Construction site cleaning - how, when and why?

The construction market is one of the major stimuluses for those who design and manufacture professional floor cleaning equipment.

Sand, cement, dust, solidified plaster, earth, nails, sawdust, metal offcuts, and surplus materials from electrical and plumbing work such as wires and tubes are examples of just some of the items left behind after the builders go home. The dust and debris which are created during construction work and settle on the floor are particularly difficult to manage due to the fact that these deposits vary in form, weight and quantity.

Whether we’re talking about buildings under construction or facilities undergoing restoration and modernisation, in the various phases of constructing a building such as a house, an apartment building or a warehouse, the site is always an interesting test area for a manufacturer of sweepers and floor cleaning machines.

In addition, construction companies have many reasons to carry out regular cleaning on the site, this generates an ever-increasing demand for high performance machines that offer the right features in these applications.  

  • In the first place, having a floor cleaning machine on site is a matter of health.  Construction waste, or more precisely the dirt from “demolition and reconstruction” as defined in the regulation DPR 380/01, usually contains solid particles of mixed dimensions, which are generated when mechanically grinding materials. These particles can potentially contain artificial mineral fibres, fine wood dust, silica, cement, bitumen, tar and other products such as glues and adhesives. Site workers are therefore at risk of inhaling this dangerous mix of particles which can lead to serious respiratory illness. Wearing the correct personal safety equipment and maintaining a clean environment therefore become important factors of both prevention and health.
  • Effective construction site cleaning tools furthermore save precious time, this translates into economic savings, and when cleaning needs to be carried out between one work phase and the next, the right machine can help in a fluid transition between phases therefore maintaining strict timelines. For example, laying a floor can’t be carried out unless the surface is completely free from debris and dust.
  • If construction follows a demolition reducing and removing the vast quantities of dust generated during these operations can be particularly challenging. It is therefore important to have the right tools available and a defined cleaning programme in place to effectively control construction site dust.
  • Accurately cleaning a site at the end of the project is important in making a good impression to potential buyers. It also makes it easier and faster to install the equipment or furnishings required for the buildings destined use for example productions lines, offices or warehouse storage.

 

What features make a floor sweeper effective in construction site cleaning?

To keep a building site dust free, it is necessary to use a professional floor sweeper. As most cleaning operations will be carried out in an internal environment a battery powered or emission free sweeper will be more suitable for this application.

The most important features to take into consideration are the robustness of the sweeper and the quality of its filtration system. A powerful vacuum is essential on a construction site as it ensures complete pick up of fine dust, preventing it from being raised and dispersed in the air as the sweeper passes. However, without an effective filter, even the most powerful vacuum motor wouldn’t be sufficient to control dust. In fact, the filter is the biggest factor which divides different brands and models of sweepers and therefore needs to be chosen carefully according to the application and the requirements of the user. On a construction site, and for domestic and industrial use, it is essential that the filter of a sweeper is made of quality material and that it it’s the right size to trap dust particles of varying dimensions whilst guaranteeing correct air flow over time.

Dust that is raised by the sweeper, particularly fine dust, should end up in the machine’s hopper and not newly dispersed in the environment. A professional filter such as Eureka’s Multipocket® filter, does exactly this: it controls dust, without getting blocked.