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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

Customer Service Satisfaction Level High

How The Right Commercial Cleaning Company Can Give You A Competitive Edge

A clean and well maintained business is part of a strategy for providing top notch customer service.

We live in a very competitive world now.  It takes a time, energy and money to attract customers.  The next challenge is to keep them.  You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

When a client visits your facility they expect a certain standard of décor and cleanliness.  All it takes is a small sign of lack of care and a client can get turned off.

Having The Right Decor Is Not Enough

Yes, you can have the best furnishings, design and artwork, but if there is even a little bit of trash on the floor, the building doesn’t smell right or if the carpet has stains, your client will become uncomfortable.  That might be enough for them to start looking for another place to spend their money.

If a client visits the lobby in your office and sees a nice, clean environment, they get a good feeling about your company.  When they visit your office or the boardroom and it is perfectly clean, organized and well maintained they gain confidence in doing business with you.  All this happens on a subconscious level even before they know the details of what you are offering.

Choosing The Right Commercial Cleaning Service

Of course, you know all this.  It’s not news to you.  However, when was the last time you felt your cleaning company really ‘got’ how important this is for your success?  Does your commercial cleaning company really “care”?  Do they go out of their way to notice what needs cleaning and just take care of it?  Or, do they keep hoping that you won’t notice and get defensive when you bring it up?

Just as an unclean environment tells your clients you are not a true “professional”, when a cleaning company constantly needs to be monitored, that’s not professionalism either.

In order for you to put your best foot forward for you clients, you need a commercial janitorial company that cares enough to proactively take care of the cleaning without you having to monitor the small day-to-day details.

When clients see that you pay attention to even the small details of cleanliness they understand that you truly value their business.

Things Your Commercial Janitorial Service Should Automatically Take Care Of

Pay attention to the areas where the customers spend their time. The upholstered furniture in waiting areas should be spotless.  Leather surfaces should be squeaky clean.  Metal should be shiny, with no blemishes or rust.  Countertops need to be cleaned and sanitized often.  Drapes, windows and blinds need to be dusted, often.  Hardwood floors should be polished.  Carpet should always be completely spotless.

These are minimum expectations.

When a professional cleaning crew gets familiar with your office or building, they will notice many small and potentially big problems on a day-to-day level.  They will handle anything that needs to be taken care of automatically.  If there are expenses involved they will run it by you, but you will never have to worry about not looking good for your clients.

Daily Or Weekly Cleaning Service

Depending on your needs, a daily or weekly cleaning contract gives a professional commercial cleaning company the ability to get to know your facility and your needs.

Evergreen Building Maintenance has been in business for over 30 years.  We specialize in providing daily and weekly cleaning for offices, office buildings, retail shopping malls, medical offices and more.

If you want to work with a commercial janitorial service that is willing to “partner” with you in making your business look its best, give us a call: 1-888-559-6870 or 250-999-2796.

Commercial janitorial services company and Commercial cleaning services

How The Right Commercial Janitorial Services Company Can Increase Profits And Decrease Expenses

Facility managers are under constant pressure to reduce costs even though real costs of managing a facility keep increasing. So, how do you perform to excellence when your budget may not be what you want?

Among the expenses you manage, the cost of a commercial janitorial contractor can add up pretty quickly. If you scale back their services, you could end up with a dirty facility. That’s not going to be acceptable for anyone.

So what do you do? How do you maintain the clean, fresh environment that motivates clients to buy and staff to think clearly?

Here are some ideas you can take to the bank:

Use “Smart” Cleaning Strategies

The first thing to do is to involve your commercial janitorial services company and simply ask them “how can we maintain our high cleaning standards and reduce expenses”?

You’ll be surprised at the practical answers you will get. Your commercial cleaning company understands the pressures you face every day.  Although they won’t be willing to provide the same amount of work for less money, they will be eager to help because they want to keep the contract.

The people who deal with the nitty-gritty details of keeping your facility clean know where there is waste of time and resources. Study your facility with them and analyze where you can reduce expenses.

Look at each cleaning zone and your specifications list.  See if you can find areas that get less wear and tear but are thoroughly cleaned every day.  You might only need the thorough cleaning once a month.  Maybe some rooms are heavily used once a week but not in between.  Look at areas that would be fine if they were cleaned on alternate days. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save simply by reducing the labour cost of commercial janitorial services.

Just be careful to not slash services without discussing them with your cleaning contractor.  Some services definitely should not be reduced like entryway cleaning and washrooms.

Save Money With The Right Chemicals, Tools And Equipment

Your janitorial budget depends on the amount of time the cleaning company spends on your facility.  By using the most up-to-date tools and equipment they will be able to provide a high standard of cleaning in less time.

When you sign up a new commercial janitorial services company or at contract renewal time, specify that you want them to use the latest technology that is appropriate for your facility.  Also specify that you expect their equipment to always be functioning at top levels and that they will replace equipment that is over a certain age.

While the commercial janitorial services company will want to keep using their “perfectly good” equipment even if it is decreasing in efficiency, you know it takes them longer to achieve the same clean if their equipment is wearing out.  This is costing you money in labour costs, so you have a right to specify that they use the best technology available to do the job.

The latest equipment will also save you money on water, chemicals and energy.  Make sure they are using the most cost-efficient chemicals and tools to do the job.

Consider A High Staff Turnover As A Source Of Excess Expenses

If a commercial janitorial services company has a high staff turnover rate it means there is something going on with the management.  Are they treating their workers properly?  Will poor treatment of their workers spill over into poor quality work?

Cleaning staff becomes more efficient the longer they are in the job and the longer they have been cleaning your facility.  If you keep seeing new cleaning staff you know their efficiency is likely to be down.  They will need to spend more time and are likely to use up more chemicals and produce are lower quality of cleaning.  Some staff turnover is natural, but if it becomes excessive, have a chat with your commercial cleaning services contractor.

Ensure The Cleaning Company Staff Provides Quality Health And Safety Training

Worker’s Compensation costs add up quickly.  If your janitorial cleaning company staff keep getting into accidents or breaking things this cost will be factored into the quote you get for the service.

Also, if the commercial cleaning company doesn’t enforce the use of safety procedures like warning signs when the floor is wet, you could have claims from people having accidents.  This not only costs you money, but it also affects the reputation of your company.

Communicate clearly with your commercial janitorial cleaning company that you expect their staff to be thoroughly trained in safety procedures affecting the cleaning staff as well as the people using the facility.

Evergreen Building Maintenance will work with you to maximize your cleaning on a limited budget.

If you are looking for a commercial janitorial services company, give us a call for a free, confidential quote:   1-888-559-6870 or 250-999-2796

Commercial Cleaning Company - The College Of The Rockies

Commercial Cleaning Company Gets An A-Ok At Prestigious College Of The Rockies!

Evergreen Building Maintenance Inc. was awarded the commercial cleaning company contract this summer for the College Of The Rockies in Cranbrook BC.

“It was a tough bidding process against some of the top commercial cleaning companies in BC” says Ranjit Takhar President of Evergreen Building Maintenance.

The contract for cleaning College Of The Rockies is considered quite prestigious since it is the main college serving 6 or 7 cities in the Kootenays and is also one of the primary attractions of Cranbrook, BC.

Approximately 2,500 busy full time busy students use 200,000 sq. ft. of high traffic space including classrooms, indoor and outdoor recreational areas, parking lots, food courts and medical training facilities.  This is quite a challenge considering the College requires a wide variety of expertise from its commercial cleaning company 365 days a year.

Takhar says “This contract proves we are ready to take on larger federal / educational institutions that require full-time day porters and consistent high volume service.”

The RFP from the College was clear that it only wanted to deal with companies that could guarantee that “the work shall be performed by fully trained persons, competent in the particular operation assigned to them.”

Not An Easy Job For Any Commercial Cleaning Company

This is a busy college campus.  They don’t have time for small companies that can’t provide “fully trained” staff for all aspects of the commercial cleaning duties.

Right from the start it was clear that the College Of The Rockies wanted competent who can clean according to “specifications” using the “best techniques of the trade”.

Meeting the “specifications” would require a mature commercial cleaning company that can consistently supply:

  • All labour needed to do the job, at all times. If someone gets sick, they must be able to provide a replacement worker instantly, including another supervisor, if needed.
  • All cleaning supplies, chemicals and materials like sealers, waxes, plastic garbage bags, liners, tampons, sanitary napkins and disposal bags must be of good quality.
  • The commercial cleaning company must have all necessary equipment like polishers, commercial grade vacuums, auto scrubbers, buffers, carpet extractors, etc. and they have to be less than five years old.
  • All materials and chemicals must meet Canada Standards of Safety.

Using the “best techniques of the trade” means each and every person on the job must be thoroughly trained and have experience.  The College would not tolerate amateur “mistakes” commonly made by newbies.  A thorough cleaning and sanitizing of high priority areas would be required every day including:

  • Healthcare facilities such as dental labs, nursing labs and first aid classrooms.
  • Cafeteria and chef’s training classrooms and kitchens.
  • Daycare areas.
  • Aboriginal Gathering Place

“Extras” Are Included In The Contract

In addition to all scheduled cleaning, the commercial cleaning company is expected to

  • wash walls, ceilings, doors and window frames
  • floor stripping and refinishing
  • window cleaning inside and outside the building
  • clean the atrium and glass walls
  • clean light fixtures, lens and interior of fixtures
  • clean dust from ceiling

All tasks must be performed without breaching security measures and in accordance with fire and emergency regulations.

Since the College Of The Rockies is a public institution they also wanted to make sure the commercial cleaning company treats its workers properly.  The contract would only be awarded to a company that could prove that it pays its workers properly and on time.  All workers must be covered by Workers Compensation.

Comprehensive general liability insurance would be required by the company and all employees must have a Commercial Fidelity Bond in order to protect the College, its agents and “servants”.

When you look at all the requirements and scope of service, only an established company would be able to handle the job…new companies and small companies need not apply.

Fortunately, Evergreen Building Maintenance was able to provide proof that they could meet and exceed all the requirements of the College Of The Rockies at a great price!

Congratulations to all the local people that will be working to keep the College Of The Rockies looking beautiful!

If you have a local business, whether it’s small or large, Evergreen Building Maintenance has the in-house resources to keep your premises clean all year long.

Call now for a commercial cleaning company quote 1-855-824-8450 or 250-869-5165.

We’ll do a walkthrough of your building and build a custom strategy to get the best clean every day you come to work!

Commercial cleaning company office building

How The Right Commercial Cleaning Company Can Make Overall Building Maintenance Easier

A commercial cleaning company normally does not get involved in the overall building maintenance of a facility.

But whether your client caters to students in a dorm, office employees, patients in a medical facility, or travelers and guests I a hotel they will form an overall opinion about your company based on their experience of the physical aspects of the facility.

Initially, your customers expect quick and hassle-free parking.  When they enter the building they expect a clean, comfortable, and well-functioning building.  If they don’t get that, their attitude changes.

It’s important to make sure your building maintenance staff that improves customer attitudes and provides great experiences for a long-lasting, positive impression of your company and facility.

When this occurs, they will leave with a positive experience.

Sometimes You Need More Than Just A Commercial Cleaning Company

Does your facility operate like clockwork? If you operate your facility by outsourcing each service to a different company you are going to end up wasting a lot of time.  It takes up valuable time to look for someone you can trust to deliver the standard of service required by your facility.  If you make a quick decision and just go with the most impressive looking presentation, you are likely to end up paying a high dollar and still you may end up disappointed.

Outsourcing individual services to different companies demands more of your time supervising and explaining how your building works.

Consistency is another consideration.  If you have several companies you turn to for various needs, each will have its own staff turnover.  That means the quality of service is not likely to be consistent… then you are back at square one, trying to find a company that can provide the standard of service you require.

Ease Your Building Maintenance Burden With Seamless Care

Think of it this way:  If you hire an established, fairly large, experienced commercial cleaning company they will have much of the building maintenance expertise you will need from time to time.  You may not need building maintenance services every day, but a relatively large commercial cleaning company will have specialists “floating around” in the area that they can pull to provide the services you need.

Since this kind of commercial cleaning company is already working in your facility, their project manager will be familiar with the requirements of your building.  They will be able to orient and train the building maintenance person rather than you getting stuck with that task, when you could be doing other things.

You wouldn’t have to worry about consistency of service because the people looking after your facility will know what you expect.  They have been providing the standard of cleaning that you expect, so they will make sure their building maintenance people perform to that level.

Maybe its window washing, preventive maintenance or commercial handyman services. Or, it could be HVAC repair or light construction. If you already have a good relationship with your commercial cleaning and janitorial services contractor, why not work with them to coordinate other needs within your building? Skip phone calls, hiring, supervising and follow up with multiple service contractors and pass along this part of your business to a company you already have a relationship with that you trust.

Problem solved!

When you hire a commercial cleaning company look for their ability to do a variety of tasks, as a company, even though you won’t need all of their services every day.

Evergreen Building Maintenance has been a leader in the commercial cleaning business in BC and Alberta.  With a full time crew of 156 fully trained personnel and growing; we can provide a wide variety of building maintenance services on an “as needed” basis.  Some of our services include:

  •     Building Maintenance
  •     Commercial Cleaning
  •     Janitorial Services
  •     Property Caretaking
  •     Landscaping Services
  •     Parking Lot Maintenance
  •     Bundled Services
  •     Technology & Innovation

Call now for a free, confidential commercial cleaning and building maintenance quote:   1-888-559-6870 or 250-999-2796