Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Self Disinfecting Door Handle

There's always a cool idea that can be designed and built to help humans in a positive way. This brief article was interesting for three reasons. 1) The door handle is coated with a mineral that helps prevent the spread of disease. 2) It is activated by a UV light built into the handle. 3) The power for the light is built into a gear box that creates electricity when the door is opened and closed. Wow! Here's the article link.


Avoid Floor Finish Conundrums

This time of year we usually have some floors we are cleaning, stripping and waxing.  When the weather is hot and humid, it can have an adverse affect on the finish. Here's some great tips on what to do taken from JanSan and their site nclonline.com.

Summer Floor Finish Application Tips
As we enter summer, schools across our country transition from buildings bustling with students and staff to buildings bustling with maintenance staffs working on floors and other projects with the benefit of close-to-empty facilities. What summer also brings is hot and humid weather.
The preference has always been to tackle the big floor maintenance jobs, such as stripping and finishing, during times when the buildings are devoid of students and teachers roaming the halls. The problem, however, is that the summer weather brings its own set of challenges.
The horror stories of less than desirable results from applying floor finish during hot and humid conditions are well known. High humidity delays the evaporation of the water from the finish while having zero effect on the evaporation rate of the solvents in the finish. The uneven evaporation ratio leads to a watery finish that has not properly melted together and formed the desired film on the floor.
However, here are four tips to use to avoid the pitfalls of finish application during humid summer weather:
Waiting a day after stripping allows ample time for the added moisture in the air produced by stripping off old finish to dry out.
Avoiding thick, heavy coats will decrease the water presence in the finish on the floor, allowing for a more evenly formed film.
Air conditioners remove humidity from the atmosphere. In absence of air conditioning, run fans to circulate the air.
Given the atmospheric conditions of summer, allow more time than usual between coats to give each thin, newly applied coat ample time to cure.
For more helpful JanSan maintenance tips, please visit our new blog, NCL TIMES, and all other features of our site, nclonline.com

Monday, June 22, 2015

Custodian Appreciation Day the Brainchild of A Third Grader

Not only do adults take notice of what custodians do, but even children see it. Here's a sweet article about a third grader in Massachusetts that wanted to show her appreciation for the school custodian. She came up with the idea of a Custodian Appreciation Day and even worked with her class to help him out.  Here's the short article reprinted.

LANCASTER -- Alessandra Smith, a third grader at Mary Rowlandson Elementary, was eating her lunch while she watched the custodians clean the cafeteria. It was then that the brilliant idea of having a Custodian Appreciation Day came to her.
Alessandra formed a committee with her classmates to create a day where the hard work of the school custodians was recognized by the school.
Alessandra, along with her class and her twin sister, Sofia, celebrated the day by decorating the custodians' room with hearts signed by the whole school, they washed tables in the cafeteria, and helped the custodians with their daily duties.

Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/community/ci_28336454/lancaster-students-show-appreciation-custodians#ixzz3doJd71tq

Friday, June 19, 2015

An Ancient Discovery Under the "Throne"

This would be something! A blocked sewer line. A toilet. Digging. Discovery of ancient artifacts, rooms, tunnels and more dating back some 2000 years! Wow! Who would have thought that was underneath the proverbial throne. Here's the full article taken from the European Cleaning Journal. 

Broken toilet leads to find of ancient ruins beneath Italian restaurant

12th of May 2015
Broken toilet leads to find of ancient ruins beneath Italian restaurant
A blocked toilet in an Italian building has changed the life of its owner who was planning to open a trattoria on the site.
Lucian Faggiano was trying to find the offending sewage pipe at the property in Puglia, Italy, when he made a fascinating discovery.
After digging a trench beneath the building he found a network of underground rooms and corridors that housed Roman devotional bottles, ancient vases, hidden frescoes and what are thought to be etchings from the Knights Templar.
Investigators quickly shut down the site and warned Faggiano that his restaurant project constituted an unofficial archaeological dig. Heritage officials now believe the building's foundations cover 2,000 years of history and incorporate a Roman room used to store grain as well as the basement of a Franciscan convent where nuns prepared the bodies of the dead.
Eight years later the building is now the Museum Faggiano. According to a retired cultural heritage official involved with the excavation: "The Faggiano house has layers that are representative of almost all of the city's history, from the Messapians to the Romans, from the medieval to the Byzantine time."
The Faggiano family has become fascinated by the history beneath their building. But they have had to foot the bill for the dig and Faggiano admits there have been other frustrations.
"At one point I couldn't take it anymore," he said. "I bought cinder blocks and was going to cover it up and pretend it had never happened."

But the good news is that he still plans to open a restaurant, though in another location. And he also eventually managed to locate the troublesome sewage pipe - and unblock the toilet.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Custodians Get Their Day (or Recognition in a Cleaning Journal)

Custodian often get little recognition for the time-consuming and labor-intensive jobs they do. Now, however, it seems more and more companies, schools and businesses are beginning to recognize the vital role of custodians.

The feature article of the June, 2015 magazine Cleaning and Maintenance Management has some positive comments on custodians and the work they do. Points are also shared on how to make custodians feel needed and tips to improve performance and pay. Check out the article here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wiping Germs from Here to There

Wet wipes used on counters and other surfaces have become a common household item over the past several years. Even in medical facilities they are used on a regular basis. Now, it seems, the use of these wipes might not be as effective as thought.

This study from the UK explains the concerns being voiced about the efficacy of wet wipes, especially in hospitals.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

From Copper that Resists Germs to Self-Cleaning Restrooms

In a continued effort to make restrooms more sanitary and cleaner, companies are coming up with ingenious solutions. This article highlights some interesting techniques being used or implemented to reduce or eliminate germs in restrooms and to limit contacting restroom surfaces. Several ideas and solutions are presented.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Air Filters...

So, our last poll asked what is the purpose of air filters? 60% said to keep the air clean, 40% said to keep the coils clean. The correct answer is to keep the coils clean.

Although air filters do help limit the amount of dust that gets into the air, the real purpose is to keep the coils that heat and cool clean. When coils are clean, buildup of dust and debris does not inhibit the heating or cooling properties of the unit thus causing heating or cooling issues in the building. When the coils remain clean, your HVAC unit runs very efficiently and does not cause unnecessary repairs or problems for the building and its occupants. So, change your air filters regularly for a well-maintained heating unit.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Organized, Efficient and Stream-Lined

Alan Beeler does what we do here in our building every summer in his school. Although their crew is larger, the workload is the same.  Working around summer events, cleaning every room, carpet and floor and doing what needs to be done before school starts again in September. If you've been around our high school during the summer, you'll see that the comparisons are the same. Read the article here.

Wow! Young at Heart for Sure!

Here's an amazing story about a janitor from Arkansas that has been working for a long, long time and has decided to retire. He's over 100 years old! Read his story here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Proposal By Hundreds

Check out this human interest story about a custodian and the students at his school that helped him propose to his girlfriend at an assembly unknown to her.

Summer's A Comin'

So what's on your roster for the summer break? Cleaning? Painting? Maintenance? Something else? We're gearing up to do the normal list of "things" that have to be done every summer. They range from changing filters on HVAC units and greasing motors to cleaning classrooms and waxing floors. Although the summertime is busy, we keep a good pace and still have time to BBQ a few times with the crew outside in the sunshine. It's quiet for the most part, but the work eventually gets done.

So, what are you doing this summer?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Thinking Deeply, Phantom Text Syndrome and Our Diminishing Minds

Although vaguely related to cleaning, (concentrating, using the brain to work out problems, etc.) this is a followup to the article on digitization I posted this morning.  Tech device users beware!  Read on.

Digitization May Be ..... What Was I Saying?

Too much to do?  Can't remember where you put that vacuum?  Trouble remembering what you cleaned last, what chemical to use, why your garbage bags are sitting in the hallway?  Here's a possible reason according to Time.  Digitization.  A short read below.

No longer can we boast about 12 seconds of coherent thought

Researchers in Canada surveyed 2,000 participants and studied the brain activity of 112 others using electroencephalograms (EEGs). Microsoft found that since the year 2000 (or about when the mobile revolution began) the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds.The average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a new study from Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds, highlighting the affects of an increasingly digitalized lifestyle on the brain.
“Heavy multi-screeners find it difficult to filter out irrelevant stimuli — they’re more easily distracted by multiple streams of media,” the report read.
On the positive side, the report says our ability to multitask has drastically improved in the mobile age.
Microsoft theorized that the changes were a result of the brain’s ability to adapt and change itself over time and a weaker attention span may be a side effect of evolving to a mobile Internet.
The survey also confirmed generational differences for mobile use; for example, 77% of people aged 18 to 24 responded “yes” when asked, “When nothing is occupying my attention, the first thing I do is reach for my phone,” compared with only 10% of those over the age of 65.
And now congratulate yourself for concentrating long enough to make it through this article.