In most regions across the U.S., school is officially out for summer. As most students and teachers enjoy a well-deserved break for a few months, commercial cleaning staff must take this opportunity to deeply clean and disinfect classrooms, cafeterias, lounges, hallways, and all other areas so everyone can return to a safe and sanitary facility in the fall. At first, it might seem like cleaners have plenty of time and space to get all of this done. However, there’s a lot of ground to cover at educational facilities, and summer break never lasts as long as we all wish it would. Moreover, schools aren’t exactly empty over the summer, even if they’re not as active as they are during the school year. With all this in mind, here’s how to best implement education facility disinfection and deep cleaning practices over summer break.
Ways to Implement Education Facility Disinfection and Deep Cleaning Practices Over Break
Create a Comprehensive Cleaning List
Every successful commercial cleaning project starts with a detailed list of everything that needs to get done within a given timeframe. Every school is different, but most of these facilities feature the same types of rooms and require similar forms of cleaning and disinfection. If you’re not sure where to begin when creating this list, start by breaking things down into categories, namely by area such as classrooms, restrooms, halls, cafeterias, teacher lounges, etc. From there, start writing down the various things that need to get done in each setting. For instance, you might write under “Classroom Cleaning”:
Empty desks and cubbies
Dust all surfaces (e.g., TVs, desks, tables, chairs)
Vacuum, sweep, or mop floors
Empty trash and recycling
Disinfect high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, keyboards, light switches)
Clean dry erase boards and chalkboards and cap markers/replace chalk
Do the same for the other types of rooms in your education facility and check it over multiple times until you’ve covered everything. Making a thorough checklist will facilitate the cleaning process, help you track your progress, and ensure that no detail is neglected. Moreover, having a list will set you up for your next order of business: prioritization.
Thorough and efficient facility cleaning requires prioritization. Some tasks are more urgent than others, and some should precede others in order to reduce the number of work cleaners must perform. For instance, high dusting (dusting off high-up areas) should come before other dusting tasks and floor cleaning because gravity will cause dust particles to fall to the floor – if you clean floors before dusting other surfaces in the room, you’ll wind up having to clean said floors again. Once your cleaning checklist is ready to go, start thinking about which tasks should come first and which should wait until the end (do this for each room category). Gradually order the tasks on your list until you’ve got a hierarchy that’s easy to follow. From there, consider which rooms require the most amount of care (restrooms and food prep areas often take precedence). Now your list should be completely prioritized in terms of room and cleaning task, allowing for efficient cleaning and disinfection protocols moving forward.
Inspect and Inventory Cleaning Equipment
You won’t be able to properly clean your education facility if you don’t have access to functional cleaning equipment, tools, and products. Take stock of all the equipment at your disposal and inspect each piece to make sure it’s working as intended. You might find that you need to invest in more modern equipment or repairs – the equipment itself may need to be thoroughly cleaned. Note that depending on who’s in charge of cleaning your education facility, your institution may or may not be entirely responsible for providing the equipment used for deep cleaning and disinfection over summer break. If you hire a commercial cleaning provider, for instance, they might bring their own equipment (though they may use yours, too). Regardless of these details, inspecting and accounting for the equipment you have in-house is key for preparing for the upcoming school year. After all, school cleaning must take place year-round, so your equipment must remain functional at all times.
Stay Mindful of Student and Staff Schedules
As mentioned earlier, just because schools become less regularly active over the summer doesn’t mean they’re abandoned entirely. On the contrary, most education facilities remain open throughout the summer for a variety of purposes, including summer classes, tutoring, camps, events, teacher and faculty meetings, intramural sports, preparations for the upcoming year, and so on. So, those in charge of building maintenance don’t have free reign when it comes to cleaning and renovation projects – they still have to work around other occupants and their schedules. Cleaning staff should be kept in the loop regarding these summer activities to better optimize their own schedules and minimize interference. Likewise, activities held in the school over the summer should be flexible enough to allow for thorough cleaning and disinfection (most education facilities are large enough to accommodate last-minute room changes so everyone’s happy).
Clean Up the Air
Summer break provides a great opportunity to make lasting indoor air quality (IAQ) improvements to education facilities, something that’s become increasingly important amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Improving IAQ at your school yields several long-term benefits, including reducing sick days, allergies, and other health concerns, increasing focus and productivity levels, and cutting down on energy costs. Additionally, making the right IAQ adjustments can lower cleaning and maintenance requirements due to a decrease in dust accumulation. Clean up the air in your school this summer by installing high-end IAQ monitors and replacing outdated HVAC systems with state-of-the-art air purification solutions. Read our previous blog, “Why You Should Know How Indoor Air Quality Affects Education Spaces” for more on this topic.
Invest in Safe and Efficient Disinfection Methods
School disinfection has been on everyone’s minds for the past two-plus years. It’s crucial to maintain strong disinfection protocols year-round, but it’s also important to provide returning students and staff with a completely sanitary environment in the fall – this is achieved with the help of disinfection services and modern disinfection methods like electrostatic spray/antimicrobial barrier technology. Spray and wipe disinfection has its place, too, so long as EPA-registered products are used. Note that some disinfectants are better or worse for the environment, too. Paying attention to these disinfection details will allow you to keep your school safe, sanitary, and eco-friendly for the foreseeable future.
Work with Reliable Commercial Deep Cleaning Services
The clock is ticking for summer break school cleaning and disinfection. If you want to make your education facility the best it can be, work with experienced commercial cleaning and disinfection experts like The Budd Group. To learn more about our services and values, give us a call today at 800-221-8158!