Tips to Help Avoid Tragic Facility Maintenance Decisions in 2016

Project planning is critical for it affects everyone in your building/organization; Continuous Improvement Tips (CITs) will help you avoid tragic mistakes in the upcoming year.

Reoccurring problems are often indicators of other issues; therefore, they must be resolved so that they do not reappear.  Symptoms and underlying cause of problems must first be discovered.

When a problem arises, such as poor maintenance or low level of cleaning in your building that affects the overall appearance as well as the health and productivity of your building occupants employees, simply ask “why” (5 WHYs) until you reach the cause which will lead to a solution (e.g., poorly paid and untrained workforce do not have proper equipment/supplies)

The CITs technique is simple and effective for any business model: PLAN, TEST, DO, REVIEW:


Download this free spreadsheet for accurate vendor comparisons


  • Create Goals: Process and Procedures outlined in the scope of work
  • A Project Plan: (An example is a Cost Bidding Sheet for transparency of vendors; receiving repeatedly poor service in your building may be a result of very low wages being paid to the employees who work in your building, resulting in poor performance and high turnover).
  • Ability to define how to measure successful performance (new or improved process of service).


  • Set acceptance standards in advance – What is “good enough?” … as an example, no spots on carpet, no visible dust?
  • Testing methodologies include, but not limited to: Surveys; periodic inspection walk- through (MBWA – Management By Walking Around).


  • Keep measuring – your measurement system should align with your key measures defined in your plan such as the scope of work
  • Commit to being firm – keep engaged and focused on the plan in place and make everyone involved live up to the performance promised.


Identify and document feedback.

CLS Tile & Grout RenovationCreate 100% commitment by continuing to question the process:

  1. What was supposed to have happened (high-gloss floors, clean/healthy overall appearance, such as these before/after examples)
  2. What actually did happen?
  3. Why did it happen/not happen (i.e.building still does not appear clean because janitorial staff lacks proper training; building occupants frequently sick because surfaces are not sanitized properly?)
  4. What was learned and what can be done to improve a better decision next time?

Since inception in 1985, Cleaner Living Services has implemented Continuous Improvement techniques that differentiated ourselves from other cleaning companies and helped us build a strong brand through continually asking the “WHY” and “HOW” in our business:

Why: While others seek to seize all opportunities in the commercial cleaning market, CLS has developed a brand for delivering high quality cleaning in the suburbs of Chicago to owner occupied buildings who are very concerned about the appearance and cleanliness of their building.  CLS is a privately owned, local cleaning service that is grateful for building owners who are loyal to our brand.

windsor-versamatic-VRHOW:  Training our employees on always improving our Process and Procedures . Our business involves learning how to better remove dirt from the indoor working environment.  Therefore, our equipment must be the most efficient available; for example, our Windsor Versamatic vacuum cleaners pickup particles that are .03 microns in size (picture of the vacuum)

Cleaner Living Services, Inc. has a unique perspective of focusing on long term partnerships with building owners/managers to help them make lasting first impressions.

Do not make a tragic decisions in 2016, but focus on making a decision today that will be tomorrow’s legacy.  Please call Susan Popovic at 630-816-0300 to learn about the many benefits you can experience in your building.


Great Grout Without Glazing

CLS Tile & Grout RenovationDesperation for a great, new-looking tile and grout floor shouldn’t drive you to choose a process that locks you into expensive quarterly maintenance costs.

Most cleaning contractors do not know how to properly maintain stone floors, and therefore building managers spend a lot of money on a widely advertised “glazing” process for their tile and grout floors that demands additional, and expensive, quarterly maintenance costs.Popular Glazing Competitor

What kind of maintenance costs? Some maintenance plans can run as much as $1,000 per year, per restroom!


Consider the Annual Tile & Grout Maintenance Cost Comparison:

Size of Facility

CLS Grout Renovation

Popular Glazing Option

4 restrooms


$4,000 / yr.

8 restrooms


$8,000 / yr.

12 restrooms


$12,000 / yr.

CLS uses a restoration process that restores the new look of tile and grout, then keeps your floors looking new without costly maintenance fees.  After restoring the bright, fresh look of your tile and grout, our process then inhibits staining and discoloration, especially from urine and dirty mop water.

The result: Clean grout and tile without expensive quarterly maintenance fees.

Call Susan Popovic today for a more in-depth explanation and price comparison.  630.816.0300 or email her!


Keeping Carpet Out of Landfills

Carpet in Landfill

Carpet takes over 50 years to decompose in landfills.

Over five billion pounds of carpet end up in our landfills each year, according to the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE).

Most of this carpet disposal is from office buildings, retail establishments, public venues, and government facilities.  In fact, It is estimated that commercial carpet disposal it ranges from 75% to 90% of all carpet disposal.

On average, carpet accounts for just about 1 percent of all municipal solid waste by weight.  But in the landfill, it is one of the more bulkier items.

Since carpet takes over 50 years to decompose, many landfills no longer accept carpet.

CLS supports a dual-track for decreasing the amount of carpet that ends up in landfills.  First, we maintain your carpeted surfaces to provide the longest life possible.  We have customers with carpet that is nearly 20 years old.

Second, when you need to replace your carpet, we will recommend local recycling resources. Who knows where you might find that recycled carpet, as it is used in a number of products, such as:

  • Composite lumber (decking and sheets)
  • Tile backer board
  • Roofing shingles
  • Railroad ties
  • Automotive parts
  • Carpet Cushion
  • Stepping stones

Check out some of the other reclamation opportunities for carpet recycling, such as substitute for natural hay bales on construction sites, fencing, sound barriers, and landscaping systems to name a few.