How to Prepare for the Janitor to Clean your Office

janitor cart used to clean office buildingWhile most people assume a janitor is a maid for your office, this assumption is wrong. A Janitor or Custodian someone entrusted with maintaining a property. This does not mean they put away your files or organize your desk, they dust your property, gather and empty trash and trash bins, clean building floors by sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming them, clean bathrooms and stock them with soap, toilet paper, and other supplies and other similar tasks. Since they will be near your desks and offices, there are a few things you should do to prepare for a janitorial staff to come to your office.

More than likely your desk covered in piles of paperwork, files and reports. Many of us are inundated at work, and organizing our desks is not a priority. However, if you know your office is scheduled to be cleaned, we urge you to clear enough area on and around your desk in order for your janitor to properly clean and sanitize your work space.

Your janitor is instructed NOT to move or disturb items on counters and desks, which include frames, papers, laptops, awards, trinkets, etc. We understand that it is our responsibility to clean all areas of your office; however, it’s hard to accomplish this task and ensure the safety of your belongings without a little help. So help us provide you with the highest quality cleaning service possible.

Every team member at Servicemaster of Wake County goes through continued ongoing professional training on our specialty equipment, cleaning products, company polices and cleaning procedures to ensure they are familiar with the best cleaning practices to be benefit your business and office space. This is just one reason why Servicemaster of Wake County if the Triangle’s most trusted cleaning professionals. Request your FREE estimate today and see why after 20 years in business and a long list of satisfied clients in the Triangle that keeps growing, can’t be wrong about Servicemaster of Wake County!

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378 Hits

Why Your Business’s Bathroom is More Important for Business than you think

ave you ever thought about how important a bathroom is for your company? While most people don’t want to talk about the bathroom, the truth is that your business’s image revolves around a variety of factors…including your bathroom. Many of the factors that affect your business have nothing to do with the actual business; it has to do with your image. From the logo of your letterhead to the chairs in your waiting room to the cleanliness of your bathroom, your business reputation relies on more than just business.

If your business is in the service or hospitality industry, the cleanliness of your bathrooms for customer use are imperative in good customer service. Think about the last time you went to a restaurant that has a dirty bathroom; did you go back or recommend it to a friend? Probably not. The truth is that the cleanliness of the bathroom can often be the main point of topic in a conversation when describing ones experience at your establishment.

A clean bathroom at your business can eliminate the opportunity for complaints, projects a clean image (literally) and will develop a trust with customers. When you have a clean bathroom for your customers, you have happy customers, and happy customers are return customers and customers who send referrals.

Now that you understand the importance of a clean bathroom for your customers you’ll understand why Servicemaster Clean of Wake County takes such pride and care in their cleaning procedures for bathrooms. Servicemaster Clean technicians are highly trained on Capture and Removal Cleaning®, a patented system that includes detailed procedures for cleaning including products, equipment and techniques. A very important aspect of this system is the use of color-coordinated microfiber towels to ensure the color assigned for restrooms is not to be used in any other area of the office. The eliminates the transfer of germs and chemicals.

Make sure that trained professionals, such as the team at Servicemaster of Wake County, clean your office restrooms frequently and thoroughly. Remember, the size of the restroom and how often it’s used will determine the cleaning frequency. If your restrooms are cleaned more frequently then the use of harsh chemicals such as bleach are limited. However, if not adequately maintained, more abrasive products and methods are required, which can be unsafe for humans and harmful to the environment. A properly maintained restroom requires fewer products.

Request your free estimate today and get on your way to not only a cleaner office restroom, but also happier customers and increased business.

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260 Hits

How to Prevent Carpet Wicking

White carpet with dirt spots being vacummedTo approach the question, how to prevent carpet wicking; we need to understand what causes carpet wicking and what it is. Carpet wicking is when a spill or soiled area is able to penetrate deep into the carpet and even once the carpet is cleaned, the stain still reappears days later. In technical terms, wicking is the result of soil trapped in carpet padding or subflooring that moves to the tips of carpet fibers as it dries after cleaning.

The best way to prevent wicking is to clean up the spot or spill immediately after it occurs, don’t let it sit and penetrate into the carpet. If you aren’t able to get to the spill immediately, cleaning using a technique called low-moisture mode can help. This will extra the residual soiled area once it dries without adding too much additional moisture.

While it can be tempting to repeatedly attempt the clean the area, the addition of water will cause the stain to show up deeper and more prominent once dried. Cleaning the area and drying it immediately is key.

There are absorbent powders that will absorb moisture and soils that normally wick to the surface but those should be applied and used by professionals only.

If someone spills something on the carpet at your office, clean it up immediately and make note of the area for the cleaning crew to treat with care when they come in to clean your carpets at the workplace. Carpet cleaning, especially commercial should be left to the professionals to prevent and treat wicking. Call Servicemaster of Wake County for a free estimate on treating your carpets today!

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318 Hits

Is Green Cleaning Worth the Price?

Green cleaning bukect and productsClimate change is constantly in the news, causing people to be concerned with “green” initiatives and being environmentally friendly. One of the most common deterrents from the “going green” practices is the fear of increased cost. People assume that if a company offers “green” options, they are automatically more expensive. There is little truth in this argument.

One report, performed by the Green Business Association of California, found that the phrase “it takes green to go green” might not entirely be based in fact. While green cleaning products were slightly more expensive on average than standard cleaning products, this differentiation was largely insignificant. Additionally, this difference in price was found to ignore the financial benefits of green cleaning products, including reusable microfiber mops and automatic dilution systems. This means that if you are thinking about going green, but are concerned about the increase to your cleaning service prices, it may not be as expensive as you think.

While the actual price of green cleaning products varies only slightly from standard cleaning products, there are a few factors that may also contribute to costs related to training. As most green products remove harsh chemicals, acids, and detergents, this leads to the need for the cleaning staff to receive additional instructions related to the use of these products. This can result in increased cleaning service prices due to the additional time that needs to be invested in staff training and cleaning times when compared to standard products. Additionally, some green certified cleaning equipment might come at an initially higher up-front cost. For example, HEPA filtered vacuums along with microfiber mops and rags are more expensive than most of their non-green counterparts but they are higher quality, last longer and are more environmentally friendly. While some of the costs can be off set overtime due to greater product durability, unfortunately some cannot.

Most green cleaning products don’t contain harsh cleaning agents such as chemicals and acids, thus requiring things to be soaked longer or needing a bit of additional elbow grease to get the same cleaning results. This increase in time may cause a higher rate of cleaning services but more times than not, companies like Servicemaster of Wake County has accounted for this in their service costs and the use of green products won’t affect your bottom line.

So, despite the perception that “going green costs green,” there is relatively little difference in the price of green vs. non-green cleaning products. Servicemaster of Wake County uses special green products that do not increase the cost of services but do increase the effect on the environmentally by using only environmentally friendly, green practices.

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273 Hits

How to Prepare your Workplace for the Upcoming Flu Season

Office worker blowing nose at desk

As much as we hate to admit it, the summer months are over and the first day of Fall is September 22, 2017. That means flu season is just around the corner. You don’t want to wait until the first case appears to take action, so be proactive and get your office prepared for flu season.

We’ve composed the top 5 tips to help you and your employees prepare for the flu season as best you can. Knowing the dangers of the flu and ways to fight it is your best defense.

  1. Educate employees about how to safe guard against the flu and bust the common flu myths to prevent the spread of the illness. Knowledge is power and when your employees know how to protect themselves, they are less likely to get sick.
  2. Ensure your employees are aware of all sick leave, PTO and tele-communiting policies should they still get sick. This is a great time to share the company insurance policy benefits including the fact that flu shots are covered!
  3. Improve hygienic practices such as minimizing contact and increasing the use of hand sanitizer. Encourage employees to stay home if they are feeling ill to prevent the spread of germs to the office place.
  4. Host a workplace flue shot clinic to encourage employees to get a flu shot without taking time off work because you’ve conveniently brought the vaccine to them. This also has the added bonus of showing your employees your have their health at the front of your mind.
  5. Identify a tasks and duties strategy when someone comes down with the flu. People will come down with the flu, someone always does, but you can prepared by delegating work tasks, projects and coverage when it happens.

In addition to all these tips, we at ServiceMaster Clean of  Wake County, highly suggest a deep clean of the office space. That means cleaning keyboards, phones, kitchens, break rooms, bathrooms and every nook and cranny of the office to ensure they are left germ free. Hand sanitizer, disinfectant and tissues a will be your best friends this flu season as you ward off the illness causing germs that lead to influenza. The flu won’t sneak up on you this year if you use the tips we provided.

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263 Hits

Back to School Cleaning Musts for the 2017-2018 School Year

back to school tipsSchools can harbor plenty of germs with more being brought in each day by students and staff, making regular cleanings, sanitizing and disinfecting a must. Summer break is over and the school year is back in session so we felt we would share our School Cleaning Check List for this 2017-2018 school year.

A clean and well-maintained school will help keep the facility and students healthy and safe. Along with disinfecting the school grounds and getting rid of germs, a thorough school cleaning can also help prevent allergens from building up and causing irritable side effects. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains that regular cleaning and maintenance of your school helps keep the facility healthier for students and teachers alike. Thorough school cleaning services can also help prevent any major issues, such as pest infestations, allergen buildup, and irritant accumulation.

ServiceMaster of Wake County School Cleaning Checklist

1. Floors
     1.  All floors should be swept, vacuumed and mopped depending on their surface materials
     2.  Rugs should not be overlooked
     3.  Stained surfaces should be deep-cleaned using Green, EPA-approved stain removers
2.  Walls and Windows
     1.  Microfiber cloths should be used with all purpose cleaner or glass cleaner to wash walls and windows.
     2.  Lockers and cubbies should also be cleaned with all purpose cleaner
3.  Bathroom
     1.  Mop bathroom floors, including under sinks, behind doors and behind toilets and urinals
     2.  Wipe down walls, door handles and doors
     3.  Ensure all plumbing and pipes are working correctly
     4.  Clean sinks and mirrors with glass and all purpose cleaner, focusing on faucets and handles
4.  PE and Athletic Equipment
     1.  Power wash outdoor recreational equipment such as playgrounds
     2.  Wipe down equipment and athletic gear regularly to prevent the spread of germs
5.  Outside and Exterior
     1.  Power wash dirty structures including signs and sidewalks
6.  Lighting
     1.  Ensure all light fixture (indoor and outdoor) have functioning bulbs
     2.  Remove covers from fixtures to clean out debris and dust
7.  Dining Facilities
     1.  Wipe down all tables and chairs with disinfectant and all purpose cleaner

We suggest hiring a professional cleaning service to take care of your school, so contact the experts at ServiceMaster of Wake County today. We’ll work with you to create your own comprehensive cleaning schedule to fit your staff students and faculty’s needs.

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255 Hits

Make Good First Impression Office Space

Clean office suiteFirst impressions can be tricky. They’re incredibly important, especially when it comes to business relationships. A well-designed office can improve the image you give your clients, but a poorly designed office can shatter it just as easily.

Reception Space: The first area (technically second to the entryway) that really makes an impression when someone steps into your office is the reception space. Always keep it as clutter free and as open as possible. Too many chairs, brochures, pamphlets, advertisements (such as those at many medical offices) and decorative knick-knacks make it appear cluttered and can stress clients and customers out before they ever meet with you. Offering refreshments, a place to hang coats and extra umbrellas in case of rain can show as sign of hospitality that most people don’t expect in office spaces anymore. Don’t just impress your clients and customers with your reception space, leave them with a positive lasting impressing from the minute they sit down to wait for their appointment to the second they leave and close the door.

Lighting: Your don’t want you clients and customers to walk into a stale and dark atmosphere, you want the space to be bright, welcoming and lively. The key is using light to achieve these goals. The use of natural light whenever possible provides a wider color spectrum, in addition to being more welcoming this can make it easier for staff to focus and be productive. Try to avoid harsh strip lighting and replace it with softer LED lights, because LED lights are more closely mimicked to natural light. Depending on the feel you are aiming for, soft bright illumination can create a sense of calm and appeal. The low warmer lights create a feeling of that ‘homey’ charm if the family business vibe is what you’re aiming for.

Bathrooms: We’ve spoken before on the importance of a clean bathroom at your place of business but it cannot be reiterated enough. A clean bathroom at your business can eliminate the opportunity for complaints, projects a clean image (literally) and will develop a trust with customers. Even if it’s the last place they visit before leaving your office, it needs to be in pristine condition.

Basic Cleaning and Maintenance: Keep your work environment looking successful and a positive place of business by ensuring everything is in working order and clean. Anything that needs repair should be fixed immediately or removed from sight. Busted or broken items and décor can give the illusion that you don’t care and you never want a client or customer thinking that. Make sure to keep your workplace clean by scheduling regular cleanings with a professional cleaning company and routinely check that public and private spaces are presentable. This means no pilling furniture, burnt out or flickering lights, dusty shelves, outdated carpets, bent or missing blinds or overflowing trashcans.

Next time you walk into another office or business, take note the surrounding area and remember your first impression. Take those first impressions, whether they are positive or negative and apply them to your own space. Was the lighting harsh? Check out the lighting in your office. Was the television too loud? Alter the volume on your reception area TV. Or perhaps their water jug was empty. That’s a great reminder to make sure to check your own water cooler to ensure its full. However, if you saw something that appealed to you, then adapt it for use in your own space. Did they offer a Keruig with a variety of coffees? Or maybe they had really nice blinds. Bring your own experiences at other businesses into the design of your office space. And use these ideas to make improvements that will lead to better first impressions that inspire confidence and trust in you, your servies or products and you business as a whole.

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271 Hits

Prevent Water Damage Business

water dripping on a wood floor Water damage can be a devastating occurrence, regardless of it’s origin. It can cost you not only quite a bit of money to clean up, but it can slow and even shut down your business operations.

We’ve composed a list of suspects that you can monitor to prevent water damage at your place of business.

  • Appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers in the office kitchen, as well as the pipes in the sink can develop leaks from the water supply hose. Make sure your kitchen pipes and appliances are monitored for rust and corrosion.
  • Roofing can be a major source of water damage that comes from the natural elements. While you can’t control the rain and sleet, you can control your roof’s ability to keep water out. In most cases or businesses, you rent your space so it is up to the responsibility of the property management company to ensure the roof is up to par with code and condition requirements. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask when was the last time the roof was inspected.
  • Your HVAC system needs to receive regular maintenance by a qualified HVAC processional to ensure the drip pans, drain lines and other areas of moisture are clean and clear.
  • Bathrooms are a common source of floods and water damage culprits. Make sure that restrooms are clean, unclogged, without drips and that all pipes, flush valves and sinks are working properly.

Even with all this preparation, water damage might still occur and there are tools that can help detect and stop too much damage from occurring. You may want to consider installing a water leak detection system in your office space. Leak detection systems can be either active or passive.

  • Active leak detection systems: These systems usually generate some type of alarm, but also perform a function that will stop the water flow. Most devices use moisture sensors to detect a leak.
  • Passive lead detection systems: These systems, also called ‘water alarms,’ are intended to alert you to a possible water leak. They generally sound an audible alarm tone, and some may also feature a flashing light.
    Passive systems are frequently battery-operated, stand-alone units. They are inexpensive and easy to install.

The time to think about water damage is not once it’s happened, because by then it is too late. If you do experience water damage at your place of business, contact your commercial cleaning crew immediately to get started on restoration services.

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293 Hits

Beat Heat Work Summer

Guy sitting in office drinking water cooling off to beat the summer heat 

It is officially the summer season (as on June 21, 2017) and we understand that even the most pleasant workplaces can become a nightmare in the heat of the summer. Between the heat from outside to the heat coming from insides, businesses of all sizes can feel like a furnace this time of year. Add in the humidity of the Carolinas and you’ve got a living nightmare for a work space.

Summer is known to be the least productive time of year because employees are distracted due to the uncomfortable nature of being at work. To combat this lack of productivity, we’ve composed a few ideas of how to prevent summer burnout.

Computers produce an unbearable amount of heat, this heat can counter act with the cool air from HVAC units and thus combine with the outdoor heat coming in creating a vey unpleasant and warm working environment. If you allow your staff to work at home for some hours per week you may find their change of scenery increases their productivity and event staff morale. In fact, Stanford University found a 22% increase in productivity with remote working.

If working from home is not an option, consider changing the scenery at the workplace. While it may not be possible at the height of the summer, trying to hold meetings outside can prevent employees from dozing off. In addition, the vitamin D gained from being outdoors can stimulate productivity and creative thinking.

During the summer, the heat is already going to make working conditions difficult and often unbearable so it is hugely important to switch off the lights in rooms that are not in use. Keeping the lights off in break rooms, meeting rooms or stock will keep these places as cool as possible for when they need to be occupied. Send out a summer email reminding employees to turn off lights behind them or put up signs reminding them to do so. In addition to cooling off rooms, turning off the lights will help to conserve electricity as well and cut down on your monthly bills.

If you business requires business attire year round, you are likely to experience a dip in productivity during the summer months merely due to employees being hot and uncomfortable. During the scorching day of summer, allowing members of staff to come into work in casual clothing may restore productivity.

In the end, the summertime is traditionally the least productive season of the year so combat the reasons with strategies. Get mini portable fans for each employee to have at their desk, allocate special times to go outside and enjoy the weather such as company BBQ for lunch, encourage casual dress, provide plenty of water and consider changing the scenery for employees either with outdoor meetings or remote work hour options.

Don’t forget to make sure your office is being regularly cleaned by a professional team of commercial cleaners to prevent the grime of summertime from building up. Summer is the ideal time for mildew and mold to grow between the heat and moisture, so ensure your office is being deep cleaned regularly to ensure everything is clean and sanitized!

 

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311 Hits

Simplify Workday Productive

hectic workday with books on desk and 4 arms to handle them 

We spend 40+ hours each week at work; wouldn’t it be nice if we could simplify our work days so those hours feel more productive and less hectic? Check out this list of ways to simplify your workload and increase your workday productivity.

  1. When writing emails, keep it short to about 3-4 sentences. It will drastically shorten the time to write emails but it shortens replies to others’ emails too. If it’s a topic that requires more than 3-4 sentences, consider a phone call or meeting.
  2. Batch tasks that can be seen as distractions into chunks. This includes checking emails, reading blogs, browsing social media etc. Grouping these tasks into one time period allows you to focus on other work first so that your “distraction time” is less of an escape from more and more of a task alongside your work.
  3. Make short manageable lists, and prioritize them in levels of urgency and importance. Lists that are too long and tedious are often overwhelming and lead to more distractions however; prioritized, specific lists increase productivity tremendously.
  4. Start your day early and go into work before the hustle and bustle of the normal workday begins. Your can check voicemails, respond to emails and get a lot more work done in peace with less distractions.
  5. Clear your desk of knick-knacks and distractions, only keep the most essential items at an arms length. It’s been shown that less clutter and mess can increase productivity and focus.
  6. Take breathing breaks to refocus and collect your thoughts. It could something as simple as walking around and getting your blood circulating to massaging your own shoulders or even taking a quick walk outside for fresh air. When you get back to work you are more likely to ward off distractions as you gave yourself an opportunity to tend to them already.
  7. Schedule your important calls and meetings around distractions, or distractions around your important matters. If the janitor walks past every day at 2pm to collect trash, don’t schedule conference calls at this time, or leave your trash can outside your office or cubicle as to not be disturbed. Companies like Servicemaster of Wake County can perform all regular cleaning services after hours as well so to not disturb the productivity of your staff. Consult with your supervisors and team members of when they feel the most effective and least distracting time would be for the office to be cleaned.
  8. Limiting how much your work forces you to be more effective with your time, so try to prevent long nights burning the midnight oil and leaving with the night watchman to ensure you’re more productive during the day.
  9. Limit meetings to those, which that content cannot be easily communicated through phone or email. Too many tedious meetings without agendas can lead to less focus, poor time management and lower productivity.
  10. Take water breaks and stay hydrated. As mentioned in a previous blog post, staying hydrated can have a profound effect on your mood, health and ultimate productivity.
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306 Hits

Why You Should Go Green At Your Office

Earth is in the palm of hands - Why You Should Go Green At Your OfficeAs most people know, April 22 is Earth Day. It is held to bring awareness to environmental protection. We know why the world needs protecting but here are some facts from Eco-Cycle to remind you.

  • More than 100 billion pieces of junk mail are delivered in the United States each year, which comes out to 848 pieces per household.
  • In the past 50 years, humans have consumed more resources than in all previous history.
  • The “hole” in the stratospheric ozone layer over the Antarctic – the layer that protects people from harmful ultraviolet radiation – is now the largest it has ever been and is not expected to recover until between 2060 and 2075.

The question is not WHY you should go green at your office and home, it question is HOW. Start small, have recycling bins with different storage for different materials, minimize your direct mail marketing tactics, minimize packaging materials or opt for reusable and recycled packing materials and finally opt for energy efficient technology and lighting. You don’t need to get a composter for your workplace or quite printing documents altogether to go green, simply differentiating waste from recycle and using e-documents is enough of a start.

If you’re looking for ways to incentivize your team to go green and recycle, make it an in-office competition between departments of who can recycle the most materials and have the least waste go to the landfill. Inner-department competitions not only boost moral and increase work productivity but they give a sense of teamwork and comradely in addition to helping the earth at the same time.

Servicemaster of Wake County is proud to use “green” cleaning products developed by ServiceMaster Clean to provide the highest level of clean for our commercial clients, with minimal environmental impact. We understand that environmentally friendly, or “green cleaning” is more than a corporate responsibility; it can lead to a healthier, safer environment.

Look into programs like Green Seal that provide certifications, show you’re the tax benefits and environmental benefits of going green in a variety of ways. These programs often work alongside your entire team to find ways to cut waste, energy use and environmental hazards. When you show the community you’re environmentally friendly in your business, you can often earn new business so don’t look at Green Certifications and “going green” as just a benefit to the environment, it can also help your business!

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318 Hits

Should Corners Ever be Cut when it Comes to Cleaning?

Never Cut Corners when it Comes to Cleaning - mop bucket and cleaning signCleaning a space properly means never cutting corners and skimping on any inch, this includes corners and cut outs where dust, debris and dirt can get caught or hidden. Another often missed area is behind doors, especially when the door is open as behind the door is often missed or forgotten.

We use special corner tools to clean out hard to reach areas, but the best tool are our eyes. You need to see every corner and cutout in order to access the dirt. If we can’t see the corner or its obstructed, cleaning it is difficult.

When cleaning hallways, we need to pay special attention to room cut outs along the floor edges, these cut outs are where the room has it’s own hallway, sometimes as little as a foot deep. Rather than using a dust mop or broom which pushes the dirt and debris back into the corner, we opt for vacuums with proper brush heads to vacuum edges, corners and cut outs.

If you hire a commercial cleaning service and there is still dirt and dust anywhere, especially behind doors, in corners and cracks…it’s time to call ServiceMaster of Wake County. Servicemaster of Wake County guarantees ALL work and provides the cleanest and freshest environment for your employees, customers and tenants. Trust in the most trusted cleaning professionals in Wake County for all your carpet, floor maintenance, sanitation and janitorial services. If your current cleaning company is cutting corners, it’s time to cut them from your list. At ServiceMaster of Wake County, we believe that consistent, excellent service is fundamental to the relationship we want to have with our clients. We spend time with each client to understand your unique needs, and we continuously monitor the overall condition of your facilities. We never cut corners even with the most menial task, as we like to say “ordinary task- extraordinary service”!

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312 Hits

How to Keep Your Office Healthy This Cold and Flu Season

Last week was the first day of winter and with cold weather comes illnesses like the cold and the flu. Cold and flu viruses spread easily from person to person, and they spread even faster with those whom you are in close proximity with, like your coworkers. Coming into contact not only with others but also especially with contaminated surfaces is one of the greatest contributing factors to getting sick. Here are some common office “hot spots”:

  • Other people’s hands
  • Doorknobs and handles (including microwaves and refrigerators)sanitizing sink
  • Copier machine buttons and parts
  • Sink faucets and paper towel dispensers
  • Another person’s keyboard and phone
  • Coffee pot handle
  • Elevator buttons
  • Countertops
  • Shared books, files, and other office materials

In order to keep your office healthy, remind your staff to regularly wash their hands for at least 15-20 seconds with soap. We suggest having a bottle of hand sanitizer at every desk and counter and to use it whenever you leave or return to your desk or other location in the office. Try and encourage your employees to be vaccinated against the flu and make sure to send sick employees home. Allow employees who feel like they are coming down with an illness to work from home to prevent spreading any germs to others. During the cold and flu season, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Ask your office cleaning company to pay close attention to those germy “hot spots” we mentioned above when they are cleaning your office. Rest assured knowing that Servicemaster of Wake County will never send a sick employee to your workplace to clean, they will always send a replacement to ensure there is no spreading of germs and illness.

Stay safe and healthy this winter season and take precautions when handling items and coming into contact with areas dubbed “germ hot spots”. No one wants to spend their day sick in bed.

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273 Hits

How to Prepare your Office for the Winter Months

Winter is officially here and while it can be beautiful, we all remember “Snowpocalypse/Snowmageddon 2014” in Raleigh and the disasters it brought with it. Winter weather and precipitation can cause more than car accidents and power loss, it can bring business interruptions and costly damages.To keep both to a minimum, follow these tips:

Protect your Property:

  • Clear gutters and drain pipes of any debris.
  • Cover or insulate exposed water pipes to prevent breakage from freezing which can lead to flooding.
  • Store materials, supplies, etc. off the floor to prevent damage by floods.
  • Check tire, battery, fluids, and wiper blade conditions on all company vehicles.
  • Stock each company vehicle with a shovel, de-icer, blankets and flares.

Employee, Staff and Customer Safety

  • Know what outside areas are likely to be affected by ice.
  • Stock salt for keeping paths and traffic routes free of snow and ice.
  • Continually review emergency plans with employees.
  • Stock up on floor mats.
  • Staff for lobby cleaning after the morning commutes and lunch hour.

Business Preparations

  • Technology check-up: make sure you can access records and information remotely, and you have a strong back-up program in the event of a power failure.
  • Identify important information for business continuity such as customer lists, contracts and client records.
  • Consider work from home arrangements for employees in order to minimize work disruption during inclement weather.
  • Review insurance coverage to ensure your policy fits your business needs.

The winter months can produce additional debris like leaves, snow, melted ice and dirt. Call you commercial office space cleaners to discuss if increased services may be necessary to ensure your office remains clean and clear of dirt and debris. Remember, Servicemaster of Wake County offers free estimates for all services, so be prepared for all winter messes now.

While we can hope a Snowmageddon doesn’t occur again, if it does, you can be more prepared with these tips and advice. Stay safe this winter season and most of all stay warm!

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271 Hits

Should I have my Office Cleaned by an In-House employee or should I Outsource?

Service Master Clean of Wake County Staff Cleaning officeShould I have my Office Cleaned by an In-House employee or should I Outsource my Cleaning and Janitorial Needs to Professionals

The question of whether to have someone at your office clean your workspace is a common dilemma. Many businesses feel that in order to cut costs they must first cut the expendable services such as janitorial services. The problem is that now someone in house is going to be required to do the cleaning or hiring a new employee to do the cleaning. Either of these solutions brings more problems and added expenses.

If you request a current employee to take on the cleaning tasks without compensating them for this new task, the common outcome is a frustrated employee performing insufficient cleaning. On the other end, if you choose to hire someone new to clean your office in-house in an attempt to cut costs, you’re going to have the opposite effect on your budget. The hourly rate of an employee to clean for you in-house is typically greater than the hourly rate of professional commercial cleaners and janitorial staffs. When you hire someone in-house for this task there are additional line items you now have to calculate into the equation like payroll taxes, insurance, supplies and equipment. These added costs will likely equal or more than likely exceed the cost of what you were spending on a commercial cleaning service like ServiceMaster of Wake County.

In addition to the finances, when you outsource your cleaning needs to professionals you have peace of mind that not only is your office being cleaned properly and efficiently but also in the most cost effective manner. Should there be a disaster such as a broken pipe or fire, the use of Servicemaster as your janitorial service provider will open the door to Servicemaster Clean’s partner, Servicemaster Restore; a disaster restoration service running 365 days a year 24 hours a day and available when disasters strike. This prompt action can save valuable documents, inventory and property that might otherwise be unsalvageable.

Next time your business is looking at the budget and determining where to cut costs, take a second thought at cutting the cleaning costs because in the end, the alternative won’t really save you any money.

  262 Hits
262 Hits

The Dirt Behind Mopping Floors

Mopping a floorHave you ever noticed that after scrubbing your floors you can still run a damp paper towel over it and the towel is still dirty? That’s not because the floor is still dirty, there is far more to the story.

Most businesses have a Vinyl Composite Tile for their choice of floor, and this flooring is usually coated with a few layers of floor finish. The finish is porous and when you walk across the finish with dirty shoes and track soil and other dirt you are grinding the grime into the wax. When the floors are mopped nightly it removes loose dust and dirt on top of the floor as well as sanitizes the surface. It does not however, remove the grime that has been worked into the finish.

When you scrub the floor with a paper towel you will use more pressure than a mop uses, thus removing soil. The pressure needed to remove the soil ground into the finish would require daily scrubbing. However, this is not cost effective for any businesses’ budget and a daily mopping gives you the look desire along with the peace of mind that the floors have been sanitized.

When it comes to mopping however the key is clean water and the right type of mop. Have you have noticed a dark line along the floor’s baseboard? Mopping with dirty water usually causes that buildup and dirty appearance, even though it was just mopped. Dirt is added to a mop bucket each time the mop is dunked into the water, if you don’t change the water you are just transferring the dirt and grime around the floors through the dirty water. Not only will your floors not get clean but the grime accumulating in the tile grout and baseboards will show and it’s not only unattractive but expensive to remove. Every team member at Servicemaster of Wake County has been trained to change mop water once the water reaches a level of poor clarity.

In regards to the right type of mop, this is determined by how highly trafficked it is. For a building that is low trafficked, a flat mop is the ideal tool for the job. It’s lightweight, efficient and great at attracting soil and debris to it’s microfiber material. If your building floor is more highly trafficked and thus more soiled, a string mop is a better fit. The woven fibers are heavier and allow for better scrubbing where needed. As mentioned before, ensuring the water isn’t too dirty is also the key to clean floors.

Our experts at ServiceMaster of Wake County have the right tools and products to properly clean your facility. Trust us to get the job done right the first time, every time.

  3841 Hits
3841 Hits

Why Citrus Cleaning Products Are The Best For Commercial Cleaning


Healthcare cleaning sink Among the list of important questions to ask the commercial cleaning service you’re considering to hire, ask about their products they intend on using to clean your office or workspace. If they don’t work with or use some citrus cleaning products, you may want to look for another provider. Citrus cleaning products, in addition to hydrogen peroxide cleaning products, are a top product in the industry among commercial cleaning companies. Not only do citrus based cleaning products smell fresh and clean, but they are extremely good for cleaning and sanitizing too.

Citrus contains d-limonene, a natural solvent that cuts through grease and dirt, and will leave your workplace smelling fresher than ever. D-Limonene is in the terpene family, which includes citrus and pine oils. The nice thing about terpenes is that they are generally not corrosive or harmful to metals or most plastics and polymers. Products with terpenes won’t cause rusting, pitting, etching, or staining on your surfaces on materials. Fun Fact: Citrus-based terpenes can dissolve heavy petroleum greases and residues in about 30 minutes!

Citrus based cleaning products are efficient and environmentally friendly. If you have any residue from grease, this is the cleaner you’re going to want to use. There are, however, two types of citrus cleaners and they have their specific uses, oil based and water based. Citrus oil-based cleaning product will not cause corrosion or rust. Such products are made from the oil found in the orange peel, rather than the pulp and juice of the orange. Know that when you hire a professional and reputable cleaning service like Servicemaster of Wake County, they will have all the uses, precautions and warnings for every product they use in their Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) to ensure that no damage is caused due to the wrong product being used. The quality of the cleaning is correlated the quality of their products the cleaners use, so ask if they are using citrus and if they aren’t…ask them to!

So the next time you smell the fresh clean scent of lemon or orange in a recently cleaned office or building you will know that that business you’re walking through is probably using a respected and experienced cleaning company that knows that clean is not just about the smell, its about the results!

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265 Hits

Hydrogen Peroxide in Cleaning Products

service master cleaning tips for Hydrogen Peroxide in Cleaning Products 

Who hasn’t enjoyed the bubbling of hydrogen peroxide when its poured on a dirty surface? That bubbling is more than just entertainment, its cleaning and sanitation in action. Hydrogen peroxide – also referred to as H2O2 – is one of the easiest ways to make sure that you provide a safer, cleaner space, with lower bacteria levels, but without the risk of the toxicity that is sometimes associated with cleaners. When you clean with hydrogen peroxide, you not only protect the health of your employees and the other building users, but you also help to reduce the damage that is done to the environment.

Companies in the cleaning industry, like Servicemaster of Wake County are taking an important turn towards providing effective, safe cleaning that also remains environmentally friendly. It has been predicted by such experts as the president of EnvirOx, that environmentally friendly products will comprise the majority of cleaning products within 10 years time. Though not to the point of exclusivity, this will mean that cleaning with hydrogen peroxide will comprise a substantial part of this movement.

Today’s ideal choices for cleaning involve using oxygen cleaners, which are formulations of hydrogen peroxide and a type of solvent, which may include something natural – for example, citrus or d-limonene (the major component of the oil extracted from citrus rind) or another type of degreasing surfactant. Cleaning with hydrogen peroxide works best on stains that are protein-based, on carpets, grouting, and on laundry, and work very well as deodorizers. However, petroleum-based stains, such as gum and oils still present a challenge for oxygen cleaners. Also, depending on the pH level of the cleaner, it may not work on hard floors, since it could damage the sealant of the surface.

Since the hydrogen peroxide dissipates and you’re left with a clean surface, this means that another plus of cleaning with hydrogen peroxide is that it works extremely well for cleaning and sanitizing countertops, and other surfaces that may be used for the preparation of food. This includes cutting boards made of woods and plastics. This is ideal for those office microwaves and food spills that tend to leave residue that insects enjoy munching on. While you could use the bottle of chemicals under the sink, you should opt for a cleaner that contains hydrogen peroxide. Unlike toxic cleaners, oxygen cleaners are more environmentally desirable because when the hydrogen peroxide dissipates, the results are simple water and oxygen; neither of which has a negative impact on the environment. One of the best places to use hydrogen peroxide cleaners is on a surface you put your face near every day…the water fountain. The cleaner will sanitize the spout and surface without contaminating the water or tainting the surface with chemicals that you could consume.

Commercial cleaning services and janitors commonly use hydrogen peroxide cleaning products in office kitchens, break rooms, water fountains and bathrooms. The quality of the products a service uses when cleaning your office is just as important as the people. ServiceMaster of Wake County uses only the highest quality, safe, effective and environmentally and consumer friendly products when cleaning your workspace.

 

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276 Hits

USGBC LEED Program for Commercial Spaces

Go outside; the airplanes flying over RDU are deafening, Jordan Lake is getting polluted, and 540 around 5 o’clock is a parking lot. While we could wait for our legislators to do something about all this, they seem to be busy with other things at the present. We could try to be more careful around the house by recycling, composting and limiting water use, but there is a better option. Can you guess what can have a bigger impact on the environment than your carefully separated trash? It’s you job-site or workplace!

Now that you know where you can make a big impact on the environment, the question is how do you do it? One of the solutions is LEED. We don’t mean the LED light bulbs they make here in the triangle, we mean LEED, as is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a green building rating system from the USGBC. Don’t start thinking that you need to tear down your old building and create a new sparkling green site. You can actually achieve LEED status without starting from scratch, especially since the environmental impact of tearing down and building can take years to balance out. If you focus on the operations and maintenance of the existing structure, according to LEED O+M certification guidelines, you can still achieve LEED status.

To start the process and to learn more, you can visit their U.S. Green Building Council website. LEED has a point system that leads to higher levels of certification, so there is always room to grow. Each new level comes with new recognitions and initiatives, plus bragging rights of course.

This is the point where Service Master of Wake County comes in. Service Master of Wake County can help you get points and credits to achieve LEED status. We can help point you in the right direction with our commercial cleaning, waste management and janitorial services. Using our services will help show the USGBC and your community that you are doing your part to overall better the environment.

If you wish to go green and also save some money in the process, LEED and Service Master of Wake County is the way to go. Call us today for your FREE estimate and ask how we can help you get your LEED credits and points. Start the process to develop a healthier, more responsible work environment and workplace with lower operation costs today…LEED is the way!

  268 Hits
268 Hits

How Can Color Coded Microfiber Reduce Contamination

How Can Color Coded Microfiber Reduce ContaminationThe need for cleaning contaminants from walls first came up in hospitals. Dealing with so many patients on a regular basis, hospitals wanted to make sure that they used the required appliances and techniques for the reduction of contaminants. It was believed that contaminants and allergens could also spread through the means of cleaning applications. 

In a bid to find innovative and updated methods of cleaning, hospitals were the first to adopt color-coded microfiber mopping systems across their premises. 

Hospitals adapted early to the microfiber coloring system because of how they were capable of preventing nosocomial infections from spreading across the hospital rooms.

Additionally, instead of applying the same looped-end mop across three patient rooms, hospitals are also looking to apply the standard flat mop per every patient room. This significantly reduces the ability of pathogens to travel from room to room through the mop itself. 

Using color coded microfiber doesn’t just help hospitals in preventing cross contamination within hospitals, but it also helps with keeping intact a healthy environment within the premises. 

Why Go for Color Coding? 

Color coding should at no cost be considered as a substitute for the training of maintenance staff and the application of proper shifts and routine. All due methods of cleaning should be managed in the same manner as before, with the only difference being in the introduction of color coded microfiber. 

Color coded microfiber gives an easy to remember system for cleaning staff to follow. Almost anyone can understand how the system works with these color-coded microfibers. Once you do understand how the system works, you can implement the teachings to supervise your staff. 

Guide to Color Coding 

Since color coding can be complex, with so many colors being part of the mix, the following list of colors and their perceived use will help you get the equation right. You can keep the process simple and effective by following this guide properly. 

  • Red: The color red can be used on restroom floors, on sanitary appliances, toilets, urinals and a lot of other places. Use red color coded microfibers on restroom floors. 
  • Yellow: The color yellow can appropriately be used on restroom surfaces, including towel dispensers, sinks, hand dryers, door handles and soap dispensers. The color will help with making bathroom accessories feel as good as new. 
  • Green: The color green can be used for general bar cleanup and washing away food wastages. Green microfibers and mops can be used within areas where food is consumed, such as lunchrooms. 
  • Blue: The color blue can be used for common low-risk areas that don’t have much contamination around them. Areas like common rooms, offices and classrooms can benefit from this color. 

Proper Handling 

You should also make sure to reduce cross contamination by properly handling the color coded microfibers. Some tips for this are: 

  • Store all of your cleaning products appropriately. Keep your mop pads and clean towels in plastic bags to prevent them from being contaminated once they are laundered. 
  • Make sure that you have a designated storage place for your microfibers. Clean all carts and bags as well. 
  • Make sure that your equipment is clean at all times. 

If you want to make sure that your cleaning is being handled by professionals who know how to take care of business, get in touch with ServiceMaster Clean and let us take care of your home’s health for you!

We offer a whole host of services in the Triangle Area that will suit your needs and will give you  a clean office that you and your employees deserve!

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350 Hits

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