How much does it cost to clean a building?

By Andrew Fisher | Feb 11, 2020

To be honest, this is not a question we get asked a great deal. Presumably, because it is assumed that because every building is different and the level of soiling on one can be vastly different to another – no one expects a straight answer.

It’s probably easier to twist that question around and ask – “how much will it cost if you don’t clean your building”?

Back to the question of cost first though – as with most trades, 80% of the cost of cleaning is labour. Exterior cleaning operators are highly trained individuals and have a wide range of skills. They don’t and shouldn’t fit into the minimum wage category, far from it – and nor should we operate on that principle. Investment in the training of specialist operators runs into thousands of dollars per person per year, and it’s worth it because cleaning companies, and their clients, need the assurance that people are trained and know what they are doing on site.

Case in point – if a cleaning company consistently supplies quotes that are 20% or 30% less than their competitors in the market – it begs the question who they are employing and how well are they trained?

Cleaning can be scaled, some operate on square metre system and the bigger the building the lower these rates will be, it is also efficient for property groups with a group of stores (e.g. retail chains) to have them cleaned together as part of a maintenance programme. This way multiple costs can be shared across many sites lowering the overall cost. So the question of cost is somewhat ambiguous and don’t be afraid to ask for a quote for an accurate answer. Most companies supply free quotes and the good ones will happily negotiate to suit your budget. Try it – you won’t know until you ask the question.

As we mentioned earlier in this piece – the real question is “how much will it cost if you don’t clean your building”?

For starters, a clean exterior is essential to the successful running of a business premises, conveying your professionalism and the high quality of service which you offer your customer. Your building is going to be noticed and a company’s performance and standards can be judged prematurely, purely based on its external presentation. Can you afford to have a dirty building?

Not only this, but thorough and frequent cleaning of your external cladding will also extend the lifespan of your building, allowing moss / dirt / bird strike to build up and remain will without question prematurely corrode the surfaces. This means at some stage a re-paint or even re-clad will be on the cards – often far sooner than it needed to be. Finally, regular gutter cleaning is as important as cleaning your teeth – any property manager will tell you of times where internal leaking has occurred from blocked gutters and rain heads. In typical fashion – these always occur after 4:40pm on a Friday, or over the weekend…

As with pretty much everything – you get what you pay for, and a for a few dollars a day you can have a clean well-maintained building, peace of mind – and happy tenants.

Go to for more answers to your building wash questions.

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