For those involved with cleaning communal areas it can prove a more difficult task than what you might first think. It should be straightforward, however it’s often the many interests involved that can cause complications.
Budgets may limit what can actually cleaned, and people’s expectations are high when it comes to what they expect to see, particularly when it’s for residential properties and people’s own homes – which is quite understandable.
And the actual cleaners can start slacking, particularly when new individuals are involved and they’re racing through these areas with no one looking over their shoulders.
We’ve always said it, and it’s perfectly true; the cleaning is only ever going to be as good as the actual individual cleaner carrying out the cleaning.
Therefore whatever role you have, here are some tips to get on top of such areas like communal stairs, lobby ways, and reception areas.
Whether you’re a cleaner wanting to sharpen the cleaning pencil so to speak, an occupier wanting to update the schedule of what your cleaner does, or a property owner wanting to see value for money – these are good all-rounder tips.
The little sections technically just outside the main entrance or exit doors may well not fall within the ‘internal’ cleaning’, but for the sake of a quick sweep or at least a litter-pick it can make a huge difference to how things look.
You may well need a different outside brush etc, and to work alongside the gardener as well, but once bottomed-out, these can be an easy-win for the cleaner.
Window cleaners are of course needed for full window cleaning, however a quick wipe of important pieces like entrance doors can help, particularly when receiving a lot of people-traffic and grubby-hands against them.
Watch out though for not doing a proper job, and leaving nasty smear marks that can soon make it look worse then it did beforehand.
When you think about it, the banisters and railings receive a huge amount of use with people handling them, and so deserve that extra TLC.
Also, they’re easy to spot with being in people’s views, particularly dust settling on the bottom of the rail.
Still about stairs, pay careful attention to the tread ends of the stairs, as they can stick out like a sore thumb.
And make sure you go beyond just a standard wipe or vacuum clean, as they may need a good old wipe with a damp cloth to really get the brunt of the nasty grit and grime off then.
Handles on any kind of doors get smear marks of course and need attention, not only to look good but for basic hygiene.
For special finishes like brass, make sure the finish is top notch.
A little more hidden, but once people spot these areas they open a can of worms.
The very top edge of a skirting board is a classic place to collect dust, and yet only needs a quick wipe rather than full singing and dancing clean-up.
Take your eyes higher to see a whole new world of cobwebs and grime collecting right up in the ceiling, whether in joins to the wall or around light fittings.
Now okay, this is often under a more thorough deep-clean, but at the very least clarify this and suggest some extra high-level cleaning with, say, a long duster.
It tends to get everywhere, even if the mail boxes are not in the communal areas, and ranges from takeaway fliers to notices from couriers for people not being at home.
You need to be selective of course and not move any post clearly related to occupiers, but at the very least remove the obvious junk items and place the rest in a neat pile.
Floor coverings will tend to require a basic clean, whether a vacuum clean of a carpet or mop on a hard floor, but watch out for additional mess and stains that need extra work, as they will stand out like a sore thumb.
As you face issues of any communal area not being kept up to scratch, don’t just ignore the issue or allow them to drag on; nip them in the bud early on and save a lot of problems then building up.
In whatever capacity you’re in, these will help you check the cleaner’s schedule to ensure these are all being covered. You can then liaise with them and others to ensure that everyone is in the loop, and the areas are looking absolutely pukka.