Janitorial Business Guide with Sample Work Specifications
Today, more than ever before, cleaning businesses are being asked by building owners and property managers to bid on cleaning and disinfecting jobs related to COVID-19.
These companies often request a one-time COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting service for various or all areas of their commercial building, such as office, manufacturing, and health care facilities, as well as day care centers and retail stores.
The cleaning business owner needs to secure necessary information about the project, including square footage to be disinfected and density of high-touch surfaces and frequently touched items in order to create as accurate of a disinfecting proposal as possible.
However, while these requests are often made initially for a one-time disinfecting, building owners may also express an interest in additionally scheduled, periodic disinfecting service visits as well.
Janitorial software, like the bidding app offered by CleanGuru, can be helpful in using specific building data, such as size, density and frequency of service to calculate a recommended price and create a professional disinfecting proposal for the project.
There are many important procedures and precautions janitorial businesses need to keep in mind as they prepare to quote on and perform disinfecting service work for their clients.
For example, due to the important health, safety and legal considerations regarding the current COVID-19 crisis, all cleaning professionals are encouraged to rely on the most credible sources of information, such as: Center for Disease Control, CDC.gov, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, OSHA.gov, Environmental Protection Agency and EPA.gov, International Sanitary Supply Association, ISSA.com
- Make sure the chemical/product you use is EPA approved for a) the type of disinfecting service you offer; see EPA List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2, and b) the surfaces you’re applying it to; see CDC, Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting. Maintain necessary MSDS documentation.
- Make sure disinfecting chemical/product is approved for the delivery system you use i.e. electrostatic sprayer, fogger
- Make sure you carefully read the product label on the disinfecting chemical you intend to use, and follow the manufacturer’s directions including proper application, dwell time etc.
- Make sure you and your employees are educated and trained (certified if needed; i.e. CDC, IIRC, GBAC) on a) proper disinfecting procedures for the chemical and delivery system you use, and b) necessary P.P.E. equipment to perform the service safely.
- Make sure to check with your state to see if any additional certification/licensing is required for the disinfecting service you offer, i.e. Louisiana, Commercial Pesticide Applicator Certification/License
- Make sure you research and carry any necessary insurance coverages for the disinfecting services you offer; as well as include in your contract bid proposal appropriate legal releases and/or disclaimers.
- Make sure you protect electrical components, if necessary, as directed by manufacturer’s specifications for your chemicals and delivery system (i.e. fogger, electrostatic sprayer)
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn, such as latex gloves, disposable gloves, N95 respirator mask, eye protection/safety goggles/face shield and shoe covers, hazmat suits (if required)
Pricing for COVID-19 Disinfecting Jobs:
As the demand for and delivery of cleaning and disinfecting services evolves during the current COVID-19 virus pandemic, there continues to be a wide range of pricing being discussed and used by cleaning companies (building service contractors), as an example $0.05-$0.35/sq. ft. for standard disinfecting, and $0.35-$0.75/sq. or more if a confirmed case has been reported.
Factors or variables affecting price include 1) kind of facility to be serviced (i.e. accounting office vs children’s day care), as well as 2) density of high touch surfaces and 3) delivery method to be used (i.e. hand/backpack sprayer, electrostatic sprayer, fogger)
Other factors contributing to the range in prices charged for disinfecting services include the differences in wage rates paid in various parts of the country, as well as, in how quickly the demand for these service arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cleaning contractors who never delivered this kind of service before were faced with quickly learning 1) how to safely and effectively perform proper cleaning and disinfecting, 2) what safe, approved chemicals to use 3) what ‘delivery’ system to use, i.e. electrostatic, hand/backpack sprayer etc. 4) what their own square footage pricing range should be, or 5) what their own production rate for performing the service should be ‘on average’ or by individual case, given the specific location and factors involved.
As time goes on, the experience gained by actually delivering these services will yield more and more useful data to help improve how accurately and consistently these services are priced and performed.
For now, useful cleaning business software can help in determining competitive yet profitable pricing for these disinfecting jobs. Cleaning companies not utilizing bidding software, but who want to provide disinfecting services may want, at least initially, to offer them on an hourly billing rate basis.
10-Step Work Specifications for Disinfecting Proposal:
Below is a sample 10-step task description for disinfecting services; and we recommend it be carefully reviewed and edited for the method being used i.e. hand/backpack sprayer, electrostatic sprayer, fogger
- Proper P.P.E Equipment including latex gloves, N95 respirator mask, eye protection/safety goggles, shoe covers and hazmat suit if required will be worn at all times while on-site performing cleaning and disinfecting service.
- Walkthrough will be conducted to organize an effective workflow plan given layout of facility.
- Chemical/product used for disinfecting will be registered/approved by the EPA as effective for use against coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Approved equipment/supplies will be checked and prepped for use; i.e. sprayers, foggers.
- High touch surfaces/objects will first be thoroughly cleaned using a detergent-based cleaner and microfiber cloth.
- When dry, chemical disinfectant will be applied directly to high-touch surfaces and objects using a) approved hand/backpack sprayer, electrostatic sprayer or fogger b) microfiber cloths to prevent unwanted overspray, and c) following manufacturer’s recommendations including P.P.E, application, dwell time and ventilation.
- Disinfectant will be allowed to ‘sit’ for the required dwell time specified by the manufacturer’s instructions, listed on product label.
- Surfaces and objects that dry due to evaporation will be re-sprayed if needed to assure proper coverage.
- Once recommended dwell time is up, surfaces and objects will be wiped dry using clean microfiber cloth, or allowed to air dry, based on manufacturer’s instructions.
- When finished, all equipment and supplies will be safely removed or disposed of properly; clothing will be collected to be laundered.