How to Perform a Walkthrough for Post-Construction Cleaning
In the world of commercial cleaning, some of the most important bids you will make will be in places that haven’t even seen foot traffic yet. What we are referring to is post-construction cleaning- a necessary service in the final phase of any large-scale construction project.
As a post-construction cleaning service, your job is to tidy up any loose ends on the construction site and get the location ready for the big reveal to the owner. This is an incredibly important job, and when done well, will set you apart from your competition by many standards of excellence.
When performing a post-construction cleaning walkthrough, you need to be precise, efficient, and thorough. If you can remember these three things with the acronym PET, you can mentally check your work as you go. Let’s break down each of these qualities further to show how they are important to your post-construction cleaning process.
Being precise in your work as a commercial janitorial cleaner is paramount to maintaining your reputation. This means recording as much detail as you can on your initial walkthrough with the prospect. Much like a standard commercial cleaning bid, you will meet with your client ahead of time and tour the location to capture details about the scope of the work.
This is where tools like Route’s Walkthrough Builder can be extremely helpful. Route’s digitized workflow allows you to take notes about the location while also utilizing real-world performance data to help you come up with a highly accurate estimation of the time and money it will take you to do the job. Using an app for post-construction cleaning walkthroughs is a great way to be more precise in your services by giving you more data and information than you can capture by hand.
Remember, the most important thing is that you are taking accurate notes about each room and what needs to be cleaned up from the builders.
Aside from using an app like Route for your post-construction walkthrough, some other tools you may want to have with you are a pencil and notebook, an eraser, and a camera for you to take pictures. Until you actually formulate the bid, you won’t need to show up with your cleaning supplies. You are the most important tool your business has; you’re the expert, and the best person to assess how to do the job.
Being efficient when performing a post-construction cleaning service walkthrough should be given for any cleaning contractor, but it can be difficult to achieve efficiency if the site is large or there is a lot of construction debris on location.
To be efficient, make sure you have everything you need to assess the site at the ready and you’ve looked at plenty of information in advance to know the time and money other commercial cleaners are spending to do the same job.
This is again an excellent reason to invest in a platform like Route, which provides real-time data on thousands of cleaning services and their jobsite performance. Route can not only make your walkthrough efficiency better, it can also help you come up with faster and better bids with less paperwork.
Remember that you want to work quickly and do the job well, not just work quickly. Make use of the innovative software tools available to you to set yourself apart with your speed and service.
Being thorough in your work is necessary if you want to build a reputation as the best post-construction cleaning service available. One of the best ways to do this is to create a checklist for yourself that you can take from site to site. The checklist should contain all the main cleaning objectives plus some extra space for additional notes. Below is an example of what a typical post-construction clean-up checklist might look like.
General Cleaning Checklist
- Clean the walls.
- Clean the baseboards, trim, and window frames.
- Clean all windows and glass.
- Dust everything, including the ceilings and fans.
- Check and change all the lightbulbs if needed.
- Sweep, mop, and polish any hard flooring.
- Vacuum all carpets.
- Take out all the garbage.
Entries and Exits
- Sweep and clean the porches.
- Clean and change any exterior lights if needed.
- Sweep all thresholds.
- Wash the driveway or walkway carefully to remove debris and dirt.
- Clean countertops and backsplashes in kitchen and bath.
- Clean toilets.
- Clean inside and out of all appliances.
- Clean the cabinets and drawers.
- Clean all mirrors.
- Sweep all remaining debris.
- Clean all closets.
- Remove any remaining construction debris outdoors.
- Empty all trash cans.
- If there is a garage, sweep it.
- Check that all doors are locked before leaving.
Attention to detail is extremely important, so don’t skimp on any area. Even if you haven’t made a bid for your client yet, you need to be considering each one of these things as you are taking your walkthrough. They are all tasks that will eventually need to be done by the commercial cleaner.
You may also want to ask questions while conducting the walkthrough because the prospect will be able to give you a clearer idea of what they expect from a licensed commercial cleaner.
Remember that you’re selling yourself as the ultimate solution to the client’s post-construction cleaning needs. Even experienced contractors won’t have the same skill level and knowledge of the cleaning service industry you do. Approach every bid as another chance to let your cleaning services shine.
Also, keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive and is only meant to be used as a guide. Not all bids are going to require the same checklist although most will at least include the tasks listed above.
Prioritizing Your Health as a Post-Construction Cleaner
Aside from designing your own checklist, there are also some important risks to think about as you take your post-construction cleaning bid walkthrough. These things could affect your health, labor costs, or how you approach formulating the bid.
The first major risk to consider is dust. The fine layer of post-construction particles permeating the air could be a major factor in determining your hourly rate.
Dust particles can cause irritation to the lungs and mucus membranes of the body. If you are trying to land a bid on a construction site, use caution and protection while taking the tour. Drywall, sheetrock, concrete, and sawdust are all substrates you’ll likely encounter that can cause irritation.
After the walkthrough, consider how much dust and dirt there was as you toured. If it was extremely dirty, it’s going to take you longer to achieve your checklist and you may even have to do some of the tasks more than once. If this is the case, be sure to factor in the hazards of working in a dusty environment into your final estimate.
Here are some key areas of the site that will hold dust particles you’ll need to clean.
- Carpets and Upholstery: These are the biggest offenders of construction dust. It is likely you’ll need to vacuum more than once to do a satisfactory job.
- Fans and Windows: Don’t forget to thoroughly clean all window frames and the blades of every ceiling fan. Details like this will set you apart for exemplary service and attention to detail.
- Air Vents: This often overlooked area of the site is crucial to eliminating dust throughout the space. Remove the covers of all air vents and wash them in warm, soapy water. Change any exposed air filters before replacing the vents.
The second risk factor is debris. This is something that should be considered when performing any janitorial cleaning walkthrough, but it is especially important for a post-construction cleaning bid because you will likely be picking up scraps that you wouldn’t otherwise handle in a commercial space.
Take note of how much freestanding debris is left at the location and what kind of material it’s made of. Notes like these can be easily saved and organized in Route’s Walkthrough Builder. If there are heavy pieces of waste left, you’ll need to consider how that will affect your manpower and level of effort it will take to clean the space.
A good rule of thumb to remember about post-construction bids is that the price should be reflective of the effort it will take you to do the job, not only the size of the space.
Setting a Price
You’ve completed your post-construction cleaning walkthrough and now it’s time to build your estimate. How do you get started?
If you’re using Route, you can use the app’s estimation calculator to quickly compile your notes and create an estimate in minutes. Streamlined workflow solutions like this can greatly improve your business model.
Route’s integrated CRM features allow you to give your prospect faster answers, plus you’ll be able to provide extremely accurate bids thanks to Route’s real-world performance data backing its programs. Route also allows you to generate a contract from a template within seconds, saving you the potential of hours of paperwork back at the office.
Going digital is by far the fastest and most effective way to manage your accounts and contracts as a post-construction cleaner. Let’s break down the process one step further.
The average cleanup workday is eight hours long. The average number of workers needed is four, each being paid 25.00/hour.
With those figures in mind, you can roughly calculate what a typical day will cost. This is often somewhere between $750.00-$1,300.00.
With those basic details, you can assess some of your additional costs as you perform the walkthrough. If you’re using the resources mentioned in this article, you’ll have the knowledge necessary to answer questions from your client as well as gain new information on your own.
Walkthrough Wrap Up
Performing a good post-construction cleaning bid walkthrough is an art that takes practice but can be mastered by any motivated commercial cleaner.
When conducting a post-construction walkthrough, be mindful of all the different surfaces you’ll need to clean and what it will take to accomplish the job. Post-construction cleaning is different than commercial cleaning in that it’s being done for a “big reveal”, and there are often risky materials that will need to be removed.
Make a detailed checklist of all the things that will need to be cleaned and pay attention to how many of them apply to each room. Using a data-driven app like Route for your post-construction cleaning walkthrough can greatly improve this part of your workflow. Remember the PET acronym- Precision, Efficiency, Thoroughness.
Leverage real world data to help you come up with an accurate bid. Coming up with the right price is dependent on how well you know your business and how much you can learn about other people's' business practices in the same industry. Innovative tools like Route’s estimation calculator can improve both the speed and accuracy of your estimates.
Use these tips to kickstart your post-construction cleaning bid process and watch your business grow into the finishing touch every builder or owner wants to help them make a sparkling start in a new location.