Even though students and teachers will be breaking for the summer, one of the hardest jobs is just beginning for school maintenance departments. With the usual busy halls of schools being empty until late August or early September, it’s the best time for custodial and janitorial services to implement required maintenance. Here are some ways in which the school and janitorial services provider can work together to get campuses ready for the first day of school and prepare for the rest of the school year.
Make a Plan with Your Janitorial Company
Summer cleaning shouldn’t be a haphazard process. Janitorial services providers should have clear, thorough and well-laid plans for cleaning during the summer hiatus. This will not only benefit the school but also helps the cleaning company remain accountable for the work to be done. By having a written plan in place, it’s easier to keep track of what needs to be done. This way, when the first day of school arrives, you will have a cleaner and well-maintained environment.
Key Areas to Focus on in the Summer Months
In the absence of people in the school’s halls and classrooms during the summer, floor cleaning, detailing, waxing and refinishing should be a top priority. Summer is the best time to do this because floor cleaning can be disruptive to the school learning environment. Meanwhile, weekends don’t provide enough time to get floors cleaned to the levels they could be while school is out. Consistent traffic can be hard on flooring, and over time dirt, salt and other types of sediment may wear into flooring. Floor maintenance like carpet cleaning, floor stripping and scrubbing are necessary when trying to extend the life of your flooring and combating filth. By noting which areas or classrooms appear to be the most worn down, cleaners have the information necessary to get more life out of your flooring. Additionally, some of the latest technology advancements may be able to leave your floors looking brand new.
Windows should be washed inside and out. This ensures that they are effectively bringing in the most daylight possible. Windows are a beautiful feature of schools, but are also subject to pollen, natural debris, bird droppings, spider webs, grease spots and more. These are not only eye sores but also cause sanitation issues. To restore your windows to their natural beauty and keep them as sanitary as possible, a deep cleaning can help. By doing so in the summer, you’re avoiding bothering classes in session. Moreover, you’re able to address safety concerns that can be caused by bad weather.
Having a clean, well-operating HVAC system in your school not only improves indoor air quality (IAQ) but creates a safer environment for students. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average age of a United States public school building in the 2012-2013 school year was 44 years old, with at least 54% of all public schools needing at least one major renovation. Older buildings may have mismatched systems and technologies that only a certified building engineer can determine are working efficiently. The visual inspection and testing of a system is required, particularly if a system has been shut down or turned off for a period of time, such as during COVID-19 lockdown, to detect if mold, legionella or other dangerous microbes might be present. In such cases, the environmental cleaning of the current system may be necessary. However, a certified technician should decide if environmental cleaning is sufficient or if replacement of contaminated components will be required.
A deep cleaning of student restrooms should be a top priority. Although they should receive daily surface cleaning, some areas are likely to form additional build-up, which should be addressed. The cracks and crevices of stall partitions can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so they should be checked and given a thorough cleaning and disinfecting. Every nook and cranny should be scrubbed down. This includes all plumbing fixtures such as sinks, toilets and urinals. Summer also provides an opportunity to freshen up and detail all of the soap and paper towel dispensers.
School’s Out, Cleaning is In
Summer break is a time for students and teachers to relax, but it’s also the most important moment for the school to address serious cleaning concerns. Janitorial services providers work hard to ensure a safe and cohesive environment for the start of the school year. This is done in large part by making a plan between the school and custodians to ensure every aspect of the cleaning process is being addressed. Certain areas may require more attention than others, but one thing remains the same: a clean school is a healthy school.