5 Surprising Ways a Cleaning Company Can Save Your Church Time and Money Blog Feature
Joe LaPaglia

By: Joe LaPaglia on August 25, 2014

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5 Surprising Ways a Cleaning Company Can Save Your Church Time and Money

Managing Facilities

Every fall, churches across America prepare to launch into a new season of worship and learning. Sunday school classrooms that may have sat dormant throughout the summer are ready to be reopened and filled with new students, young and old. Ministry space will soon be abuzz with activity and programs.

For facility managers and custodians, August and September can be especially hectic and overwhelming. Many churches hire their own part- or full-time staff to manage the cleaning duties in their space. In my experience though, they often spend more than they need to. Here are five ways I’ve found that contracting cleaning services can save the church time and money:

1. Setup and Teardown

Room setup and teardown typically falls on part- and full-time custodians. This crew steps away from cleaning activities to set up tables and chairs, prepare A/V equipment, and make sure classrooms and gathering spaces are properly equipped. And then, when the event’s done, they’re back in there, packing everything up and taking it away.

Depending on the size of the church and the number of weekly events, this can making cleaning the facility nearly impossible. Contracted cleaning companies, though, can allocate the right number of resources to satisfy all requirements. They can send enough cleaning personnel to make sure the church building is clean and designate a Day Porter—a dedicated person to focus on specific tasks, such as room setup and teardown.

2. Scheduling

Contracted cleaning services never get sick or take a vacation. If a regular cleaning person on a contracted team does get ill or takes time off, it’s on the outsourced cleaning company to find and deliver a replacement. The church staff won’t be forced to step away from their duties to locate a replacement option. Furthermore, when churches shut down for any length of time—during the Christmas season, for example—in-house cleaning crews typically take this time off as well. Contracted cleaning services, on the other hand, can use this downtime to give the church facility a thorough scrub (e.g. waxing floors, shampooing carpets, etc.)—tasks that could not easily happen when the building is in use.

3. Supplies

In my experience, churches spend way too much money on the types and amounts of cleaning products they purchase. Contracted cleaners can significantly reduce this expenditure by utilizing their own supplies. Churches aren’t weighed down by spending too much money on these products or too much time evaluating supplies or meeting supply vendors who regularly stop by to hawk the latest and greatest supplies.

4. Security Concerns

If a church needs to hire custodian workers, it can take several weeks to run the proper background checks on the personnel. In the end, the person may not pass the necessary requirements to access certain areas of the church facility, and doing background checks can cost the church significant time and money. Contracted cleaners, though, run these checks themselves and can match the right cleaning personnel with the right job.

5. Workers’ Comp

Anytime a part- or full-time cleaning member gets hurt on the job, it’s on the church to cover that person’s compensation claims. The associated costs can skyrocket quickly. Outside cleaning companies, on the other hand, are responsible for insuring their staff—not the church.

In my experience, contracted cleaners can greatly impact a church’s bottom line—freeing up dollars to hire key ministry personnel, initiate new program offerings, and designate more funds toward missions, among other benefits. But I also know it’s not an easy decision to make. Many times the part- and full-time church staff that would be replaced by a third-party cleaning service are family members, friends, and fellow church members. It can be a delicate process, but one that may be worth considering.


About Joe LaPaglia

Joe LaPaglia is former Director of Cost Modeling for Aspen Group. He has more than 45 years of experience in the construction management field.