is efficient. What drags it down is having to pay for resources that are growing scarce in the country. Every bit of recycling counts when the economy does not have to pay for planting more forests, mining iron ore or purchasing fossil fuels from other countries. When the jobs increase, the economy gets a boost. As the cost of maintaining the current waste disposal system goes down, all the money saved can be diverted to where it is needed the most.

Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: When you recycle products, you tend to save energy responsible for increases in global warming. Recycling helps to reduce air and water pollution by cutting down the number of pollutants that are released into the environment. A recycling rate of 30% can is almost equivalent of removing 30 million cars from the roads.

Save Energy: When you recycle aluminum cans, you can save 95% of the energy required to produce those cans from raw materials, energy saved from recycling one glass bottle is enough to light a light bulb for four hours. This clearly shows how much energy can be saved if recycling is taken on a larger scale. The reduced reliance on foreign oil also helps with long-term savings.

Stimulate the Use of Greener Technologies: The use of more recycling products has pushed people towards greener technologies. Use of renewable energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal is on rise,  which has helped to conserve energy and reduce pollution.

Bring Different Groups and Communities Together: At the end of the day, recycling is an act that can bring a community together, whether by picking up trash from the roads as a team, or collecting waste materials to raise money for schools and colleges. Many simple programs that make a community stronger can be built upon the many benefits of recycling. In fact, it is one the best ways to teach children about responsibility and taking an initiative.

Prevent Loss of Biodiversity: Less raw material is needed when you recycle products. The beauty of recycling is that it will help you to conserve resources and prevents loss of biodiversity, ecosystems and rainforests. Dangerous mining activities will be reduced. Soil erosion and water pollution will be reduced, which in turn will help native plants and animals survive in forests. The amount of deforestation will be significantly reduced if the pace of recycling increases.

The benefits of recycling are easily understood, and the effects of recycling are all positive. Team Clean supports all forms of sustainability. All Team Clean employees receive mandatory training in proper Green chemical usage, both to minimize waste and to maximize efficiency—two important benefits of cleaning Green. By using Green-building best practices, Team Clean helps building owners solve problems, improve building performance over time, and insure a safe and healthy workplace for occupants and visitors.

Adapted from Conserve Energy Future.

Removing Graffiti

BAG THE TAGS: Why Removing Graffiti is So Hard

Removing graffiti is still one of the toughest building maintenance chores to deal with.  Soap and water usually won’t do it. But a lot of harsh chemicals and sharp scrapers might. However you choose to deal with graffiti, the cleaning-off process is a long, messy one if you choose to do it yourself. And your results are not guaranteed.

To save time, money and the agony of defeat, a professional cleaning firm like Team Clean, which has successfully dealt with graffiti for decades, is probably the best way to go.

But if you’re determined to do it yourself, here’s what you’ll need in your graffiti fighter’s tool kit:

1.          Aerosol solvent
2.         Clean cotton painters’ rags
3.         Trash bags
4.         Inexpensive paintbrushes, rollers and paint containers
5.         Paint matching various surfaces around your neighborhood
6.         Paint scraper
7.         Dust mask
8.         Safety glasses
9.         Kitchen cleaner and water in spray bottle

Solvents and Cleaners
There are a number of graffiti removal products on the market. It can help to become familiar with each one. Learn about safe use and safe handling. Some of the better-known solvents available at major hardware stores can be hazardous to your health. Using a respirator is probably safer than using a dust mask. Breathing this stuff is obnoxious and NOT healthy.

You need to be aware of wind conditions. You need eye and breathing protection when you use it. Rags used with solvent should be discarded properly. DO NOT KEEP FLAMMABLE RAGS IN CONTAINERS in your vehicle or garage.

Know the product you are using and HOW TO HANDLE AN ACCIDENTAL INJURY when using the product.

Some of the markers the vandals are using are not permanent. We’ve been able to clean some signs with soap and water.

Safety Glasses 
Safety glasses keep paints, solvents, and dust from entering the eyes. Always use caution. Never compromise eye safety.

Cleaning Smooth Surfaces
Test an inconspicuous area of the surface with your cleaning material. Most modern signs clean quickly. Start by cleaning with soap and water first then proceed to solvents.

Cleaning from Rough Surfaces 
Many times paint on a rough surface causes permanent damage. The character of the surface will change because, in some cases, it is virtually impossible to remove all of the paint from a porous surface. A perfect example is a cinder block wall. You may be forced to paint the wall—the entire wall. Simply framing the damaged area leaves you (and the vandal) with an ugly blotch.

We have found that pressure washers, using sand, can actually etch a cinder block wall, further hastening the wall’s demise. A wire brush is somewhat limited in effectiveness as well. Our city, instead, uses a power washer with a biodegradable emulsifier approved by our sewer department. In most cases, we have been able to completely remove the vandalism. However in some cases, because of the porous surfaces involved, a slight hazy remnant of the graffiti still remains.

Elbow Grease and the Wire Brush
An inexpensive wire brush is excellent for removing paint from many surfaces. The surface will look like someone has wire brushed it but the vandal’s message will be history. Any surface where you use a wire brush should be a surface, that will over time, weather back to the original color or texture. Every graffiti fighter needs a wire brush in his or her tool kit.

Use the wire brush on: 
Telephone poles
Street curbs
Some rough metals
Smooth stone surfaces
Decorative rocks
Wood fences
Concrete

TIPS ON REMOVAL
1. When you engage in graffiti removal, you become very aware of how much more difficult it is to remove it than it is to apply it. This is especially true in the case of rough, unpainted brick surfaces. Painted surfaces are probably best repainted, though it would be wise to have a supply of graffiti removal solvent ready for rapid response. This is also true because recent graffiti seems to be easier to remove than old graffiti.

2. For surfaces like mailboxes, utility boxes, steel roll-up doors, lampposts, etc., liquid graffiti removal solvent (Savogram) is the way to go. This graffiti should be removed as soon as it appears. This requires only some light duty steel wool, a small spray bottle of solvent, and a cleaner like TSP to wash the area down after removing the graffiti. Very little solvent should be used if the graffiti is recent. Just spray on some solvent, lightly rub with steel wool (or even heavy duty paper towels) and then wipe clean. You’ll want to use rubber gloves and lightly wash the affected area after removing the graffiti. Spray solvent such as Jasco, is not recommended for mailboxes or other painted surfaces since it will cause so much paint to bubble up that the “cleaned” area may look worse than it did with the graffiti.

3. For a brick surface, especially red brick, we recommend a professional cleanup, using a biodegradable emulsifier. This method minimizes the toll on the surface. It is generally too difficult to tackle a very rough surface with wire brushes and solvents, and the finished job will still bear a fair amount of the evidence of the graffiti.

4. For routinely painted surfaces like fences and some wall, it would be wise to have plenty of matching paint available for immediate cover-up within a day or two of the appearance of graffiti. In a business district, we recommend that some standard colors be employed in locations that are graffiti-prone and that an understanding be developed among property owners and business managers to allow for painting over graffiti quickly without having to secure permission from all affected parties. Rapid response is the key and this is only possible if the job is made as easy and automatic as possible.

Graffiti removal is not always a simple “spray it on, wipe it off” affair, especially when it involves brick or other rough surfaces or when paint has been there for a long time. You should expect to encounter examples where the best you can do is reduce the graffiti to an unrecognizable fade, even if it is not possible to completely remove it. Try both solvents if one doesn’t seem to do the trick. Don’t give up too soon. Sometimes, several applications of solvent or allowing to sit for a longer time will take care of things.

Commercial Cleaning

Commercial Cleaning: Cost or Investment?

Maintaining a clean workplace environment can pay for itself many times over, and often in unexpected ways. According to CleanLink, some of the most significant benefits kick in immediately:

  • There’s a direct correlation between a clean work environment and improved employee health. A clean environment can help reduce worker sick days.
  • A regular cleaning program preserves and protects building assets such as carpets, floors, tile surfaces, equipment. It prevents excessive wear and extends lifespans.
  • A sparkling workplace can be an excellent marketing tool, whether you’re trying to impress prospective clients, lease space or sell the building.
  • A clean, healthy building plays extremely well with occupants, creating a welcoming atmosphere, often subconsciously encouraging hard work and collective effort.
  • The appearance is one of the major elements that separates one building from another and brings added value.

Some experts say that the cleaning industry should be included under the umbrella of the healthcare industry, since cleaning plays such a vital role in keeping people healthy and productive. Aiding attendance, productivity and customer satisfaction can build a financial argument that will convince even the accountants.

Appearance will always be a major reason for commercial cleaning, but headlines about flu, MRSA, C. diff and other germs will mean higher cleaning standards and an increasingly important role for commercial cleaning companies like Philadelphia’s Team Clean.  As Donna L. Allie, Team Clean’s CEO, points out, “A well-maintained facility has the added effect of boosting employee morale, as well as contributing to an accident-free work environment. It also minimizes absenteeism caused by illnesses that can be prevented by the effective control and elimination of bacteria and germs.”

Stephen Collins of Stephco Cleaning & Restoration notes, “When we start to connect the dots between proper cleaning, employee attendance and performance, customer satisfaction and spending, then the value of commercial cleaning will be better understood and it will be harder to cut cleaning budgets — or to always choose the lowest bidder.”

Avoiding Classroom Germs, From Sniffles to Flu

The first and most effective defense against the flu is cleanliness.  John Rosales of the NEA outlines the five basic steps of flu-fighting in our schools:

From the first fall sniffles to the advance of flu season, educators and students can’t completely avoid being exposed to colds and viruses, but they can take actions to reduce the chances of getting sick.

We asked four experienced, award-winning custodians—those professionals on the frontlines of keeping schools clean—for their advice on minimizing the spread of germs in the classroom. Here are their top five tips:

1.         Wipe It Down

Fortunately, custodians provide a thorough cleaning of classrooms before and/or after school, but teachers and paras can help contain the spread of germs in between classes by “cleaning desktops, counters, sinks, soap and paper towel dispensers especially during a flu outbreak,” says Pat Nicholson, winner of the 2009 C.L.E.A.N. Award (Custodial Leaders for Environmental Advocacy Nationwide). “Wiping door handles and frames, walls and counters that are touched by hundreds of hands every day with an effective sanitizer and a micro fiber towel will limit the spread of viruses.”

2.         Stock Supplies and Cover Up

“Teachers and paras should keep tissues, hand sanitizer, and sanitizer wipes in classrooms for when kids sneeze or cough,” says Briana Rivera, from Saks Elementary School in Anniston, Alabama, and a runner-up in this year’s C.L.E.A.N.  Award competition. “As a preventive measure, they should talk to the kids about covering their mouths and washing their hands to contain the spread of germs.”

Steve Brooks of the Maryland State Teachers Association has spent 15 years in school maintenance. He says that classrooms with sinks should have the proper hand sanitizers to take advantage of a quick way to kill germs before they spread.

“When students cough, immediately ask them to go to the sink and wash,” says Brooks, president of the Calvert Association of Educational Support Staff. “Keep disinfector wipes in stock and continuously wipe off.”

3.         Monitor Students and Send Them Home When Appropriate

When necessary, teachers should send sick kids home.

“Paras can help keep an eye on the kids who are coughing,” says Brooks, a graduate of the ESP Leaders for Tomorrow program. “Because kids cough and keep going.”

Nicholson confirms that staff should be on the lookout for students as well as teachers with flu symptoms. “Staff with the flu should stay home as well,” he says.

4.         Minimize Objects That Attract Germs

Teachers and paraeducators should also “always work to minimize the number of objects in a classroom that are handled by students and can carry germs,” says Arnold.

Nicholson says sofas, beanbag chairs, recliners, and rugs are “asthma trigger reservoirs,” providing a home for dust, dust mites, pet dander, and pathogens which can trigger asthma attacks. Nearly one in 10 students has asthma.

“These students will benefit from the removal of these items,” Nicholson says. “This type of furniture also obstructs cleaning in your classroom.”

And while you’re at it, cut down on clutter.

“Uncluttered horizontal surfaces can be cleaned quickly and easily,” says Nicholson. “Desks and countertops collect dust and particulates. It takes custodians longer to clean surfaces covered with clutter.”

5.         Work as a Team

“Dealing with germs is a team effort,” says Brooks, who works at Patuxent High School in Lusby. “We might not get 100 percent of them, but you need to have the teacher and para supporting what custodians do in the morning and after school.”

Other vital members in this team effort include students.

“We teach kids everything else, so we can teach them how to keep from spreading germs,” Brooks adds.

This article has been edited. The original appeared here.

 

How Athletes Can Fight MRSA

How Athletes Can Fight MRSA

Football season and MRSA season arrive hand in hand to make everyone’s lives more miserable. MRSA is a staph infection, spread by skin-to-skin contact.  Gymnasiums, health clubs, hospitals and nursing homes are hot spots, and MRSA can announce itself with painful skin boils before it gets even worse.

Team Clean endorses the Centers for Disease Controls recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting athletic facilities for MRSA:

Shared equipment that comes into direct skin contact should be cleaned after each use and allowed to dry. Equipment, such as helmets and protective gear, should be cleaned according to the equipment manufacturers’ instructions to make sure the cleaner will not harm the item.

  • Athletic facilities such as locker rooms should always be kept clean whether or not MRSA infections have occurred among the athletes.
  • Review cleaning procedures and schedules with the janitorial/environmental service staff.
    • Cleaning procedures should focus on commonly touched surfaces and surfaces that come into direct contact with people’s bare skin each day.
    • Cleaning with detergent-based cleaners or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered detergents/disinfectants will remove MRSA from surfaces.
    • Cleaners and disinfectants, including household chlorine bleach, can be irritating and exposure to these chemicals has been associated with health problems such as asthma and skin and eye irritation.
      • Take appropriate precautions described on the product’s label instructions to reduce exposure. Wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves and eye protection may be indicated.
    • Follow the instruction labels on all cleaners and disinfectants, including household chlorine bleach, to make sure they are used safely and correctly.
      • Some key questions that should be answered by reading the label include:
        • How should the cleaner or disinfectant be applied?
        • Do you need to clean the surface first before using the disinfectant (e.g., precleaned surfaces)?
        • Is it safe for the surface? Some cleaners and disinfectants, including household chlorine bleach, might damage some surfaces (e.g., metals, some plastics).
        • How long do you need to leave it on the surface to be effective (i.e., contact time)?
        • Do you need to rinse the surface with water after using the cleaner or disinfectant?
      • If you are using household chlorine bleach, check the label to see if the product has specific instructions for disinfection. If no disinfection instructions exist, then use 1/4 cup of regular household bleach in 1 gallon of water (a 1:100 dilution equivalent to 500-615 parts per million [ppm] of available chlorine) for disinfection of pre-cleaned surfaces.
      • Environmental cleaners and disinfectants should not be put onto skin or wounds and should never be used to treat infections.
      • The EPA provides a list of registered products that work against MRSA (List H):
    • There is a lack of evidence that large-scale use (e.g., spraying or fogging rooms or surfaces) of disinfectants will prevent MRSA infections more effectively than a more targeted approach of cleaning frequently-touched surfaces.
    • Repair or dispose of equipment and furniture with damaged surfaces that do not allow surfaces to be adequately cleaned.
    • Covering infections will greatly reduce the risks of surfaces becoming contaminated with MRSA.
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.

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