Category: Maintenance

Category: Maintenance

5 Easy Practices for Infection Control in Your Workplace

Do you have a plan to protect your staff, customers and building occupants from the spread of illness? Healthy workers and customers means a healthier bottom line to your business.  And prevention of illness is key to that. 

For example, a thoroughly cleaned and disinfected facility means improved profitability through:

  • 80% reduced probability of catching a cold or flu
  • 62% reduction in contaminated surfaces
  • 46% reduction in absenteeism

Do This to Stay Healthy

Hand Washing – One of the simplest and most important methods to prevent the spread of illness. Wash hands often, especially when you are around sick people or are in populated spaces such as schools, healthcare facilities, etc. Wash hands with soap and water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol gel can also be used to decontaminate hands.

Keep Tissues on Hand

Cover your Mouth and Nose – Germs from a cough or sneeze can travel up to three feet! Use a tissue and then wash your hands after sneezing or coughing. No tissue? Cough or sneeze into the bend of your elbow, rather than into your hands. If you use your hands (old habits die hard), wash them immediately.

Get Vaccinated – Please protect yourself and those around you by getting vaccinated!

Stay Home – If you are sick, stay home to keep from spreading it to others. I know it’s hard to believe, but the office will survive a day or two without you.

Office Cleaning Services Detail Work Will Pay for Itself.

Check Your Office Cleaning Services – Talk to your office cleaning company to ensure they are using certified disinfectants on high-touch areas such as light switches, door handles, keyboards, etc. You may have to pay slightly more for this detail work but it will save you money with increased productivity and decreased absenteeism.

Electrostatic Disinfecting for Faster, Cost-effective Infection Prevention in Schools, Nursing Homes and Healthcare.

One More Thing You Should Do – Ask us about the innovation of electrostatic disinfecting, now offered as part of our office cleaning services in Calgary. This technology provides fast, cost-effective disinfection, particularly in large facilities such as schools, assisted living, seniors housing and healthcare facilities.


EFS Clean provides trusted commercial and office cleaning services, and is the industry leader in electrostatic disinfecting services including aircraft disinfecting at YYC Calgary, YEG Edmonton and YYZ Toronto. A Calgary owned and grown cleaning company, cleaning for health and contributing to our community since 2005. Services offered: janitorial services, electrostatic disinfecting, ceiling cleaning, window cleaning, floor cleaning and care, carpet cleaning, high reach cleaning and supply management. 

Solutions for Challenges Faced by Calgary Property Managers

Being a property manager is not for the faint of heart.  A survey by property management company Unicom uncovered the top challenges that property managers face, including finding quality staff, and growing revenues. No easy answers there. But, there are a few solutions for some of the other common issues plaguing property managers in Calgary. Let’s look at them . . . you’re blood pressure will thank you.

Challenge: Unexpected Building Maintenance and Damage

Solution: Pre-Scheduled Office Cleaning Services Project Work

Ratty carpets, slippery floors, dirty washrooms, soiled ceilings. When cleaning and maintenance is neglected, building assets will not only look bad but will start wearing out and causing potential safety hazards. Start by ensuring you have a Calgary commercial cleaning company that can do specialized project work. Then, build a schedule of asset cleaning into your cleaning services program. Not only will it add life to these assets, but your building will look better to tenants, and you’ll save money on replacements costs.

For example, ceiling cleaning services in Calgary (yes, offered by EFS Clean) cost about 75% less than replacing ceiling tiles, keeping tiles out of the landfill. Ceiling cleaning is done in place, during closed hours so there is no down-time to operations as there would be for ceiling replacement. Offices look cleaner, brighter and air quality is improved. Tell me your tenants wouldn’t love that!

Challenge: Time Management

Solution: Quality Assured Cleaning Services

Office cleaning services are now managed and tracked digitally, using innovative quality assurance technology and apps. This allows property managers to communicate quickly with their commercial cleaning company, and the cleaning teams to respond quickly to issues. This Q.A. technology also allows Calgary commercial cleaning companies to inspect the cleaning performance in their buildings and get in front of any issues. All of this quality assurance frees up property managers from tracking down cleaners, waiting for responses and dealing with tenant complaints. Your time can be spent on doing your job, not the cleaning company’s job. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Challenge: Lowering Operating Costs

Solution: Customized Cleaning Services Programs For Better Value

Lowering costs is an on-going goal for most companies. This is especially true in markets like Calgary where vacancy rates have increased, putting more pressure on property management companies. Now, a word of warning; getting the lowest cost cleaning services typically ends up costing you more. But, you can lower costs and get better value with a more efficient cleaning program that puts more focus on your high-priority areas and tasks, and saves time/money on other areas. As earlier mentioned, scheduling project work will also lower costs and give you a better return on investment on building assets.

Business today is all about being smarter and more efficient with time and money. It’s not always easy to do but one area you can practice this approach is with commercial cleaning services. Talk to a reputable cleaning services company in Calgary and ask them for solutions to your property management challenges. It will pay off!

Why Office Cleaning Services Should Include Tenant Feedback

Property managers have a long list of duties, and managing their office cleaning services program is only one of them. Ensuring tenants’ spaces are well cleaned and their concerns are being addressed is high on the priority list. If you struggle with this, here’s a case study you will find helpful:

Why Tenants Need to Know about their Office Cleaning Services

A property management company was concerned with keeping tenants happy and was looking for a way to engage them in communications about the office cleaning services in their Calgary office. A referral brought them to EFS Clean so we could do an analysis of their past janitorial services program. After meeting with them and speaking to the office building tenants, we discovered there was a disconnect between the office cleaning services that were being contracted and the office cleaning services the tenants “thought” they were receiving.

The property management company contracted us and we started by providing a written letter to every tenant. The letter introduced EFS Clean as their new office cleaning company in Calgary, as well as the the scope of work they would be receiving as part of the property management company’s contract.

We then implemented an electronic quality assurance program, including regular inspections to be sent directly to  the property manager, and a robust communications and reporting process.

Happy tenants are important for office cleaning services

Monthly Visits Increased Satisfaction in Office Cleaning Services

And one of our most important implementations…we conducted monthly visits directly with each tenant, where our management team would tour the building and ask each tenant for cleaning feedback. Not only were we able to stay on top of cleaning details better, but we built one-on-one relationships with the tenants which added a nice personal touch to the office cleaning services program.

With our various account iniatives:

  • initial analysis of janitorial services concerns
  • thorough quality assurance program
  • and most importantly, tenant visits

the property manager noticed an immediate decrease in cleaning complaints from tenants and less time was spent having to manage the day-to-day details of their office cleaning services.

That’s a successful formula for any company looking for commercial cleaning services in Calgary!

How Commercial Cleaning Services Protect your Business Assets

Commercial cleaning services are essential to every business, but did you know they can also positively impact the value of your building assets?

We have seen it many times through our cleaning services in Calgary. A customer opens up a shiny new office, or a building such as an auto dealership or gym. Everything is clean and new. Yet, even with daily cleaning services, the building’s surfaces such as ceramic tile, PVC tile and carpet get a build-up of dirt and will appear worn over time.

Office Cleaning Enhances Business Image

comprehensive building cleaning program will include periodic work to address the maintenance of a variety of surfaces. This will include floor cleaning services, carpet cleaning services and window cleaning services. We even offer ceiling cleaning services, a key component to businesses looking for restaurant cleaning services and office cleaning services in Calgary.  All of this project work will not only enhance the cleanliness of your facility but extends the life of your valuable building assets.

Building Cleaning and Maintenance Made Easier

Facility managers are tasked with taking care of the day-to-day operations of a building. In addition to ensuring plumbing and heating issues are taken care of, they are also responsible for the appearance and safety of their facility. By pre-scheduling cleaning project work , facility managers will have an easier time maintaining the look and condition of floors, carpets and glass.

Floor Cleaning and Carpet Cleaning Services Add Value

Cmmercial cleaning services will extend the life of  your assets and add value to your business. By keeping surfaces in tip-top condition, your business will avoid costly replacement for a much longer period. We recently did a floor strip and wax service at a Calgary rec centre as part of their building cleaning program. The results were a gleaming PVC floor surface that is bright and revived, allowing a still-new look to the facility and ensuring a safer environment for staff and customers.

Choosing Qualified Cleaning Companies in Calgary

Specialty cleaning such as floor cleaning and ceiling cleaning services require expertise. This is especially important for buildings, such as rec centres, gyms and auto dealerships which have a variety of expensive surfaces all requiring unique cleaning processes. When it comes time for you to choose from the many cleaning companies in Calgary, make sure to ask for credentials and references to ensure the commercial cleaners know how to properly care for your building and it’s many surfaces. It will pay off in many ways, including peace of mind and increasing your bottom line.

Buyer Beware – A Deal on Janitorial Services in Not a Good Deal

I just saw a disturbing post on linkedIn. It was from a commercial cleaning company offering a “deal” on their services. For any cleaning quote you receive, they promised to beat it by 10%. Do you see a problem with this? I certainly do.

The simplified formula for pricing cleaning services is:

  • time required to clean to your scope and standard
  • labour rate

That’s it. Of course, there are other factors such as overhead and profit margins but time and labour are the heart of any cleaning program estimate. A variety of prices can be provided on a bid depending on a contractor’s ability to accurately estimate the work required and of course, their desired profit. This typically results in a range of pricing which then leads to you looking at other factors in the bid such as company experience, longevity, services, references, etc. And hopefully, these other factors are weighted equally with price in your decision as choosing a service provider on price alone generally doesn’t end well.

Back to the “deal” being touted on the LinkedIn post . . . what do you think happens when a company offers a guaranteed 10% reduction? Firstly, they are offering you a price that is not of their making and is based on another company’s estimation. Secondly, they have no idea what that lowest bid includes and what type of cleaning standard and scope it includes. Accepting this kind of “deal” can only lead to two ( undesirable) outcomes for you: 

  1. After a few months, your 10% discounted price is increased when the cleaning company says they need more time/money to clean to the standard and scope as outlined in the contract.
  2. After a few months, you notice the standard and scope as outlined in the contract is not being met, you complain, nothing changes, and you are soon planning another bidding process to find a new cleaning company.

The old adage of “you get what you pay for” is true for most purchases, and rings especially true when shopping for janitorial services. The hamster wheel of cleaning looks like this; get a low-price, get bad service, search for a new cleaner, go with low-price, get bad service, etc., (you get the picture, right?).  If you’ve been on this wheel, it’s time to get off. Be buyer aware and you’ll save yourself time, money and frustration.

In-House Vs. Contract Building Cleaning – Which One Wins for Savings and Results?

In Alberta, businesses are now faced with paying higher wages as well as higher building operating costs due to the carbon tax, higher business taxes and so on. So, companies are searching for ways to improve or maintain quality while decreasing costs. If you are in facility management and responsible for the cleaning of your building, one of the best ways to find the quality/cost balance is to explore contract versus in-house cleaning.

There are pros and cons to both methods, but if cost and efficiency is the main concern, the best option tends to be contracting a cleaning company. Here’s why:

Contracted Cleaning

Management: A contractor manages your cleaning program and the cleaning staff, leaving you more time to do other work. Cleaning staff training and performance evaluations are primarily handled by the contractor. You may have to continue to provide training on building safety and procedures, but the majority of training will be off your plate.

Expertise: Professional cleaning companies can often do a better job of cleaning, having more technical knowledge and being in better touch with innovations and best practices

Savings: Savings on supplies can be realized when the cleaning contractor has more buying power to provide preferred pricing on supplies. As well, the contractor can manage the supplies inventory and replenishment for you.

Quality Assurance: Q.A. programs are typically provided by a contractor. These programs give you regular reporting on the buildings cleaning standards and performance, ensuring the quality of your cleaning program.

Cost Savings: Substantial savings are found when your organization no longer has to pay employee expenses such as benefits and insurance. The cost of training and staff turn-over is also covered by the contractor.

Primary reasons for having in-house cleaning staff  include:

In-House Cleaning

Building Knowledge: Facility managers will be more involved in the cleaning and therefore have more on-going knowledge about the cleaning and any issues.

Flexibility: With their own staff, a building manager can assign new or revised tasks to an existing cleaner on the fly.

Relationships with Staff: A facility manager will be hiring and work closely with the cleaning team, forging a stronger relationship.

For best performance and cost-effectiveness, the contracting option really does “shine” compared to in-house cleaning. Do your own analysis on which building cleaning method will work best. Even better, getting a proposal from a contractor will show you the best fit for your company.

Why Customers Lose When Choosing the Lowest Price

It’s a common trick in the commercial cleaning industry, as well as many other service industries. Use a low priced bid to win the business, then under deliver your service (hoping the customer won’t notice) or ask for more money at a later date.

We’ve seen it time and time again. We’ve lost business because of it.  For us, one instance stands out as a shining example of this flawed strategy.

For six years, we provided the daily cleaning for a very challenging building and in general, had a very satisfied client for those six years. When the building came to tender, it became abundantly clear the personel in charge of creating the scope for the RFP were uneducated, inexperienced and focused on trying to get more for less. What was created was a scope of work that would at least double their current budget. Yet, what was awarded was a contract to a company that bid almost half of the current budget. Sorry, the math just didn’t work and why the building’s managers couldn’t see that is baffling.

Follow these tips so you don’t fall victim to the low price trap on your next request for proposal.

  • Ensure the scope of work and the budget you have allocated are in sync. If you are not sure how to do this, ask a trusted advisor that has this experience.
  • Another option to ensure your work and budget are realistic, is to do a pre-proposal walk-through with the bidding contractors. Outline what your high/low priority areas are and then ask them to provide a recommended scope and price based on that. This strategy can be tricky to compare apples to apples but it allows the contractors offer up their expertise and provide a balance between performance and efficiencies.
  • Ask around, find out what companies your peers are using. What companies have proven to be trustworthy, which haven’t. Then compile a list of contractors you would be open to working with and invite them to bid on your work.
  • If you are already in a position where you are working with a contractor that played the low price trick on you and you’re seeing that negative results, start looking for alternative services.

Our company philosophy, as is for some other building service contractors, is to provide “real” pricing and work scopes that represent value and honesty. We may not always win business with this strategy, but when we are able work to with customers that understand it and hire us for it, we are able to forge an honest and respectful relationship from the start.

The low price option always ends the same way. The customer loses with poor cleaning performance and a dirtier building and added work load to manage a cleaning program that isn’t working and then having to repeat the RFP process all over again.

By the way, the building that we lost to the low baller is now looking like it. Don’t ever doubt the old adage, “you get what you pay for”. Especially when it comes to the cleanliness and health of your building.

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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 Contract Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning as well as specialty services; Ceiling Cleaning, Floor and Carpet Cleaning, Electrostatic Disinfecting 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. 

Post-Construction Cleaning – Know This Floor Care Question

We recently visited a construction site of a large retail building to consult on the post-construction cleaning needs. Most of the project was typical post-construction cleaning but then we started asking questions about the floor. An interesting discussion with the project manager and site superintendent for the building ensued. What soon came to light was the fact that the construction managers simply didn’t know what was required for the care of their client’s shiny new floors. By not being able to answer one important question, this construction company could have failed their client by providing a faulty floor surface.

The all important question when doing post-construction floor care is:

What is the floor care program the building owner/client will be using? In other words, how does the client plan on cleaning and maintaining their floors?

In our case, the construction managers did not know what their client’s floor care program was so we took it upon ourselves to get this information for them. Good thing we did! Had we provided the wax finish based on the specs initially given to us by the site superintendent, it would have been disastrous.

What we had to point out to them was the following:

  • Through our research, we learned their client was using an ultra high speed floor care program.
  • An ultra high-speed floor care program requires specific wax and application, ie. number of coats.
  • Had the wrong wax been used without the appropriate number of coats, it could result in the entire floor surface having to be re-finished. Not an easy task once a retail store is open for business. And not a cost a customer wants to incur right after construction has been completed.

At the end of the day, the construction company would be held responsible for such an oversight which could cost them any future business with the client, if not more.

When looking for post-construction cleaning that includes floor care, ensure you know what your client’s maintenance program is. Then, hire a cleaning company that has the knowledge and expertise to ensure the floor is properly finished and that can help make your project a success.

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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.

Beware of the Cost of the “Lowest Price” for Office Cleaning Services in Calgary

The “lowest price” game is a bad business strategy. Unfortunately, it is a common one.

I saw it when I was in radio advertising. The unskilled salespeople resorted to selling their “puffs of broadcast air” based on price. Those of us who were good marketers and competent salespeople, sold that same air for top dollar based on valuable expertise and a track record of quality advice and results.

The construction business is another industry challenged with low-balling. And from my current perspective, commercial and office cleaning services in Calgary have some of the worst culprits of this same bidding strategy. Some cleaning companies in Calgary do it because it’s a lazy method of winning business requiring no expertise. Certain service buyers do it because they don’t value facility cleanliness and they believe they are helping their bottom line. Both parties soon discover this is a costly way of doing business.

Even worse, we are now seeing cleaning equipment manufacturers evolving their business to target the low margin operators. At a recent meeting, we chatted with a manufacturer’s rep who proudly told us they are now selling a vacuum that is specifically built for spot cleaning. Knowing cleaning companies’ margins are getting smaller, they developed this vac to let the cleaners cut corners and save time. Of course, this is a problem for the client who, according to the scope of work in the contract, is expecting a full vacuum and is unknowingly only get spot cleans.

Just recently, our company, EFS Clean, lost a contract to a lower bidding commercial cleaning company. We had bid the job realistically, for what we knew it would take to do the job right. A strategy that we pride ourselves on. Sure enough, a few months later this client called and asked if we could take over the contract. The low bidding cleaner they had originally chosen was doing a terrible job and the client finally realized that the low price they were paying was causing the cleaner to take short-cuts. It ended up costing the client a remedial clean to get their facility back up to standards as well as time and energy to fire and re-hire the services.

If you are looking to hire a cleaning services company in Calgary and you see a bid that is much lower than the others, BEWARE, and do your due diligence with the following:

  • Talk to that cleaning company about their time and task schedule. Are they allowing enough hours to do the job you are expecting? The cleaning business is not rocket science. It is based on time required for scope of work requested. In fact, the ISSA (association for the Worldwide Cleaning Industry), provides a guideline for cleaning times which credible cleaning companies use when allocating labour hours to cleaning tasks.
  • Inquire as to what the cleaning company’s employee compensation position is. Do they pay a fair or better wage to their cleaners? How long have their employees been with them? If a company can do a job for much less, then something is being compromised. That something is usually employee wages. It’s the client who will then pay when these undervalued cleaners leave to find better opportunities or do a poor job because they are not respected for their work.
  • Ask about the size of cleaning crews and flexibility of personnel. A mom-and-pop cleaning operation may be able to do the job for less, but the client suffers by only having two cleaners available. What happens when one of the cleaners is sick? Or they are always late and in a rush because they have to get to the next job? We recently got a call from a client who wanted us to take over the cleaning from a mom-and-pop operation because the two people doing the work could no longer keep up with what this growing company needed.
  • Find out what the low bidding company’s policy is on pricing adjustments. Typically what happens is a company will provide a low bid to get a job. Then once they are in, they will constantly come back to the client asking for more money for one task and then another, because they don’t have enough time to get it done. Eventually, the client pays just as much or more than if they would have gone with an honest, more realistic bid.
  • Evaluate your results, on-going. If you decide to hire the cheapest guy, then evaluate the work regularly to ensure the standard is where it needs to be. If the work quality drops because the cleaners can’t afford the time, then have a 30-day clause to get out of the contract. Better yet, don’t get yourself into this situation to start and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration.

Listen to reason when it comes to pricing. If a higher priced service provider gives you a reasonable bid and backs it up with industry guidelines, ethical beliefs in staffing and a genuine goal to help your business then this is much more valuable to you than a low price.

Remember the old adage, “you get what you pay for” ? The same can be said for your building and office cleaning services so shop wisely and beware of those that are luring you with price versus expertise, experience and honesty.

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EFS Clean is locally-owned-and-grown, taking pride in being a trusted commercial and office cleaning company in Calgary since 2005. Our services include quality assured building and office cleaning services, construction cleaning, ceiling cleaning, carpet cleaning, floor stripping and waxing, restaurant cleaning services, window cleaning services and electrostatic disinfection. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.