One of the most stressful periods in any housekeeper’s career is probably a construction or renovation of the hotel he or she works at. Here are a few tips on how to manage this phase in a hotel.
1. It is always easier to sit with your team and discuss what needs to be done before a construction or renovation takes place in your hotel. In a hotel, for example, any area that needs renovation or some sort of construction usually needs to be cleared out - furniture, carpets, curtains, art effects and lighting must be removed. If they are to be re-used post construction, they need to be cleaned, inventoried and carefully packed. A well-ventilated space large enough to access the items must be allocated. The items should be kept on a plastic rack, elevating them off the floor in case of flooding. In case some of the items need to be discarded, they must be recorded and approved by the Financial Controller.
2. Any construction will have a lot of dust and smells from paints and solvents. Therefore, it is paramount that the areas are sealed off properly. The best option would be to ensure they are well-ventilated with fresh air to reduce the smell. Constant dust control is also necessary in order to keep adjacent areas clean and fresh.
3. It is important that the housekeeper visit the construction site as often as possible in order to see the progress and to find out if the project is on time. The last thing one wants is to have the cleaning staff on site and ready, while the construction takes another week to finish or vice versa. Either way would be costly – staff waiting to work but not having any work to do or the areas are ready but the staff is unavailable for postconstruction cleaning.
4. So, what are the steps of cleaning in a post-construction or -renovation phase? The contractor must first carry out a pre-cleaning exercise. The following must be removed by the contractor before you and your team move in:
- Dust and debris removal from floors, walls and duct work
- Removal of nails, screws, boxes and paper material
- Removal of stickers and overspray
- Clean washrooms and fixtures
- Remove tape, stickers and packaging covering
- Wash interior and exterior windows
- Sweep and vacuum all floors
- Mop hard floor surfaces
5. Before moving in and starting with the final post construction cleaning, all cleaning material must be available:
- Microfiber cloth in different colours for different areas
- Neutral cleaner
- Vacuum cleaner
- Sanitizer for the wash room
- Squeeze for shower glass
- Small brushes to clean drain holes
- Blades to lift off any unwanted paint residue
6. Consult the design company on how certain materials and surfaces should be cleaned in order to avoid damage. Start to clean the rooms clock-wise or anti-clock-wise and from top to bottom in order to ensure that no square inch is missed out.
7. Ensure that the air conditioner has been tested before any cleaning is carried out as dust might get blown into the room and all efforts are in vain. Often the smell of paint and glue will linger around for quite some time in newly renovated or constructed areas. Therefore it is important to use some air filters for the first few days.
8. Snagging is a very important part of post-construction. Therefore, you will have workers coming back to fix small things here and there. They must be instructed to remove their shoes or to provide them with slip on plastic covers so they do not spoil your new flooring. Working with clean hands is also important is this case. In many cases, workers change fixtures and leave black fingermarks all around them. This should not be the case.