Detroit Janitorial & Cleaning Services Blog

Selecting a Trustworthy Construction Cleaning Service

Posted by Bob Abraham on Mon, Jul 16, 2012 @ 08:06 AM

construction-cleaningYou move into your new facility that was recently constructed or renovated and you are eager to get business going and show it off to your clients and prospects so they know they work with a successful company.  You want your post construction cleaning to go without hassles so you can get to back to your core business.  A good construction cleanup promotes high employee morale and added value from the construction project.  A poor job takes you and your staff away from their core competencies.

There are several approaches to a well-planned and executed post construction cleaning but I will focus on one that has consistently worked well for my clients over the last 25+ years.  During that time I have been providing hundreds of businesses in southeastern michigan with cleaning solutions to meet their individual needs.  .

My clients and I like to begin with a written specification of what will be done and, in some cases, how it will be done.  Some things to take into consideration are:
  • How much construction cleaning will be done by the company responsible for the building project?  Will they remove larger debris (boxes, drywall, lumber, etc.) which is commonly referred to as “broom sweep” (a term used to define sweeping the tile before turning over the space to the owner)?
  • A general walk-through will also reveal damage that has been done prior to the cleaning so that the responsible party can be narrowed down by eliminating the cleaning service from suspicion.
  • If the floors are carpeted will vacuuming sufficiently remove the dirt?  Are there stains in the carpet that will require extraction?  Is the carpet so dirty it will all need extraction cleaning to properly remove all the construction dirt from it?
  • What condition are the non-waxed tile floors?  Will sweeping and mopping get them clean?  Is there grout residue on the tile? (This will require machine scrubbing with mild acid cleaner to remove).
  • There are various types of linoleums (under specific Trademark names from the manufacturers) that will not require waxing.  However, unless they were protected (with plywood or a heavy tarp) they may also require machine scrubbing to properly restore their intended appearance.
  • Some linoleums and terrazzo’s require scrubbing and sealing.  Please check the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific floor.
  • Stripping and Waxing - Is there vinyl composite tile (VCT)?  If yes it comes with a factory seal that should be removed (by stripping) then apply at least one coat of sealer and two coats of finish (there are products now that are a sealer/wax combination.  If the area is heavily trafficked (ex. hallways, kitchens, class rooms, restrooms, etc.) five coats are the recommended minimum.  It will cost a little more to apply the extra two coats but the improvement in wear and tear and appearance will make it worth the investment.

Horizontal and Vertical Surfaces
  • Check the condition of all horizontal surfaces including counters, door frames, ledges, sills, walls, etc.  Most likely at a minimum they will require damp wiping.  What you are looking for is “eye sore” rings, spills, and spots such as coffee rings, paint spills, dry wall spots, etc.  These will require special cleaners and techniques to remove.  
  • It’s my experience that doors and walls stay relatively clean and usually do not require full washing.  But double check to make sure (sometimes they may need dusting) and also check for marks (pencils, rubs, etc.).
  • Cabinets and furniture will have to be inspected inside and outside.  This includes cabinetry in kitchens as well as office areas.  Wood dust and shavings often accumulate inside the cabinets.
  • Note that in full kitchens there may be appliances, duct work, and hoods, to clean inside and outside and polish stainless steel including removing protective wraps.

Glass and Windows
  • Interior glass can become dusty and speckled with drywall moguls and paint.  Exterior glass surfaces can also be covered with mud residue from construction splashes and weather (rain and snow).  These will not clean up with out razor scraping.  Cleaning with a razor takes more labor but it will be well worth the investment because other wise the glass will still have the moguls and paint splatters which contributes to the dust and dirt residue smearing across the glass rather than cleaning away.

  • If you have not seen a restroom after construction you may not be able to appreciate how much work it takes to prepare it for opening and usage.  There may be caulk, drywall dust, glue, paint, protective wrap, to clean from dispensers, doors, fixtures, partitions, walls, etc.  Much of the work should be done with professional hand tools to clean all the corners, crevices, and edges.  It takes more labor and costs a little more but it will be more frustrating if a month afterwards you are still finding construction dust and spots that should have been cleaned in the original cleaning.  


  • Stainless steel surfaces (ex. door kick plates, restroom dispensers, etc.) usually have protective wrap to remove then possibly a little bit of adhesive residue to clean.
  • Metal surfaces such as door frames, thresholds, elevator doors and panels, etc. will need to be cleaned with something that has a polishing agent to bring a shine to the chrome and metal.

The optimum time to perform construction cleaning is after all construction is finished and the trades have left the building.  If it is attempted during construction with the trades still on site they will touch and walk on surfaces that have already been cleaned and it will need to be cleaned again an additional cost.

An organized and well-planned construction cleaning will result in faster getting your business up and running with less frustration and headaches after moving in.

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Tags: Commercial Cleaning

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