No doubt, cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces is a priority in restrooms; however, consultants caution building service contractors not to focus on hot spots at the expense of other areas. Floor care programs must be executed.

“Ignoring floors would be a tremendous error,” says Segura. “At the end of the day, these floors are in rough shape, especially if there is no day porter. Now is the time to sit down with customers and outline a suggested floor maintenance program. Make sure that they understand the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting, and educate them about the products you’re using.”

The American Cleaning Institute advocates cleaning and disinfecting restroom floors on a regular basis. According to an ACI spokesperson, toilet plume doesn’t just sit on dispensers, it will land on floor surfaces, too. Additionally, accidents, misses and spills are a common occurrence.

4M Building Solutions’ custodians disinfect the entire restroom floor at night and use disinfectant in spray bottles to spot clean floors two to three times a day, focusing on areas around toilets and urinals.

“People don’t always have the best aim, and urine is very acidic,” says Adams. “It causes problems with grout and leaves an odor so that even if the restroom is clean to the eye, people may perceive it as dirty.”

This problem is often compounded in men’s restrooms where urine is likely to end up on walls and partitions, in addition to floors. Hicks recommends thoroughly scrubbing all ceramic tile surfaces to remove soils and odor-causing bacteria.

Keeping in Touch

In the wake of the pandemic, many BSCs are responding to the increased demand for disinfection services. Hicks advises these contractors to renegotiate or add addendums to their contracts to provide more frequent high-touch surface cleaning and disinfection.

According to Adams, a number of 4M Building Solutions’ accounts are adding disinfection specialists to their contracts. These specialists receive one-on-one training, as well as a checklist of high-touch areas to focus on in restrooms, entryways and break rooms.

“We’ve always had custodians wipe down those germy, high-touch areas in restrooms,” says Adams. “We’re just doing it more frequently than we used to — and we’re changing out our microfiber cloths more often.”

The addition of disinfection specialists, coupled with the reduction in building occupants, has helped to lighten the load on 4M’s day porters.

“I can’t think of one account at this time that has brought back their entire staff,” notes Adams. “So our porters aren’t emptying as much trash or doing as many of the regular duties as they did prior to COVID. With less people in the building, they have more time to complete that detailed cleaning.”

As building occupancy rates increase, 4M communicates regularly with its clients and adjusts work schedules accordingly. Furthermore, day porters and supervisors are instructed to keep an eye open for changes in traffic patterns that could necessitate a change in their workload.

In fact, in light of COVID-19, constant communication with clients and employees is more essential than ever before.

“The most important thing is to communicate with your customer and build a team with your supplier and manufacturer,” advises Sergura. “Customers are now looking at BSCs as the experts. They want to know that when they bring their employees back to the facility, they’re safe. And if they know that they’re safe, then you’ve positioned yourself in a good spot in the eyes of the customer.”

Kassandra Kania is a freelancer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a frequent contributor to Contracting Profits.

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Hotspots To Look For When Cleaning Restrooms