The benefits of an annual maintenance program on your business
As the end of the year approaches, many businesses are engaging in budgetary planning. One area that is often overlooked is building maintenance management. Providing proper, preventative care to your building can reduce the risk of major unforeseen expenses that can completely decimate your budget.
In most situations, the benefits of an ongoing maintenance outweigh the cost. Whether your building is corporate or industrial, it’s important to have a clean space that is welcoming, healthy and safe for employees and visitors. Additionally, a maintenance program ensures your facility will be good-as-new year after year.
It may seem extravagant to put in place a continual preventative care plan for your space, but routine maintenance will only get you so far — before long, health violations, fading carpets and scratched floors will begin to show themselves. Facilities need both routine cleaning and a maintenance program to truly flourish.
Furthermore, beginning a program for the long-term care of your facility allows for increased organization and communication within a business. For example, if the floors are getting stripped and waxed, staff can refer to the program schedule and know to place chairs on their desks in preparation. By keeping the process transparent, a maintenance program can keep all of the staff informed and ensure their workplace meets proper cleanliness and presentation standards.
Budgeting and planning
The first step is to calculate the amount you’re willing to spend on a building maintenance program ahead of time. Even if you have limited funds, deep-cleaning services should be prioritized, as they can prolong the life of your facility and cut down future prohibitive costs that can result from untimely repairs. In order to budget wisely, try to prioritize the services essential to every facility, such as carpet cleaning, floor finishing, and bathroom steam cleaning. In our experience, we’ve found these non-janitorial services should utilize between 20 and 25 percent of your overall janitorial budget.
As is the case with many facilities, unexpected repairs and damages come up and may prompt the need to reschedule, rearrange, or postpone a deep cleaning service. One general rule of thumb is to have a maintenance price associated for the year. The added structure can help with prioritization, allowing the facility manager to consider which services are most critical when developing a schedule.
Breaking the schedule down: carpet cleaning
Every building owner should prioritize a thorough carpet cleaning on the maintenance program checklist. Not only are clean carpets easier and less expensive to maintain, they also trap the facility’s airborne pollutants. This is great for a facility as long as the pollutants do not fester within the carpet. If they do, carpet pollutants can tamper with the indoor air quality of a workplace. In addition, moist soiling in carpets can result in the buildup of several unhealthy contaminants, allergens and bacteria.
Keeping these risks in mind, carpet cleanings should take place at least twice a year. Extraction cleaning methods are the most effective, as they significantly impact indoor air quality for employees and clients and also prolong the life of the carpet and help maintain the carpet warranty. In most cases, warranties require that professional cleanings take place regularly.
Breaking down the schedule: floor finishing
To keep your facility looking sleek and professional, a regular floor strip and wax is a must. Whether you have a VCT (Vinyl Composition Tile), laminated or linoleum flooring, go for higher protection and a spotless shine through floor finishing. Bear in mind that different types of flooring require different finishes.
We recommend this process be done every 12 months, at a minimum. For high-traffic flooring, it is recommended to strip and wax every four to six months. You’ll know it’s time for a finishing if the floor looks yellowed, dull, and is difficult to clean.
Breaking down the schedule: steam cleaning bathrooms
A restroom, especially a public restroom, can be a germ-filled environment for employees and visitors. For this reason, facility managers should consider implementing a bathroom steam cleaning in their maintenance plans. Steam cleaning also should be used routinely on glazed tile areas in order to remove soap scum, hard water deposits and mildew.
While this service is recommended quarterly, it is important to steam clean regularly throughout flu season. Many schools and daycares rely on this method when counteracting contagious illnesses.
Overall, an annual maintenance program is essential in the upkeep of any facility. Whether it’s significantly improving the health and well-being of your staff or providing a clean and welcoming environment for visitors, there are countless reasons why it is a worthwhile investment.
There are dozens of flexible options to consider in the planning and budgeting phase, so when you’re making your budget for 2017, be sure to include preventative building maintenance to save you big money down the road.
Chris Sweeney is the president of City Wide of Richmond, a management company for the building maintenance industry.