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How to Extend the Life of your Tile Floors

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 12:35 -- Anonymous (not verified)

When it comes to tough, reliable, beautiful, and long-lasting flooring, ceramic tile is often the material that tops the charts. No other flooring type has quite the track record that tile boasts--archaeologists find records of its use thousands of years before the turn of the millennia! 

The fascinating thing about tile is that it is one of very few flooring types to earn that coveted title of “timeless.” This morning I was at the dental office and caught a glimpse of yet another fixer-upper-style show. This one was highlighting old buildings that had what they call good bones. Often the good bones these TV hosts highlight include wood trim, original molding, shiplap (of course!), interesting brick work, and--you guessed it!--tile flooring.

If you doubt the allure of old tile, take a look at the wildly popular Instagram account “Cheap Old Houses” which boasts almost half a million followers, all of whom are eager to see the next post which will inevitably include some timeless architectural treasure. If you take a moment to browse through the comments section, you’ll quickly find that on almost every post there are literally hundreds of people ooohing-ing and ahhh-ing over well-preserved 100-year-old tile floors. 

Though one of the more expensive flooring options, there is no argument that tile is a worthwhile investment. Unlike carpet, which must be replaced relatively frequently, tile can last upwards of a century. 

Ceramic tiles themselves are typically impermeable to water and dirt. However, the grout that surrounds each tile is somewhat less durable. The average lifespan of grout is approximately one-quarter to one-eighth the lifespan of tile. It is the weakest link in your tile flooring. Therefore, special attention must be paid to grout care so that your floors can remain beautiful for many years to come.

Many tile cleaning companies focus on restoration or repair--at Sonlight Cleaning Services, we believe the best approach to extending the life of your tile flooring is actually preservation. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

We use an acid-based solution that is specifically formulated for ceramic tile and grout. This approach deep-cleans and whitens the grout, rather than just removing surface dirt. Afterwards, we clean the tile using a patented tile and grout cleaning tool with a professional hot water extractor. If your specific type of tile and grout requires a sealant, we apply this water-protective coating as the final step in the tile care process.

When we’re finished, you’ll be falling in love with your tile floors all over again (and so will your clients)! Contact us Today!!

 

 

How to Extend the Life of Your Paint and Wallpaper

Fri, 07/12/2019 - 13:40 -- Anonymous (not verified)

What do schools, doctor’s offices, financial institutions, churches, office buildings, and manufacturing facilities all share in common? Walls! Every building has them. And something that most of the walls in these facilities also share in common is that many of them--if not all of them--have some type of well covering. 

Sheetrock is a great building material, but it doesn’t look great in its natural state. The two most popular ways to “dress up” sheetrock are wallpaper and paint (typically along with texture). Paint and wallpaper each have their pros and cons. 

Pros of paint:

  • Relatively inexpensive and simple to change when you wish to update the look of a space.
  • Simple to apply and repair.
  • Great for rooms with high humidity levels, such as restrooms and kitchens

Cons of paint:

  • Care must be taken in application or you could end up with paint getting tracked onto your floors.
  • Requires reapplication every few years.
  • Sheetrock must be textured and any defects repaired before application. Most paints also require the use of primer, adding an extra step.

Pros of wallpaper:

  • Longer lifespan than paint--as much as 3 times longer--and much of the wallpaper being sold today is wipeable and easy to clean.
  • Great for making a statement and giving a space a decorative look. It can also be used strategically to make a space feel larger--for example, horizontal stripes will make a room look wider and vertical stripes will make a room look taller. Some wallpaper is so beautiful you don’t even need any additional wall decor to make your space feel warm and welcoming.
  • Good quality wallpaper can help hide imperfections in the sheetrock.

Cons of wallpaper:

  • Somewhat more complicated to install.
  • Not easily repaired.
  • More expensive than paint.

When you partner with Sonlight Cleaning Service for your daily janitorial needs we have the add on wall cleaning care plan that will extend the life of your wall coverings. Our specialty enzyme based products can extend the life of your wallpaper or increase the time between paint cycles, protecting your investment and reducing the need for touch-ups or repairs. This wall cleaning service can be seamlessly incorporated into your monthly maintenance agreement with Sonlight, saving you money (and headache) in the long run by keeping your walls looking wonderful year after year! Contact Us Today for a Free Estimate.

 

A Cleaning Routine You Can Take To The Bank

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 14:14 -- Anonymous (not verified)

Financial institutions, from small-town banks to nationwide investment firms, know the value of truth. Even the old saying, “You can take it to the bank” rested on the fact that banks were institutions that could be trusted to discern between a fraud and the real deal. Scales, used to weigh money, became the traditional imagery for justice. 

The “absolute, verifiable truth” has--from early on--been associated with financial institutions. Financial institutions represented the standard for getting things right.

When it comes to the cleanliness of your financial institution, who better to trust your care to than the standard for commercial cleaning excellence in the Dallas / Fort Worth community? For over 30 years, Sonlight Cleaning Services has worked hard to become the go-to full-service janitorial cleaning company for hundreds of businesses, big and small. We’re experts in making first impressions great ones for your clients. We specialize in creating a customized cleaning routine for facilities ranging in size from 5,000 square feet to over one million square feet. 

For three decades, businesses, churches, financial institutions, schools, manufacturing facilities, and office buildings have entrusted us with their care. And our business is thriving because we’ve helped them make great first impressions. We can do the same for you.

As a financial institution, you need people to feel as though they can fully rely on you. As we mentioned in a previous article, something that can be seemingly insignificant at first glance--such as an untidy bathroom--can leave a wrong first impression on a client. Imagine that a wealthy investor has a meeting with someone in your building. He stops by the restroom on his way to the meeting. If there are no paper towels in the dispenser, he may walk up to that meeting thinking, “If they can’t even restock paper towels, how can I trust them to keep a sharp eye on the stock market?” In order for your clients to invest in you, you must first invest in them and their needs.

A sharp-looking parking lot, entryway, bathroom, lobby, conference room, and office suite communicate that your attention to detail is superb. That you are capable of managing resources well. That you care about your team and your clients. 

When you partner with Sonlight Cleaning Services for your financial institution’s commercial cleaning needs, you can trust that you are partnering with a company that is passionate about making first impressions count. You can take it to the bank!

 

School’s Out For The Summer

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 13:40 -- Anonymous (not verified)

Ask any teacher what they’re looking forward to most this year and they’ll probably tell you “summer break.” You’ll likely hear a similar answer from most school-aged children. As someone who currently fits into neither of those categories, I tend to imagine that school campus turns into a sort of ghost town over the summer. But as I was driving by a high school the other day, I was surprised to find that there were dozens upon dozens of vehicles in the parking lot. I completely forgot about summer school!

High schools aren’t the only educational institutions that stay busy over the summer months. Colleges similarly can be alive with activity this time of year. Many students elect to participate in summer courses in order to get a jump start on the next semester. As a student, I often found summer courses enjoyable because they allowed me to focus on just one subject at a time. 

Despite this truth, as I started by saying, most of us still think of school as a fall-through-spring endeavor. But if you are responsible for the care of educational facilities, its best to think of your campus in year-round terms. If you think the facilities will need a lessened care routine over these summer months, time to think again! 

Perhaps in scrolling through your social media feed, you’ve seen the work of photographers who document abandoned buildings. I’m always fascinated by these collections, especially the ones that depict schools. Despite the lack of foot traffic and only a few years gone by, the halls are dingy and littered with debris. Everything is covered in dust. Mirrors haze. Toilet water is yellowed. It’s absolutely fascinating to watch the deterioration of a building in this way; as though the very presence of students was the lifeblood that kept things fresh.

If you’ve seen these photography collections, then you know that lack of use does not always mean lack of mess. Year-round janitorial service is a must for your educational facilities. While summer months may look a bit different in what your needs may be, they can be a great time to tackle “extra” projects. Since Sonlight Cleaning Services is an expert in cleaning routine customization, we can work with you to create a school-year AND summer-month cleaning plan. For example, while you may not need a day porter or daily janitorial cleaning during the summer, these months provide the perfect opportunity for once-a-year projects like stripping and waxing the VCT in classrooms and hallways (a project that would not be ideal during the school year).

School may be out for the summer, but your team at Sonlight is very much in and ready to help you get your educational facilities in tip-top shape for the beginning of another school year! Call us today for your free, fully-customizable quote.

 

Clean & Tidy

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 18:14 -- Anonymous (not verified)

When tidying expert Maria Kondo’s show launched on Netflix this past January, people everywhere tuned in to learn the supposed life-changing magic to “Tidying Up” their dwellings. Charity shops in both the United States and England reported a marked increase in incoming donations as thousands of people “Marie Kondo’d“ their belongings.

This phenomenon quickly extended beyond people’s personal spaces and into the business world as people gained an appreciation for simpler spaces and applied the tidying methods in their workplaces.

And you have to admit it: there is something almost magical about a tidy space. Clean lines, neutral colors, and minimalist design have certainly been on the rise these past few years. But as organization and minimalism gain all the attention, it’s important to bring the conversation back to cleanliness. A dusty desk is distasteful no matter how many (or few) items it holds. As even Kondo admits, “tidying orders the mind while cleaning purifies it.” No matter how much or how little is in your space, it doesn’t matter one dot if it’s dirty!

Sonlight Cleaning Services is a commercial cleaning company in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex with over 30 years of experience to stand on--you might call us the Marie Kondo of cleanliness! Our experts are versed in the most up-to-date standards for cleaning. Each of our team members has passed a thorough background check and completed many hours of training.

The services we provide include:

  • Daily and weekly janitorial service
  • Day porter service
  • Carpet cleaning (both extraction and bonneting), flood restoration, and upholstery care
  • Hard surface floor care (we are experienced in the unique needs of all commercial hard flooring types, including VCT, tile, LVT, hardwood, laminate, etc.)
  • Window washing
  • Power washing & parking lot cleanup
  • Basic handyman services (such as changing ceiling tiles, light bulbs, or fixtures as well as touch up painting)
  • Special event cleaning
  • Janitorial supply (never have to reorder paper towels yourself again!)

There are two sides to every coin. If you’ve experienced the magic of tidying up, let us help you with the other side of that coin. Cleaning educational facilities, medical facilities, churches, office buildings, financial institutions, manufacturing facilities, and other commercial buildings is our pride and, you might even say, our joy. Contact Us Today!!

 

Your Bathroom Means Business

Fri, 06/14/2019 - 12:30 -- Anonymous (not verified)

Last week we addressed the fact that a newcomer forms a first impression in a matter of 7 seconds. We shared a practical “five point inspection” for making sure those first seven seconds help people form a positive first impression! Today we’re going to take a few steps further into your building as we discuss bathrooms. As mentioned in a previous article, a church research project revealed that bathrooms are very high on the list of things that matter to visitors. But this insight has applications for more than just churches! An unkept bathroom is a sign that your building is NOT ready for business, that they are NOT welcome, and that the details DO escape your attention.

Fortunately, bathroom cleanliness woes are a fairly simple fix. Just like last week’s article, here is a three point first impression inspection for your restroom facilities:

  1. Do all of the locks work? This seems to be a no-brainer, but I’m always annoyed to walk into a restroom only to find the lock on the door or on the stall is not functioning properly. Modesty matters to your clients! If you can’t protect them in this most basic need, how can you protect them from financial fraud, illness, or whatever else your business aims to provide for? It may seem silly to make this kind of connection, but I guarantee you that it will come to people’s mind if they are forced to hold the door closed behind them.
  2. Are the waste baskets too full? Nothing irks me more than having to use a paper towel to push down the paper in an already-overflowing trash can. If your restrooms are used by multiple guests throughout the day, Sonlight Cleaning Services recommends contracting a day porter service to ensure that trash is removed throughout the day, and not just at the end of the day as is common with a daily janitorial service.
  3. Is it clean? Unfortunately, this is a question that all-too-often is answered “no.” I find it quite humorous that many restrooms have a “restroom checklist” on the back of the door with the intent that employees who use the restroom will tidy or clean it throughout the day. But I can’t tell you how many times that list is completely blank or--almost worse--has not been signed in days, weeks, or even months. This is unacceptable. Other times, restrooms will have signs that say “let us know if this restroom needs attention.” That’s a red-flag for me. Do I also need to look over their shoulder as they prepare my meal? Teach my children? Manage my portfolio? Restroom cleanliness often goes by the wayside when left to employees whose focus is (and probably should rightly be) on other matters.

Your bathroom means business. Don’t lose business over dirty bathrooms ever again! Sonlight Cleaning Services is a commercial cleaning company with the experience and passion for making first impressions count. Our team will work with you to determine a cleaning routine that will keep your restrooms clean throughout the day, day after day!

Five-Point First Impression Inspection

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 12:59 -- Anonymous (not verified)

For businesses that are visited by clients and organizations such as churches that are visited by guests, first impressions matter. I’m not talking about the things out of your control--a bad hair day or a tongue-twisted greeting--I’m talking about the things you do have some say over. At Sonlight Cleaning Services, our motto is “When First Impressions Count!”

The truth is, first impressions always matter when it comes to your business or organization. And the scary thing is, first impressions are formed fast--a 2018 Forbes article suggested that a person forms a first impression in a mere seven seconds. Wow!

So what can you do to make the most of those first seven seconds? We suggest a “first impression inspection”! It’s simple. Every day when you arrive at your campus, ask yourself a brief series of questions:

  1. How does the parking lot look? Or as I like to call it, the “gum & garbage” check! These two items somehow mysteriously end up in every parking lot… but that’s not an excuse to let them stay there. When you use Sonlight Cleaning Services for your daily janitorial cleaning and day porter service, you can utilize the same company to both check for unwanted trash in the lot and perform routine and special power washing of your parking lot. Talk about a simple solution!
  2. Is the exterior looking its best? Power washing the exterior of buildings is a good thing to add to your routine maintenance routine, especially in places prone to staining, such as where the wall meets a flower bed (when it rains, mulch and dirt can splatter the brick, rock, or siding leaving a dirty mess behind).
  3. Are the sidewalks clean and appealing? See: gum & garbage check! Again, the sidewalks are an area prone to both. There’s a huge visual difference between a freshly swept sidewalk and a leaf-strewn sidewalk.
  4. Is the entryway rug looking ready to greet guests? Think it’s just a rug? Think again. The entryway rug is like the “red carpet” to your front door. Does it look like you just rolled it out for the person who walked in? Now you may be thinking, “How can I possibly make it look just as good at the beginning of the day as at the end of it?” This is where Sonlight’s day porter service proves absolutely invaluable.
  5. What’s the status of the trash cans? Entryway trash cans are often the most-used trash receptacles in a building besides those in the restrooms. People often drop off trash in their way into the building as well as on their way back to their vehicles. And nothing says “we weren’t ready for you” like an overflowing trash can in the entryway.

This first impression inspection can be done by you or, ideally, several people within your organization. Some companies will even bring in surprise guests to ensure they aren’t missing anything. By performing this kind of self-audit on a daily basis, you guarantee that no matter who visits your facilities that day, their first impression (bad hair day aside) will be a good one! Contact us Today!!

Scalable Solutions for Small Businesses

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 18:10 -- Anonymous (not verified)

Gone are the days of officing [working] out of your garage or the spare bedroom. Your small business started as a dream and now you’re beginning to have that feeling that “you’ve arrived!” You’ve set S.M.A.R.T. goals and reached them. Your dreams are coming true… it’s time to dream bigger!

Once a small business itself, Sonlight Cleaning Services has stood in your shoes and experienced your excitement. Sonlight was founded over 30 years ago by current president and CEO Cathy Reichert. We understand the hands-on work, determination, and dedication that starting a small business requires. And we can tell you from first-hand experience that BIG dreams DO come true. Sonlight now provides commercial cleaning services to facilities ranging in size from 5,000 square feet to over one million square feet. Financial institutions, medical facilities, office buildings, churches, schools, and industrial spaces… in the last thirty years, we’ve cleaned them all! No dream is too big in our book!

As your small business dreams begin to grow beyond that small descriptor, the new word that is probably on your mind quite often is “scalable.” In the business world, this word refers to a system that is primed and prepared for growth. For example, perhaps the most popular bookkeeping program [QuickBooks] has an option for very small start-ups as well as very, very large businesses--as well as three other options in between! Many entrepreneurs start with this program do so because it is scalable.

Sonlight Cleaning Services is your scalable solution for commercial cleaning. If growth is on the horizon and your current facilities are at least 5,000 square feet or larger, it’s time to give us a call! We customize all of our cleaning services and are ready to cheer you on as your business grows, customizing to accommodate every growth-spurt that comes your way.

Additionally, we can save you valuable time. In addition to standard daily janitorial services, we offer specialty care such as day porter services, power washing, carpet bonneting and extraction, commercial upholstery cleaning, window washing, and flood recovery. When you work with us, you work with the experts in the field. We save you the hassle of finding a different company for each of these tasks--and as a small (and growing) business owner, your time is essential to your success.

If you’re a small business owner or facilities manager for a growing organization, it’s time to get a customized quote from Sonlight Cleaning Services, your scalable solution for commercial cleaning.

 

 

There’s So Much More to Dust

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 17:58 -- Anonymous (not verified)

There’s more to dust than meets the eye. On the surface--pun intended--dust is no more complicated than a powdery film that clouds our cabinets and countertops. It can very quickly give a space the appearance of being neglected.

Dust is especially noticeable on black or dark surfaces. It tends to gather on surfaces that do not get a lot of physical movement across them (like the centers of conference room tables). It can quickly accumulate on humid or damp surfaces as well as on surfaces that get a lot of air flow--think about A/C return vents and bathroom vents.

But did you know there’s so much more to dust than just appearances? Each and every dust particle finds its origin in one of two places--indoors or outdoors. Outdoor particles include everything from pollen and dirt particles to animal and bird dander. Some studies estimate that this is typically where ⅔ of the dust in your building originates. Indoor particles are primarily made up of dead skin cells--I think I speak for everyone when I say, “gross!”--as well as inorganic elements such as carpet or rug fibers.

When airborne, dust particles can become more than just a visible nuisance. Allergy and asthma sufferers are particularly bothered by dust, especially if their system is sensitive to whatever is in the air. A person who is sensitive to live oak pollen (an extremely popular tree in Texas) will be particularly prone to pollen dust from mid-February to mid-May. Countless sick days are taken each year due to respiratory irritation that could potentially be avoided if… you guessed it… people began to realize that there’s so much more to dust!

On that note, take a look around your facilities and you will likely find that there is so much more that could be dusted. In general, people tend to think about dusting in terms of the most noticeable horizontal surfaces.

At Sonlight Cleaning Service, we specialize in caring for the cleaning needs of these areas and so much more. We offer carpet extraction, which cleans the carpet fibers much deeper than a standard vacuum. Amazingly, some studies are finding particles of pesticides such as DDT down in carpet fibers, even though it has been banned for literally decades! Another oft-forgotten surface that deserves deep dust removal is furniture. Sonlight’s team is trained in upholstered and leather furniture cleaning.

When you need the dust-busting experts on your side, call Sonlight Cleaning Services for powerful and effective dust removal!

 

 

Spotless Schools and STAAR Tests

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 12:42 -- Anonymous (not verified)

I had a great conversation with an elementary school administrator this morning that made me think about school cleanliness in a way I had never before thought about it. As we were talking about the upcoming STAAR testing and the distractions that can take students away from those crucial school days, the topic of food allergies came up.

As it turns out, her son has a peanut allergy. Since I was there to talk about renting the school facility for a weekend activity, this news prompted me to ask, “Do we need to avoid bringing peanuts or other food items on campus?”

If you are a school administrator of school campus facilitator, this is a concern that is worth taking seriously. Food allergies and sensitivities are only one of many reasons that your school needs to be seriously clean. After flu season has drawn to a close, it’s easy to get lax about this topic, but my conversation this morning was an unexpected reminder that school cleanliness is just as important the rest of the year as it is during cold and flu season.

Sonlight Cleaning Services is a commercial cleaning service with the capacity and experience to work with your private school, public school, or administrative office buildings. Our helpful staff and highly trained team members are ready to ensure that at the end of every school day and weekend rental, your facilities are prepared to welcome another round of students and teachers.

Especially as another “season of STAAR” is upon us, it’s important to consider the condition of your campus for the sake of your students.

  • Are the classrooms full of dust, causing your students to sneeze?
  • Are the air filters old, sending allergens and other irritants back into the air?
  • Are the hallways clean and dry, to avoid an unnecessary and preventable fall?
  • Is the cafeteria clean, to guard against the spread of food-borne illnesses and cross contamination that could cause food allergies?
  • Has the teacher’s lounge been thoroughly cleaned, to show teachers that they matter?
  • Is the front office and entryway ready to welcome parents?

Let Sonlight Cleaning Services come alongside you and your school to ensure that your students and teachers have a grand finale to their school year!

 

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