Most of us, whether professional cleaners or not, have a pretty good cleaning routine.  We zip through our building or home and get mostly everything sparkling.  Some little details, though, may not be part of our weekly schedule.  They may be a little bit of a pain or we may not have a good technique for them…  we may need a hack.  The internet is full of great ideas but here are a few of our favorites:

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According to the most recent numbers, unemployment is at the highest level that it has been in six months. If you or someone you know is looking for work, you should know that FSG Companies is always hiring! Our business is continually expanding and we have a frequent need for more hard-working team members. We value our employees and offer excellent benefits. These include:

• Paid on-the-job training
• Continuing Education classes in related fields
• Employee promotion programs
• Paid holidays
• Paid vacation

Interested candidates can fill out an application online right here on our website.

Sun

A few months ago, we posted a blog about preparing properties for winter. In the interest of fairness, we want to make a post about summer as well. Property owners have a few concerns specific to summer, including keeping buildings cool and comfortable, preventing heat or sun damage, and of course, conserving energy and therefore money.

Managing building environments has a lot to do with preventative maintenance and a bit to do with random chance. Keeping HVAC units serviced is the best thing you can do to prevent a breakdown. But sometimes, breakdowns happen. The best way to prepare for that eventuality is to have a quality team in place to handle repairs. A maintenance engineer provider can respond to an issue, investigate a possible cause, perform basic fixes, or contact a specialist if needed. The quicker you repair an issue, the fewer unhappy tenants and disgruntled customers you will have.

In the relatively mild Pacific Northwest, we don’t worry as much about heat or sun damage as folks in some parts of the country. Nonetheless, taking a look at window film or blinds, shading sensitive materials, and building smart are worth our time.

Conserving energy is a great idea for many reasons. It is eco-friendly, reducing our environmental impact. It is wallet-friendly, reducing our energy costs. It is just good living and good business. There are many ways to reduce our energy use, so we will highlight just a few:

*Set your water heater to 120°F.
*Use programmable thermostats and increase the temperature during off hours.
*Insulate, insulate, insulate. Then insulate some more.
*Inspect and replace weather stripping, caulk, and foam gaskets.
*Choose energy efficient appliances and windows.

So this summertime, may the living be easy. If we make smart choices, we can prevent problems, have happy tenants, and even save money.

Living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, we are very fortunate.  From weather to poisonous or pestilent critters to natural disasters, we have it pretty easy up here.  With that being the case, it can be tempting to become nonchalant about preparing for such an unlikely disaster.

Reading this recent IREM Oregon blog about earthquakes got me thinking about what being prepared for disaster means for some of us.  Whether it was an earthquake, volcanic eruption, or any other disaster, are we prepared for an event to strike at any given time?  Surely all of us in the property services business have safety protocol in place for our staff, protection equipment for those that need it, and plans for if accidents occur in the workplace.  Do we also have plans, protocol, and equipment on hand for natural disasters?  What about those of us or our staffs that spend a large portion of their workdays in their vehicles?  If we had been stuck on I5 in that mudslide back in December, would we have been cold, hungry, or thirsty?

We are not talking here about building bomb shelters or preparing for the zombie apocalypse.  A few easy-to-get supplies will go a long way in any sort of disaster.  The American Red Cross has an easy eight item car safety kit and much longer safety checklists that are a good starting point.  Maybe at your next company safety meeting you could take five minutes and encourage everyone to consider their own preparedness.  Let’s help each other to stay safe in the event of a disaster.

 

According to the calendar, winter is still more than a month away.  According to some of us, wool sock, roaring fire, and hot cocoa season is already here.  The temperatures are creeping lower and lower, and people are pulling out their winter gear and purchasing wintery treats.  What, though, should we be doing to protect our buildings during the chilly months?  Here is a brief list of some important winterizing tips:

Cleaning windows is a task that many of us like to avoid. It can feel like a huge undertaking and can be difficult to do well. But at least we don’t have to spacewalk to do it like the Russian astronauts did recently! (Watch a cool video about that here.) Today, we will look at a few tips that can help you achieve clear, streak-free windows.
1. Choose the right time. Direct sun will dry your cleaning solution before you can buff it off, leaving streaks. Choose a time when the windows feel cool to the touch.

2. Choose the right tools. Commercial window washers are squeegee pros. If you prefer to wipe, make sure you have a lint-free cloth or try newspaper or coffee filters like some of our cleaners swear by.

3. Choose the right solution. For exterior windows, which can be rinsed immediately with water, a water/vinegar/dish soap solution works amazingly well. For interior windows, a reliable glass cleaner or just water and vinegar will do the trick.

4. OR….Choose a professional. If all else fails and you want perfectly clean windows, it is a relatively inexpensive but very impactful service to hire a professional to complete.

Tenants, workers, and clients all prefer to be in clean, safe, well-kept buildings. As an owner or manager, the building or commercial property under your care is a reflection of your business and the people who work in it. Proper upkeep also retains a property’s value.

In order to stay in pristine condition for all to enjoy, properties need regular attention. If you don’t arrange regular cleaning and maintenance, you may receive complaints, lose tenants, or have trouble leasing available suites. Eventually, your building may not require just small repairs, but large expensive repairs, deep cleaning, and in some instances replacement of large items or equipment. A state of disrepair can also compromise safety and security which may bring up liability issues.

A facilities service plan involves more than just regular cleaning and emergency repairs. A maintenance plan covers a building’s routine maintenance as well as the long term care of interior and exterior structures, surfaces, and equipment.

Using a maintenance and janitorial company has many advantages over taking a “DIY” approach. Specially trained technicians are familiar with needed preventative maintenance and upkeep. Staying on top of these things can help equipment, furniture, and structures last as long as possible and help businesses maintain the warranties on their equipment. A maintenance company also comes with a large network of tried and true vendors. When outsourcing is required, you are not left trusting the internet to recommend a vendor. You maintenance team can refer you to an expert and facilitate the repair.

Which Maintenance and/or Janitorial Company Should You Hire?

There are many companies that offer maintenance and cleaning services but it is important to find the right one for your facility. By “right,” we mean it will be a company that can meet your specific needs promptly, consistently, and professionally.

Points to Consider When Hiring a Property Maintenance and/or Janitorial Service:

• Experienced staff with excellent communication skills
• State-of-the-art cleaning and repair equipment
• Licensed, insured, and bonded
• Knowledgeable in all aspects of the cleaning and maintenance of buildings, grounds, and parking lots
• 24-hour customer support
• Good references
Please let us know if you have any questions about maintenance and janitorial services. We would be pleased to serve as a reference.

Thanks for reading!

We are looking forward to creating a blog that is useful and interesting to our friends, customers and colleagues. You can expect to find links to interesting articles, tips and tricks, and entries that we hope will appeal to you. If you have a question you would like us to answer or a suggestion for a blog topic, please leave us a comment or shoot us an email.

Next month’s blog entry will be: Why Utilize Maintenance and Janitorial Services? We hope you will check back to read more!

We are pleased to debut our new company name, logo, website, and blog. We are the same great company with a great new look! You may have known one of our divisions, FSG Northwest or FSG Maintenance for years, or perhaps you have never heard of us. In either case, please allow us to show you our new look and tell you a little about our company!

Since our founding in 1991, FSG has provided outstanding facility services to our clients. We have operated two divisions: Janitorial (FSG Northwest) and Maintenance (FSG Maintenance). Over the years, we have found that some people do not realize the variety of services we offer. With our current rebranding, both divisions will be unified and we will showcase what we truly are: a full-service facility maintenance company.

We would love if you took a moment to check out our new website. You can also connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn. If you would prefer to speak with a live person, we would be happy to do that also. Electronically or in person, we look forward to meeting you.