Q. What type of equipment is needed to clean a 45,000 sq. ft. building? How many machines to buff and vacuum and strip, etc.?
A. There are too many unknown variables to give you an exact answer. For example, will it be day cleaning or night, full-time or part-time crews, team or zone cleaning, and do you know the estimated production rate as related to the cleaning specifications. Will the dusting and detail work along with wall-to-wall vacuuming be required daily, every other day, or weekly?
If you hired part-time workers and they cleaned as a team, say at 3,200 sq. ft. per hour, you would need 5 workers cleaning for 2.81 hours each. If one team used 3 workers and the other team used 2 workers you would need two complete sets of equipment. That would normally include: dust mop, mop bucket, press and mop, trash barrel on wheels, vacuum, and all the hand cleaning tools to stock two janitorial supply closets.
To be on the safe side, provide some back-up equipment such as an extra vacuum. If it is a medical building, then additional restrooms would likely require a janitor cart for restocking disposables and holding cleaning supplies. And, you may want to invest in a sprayatizer for spray cleaning of restrooms at least once a week.
Depending upon the floor and carpet care frequencies, you might borrow the required equipment from another building. You would probably need a carpet extractor, floor machine for bonnet/encapsulation cleaning and strip and refinishing, wet vac, and a burnisher, along with all the required supplies. If there are a lot of halls and fewer desks, a self-contained walk-behind extractor would speed up the process. A 20" floor machine with a solution feed tank is great for encap and scrub and recoat, and a 20" electric burnisher is probably about right. A two person project floor/carpet team works best. And, more than likely one Saturday a month would be sufficient to maintain the carpet and hard floor surfaces.
The pre-planning process basically answers these questions: “What has to be done, how long will it take, what supplies are required for each person or crew to accomplish the job, and how many crews are required to clean the building in the allotted time”.
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