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Is Your Commercial Cleaning Company Poisoning The Air In Your Office Building?

So you hire a commercial cleaning company to keep your office building clean. The floors are shiny, the door handles have been sanitized, toilets are cleaned, dust on desks and equipment has been removed, cubicle walls are cleaned and the garbage is thrown out regularly.

That’s a pretty solid cleaning routine in an office environment. It would be fair for you to believe you have provided a clean and healthy environment for staff and clients… right?

Not quite…

In a first-of-its-kind study, Environmental Defence tested the impact of cleaning products on indoor air quality. In all 14 studied households, levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) went up during cleaning.

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are gases that are emitted into the air from products or processes. Some are harmful by themselves, including some that cause cancer. In addition, they can react with other gases and form other air pollutants after they are in the air.

Watch Out For Products Containing Prohibited Ingredients

Prohibited ingredients in cleaning products include:

  • Toxic Air Contaminants
  • Great Waters Pollutants of Concern
  • Hazardous Air Pollutants
  • Global Warming Compounds
  • Ozone Depleting Compounds
  • Alkylphenol ethoxylates
  • Dibutyl phthalates
  • Heavy Metals (including arsenic, lead, cadmium, cobalt, copper, chromium, mercury, nickel and zinc)
  • Carcinogens as listed by: International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), National Toxicology Program, USA EPA, Occupational Health and Safety Administration
  • Carcinogens and Reproductive Toxins as listed in Proposition 65

Health Effects Of VOC’s In Products Commonly Used By Commercial Cleaning Companies

As with other pollutants, the extent and nature of the health effect will depend on many factors including level of exposure and length of time exposed. Scientifically proven health effects of exposure to VOC’s include:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
  • Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
  • Some organics can cause cancer in animals, some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.

Key Signs Or Symptoms Associated With Exposure To VOCs:

  • conjunctival irritation
  • nose and throat discomfort
  • headache
  • allergic skin reaction
  • dyspnea
  • declines in serum cholinesterase levels
  • nausea
  • emesis
  • epistaxis
  • fatigue
  • dizziness

Common Sources of VOCs In An Office / Home Environment:

  • paints, paint strippers and other solvents
  • wood preservatives
  • aerosol sprays
  • cleansers and disinfectants
  • moth repellents and air fresheners
  • stored fuels and automotive products
  • hobby supplies
  • dry-cleaned clothing
  • pesticides
  • building materials and furnishings
  • office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper
  • graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers and photographic solutions.

Indoor air quality has always been a key component of effective green cleaning. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a major control point from cleaning and sanitation products.

Studies are now showing that VOCs from cleaning products are also a large contributor to outdoor air pollution.

Make sure your commercial cleaning uses Green Cleaning products and processes.

Evergreen Building Maintenance is committed to Green Cleaning.

Call Evergreen Building Maintenance for a free quote for daily or weekly office cleaning services: 1-888-559-6870 or 250-999-2796

commercial janitorial company price quotes

How To Help Your Commercial Janitorial Company Give You Pricing In A Format So You Can Compare Quotes

Have you ever had a stack of commercial janitorial company pricing quotes for one facility that look like they are each for completely different buildings?

How do you compare commercial cleaning companies if the wording and descriptions in their quotes don’t seem to have anything in common?

This is a real problem for facility managers when trying to get the best value for their dollar.

Do you  go for the lowest price not understanding that it may not cover even the essential cleaning services you need?

Maybe you pick a premium priced quote thinking you will get a more professional cleaning company… and later you find out that company doesn’t even have experienced cleaning staff?

This is a common problem when the management doesn’t take care of its employees so there is a lot of employee turnover.  They can’t keep good employees, so their costs go up because they have to compensate for the mistakes of beginners.

Commercial Janitorial Company Pricing Factors

  • Labor costs
  • Insurance
  • Taxes
  • Employee benefits package
  • Direct costs like cleaning supplies, toilet paper
  • Equipment costs
  • Training costs for employees
  • Management fee
  • Profit

Janitorial Quotes – Factors You Need To Consider 

One of the best things you can do to make the job of comparing quotes easier is to be clear in your own mind what kind of services you are looking for.  Here are some idea starters:

  • What type of building is it?
  • What kind of business you operate?
  • What are your building’s traffic and use patterns?
  • Where is your facility located?
  • What are the labor costs in your area?
  • What scope of cleaning do you need?
  • Do you have any special requirements?
  • Do you need landscaping services?
  • Do you need parking lot maintenance?
  • Do you need general building maintenance from time to time?
  • Do you need a cleaning service that can be available during the day time?
  • Do you have special projects or interim needs?
  • What frequency of cleaning do you want?

Provide Your Janitorial Service With Solid Information So They Can Give You A Solid Quote 

  • Tell them the total square footage of your building
  • Break the square footage of each flooring type (carpet, hardwood, cement, marble, etc.)
  • How many people typically use your building during the day?
  • How many people use the building in the evenings?
  • Are people using the building on weekends?
  • Are there regular “special events” that need to be built into the quote?
  • How many washrooms are there?
  • How big are the washrooms?
  • What did your previous cleaning service miss or failed to do?

This type of information will help commercial janitorial services estimate how much cleaning supplies they will need.  They can establish budgets for trashcan liners, toilet paper, paper towels and hand soap.  If you have different flooring types, they can budget for time, materials and employees with specific expertise.

Remember to prioritize your “wants” and “must-have’s”.  Some companies may be able to give you a price break on services of more value to you.  In other cases it might be too expensive to include some services on a regular basis, but becomes affordable on less frequent basis.  For example, you may get your hardwood floors waxed every quarter instead of once a month.

Call now for a free, confidential commercial cleaning and building maintenance quote from a commercial janitorial company that provides transparent pricing:   1-888-559-6870 or 250-999-2796