IAQ Tools for Schools
Develop Your Program
Solutions to Common IAQ Issues
Effective Cleaning and Maintenance
Effective cleaning and maintenance procedures are critical to protecting building systems and building occupants. Student, teacher and staff health and productivity can suffer when school building systems fail to operate as designed. School and district-level cleaning and maintenance programs can be designed to help prevent IAQ problems.
Common Solutions for Cleaning and Maintenance Issues:
There have been complaints of illness and discomfort in sensitive individuals due to high dust levels.
- Use vacuums with high-efficiency filters.
- Place barrier floor mats at all building entrances to reduce the amount of dust and dirt that enter the school.
- Remove dust from desks, chairs and other items with a damp cloth.
I want to put proactive cleaning and maintenance practices in place to prevent problems before they begin.
- Conduct routine inspections of indoor school environment.
- Develop a preventative maintenance plan.
- Ensure material safety data sheets (MSDS) are available to staff.
- Understand the benefits of using green products in your school, including cost savings, environmental impact and health impacts to building occupants.
Facilities staff at my school don't use cleaning products in the correct manner.
- Provide regular trainings for facilities and maintenance staff on best practices.
- Institute a systematic approach to every aspect of cleaning a school, including the measurement of product amounts used.
- Create policies and procedures that encourage responsible use of chemicals.
Our school has a large number of grounds supplies, equipment, fertilizer and portable gasoline containers.
- Maintain all cleaning supplies and equipment according to the manufacturers' guidelines.
- Store cleaning supplies and equipment outside of the main school building and in well-ventilated areas.
Our school has a variety of flooring, including vinyl, wood, terrazzo, tile and carpet, which require daily cleaning.
- Follow any specific guidelines from manufacturers or floor suppliers on properly maintaining flooring.
- Perform restorative maintenance as necessary.
We want to ensure that the combustion appliances at our school are functioning properly and safely.
- Visually inspect exhaust components for leaks, disconnections and deterioration.
- Check for backdrafting to ensure that the ventilation system is in normal operating mode.
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IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit: Building and Grounds Maintenance Checklist
Download a PDF or Word version of the Building and Grounds Maintenance Checklist and tailor it to fit the needs of your individual school or district. Checklist (PDF, 2 pp., 98 K) | (DOC, 2 pp., 99 K) En Español (PDF, 6 pp., 321 K)
Green Cleaning Products and Practices (PDF) presentation from the 2011 IAQ Tools for Schools National Symposium.
Read the Environmental Stewardship Guide (PDF) from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), North Carolina, to learn how this district is successfully implementing effective cleaning and maintenance practices.
Read an Indoor Air Quality Manual (PDF) from the School Board of Broward County, Florida , to learn how this district has tailored the IAQ Tools for Schools guidance, including information on effective cleaning and maintenance, to fit its individual challenges and needs.