“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”
Trying to maintain a commercial building can be an overwhelming task at times. To preserve your building’s value, you have to take care of the behind-the-scenes mechanical aspects of the building, like the heating and cooling system, plumbing, roof and exterior surfaces.
But the preservation of the visual, easily seen areas are just important – and perhaps even more valuable.
Here are a few tips to ensure your tenants renew their leases, your customers coming back and your flooring replacement costs down.
Steps to Commercial Building Maintenance
If you’re a restaurant, medical facility, school or any professional business, ask yourself these questions:
- Is there a trail of grease?
- Is the sidewalk discolored by oil?
- Is there a buildup of gum somewhere?
- Are the walk-off treads clean and stain free?
These are all things a skilled commercial cleaning company can take care of – along with other indoor cleaning tasks.
Caption: This is an entrance to a commercial building that was cleaned, the grout re-colored and sealed with a hardy sealer.)
The best way to gauge how well your interior looks is to put on your “customer” goggles.
How does the flooring in the entrance or lobby look? This is one of the highest-trafficked areas in a building and the most scrutinized.
Often it’s a place folks are moving through or spending a minute socializing, and carrying soft drinks, coffees and food that sometimes find its way onto the floor or furniture. There’s also the walk-off of oil and grease from parking areas that wind up inside.
Next, check the elevators.
Talk about high traffic and heavy use! This carpet can not only get soiled, but will also loosen and wrinkle.
These issues become a tripping hazard and they make the elevator unsightly.
If the floors are tiled, check to make sure the grout is in place and not stained.
Elevators have a somewhat flexible floor and can cause tile and grout to break, which leads to an ugly floor.
Now, move onto the restrooms – possibly the worst space in terms of potential problems.
It might seem crazy, but tenants and customers will judge your entire facility on bathroom cleanliness.
And we don’t mean is there toilet paper on the floor and soap in the dispenser. Let’s assume your janitorial staff do a good job taking care of these types of things.
Take a look at the tile and grout on the floor. Is it stained with urine? Is the grout that was once white now a dirty shade of grey?
Are those expensive stone counters etched and ugly? Is the caulking on the counters or around the fixtures stained or coming out?
If no amount of regular cleaning can get the look back, it’s time for a professional polishing or recoloring of the grout to make those bathrooms “pop” when people walk in.
Check the main work or retail areas.
Are the traffic areas the same color as the rest of the flooring, or do the heavily trafficked areas of the flooring look dull and soiled?
If you can see where people are walking, it may be time to work with your commercial cleaning provider to change the frequency of floor cleanings or cleaning technique employed.
Remember those heavy traffic areas can really benefit from a quality soil protectant.
Over time, it’s natural for carpeted areas to loosen and wrinkle (or bubble).
Left unchecked, bubbling in the carpeting really looks bad, reduces the life of carpet and becomes a tripping hazard.
Sometimes it’s difficult to find companies that provide specialty services like tile repair or carpet restretching, but it’s worth researching and getting recommendations. You could save thousands in replacements costs.
Don’t forget the furniture!
Visitors to your business are put off at the thought of sitting in a dirty waiting room chair, or even worse, a booth in a restaurant.
Furniture is relatively inexpensive to clean and costs a lot less than reupholstering or replacement.
A visually appealing building environment adds value everywhere – to employees, customers and the building owner.
And the best part? Being able to dramatically reduce or eliminate those replacement costs.
Be proactive rather than reactive about your commercial building maintenance. Setting up a cleaning maintenance program can pay big dividends in making that great impression, extending the life of carpet, tile and furniture, and saving on expensive replacement costs.
Have you saved money through a maintenance program? Share your experience in the comments below!