The debut of a new office is extremely important. A tremendous amount of time, money and effort goes into new builds and remodels, so having them shine, when completed, is critical.
But it isn’t just aesthetics that are important. Post-construction dust can be harmful to the health of the building’s occupants and settles on furnishings, carpet, wall hangings, windows and fittings, sanitary fittings, walls, hard surfaces and tile floors. The residue left after construction is hard to remove, requiring special equipment, products and expertise.
Despite even the best efforts of the contractor, construction dust will make its way into a building’s ductwork, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), can exacerbate lung conditions such as asthma. Additionally, materials that contain fibers, such as fiberglass composite materials or insulation, can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory tract when dispersed in the air. Also, if left untreated, these particulates can have an impact on all building occupants during flu and allergy seasons.
For all of these reasons, contractors usually rely on professionals that offer post-construction cleaning services. Post-construction cleaning professionals will scope the job properly and use the required equipment and products, which typical janitorial staff may not have on hand, to remove the dirt and residue completely and provide a clean and safe environment for the building’s occupants. Post-construction cleaning professionals are also required to carry insurance in case there are any issues.
In most instances cleaning would include high-powered vacuuming with a backpack in order to remove drywall dust from the premise, carpet cleaning, glass cleaning and damp wiping of walls and other surfaces with microfibre clothes. If new vinyl tile was installed, it may need a coat of wax. Therefore, it is important to scope the work properly to ensure that the proper tasks are completed.
A construction environment is one of constantly changing schedules, so it is important that cleaning takes place quickly and efficiently in order to meet critical timelines for the project. In some cases, cleaning is required periodically throughout the project; therefore, coordination or adaptive scheduling with the other trades and quick turn-around service is imperative.
What to expect
Exterior cleaning requirements
Depending on the extent of a renovation project, or with a new build, exterior cleaning services may be required. Walkways, entryways and outside common areas are the first thing that visitors will notice. Sweeping, power washing and wipe downs of all exterior fixtures are essential for creating a great first impression.
Interior cleaning requirements
Construction dust and residue hides in many unknown places. It’s important to find these areas and quickly restore carpets, floors, windows and other surface areas through thorough and detailed cleaning procedures. Tasks should include:
- High-level dusting
- Cleaning and sanitizing air diffusers and ducts, light fixtures, restroom fixtures, windows and fittings, walls and hard-surface areas
- Vacuuming and full restoration cleaning of carpets
- New hard-floor finishing or pre-existing floor refinishing
- Removal of debris and hazardous materials
When the dust settles
Whether an organization is considering an office renovation or is in the middle of one, post-construction cleaning should be a key project consideration. Post-construction cleaners will work with the construction contractor to keep the job site clean throughout the renovation process, or, depending on the extent of the project, they can come in when the trades have completed their work.
Construction and renovation projects can shut down an office or other commercial space for months at a time, which can negatively impact business. A professional cleaning will make a space spotless and improve indoor air quality for employees, tenants and customers as quickly as possible to prevent any further disruption to the operation of a company.
Gavin Bajin is director of business services at ServiceMaster of Canada. He and his team support 70 franchises, delivering janitorial, commercial carpet cleaning and specialty cleaning services from coast to coast.