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5 Things to Focus on When Outdoor Cleaning

Sometimes, all we need is a few minutes in the great outdoors. The fresh air. The sunshine. The … oil stain? And, is that gum over there?

For a facilities team, the great outdoors isn’t always so great. There’s a lot of work to be done to keep the outside of your facility clean, and the weather doesn’t always cooperate. But it is important. Not only is the cleanliness of your space important to the overall perception of your facility, but the less dirt, grease and grime that gets inside, the easier it is to keep that clean.

Here are five things you can focus on to make sure you keep the outdoors great at your facility.

1. Keep your head on a swivel.

It can be easy to overlook some of the areas that need cleaning. A good way to help avoid that is to be observant yourself on the way into the building. Try to imagine it as though you were a guest walking into the facility for the first time.

Take a fresh look at all parking lots and ramps, sidewalks, patios, and entryways. The list of areas that require outdoor cleaning at your facility will be unique to your facility, and you are the first (and last) line of defense in making sure they get cleaned.

2. Do a dry clean first.

Start with a good, stiff-bristled broom. Freeing all the nooks and crannies of dirt and debris will immediately have an impact on the overall appearance of your facility. And, for the times when you’re doing a deeper clean, you’ll need to get this all out of the way before pressure-washing or using an outdoor sweeper-scrubber anyway. It doesn’t matter where you start as long as you do it with a broom, a leaf blower, or just a few lungfuls of your hardest sidewalk-clearing power-blows.

3. Consider the surface.

Often, the concrete vs. asphalt decision was made years before the facility staff who’s responsible for cleaning it even worked there. Or maybe it’s brick pavers or a cobblestone drive. Regardless, you’ll want to consider the surface in your plan for keeping it clean and intact. Concrete tends to hold up a little better to the conditions than asphalt, but you’ll need to be more vigilant about the many minor stains that it shows — and perhaps more aggressive in degreasing. Asphalt doesn’t show those stains but will need to be resealed every few years. An outdoor sweeper-scrubber can be a great tool to help reduce total staff time in getting a deep clean, and it can even help with the next item on the list…

4. Your environmental footprint.

Pressure washing is an effective way to clean many of the outdoor surfaces that facilities teams are responsible for. There’s only one problem: It can use a lot of water, especially if you have a lot of ground to cover. Fortunately, technology has found a way to alleviate some of those concerns. It turns out the solution is in the water itself. Take Tennant’s ec-H2O™ technology, for instance. From tap water, ec-H2O creates an oxygenated, electrically charged water that cleans effectively, saves money, improves safety, and can reduce environmental impact.

5. When to kick it up a notch.

Certain stains, like chewing gum or various oils, are harder to get out of your outdoor surfaces. As we noted earlier, concrete can be susceptible to unsightly stains.

A vinegar dilution may be enough to remove stains from your surfaces, in some instances, and in others you may need to enlist a degreaser. Tennant sweeper-scrubbers can also help deep clean any variety of surfaces. As always, be sure to spot-test any chemical cleaners before using them widely on a surface and be sure to use your equipment as indicated.

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