Hiring a commercial cleaner for your school or educational facility is an important decision — but do you know what to look for in a professional commercial cleaning company?
In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of how to confidently select a commercial cleaning company so your facility stays safe, sparkling, and in full compliance.
The Importance of Commercial Cleaning Flexibility
Many commercial cleaning companies will quote a school like a regular commercial cleaning account — but does your cleaner really understand how your facility is different from most buildings?
Schools and educational facilities almost always operate on a limited budget, with the facility manager working overtime to conserve dollars and stretch cleaning stipends as far as they can possibly go.
Unlike a traditional office building with highly standardized flooring, restrooms and storage areas, schools are made up of a variety of facilities, with each one requiring a different type of maintenance. The first step when choosing a commercial cleaner for your school is to gauge their familiarity with school facilities, and pay attention to the questions they ask in order to form a proposal.
A good commercial cleaner will lead the conversation by asking you where the gaps in your cleaning services lie. Most schools have an on-site cleaning crew, or janitor, to monitor and maintain daily upkeep. A professional commercial cleaner is a terrific compliment to this system, and can help alleviate the burden of deep cleaning, disinfecting, correct chemical applications, and more.
Additionally, depending on the size of your facility, you may or may not need a contract that stipulates that the entire building is serviced on a consistent basis. Check with your commercial cleaning to see if they offer fully unbundled options that include pricing for different areas of your building (cafeteria, hallways, classrooms, gymnasiums) as opposed to one umbrella contract servicing the entire building.
Packages vs. Programs: Only Pay for What You Need
In addition to facility design being varied, schools are different from office buildings in one other big way: occupation days.
Ask your commercial cleaner if they offer the option of bidding on ‘student contact days’. Student contact days stipulate a specific number of days per year that students are occupying the facility being serviced, and therefore impact the frequency and magnitude of cleaning needed.
A good commercial cleaning company will quote you by calculating the cost of total annual service days, and outline the overall facility cleaning plan based on the amount of facility occupancy at any given point during the year.
Depending on the size of your school, you may also find that a combination of in-house janitorial staff and commercial cleaning best suits your maintenance needs. In cold and flu season, a commercial cleaner can provide seasonal assistance by disinfecting high touch-point areas and cleaning up high-traffic areas experiencing increased dirt, snow and salt build-up. In spring and summer, services like high dusting and pressure washing help keep your facility free from dirt and grime.
At Vanguard Cleaning Systems of Minnesota, we are proud to offer guaranteed pricing on commercial cleaning services for up to three years at a time — no contract necessary. Learn more about our programs HERE.
Knowing How to Maintain a Building: Old vs. New
Inappropriate cleaning methods or harsh chemicals can be destructive to historic buildings, especially when applied by crews who are unfamiliar with a building’s design.
Many school campuses have a unique combination of needs: older, traditional hallway corridors with updated flooring, mixed material countertops or expanded campuses with inconsistent interiors. Hiring a commercial cleaner who understands how to treat and maintain these areas is critical to elongating the life of your building.
Something to ask your commercial cleaner is, “Do you assign the same crew for my entire cleaning contract?” Ideally, the answer is yes.
Assigning a single crew allows the team assigned to your facility to become deeply knowledgeable of your building, its unique needs, and allows the crew time to anticipate the best methods to keep your facility in excellent condition.
For example: many Montessori schools prefer green cleaning initiatives, but still expect the same level of sanitation and shine as more traditional cleaning methods. A good cleaning crew will be able to discern what approach to take and which chemicals to use in order to stay in compliance with green cleaning methods and still deliver a fabulous result.
Vanguard Cleaning Systems of Minnesota helps match the perfect crew to your school facility, and will keep them on for the entire length of your cleaning contract. Learn more at vanguardcleaningminn.com.
Different Services for Different Seasons
When you think of hiring a commercial cleaner, do you think of them being a one-stop shop for all your commercial cleaning needs?
Ideally, you should.
A truly great commercial cleaner won’t stop at a basic cleaning agreement, only to check back in once your yearly commitment has expired. Instead, hold out for someone who partners with you in revitalizing your building with lesser-known cleaning methods like window cleaning, strip and wax floor care, and post-construction clean up.
In the same way no two buildings are the same, no two commercial cleaning contracts should be the same. And while it might seem more convenient to pay for a cut-and-dried cleaning package, the reality is all pre-constructed cleaning packages contain certain elements a facility doesn’t need.
Avoid overpaying by selecting a commercial cleaner who unbundles their services and works with you to identify what you need, and what you don’t. As seasons change, you may find you no longer need services like carpet cleaning but are in need of enhanced disinfecting. Does your commercial cleaner add or remove services so you can “grow as you go”?
At Vanguard Cleaning Systems of Minnesota, we help you build the perfect cleaning package to meet the unique needs of your educational facility.
Learn more about our custom cleaning services at vanguardcleaningminn.com.
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