When you remodel or renovate your home, you can remove everything — from furniture and rugs to people and pets — and avoid certain areas during the work. Remodeling or expanding your store or office is different. Business doesn’t stop just because you’re renovating, and your customers will expect the same cleanliness and high standards they always enjoy.It can be a real challenge to keep customers happy and maintain cleanliness during these disruptive and stressful projects. Fortunately, Kyle Orlowski, Prestige Maintenance USA’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, has some valuable tips on how to maintain clean, orderly facilities during your next renovation or remodel.
DON’T LEAVE CUSTOMERS IN THE DUST
Renovations and expansions — especially large-scale projects — create a lot of dust and debris. Ideally, the construction area can be completely quarantined, with no traffic in or out to spread dirt and dust, and all items can be removed and stored offsite. But in a commercial facility, this is rarely possible.
The next best thing is to create a barrier with thick plastic and construction tape. “In almost all cases,” says Orlowski, “there are certain areas of the remodel that require the contractor to build temporary walls several feet high and plastic sheeting to enclose the area from that wall to the ceiling for dust control.”
These barriers limit the amount of debris that is spread throughout the building. They also prevent patrons from entering the construction area and allow contractors to continue working without negatively impacting customers.
Before you start any remodeling project, it is important to understand what is expected of your contractor and the full statement of work. “Dust created by remodeling activities is not generally contracted to a housekeeping vendor,” says Orlowski. “The contracted construction company is expected to provide their own labor to mitigate dust.”
Orlowski notes that contractors should also be required to supply specialized equipment attachments that collect dust as they work when engaging in activities — such as cutting into concrete — that create significant dust.
The best way to protect your merchandise, carpets and fixtures is to remove them from the construction area and cover everything that can’t be removed with thick plastic.
MAKING A PATH
Even if customers and employees are kept away from the renovation area, workers will need to move in and out of the space on a regular basis. Create a pathway for them using plywood sheets or cardboard to protect your floors.
“Contractors are expected to lay down a barrier of plywood sheets when they are bringing heavy and potentially damaging equipment into the store or when they are trafficking across tile or carpeted areas,” explains Orlowski.
Construction projects can release odors, contaminants and even biological pollutants into the air. From there, they can spread throughout your facility’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Maintaining high air quality during a renovation is critically important.
“Sometimes, during a remodel, facilities will run their HVAC systems lower than normal levels when the store is open to optimize energy costs,” Orlowski says. “The HVAC should run at 100% from beginning to completion of a remodel for proper ventilation.”
Dust on ceilings and walls is very fine and can spread quickly and easily. When possible, cutting and grinding should be done in an outside tent or separated area during business hours. Open windows to let dust out and fresh outside air in. Once your project is complete, remember to change all of your air filters.
Often, after a remodel, a contractor will be retained to scrub the ceiling tiles throughout a store with a special chemical process to whiten and brighten them. Though the chemicals used for this process are very effective, they are also corrosive to the finish used on tile floors.
During this tile-cleaning process, require contractors to tarp the area below to prevent these chemicals from landing on fixtures and carpet, advises Orlowski. Otherwise, professional maintenance crews will need to be contracted to repair the damage, which can be an expensive and labor-intensive process.
When tile has to be replaced and refinished, hire a professional. Orlowski recommends that you bring the tile up to brand standard as each area of a remodel is completed to avoid having to strip and restore the entire store at the end.
CLEAN AS YOU GO
Work closely with your professional janitorial and maintenance team to set expectations so your facility meets your gold standard of cleanliness every day — even during construction.
“Prestige Maintenance USA has many large national customers with numerous remodels going on at any given time,” says Orlowski. “Even during a remodel, we are still contracted within our daily statement of work and expected to deliver a clean store every day.”
It's critical to keep your contracted janitorial team in the loop and to provide them with access to all areas during a remodel so they can get the job done. “Keeping janitorial and maintenance teams informed is an important part of the process. You can never over-communicate in this environment,” Orlowski says.
“Include them in weekly construction meetings so they can represent the housekeeping aspect of the remodel and make their voices heard about where they need support from the store team to deliver on expectations.”
Prestige Maintenance USA can work with you to create a consultative janitorial and maintenance plan for your next renovation, expansion or remodel. Contact us today!