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How Often Should We Have a Contractor Sweep Our Parking Lot?

The question of how often parking lot sweeping service should be scheduled is one frequently asked by facility managers of retail, industrial and commercial properties. Like many exterior maintenance activities including day porter service to empty waste cans and put in new trash liners, the answer depends on your foot traffic and type of location.

Whenever we’re asked this question, our first thought is, “What type of property needs the sweeping service?”

Lot Sweeping for Larger Retail Centers

When sweeping a commercial retail center, certain factors may dictate your frequency needs. For example, what kind of tenants make up the shopping mix? Other important factors to consider that relate to parking lot cleaning include type of neighborhood in which the center is located, and what type / amount of landscaped area is on the property.

In our experience cleaning parking areas, we have found that grocery-anchored retail centers drive some of the highest daily traffic. Retail parking areas outside groceries also tend to be very messy.  Customers discarding items such as food wrappers and bags immediately after they leave the store is a contributing factor.

Other large tenants like big-box retailers (Walmart, Target etc.) and home-improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot, also create a similar high-volume foot traffic pattern, and the mess that goes along with it. It is not uncommon for centers with these types of tenants to need to be on a regularly scheduled sweeping contract every night of the week. At minimum, because of the trash discarded in their parking lots these parking lots require sweeping five times per week to keep parking areas clean and customer friendly.  

Other examples of retail tenants that create significant mess are restaurants and coffee shops. Food service retail tenants (and their customers) can cause trash to accumulate quickly in common areas and parking lots. Food wrapper discards can be curbed by providing enough trash bins at high foot traffic locations. It is critical to realize however, that these trash receptacles will fill up rather quickly and need to be changed very often. Plan for portering service accordingly.

Even without tenants that known to create a predictable mess, other factors to consider related to frequency may be the type of neighborhood the center is in, and what kind of landscape is on the property. Neighborhoods and retail areas in very busy cities tend to generate more dirt and debris than certain quieter suburbs. A quieter retail shopping center in a low-traffic suburban setting might only need 2-3 nights per week of sweeping. 

Landscaping choice can create its own set of seasonal or ongoing cleaning issues. Certain trees and bushes may shed more frequently than others. We have several sweeping contract locations with high-shed trees which cause tremendous buildup of leaves along curb lines in autumn.  Retail centers that typically require a lighter sweeping schedule may need to add an extra night of service, just to keep up with seasonally adjusted needs of the property. This is typically dealt with on an as-needed basis to keep costs down.

You can rely on Tri-County Sweeping to provide you with fair, reasonable scheduling options and help you determine what works best to accomplish your cleaning and exterior maintenance goals. Call us today, for a no-obligation quote.

In our next article, we’ll discuss how to judge frequency of sweeping needs for industrial properties and how often to sweep private streets that are part of a homeowner association (HOA).

How frequently should you sweep HOA and private community streets and industrial sites?

To extend budgets and maximize value delivered for exterior maintenance requirements, facility managers and property owners want to know how often to schedule sweeping activities. We are typically asked to give our opinion on best use of available dollars to implement a sweeping plan. In a previous article, we discussed how often a retail shopping area requires power sweeping.

As part of responding to requests for proposals, we are also often asked how often streets within an office complex or an HOA should be swept. Suggestions for scheduling HOA street sweeping follow. In addition, this article discusses likely scheduling to have a contractor sweep loading docks and industrial site access roads.

Industrial properties, with truck delivery areas, typically are swept once a month in our experience. Part of that also will depend on the tenants, and the nature of the businesses that are coming in and out, as some may tend to have more debris. In some cases, property managers may prefer to sweep their paved areas and loading zones once a week. This is particularly true at bulk loading facilities which can have numerous weekly deliveries of material that can get onto road surfaces, Low volume of in and out traffic to a site may indicate a need to sweep far less frequently and we may only do it once per quarter.

As mentioned in our article on sweeping parking areas in retail centers, vegetation debris and fallen leaves may drive the recommendation of how often to sweep an office complex. As a function of how much landscaped area is within and around an office complex, paved surfaces  may be swept weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

Office buildings with garage parking, usually require a vacuum sweep only once a month, if there are enough trash receptacles placed strategically near entrance points to encourage people to discard waste somewhere other than the parking garage deck. Parking garages typically have ceilings that require a low-profile sweeper truck that can accommodate the clearance restrictions of the garage. Be sure to confirm that your power sweeping contractor can meet this requirement!

Private Street Sweeping for HOAs

Homeowners associations sweeping guidelines are often dictated by landscaping debris and leaves. Based on the type of trees planted, some communities have leaf buildup so significant, the community needs weekly service to keep vegetation from clogging sewer entry points. Other communities with fewer trees planted close to the roads may opt for monthly sweeping.

In some cases, the type of community and image they project may create a need for more frequent service.  For example, a country club setting with expensive homes will not want anything on their curbs to last, and they’ll want regular weekly services to keep the community clean protecting and enhancing the value of their homes. 

Sweeping Construction Sites

Construction sweeping is its own category. City requirements to make sure dirt isn’t covering roads adjacent to a construction project may require service multiple times per week. Other construction projects with varied schedules may only need service on call. Tri-County Sweeping Service provides both services.

New home construction requires that the construction crews remove screws and nails (and dirt) from the neighborhood so the families who have moved in don’t suffer while the homes of their future neighbors are being built. Some of these needs are driven by simple “good neighbor” manners, while in other cases, if a sufficient amount of dirt is moved during the construction phase, EPA requirements may dictate the frequency of sweeping required.

The frequency of sweeping service required or desired is obviously dependent on many factors. Where your property is located, how busy is it and what a property manager is trying to accomplish are all considerations when trying to find the right solution. We have found that sometimes, experimenting with your sweeping schedule is the best way to determine what is most efficient and most effective. 

You can rely on Tri-County Sweeping to provide you with fair, reasonable scheduling options and help you determine what works best to accomplish your cleaning and exterior maintenance goals. Call us today, for a no-obligation quote.

Responsive and dependable, Tri-County Services provides quality and dependable property maintenance services that improves the cleanliness and image of our shopping center.

I had the pleasure of working with and getting to know the team at Tri-County for over five years on both a professional and personal level.

Everyone is extremely top notch. As a property manager, one of our biggest challenges is finding qualified and reliable vendors.

Once I had developed a working relationship with Tri-County I knew I hit the vendor jackpot!

I can honestly say that Tri-County Services is the most reliable, responsive, and honest group of people I have worked with in my 10+ years in property management.

I would not trust any other vendor for my porter, pressure cleaning, and sweeping needs.

Most importantly, the entire team and owner are genuine and caring and go above and beyond!

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