Six Reasons Post Construction Cleaning is Not Like Daily Cleaning

by Compass Cleaning Solutions • January 23, 2017
Post contruction cleanup services

Cleaning is cleaning, right? Wrong! Especially when we are talking about Post Construction cleaning. The biggest mistake a janitorial service provider or a client can make is to assume post construction cleaning is like other cleaning. If you like surprises, you will love post construction cleaning. Post construction is a lot like remodeling, you never know what to expect until you get started. You have to be ready for every eventuality. So what makes post construction so unique? I can think of at least 6 reasons.

We Don’t Have The Luxury of Time

When we clean after construction we go in after everyone else is done (translated, we clean up the other trades’ messes) and we have to make the building look like ‘new’, even if it isn’t. This is not as easy as it sounds for reasons we will discuss in a moment. The new tenant is expecting a clean, move in ready space and the building management company is looking at us to deliver. The challenge is that the janitorial service providers are the last trade in the building, which means the original schedule is meaningless and we are under the gun to meet the deadline. Its not like when you are cleaning on a regular recurring schedulebecause you can ‘fix’ mistakes and take care of things you may have missed the next time you go to clean. Post construction cleaning does not have that flexibility.

We Are Operating on the Tenants’ Schedule

By the time we get started with our service the building management has leased the building to a tenant who has a time line and it cannot be moved. This is like the first point but it bears further attention. The client determines when we will clean whether it is convenient or not. To handle post construction cleaning well you have to be flexible and able to adapt to changes all on some other persons time table.

Uncommon Surfaces Are Normal

Normal day in and day out janitorial service is fairly straight forward and the areas we clean are not all that unusual (although there are those times). On a normal basis janitorial service providers are not tasked to wipe down and clean 20′ transoms or walls. We normally don’t clean inside cabinets once the tenant occupies the space. We don’t normally remove factory glued stickers from windows, appliances or fixtures. But all of these surfaces must be cleaned in post construction and it must look like new when your done. Post construction cleaning requires a broader knowledge of tools and techniques to be successful.

We Clean Substances Left By Construction That We Will Not Encounter During Daily Cleaning

When other trades are doing there work they will often leave behind ‘mystery substances’. Sometimes it is a glue or a sealant or… well, you get the idea. The problem is if it is on a wall or a floor or a window we are tasked to remove it even when we might not know what it is. To do well in post construction cleaning you have to have an understanding of what the other trades are using so that you can clean it up. You need to be prepared to address any stain or mark or ugly glob you find. The tools and knowledge required for this go well beyond your average cleaning.

Other Trades Are Continuing to Work While We Are Trying to Detail the Building

This is what the last guy in has to face. Everyone else has a deadline just like us but our challenge is doing our job while others continue to make messes and undo what we just did. Its frustrating to go through a building only to get a call back to clean up a paint spill or sheet rock dust that wasn’t there yesterday. If you don’t learn to deal with it you won’t do well at post construction cleaning. Its just the nature of what we do.

Surprises: Existing Buildings Can Reveal Cleaning Challenges We Weren’t Expecting

We have gone in to clean spaces that have been vacant for a time and found some interesting surprises. Ever opened a drawer to find mice or spiders? That’s fun. Or discovered that squatters have been living in the building? If you can imagine it we have probably run into it. These are things that you don’t see when a building is occupied but it still has to be cleaned and the building must look like new.

If you are a building management company give us a call and see what can happen when the janitorial service provider actually understands what needs to happen to get the building ready to lease.