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What to Ask When Hiring a Cleaning Company for your Fitness or Recreation Facility

If you work in, or are a client of a recreation and fitness centre, you understand the importance of a clean environment. And so do we.

Fitness software developer Insight writes, “What do customers value? Above all, they value a clean facility! They aren’t overly concerned that you have the latest machines or flat screen TVs, what they want is an environment that makes them feel like they are safe and increasing their health. This is something on which they will vote with their feet and go elsewhere if they aren’t absolutely comfortable in the environment that you offer.”

These buildings see thousands, if not millions, of visitors from morning until night. Patrons are young and old. Many of them sweaty, all of them touching and handling fitness equipment, door knobs, faucets, etc. leaving a constant trail of germs behind. Add to that, the fact that recreation centres are made up of varying surfaces, wet and dry, which can lead to an array of dirt and contaminants building up over time. As well, most have childcare and seniors’ facilities which require the utmost caution and care with these vulnerable occupants.

So, as you can see, cleaning and caring for recreational facilities is very different than office cleaning. Most offices require basic cleaning tasks such as vacuuming, dusting and garbage removal with a team of cleaners working days/evenings. Recreational facilities require those tasks as well as cleaning and disinfecting many surfaces including wet, messy showers, germ-laden water fountains and specialized cleaning of tile and wood floor surfaces. And on top of those challenges, facility hours of rec centres require dedicated staff able to work overnight, with expertise in cleaning a challenging variety of areas and surfaces in a short overnight timeframe.

The health and fitness professional body, IHRSA, reports, “It goes without saying that, particularly in the locker room, cleanliness trumps all other considerations—design, furnishings, amenities. Cleanliness is right up there for most women when they make the decision whether or not to join a club,” says says Bryan Dunkelberger, with S3 Design tasked with designing ideal fitness locker rooms.

Who is cleaning your recreation facility? It’s an important question because as outlined here, it takes a cleaning contractor who understands the unique needs of these buildings and has the expertise to provide solutions.

In Calgary, our company has become a leader in this sector, providing daytime and overnight cleaning, as well as a whole host of specialized cleaning services such as hard surface restoration and electrostatic disfinfecting.

 

When choosing a cleaning contractor for your building, ensure you ask the following:

  • What is your experience with recreation/fitness facilities?
  • What process, equipment and chemical  is used to clean each different area and surface?
  • What is your quality assurance system?
  • Are your staff trained and prepared to do detailed overnight work as well as periodical tasks?
  • What is yor technical background and knowledge of best practices?
  • Can you present us with latest innovations in cleaning?

Cleaning performance and science advocates say, “While ‘cleaning for appearance’ is an obvious goal, science tells us that just because a facility looks and smells clean, it is not always clean, safe and healthy. Tools that enable more complete removal of contaminants, visible and invisible—and productively—should be part of the cleaning performance arsenal.”

Part of our company’s mission is to work with our clients to ensure their entire building not only looks clean but is maintained for the health and productivity of it’s staff and members, improving their bottom line.

This is why our portfolio of recreation centres in Calgary is growing and we’ve been chosen as the preferred cleaning services provider for centres such as Westside Recreation, Trico Centre for Family Wellness and Vivo for Healthier Generations.

 

 

Why “Cleaning for Health” is a Better Way to Clean

There’s a bit of a revolution happening in the cleaning industry. In the past, there was a demand for janitorial services that provided a clean looking building at a low price. With better education and a more sophisticated perspective, building managers are now looking for a cleaning program that focuses on cleaning for health.

A Contracting Profits survey of facility executives shows a majority — 64 percent — value a healthy and sanitary environment for building occupants more than a clean appearance (28 percent), an environmentally-friendly green cleaning program (6 percent), or a low price for cleaning (2 percent).

Cleaning for health provides the dual functions of; 1 . surface cleanliness, and  2. prevention and control of infections. So not only is the look of a building important but the health and productivity of it’s occupants is also addressed.

This approach to cleaning is important to any and every business sector, but is particularly vital to industries such as healthcare, schools, fitness facilities and restaurants where germs and infection are dangerous, sometimes deadly.

On 9th February 2011, the World Federation of Building Service Contractors (WFBSC) resolved to make Cleaning for Health a key priority in the coming years. Cleaning is our first defence against the ongoing threat of ‘super bugs’, influenza viruses, and more recently E.coli. In healthcare settings the importance of cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing is widely accepted and its implementation is usually strictly enforced. However, outside the healthcare environment and within community settings such as schools, offices, retail, hotels, public transport etc; the value of cleanliness is less understood. (WFBSC Cleaning for Health Report – Cleaning for Health Report 2012/2013).

As an example of this misunderstood concept; commercial kitchens sometimes leave the job of cleaning to their staff to save money. The problem with that strategy is that these workers do not have the expertise, or when it is the end of their shift, do not have the energy to clean their facilities properly. This often comes to light when the health inspectors arrive. As in the case study of a restaurant in Las Vegas, there were numerous sanitation issues that were found including:

  • Stoves, ovens, and deep fryers were not properly cleaned.
  • Floor drains all contained grease and food particles.
  • Damp mops and rags were stored in the kitchen (and likely reused when needed throughout the day, causing them to become increasingly soiled).
  • Floors were not thoroughly cleaned. In some areas there was a film over the floor, indicating a grease residue.

Some recommendations to remedy these issues include:

  • New mops, and having a supply of new mop heads on hand. This will keep contaminants from being spread and will help rid grease build-up.
  • Consider using a wall-mounted system that mixes water and chemicals automatically to ensure proper dilution rates.
  • Use a food service steam cleaner that can release steam hot enough to melt down grease and oils and destroy many types of germs and bacteria.

No matter what type of business you are in, cleaning for health is essential for happy staff and customers. If you haven’t already, consider using a cleaning services company to do your cleaning for you. They will recommend the best processes and equipment to ensure an attractive space and more importantly, a healthy environment. Yes, this will require an investment in your cleaning, but like any good business formula, the benefits will far outweigh the costs.

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EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown commercial cleaning company and authorized dealer for Ceiling Pro International. Our services include Ceiling Cleaning, Commercial Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Hard Surface/Tile Restoration and Quality Assurance Inspections. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or by requesting a cleaning quote/demo.

 

 

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