Team Clean, Inc.

Differences between types of Cleaning

Does your cleaning contractor know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing? Do you?

These terms are often thrown around and misused, but in reality, they each have specific definitions and reasons they are used. Cleaning is not the same as sanitizing and sanitizing is not the same as disinfecting. When you clean, you simply remove foreign material from high-touch objects and surfaces by using water and enzymes and some elbow grease. You need to clean, however, before you disinfect or sanitize, so it is a very important step.

When you disinfect, you kill germs. You don’t necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing the germs, you help to remove the risk of spreading infection. This is especially important in healthcare facilities. Sanitizing uses either heat, radiation or chemicals, and is mostly used in foodservice facilities. Again, the area needs to be completely cleaned in order for sanitizing to be effective, as sanitizing and disinfecting are a step above regular cleaning. Cleaning simply removes dirt, while the other methods remove potentially harmful bacteria that may not be visible. All are important in the areas and the buildings that they are used in, in the right order. Does your cleaning contractor keep your facility cleaned, sanitized and/or disinfected according to your specific needs?

Curb Appeal

Maximizing Your Curb Appeal 

 

How many chances do you get to make a first impression?   

 Yes, it’s a trick question.  Are you, or your company, ready to welcome new residents, employees and clients? 

 A first impression promotes your investment, reveals your decisions and shows your pride.  If guests arrive at your office, apartment complex or other facility, and see unkempt grounds or dying plants, they immediately lower their expectations.  These negative assumptions, like judging a book by its cover, can affect occupancy rates, and ultimately sales. 

 A property manager can assess the curb appeal of a building or campus and essentially work from the ground up to refresh the property. 

 First step: Contact a lawn maintenance company. 

 Local and national “landscape management” companies provide the ideal services to help create a positive image on your grounds.  Determine the schedule, services and fees that accommodate the size of the property.  When you find a company that provides great results, consider contracting them for additional properties. 

 Second step: Look for a maintenance plan that includes: 

 Consultations – determine frequency of landscaping service and treatment options. 

Pre-emergent herbicides – apply to keep weeds and crab grass away with this preventative treatment. 

Fertilizing – schedule to add nutrients to the soil and flower beds and encourage a greener lawn. 

Irrigation – keep your investment from drying out with a timed sprinkler system and keep mulch fresh in flower beds to retain moisture. 

Inspections – protect the lawn, shrubs, flowers and trees from insects and other diseases 

Seasonal clean-up – prune and trim trees and shrubs, weed and re-mulch flower beds, rake and remove debris. 

 Third Step: Maximize your real estate. 

 Rich green grass and lush trees welcome visitors to your property.  Encourage them to stay with essential add-ons that enhance your landscaping plan. 

 Apartment complexes and townhome communities may be designed with park-like common areas or tree-lined walkways.  Consider enhancing the property and resident satisfaction by staging social areas, a community garden or quiet retreats. Property managers will see the immediate results of adding extra elements that appeal to realtors and potential new tenants too. 

 Outdoor socializing – add benches, tables and umbrellas for residents to eat outside or visit with friends and family. 

Zen garden – create a peaceful sanctuary with a waterfall, koi pond or rock garden. 

Small details – hang windchimes or flowering plants or add large decorative pots with herbs or flowers to keep insects away or attract butterflies. 

Lighting – install solar-powered lights on walkways for guests to enjoy the landscaping into the evening. 

Gardening – Assign a small plot of land for residents to maintain a garden to promote sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint. 

 Business complexes can also utilize enhanced grounds: 

 Outdoor offices – this trend continues to rise as teams venture outside (for some fresh air) for a change of scenery and team building opportunities. 

Welcoming guests – invite guests to relax on a bench before an appointment or meet with them at an outdoor table in the shade.  

Vendors – utilize the outdoor space for hosting special events like “Food Truck Friday,” ping pong, washers or horse shoes tournaments. 

 Designing specialized outdoor spaces encourages residents or workers to interact.  The campus environment builds a sense of community and promotes longevity. 

 Lay the groundwork to promote your business, by improving your curb appeal today. 

 

Are You Doing All You Can To Combat Superbugs?

It’s an unfortunate fact that in recent years, superbugs have become a concern and a threat to all of us. They are things we need to be aware of and pay attention to so that we can do the best we can to prevent them from spreading and doing more damage.

The latest superbug that is relevant to our area is C. auris, which the CDC just added to their list of “urgent threats”. This fungus has been quietly spreading across the world, but was most recently found in New York, New Jersey and Illinois, as well as solitary cases in other states. Nearly 600 cases have been confirmed across the US. This fungus preys on those with weakened immune systems, and in the last five years has taken a hold in a neonatal unit in Venezuela, a hospital in Spain, a British medical center, and has also shown up in India, Pakistan and South Africa. It is estimated that almost half of those infected die within 90 days.

Unfortunately, as things like fungus and bacterias become immune to medications, the focus needs to shift to facility cleanliness, personal hygiene, infection control and a cross-contamination efforts. It becomes imperative for organizations to alter the way that they clean so that nothing is able to remain there and multiply. Some fungus and bacteria can live on surfaces for weeks if the area is not properly cleaned and sanitized.

How does one go about sanitizing and ridding their facility of a potential superbug? The answer is that it requires specific products and processes. Even cleaning professional know that eradicating superbugs is no easy task. Cleaning and sanitizing methods that can spray and disinfect on both hard or soft surfaces, and reach into even the tightest spots will go a long way in assuring that bacteria and fungus cannot survive and wreak more havoc. Prevention and awareness are the best tools to use to help keep things like superbugs from spreading. If you have specific concerns, be sure to speak to your corporate cleaning partner about the ways that are available to keep your facility as clean and protected as possible.

How to Stay Healthy At Work

No one likes to be sick. We do our best to try to remain healthy and hope that our efforts are successful. Yet how do we know what things really make a difference in keeping ourselves well, and keeping our work surroundings sanitized and germ-free?

There are a variety of actions we can take in order to reduce employee sick time and help those that are still a little under the weather but come to work anyway from infecting others. You’ll want to be sure to keep things clean and as germ-free as possible. Disinfect things yourself if need be, but also be sure to talk to your cleaning crew and let them know that there’s a bug going around the office, or that more people than normal have fallen ill. This way steps can be taken to cleanse things a little more thoroughly, or more often. Remember that any equipment that touches employees’ hands is more likely to then carry germs. Disinfecting surfaces like telephones, doorknobs, kitchen handles, keyboards, and machine knobs or buttons is an especially good way to help combat infection.

There’s no perfect way to rid your building of germs. After all, it is estimated that a sneeze can contaminate surfaces up to 26 feet away. In addition, employees, customers, and visitors oftentimes come in when they’re sick, or fail to wash their hands as often as they should. A good plan is to remain vigilant about keeping all surfaces clean and disinfected, and to step things up should you experience an uptick in illness. Your cleaning company can assist with specific plans of action should your situation warrant them, as keeping things in your building safe, clean and germ-free is their goal.

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