As local Birmingham cleaners, we see a wide range of office blocks that require cleaning, whether a large city centre block on New Street or a smaller serviced office in Solihull.
We recently inspected a new block and couldn’t help but notice a few issues that the current office cleaners should have really highlighted.
Others may need to be involved with these, including maintenance contractors and property managers. Still, these sorts of things should have been spotted, with cleaners being the regular people in and around the offices.
Therefore, here are the main issues noted and photos taken of each one:
1. Consequences of over-cleaning with substances
This unusual blue tinge on the white wall around the lift buttons can’t be missed and almost looks artistic.
For a few minutes, you wonder how on earth this has got like this, but then you realise that it’s from too many clean of these lift buttons, probably during the Covid-19 lock-down and emphasis on touch points.
The issue is probably too much spray or the cloth going too far beyond the metal piece and onto the white wall, and it should not have reached this stage.
2. Carpet marks
On this otherwise modern office carpet, there is an unusually darker circle. This perfect shape means it can’t be a vacuum cleaner or other equipment causing damage, but Covid-19 stickers were placed on the floor at the time.
Not ideal, and some careful carpet cleaning of the whole area may help lift this and disguise it; otherwise, you’re in the realm of changing carpet tiles.
3. Marks and stains on trims
This example of a metal floor strip near the lift can at first take a little bit of spotting, but you can soon see it while waiting for the lift.
Annoying rubber marks on this trim may have been from office furniture or contractors dragging items in and out and not correctly lifting them off the ground.
Some good old scrubbing with a sufficient cleaning substance and scrubber can hopefully do the trick, but taking care not to damage this piece and do it safely near the lift door.
4. Classic scuff marks on the walls
Here’s a popular problem that always sticks out – scuff marks on the wall.
Sometimes they can be easy to wipe off, but more often than not more difficult, particularly on water-based emulsion paint finishes, once you have to wipe with a damp cloth which causes the colour also to come off.
What is essential is to find out the source of this. Although often random, they can be telltale signs of problems, such as people moving furniture around, contractors being at work, and even people carrying bikes and catching them on the walls.
5. Stairs treads and standing areas
These are the edges of each step of the stairs, often with a separate metal strip on the end, and there are two issues to look out for.
Firstly, just keeping clean may take effort as they take the brunt of people’s feet all day long.
Secondly, to watch out for issues such as becoming loose or, in this case, some patch on them, and letting the maintenance people know.
6. Glazing labels and signs
These crop up here and there, maybe on a new door like this and labels on the glazing, or from situations such as the covid-19 pandemic.
It’s first worth checking whether this stays or go, and even if they stay, see if they can be neatly repositioned or stuck down.
If not, then remove them and carefully scrub all the glue off behind them on the glass (being careful not to damage any other surfaces like the wood finish)
7. Lighting damage and marks
Here’s something a bit different to finish with – a wall light that has well and truly broken!
Only a dim light is coming through, and there are black ‘dust’ marks over the top.
This is undoubtedly a situation where electricians must be immediately notified to make it safe. But if so, and they may even replace the fitting, the question may be, can the cleaner remove the dust above just like that?
Although it may be possible, in reality probably not and will need redecorating – an excellent example of regular cleaners working in partnership with other trades.
Getting to grips with niggly office cleaning issues
When looking at a one-off or regular cleaning of an office or commercial business space, it’s essential to take a step back and see the wood for the trees, as they say.
Walking around and keeping your eyes open can hopefully note these things that stick out; you can then note and discuss how and who can resolve them with others.
If this is possible through the cleaning contract or instruction, then it’s essential to help quantity everything to help resolve, including the cost, disturbance, and timing to complete.