Given the high rates of vaccination and lower rates of Covid-19 infections, many schools are planning to open for in-person classes in the fall. As an administrator, teacher, or parent, you want to ensure that facilities receive the school cleaning services they need to be safe, productive spaces for students. Learn more about the importance of effective commercial cleaning and janitorial services for schools and other educational centers.
Reasons to Choose Commercial School Cleaning Services
Because schools pose unique challenges to cleaning, many administrators and school boards choose to contract commercial cleaners instead of hiring their own janitors. While in-house staff can be effective, a commercial school cleaning services offers specialized knowledge and skills that are increasingly valuable in the post-pandemic environment.
While janitorial staff can do an excellent job, professional cleaners are just that: professionals. They have spent years specializing in the field, learning about new products and mastering new techniques. Furthermore, they regularly update their equipment and supplies due to changing technology and standards. Commercial cleaners also have the time to focus on staff training, which most school administrators may not be able to provide to their janitors.
Rules and Recommendations
Since schools receive children and adolescents, they may be subject to special regulations. These can include restrictions and recommendations on the use of chemicals, rules about background checks, guidance on indoor air quality, and limitations on interactions with students. A professional cleaning company is well-versed in the issues inherent in dealing with schools.
Beyond these school-related rules, however, there are many other regulations and recommendations regarding cleaning supplies. Certain chemicals can be toxic when misused, and a professional cleaning company will ensure that staff members understand and handle them properly. This guidance includes interactions with other chemicals, the need for ventilation, safe drying times, and application methods. Knowledgeable staff can help keep students safer.
Previous Technical Experience
In a similar vein, a clear benefit of commercial cleaners is the experience they can offer in terms of techniques. With a variety of surfaces and high-traffic areas, a school building can be a complicated space to clean. Flooring, for example, can vary from carpet and concrete to vinyl and wood. Each surface has its own requirements for care in terms of both technique and cleaning chemical.
School cleaning services understand that different surfaces require different kinds of care. They are familiar with various methods and chemicals and will create a cleaning plan that ensures their appropriate use.
Throughout the last year, the cleaning industry has had to pivot to address the pandemic adequately. Professional school cleaning service companies continually research cleaning techniques and chemicals that are CDC-recommended to prevent the spread of Covid-19. They also stay current on the latest news and trends, as scientific and government recommendations have changed.
Armed with this information, a professional cleaner can correctly assess the risk your facility’s layout and other attributes can pose to students and staff and create a plan to mitigate it.
This pandemic-related experience is particularly significant for schools that are opening for the first time. Facilities that have been unused for extended periods can develop mold, mildew, and other issues. A professional can offer the type of assessment and cleaning plan that in-house staff may not be able to provide.
One example of a recent change is the focus on ventilation. While surfaces continue to be a key cleaning area, health officials are now emphasizing the need for adequate airflow. A professional school cleaning service company can coordinate the cleaning of the school’s HVAC system so that it continues to function at the optimum level.
While in-house staff may need to follow a more standard schedule, an outsourced cleaning company can provide service at off-hours and on the weekends. Because cleaners have access to many staff, they can also easily fill needs created by one-off events such as activities and Covid-19 infections.
This versatility applies to the types of services the cleaner can provide. While in-house janitorial staff may be limited to standard daily cleaning, a professional company can offer specialized services. These can include window cleaning, pressure washing, and Covid-19 fogging. Since the company employs more people than one school does, they can easily add staff when needed without the complication of adding contracts or managing temporary workers.
These staff can also take on landscaping and event set-up roles due to the skill set and experience that a cleaning company offers.
Schools offer a unique set of challenges when it comes to cleaning. There are large numbers of people at certain times and no one at others. For in-house janitorial staff who work during the day, this daily routine may make it hard to perform even the most basic cleaning tasks without causing disruption. It can also make it almost impossible to do higher-level, long-term maintenance.
Professional cleaners, on the other hand, can work around school schedules. They have the option to use on-demand staffing to ensure facilities stay clean in the day while also performing additional duties at night and on the weekends. The result is a clean space with fewer inconveniences for students, teachers, and administrators.
For most schools, funding is a significant issue when it comes time to make decisions. In fact, it might even lead some schools not to consider a commercial cleaner. However, school cleaning services can be more cost-effective than in-house janitors when used properly. Benefits include savings on human resources, materials, and facility maintenance.
Commercial cleaners offer different types of cost savings. For example, schools pay for the service they need instead of paying for full-time janitorial staff. By doing so, they have the flexibility to make changes to staffing as necessary.
Cleaning chemicals and materials are another area of potential savings. A school cleaning service will provide, manage and store their own materials, which they can purchase in large volumes. Not only is this method more affordable, but it also ensures that chemicals are properly stored and discarded. As an added benefit, this management can protect children from improper chemical exposure.
Care for the Building
When making decisions about hiring a cleaner, administrators and other decision-makers should consider the long-term impact of a professional performing regular cleaning and maintenance. School facilities need to last for decades, so they benefit significantly from skilled upkeep.
One principal benefit is the ability to maintain records throughout the years. An in-house janitor may not be able to provide the long-term management needed to regularly perform deep cleaning, special treatments, pressure washing, and more.
A professional cleaning company may also be more proactive about periodic maintenance, such as deep cleaning or floor care. This type of regular upkeep will keep the facility in better shape over the long term.
Given the complexity involved in performing school cleaning services, it’s vital that the administration choose a responsible, experienced company. If you’re thinking of contracting a school cleaning service, contact DTK Facility Services. Founded in 1996, we have 25 years of experience as commercial cleaners.