Detroit Janitorial & Cleaning Services Blog

Celebrate Global Handwashing Day October 15th

Posted by Christine Duquette on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 @ 11:55 AM

global handwashing day, handwashing for health, janitorial services company detroit 

Global Handwashing Day is in a few days, are you ready to celebrate with a little soap and warm water? Yes, Global Handwashing Day is a real thing and with handwashing being such an effective and cheap way to prevent the spread of disease, it’s no wonder why. Global Handwashing Day is an annual day of global advocacy centered on increasing awareness of the importance of handwashing as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. The 2017 Global Handwashing Day theme is “Our hands, our future!” reminding us that hand washing protects our health and the health of those around us.


The CDC, or Centers for Disease Control also are strong advocates of hand washing. As they say, “Handwashing is like a "do-it-yourself" vaccine.” They advocate five simple steps for effective handwashing- wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry. Good hand washing techniques reduce the spread of the flu as well as stomach and respiratory illness and regular handwashing, especially before and activities like preparing food or using the restroom, offer one of the most effective ways to reduce and eliminate germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of disease causing germs to others. The CDC has a number of free and easy to print posters that you can use to help illustrate the importance of hand washing with your tenants or employees.


Here at Stathakis, we have long advocated reminding employees and tenants of proper hand washing techniques as one easy way for Facility Managers to reduce the spread of disease causing germs that can raise absenteeism and lower productivity in their facilities. Hand washing is quick, simple and it can keep many people from getting sick. It is a win for everyone, with the exception of the germs. Influenza, the common cold and other easily transmittable illnesses that can wreak havoc on an otherwise well maintained facility. Why are disease-causing germs spread so easily in offices, schools, retail businesses and facilities like them? Well, you have a great many people touching things and surfaces that many other people touch throughout the day. Just one ill person can spread disease causing germs all over your facility. It’s as easy as opening a door and then touching your mouth and bam, you have the flu! It is for this reason that frequent hand washing, especially after using the restroom, blowing your nose or coughing, can go a long way in reducing the germ load in your building.


Of course, most of the measures to reduce illness in your facility and maintain a healthy work environment are the responsibility of your janitorial services company. In order to assist in keeping your facility as healthy as possible your janitorial services company should:

  • Understand hot spots and touch points and focus cleaning on where disease causing germs congregate.
  • Follow cleaning product manufacturer instructions regarding dwell times and similar to assure the greatest efficacy of key products like disinfectants and sanitizers.
  • Store and use cleaning chemicals properly.
  • Frequently change mop water and mop heads to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
  • Utilize Team Cleaning where appropriate to reduce cross contamination & improve service through employee specialization.
  • Keep all cleaning equipment adequately maintained.


Do your part as a Facility Manager and partner with a commercial cleaning company or janitorial services company that is committed to a healthy work place and you can help reduce the spread of illness in your facility as well as reduce the negative impacts associated with it.


Here at Stathakis, we have spent over thirty years developing a standard of service that helps ensure a healthy work place. We have worked hard to develop and put into practice those systems and methods that help reduce and eliminate disease causing bacteria throughout our customer’s facilities. We utilize Smart Cleaning and understand the Science of Clean. We focus on touch points and hot spots to kill the germs where they congregate and spread most easily. We always follow the manufacturer recommendations for cleaning products and we train and manage employees in safe chemical storage.We utilize a host of practices that reduce cross contamination including color coded cleaning cloths and Team Cleaning where applicable. Not only do we follow industry best practices, we help create them through our own innovation and striving to deliver the best in facility maintenance for the businesses of southeastern Michigan. If you are a Facility Manager in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, Farmington, Dearborn, Livonia, Troy, Auburn Hills, Novi, Plymouth, Downriver or surrounding areas and you are looking for commercial cleaning services, office cleaning, school cleaning, industrial cleaning, medical cleaning or other building services, please contact us to learn more about how we can help you maintain a healthy workplace and make your facility shine.

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janitorial pricing

Tags: Cleaning Industry Updates, Commercial Cleaning, Industry Best Practices, Healthy Work Environment

Subpar Commercial Cleaning & Sick Employees Will Cost You

Posted by Christine Duquette on Thu, Sep 21, 2017 @ 02:03 PM




Learn more about how your commercial cleaning company or janitorial services company can help keep your work environment healthy and the importance of services janitorial:

Are You Ready For Flu Season

Flu Season Survival Kit: Enlisting the Help of Your Cleaning Company

10 Tips for Avoiding the Flu at work for a Healthy Work Environment



Tags: Cleaning Industry Updates, Commercial Cleaning, Healthy Work Environment

Smart Cleaning: What It Is & Why It Works

Posted by Chris Stathakis on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 @ 04:05 PM

janitorial services company detroit, smart cleaning, team cleaning livonia, michigan janitorial companies

The Demands On Today’s Facility Managers

We meet with Facility Managers every day and what they tell us is that they are under continual pressure to do more for their facilities with even leaner budgets. Chalk it up to economic unpredictability, fierce competition and a host of other factors, but slashed budgets and leaner operations are not yet behind us. And while pennies get pinched, responsibilities for many Facility Managers just get more complex. You are likely tasked with things like supervising your facility’s maintenance, lease management, assigning and managing space, managing a host of different teams, even confirming your facility is compliant with all relevant regulations and requirements. You may be responsible for planning and managing building work and renovations, steering your building to greater energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness, forecasting and budgeting, and even directing security and general administrative services. That is a VERY full plate. With so much on your plate, it is no wonder so many Facility Managers are overwhelmed by the struggle to both manage their facility in a meaningful way while at the same time meeting budget and profitability requirements.


Could Your Facility Benefit From Smart Cleaning?

So we agree, Facility Managers have more responsibility and greater complexity in their work than in days past. The bad news is that is not likely to change any time soon. The good news is that challenges quite often drive innovation and the janitorial industry has been working hard to respond to the changing needs of the facilities and Facility Managers they work with.Smart cleaning is one such innovation that can help Facility Managers both manage their buildings at the required level and meet ever tightening budget requirements. Many building services contractors are working hard to innovate, to eliminate waste and maximize efficiency wherever possible. They understand that they must balance both goals of effective facility maintenance AND budget targets. Smart cleaning measures make these goals reachable.


What Is Smart Cleaning?

Smart cleaning isn’t about complex algorithms or a bunch of geniuses in a room together coming up with a robot that did it all (though that might be nice). Still, Smart Cleaning is an approach that requires a great deal of thought, customization, innovation and commitment from your janitorial services company. Smart Cleaning is about identifying the essential services in your building, demarcating those that are important but perhaps not essential and determining which services you can intermittently go without, where you can cut, where you cannot and how to find efficiencies without it being obvious that services are being reduced. Smart Cleaning requires that you and your commercial cleaning company communicate and work together to determine the following:

  • “What are we doing currently and does it make sense given our needs?”
  • “What tasks and duties are must haves that need to be included regardless?”
  • “Where are the areas we might be able to get by with less?”
  • “What tasks are we performing that might be unnecessary?”
  • “What better, more efficient ways might there be to complete those things that are necessary?”

Understand, Smart Cleaning can't just be a mandate to your janitorial services company. For it to be at all successful, it must be a collaboration between you and your commercial cleaning company. Only you know what you can and cannot live without but only they understand how to shift their services to meet your goals without compromising your facility’s maintenance.


How Smart Cleaning Works

Smart Cleaning is the single best way to manage a reduced building services budget without throwing your building’s maintenance into a downward spiral. And it works, IF your janitorial services company understands how to work with you to uncover needs and implement a solid plan. With Smart Cleaning, your cleaning spec becomes need-focused rather than just a standard laundry list of cleaning tasks. In the hands of an inexperienced or careless cleaning company it will just look like a cleaning company doing less and your facility needs being ignored. Likewise, if a janitorial company isn’t equipped with adequate training and the systems to make Smart Cleaning work, it won’t. Smart Cleaning requires thought, planning and a solid system. Without these crucial elements, it is unavoidable that the wrong things are often left undone, there are no targets or predictability in place and little to no accountability from your cleaning company. Smart Cleaning is NOT just doing less, it’s about a strategic shift in services that eliminates redundancies and spreads out work in a way that maximizes your cleaning dollar. The most important element of Smart Cleaning is the communication between you and your janitorial company regarding your building and what you need and then how they communicate that to the people cleaning your facility through training and management. Janitorial staff must have the training to understand the use patterns of the facility they maintain and how to identify essential services and continually adjust their cleaning to meet your facility’s needs.


Why Smart Cleaning Works

What makes Smart Cleaning different from regular old cleaning services? Smart Cleaning offers a two pronged approach. First, uncover efficiencies and second, create efficiencies. Certainly you can evaluate your facility maintenance plan for overlap or unneeded work but a critical element of effective Smart Cleaning is to find better ways to do more work with fewer resources. Smart Cleaning can also only be implemented be highly resourced, professional commercial cleaning companies. Why? Because Smart Cleaning requires a considerable investment from your Building Services Company in products, equipment, training and even the framework in place to make it all work. To truly implement Smart Cleaning as a solution and not simply a reduction in services, your janitorial services company MUST be committed to best practices.


Putting Smart Cleaning To Work In Your Facility

One critical element to making Smart Cleaning work in your facility is having an understanding of your building’s use and traffic patterns. When you know this, you can direct services to the most used and most dirtied areas of your facility. For example, this information can direct your cleaning company to reduce or alternate vacuuming days or floor days in areas that accumulate less soil. On that same note, you can even reduce the overall soil and debris making its way into your facility with the implementation of a walk off mat program. Mats strategically placed at your building’s points of entry and high traffic areas will hold soil, dust and worse keeping it from accumulating throughout your facility. This means cleaning crews can vacuum mats daily but rotate other less dirty areas of your building, saving you money without sacrificing clean.


Janitorial Efficiencies Like Team Cleaning Make A HUGE Difference

Janitorial innovation and efficiency are critical to implementing a successful Smart Cleaning program. That is part of the reason why reducing services with just ANY janitorial company is bound to fail. Smart Cleaning isn’t simply about LESS work it’s about BETTER work, and better practices. What efficiencies and practices make a big difference with Smart Cleaning? First, team cleaning is an integral part of the Smart Cleaning equation. What is team cleaning? First, let’s look at how cleaning and maintenance duties are typically carried out in a facility. Many commercial cleaning companies utilize the zone cleaning approach. This is an old method of cleaning whereby you divide a building into separate ‘zones’ that are the responsibility of assigned cleaners. With zone cleaning, each cleaner was responsible for every cleaning task in their zone, often an entire floor. That means with zone cleaning, every cleaner needs to vacuum, clean restrooms, empty trashes, dust and more. This has some serious drawbacks. First, because each cleaner has a diffuse set of responsibilities, it is easier to miss tasks and in shifting tasks, a cleaner may be less likely to master a given set of skills. Likewise, when a cleaner must vacuum, dust, clean restrooms and more, each cleaner requires their own set of tools, equipment and supplies creating an unnecessary, expensive overlap. Team cleaning offers a better approach that is significantly more lean and effective. With team cleaning, janitorial staff become skilled at a limited amount of tasks and perform them throughout your building. So, there is a vacuum specialist, a restroom specialist and a utility or general specialist whose duties may vary. Team Cleaning leads to job mastery, a well-defined scope of duties and a heightened level of accountability. And the need for less equipment and even labor makes team cleaning more efficient and more effective. Other efficiencies can be found, for example with chemical dispensing systems. These innovative dispensing systems offer a system that reduces the hassle of restocking, mixing and storaging bulk cleaning chemicals and even operator error in mixing and dilution. Likewise, color coded microfiber offers a great way to clean faster and better offering a visual indicator of adherence to standards while reducing the risk of cross contamination in your facility.

With the help of a professional, reputable, experienced janitorial company, Smart Cleaning can help you get the most from your cleaning budget while you keep you facility in good working order without creating a bursting box of complaints. It is possible and you can strategically maintain your facility in a way that works for you and even makes your job as a Facility Manager just a little bit easier.


Tags: Cleaning Industry Updates, Janitorial Services, Industry Best Practices, Janitorial Pricing

Is Your Restroom Cleaning Service #1 or #2?

Posted by Chris Stathakis on Wed, Oct 19, 2016 @ 05:42 PM

detroit commercial restroom cleaning service, commercial cleaning companies southeast michiganIs Your Restroom Maintenance A #1 Or #2?

A clean restroom is one of the most important components of a well maintained facility and yet, it is often also one of the most overlooked areas of a building. Restroom cleaning can be challenging because the expectation is that when you use a restroom, it is clean but the reality of facility restrooms is they see a great deal of activity and can become dirty and gross very quickly. With a high frequency of use, many touch points and hot spots for transferring germs, and increased exposure to bio-hazardous wastes combine to make restrooms one of the scariest places in any facility. Restroom sanitation must be a priority for your commercial cleaning company. And restrooms don’t just have to look clean, they have to BE clean. Because restrooms that harbor germs and bacteria make people sick and sick employees cost companies resources and poor business outcomes that can translate directly to the bottom line. So are your restroom cleaners scoring a #1 or #2 when it comes to commercial restroom cleaning? And if you are unhappy with the level of service your restrooms are getting from your commercial office cleaning company, how can you find a janitorial services company that will deliver the level of clean you really need?


Does Your Janitorial Services Company Really Know How to Clean Restrooms?

There are really two ways to evaluate your current janitorial company to decide whether their restroom cleaning services are cutting it. You can look at what makes for great commercial restroom cleaning or you can for the signs that your office restrooms need more attention. So what are some signs that there may be trouble brewing in your restrooms? If you can see soil, smudges and dirt on or around restroom door handles, your restrooms could be the perfect breeding ground for disease causing germs. If you can detect funky, “bathroom” odors, your restroom isn’t truly clean. If restroom sinks look soiled, harbor deposits and grime or your commercial cleaning company has allowed spilled soap and soil to collect around sinks, your restrooms need a second opinion. If wetness, smears, streaks and mystery moisture cling to restroom mirrors, your restroom cleaning is not delivering. Dirt visible on restroom floors and an overflowing trash receptacle are both signs your office restrooms are not getting the attention they need. And finally, if critical hygiene supplies like soap, paper towels and more are not fully stocked, your commercial cleaning company is phoning it in.


Restroom Cleaning Is About More Than A Mop & Bucket, It’s a Science

In the janitorial industry, there has been a shift from the old bucket and mop to science based cleaning. A growing awareness of the need for high standards of hygiene and the prevention of cross-contamination, particularly in restrooms, is something every professional janitorial company should be familiar with. If your commercial cleaning company is serious about eradicating pathogens and toxins lurking in your facility, they must acknowledge that rest rooms, sinks and yes, toilets, are the seat of the problem. With splashes, drips, standing water and dampness, your office restrooms can quickly become an unhealthy breeding ground for germs and bacteria and the funky odors that come with them. Old school restroom cleaning, like the mop and bucket, ignores the science that tells us these dated restroom methods just spread germs and dirt around rather than truly clean. Better methods like microfiber floor cleaning and color coded rag systems to prevent cross contamination are both effective at reducing the spread of germs and don’t have to cost any more than the old school, ineffective restroom cleaning. And science based restroom cleaning also extends to the products used to clean your spaces, whether or not they are used correctly and whether or not your janitorial services’ people are properly trained to use them. Industry best practices like cleaning first, then disinfecting with proper dwell times effectively reduces disease causing germs and bacteria. Your Detroit cleaning company should be well aware of things like hot spots, touch points and dwell times that all impact the level of clean they can deliver.


Making The Restroom Cleaning Checklist Work For You

We have detailed what some restroom cleaning companies are doing wrong, but what do we know about restroom cleaning done right? Is there an ultimate restroom cleaning checklist that you can either provide your janitorial company or use to evaluate the job they are currently doing? What exactly does great office restroom cleaning look like? Commercial cleaning companies are different and often do things very differently, however, there are some commonalities when it comes to solid, healthy, germ conscious restroom cleaning. What do the best janitorial companies do better? They assure mirrors are clean, shiny and streak free. Effective restroom cleaners make certain the areas behind toilets and other hard-to-reach areas are properly cleaned to destroy odor. They clean "hot spots," and high contact “touch points” methodically in order to reduce the transmission of disease causing germs in all high transmission areas. They carefully clean, disinfect and dry toilets and toilet seats. Your janitorial services company should assure dryers, paper dispensers and other restroom fixtures are regularly inspected to confirm they function correctly. Likewise, feminine hygiene dispensers should be cleaned, disinfected and restocked with new liners as required. Your office cleaning team should likewise clean, disinfect and dry urinals making certain that screens are cleaned and urinal cakes are replaced. Additionally, supplies like toilet paper, hand soap and paper towels should be restocked as needed. Moreover, trash and sanitary disposal containers should be emptied regularly as a habit, before they are full or overflowing. You should NEVER see stalls and partitions with old grime, fingerprints, gum, gunk and graffiti or dirty, dusty air vents. Finally, your office restrooms should smell fresh and clean.


Finding Restroom Cleaning Services That Will Always Be a #1

While getting effective, consistent restroom cleaning can seem impossible there are janitorial service companies that get it right. They understand that deep cleaning must be done periodically to eliminate long term issues piling up and protect your building’s assets. They know that state of the art cleaning equipment and environmentally friendly products do the best job for the best price delivering great service, great value and a healthy work environment. The best Detroit cleaning companies also know that regular janitorial inspections identify needed maintenance and keeps everyone on the same page as to delivering on expectations. So these industry leaders are out there but how do you, as a Facility Manager find them? The great news is that the most effective janitorial companies who understand how to REALLY keep your restrooms well maintained won’t necessarily cost any more than those companies that aren’t delivering. The reality is that often the most effective janitorial companies are able to deliver lower cost services to you because they understand how to price their services and they use state of the art equipment and methods that offer greater efficiency and therefor reduced costs. When looking for effective restroom and office cleaning, CIMS, or the Cleaning Industry Management Standard offers a shortcut to finding solid building services contractors. CIMS is a voluntary certification process that assures a building services company meets a number of markers that directly link to overall success and satisfied customers. CIMS entails developing and following processes that support best practices. While CIMS doesn’t guarantee you will get the promised service, it is a valuable, free tool to help you create a short list of janitorial companies, weed out the less than stellar companies and get the service you and your facility require.



Tags: Restroom Cleaning, CIMS-GB Certification, Cleaning Industry Updates, Commercial Cleaning, Office Cleaning, Healthy Work Environment

Stathakis Meet Our Team: Special Projects Manager Matt Brown

Posted by Christine Duquette on Mon, Aug 22, 2016 @ 11:57 AM


blue_made_in_michigan_stamp.jpgMatt Brown joined Stathakis in May as Special Projects Manager with a special focus on carpet cleaning and hard surface floor care. As CEO Chris Stathakis tells us, “we have so many accounts that partner with us for janitorial and regular cleaning services who really need our help getting their carpet and floor maintenance and other special projects on the maintenance schedule and in the budget. For us as a company, it is certainly an opportunity for growth. For our customers, it is an added benefit to have a go to guy like Matt with his two decades of expertise in flooring and carpet at their disposal and more expert services under the Stathakis umbrella.”

It's no surprise that Stathakis chose Matt Brown to head, develop and grow their Special Projects division. Matt has been immersed in the commercial carpet cleaning industry for over twenty years. As Matt tells us, “I started as a part-time carpet cleaner and I really liked it—the work, the people, learning the equipment and techniques to give customers the best result, it was rewarding in its own way. I worked full-time doing that for years before moving into a management role. I have spent the last eight years as a regional manager with over 100 employees at five different locations throughout Southern Michigan and Ohio.”

Having been on both sides, technician and manager, Matt has a broad perspective on doing his job. “I was on the technician side for many years so I understand some of the challenges and frustrations both in the field and within an organization. I’m also a supervisor and manager so I get to see the bigger picture on how our division feeds into and works in partnership with the other parts of the business. I think understanding both sides from a first hand perspective makes me more effective all around and helps assure we deliver the results our customers have come to expect.”

Brian Mamo agrees telling us, “We used Matt Brown as a subcontractor for years and he was always on his game-- on top of the job, on budget, on time and made the customers happy. Matt really knows his stuff, so when we were looking to expand our carpet and flooring capabilities in order to offer our customers more services under our umbrella, we needed the right person who could provide current customers and new customers the level of expertise, service and responsiveness we have always strived for. Matt was the first person we thought of and he has been an excellent addition to our team.”
Matt Brown brings with him more than two decades of experience, knowledge and expertise to our customers. As Matt tells us, “I know carpet cleaning so yes, I sell carpet cleaning services, but I’m not your average sales guy. I feel like it is my job to help Facility Managers understand how regular carpet maintenance can positively impact the overall health and image of their facility AND their bottom line. Some Facility Managers are responsible for the carpet but may lack the knowledge. I mean, when was the last time your average Facility Manager even had the time to look over their carpet warranty and maintenance recommendations? Budgets are often tight and carpet cleaning doesn’t always rank high. But prolonging the life of carpeting, a costly building asset, can add up to significant cost savings. I help customers and potential customers understand the numbers, the methods and what works and why-- and then it’s up to them.”

As Special Projects Manager, Matt wears many hats but when we asked him about the areas of his job he finds most gratifying he had this to say, “I love working with people, the technicians, the customers, all of them. I would say one of my favorite things is training others. I find it so satisfying to arm someone with the technical ability to feel the rewards of a job well done while at the same time delivering the kind of effective services that make our customers thrilled.” 

When asked about his philosophy with regard to his work he told us, “I never oversell something. It doesn’t serve any of us well to tell a Facility Manager that we can make his ten-year-old carpet look brand new. It’s just not worth getting the deal if the customer is left with a bad taste in their mouth and unhappy. I’m a Michigan guy, born and raised here, my customers aren’t just accounts or dollars, they are relationships that have served me well over the last twenty years and I work hard to earn and keep their trust. I under promise and I over deliver and I’m serious about business but I’m a lot of fun too.” 

20160503_211353.jpgWhen asked about what kind of things are in place at Stathakis to help support Matt and his team, he told us,” Stathakis isn’t like any other Building Services Contractor I have ever worked with. Sure, other cleaning companies try to put a bunch of services in under one umbrella, but Stathakis strives to be the best at each service not just add it on with little or no real expertise. The other main difference is we are armed with the best equipment, training, technology and such to really deliver on our promises to the customer. It is important to me that we do the things we say we will and here at Stathakis, we are given the resources to do just that. At Stathakis, we are committed to doing whatever it takes to be better, faster, more affordable, more responsive and that effort is in the service of our customers.”

Matt, the youngest of six children, was born and raised in Livonia and continues to live in the community with his wife of twenty-four years, Michelle and their fourteen year old daughter, Annaclare. Two rescue Pomeranians Dutchie and Bella share their home and keep them busy. In his time away from work, Matt likes working outside on his yard and other home projects. He is also involved in his daughter’s school and theater productions she participates in as well as volunteering at his church and with the Epilepsy Foundation.


At Stathakis, we provide you with commercial carpet cleaning solutions and carpet maintenance programs tailored to your facility and your budget. We use only state-of-the-art carpet cleaning technologies and offer a variety of demonstrated carpet cleaning methods including truck mounted carpet cleaning, portable machine carpet cleaning, low moisture carpet cleaning, dry carpet cleaning all geared at getting you a deep clean, improving carpet’s appearance, extending the life span of your carpet and improving overall indoor air quality. We offer both on-demand carpet cleaning and subscription based carpet cleaning programs that can net you real value and reduce the hassle of planning continued carpet maintenance. For more information on how you can keep your floors cleaner than they have ever been, please contact Matt Brown, Stathakis Special Projects Manager at #800-278-1884.



Tags: Cleaning Industry Updates, Culture, Made In Michigan, Floor Care

Zika: The Risks & Role Commercial Cleaning Play In Infection Control

Posted by Christine Duquette on Mon, Jun 06, 2016 @ 07:18 PM

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Chances are that unless you have been living off the grid, you have heard of the Zika virus and some of the threats it poses. It’s all too easy to believe the news headlines designed to grab attention, but not always an accurate depiction of risk:

“Zika virus comes to the United States”

“Scientists warn Zika spreading”

“What you don’t know about Zika could put you at risk.”

“Local communities brace themselves for Zika.”

“Mosquito season could be deadly thanks to Zika virus.”

So what exactly is the Zika virus? What are the real risks associated with it? What if any threat does it pose here in the United States? And what role do commercial cleaning companies and janitorial services play in helping make facilities cleaner and safeguarded against ALL viruses and disease causing pathogens?


So What Exactly Is The Zika Virus?

According to he CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the Zika virus is a disease that spreads to people chiefly through mosquitos, specifically the Aedes species of mosquito. If the mosquito itself is infected with Zika, it can transmit the virus. Among the most widespread symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. Most often, the illness is mild and many people may not even realize they are sick. Although the illness is generally not serious, the Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, in addition to other severe fetal brain defects. After an individual has been infected, he or she is typically protected from future infections.


What Are The Real Risks Associated With The Zika Virus?

The single greatest health risk is that Zika can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus causing severe birth defects. There are also an increased amount of cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome in areas affected by Zika. Guillain-Barré syndrome is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. As no vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease, the current focus is on prevention measures. Prevention measure include avoiding mosquito bites. According to the CDC, when in areas with Zika, the following measures can help protect you. 

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Opt for places with air conditioning, windows and door screens to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Take measures to control mosquitoes inside and outside your residence.
  • Use mosquito netting if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. Choosing an EPA-registered repellent ensures the EPA has evaluated the product for effectiveness. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
  • Always follow the product label instructions.
  • Reapply insect repellent as directed.
  • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
  • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.
  • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.
  • Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old.
  • Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs.
  • Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
  • Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
  • Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
  • Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items.
  • Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See product information to learn how long the protection will last.
  • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
  • Do NOT use permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothing.
  • Even if they do not feel sick, travelers returning to the United States from an area with Zika should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks so they do not spread Zika to mosquitoes that could spread the virus to other people.


What Threat, If Any, Does The Zika Virus Pose Here In The United States?

On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Local transmission has been reported in many other countries and territories. Zika virus will likely continue to spread to new areas. As of yet, no local Zika cases have been reported in United States, but with the recent outbreaks in other areas of the world, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States will likely increase. These cases could lead to the local spread of the virus in some areas of the United States. Public health officials are asking home owners and businesses to help control mosquitoes this summer by cleaning up trash and other man-made containers that can collect rain water, where the insects breed. These same measures were recommended during the mosquito-borne dengue outbreak in Key West Florida.


What Role Do Commercial Cleaning Companies And Janitorial Services Play In Infection Control?

While the United States reported cases of the Zika virus have thus far all been travel related, experts suggest that these imported cases may eventually spread to local areas. The role commercial cleaning companies and janitorial services companies play in the control of the Zika virus is the same as they play in any other type of infection control. It is difficult to precisely quantify the risk of surface transmission for any infectious disease. The current opinion is Zika Virus will not persist on surfaces or spread through the water or air. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not yet published recommendations on specific disinfectant products as environmental contamination does not appear to play a role in the spread of infection. Currently, there are no EPA registered disinfectants labeled specifically to eradicate Zika virus. Still, viruses similar to Zika tend to be susceptible to a broad range of disinfectants used to disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces so your janitorial services company should employ disinfectants they would use to prevent the spread ofother infectious diseases. Likewise, your commercial cleaning company should use standard hard surface broad spectrum disinfectants and hand hygiene.

 zika infographic

 Medical Cleaning Outsourcing Guide


Tags: Cleaning Industry Updates, Commercial Cleaning, Industry Best Practices, Healthy Work Environment, Learn Everyday

President Proclaims May National Building Safety Month

Posted by Christine Duquette on Wed, May 04, 2016 @ 12:46 PM

stathakis, national building safety month nay 2016, building safety, bsc, buildig services contractors

On Friday of last week, President Barack Obama issued an official Presidential Proclamation making May National Building Safety Month for the fifth consecutive year.


In his proclamation, the President stated,” Buildings across our country provide safety and shelter to our people. From high-rises that form our cities' skylines to ranch homes that blanket the countryside, our buildings offer places to gather and perform daily activities, and they must have sound, secure, and resilient structures. During National Building Safety Month, we recognize and pay tribute to those who ensure the safety and resilience of our Nation's buildings, and we reaffirm our commitment to upholding and abiding by strong and effective building safety standards.” 


A number of governors and local officials throughout the nation have followed suit making May Building Safety Month in their respective states and local governments. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was among the many state governors adding their support to National Building Safety Month.


may michigan building safety month, stathakis

The President added this regarding building safety, “Maintaining the safety and resilience of our homes and buildings is imperative. By using disaster-resistant building codes and standards, resilient construction materials, and safe and performance-based design methods, we can safeguard the workplaces, houses, schools, and other facilities that provide us with space to grow, live, and learn.”


Additionally, President Barack Obama offered, “All people deserve to feel safe in the buildings we inhabit day in and day out.  With care and attention, we can secure and protect the places we spend time in.  This month, let us take action to safeguard America's homes, schools, and other buildings, and let us ensure those responsible for this important work have the tools and resources they need.” 


Building Safety Month began as a public awareness campaign started by the International Code Council designed to bring attention to public safety issues including safe and sustainable structures through modern, standardized building codes and enforcement.


This year’s theme centers on Building Codes: Driving Growth through Innovation, Resilience and Safety. Each week of Building Safety Month spotlights a specific area of building safety. The weekly themes are as follows: Week One (May 2-8) Building Solutions for All Ages, Week Two (May 9-15) The Science Behind the Codes, Week Three (May 16-22) Learn from the Past, Build for Tomorrow Week Four (May 23-29) Building Codes: A Smart Investment.


For over 30 years the ICC has championed advances in constructing safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient buildings. Building Safety Month brings much needed attention to the important role code officials play in public safety and has the support of the President of the United States, governors, mayors, county executives and other government officials and construction industry professionals and building services contractors from across the country. National Building Safety Month positively impacts public safety by bringing awareness about how building codes improve our surroundings from where we live to where we work.


Buildings that achieve any level of LEED certification must be constructed to meet all applicable building codes and thus, building codes and National Building Safety Month is significant for all Facility Managers and their Building Services Contractor partners. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has spent many years working to halt the negative impact buildings can have on the people that occupy them and the neighboring environment. Building codes have been a significant part of addressing some of these impacts. Through the growing community of green building professionals and LEED, USGBC has demonstrated that better, greener buildings can significantly reduce energy consumption, water use and waste while at the same time reestablishing natural systems, improving indoor air quality and positively impacting the bottom line.


Here at Stathakis, we support safe, sound structures and practices that keep people safe and are as always, committed to partnering with our Facility Managers to help them achieve their LEED and Green Building goals.



Tags: Cleaning Industry Updates, Industry Best Practices, Healthy Work Environment

Stathakis Announces the Addition of Mitch Hesson to the Sales Team

Posted by Christine Duquette on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 @ 12:15 PM

We are excited to announce the addition of Mitch Hesson to the Stathakis sales team. After our Farmington Hills expansion in April of 2014, our continued growth has created the need for an experienced, customer-focused sales executive who will use our position as the leader in southeast Michigan for quality, safety and value in facility services to bring our specific value proposition to more and more customers.


Here at Stathakis, we are committed to giving our customers the best people and Mitch is an important part of that commitment. Mitch’s extensive experience in facilities services and his customer-centered philosophy make him uniquely qualified to identify, present to and bring new customers in under the Stathakis umbrella of building services and create the lasting partnerships with customers we are known for. As Mitch himself noted,


“I always approach a customer or business opportunity with honesty and integrity. It doesn’t matter what you're selling, your product or service must provide real value to the customer. It must meet an unfulfilled need or solve a problem. If it doesn’t, then I tell them and walk away. I also believe you must be passionate about the product or service you offer. Customers sense your confidence in your offer and only then will trust you with their business.”


Stathakis understands that great service must begin with great people, but finding those people that are the best fit isn’t always an easy or quick process. Director of Business Development, Brian Mamo told us,


“We went through an extensive search to find the right person. And we passed on a number of individuals who were close, but not quite right for what we really required at this time. We needed someone that would fit our brand and philosophy. That individual needed to possess a great attitude, work ethic and solid experience in this industry that would serve our existing and new customers. Mitch was a natural fit but we still ran him through the paces. He was able to show us what he is capable of and not just tell us and I think he is a great fit for our organization and we are happy to have him.”  


Before joining Stathakis, Mitch worked as a facilities services sales executive for a janitorial supply company and most recently with Cintas Corp., selling facilities services, cleaning products and services. This experience prepared him for the lofty goals and high expectations Stathakis has for their team members. Mitch has a natural talent and a passion for working with people, discovering what they need and then partnering in a targeted way to deliver. As Mitch told us,


“I really admire the Stathakis commitment to the customer. In fact, my primary goal is always to identify how Stathakis can solve a problem. Uncovering a prospects business objectives and pain points is the critical first step in matching our solutions to their needs. Engaged conversations, facility tours, and relationship building provide the passion for long-term partnerships. A good “salesperson” must first listen to the customer. Nobody wins if the customer’s real needs are not identified. Then, the right solutions need to be implemented. Each customer has unique challenges that keep them up at night. It is my job to show them how our processes can truly solve their problem.“


Likewise, with nearly 25 years of time spent working with businesses in a sales and marketing capacity, Mitch understands the pressures businesses face to cut costs, improve efficiencies and negotiate partnerships that offer real value. His drive to provide customers with real solutions customized to their individual needs makes Mitch skilled at helping us deliver the individual service we are so proud of here at Stathakis.


For his own part, Mitch has expressed excitement at working with new customers within an organization that works hard to create both a culture of and reputation for excellence. As Mitch told us,


“Chris Stathakis, CEO, has really established a clear vision for our growth. He has invested heavily in processes that help the customer. Everything is customer focused. CIMS, the vigorous certification process, gives our customers the confidence in knowing we do things right, every time. Our proprietary Quality Chex system ensures we are always exceeding our customers’ expectations. Lastly, we go to great lengths to make sure we hire the right people, and place those people at the right location performing the right duties. Because of these processes, customers see real value in the services we provide. “


But where do Mitch and his philosophy of business fit in with the Stathakis standard? Asked this very question Mitch gives us this example,


“I put my cellphone number on my business card. Sales reps I have worked with in the past have asked, ‘why would you do that, you will get nothing but customer complaints and annoying calls.’ I disagree. I feel its important to the customer to know that if they have questions, concerns, complaints, and sometimes even praise, they can contact me directly. As the salesperson, I am the first contact, the first relationship they build with the company. They put their trust in me first. I always want to keep that relationship with the customer.”


Mitch is originally from Sterling Heights, Michigan where he attended Bishop Gallagher High school later attending the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor on a baseball scholarship. Mitch now calls Rockwood home where he lives with his wife of 22 years, Jennifer. They have four children Patrick (17), Kyle (16), Claire (14), John (11) and an Aussie Shepard named Callaway that keep them busy. Mitch shared with us that outside of work, most of his time is spent at his kids’ sporting events with each of them active in a variety of sports – baseball, softball, golf, tennis, and basketball. Both for pleasure and their team travel, Mitch and Jennifer travel quite often.

Tags: Cleaning Industry Updates, Made In Michigan

Stathakis Director Of Business Development Brian Mamo Earns CBSE

Posted by Christine Duquette on Tue, Mar 22, 2016 @ 02:20 PM

brian mamo, stathakis, issa, cbse, bscaiCongratulations to our Director of Business Development Brian Mamo, who recently earned the designation of Certified Building Service Executive through the Building Service Contractors Association International. A Certified Building Service Executive, or CBSE is among the most prestigious symbols of excellence in the building service contracting industry.

Applicants for the CBSE must have an executive/managerial role, commit to the BSCAI’s Code of Professional Ethics, enroll in this rigorous certification process, prepare for the CBSE examination and pass a demanding, daylong examination.

What subjects are covered in the CBSE examination? The better question might be what subjects AREN’T covered?

The full day examination covered an exhaustive array of subjects including:


Accounting & Bookkeeping

Bidding & Estimating



Business Law

Business Structure


Customer Relations

Employee Benefits

Employee Motivation

Employee Recruitment

Employee Relations

Employee Retention

Employee Scheduling

Employee Training

First Aid

Fiscal Controls

Inspection & Rating Insurance


Labor Law

Office Management

Marketing & Sales

Public Relations Purchasing

Quality Control

Safety & Fire


Technology of the Industry

Trade Practices


As Brian himself told us,

“I never thought obtaining the CBSE Certification was going to be as tough as it was. I studied from over twenty manuals from understanding work loading, accounting, human resources and putting quotes together to learning about carpet fibers, burnishing and window washing. I felt like I was in college again I was hitting the books so hard. The test started at 8:00 am sharp and ended at 4:00--it was very rigorous.

CBSE, bscai, janitorial certifications, brian mamo, stathakis, detroit area janitorial

When asked if there were any moments that stood out during the test, Brian had this to say,

“Funny part, there was a question that did not have an accurate answer. I brought it to the attention of the Certification Board and they agreed and changed it.  I may have helped hundreds of future potential CBSE candidates.”   

By earning the CBSE designation, Brian has become part of an elite group of building service professionals worldwide and not only does this benefit Brian professionally, it has far ranging benefits for all of us here at Stathakis and our customers. When asked how he thinks the CBSE Certification will help him do his job better, Brian told us,

“I have been with Stathakis for five years and the only constant is change. We have changed our sales mix, services and the operational structure to better serve our clients. I think this agility and responsiveness have been the keys to our success. The CBSE gave me a depth and breadth of information I didn’t have before. The more I know, the better I understand each facet of the business and can really respond in a way that makes sense. Understanding how all the parts work together also helps me to help Stathakis grow with new accounts and opportunities for all of us. Our growth has allowed us to promote several people internally, which is very gratifying to see.”

As with the ISSA’s CIMS certification, the BSCAI’s CBSE is an in-depth, rigorous, challenging certification process that only those most committed to our industry even attempt. It is those building service professionals who demonstrate the drive to excel, the dedication to serve and proven industry competence that earn the CBSE. Stathakis CEO, Chris Stathakis told us, 

“ ’Learn everyday’ is not only one of our Core Values here at Stathakis, but also way of life for Brian who shows up each day and leads by example in both his personal and professional life.” 

Congratulations to Brian who has not only been a valuable leader here at Stathakis for the last five years, but has continually worked to develop himself in such a way that he continues to add real value to our organization

Tags: Cleaning Industry Updates, Industry Best Practices, Learn Everyday, Leadership

Smart Cleaning: A Good Idea, More Effective & Better Value

Posted by Dale Saylor on Thu, Mar 03, 2016 @ 01:38 PM

smart cleaning, smart clean, janitorial pricing, janitorial best practices, janitorial services company

Why Does Your Facility Need Smart Cleaning?

Under pressure to do more with less, today’s Building and Facility Managers often fight an uphill battle. Economic unpredictability and business belt tightening mean more and more companies are still slashing budgets, scaling back and trying to shore themselves for the unknowns ahead. 

“With so much on your plate, Smart Cleaning can help you both manage your facility at the required level and meet ever tightening budget requirements.”

As challenging as it is, today’s Facility Managers play an even more vital role in protecting their facilities reputation, assets and even profitability. With challenge often follows innovation and Facility Service Companies have been pushed to innovate, to eliminate waste and maximize efficiency wherever possible. As a Facility Manager, you are often tasked with the security, maintenance and services of your facility. What does that really mean? Well, for many Facility Managers that can mean:

  • Forecasting & budgeting
  • Lease management
  • Managing multi-disciplinary teams
  • Supervising building maintenance responsibilities
  • Assuring facility compliance with all pertinent regulations and requirements
  • Planning and managing building work and/or renovations
  • Guiding your facility to greater energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness
  • Coordinating security and general administrative services
  • Assigning and managing space within facility
  • Directing cleaning, catering and parking services

And that’s not even everything. As a Facility Manager, with so much on your plate, Smart Cleaning can help you both manage your facility at the required level and meet ever tightening budget requirements.


Putting Smart Cleaning To Work In Your Facility 

Considering whether Smart Cleaning might be the just what you and your facility need? Smart Cleaning comes down to identifying the essentials services in your facility, delineating those that are non-essential but important, understanding areas you can intermittently do without service and finding the most effective, efficient way to get it all done. As a Facility Manager and even in partnership with your janitorial services company, you must ask the following questions:

  • “What are we doing and does it make sense?”
  • “What are non-negotiable things that must be done even on a reduced budget?”
  • “Are there things we are doing that could be done less?”
  • “Are there things we are doing that perhaps don’t need to be done anymore?”
  • “Are there better, more efficient ways to do those things we must do?”

If you are considering newlyoutsourcing your building maintenanceor even if you have an existing commercial cleaning company, they must be a partner in your endeavor to trim costs and improve efficiencies. Smart Cleaning cannot be a top down mandate, rather it is a collaboration between you and your building services company.

“Smart Cleaning cannot be a top down mandate, rather it is a collaboration between you and your building services company.”


Is It Even Possible to Get Your Janitorial Company to Charge Less?

While no business wants their customers to spend less, your janitorial and maintenance company likely can relate to the pressure you are under to uncover efficiencies. Yourcommercial cleaning company faces much the same challenges. While a solid janitorial company won’t do the same work for less money, many will be willing to work within the budget requirements you are facing in order to wisely adjust work to meet your needs without throwing service and the overall maintenance of your building into a tailspin.


Real Smart Cleaning Requires Planning & Training

Your office cleaners or industrial cleaning team cannot put their focus on essential services if no one has trained them to view cleaning in this need-focused way. In the hands of an inexperienced or shoddy janitorial company with inadequate training and systems, Smart Cleaning isn’t about efficiencies and value but simply doing less without a plan. Without a plan, the wrong things are often left undone, there are no benchmarks or predictability in place and little to no accountability from your janitorial services company. The single most critical element of Smart Cleaning is a solid, effective training program. Cleaners must be trained to understand and work to the use patterns in the facility they maintain. The most effective and experienced commercial cleaning companies work with their cleaners to identify essential services, adjust their cleaning specifications to reflect budget cuts and still hold their team accountable for the work they have promised.


How Is Smart Cleaning Really Different?

How is Smart Cleaning different from standard janitorial services? Smart Cleaning is one part finding efficiencies and one part creating efficiencies. Certainly you can evaluate your facility maintenance plan for redundancies or repeated work but a critical element of effective Smart Cleaning is to find new ways to do more work with fewer resources. Yet, it can’t simply be about cost cutting because often the best and most effective Smart Cleaning requires a sizable investment from your janitorial company in products, equipment, training and even the systems in place to keep it all running smoothly. What kind of best practices can be included in the goal to reduce costs without sacrificing overall building maintenance through Smart Cleaning?


Traffic & Use Patterns in Your Facility

The first is understanding how your facility is used and where the day’s traffic and people flow has the most impact. This can help you reduce or alternate vacuuming days or floor days in areas that accumulate less soil. Likewise, zone cleaning can improve overall efficiency by reducing mistakes, issues of cross contamination and more. Zone cleaning refers to the plan in which specific cleaning tools are used in specific ‘zoned’ areas to set up a simple, easy to follow flow through the building. A mat system can help your facility save on time and money. Putting correct matting at each of your building’s entrances points and your highest traffic areas will reduce soil, dust and debris from entering your building in the first place, reducing your need for cleaning. Additionally, floor matting systems help prevent slip and fall accidents, reduce indoor air pollution and long term wear and tear on floors.


Janitorial Efficiencies Like Color Coded Micro Fiber Cleaning Cloths Add Up

On that same note, color coded microfiber can offer significantly more effective cleaning while reducing wasted resources and improving efficiencies. Micro fiber is itself better at cleaning but when your janitorial company implements a color coded microfiber cloth program, they use color to indicate to employees precisely where a towel is to be used. So red is typically toilets and urinals inside restrooms only with yellow being counters, sinks and partitions in restrooms only. Green microfiber towels are for general cleaning outside of restrooms and blue towels are for wiping glass, mirrors, and polished surfaces. While it sounds simple, this color coded cleaning cloth program saves cleaners time, avoids unnecessary laundering and significantly reduces cross contamination in your facility.

Other efficiencies can be found with chemical dispensing systems. These state of the art dispensing systems save time in part because their hassle-free design, one step cleaning process. This does away with time spent looking for the product you need, restocking and storaging bulk cleaning chemicals. Likewise, these chemical dispensing systems eliminate the time applied to mixing chemicals and assures effective, on label dilution by eliminating operator error.

Smart Cleaning, with the help of your professional janitorial services company or commercial cleaning company, can help you maximize the cleaning budget you have, keep you facility in good working order, protect the long term lifespan of your facility’s assets and make it at least a little easier to manage your towering work load a little easier.


Tags: Cleaning Industry Updates, Commercial Cleaning, Janitorial Services, Outsourcing, Janitorial Pricing, Customer Focus

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