The holidays may bring a nice two-week vacation for faculty and students but winter break is a busy time for cleaning staff. Savvy maintenance departments take advantage of an empty building to clean deeper, tackle trouble spots and prepare for the harsh winter weather to come. Here’s some tips and tricks for the school cleaning holiday rush guaranteed to leave your facility shiny and bright.
Make a List, Check it Twice
Be sure everything is in place before the cleaning crunch begins. Inventory supplies and re-stock if necessary. Confirm that all equipment is in good working order. Repair or replace machines as needed.
Draw up a list of expected holiday break tasks. Washoe County School District in Nevada posts their winter break cleaning guidelines to ensure that no job is overlooked. The document emphasizes the importance of following regular maintenance protocols before break begins so staff is free for deep cleaning and special projects.
Finally, check your employee roster. School cleaning during the holidays requires a full staff every day of break and maybe a few extra. Some school districts supplement their workforce with temps. If that’s your plan, set these workers up for success. Make sure they know your protocols, are familiar with your equipment and can meet your expectations.
Cleaning Time is Here
Now’s the time to tackle all of those special maintenance jobs that get put on hold. Spot clean hallway and classroom walls, remove any food stains or other debris. Touch-up paint as needed. Dust all classroom and office surfaces including the light fixtures and baseboards. Clean desks and counters quickly and thoroughly with a squeegee system. Remove any rings from sinks, toilets and urinals. Clean any in-floor drains.
Winter break is the perfect time to scrub and recoat hard surface flooring. Less intensive than a full strip and recoat, a scrub and recoat will extend the life and good looks of your floors while readying them for snowy weather. Scrub to remove any dirt, grit or sand embedded in the floor or it will be recoated into the surface. Remove any slurry and rinse to make sure all residue is removed. Once the floor is dry apply the finish thinly and evenly, noting that your floor may require between two to four coats. Burnish for a glossy finish.
Devote the last few hours of the final day to get ready for the return of students and faculty. Check off any final jobs from the list. Prep cleaning carts for the next day. Clean all entry glass and remove any debris from entryways and parking lots. Then take a breath and enjoy the clean and the quiet before the school starts up again.
For more tools to help make winter break school cleaning easier click here.
Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines.
Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.
She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.