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Preventive Maintenance & Monsoon Management

by Admin
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Residential/Township

In the residential complexes, basically the lobby and the lift area should be kept dry. In the gardens there could be fear of snakes, etc., and housekeepers have to be prepared for it. Drain blockage can be avoided if proper cleaning is done prior to monsoons. In places where rainwater harvesting is being practiced, question of water logging does not arise at all.

“In townships,” says R. Balasubramanian, CEO-UK Housekeeping Services, “the need for housekeeping arises in many spaces, including factories, residential areas, quarters, school, bank, shopping complex. Right from overflowing drains to leaking windows could pose a problem during the rains. Some of major measures we take at the BHEL township in Trichi, Tamilnadu, include:

  • Arresting any leakage on the terrace of the residential and other premises.
  • De-clogging drains and de-silting sewer lines to avoid overflow.
  • Treating small pests which find their way up from the bathroom drains into residences.
  • Pre-treatment of wood surfaces to save it from termite attack and fungus formation.
  • Bushes and trees to be timely trimmed, especially around the houses.
  • Checking latches and window glass in the stairways

The township is around 750 acres. We have been maintaining some of the residential areas, which have 5420 quarters divided into sectors. Our activities also include maintaining toilets in the quarters inhabited by the workers.”

Corporate Houses

“Maintaining cleaning standards has always been a challenge for the housekeeping industry across various cleaning verticals. Corporate cleaning, unlike industrial cleaning, is a beautification process to keep the building and its décor strikingly attractive,” states Ashwini Bhoir, Asst. Manager-Operations, Total Solutions Facility Management Pvt. Ltd.

“Outer areas, parking lots and entry ramps are alarming areas of safety, since water collected results in moss formation leaving the surface slimy & slippery, often leading to accidents. As housekeeping experts, we not only take precautionary measures but also educate our clients to make sure our standards of cleaning meets the required safety standards.

Cleaning becomes tough where human traffic is heavy. Receptions, washrooms, common cafeterias or breakouts are often the most crucial areas that need special attention during monsoons. Neglected drains can choke the main drainage due to increase in ground water levels and cause serious trouble. Employees of many corporate houses use C-fold napkins to dry their hair or body on reaching the office. These increase the consumption of toiletries. Heavy rains delay the sign-out time of employees who prefer waiting back with a cup of coffee till the gushing rains stop. Along with cleaning towels/tissues the consumption of eatables also go high, demanding prior planning by us to make sure that we do not run out of stock.

Housekeeping boys are clad in special raincoats and boots to ensure outer areas are not neglected in spite of heavy spell of rain. We try to take utmost care to ensure we do not compromise on the health of our staff. Absenteeism and ill health are always a troublesome factor in running smooth operations.

If you think that only humans fall sick in this season then it is not correct. Your building is equally at a risk. Dampness leads to sick building syndrome.

Carpets pose the major challenge in corporate cleaning. Regular vacuuming can do wonders to keep them looking good and welcoming. But damp footfalls during rains can mar the appearance of carpets and also reduce their life. Carpets tend to stink due to the moisture and start looking dull and lifeless diminishing the aura in the corporate atmosphere. Carpet blowers can help dry the loops post shampooing, but not many clients wish to invest in them.”

Hospitals

This is one place where one cannot take the risk of being unprepared for any eventuality. Lathaa Ganesh, Sr. GM Housekeeping, Faber Sindoori Management Services Pvt. Ltd, lists out some of the materials to be kept ready at the time of monsoon season.

  • Extra discarded towels
  • Extra water pusher
  • Wet caution sign board
  • Torch lights
  • Emergency lights
  • Umbrellas
  • Gum boots
  • Rain coats
  • Extra blankets
  • Wet and dry vacuum cleaner
  • Anti slippery mats
  • Sand bags
  • Additional hose pipes
  • Extra dusters
  • Extra mops

Things to be followed during monsoon:

  • Follow the weather forecast.
  • Supervisors should take frequent rounds of all the areas.
  • All the materials are made readily available.
  • Deployment of extra staff to manage excess water at the entrances.
  • Continuous mopping in the lobby to remove the foot marks.
  • In case of any seepages, should be informed immediately to the maintenance supervisor.
  • All the drain blocks should to be frequently checked by the supervisor.
  • Anti slippery mats to be placed in all the entrances.
  • Wet caution board to be placed in all the guest areas where the floors are wet.
  • List of leakage areas to be prepared by the housekeeping supervisors and one copy to be given to the maintenance supervisor. Once the rain stops, all the problem areas to be rectified.

Hotels

As far as hospitality and tourism industry is concerned, monsoon brings in a lot of business with inflow of travellers, especially between June and September. There are certain measures that hotels need to take to prevent any potential damage to their infrastructure as well other assets with downpour, suggests Smita Guleria, Lecturer, BCIHMCT, New Delhi. Guest safety is of prime importance during such times.

Some of the common steps taken by housekeeping at hotels include:

  • Keeping additional umbrellas ready at the bell desk for guest use.
  • Provision of anti-skid door mats at all external entrances and staircases. These mats also hold a certain amount of mud and water from the footwear.
  • Swimming pool is closed both for guest safety as well as for hygiene purposes
  • All poolside deck chairs, tables and umbrellas are covered with proper rain covers. Some hotels cover the swimming pool as well.
  • Guest rooms and public area windows are monitored carefully. The window gasket and the silicon layer should be completely intact in order to avoid any wind or traffic noise or water from coming in.
  • In close coordination with engineering personnel developments of any kind of dampness in the walls or ceilings is monitored. If not addressed timely the air conditioning system and carpets in the room give out a stale or musty smell. Air conditioners should be serviced and the carpets refreshed during this season.
  • Provision of sand bags to arrest excessive water flow in any particular area of the hotel that is susceptible to flooding.
  • Caution signage displaying “wet floor” in such areas.
  • Wet pick up vacuum cleaners and wipers are kept at handy for picking up any amount of extra water that comes into the building.
  • Additional blowers are made available to dry off wet carpets in rooms or public areas.

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