Okay, this seems like a pretty simple question – “what types of services are offered by janitorial companies?” And the truth is, it is a simple question. But, this article may help to understand some of the terminology used in the industry and you may be surprised to learn that janitorial companies are able to provide more services than you ever considered.


What’s The Difference?

Many companies in our industry refer to themselves as “Building Service Contractors”. Our company name is – “Frantz Building Services”. Our primary industry association is the Building Service Contractors International (BSCAI). Others refer to themselves and their services as “commercial janitorial services” or “custodial services”, or simply “commercial cleaning services”. So, what’s the difference? Quite simply, there is not much difference, and the use of terminology depends on who is asking for the services. Manufacturing facilities ask for “janitorial services”, schools ask for “custodial services”, medical facilities ask for “housekeeping services”, and commercial office buildings ask for “cleaning services”. In summary – janitorial, custodial, housekeeping, and cleaning services are, for the most part, interchangeable terms.


Types of Services

Base Daily Service – This involves ongoing daily, routine care of a facility. These tasks are broken into 4 primary categories and are usually detail in a scope of work document:

· Trash removal
· Routine floor care – Sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming
· Dusting and wiping surfaces
· Restroom and Breakroom Service – Includes all of the items above, plus replenishing consumable products such as toilet tissue, hand towels, hand soap, etc.

Day Porter Service – This service may be needed when a facility has a large number of daily building users (employees, visitors, students, patients). Day porters clean and “make tidy” high use areas throughout the day. Spaces serviced by day porters include lobbies and common areas, restrooms, break areas, kitchenettes, cafeterias, patios, and outdoor break areas.

Disinfecting Service – While COVID-19 certainly pushed disinfecting services to the forefront, disinfecting high touch surfaces/areas to reduce the spread of viruses has always been an important offering of janitorial companies. Use electrostatic sprayers is common to ensure all surfaces are properly coated with specific disinfectant products.

Hard Surface Floor Restoration – Periodic restorative services are needed to protect and maintain certain types of hard surface floors. Hard surface floors needing periodic maintenance include vinyl composite tile (VCT), ceramic tile, wood, concrete, terrazzo, etc. Terms to describe these services include “stripping and waxing”, “scrubbing and “recoating”, or “deep scrubbing”.

Carpet Restoration – Like hard surface flooring, carpeted flooring also requires periodic restorative work. However, “carpet shampooing” is NOT what commercial cleaning companies perform! Rather, carpets are cleaned using processes referred to as encapsulation, bonnet cleaning, or dry carpet cleaning.

Window Cleaning – In most cases, the cleaning of entry doors and interior glass (such as a glass office wall) are serviced as part of Base Daily Service. Cleaning exterior windows (the inside and outside) is usually called out as a separate service. Exterior windows may be cleaned using a deionizing window cleaning system which eliminates water spots.

Pressure Washing – This service includes the cleaning of outdoor walkways, sidewalks, outdoor break areas, and exterior and interior walls using a pressure washer.

Light Fixture Cleaning & Bulb Replacement – This service involves routine cleaning of interior and exterior light fixtures, and replacing bulbs as needed.

Manufacturing Facility Services – There are several specific services that larger janitorial companies can perform on the “shop floor”. Below are some of the services available in an industrial setting:

· Trash Removal – Using either a forklift or trash collection cart, janitorial companies are able to remove trash to a central collection point/dumpster, and separate, remove, and bind recyclable materials.

· Floor Cleaning – This involves using a large ride-on floor scrubber to remove dust, debris, and other material from the shop floor.

· Overhead Cleaning and Dust Removal – Using lifts and specific cleaning tools, this service involves the removal of combustible materials from rafters, vents, and piping. In addition, this service includes the cleaning of shop floor walls to remove dust, cobwebs, and other types of industrial grime.

· Production Equipment Cleaning – With proper training, janitorial companies can perform daily cleaning of production equipment such as paint booths, labeling equipment, etc.

In summary, when searching for an outsourced janitorial vendor you might ask for the following information:

1. A detailed list of service offerings with a brief summary of the company’s experience and available resources (tools)

2. An example of a proactively, periodic maintenance plan for scheduling project-based services such as window cleaning, carpet cleaning, hard surface floor restoration, etc.