A reader writes: “I am being required by my property manager to maintain the office areas ‘dust free’ even though there is major construction going on including a lot of sheet rock dust. What are my options?”


In a prior article I addressed some ideas for dealing with construction dust that increases the daily labor involved in keeping the account to a minimum standard as to dust, foot prints, etc. You will probably notice an increase in restroom usage as well as the loading dock area, elevators and even stairwells requiring far more effort. 


Floor finishes and carpet will degrade along with walk off mats since they are capturing higher traffic from construction materials being hauled in. One area you need to monitor carefully is how they dispose of chemicals including paint, solvents, etc. Although most construction contractors are honorable and law abiding, I have observed workers dumping paint, solvents, cement mix and various mastics into the janitor closet drain, toilets or even outside storm drains in hopes no one would catch them. When the drains failed to work properly, they are usually long gone.


Your options are primarily based on the SOW (Statement of Work) and your ongoing relationship with the property manager. If his cousin is providing the construction work you may have to decide to how important the contract is to your business. If the contract is either unclear or specifies that construction cleanup is included then you need to either modify/clarify it or budget in for such contingencies. Note that someone drilling a hole or leaving a little dust on occasion is not the issue; rather several days of construction work that gets dust into the air and increases your overall labor needs to be addressed. Try to identify an hourly rate for “major construction” cleanup services that you can provided if requested.


Dealing with construction cleanup issues can be an opportunity for more business or can ruin your profit margins. 


Your comments and questions are important. 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.