Commercial property insights: what does a post-build clean involve?

Whether a commercial property has just been constructed or undergone a renovation, it will need a clean up before it is let or employees can return following a refurbishment. A great deal of dust and debris is generated during any construction project or renovation, and as commercial premises are usually quite large, the post-build clean is generally a pretty big operation.

Dust and mess can be extremely hazardous, so it is important during office refurbishments that employees are briefed about where they can go as there is a chance they could breathe in harmful dust or chemicals. See tips on how to maintain safety during your office refurbishment here.

Let’s take a look at what the post-build clean of a commercial property involves.

There are generally two stages to a post-build clean:

  • The initial rough clean
  • An in-depth clean

The initial rough clean

The first stage involves getting rid of any rubbish, debris and excess concrete dust left by the builders. Some of this will be done before the build or renovation is completed, such as cleaning dust prior to carpet or floor tiling installation, or before fitting kitchen and sanitary facilities. The external windows, frames and cladding may also be cleaned before internal work is finished up.

Who does a post-build clean?

Most commercial property developers hire a professional cleaning company to do this work, often tendering the contract to a selection of cleaning businesses before choosing the best deal (who incidentally may not necessarily be the cheapest).

Some builders will do a rough clean and remove rubbish and debris before contracting out the in-depth post-build cleaning to save money, while others may leave a lot of the construction debris on site for the cleaning company to deal with.

What about health and safety?

Health and safety for cleaners on a post-build site is paramount. There are many risks associated with an almost constructed or newly constructed buildings. Common risks include trip hazards and improper supervision. Post-build cleaning operatives should have sufficient health and safety training. A risk assessment is also an important step required to protect workers.

Supreme Cleaning are one of many commercial cleaning companies who send cleaning operatives on Site Safety courses and provide them with CSCS cards (CSCS is the Construction Skills Certification Scheme). Cleaning operatives are required to understand site-specific method statements and risk assessment requirements before they are assigned to a particular job.

Where cherry pickers or scissor lifts are required for cleaning work at height, operatives should be IPAF qualified (this is a bit like a driving license for mobile elevating working platforms).

What does the in-depth clean involve?

The specification for a post-build clean will obviously vary according to the type and size of the commercial property and the scale of the build or renovation, but can include:

  • The removal of stickers, paint splashes, render and protection from internal and external windows and frames
  • The removal of protection from floors, doors, radiators and other areas
  • Thorough cleaning to remove builders’ dust from all surfaces, including inside cupboards – this can involve some cleaning at height
  • Cleaning of light switches and electrical points, radiators and fire extinguishers
  • Removal of dust and finger marks from ceiling panels
  • Cleaning of all doors, woodwork, ledges, shelving and skirting boards, as well as door handles and hinges
  • Floor scrubbing and buffing and any carpets or matts vacuumed
  • Thorough cleaning and sanitising of all kitchens and bathrooms, including the removal of stickers, paint spots and plaster, and the polishing/wiping of tiles and chrome to leave it free of smears
  • Removal of grout haze from tiles and paint spots from flooring
  • Cleaning of glass entrance doors (inside and out) and the reception desk
  • Cleaning of all staircases and lift cars, including lift doors, balustrades and handrails
  • Ventilation duct cleaning

Most cleaning companies operating a large post-build commercial clean will allocate an on-site project manager to liaise with the commercial property manager or the business conducting the renovations. The cleaning project manager is responsible for checking the quality and progress of the clean.

How to choose a post-build cleaning company

Regular domestic cleaning companies aren’t suitable for the post-build cleaning of commercial properties. Be sure to choose a reputable cleaning company with construction cleaning experience.

It’s a good idea to check out testimonials. It could be worth contacting a previous client of your preferred cleaning company for a reference. If the cleaning company is as good as they say they are, they won’t mind you doing that.

Above all, before hiring a cleaning contractor, be clear about budgets, what is included in the clean and time-frames.


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BDC 318 : Jul 2024