All posts by Mike Sperling

Spring Cleaning Part II- Office Exterior

Spring has almost sprung!  Time to say farewell to snow piles, salt stains on the windows, and residue on the exterior walls of your office building.  Last blog we discussed spring cleaning and organizing your office interior.  Now we have some tips for spring cleaning the exterior of your business for a fresh, clean start to this season of new beginnings.

Time to shake off the winter blues and make a clean start.  Consider these tips:

  • Squeaky clean windows – Winter storms can leave a nasty residue all over that glass. A trick to cleaning is to clean the screens at this time as well.  Then start on the windows outside using warm water and soap first. Then use glass cleaner.  Once the gunk is off the outside head indoors to finish the job.
  • Gutters – Hire a professional like J. Barrett to clean out all the debris from your gutters.  Leaves, twigs and ice chunks may still be lodged in the gutters and will need to be removed.
  • Exterior pressure washer – The outside of your business may have gotten covered in salt and dirt from the splash of snowplows and storms this past winter.  Whether you need power washing for your entrance way, deck, driveway, patio, or roof, this cost effective method can quickly clean up all that grime.

Just by doing these three simple tasks, your company will look fresh and clean.  J. Barrett can help you with these tasks and keep the clean exterior maintained throughout the warmer months.

Spring Cleaning Part I

Now that this dreadfully long, cold winter is coming to a close, it is time to kick off the spring season.  Spring means sun and flowers and warm breezes.  It is also a chance to do a big spring cleaning of your office.  This is a great time to think about hiring a commercial cleaning service either for a one-time cleaning or long-term regular cleaning contract.  Depending upon the size of your business and your company’s  specific needs, J. Barrett Cleaning can help you and your company get off on the right foot this spring season.  Here are some tips that we find helpful in organization and cleanliness.

  • Sort, sort, sort – Chances are that your office has lots of papers.  Some may need to be filed, others need to be shredded and yet others can be trashed.  Now is a good time to sort out all the papers into those three categories and get yourself organized.  For the papers that need filing, make sure you follow the system that has been set up for your office.  If the system is not working, now may be the time to review a new filing system.
  • Take a Supply Inventory – Spring is a perfect time to update supply lists and organize those items in a supply closet or file.  Keep a list of items that need to be restocked.
  • Computer clean up – When your favorite desktop background starts getting obscured with icons, it’s time to de-clutter your virtual desktop. File away documents that you’ll need again, and send everything else off to the virtual recycle bin.
  • General cleaning – After you have organized and restocked your supplies now it is time to clean.  Wipe all surfaces down, clean computer monitors, and disinfect all machines with a moist disinfectant cloth.  (see next month’s blog on maintaining a germ free work environment).

A professional cleaning company can help you maintain this new organization and cleanliness.  Contact J. Barret for a quote and a description of our services.  Check out our next blog on exterior spring cleaning for your office.

Commercial Kitchen Cleaning

The kitchen and break room is one of the busiest and most over used yet under cleaned places at your office.  Even with notes and reminders to “clean up after yourself,” it tends to be a room that is a haven for grease, dirt, grime and in some cases bacteria. The combination can make for an unhealthy environment and a not-so-happy place to spend a much needed lunch break. Let’s look at the benefits of hiring a professional cleaning company to keep your company’s kitchen a place where employees can socialize in a sparkling clean surroundings.

Regular commercial cleaning will bring many benefits including:

  1. Professional cleaning takes the stress off employees who may rotate cleaning the area.  This frees them up to concentrate on the priorities of the company. It also can ensure a more thorough and detailed cleaning of grout, cracks, crevices appliances and a regular clean out of the ever crowed kitchen refrigerator.
  2.  Regular cleaning can eradicate bacteria that can grow unchecked. Maintaining good hygiene is important for the health and safety of all employees. No one wants a sick day for e-coli poisoning.
  3. A clean kitchen can boost the morale of employees that enjoy sitting and relaxing during lunch breaks.
  4. If your kitchen has an oven hood – proper cleaning can not only stop the spread of grease and grime but also stop a fire from sparking up inadvertently.
  5. Professionals are fast and complete.  Many cleaning companies can get the job done faster and more thoroughly due to the use of specialized equipment and their expertise at cleaning.  After hours cleaning can also save unnecessary noise and confusion during the work day.
  6. Attention to detail – Companies that specialize in janitorial services, window cleaning services, and other cleaning services will know exactly what to do to keep your establishment looking the very best. This is because they are experienced at what they do and they know how to pay attention to detail.

Importance of Post Construction Cleaning

After spending a boatload of time and money on a home or business remodel or new construction at your company or home, you may be shocked at how much dirt, debris and dust is left over after the workmen leave.  Hiring a professional company to take care of the finishing touches will leave you with less stress and a final presentation that you can be proud of and immediately show off to family, friends, or clients.

Every remodel or construction project is unique and requires a different set of clean up jobs to make your new home or business looking clean, organized and in short, “picture-perfect”. Let’s look at the importance and benefits of post construction cleaning for your latest projects.

  • Trash – After each stage of remodeling, trash can be en eye sore to neighbors and can leave a negative image with future clients as they watch your remodel in action.  Trash pick up at each stage of the project can make a work area look organized and tidy.
  • Exterior construction clean up – Walkways, entrance ways and patios are the first image visitors see of your new construction area.  Sweeping, power washing and a general wipe down of all exterior fixtures can do wonders to make a great first impression.
  • Interior clean up – Once all tools and construction equipment is removed, a professional cleaning company can wipe down walls, floors and get a layer of construction dust removed. A vacuuming and cleaning of all carpets will get all dirt and debris and possibly that construction smell out of the area.  A major detailing then should bring out the shine of all windows, lights, door knobs and hinges. This will make sure that every surface  of your project sparkles.

Hiring a professional cleaner to showcase your new construction can take the stress of the owner while at the same time showing off the beautiful workmanship that was just completed.

Benefits of Professional Power Washing Part II

There are numerous benefits to hiring a professional cleaning service to power wash your business.  Cleaning the roof, patio, walkway and entrance to your business can not only create a positive first impression of your company, it can rejuvenate the grimy surfaces that have been exposed to the elements for many months.  Let’s look at the major benefits to hiring a professional to clean the exterior of your business.

  • Get those hard to reach spots.  When walls and windows are out-of-reach, a pressure washer’s wand can deliver better results than taking out the ladder and scrubbing away the discoloration or dirt.  Many people try to do this task on their own but a trained professional will have the right tools for safely cleaning areas.
  • Environmentally friendly.  By using a straight water wash or choosing a green solution, washing with a power wash will take away the dirt and residue without harsh chemicals.
  • Bring on the gleaming sparkle. If used correctly, it is a very safe way to bring back the sparkle. But the key word in that sentence is “correctly”. It’s easy to over-wash an area, exposing a part of your target that you didn’t want to see. Being prepared before the job or hiring a professional is the best way to avoid this mistake.
  • Preventative Maintenance. Preventive maintenance on the exterior of your office building is a must to keep the appearance looking the way it should. Preventive maintenance by pressure washing helps to cut down on costly repairs due to damage caused by algae, mold and mildew.  By keeping the exterior of your property maintained and clean, you will extend the life of building materials.

Power Washing your Business Part I

Salt, dirt, dust and debris.  In the world of cleaning windows and the outdoor surfaces of your business, these four items are considered the enemy.  After a long winter exposed to the elements, power washing may be your best solution to keeping a clean and polished appearance on your business.  This “first impression” is extremely important to your business.  John Aust, President of the National Association of Real Estate Appraisers claims that, “A good first appearance on a home or business can add as much as 5 to 10 percent to the value of the home or business.” Let’s look at the benefits of power washing for your company.

The dangers of the elements.    After each season, most especially the long winter season, businesses should consider the damage that nature’s elements can have on the outside of your property whether it is siding, asphalt, concrete, metal or plastic.  Dust and dirt can make your exterior look dingy and dirty.  This is not exactly the message you want to send to clients or even potential clients.  Mold and Mildew can also begin to build up even in the colder climates.  If your business is in an area close to trees or plants residue such as tree sap can be difficult to remove.

The Benefits of Power Washing – Power washing can be the answer to all of these problems especially if the area needing to be cleaned is difficult to get to or needs a bit of elbow grease.  Power washing can restore the cleanliness and even the life of the exterior of your business by removing the dirt, salt, mold and mildew that has the power to damage existing exteriors. Power washing is also one of the most cost effective ways to increase the value of your existing structure.  In addition, this simple act of power washing can save time, money and aggravation of future repairs.  By protecting your largest investment power washing should be a regular part of your business maintenance program.

Habits of Effective Cleaners

When it comes to business, nothing is more important than making a positive first impression.  This includes your brand, web site, print material, employees and, of course, your offices.  Have you ever wondered how some companies do it. . . keeping the office spotless, organized and neat around the clock? It is a common question we get here at J. Barrett.  Here are some of our tips of effective cleaners.  Obviously hiring a professional team would be optimal in keeping your office in “tip “top” shape  from the carpet to windows and bathrooms and kitchens – but if that is not an option here are some ideas to follow.

  • Practice – Cleaning is something that all of us can do but doing it often brings a special skill the more one practices it.  Practice makes perfect!  The more an employee gets used to cleaning a specific area the more routine it will become.
  • Create  a cleaning plan  –   Plan for specific employees to tidy each area “as they go”  to maintain the visual appearance throughout the day.  Then have specific areas  assigned to employees to clean at the end of each day. For example,  one may take care of the coffee service, the lobby, the furniture, the carpeting, windows.  “Many hands make light work.”  The more people who are invested in the cleanliness of the office the better.
  • Stay organized – If paperwork is overwhelming at your company, you may want to have a ritual to file and shred daily to stay on top of the mounting piles that can look unsightly.  If you don’t have a system to file and store documents, you may want to discuss this with a specialists or professional that can help you with both physical documents and electronic filing.
  • Keep supplies handy – Most offices keep supplies well out of view of clients and visitors but it is a good idea to keep them handy enough for quick clean ups between appointments.  There are often spills of messes that need to be dealt with so keep wipes, towels, and sprays safe but nearby.

Cleaning Resolutions for 2014

Now is the time for  New Year’s Resolutions.  While most people make it a priority to eat healthier, exercise more or set personal goals for themselves, as a business owner you may want to consider some cleaning resolutions for your business.  Let’s look at some things that you may want to consider in the new year for the health and benefit of your company both  in the eyes of your employees and clients.

Stay Organized – One thing that small businesses always should stay on top of is the clutter in and around work stations.  Create a system for filing this year that makes it easy and keeps counter and desk tops free of paper work.  Possibly set up a schedule that makes filing and decluttering a priority.

Think about Employee and Client Health – With the rise of the flu and colds this winter season, many people feel like they are being inundated by germs at every turn.  A properly cleaned and disinfected work space can mean the world to people working and visiting your office.  Make it a resolutions to keep disinfectant wipes nearby for post client visits, and to maintain the health of workers.  Keep antibacterial gel available in the bathrooms and common areas sending the message that you care about your clients and want to defend against the spread of germs and sickness.

Clean the Heating/Cooling Systems – While most companies may be happy with a dust free lobby and spotless bathrooms, maintaining a health heating and cooling system is a great resolution this year.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy the average six-room house/office collects 40 pounds of dust, dirt, and allergens in its ventilation system each year.  A regular cleaning of these systems can save you money in illnesses and equipment maintenance.

Let 2014 be the year your business reaches not only new heights in services and products but also in the cleanliness and healthiness for your business interior.

Stop the flu at Work

The percentage of the U.S. population that will get the flu, on average, each year is between 5% and 20%. The number of Americans hospitalized each year because of flu complications tops 200,000. While these are scary statistics, a little bit of knowledge about the spread of the flu and the ways to prevent it could halt the fast spread at your business. 

The cold and flu season typically runs from November – April. Readily spread when people are indoors, cold and flu viruses are often passed along from person to person and surface to surface in the workplace. According to the CDC, people are most contagious during the first 2-3 days of contracting a cold and almost immediately and for about 5 days thereafter after being infected with the flu – even before symptoms develop. However, there are many actions you can take to prevent the spread of cold and flu viruses at work.Here are some common sense reminders about stopping the spread of flu at work.

  • Maintain a professional cleaning crew that is knowledgeable about the spread of flu viruses.
  • The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu can help slow the spread of influenza.

Year End Office Clean Up

As 2014 is quickly coming to an end, businesses are gearing up for the new year with new plans for marketing,  business performance and sales goals.  Start 2015  with not just business goals but with a fresh start in the office in regards to organization and cleanliness.  The surroundings of an office may not increase your growth figures but it is a good indicator to clients of how you run your business.  Let’s look at a few steps you can take to start the year of fresh and clean.

  1. Papers, Papers, Papers!  Take an inventory of the stacks of paper that are cluttering up your office.  Separate them into categories of papers that need to find a home (file them), papers that need to be shredded and papers that can be disposed of through recycling.  Papers are one of the largest cluttering factors in an office.  Stacks of papers can send the message that you are disorganized, so clean up regularly not just during an end of year clean up.
  2. Office Supply Inventory – The end of the year is the perfect time to make lists of supplies that are low.  For example is the stapler jamming? Is the copier machine in need of repair?  This is a great time to see what works and what doesn’t work.  Maybe some rearranging more than the monthly supply run is in order.
  3. Computer Clean Up – Now that your desk is more organized and you have taken inventory, you may want to “clean up” your desk top.  Get rid of files that are no longer needed.  Back up files that are are critical and organize folders to start the year off right.

Now that you have taken these simple steps, your office can convey the most positive light upon your business practices.  Happy Organizing!