Category: Health

Category: Health

Touch-Free Washrooms Welcome Addition to Office Cleaning Services

Why Innovation is Important to Your Commercial Cleaning Services

An important job of a commercial cleaning company is to not only provide top notch office cleaning services, but to also recommend the latest in janitorial services innovations and technology.

Facility managers, and people who are generally afraid of using public washrooms, will be happy to know touch-free washrooms are one of these innovations.

“It is literally possible to use a restroom and never have to touch any of the fixtures,” says Ronald Attman, CEO of Acme Paper & Supply Co., Inc.

For Better Protection and Better Office Cleaning Services

From self-opening trash cans, touchless toilet paper and paper towel dispensers to portion controlled soap dispensers, these automated fixtures protect staff and customers, and provide high level office cleaning and building cleaning services.

In addition to providing a sanitary washroom experience, no-touch dispensers and fixtures will also help companies conserve bathroom supplies and save on restocking costs.

Ask This Question When Looking for Commercial Cleaning Companies in Calgary

When looking for commercial cleaning companies in Calgary, you want professionals that stay on top of technology and can recommend products and services.

Ensure you ask potential contractors about innovations they can offer to help you get the most comprehensive and cost-effective commercial cleaning services. Adding technology in the right places can save you time, money and give you better cleaning results.

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 disinfecting.

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.
Professional floor cleaning removes dirt and grease build-up.

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.

How Ceiling Cleaning Services Improve Air Quality and Occupant Health

Imagine, you’re sitting in a shopping mall food court, eating your lunch, when you look up and above your head is a ceiling caked with a layer of black dirt and dust. Not very appetizing, is it? It’s also not good for your health as that dirty ceiling could indicate air quality issues in that building.

Ceiling Cleaning Services Improve Air Quality

These are the very reasons why we were called in to provide ceiling cleaning services in a shopping mall food court. The dirt coming from the diffusers was an on-going challenge to the property manager that was responsible for commercial cleaning services for the large building.

Investigations have shown that “smudging,” as we call the deposition of dirt particles on the air outlet and surrounding surfaces, is more likely to be generated from room activity that releases dirt into the room air rather than from dirty supply air. This dirt suspended in room air, called an “atmospheric aerosol,” can then be entrained (drawn) into the discharge of the diffuser. (Hart & Cooley’s Tech Talk August 2006)

Dirt Particles

Dirt particles can be composed of both natural and man-made materials such as dust, smoke, greasy fumes, lint and pollen. Areas with heavy foot traffic will stir up these fine particles and keep them in suspension contributing to the smudging appearing on the ceiling.

Finding Quality Cleaning Cleaning Services

If you are challenged with dirty ceilings in your building, your first step will be finding the root cause of the ceiling smudging and how to address it. Enlist the help of an HVAC expert to examine your system as well as your diffusers.

Ceiling cleaning services should be part of a comprehensive commercial cleaning services program. For a qualified ceiling cleaning company, look for a commercial cleaning services company that has the knowledge and experience to do this specialized work. Maintaining a clean ceiling will give your business a clean, professional look while ensuring your staff and customers feel good about being there.

Ceiling cleaning services Calgary

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EFS Clean  is locally-owned-and-grown commercial cleaning company in Calgary and authorized dealer for Ceiling Pro International. Our services include Ceiling Cleaning Services, Commercial Cleaning Services, Construction Cleaning, Floor Cleaning and Quality Assurance Inspections. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or contacting us today. 

Do-It-Yourself Cleaning in Restaurants Pose Health & Safety Risks

We were recently having a staff meeting at a well established restaurant in Calgary when we saw something we never like to see. With our table in direct view of the kitchen, we saw a staff member precariously perched on a ladder, rag in one hand and spray bottle in the other, trying to clean the kitchen ceilings (to no avail). Lucky for that restaurant manager, I do no work for Occupational Health and Safety as the placement of that ladder and the positioning of that staff member on it would have violated many safety codes! No only was there a risk of falling but who knows what the solution was being used to attempt the cleaning of that ceiling.

More often than not, I hear of people using a bleach mixture or some other toxic mix that not only fails in the cleaning but presents a health risk to staff. As referenced on the Educating Wellness website, “Chlorine Bleach is a strong corrosive material.  It will irritate the eyes, skin and the respiratory tract by merely inhaling the gasses.  The dangers of bleach are even greater when mixing it with other cleaners.  When this happens a poisonous gas is released that can cause bloody noses, neurological disorders, headaches and even death.”  The use of bleach in a work setting requires use of a mask and gloves as protection. If this staff member was using a corrosive product while wearing no protective gear, he would be posing a health risk to not only himself but to other staff and customers.

Of course, we had to speak to the manager directly. As we are in the cleaning business, and have a ceiling cleaning service, it was pointed out to the manager that we have the process and product solutions (approved for kitchens by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, by the way) to safely and effectively clean those darkened, grease-laden ceilings. By allowing our professionals to do the ceiling cleaning for them, that restaurant manager removes the risk to staff and customers and is guaranteed a bright, clean kitchen for a minimal investment. Sounds like a no brainer, don’t you think?

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Learn more about our Ceiling Cleaning service and contact us for a free demo to see the results for yourself.

EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include Commercial Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Ceiling Cleaning & Restoration, Hard Surface/Tile Cleaning & Restoration, Quality Assurance Inspections and Efficiency Consulting. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.

Office Cleaning Tips to Avoid Spring Allergy Symptoms

This spring we’re seeing an increase in allergy symptoms due to the dry winter and warm temperatures. You may have noticed this, either with yourself or your co-workers, suffering from sneezing fits and watery eyes.

Here are some tips to ensure your office is being cleaned for health, meaning it’s being professionally cleaned to a level that will help with allergies and sensitivities . . .

Dusting – Regular damp dusting of surfaces will help rid your work space of dust and pollen. Ensure your cleaners are “damp’ dusting otherwise they are often moving the dust around rather than catching it in their cloths.

High Dusting – As part of your cleaning program, don’t forget to also schedule in high dusting. Areas such as cabinets and ductwork are often neglected so dust and pollen is allowed to accumulate and then spread throughout the office.

Carpet Cleaning – Have carpets cleaned every 3 to 6 months to maintain their condition as well as to remove dirt and dust. A carpet will maintain it’s appearance, and therefore your investment in it, much better with regular cleaning.

Ceiling Cleaning – A deep clean of an office cannot be considered a thorough clean without the inclusion of a ceiling clean.If ceilings are left unattended they leave office staff and workers vulnerable to captured overhead toxins, airborne germs and other pollutants which, in time, will fall from soiled ceilings and may cause the spread of colds, illnesses and trigger uncomfortable symptoms of allergies and asthma. Ceiling cleaning will also brighten your workspace and improve acoustics. Ask your cleaning company if they provide ceiling cleaning. If they don’t, find a company that does and have this service done every 6 to 12 months.

HVAC Cleaning – Over time, your air conditioning/heating systems will accumulate contaminents. Getting a professional cleaning of your system will not only improve air quality, espcially for those with sensitivities, but it will also allow your HVAC to run more efficiently, saving you money.

Mold & Mildew Removal – Mold is one of the most commonly found indoor air pollutants. Mold spores travel by air in spring and can settle anywhere there is moisture and warmth. Exposure to mold can lead to respiratory problems and allergic reactions. Regular office cleaning will help to ensure that mold doesn’t take hold and grow into a health problem.

Take the time to review your current office cleaning and work towards a comprehensive cleaning program which includes the elements as mentioned. A thorough and regular cleaning program is a smart investment in the appearance of your work space as well as the health of your employees.

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EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include Commercial Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Ceiling Cleaning & Restoration, Hard Surface/Tile Cleaning & Restoration, Quality Assurance Inspections and Efficiency Consulting. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.

Avoiding Germs in Schools and Offices

Anyone with kids in school knows. Anyone working in an office knows. When cold and flu season  hits, kids and office workers are at high risk of bringing these illnesses home. Every day, there is a large gathering of people in schools and offices and some of those people will be sick. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure those buildings stay relatively free of germs and building occupants stay healthy.

Hot Spots for Germs

High touch surfaces are favorite spots for germs to hang out and the perfect place for people to pick up illnesses. Some of these areas in schools and offices include:

  • Water fountains
  • Vending machines
  • Phones and keyboards
  • Door handles and light switches
  • Washroom and lunch room faucets

The Facts about Germs

  • The average school desk can have more than 20,000 germs per square inch.
  • Surfaces touched by teachers have 10 times more germs per square inch than surfaces touched by any other professional
  • 80% of germs are spread through contact with contaminated surfaces and hands.
  • People sick with the flu can infect others 24 hours before they show any symptoms.

 Cleaning to Avoid Germs – Wash, Wipe and Sanitize

Wash – Thorough hand washing with soap is still the most effective way of reducing the chance of illness. In addition, hand drying with paper towels can reduce germs by 77%.

Wipe – Use disinfectant wipes to clean desks, door handles, keyboards, etc. on a daily basis will help kill lingering germs.

Sanitize – Reduce your sick days by 21% by regularly using hand sanitizer.

Follow these simply hygiene tips and you will steer clear of the thousands of germs threatening your health and reduce your chance of getting sick by 80%.

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EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include Commercial Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Ceiling Cleaning & Restoration, Hard Surface/Tile Cleaning & Restoration, Quality Assurance Inspections and Efficiency Consulting. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.

What are the Germiest Places in Public?

Here is a great piece from Cleanlink News (6/19/2014). Take note, and take some cover, as you encounter these “germy” places . . .

The Germiest Places — and What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

In the professional cleaning industry, we generally focus on specific surfaces that can harbor germs and contaminants, as well as how to eradicate these unwanted guests.

But according to Dr. E. Neil Schachter, a professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, there are also specific places that tend to harbor more germs and potentially dangerous contaminants than others.

Schachter has found that the following are the five “germiest” places many of us are likely to visit:

Public transportation. The more crowded the bus or train, the more likely it is that germs will spread from one person to another. Additionally, specific surfaces on buses, trains, and subway cars can be germ transmitters.

Public restrooms. Many people have long mistrusted the sanitary conditions of these facilities, and for good reason. Bacteria and viruses thrive in the moist areas of all public restrooms, including sinks and soap dispensers.

Schools and daycare centers. Having lots of children in one location always creates the opportunity for colds, the flu, and other diseases to spread.

Doctors’ offices. Many illnesses are spread in doctors’ waiting rooms. In fact, some pediatricians now have separate waiting rooms for “well” and “not so well” children to avoid cross-contamination risks. And many doctors’ offices provide face masks at check-in for those patients who are sick.

Other public spaces. Any location where lots of people congregate-including concert venues and sporting events-is likely to be a gathering place for germs and bacteria as well.

So, is there any way to avoid contamination, short of avoiding public locations?

“There are ways to defend yourself,” says Matt Morrison, communications manager for Kaivac, a manufacturer of cleaning equipment. “Wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizers, and try to avoid contact with commonly touched surfaces like handrails and even elevator buttons. We have to be proactive when it comes to protecting our health in public areas.”

– See more at: www.cleanlink.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include Commercial Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Ceiling Cleaning & Restoration, Hard Surface Restoration, Quality Assurance Inspections and Efficiency Consulting. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.

How to Avoid the Flu Bug in your Office

It’s in the news. It might even be in your office or house right now. The dreaded flu bug is back with a vengeance in Alberta. With some care, diligence and good cleaning, there are things you can do to guard against illness as the flu season reaches it’s peak.

Public Washroom Tips: Of course, wash your hands thoroughly when using public washrooms. If possible, use paper towels instead of hand dryers as the air movement from dryers causes further spreading of bacteria. Take further advantage of your paper towel using it to turn off the faucet and pull the door open, avoiding post-washing germs along the way.

Sick Surfaces: Keyboards, phones, the photo copier, the staff kitchen counter . . . nasty flu germs can survive on these types of surfaces for up to 48 hours.  Keep sanitizing wipes handy so you can consistently clean your desk. If you don’t want to look totally paranoid by sanitizing every public surface you encounter, then just remember to keep your hands away from your mouth and nose and then sanitize as soon as you get back to your chair.

Check In With Your Cleaners: Have a chat with your office cleaning crew to ensure they are paying special attention to touch points around the office. Careful sanitizing of door knobs, light switches, faucets, etc. should be done thoroughly and daily. 

Get Vaccinated: Many companies offer flu shots for employees. It’s a fast, convenient way to get immunized against flu strains that are expected to be rampant during flu season.

Wash and Sanitize Hands OFTEN: Wash with soap and water, for at least 30 seconds, and do it often. Hands are very efficient at carrying germs which can then be easily transferred to your mouth. Keep in mind too that if you pack a lunch, choose foods that you eat with a fork and spoon so you are less likely to eat germs off your fingers.

Stay Home: Finally, if you do get sick, do all your co-workers a favour and stay home! Even if you feel the office will fall apart without you, so be it. It will suffer much more if the entire staff is out sick thanks to you.

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EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include commercial cleaning, post-construction cleaning, quality assurance inspections, ceiling restoration and hard surface restoration. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.

Plantar Warts and Other Risks of Unclean Public Pools

Public swimming pools provide hours of fun for kids, a great workout for swimmers and a nice escape from ugly outdoor conditions. Unfortunately, they can also provide an array of illnesses and unsafe conditions when the swimming pool decks and change rooms are not properly cleaned.

Plantar warts is common amongst swimmers. They can occur when the human papilloma virus (HPV)enters through the skin on the bottom of the feet, often through cuts or breaks. The virus thrives in moist areas, so it is often present on contaminated surfaces, such as the tile floors swimming pools, showers and change rooms. The best remedy? Protect your feel by wearing flip-flops when walking around these areas.

Almost 1 in 8 routine pool inspections in 2008 identified serious violations that threatened public health and safety and resulted in an immediate closure. (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.)

Facility managers responsible for the maintenance of swimming pools and recreation centres can help their customers avoid such risks. By implementing a comprehensive cleaning program that includes restoration of tile surfaces, viruses as well as general build-up can be removed. Hard surface restoration is different from general tile cleaning. Specialized equipment, using environmentally friendly high-pressure water, is used to ensure a deep clean while also providing a vacuum component to keep chemical residue from entering the pool water. This results in a tile or concrete surface being restored to almost-new condition.

Deep cleaning of pool tile provides numerous benefits for pool users (and for pool managers):

  • removal of wart causing virus
  • reduced risk of slipping due to body oils and residue on tile
  • removal of lime and rust build-up on tile that causes the facility to look old and worn
  • an overall brighter, newer looking facility that will is more inviting to users

How clean is your neighborhood pool? Does it appear to be well maintained? If not, speak out. Let facility managers know that you are not happy with the look and safety conditions of their building. You and your family will be healthier for it.

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EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include commercial cleaning, post-construction cleaning, quality assurance inspections, ceiling restoration and hard surface restoration. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.