green floor cleaning
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Hard Surface Floors

Your Lobby & Parkade Entrance Floors 


As with carpeted floors, hard surface floors (marble, stone, tile, synthetics, wood and metal), also need proper care. It is a bit of a misconception that they need less maintenance than carpeted floors. Having an established and effective cleaning plan has several advantages including:

  • Maintains the appearance of the floors throughout the year.
  • Seals & protects grout and mortar lines from penetration and darkening by dirt and oily soils.
  • Makes daily maintenance/cleaning easier.Location photography staging working scenes of ServiceMaster Clean business services at such locations as Baptist Women's Hospital and Archer Malmo offices, Memphis, TN.

 Techniques and Frequency

Maintaining a hard surface floor requires several different approaches to cleaning at different intervals.

  • Daily prevention
    • Regular sweeping, followed by mopping of the tiles with a solution of water and a PH neutral cleaning solution, will help prevent stains and dirt to be ground into a porous surface. Sealants only provide temporary protection, particularly for grout, so daily cleaning is essential. As with carpets, floor mats at doors are critical for preventing soiling material from reaching carpets.
  • Quarterly Deep Cleaning
    • In addition to daily efforts, hard surface floors require deep cleaning as well. For stone based materials, a high pressure extracting system must be used, which can lift oils from the porous surface. Wood and metal does not need such a cleaning, but they do require a sealant, as do stone surfaces. These should be applied every three months or so to ensure maximum protection of the surface.

Vacuums !

As with any technical task, carpet cleaning requires the right tools. And one of the most HiResimportant tools is a vacuum, The question is, which one should I chose for my building?  There are so many different types, and they can result in many different outcomes. A recent study from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia found, that certain models of vacuum cleaners can actually be detrimental to people’s health, by drawing in fine particulates and bacteria from the carpet and release them into the air, where they are inhaled. In general the researchers suggested that older cheaper vacuums tend to be worse in this regards than newer ones. There are other considerations that also deserve merit. Being light maneuverable can help cleaners get into tight spots. It also easier on the employee; allowing them to work for longer at higher work rates.

For residential buildings janitors, we generally see two types of vacuums: Backpack and Upright.


More maneuverability:
Easier to move around and carry because of carrying it on your back (at 8 lbs)
Also easier to deploy the power cord.
Quieter as the body tends to absorb some of the noise.

Lacks a beater that can get more dirt out of a carpet.
Longer distance for the air to travel can mean less power.
The position of the backpack complicates matters:
-Take time to put on and take off.
-Can be more difficult to carry all the attachments.
-Can be difficult to change bags

Upright vacuum


Short distance between the motor and the intake that means less power is lost.
Beater included that allows for the agitation of carpet fivers
Can carry multiple attachments
Easier to change bags.
Option of Canister, paper bag or Bag:
Larger bags (but fills it up quicker.)
Canister is easier to clean.

Bag can be difficult to clean.
Heavier and difficult to maneuver
Stairs are extremely difficult to clean with.
Often cannot clean corners properly due to the beater.
Louder due to the beater.

There are relative advantages to each, but it really boils down to a question of efficiency. While having an upright brought in every day would leave the carpet extremely clean, it would take up far too much of the cleaner’s time and leave other tasks incomplete. The best of both worlds on carpeted area is to use the backpack for day to day work, then have the upright brought in periodically, just to get the dirt deep down out. In almost all of our buildings we clean the building in this way.

Green Cleaning

What is green cleaning?

Green cleaning is comprised of facility cleaning products and methods developed to improve occupant health and performance while minimizing impact on the environment. Not all green cleaning products are independently audited and certified green; but ours are.

ServiceMaster Clean® detergent-free cleaning uses only ingredients listed by the FDA as safe for consumption and products that are free of surfactants or wetting agents. Ideal for individuals with asthma, chemical and allergic sensitivities, our green cleaning products contain no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) or ingredients that are considered corrosive, alkaline or acidic. ServiceMaster Clean green cleaning is a highly efficient and effective cleaning system that is built around these advanced, innovative products.

Green cleaning made easy.

Switching to green cleaning is as easy as making a phone call, and the actual changes in cleaning methods and products will be integrated seamlessly into your existing maintenance plan. Cleaning results are equal to traditional cleaning, but ServiceMaster Clean® green cleaning products are healthier for employees and feature a higher rate of biodegradation for reduced impact on our environment.

Healthy businesses are strong businesses.

In a competitive landscape, more businesses are realizing that their workplace can be a strategic business tool and its care is vital to protecting its most valuable asset—its workers.

Recent studies have shown that sustainable buildings, or buildings that go green, have measurable financial gains due to employee health, productivity, and retention as well as lower operating costs and certain government incentives.* And, as more and more businesses benefit from green cleaning, their individual impact grows exponentially to reach a global scale.

Research has shown that facilities that switch to green cleaning have:

  1. Healthier employees
  2. Lower operating costs and greater access to governmental financial incentives
  3. Positive environmental impacts

Green cleaning is one of the easiest and fastest ways for building managers to make their facilities healthier and safer for employees, not to mention their contribution to the overall environment. Plus, it offers the ability to easily earn quick LEED® points in the process.

Healthier employees—your business at its best.

With 30% of U.S. workers suffering from health problems caused by Sick Building Syndrome, companies are vastly underutilizing their human assets and underestimating the benefits of switching to green cleaning. With the same effectiveness as traditional cleaning, and little or no cost increase, the return on investment for switching to green cleaning is immense.**

In the 1960s, Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) was first identified when research revealed that volatile organic compounds from carpeting and furniture, inadequate air circulation, poor lighting, mold buildup and disruptive temperature variances were contributing to nausea, respiratory problems, skin rashes, lethargy, headaches and numerous other health concerns. Since then, many independent studies have shown that switching to green cleaning leads to reduced employee sick days and absences.***

A 2002 study by the Indoor Environment Department at the Lawrence Berkley National Design Laboratory in California found that the improved air quality by use of green design, building materials and technologies can lower sick building symptoms by 20% to 50%, while cold and influenza are reduced by 9% to 20%, and allergies and asthma drop by 8% to 25%.

Get the most out of your business by keeping your employees at their healthiest.

Incentives and programs: lower operating costs and financial incentives.

Switching to green cleaning is an easy way to get your building and business on the path to saving money, being healthier and getting green-certified. There are several programs in place to reward your business and/or make certain it is as green as possible.

The big picture: positive environmental impact.

In addition to the immediate and direct human benefits of switching to green cleaning, the long-term relief for our environment is vast.

In the United States, commercial buildings consume 17% of the water, 33% of the energy, 40% of the raw materials and 71% of the electricity. They produce, directly or indirectly, 40% of the landfill waste, 33% of the carbon dioxide, 49% of the sulfur dioxide and 10% of the particulate emissions.

When each of us takes on the responsibility of switching to green cleaning and other green building practices, together we can make an enormous improvement to our overall environment.

* Source: White Paper on Sustainability, November 2003, Building Design & Construction.
** Source: “Creating the Sustainable Workplace,” AIA: The Cornerstone.
*** Source: “Indoor Air Facts No. 4: Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)” , “An Introduction to Indoor Air Quality,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2006.
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