How Expertise Drives Safety Compliance Across Building Services

At Awnclean, we specialize in various building services, including window washing and facade repair. This work requires our teams to traverse over 13,000 building facades yearly, and it’s not a responsibility we take lightly. While we are experts in working at heights, we also respect the inherent dangers. To reduce risks, we develop unique job site safety plans and hazard analysis before starting a project. We also provide thorough safety training and continuing safety education to our operational teams.

By incorporating safety into every step of the job, we assure building owners and property managers of a safe and successful project. This article aims to convey the value of choosing a building service provider who is not only skilled at their craft but also committed to safety compliance.

Going it Alone into the Building Compliance Unknown

One of the best ways to reduce the risk of legal liabilities, financial penalties, and injuries is to prioritize safety compliance. But compliance is complex, regulations change, and it’s easy to miss something if you don’t stay current.

The latest edition of The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 29 Standard 1926 is a whopping 628 pages long. This publication covers labor and is only one of many standards building owners must be familiar with. The sheer volume of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations—thousands of pages detailing everything from stairwell widths to emergency exit signage—can overwhelm even the most diligent property managers.

With OSHA fines increasing yearly, hoping you are covered is not a risk worth taking. It’s no wonder the number of jobs in the occupational health and safety field will grow by more than two times the national average in the next decade. You can’t plan for everything, but you can bolster confidence in your compliance by working with service providers specializing in safety.

Why Expertise Matters in Safety Compliance

Safety experts know all the ins and outs of OSHA regulations, so they translate legal jargon into clear steps. Plus, these experts create safety plans that fit each specific project. For example, the risks in regular maintenance work, like window cleaning at heights, are different from those in larger capital projects, like waterproofing, so a one-size-fits-all approach to safety will not be effective. Compliance with local and federal regulations is critical, and when paired with industry expertise, injuries and incidents are less likely to occur.

When you choose to work with Awnclean, you gain access to our extensive knowledge of fall protection systems. Our turn-key solutions for installing state-of-the-art safety systems provide a comprehensive understanding of their use and the requirements for compliance. This expertise is a valuable asset in ensuring the safety of your building and its occupants.

Navigating Building Safety Compliance 

Understanding OSHA regulations is the first step towards compliance; implementing OSHA standards solidifies the journey to full compliance. Our team leverages decades of hands-on experience and theoretical learning to design government-approved training courses and develop better safety guidelines through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Creating a Safe Working Environment 

A safe job site starts with preventative measures such as conducting a Job Safety Analysis (JSA). During this phase, the goal is to remove hazards altogether, and when that isn’t possible, we devise a written work plan for the safest way to navigate the hazard. When hazards exist, expertise lends itself to properly using fall protection equipment, mitigating the risk of incidents. One example is our initiative to switch from hard hats to safety helmets on the job site, adding an extra layer of precaution while reinforcing our commitment to safety.

Onboarding with Safety in Mind

With a passion for improving the safety of all workers through compliance and education, we deliver seminars and create safety training programs for organizations like the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA). Our onboarding process includes a thorough screening and a robust training program. Employees must complete field training and pass written tests for work eligibility. Our training programs, thoughtfully crafted by our experts who are recognized by the industry for their lifelong commitment to safety, exceed OSHA and industry standards.

Continuous Safety Training and Awareness

We further supplement our safety culture through weekly on-site safety inspections of all work sites and personnel. In addition, we are proud to participate in events such as OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down. Our newsletters share practical safety tips and serve as a great avenue for keeping safety top-of-mind.

Maintaining Compliance and Document Management

Lastly, documentation and certification round out critical building safety compliance requirements. Our SafeSite Program is designed to help building owners manage documentation and meet inspection and certification requirements.

Case Study: From Safety Repair to Maintenance

Our skill set came into play during a recent renovation in Washington, D.C. While the existing building envelope was to remain the same, the building’s fall protection systems needed rooftop anchors, new davit pedestals, and arms to meet compliance regulations. Our sister company, Valcourt Safety Systems, worked closely with the owner, architect, and our third-party engineer to design a plan and carry out the work.

Once complete, Valcourt’s window washing team won the window maintenance contract and began regular window cleaning with the peace of mind of working with certified fall protection and rooftop anchorage systems. In turn, the building owners knew they took the necessary measures to meet compliance regulations and moral obligations.

Our comprehensive solutions and industry expertise help you achieve and maintain compliance with complex regulations.

Keeping Your Building Safe and Compliant 

For property managers, the checklist for maintaining building compliance may seem never-ending. All the requirements can leave you wondering if you have checked every compliance box. The risk of fines, litigations, and potential injuries is motivation enough to remove all uncertainty. Our commitment to safety across building services removes that uncertainty, saving you time and worry.

Our top priority is ensuring the safety of our people and community. Contact us today for a quote and enjoy the assurance of working with professionals who prioritize safety and quality workmanship.

 


How Spring Cleaning Builds Resilience for Commercial Properties

Leap year provided us an early spring this year, while the “prognosticator of prognosticators,” Punxatawney Phil, all but guaranteed it. With spring comes the welcoming, warm weather, losing an hour of sleep due to daylight savings time, and possibly even more when we realize it’s also time for spring cleaning. 

For commercial property owners, spring brings about the opportunity to get your buildings in tip-top shape in preparation for all that Mother Nature brings in beauty and beast. This article covers how a robust spring cleaning regiment fortifies your building against the upcoming seasonal challenges. 

The Power of Spring Cleaning

The concept of spring cleaning dates back hundreds of years, if not more, and is steeped in cultural tradition. As a long-standing tradition, spring cleaning presents the perfect opportunity as the temperatures get warmer, the days get longer, and nature awakens from its slumber to restore your building’s shine. 

The building’s exterior is the first thing people notice, and a well-maintained facade can significantly enhance the building’s curb appeal. Spring cleaning improves the overall appearance and hygiene of your building by removing accumulated dust, dirt, and other debris. While the act of cleaning itself positively impacts health and well-being, it also affects the health and morale of occupants. As a building owner, checking off your spring cleaning list provides a sense of accomplishment and instills confidence that your tenants are taken care of. 

If you don’t have a spring cleaning checklist, start with an assessment of your property to uncover what areas most need attention. Sidewalks, parking garages, windows, and parking decks are a few of the most common areas to review during your assessment. This is also an excellent time to work with your building services provider to check sealants for signs of wear and the facade for damage. Spring cleaning and proactive maintenance are your best line of defense and offense for upcoming seasonal challenges. 

Pollen Impact and Preparation

Itchy eyes, runny noses, and sluggish feelings are just a few symptoms people struggle with as spring flowers bloom. Pollen doesn’t just wreak havoc on those with allergies. If left unabated, pollen can affect indoor air quality. Pollen can pile up on parking decks, walkways, and other exterior surfaces, making your building look dingy and neglected. Pressure washing and window cleaning, can rid your building of its coat of pollen. 

Bracing for the Buzz: Pre-Spring Pest Prep

Pollen isn’t the only thing that emerges around springtime. This year experts predict what they call a double brood event of cicada emergence, producing billions of noisy creatures. While cicadas aren’t quite the nuisance to building owners that, rodents, roaches, and bedbugs are, their emergence will leave behind carcasses and attract predators sure to leave their mark. Bird Proofing and a proactive approach to spring cleaning and maintenance is your first line of defense in ensuring your building is well-protected from pests. 

Spring Into Action With Proactive Maintenance

Both spring and fall present opportune moments to spruce up your building and remove the remnants of the previous season. Just past the winter thaw and before the full brunt of the summer heat is perfect for comprehensive window cleaning. Professional window cleaning services don’t just remove superficial dirt, they take care of pollen, bird droppings, and smudges and streaks. This is essential in preventing build-up on your windows that can deteriorate their quality over time. When that happens, returning your windows to the ideal condition requires more extensive efforts including deep cleaning, restoration, or even full replacement. 

Other common areas, like parking decks and walkways, are equally important in spring cleaning. These high-traffic areas bear the brunt of daily traffic and the harsh summer and winter environments. Using a scrubber or pressure washing these surfaces removes residue from ice-melt treatments and other contaminants. Pressure washing can remove mold growth from walkways common during the rainy season and a potential risk for slips and falls. This paves the way for a safer and aesthetically pleasing building and campus. 

Make Spring Cleaning A Breeze with Awnclean

Through spring cleaning and preventative maintenance, you can avoid costly repairs and replacements, significantly boost tenant satisfaction, and, ultimately, enhance your property’s value. Awnclean stands at the forefront of preserving and elevating commercial properties with an unwavering focus on safety and customer satisfaction.

By entrusting your property to Awnclean, you choose a partner dedicated to maintaining its aesthetic appeal and structural integrity. Contact Awnclean today to see how our range of services, from cleaning facades to large-scale restoration projects, ensures that your building not only withstands the tests of time and nature but also thrives.


Guidelines for Choosing the Right Building Service Provider

Choosing the right building service provider is paramount for property managers and building owners. The stakes are high, as a poor selection can lead to inadequate maintenance, increased liability, and even property devaluation. Making an informed decision means considering expertise, safety standards, and customer feedback.

This comprehensive guide will assist you in navigating through the selection process, ensuring you partner with a service provider who aligns with your property’s specific needs and maintains its value and integrity.

Consequences of Poor Selection: Liability and Cost Implications

With so much on the line, the consequences of choosing a substandard service provider can lead to significant liability claims, fines, and costly repairs.

  • Premises Liability Claims: This type of claim arises when injuries occur due to a dangerous condition on another person’s property. To establish a premises liability claim, it’s typically necessary to prove three key elements: a dangerous condition existed on the property, the property owner was negligent in creating or not addressing this condition, and this negligence directly resulted in injury or property damage. Building service providers who lack experience, perform low-quality work, or use cheap materials put building owners at greater risk of falling victim to this type of claim.
  • Lost Time Managing Subpar Vendors: Hiring subpar vendors often results in poor communication, lack of follow-through and response time, and rework. Spending time constantly following up with vendors or even chasing down an unresponsive vendor wastes your time. In the long run, you will likely need to find another provider to do the job correctly.
  • Costly Repairs: When vendors fail to make repairs correctly the first time or to perform preventative maintenance, it will lead to expensive repairs. For instance, the cost of correcting someone else’s mistake will most certainly cost more than the original quote. Ignoring preventative maintenance can cause issues to go unnoticed and fester into larger problems.
  • Lower Property Value: Structural integrity, curb appeal, and safety are critical to your property’s value. Unlike factors such as the economy and interest rates, maintaining your property is within your control. One way or another, your choice of building service provider directly impacts the value of your property.

Selecting a reliable and competent service provider is crucial for efficient property management, property value, and avoiding repeated interventions, hassles, and expenses.

Selecting the Right Building Service Provider

The ideal building service provider should not only fit within your budget but also possess the capabilities to meet your property’s unique demands. Make it a priority to choose a building service provider who aligns well with your objectives and ensures that your property is maintained effectively, enhancing its value and appeal. This decision is about more than just immediate service needs; it’s about forming a partnership that supports your property’s ongoing success and sustainability.

1. Evaluate for Expertise and Experience

Evaluating a building service provider’s expertise and experience is a crucial step. You can achieve this by exploring several avenues, such as online reviews, the provider’s website, and direct inquiries.

  • Online Reviews and Ratings: Check online platforms like Google, Yelp, or industry-specific sites for reviews and ratings. These can provide insights into the provider’s performance and customer satisfaction levels.
  • Provider’s Website: Visit their official website to explore case studies, project portfolios, and testimonials. This information often reflects their experience and areas of specialization.
  • Professional Networks: Contact your network of property owners and managers for recommendations and firsthand experiences with various providers.
  • Industry Forums and Online Communities: Engage in forums or platforms where property management professionals discuss and share experiences with different service providers.
  • Direct Inquiry: Contact the provider directly and request detailed information about their past projects, years in business, and client references.

These methods can collectively provide a comprehensive understanding of a provider’s expertise and reliability in the field.

2. Assess the Provider’s Service Offerings

When selecting a building service provider, it’s vital to ensure they offer a comprehensive range of services that cater to the diverse needs of your buildings. This adaptability is crucial for addressing unique maintenance requirements effectively.

  • Wide Range of Services: A proficient provider should offer various services, such as window cleaning, waterproofing, and concrete and leak repair. This flexibility includes customizing maintenance plans, adjusting service schedules, and being able to handle unforeseen issues promptly.
  • Specialized Solutions: Providers should have tailored solutions catering to these building types, showcasing their understanding and expertise in various fields.
  • Resource Availability: Examine the provider’s resources, including their workforce, equipment, and technological capabilities. These resources should align with the scale and complexity of your building’s maintenance needs.
  • Commitment to Preventative Maintenance: A focus on proactive strategies to mitigate wear and tear is essential. This approach helps maintain the building’s aesthetics and structural integrity, prolonging its lifespan.

A building service provider’s ability to offer wide-ranging, specialized, and flexible services, supported by adequate resources and a preventative approach, is crucial in selecting the right partner for your building’s maintenance needs.

3. Ensure Safety Standards and Compliance

Prioritizing safety in building maintenance is non-negotiable. Ensure the provider adheres to industry-standard safety protocols and requires OSHA-required certifications & inspections when suspending from your roof anchorages. A commitment to ongoing employee training and safety education is vital.

This commitment to safety protects workers and ensures the integrity and security of your property.

  • OSHA Certifications: Confirm that the provider has relevant safety training certifications from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other industry associations, like OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 training. These certifications are indicators of a provider’s dedication to maintaining high safety standards in their operations.
  • Standards & Regulations: Question your provider’s knowledge of compliance with various regulatory bodies. This knowledge demonstrates their commitment to following legal safety requirements and industry best practices.
  • Ongoing Training and Education: Evaluate the provider’s commitment to continuous employee training and safety education. Regular training ensures that the workforce is up-to-date with the latest safety protocols and techniques, minimizing risks and enhancing the quality of service.

A safety-minded building service provider adheres to regulatory compliance and fosters a safe working environment, safeguarding the workforce, tenants, and property.

4. Review Risk Mitigation Capabilities

Assessing risk mitigation capabilities involves examining whether the provider is sufficiently equipped to manage and minimize potential risks associated with building maintenance, repairs, and emergencies. Such capabilities are pivotal in ensuring the provider can support your property effectively, not just under normal circumstances but also in unexpected situations that may arise.

  • Licensed, Bonded, and Insured: A building service provider that is licensed, bonded, and insured offers legal credibility, financial protection against potential job failures or damages, and insurance coverage for accidents or liabilities.
  • Proactive Business Continuity Approach: The ideal provider will have well-developed business continuity and emergency preparedness plans. For example, evaluating the work site for hazards before starting a job, planning active job-site hours when it’s best for the safety of your property and its tenants, properly blocking off the job site area, and having emergency rescue plans when using suspended access equipment.
  • Emergency Preparedness: A provider with robust emergency response protocols, such as emergency leak repair, ensures that your property receives prompt and effective service during critical situations, minimizing potential damage and downtime.

A building service provider who prioritizes risk mitigation understands the impacts on your tenants and property when things don’t go as planned. A provider who has this mindset ensures prompt building repairs and takes measures to prevent future problems.

5. Making Your Selection

After narrowing down your choices based on expertise, service offerings, safety standards, and risk mitigation, it’s time to make the final selection. This crucial step involves a detailed evaluation of how each candidate aligns with your needs and goals.

  • Request and Compare Proposals: Review detailed proposals from your shortlisted providers. Assess how each proposal addresses your requirements, including service scope, timelines, and cost.
  • Site Visits and Meetings: Arrange site visits or meetings with potential providers. Observe their professionalism and ask in-depth questions about their approach to your project.
  • Final Evaluation: Consider all the information gathered, including feedback from references. Evaluate each provider’s ability to deliver quality services within your budget.

Choose the provider who best fits your criteria and demonstrates the capability to maintain and enhance your property effectively. Remember, the right provider is not just a contractor but a partner in maintaining your property’s value and functionality.

Awnclean’s Expertise in Building Services

At Awnclean, we pride ourselves on offering an extensive range of specialized building services. Our expertise encompasses pressure washing, awning and canopy cleaning, window cleaning, roof cleaning, sealer treatments, and much more. We are committed to delivering high-quality services tailored to meet the unique needs of each building.

Our team, equipped with industry-leading knowledge and tools, ensures every project upholds the highest standards of safety and excellence. Contact Awnclean today and partner with a team dedicated to preserving and enhancing the value and functionality of your property.

 


Ongoing Safety Training at Awnclean

In ongoing safety training sessions, Awnclean’s entire field and operations teams participate in two hours of monthly training to make sure everyone stays safe on the job.

Even though almost everyone on Awnclean’s team has been doing their job for 10+ years, the ongoing sessions are meant to prevent complacency on the job and to continually get everyone to remind themselves of where they’re at and who’s around them, especially when they’re 80 stories up, hanging off the side of a building.

In the most recent safety training session, led by Dean Detjean from Provinsur, some of the areas covered were:

  • Fall safety
  • Ladders
  • Proper way to wear a harness
  • Safety equipment and proper usage
  • Working on roofs and hanging off sides of building
  • Rescue procedures and planning
  • Team awareness of plan
  • Scissor lift and boom lift safety
  • Working around power lines

Each session ends with an open forum with discussion about concerns and challenges on individual jobs and suggestions for improving safety on the job.

Awnclean’s Operation Manager, Todd Henry, also visits job sites on a regular basis to check on the crews and make sure they’re correctly following all of the safety procedures.


Commercial Window Clean and Restoration

Rainy season is almost here. It’s certainly a blessing because the rain lowers the pollen levels, but it also becomes a hassle trying to keep the exterior of your buildings looking clean.



Business owners and facility managers always want to make sure the interior and exterior of their buildings shine. They want their customers, tenants, and anyone who visits the building to be impressed by its spotless appearance. Clean windows are a good way to make a great first impression.

Hard water can stain your windows with calcium build up. Awnclean offers a special window cleaning and restoration service to make them sparkle, just they way they did when they were brand new.

Awnclean will walk through your property with you and discuss the best methods to keep your exterior looking its best. No matter where the windows are located, we will use aerial lifts, professional rope access and descent systems, and building maintenance units to get to them.

Window cleaning is just one of the regular maintenance tasks that Awnclean’s professional team can take over. We can also set up a regular washing schedule to keep your windows, as well as the rest of your exterior surfaces, looking their best year round.

Call us today! We clean it all!


Commercial Pressure Washing Jobs

Pressure washing seems like it would be easy, but it isn’t, especially if you want to do it quickly, correctly, and safely. That’s why our commercial customers call Awnclean to take care of this regular maintenance for them.

Awnclean has the right equipment and training to significantly improve the image of driveways, patios, walkways, roofs (shingle and tile), and just about every exterior surface around your business.

Because high-pressure washing can cause damage to roofs, some surfaces, and plantings, it’s important to know when to use a soft wash cleaning process. We pretreat surfaces with cleaners and algaecides, followed by a wide fanning rinse process at low pressure to safely clean roofs without incurring damage to the shingles. This soft-wash technique also prevents water from being forced behind siding on a building, which can cause issues later on for the building owner.

Recently, Awnclean cleaned the roofs on 11 buildings at the Sheraton Vistana Resort in Lake Buena Vista.

Before Roof Cleaning
After Roof Cleaning

 

On another job, we removed all of the gum on a sidewalk in front of a business.