Facility Dude

Get the dirt on cleaning your building

By Kate Donnelly
Jun 20, 2015

Facilities Management

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Get the dirt on cleaning your building Most facilities employ a custodial staff that's responsible for vacuuming, mopping and taking care of other general cleanliness needs. But when it comes to the exterior of your building, that's a whole other story.

Unlike carpets or floors, brickwork and windows can be difficult, expensive and dangerous to clean. This may lead some facility managers to put off these tasks as long as possible. While you likely don't need to wash your windows as often as you vacuum your floor or empty your trash, it's a worthwhile time investment to develop a regular cleaning schedule for your building's exterior.

Assess your situation

Every facility is different. In fact, this applies not just to the building itself but also to the area it's located in. A variety of factors from weather to population density to the type of vegetation can impact the aesthetic wear and tear your building goes through, so you should begin your planning by taking these factors into account. For example, is your building located in an area with a lot of pollen-producing trees? This type of foliage can also be a haven for nesting birds, which can add to your exterior issues. High-traffic buildings also tend to need a deep clean more often than others. the function of your building can also impact how often it needs to be cleaned.

Analyze your options

Deciding when and how often to clean your building is important, but it's just the first step. There are several important decisions that must be made next. For example, whether you take on the task of cleaning your exterior yourself or hire out a third-party company to do it. While keeping things in-house may be appealing from a cost perspective, it's often not feasible for multi-floor buildings, as cleaning these usually requires special equipment and training. Similarly, professional cleaning companies are much more informed as to which products are most effective for certain types of surfaces - and which may even damage your building.

Use the right tools

If you do decide to take the task on yourself, make sure you're properly equipped with the tools and materials you'll need. Standard cleaning products may not be effective on the industrial scale of most buildings. Similarly, if your facility is environmentally conscious, you'll likely want to explore eco-friendly cleaning alternatives, such as using a vinegar solution to clean windows without harsh chemicals or an unsightly residue.

Keep track of everything

Cleaning your building should be a regular occurrence. Just like any other type of building maintenance, it's essential to keep track of how often it's done, and how much it costs, so you can fit window-cleaning into your operations budget and maintenance schedule. Fortunately, you can use Web-enabled tools like CMMS to make this process much simpler. In fact, your maintenance staff can even update this information on the go with mobile devices, leaving you one less thing to worry about as an administrator.

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