Common Cleaning Inspection Questions

PART 1: How Much of your Buildings Should You Survey?

Since launching Smart Inspect in 2002, one of the most common questions that our team receives is this: How much of my building(s) should I inspect? Is there a certain number of rooms or square footage that constitutes a “good” or thorough inspection? In this blog post, we will seek to answer these questions with some general guidelines that will prove helpful for your inspection planning.

Inspectors intuitively know that without inspecting variations in floors, area types, or cleaning zones, the resulting data may not actually reflect the quality of work that is being done in the spaces. To make matters worse, cleaners can’t follow-up on cleaning deficiencies if they aren’t being documented.

What is the “right” amount of a building’s space to inspect? First, it’s important to understand that not every area type, room or floor needs to be inspected in a building. For best results, an inspector should randomly inspect a cross-section of each building that he or she is surveying.

A good rule of thumb is this: a “complete” inspection for a building means that a representative cross-section of at least 20% to 25% of the building’s square footage has been inspected. However, for exceptionally large buildings, the square footage inspected might be closer to 15% (likewise, the percentage inspected should increase for smaller buildings).

It is also helpful to create an inspection plan for your quality audit team. For example, your inspection plan might include the following:

  • Approximately 25% of the entire building shall be inspected each month, during daytime hours, according to the following area type guidelines:
    o Inspect all entrances
    o Inspect all dining areas
    o Inspect at least half of the building’s elevators
    o Inspect at least 25% of the building’s restrooms
    o Inspect at least 10% of general office space
    o Etc.

Your operating procedure doesn’t need to be followed precisely; inspectors can use the plan as a guideline to create their own method of designating a cross-section of areas for inspections. What’s most important is to make a quality inspection plan that includes enough representative spaces for meaningful audit results without putting an onerous time commitment on the quality inspector.