281 days… since March 17, 2020. When we were told of Covid-19 and our lives changed.

We started working from home, while managing kids and cramped office spaces with partners trying to do their jobs at the same time. AND with Limited Wi-Fi signals and school zoom lessons taking all the bandwidth.  We were scared to go to the store, scared to visit family and friends, and disinfecting everything in sight.

Clorox, Lysol, hand sanitizers – TOILET PAPER and PAPER TOWELS – where did it all go? Will it save us?

(side note)
Was I the only one side-eyeing my coworkers wondering why `all of a sudden’ everyone was obsessed with washing their hands…? “why weren’t you doing that all along?!?!” And now here we are, 281 days later – going into yet another lockdown and wondering how on earth we get back into the office and back into our lives.

Are you even ready to go back into the office?

Multiple factors can take place to ensure a safer work environment, including screening for symptoms and exposures, and measures that can increase social distancing and reduce crowding, such as changes to shifts, start times and breaks. Additionally, employers can take additional steps such as providing hand sanitizer, signage across the workplace, establish policies and procedures related to cleaning and disinfecting. It is also important that employees who can telework should be encouraged to do so, and most importantly, policies should be in place that encourage sick employees to stay home.

 

First Things First – Get it Clean!

How to clean:

-Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect.

-Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant. (Cleaning with soap and water reduces number of germs, dirt and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.)

-Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.

 

More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on level of use.

Surfaces and objects in public places, such as shopping carts and point of sale keypads should be cleaned and disinfected before each use.

High touch surfaces include:

Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.

How to disinfect:

Disinfect with a household disinfectant on List N: Disinfectants for use against SARs-CoV-2external icon, the virus that causes COVID 19.

Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
Many products recommend: Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label) & precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

Cleaning Soft surfaces

For soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes

  • Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.
  • Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.

OR

Electronics: should be cleaned and disinfected before each use.

For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines

-Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics for easy wipe down.

-Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting.

-If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.

 

And of course, since nothing is guaranteed, there are going to be infections. When that happens, know that your friendly neighborhood janitorial company is here to help. ( Click HERE to be connected ) After a thorough cleaning and disinfection; we have a backpack sprayer that mists a CDC-approved chemical disinfectant over all surfaces. We leave it to dry and 30 minutes later, you are back in business.

Best of luck to you. Get back out there and here’s looking forward to a much-improved 2021!

The corona virus, first identified in China in December 2019, rapidly spread and caused high alarm among people across the world. People are now wondering how to keep their homes and workplaces safe from the virus going forward.

What Are the Symptoms of the Corona virus?

First things First – if you have a temp of over 99* STAY HOME. You probably work too hard anyway and need a rest.

It is challenging to confirm the corona virus infection as its symptoms strongly resemble the symptoms of the common flu. The main symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty in breathing.

How Is the Corona virus Transmitted?

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that corona viruses are transmitted through the air when the patient sneezes or coughs. The virus can also spread if you keep close personal contact with anyone infected. The good news is that using disinfectants to clean your home and office can kill these viruses.

How Can You Keep Yourself and Your Office Safe from the Corona virus?

There is no vaccine developed against the corona virus yet, as it has been identified only recently. Therefore, the best way to prevent corona virus infection is to avoid its exposure. CDC recommends these measures to safeguard against the corona virus.

  • Frequently wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with infected people.
  • Stay at home if you are sick!!!!!
  • Use a tissue to cover your mouth while you sneeze or cough and safely throw them away.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
  • Wear a cloth face covering in public settings
  • Maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others

If you are an employer, you should follow these measures to contain the spread of viruses in your office.

Limit Surfaces That Employees Need to Touch with Their Hands

  • Ask your employees to use their foot or shoulder to push open the door, as many office doors don’t need a handle to push open and can swing open both ways.
  • Install motion sensors in all the doors of your office, including bathroom faucets. It will help your employees in washing their hands without touching the faucet.

Embrace Technology

  • Invest in designing an office space that embraces collaboration technology and remote work. Employees working from home can help reduce the chances of cross-infection among employees.
  • Provide personal phones, tablets, and laptops to your employees. Giving every employee their own devices will help them avoid sharing keyboards, computers, or phones, which can help in reducing the spread of the virus.

Keep the Sanitizer Handy

  • Keep sanitizer in the reception area, shared spaces, and conference room of your office.
  • You can also use signs to encourage your employees to sanitize their hands regularly.

Encourage Sick Employees to Stay Home

  • If any of your employees have symptoms of acute respiratory illness, recommend them to stay at home.
  • Make sure that they do not come to the office until they are free from signs of fever and other symptoms for at least 24 hours without using any medicine.

Please keep your office or any other type of work environment clean to help prevent the further spread of infections, including the corona virus. If you want office cleaning services, call us today for high quality customized commercial cleaning services at an affordable rate.

 

As your business makes plans to reopen, T&S Maintenance stands ready to help our clients operate with confidence in a clean, safe and healthy environment. Our practice follows the recommendations from the CDC and State of California for COVID-19 cleaning standards.

During these changing times, we are diligently reviewing our safety and sanitation services to ensure that our team is well-informed and prepared to assist your business with enhanced cleaning programs designed to protect everyone.

Every business has different needs.  We are here to offer our knowledge and expertise to tailor solutions that fit the needs of your team.  These services include:

  • High touch cleaning
  • Enhanced cleaning techniques
  • Disinfection applications

Our practices for minimizing exposure to COVID-19 for your employees and customers are based on the most current guidelines from the CDC, EPA and California Department of Health.

Additional COVID-19 cleaning resources for your business:

We are now offering virtual quotes. In keeping with social distancing requirements, we are now able to provide quick and easy virtual quotes without on-site visits. Call us today to learn more. (510) 597-7900.

Thank you for working with us.  We are here to help your business succeed.

Have a ‘Fun Fact’ to share ?  tweet us @TS__Maintenance 

Fact is- no one likes to clean. But maybe these cleaning facts and trivia bits will help bring a little levity to the situation (and maybe you can convince someone to help you).

  • Did you know that if you clean for 2 hours, you burn 200 calories? #burncalories #cleaning
  • The average person spends 87% of their time indoors; did you know that 70% of dust particles are made up of dead skin flakes? Either clean or get outside! #gross
  • Most antibacterial cleaner must be left on surfaces for 30-60 seconds before wiping away
  • Running low on antibacterial spray? Lemons are a great disinfectant #theysmellgoodtoo
  • Do you know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting? You don’t?!?! 
    (ahem) Cleaning is the action of removing dirt while disinfecting is destroying or preventing the growth of germs / disease-carrying micro-organisms.  #smartypants
  • Did you know that almost HALF of cohabiting couples argue about cleaning? (the other half pays for a service)
    What do they fight about? 27%  on who should clean, 24% on how often to clean, 34% on other issues like products & equipment, and 17% on how to clean something #knowitall
  • Did you know the average woman cleans for 12,896 hours in her lifetime us. 6,448 hours for men. #cleanfight #stepitUP #TotallyUnfair
  • Did you know that most people say their favorite room to clean is the BATHROOM?! #eewNotMine I like the kitchen. What’s your’s? Tweet us @TS_Maintenance 
  • Speaking of kitchens, did you know that the kitchen sink has more germs than your toilet?
  • You can put more than just dishes into your dishwasher; toys, toothbrushes, combs, sponges. Just be sure to take the dishes out first. #TRUTH
  • Put ice cubes down your garbage disposal; it helps sharpen the blades and get rid of trapped grease
  • If your vacuum starts to smell a little musty, call your friend down the street with the do-Terra inventory to get rid of. A few drops of essential oil like peppermint or citrus in the canister or on the filters will help clear the olfactory offensiveness
  • Remove watermarks from wooden surfaces with a small amount of mayonnaise! or toothpaste on a damp cloth. (It works, I SWEAR!) 
  • Lemon juice can be used for stains or rust on plastic furniture
  • Vodka! Use it on a soft cloth to shine up porcelain, chrome or glass. Put that desk bottle to good use, Mr. Draper. #happyhourcleaning 
  • And for the weirdest of the Fun Facts about Cleaning – Ketchup can be used on tarnished or corroded brass will help bring back its shine.
    I’m not sure I actually believe this one. Have you tried it? Did it work? Tweet me a photo @TS_Maintenance 

 

If you are anything like me, you probably spent a lot of time and money on your carpet. Researching the pile depth, softness, durability vs beauty, color options, etc. Properly maintaining and keeping your carpet clean increases its longevity and keeps up its appearance. Thus, protecting your investment. It’s important to ensure that your carpet is professionally cleaned at least once or twice every year, depending on foot traffic. Regular vacuuming will also keep it in good condition.

 

Dust, allergens, dirt and other particles accumulate in carpet and can stick within the fibers. When these particles get embedded within the individual fibers, they can split and deteriorate the fibers. Removal of these particles will increase the lifespan of your carpet. An expert carpet cleaner uses some cleaning techniques that involve hot-water extraction for stuff that gets deeper into the carpet.

Vacuuming more regularly is much easier than hiring a professional carpet cleaning service, although it only removes dirt on the surface. A professional carpet cleaner will remove all debris embedded within the fibers of your carpet and treat it appropriately to remove bad odors and prevent the serious risks involved by such particles like asthma or allergies.

An expert carpet cleaner will easily remove all tough stains in the carpet. The cleaner will use hot water extraction technique to remove stains from coffee spills, dirt, mud, ink, red wine and pet stains among others.

 

Preventing dirt and grime from getting on the carpet in the first place is a great way to start keeping it clean.
The following helpful hints can stop dirt in its tracks:

  • Use mats- Outdoor and indoor mats or runners can reduce the amount of dirt that enters the house.
  • The most-used entrances, doorways, traffic lanes and in front of chairs will collect dirt faster than other areas. Clean these areas as they begin to show dirt. This will stop dirt from spreading and will extend the time between professional cleaning.
  • In addition to frequent vacuuming, it’s important to clean your carpet on a regular basis. Cleaning systems will remove the oily, sticky dirt that vacuums can’t take out and will help keep your carpet looking great over time. Cleaning systems target the soils that result from cooking vapors, air pollution, and tracked-in dirt. The particles of oily dirt deposited on carpet fibers can cause gradual but significant dulling of colors. The color isn’t lost but is hidden under the film. If this type of dirt can accumulate, it begins to attract and hold the dry dirt.
  • Get on a cleaning schedule. If the carpet is cleaned before it becomes too unsightly, the cleaning chore will be easier and more successful. Choosing the proper cleaning system is important. Some systems may leave residues which accelerate re-soiling and defeats the whole purpose of cleaning.

 

Spot Removal Steps:

Act Quickly!
Most carpet available today has been treated with a stain-resist treatment, so many spills can be removed if immediate action is taken. The longer the delay, the higher the probability of a spill becoming a permanent stain. Remember, staining is influenced by many factors, and no carpet is completely stain proof

-Blot liquids with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or white paper towels (no printing).
Do not scrub the area! Scrubbing may cause pile distortion in the affected area. Continue to use a dry cloth or paper towels until the area is completely dry.

-For semi-solids, gently scrape up with a rounded spoon. Solids should be broken up and vacuumed until completely removed. If the spot can be identified, locate the substance in the spot removal computer and follow the directions carefully.

-Pretest any spot removal agent in an inconspicuous area to be certain the solution will not damage the fiber or the dye. After applying several drops to the testing area, hold a white cloth on the wet area for 10 seconds. Examine the carpet and cloth for color transfer, color change, or damage to the carpet. If a change occurs, another cleaning solution should be selected.

-Work from the edges of the spill to the center to prevent the stain from spreading. Do Not Scrub! Blot in order to absorb as much as possible and repeat if necessary.

-Continue using the first cleaning solution as long as there is a transfer of the spill to the cloth. It is not necessary to use all the cleaning solutions if the first chemical removes the spill.

Be Patient!
Complete removal of the spill may require repeating the same step several times. After the spill has been completely removed, rinse the affected area thoroughly with cold water, and blot with a dry cloth until all the solution has been removed. Some cleaning solutions will cause rapid soiling if the solution is not completely removed. Apply a one-half inch layer of white paper towels to the affected area, and weigh down with a flat, heavy object. Continue to change paper towels as needed.

A dry, absorbent, cleaning compound may be used as a substitute to accelerate drying time.

Treatment of the affected area should begin immediately upon discovery. The more time that elapses before treatment, the more difficult a stain will be to remove. For best results, use a carpet spot remover and cleaning kit.

 

Regular Care for Lasting Beauty

A regular maintenance program extends the life and the initial appearance of your carpet. Today’s carpet fibers area designed to hide dirt and reflect light and can resist soiling and stains. However, the lack of apparent dirt does not eliminate the necessity of regular cleaning.

You’ll need to vacuum your heavy traffic areas, such as hallways, stairs, and exterior entryways at least twice a week. Vacuum less heavily used areas weekly. For best results, use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar or rotating brush, and with a strong enough airflow to penetrate the carpet backing. Most dry dirt has razor-like edges that abrade carpet fibers, causing light to reflect differently and give the carpet a dull appearance. Dirt can damage the fibers permanently if allowed to remain in the pile.

 

No matter how often you vacuum, your carpet will still need heavy-duty cleaning from time to time. Professional cleaning is usually required to maintain your warranty.

When it comes to façade and window cleaning, you have hundreds of companies to choose from. Where do you begin? To start, recognize what type of cleaning you need. This is some brief information to hopefully help you weed out options beginning with your google search.

Some research points to help you get started:

Window Cleaning Crews fall into two categories: Grounded and suspended

  • Grounded crews clean windows by accessing them using ground-based equipment, including extension poles, water-fed poles, ladders and aerial man-lifts.(cherry pickers)
  • Suspended workers are supported on the sides and off the roofs of building while cleaning. ( think Superheroes washing hospital windows)

Commercial window cleaning then falls into several sub-categories:

Route Work –
A route company is a window cleaning company that concentrates on first or second floor commercial windows and cleans these accounts on a recurring daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. These companies’ accounts will include structures such as storefronts, shopping malls, professional buildings, restaurants, and car dealerships

Low to Mid-rise work –
A low to mid-rise company is a window cleaning company that concentrates on ground-based operations that are typically performed on commercial buildings under five stories in height. They are most often utilizing non-suspended equipment such as ladders, water-fed poles and aerial work platforms (scaffolding).

High Rise Commercial –
A high-rise company is a window cleaning company that concentrates on cleaning commercial structures that are more than four stories in height. They most often are the guys you see dangling from harnesses on the sides of the buildings downtown.

Residential windows require a type of white-glove service not typically needed for a commercial space. Extra care for clients’ safety and their belongings should be paramount.

As with always hiring a contractor, once you have selected one, !Do Your Homework!! Don’t make your job unnecessarily hard by neglecting to do your homework upfront. A little extra work at the front end can save you a ton of hassle, headaches and money down the line. Verify that their license is current, ask for proof of insurance with ample coverage. Ask for references and then call the references. If people are truly happy with a company, they will share.

One of the most challenging aspects of our job, is keeping up the ever-changing Recology mandates. Here in the Bay Area we have some strict rules about what goes into the Land Fill > Compost > Recycling. You can use black trash liners in the landfill bins, but not the recycling, those have to be clear. Compost liners are costly but do help to cut down on the smell and you don’t have to wash the can as often and the list goes on.

Most people don’t think about what goes into which cans until their garbage company sends them a letter and usually (if it’s a repeat offense) a huge fine.

It is important to train your employees to be careful with disposing of their trash. Most buildings have a pretty simple set-up. This is the standard at our office:

For the restrooms – paper towels only in the bins. They are not to be lined and they are to be put into the compost / green bin.

Recycle / Blue Bins – no can liners.  Commonly accepted recyclables include: paper, plastic, cardboard, and aluminum. You do not need individual bins for recycle. The items below can all be put into the same cans.

Land Fill: Black Bins –clear or black garbage liners. This is everything that is not recycling or compost. But be sure not to throw away batteries or light bulbs! Those must be handled specially.

The info below is a handy guide that you may want to hang in the kitchen or wherever you have multiple bins.

  1. Paper:
    Paper (staples okay)
    Newspaper
    Envelopes
    Junk mail
    Phone books
    Brochures Magazines 
  1. Cardboard:
    Ream wrappers
    File folders
    Poster board
    Frozen food boxes
    Cardboard boxes
    Milk cartons
  2. Plastic:
    Water bottles
    Take-out containers
    Soda bottles
    Bagged film plastics
  3. Aluminum:
    Aluminum beverage cans
    Food cans
    Scrap metal
    Some small appliances
  4. Glass:
    Bottles (clear, green & brown)
    Jars

Compost –The list is long and varied.

From the Kitchen:

  • All Food Waste
  • Egg shells (crushed)
  • Coffee grounds
  • Coffee filters
  • Tea bags (Make sure they are made of natural materials like hemp or cotton, and not rayon or other synthetics. If in doubt, just open it and compost the tea leaves alone.)
  • Loose leaf tea
  • Used paper napkins and paper towels
  • Unwaxed cardboard pizza boxes (ripped or cut into small pieces)
  • Paper bags (shredded)
  • The crumbs you sweep off the counters and floors
  • Crumbs from the bottom of snack food packaging
  • Paper towel rolls (shredded)
  • Cardboard boxes from cereal, pasta, etc. (Remove any plastic windows and shred)
  • Used paper plates (if they don’t have a waxy coating)
  • Nut shells (except for walnut shells, which are toxic to plants)
  • Unpopped, burnt popcorn kernels
  • Peanut shells
  • Cardboard egg cartons (cut them up)
  • Wine corks (chop up so they decompose faster)
  • Toothpicks
  • Bamboo skewers (break them into pieces)
  • Paper cupcake or muffin cups

From the Bathroom

  • Used facial tissues
  • Toilet paper rolls (shredded)
  • Old loofahs (cut up, natural only)
  • Cardboard tampon applicators

From the Office

  • plain paper documents (shredded)
  • Envelopes (shredded, minus the plastic window)
  • Pencil shavings
  • Sticky notes (shredded)
  • Old business cards (shredded, if they’re not glossy)

One of the things you want to make sure to do is shred those papers. Composting can take a while, you don’t want a full sheet with account information on it, just sitting around in a pile of dirt. Shredding the docs allows them to break down even faster while providing the necessary security.

 

If you have questions or want to host a training session for your employees, most county waste management programs offer onsite training.

Here are some links to Bay Area Waste Management Companies:
https://www.recology.com/

https://www.republicservices.com/

https://ssfscavenger.com/ 

https://www.wm.com/us

A common misconception in our business is that your janitor will sort through your trash for you… NOT SO. We will make sure the liners are the correct type and will dispose of items into the proper totters. The most important thing you can do is train your employees. Make sure everyone is on the same page and helping to save the earth and the company some $$.

 

Employee morale sagging? They may love their job, but on those bad days, a bright and clean work-space can help lift their moods and keep them productive. Working in a clean, healthy environment can have a major impact on how people feel. (I know I love coming home after my housekeeper has visited. That clean smell that hits my nose when I walk in the door perks me right up.) In a dingy or cluttered work-space, frustrations can mount more quickly and bad days and problems seem to only get worse.

While your employees may be more concerned about pay raises, benefits and vacation time, one of the top issues affecting their overall performance is the state of the office environment. In fact, as study done by Harvard and Syracuse Universities ( https://phys.org/news/2017-05-air-quality-productivity.html )  shows that if you improve air quality at work, you’ll improve productivity too. It’s one of those things you don’t think about until it becomes a problem.

It goes beyond your employee’s moods, and can save your business money.

Going too long without a good cleaning can put the health of your employees at risk. A clean work-space improves air quality and reduces the spread of germs and bacteria. That cuts down on sick days and absenteeism. When your workers are healthy, they’ll have more energy and feel more creative, resulting in improved performance and a boost in business. Who doesn’t want that!?!?

A clean work-space benefits your customer service as well. A well-maintained and clean work-space will make your customers feel confident entering your business and working with you. A bright, clean, airy space is like putting out a welcome mat for your clientele and it demonstrates your professionalism and attention to detail.

The bottom line is that you want people, customers and employees, to feel good about your work. If you don’t have the internal resources to clean and maintain your work environment as well as you’d like, a commercial cleaning company such as Townsend & Styer Maintenance can help you put together a regular and affordable cleaning and maintenance schedule. Townsend & Styer Maintenance provides cleaning services for commercial, industrial and institutional work-spaces. Give us a call 510-597-7900 today for a free estimate.

 

Do you allow dogs in the office?

It is becoming a more popular practice. Personally, my Ava Louise comes to work with me every day. She takes her job seriously. That patch of sunshine isn’t going to nap alone.  And everyone that walks in to the office gets stopped for kisses and belly rubs.

Ruff day

There are pros and cons to allowing pets in the workplace.
*Helps reduce stress levels
*Encourages getting up and away from computer
*Encourages midday walks = more exercise = healthier employees
*Happy employees = productive employees (unless games of fetch get a little rowdy)
*Employees can work later because they don’t have to run home to the dog
*It is also financial benefit for the employees: It eliminates Pet Care Costs
Allowing owners to bring their pets to work also provides a significant financial benefit—it eliminates the additional costs of doggie daycare or dog walking services for employees who work long hours or commute a significant distance from their home each day. 
Daycare or walking services can be quite costly, so this can be an excellent perk for a pet owning employee.
*Customers and Clients like being greeted by a wagging tail
*Promotes Positive Interactions
A pet-friendly workplace tends to increase employee satisfaction and to improve morale.  Pets are also a point of common interest that can help to promote an atmosphere of teamwork and communication.

Pitfalls:
Allergies and messes – 

Dog-friendly workplaces can cause a serious medical problem for employees who are allergic. For most, the allergy resides in the pet’s dander, which is secreted through the dog’s saliva, skin, and hair. Dander can travel through the air, so an allergic employee can be exposed even if he or she tries to maintain a distance from the pooch. Vacuuming regularly, which is often offered as a solution, may help some, but it is probably not a cure-all.

That’s where we come in.

Professional janitors have the tool to handle any dirt (or muddy paws) you throw at them. HEPA filters are your friend (see http://tsmaintenance.com/hepa-filters-often-change ).
If you allow pets in the office, then your cleaning team needs to be detail vacuuming on every visit. And that’s just for the dander… Accidents happen and spot cleaning doesn’t always get the job done. The dog will likely do his/her business on the floor at some point,
so have cleaning supplies (spray cleaner and paper towels) available. Then, call your janitorial company and give them a head’s up to bring the spot bot with them on their next visit. Mark the area with a note and give that dog a written warning from HR.

Obviously there are a lot of things to consider, when considering a dog-friendly workplace. Don’t let fear of dirt and hair be one of them; Hire a professional cleaning company, Good dog!

Here at T&S Maintenance, we often contact businesses that currently have janitorial services through another provider. Many times the companies that we contact are relatively happy with their current service. Believe it or not, it is still worthwhile for us to put together a free, no obligation estimate for our services. The reason we are willing to put together an estimate is that you never know what might happen to the current service. For Matt and I, putting together this free, no obligation estimate is of not an inconvenience to us. With our twenty years of experience, we have found that companies need to make unexpected changes for a variety of reasons. We’ve seen companies need to make changes due to family emergencies, moves, acquisition of new accounts, financial difficulties, etc.  If one of these unfortunate situations were to arise with your provider, you would have a detailed service and rate in your file. It is like having an insurance policy for janitorial services. If you would like to receive a free, no obligation estimate, please fill out the request for quote form and we will happily contact you.