Cleaning when the weather gets cold can be tough, especially if the responsibilities are outside. Because many businesses tend to keep the heat low or off when no one is in the facility, it can also make cleaning and sanitizing the inside of the facility tougher for you as well. To make your job easier, consider several things before and during cold weather months.
While many clients want their environment clean and presentable, they don’t consider the consequences of not maintaining their systems to heat and cool the facility and keep their employees safe from germs and viruses. It’s your job to clean and kill germs, viruses and other potential dangers – but those dangers can also exist in systems used to heat and cool the facility.
Find Out How the Facility is Heated
Talk to the person in charge of setting heating and air systems. Find out what temperatures the facility is set at all times and how often they’re maintained. Some facilities may have adjustable thermostats located throughout the building — some areas are colder and some are warmer. Some facilities may use baseboard heaters and standard air conditioners, while others use a large HVAC system. If you understand how the facility heats the building, it will help with your cleaning tasks and where to focus your efforts more during cold weather.
Suggest cleaning those systems by a professional if it’s something you can’t do. Some systems are easy to maintain, but others require a professional approved by the manufacturer to maintain the warranty. Simply changing a filter on a routine basis can go a long way and make your job easier because it won’t spread dust and debris.
Outside Cleaning Tasks
Tackle outside cleaning tasks before the weather gets cold. Even simple tasks, such as cleaning windows or blowing leaves off sidewalks can require extra work in cold weather because of how weather effects the environment. Frost can also complicate outdoor tasks.
You may have to do it all year long, but getting ahead of it can save time and money. It’ll make things much easier when the weather gets really cold.
Products, such as Red Clay Stain Remover works better in warmer environments. Because it’s used on concrete and other outdoor surfaces, it’s critical to tackle those surfaces before the weather gets cold.
“Super Clean” Before the Weather Gets Cold
When the heat is turned on, it can blow dust and other particles around. Because many facilities run on an automated heat and air system, air conditioning holds particles and dust, then turning on the heat releases them. Get ahead of it, so each cleaning task is easier to do during cold weather. Although you and your staff do the cleaning, the client may not consider these things. Their attempt to save money on heating and air conditioning can turn into your worst nightmare while you’re attempting to keep a facility clean and sanitized.
A thorough vacuuming, dusting and general cleaning will assist you to get ahead of it. Break down the tasks so the facility’s employees assist you. Send a quick note or email to ask them to clear their areas and lift items out of areas to assist in vacuuming quickly. After that task is done, ask them to clean their work areas to prepare for dusting and cleaning work spaces.
Wear Extra Layers
Because most cleaning is done during non-working hours in a facility, protect yourself by wearing warmer clothes. Facilities are often cold during those hours because many businesses adjust the heat to a lower level or turn it off. Suggest the same to your employees so they don’t get sick or have to deal with the cold. If you wear layers, you can remove them if you get warm during your cleaning process.
Consider taking the extra precaution of wearing protective gear, such as a mask, when the heat is turned on. Some facilities don’t take the time to clean the duct work, furnace or HVAC unit. This can lead to spreading germs when the vents are turned on or open to heat a facility. Even a simple task such as dusting can stir up dirt and germs from the heating and air conditioning system. Not only that, when one employee in the facility gets sick from the environment, it leads to everyone getting the same virus or infection.
Use More Aggressive Cleaners During Cold Months
Cold weather often brings mold, mildew, viruses and insects inside. It makes your job harder. During colder months, use more aggressive cleaners, such as bleach and pure pine oil to assist in tackling many issues that cold weather brings. For areas that attract moisture, such as bathrooms, aggressive cleaning products will keep mold, mildew, insects and other cleaning nuisances at bay.
If the facility requires organic or green cleaning products, find products that can do the job more aggressively without using products that may not be green. Because there are technically no standards for these products, you may be able to use more aggressive products every now and then.