Understanding basic math is important even in this age of computers, spreadsheets and software.  Custodial operations often involve calculating the square footage of given areas whether it is the total square feet of a building or a single area.  Following are some basic definitions to consider:

 Area is the square footage contained a floor or wall or ceiling.  They are measured by length, height or width.  For instance, if a room is ten feet long by fifteen feet wide, it is one hundred fifty square feet.  The math is Length x Width = total square feet.  

 Volume is the number of cubic feet contained in a three dimensional area such as a room, a trash container or other container.  It involves length times width times height.  The usual measurement is square feet or square yards.  

Perimeter is the distance around the outside of a surface and is measured in linear feet.  For instance, measuring the perimeter of a rectangle is simply adding the lengths of the four sides and multiplying by two.

Following are sample exercises:

1. An office is 15 feet long, 11 feet wide and has a ceiling height of 8 1/2 feet,  Calculate how many square feet of floor space.

2. Using the same dimensions, calculate the total square footage of the walls.

3. The XYZ Bank building is 4 stories tall and the outside measurements are 240 square feet.  What is the gross square footage of this building?

4. The trash compactor is 25 feet long by 6 feet deep by 10 feet wide.  How many cubic yards does this unit contain?  

Most of the math involved is usually learned by the sixth grade and then not used again until one becomes involved in custodial operations or some other field requiring such calculations.  Investing some time in basic math can pay returns in many ways.  

Your comments and questions are always welcome.  I hope to hear from you soon.  Until then, keep it clean…


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.