Carpet maintenance tips for commercial properties…

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Aesthetics and comfort are likely to rank high on the agenda when selecting floorcoverings for commercial properties. Maintenance and long-term performance will also be seen as key issues when it comes to determining the final specification – and the choice often comes down to carpets or some form of smooth flooring.

With a good cleaning regime, carpets will retain their appearance and be as hygienic as any other flooring material used in a commercial property, even though it holds dust, grime and associated bacteria in place, rather than that allowing it to float into the air to be inhaled.

From a health & safety perspective, carpets are soft should falls occur, and non-slip even when liquid is spilt. It also offers comfort underfoot and is an inherently sound absorbent material so is ideal where acoustics are an issue.

With a good upright vacuum cleaner, carpet maintenance is very easy. Models with strong suction and driven brushes are the most effective for carpets as they groom and lift the pile and remove dirt far more effectively than cylinder cleaners. A well designed upright vacuum cleaner offers the benefits of manoeuvrability, controllability and overall ease of use. Uprights also offer a very high level of productivity and can clean a carpeted floor rapidly and, as the brush roller agitates the pile, thoroughly.

Commercial cleaning is a regular task that must be conducted to the highest standards and any cleaning regime should take account of the fact that, when carpet is walked on, any dirt or grit trapped in the pile will be crushed against the fibres causing premature wear. This is a particular problem at entrances and other heavily-used areas so daily vacuuming is advisable in these locations. Entrance mats to protect carpeted areas are always sensible and it is vital that these are regularly vacuumed.

For removing soiling that a vacuum cleaner cannot pick up, carpet cleaning powder (also known as compound) is ideal. This consists of micro-sponges which contain a safe solvent for greasy soiling, a neutral shampoo for non-greasy soiling and an anti re-soilant to delay re-soiling. Unlike wet cleaning agents, which result in problems such as carpet shrinkage, adhesive damage, smell and long periods where the area cannot be used due to lengthy drying times, powder is simply vacuumed away leaving the carpet clean, soft and fresh.

Useful tips for cleaning your bathroom…

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Clean bathrooms are a must! Nobody enjoys walking into a dirty, stinky bathroom that turns your stomach. To keep it clean and do it right, bathroom cleaning takes four different products. What? You mean my one all purpose bathroom cleaner that I got at the big box store is not enough?

That’s right. Bathrooms harbor lots of gunk that not only make it look dirty but can create a horrific odor if not properly cleaned.

Here’s what you will need for cleaning your bathroom:

  1. A high quality cleaner that is designed to deep clean. A ready to use, peroxide based product works great for this.
  2.  Once cleaned, you need a good disinfectant that will kill all the germs left behind. Using an acid-free disinfectant is much safer. Disinfectants will ensure that your bathroom is as near germ free as possible.
  3. What about a toilet bowl cleaner? Yep, you need that too. Toilet bowl cleaners are manufactured specifically for this task.
  4. How about a good glass cleaner? That’s right, you need to clean the mirrors too. Surely you don’t want all those spots staring at you when you brush your teeth, do you?
  5. As a bonus, get a good enzyme product that is manufactured strictly to eliminate odor, mainly caused by urine. The trick in using enzyme products is to be certain that it is not used in conjunction with a disinfectant which has not dried. A disinfectant will kill the enzymes rendering it useless.

If you follow these bathroom cleaning tips, you will have a clean bathroom that you can be proud to let your guests use!

Sitting in the office – how’s the air quality…?

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We’ve found a survey carried out by YouGov which found that indoor air pollution is prevalent in workplaces across Britain – potentially causing long-term health problems.

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) commissioned YouGov to carry out the survey which reports that almost 70 per cent of office workers believe that poor air quality in their place of work is having a negative effect on their day-to-day productivity and well-being. Additionally, a third of office workers are concerned that poor indoor air quality could be having a negative effect on their health.

Opening windows is the most commonly used form of ventilation, with 60 per cent of office workers saying it is the first thing they do if they need “fresh air”.  Although this is seen as a natural response, by opening our office windows, we run the risk of further polluting our working environment by letting in outdoor toxins, the survey found – we can’t win either way!

Given that people spend 90 per cent of their time indoors and are spending, on average, 212 days a year at work, it is important that buildings maintain proper, effective, well-maintained ventilation systems, including air conditioning, are operating in all offices across the UK. And that responsibility falls on property & building managers.

Those office workers surveyed reported suffering regularly from symptoms commonly linked to poor indoor air quality:

  1. Sixty-eight per cent of office workers experience lapses in concentration on a monthly or more frequent basis.
  2. Over two-thirds (67 per cent) of recipients reported suffering from fatigue while at work on a monthly or more frequent basis.
  3. More than half (54 per cent) of office workers surveyed experience decreased productivity on a monthly or more frequent basis.
  4. More than a third (41 per cent) of people experience watery or irritated eyes when in the office on a monthly or more frequent basis.

The BESA survey follows a report published by the Royal College of Physicians earlier this year, which revealed that air pollution, both indoor and outdoor, could be linked to at least 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK.

Useful tips for cleaning your bin!

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Nobody ever wants to take the rubbish out, much less, clean the bin! At the height of summer though, bins become a bacteria’s delight! Research has shown that if left unemptied for a fortnight, the level of extremely harmful bacteria can multiply by 600%…

You might not be able to see that it’s dirty, but if you don’t keep it fresh, you’ll definitely be able to smell it! To stop that from happening, here’s a few useful tips for your to employ:

  1. Wipe over the bin lid a couple of times a week, using a disinfectant wipe or spray. Even with the best of intentions, the bin lid gets covered in grime as the food flies past!
  2. Next time you’re buying a new kitchen bin, think about getting a foot-operated one so you can access the inside without having to touch the lid and potentially spread germs. Buy as big a bin as you can to fit the space!
  3. Clean the bin thoroughly once a week. Grab a pair of rubber gloves and get started! Avoid overfilling the bin bag, if it spills over or splits, the job gets much grimier…
  4. If the bin’s particularly gruesome, take it outside and hose it down first to loosen the worst of the grime. If you don’t have enough garden space, you could also do this in the bathtub.
  5. Use a multi-purpose disinfectant spray on the inside of the bin and, then scrub it with a toilet brush (not previously used in the toilet!) or a broom. Rinse and leave to dry.
  6. Ideally allow the bin to dry in the sun as the heat gets rid of mould. Then replace the bin liner.
  7. If the outside of your bin is matt brushed stainless steel, we recommend you clean it with a microfibre cloth and a glass cleaner.
  8. Using a drop of olive oil on a dry cloth can also quickly remove fingerprint marks and prevent new ones being left.
  9. To absorb odours and moisture, sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda at the bottom of the bin before replacing the bin bag.

Your bin shouldn’t require a deep clean often if you empty the bin bag frequently and wipe down with anti-bacterial wipes so stay vigilant with your bin management!

Good tips for wearing gloves when cleaning…

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Do you always wear gloves when you clean? If not then maybe you should start as it’s very important for your own personal safety. When you do wear gloves, there are some best  “best practice” rules which you need to bear in mind:

  • One glove does not fit all cleaning situations.  Some are designed for different purposes such as protecting the wearer from chemicals, others from body fluids, heat, dust, etc;
  • Wear the proper gloves when working with powerful cleaning solutions such as degreasers, acids, caustics, alkalis, window cleaners, or body fluids;
  • Consider wearing long-sleeve or elbow length gloves because they offer far greater skin protection;
  • Wash hands before wearing the gloves, and put the gloves on just before performing cleaning tasks;
  • Change gloves between tasks or when moving from one area of a facility to another;
  • When removing gloves, avoid touching the contaminated side of the glove with unprotected hands; grab inside the top of the glove and pull it off the hand so it is inside out;
  • Once removed, leave the glove inside out and deposit in an appropriate trash container;
  • Wash hands after using gloves;
  • Never flick, shake, snap, or toss used gloves;
  • Always avoid touching your face, mouth, and nose when wearing or after removing used gloves;
  • Gloves should never be washed, cleaned, or disinfected with the intent to reuse them;
  • Do not use petroleum-based products on your hands when wearing gloves such as hand lotions;  this may degrade some types of work gloves;
  • When not in use, keep gloves in a cool, dry location in the original packaging.

Always reminder that gloves are designed to protect the health of the person wearing them, so it is important that you follow good practice when selecting gloves and make sure that they are dependable and of a consistent, high quality.

 

Landlord responsibilities – what are they?

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Attention Landlords! I’m sure you’re all aware of your responsibilities for your rental property but just in case you’re a first time landlord, our good friends at ProClean Team (London’s end of tenancy cleaning superstars!) have put together a list of your list of your legal obligations:

  1. Gas Safety – The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 require that all landlords keep in good maintenance and condition all gas appliances, flues and pipes. As the landlord you’re responsible for making sure this happens.
  2. Electricity – Landlords must comply both with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and the Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994.  Any records relating to electrical safety need to be filed for safe keeping.
  3. Repairs & Maintenance – The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 states that the landlord is legally responsible to keepthe property in good repair.
  4. EPCs – Landlords are obliged to provide tenants with a proof of Energy Performance Certificate.
  5. Legionella Risk Assessment – Landlords are obliged to perform a Legionella Risk Assessment on each of their properties at recommended intervals of 2 years, or whenever the risk is said to have ‘changed’.
  6. Fire Safety – You must follow fire safety regulations, i.e. ensure your tenants haveaccess to escape routes at all times, ensure all furniture and furnishings you supply with thetenancy are fire safe and  provide fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and extinguishers (extinguishers only legally required if your property is an HMO,i.e. House in Multiple Occupation).
  7. Smoke Alarm Regulations – A smoke alarm (to new Government standards -10 year battery operated units) must be installed on every storey with a room used as accommodation.
  8. Carbon Monoxide Detector Regulations – Any properties occupied under a tenancy must have carbon monoxide alarms in any rooms which are used as living accommodation and contain a solid fuel burning appliance. This includes wood burning stoves, open fires, and solid fuel cookers in a kitchen.
  9. ‘Right to Rent’ Immigration Check – In accordance with the Immigration Act 2014, a landlord who lets property in England must conduct checks to establish whether a person has the right to rent.  You must check ALL new tenants, not just those you think are not British Citizens.
  10. ‘How to Rent’ Guide – As part of the Deregulation Act 2015, landlords in England must now provide new tenants with ‘prescribed information’ that makes them aware of their rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Thisinformation is contained in a single Government pamphlet entitled ‘How to Rent’, which you can find by going to this link.

    Happy renting!

Choosing the right chemical for the job

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We recently published a post identifying the difference between cleaners, sanitisers and disinfectants. To follow on from that post we though it would be useful to give you a heads up about which chemicals to use in what scenario so that you’re better equipped to clean!

  • An all-purpose cleaner will be sufficient for most surfaces where the likelihood of cross-contamination is low. More importantly, a cleaner should always be used to remove visible soil from any surface prior to sanitizing or disinfecting.
  • A sanitizer is most often used in food service areas and healthcare facilities. Sanitizers can also be used in office environments where a cleaner may not be strong enough, but a disinfectant isn’t necessary.
  • Disinfectants are most commonly used in medical facilities where drug-resistant organisms like MRSA or C.diff are an issue as disinfectants can make kill pathogens that sanitizers cannot. If you have a situation where you know there’s potential for additional germs that aren’t going away with sanitation, then you take the step of applying a disinfectant. Regardless of environment, disinfectants are the go-to chemical during an outbreak of illness, such as norovirus.

Based on the differences between cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants, you might wonder, if disinfectants will kill nearly everything in their path, why not always use them? Well, in addition to being overkill, disinfectants can be a budget buster when used needlessly…