Since the outbreak of the virus in the area in March 2020, it has become very critical to always keep your home and its surroundings clean. More than 521,385 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in San Antonio and other cities in Bexar County, and as a resident of San Antonio, hiring a good cleaning contractor to clean and disinfect your home on a regular basis can help you avoid exposure to the virus.
However, before signing an agreement with the cleaning contractor, it is always good to ask the following questions to avoid hiring the wrong hands for the job:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Cleaning Service in the City of San Antonio?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared to Other Cleaning Services in the City of San Antonio?
- What Types of Cleaning Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Comply With the City of San Antonio's COVID-19 Regulations?
- Do You Provide Commercial Cleaning Services for Non-Residential Buildings in San Antonio?
- Do You Engage Unionized Cleaners for Non-Residential Buildings in the City of San Antonio?
- Do You Offer COVID-19 Disinfecting Services in the City of San Antonio?
- What Cleaning Supplies Do You Use?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Cleaners in the City of San Antonio?
Cleaning services in San Antonio do not require specific occupational or professional licenses. However, these businesses are expected to meet certain business license-related requirements before they can operate in the city.
Individuals interested in operating a cleaning service firm can contact the city's Economic Development Department at (210) 207-8080 to find out about the applicable business requirements for cleaning service firms.
While there are no general business license requirements in the city, most service providers who intend to operate a sole proprietorship or partnership in San Antonio must register their business name.
Similarly, cleaning contractors who intend to operate as sole proprietors or partnership must maintain an assumed name or DBA (doing business as) certificate with the county clerk's office.
The Bexar County Clerk can provide relevant information on the processes and requirements for business name registration. Accordingly, interested persons can contact the Office of the Bexar County Clerk at (210) 335-2223.
In addition to business name registration, cleaning contractors who wish to operate a cleaning service firm must have a Tax Identification Number (TIN), and cleaning contractors who intend to hire employees are additionally required to have an Employment Identification Number (EIN).
Cleaning contractors are also advised to check the Office of the State Comptroller to see if they need a sales tax and use permit for the type of services they render. Interested persons can contact the Office of the State Comptroller by calling (210) 342-2300. For other tax-related inquiries, call the city's tax answer desk at (800) 252-5555.
Once the business name is registered and applicable tax requirements have been met, cleaning contractors can now conduct their business in the City of San Antonio.
Although most cleaning firms in San Antonio are permitted to work in residential apartments, it is important to note that completing any type of home improvement work in San Antonio may require registration with the city's Development Services Department.
Cleaning contractors can contact the Department at (210) 207-1111 to find out if the type of home improvement work they are offering requires a home improvement contractor registration certificate.
Similarly, cleaning contractors can contact the aforementioned telephone number to find out the processes and requirements for obtaining a home improvement contractor registration certificate.
Before you hire a cleaning contractor in San Antonio, it is always good to find out if they have met all the regulatory requirements applicable to their services in your city. You can do this by asking the cleaning contractor for proof of business license and a means of verifying the information on the license.
More so, if the cleaning contractor also claims to have obtained a home improvement contractor registration certificate in San Antonio, do not hesitate to call the city's Development Services Department at (210) 207-1111 to verify the claim.
Cleaning contractors in San Antonio are estimated to earn an average of $13.27 per hour. However, it is important to note that not all cleaning contractors in the city charge hourly rates. As such, you need to confirm the billing structure your potential cleaning contractor will adopt for the work before signing any agreement with them.
Even when you confirm that the individual you intend to hire charges hourly rates, you must also understand that your cleaning contractor may charge more than the average hourly rate as a result of a variety of factors.
These include the type of cleaning that is required by the client, the size of the home or facility that needs cleaning, the current condition of the area that needs cleaning, and the number of hands required to complete the work.
Seeing that the cost of cleaning services in San Antonio may vary depending on the aforementioned factors, it is crucial to compare estimates from more than one cleaning contractor for the work. By comparing estimates from different contractors, you will be able to determine the fair market price for the particular cleaning services you need.
A cleaning service firm in San Antonio earns an average wage of $27,590, annually. Listed below is a comparison of the average hourly wages of San Antonio's building and grounds cleaning and maintenance industry against those of workers in the rest of Texas State and five other major cities in the country:San Antonio Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$13.27Texas State Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$13.77Los Angeles Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$18.32New York City Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$19.09San Francisco Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$21.53Jacksonville Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$13.93Washington D.C. Cleaning Contractors Average Hourly Wage$17.29
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Cleaning services are businesses that you can hire to clean any part of your home. These businesses offer a variety of services ranging from one-time cleaning services to recurring cleaning services.
These services may include regular room or whole apartment cleanings, deep cleanings or spring cleanings, and end-of-tenancy cleanings.
However, you should always ensure that the cleaning contractor you intend to hire specializes in the type of cleaning services you need. Ensuring that your cleaning service specializes in providing the type of services you need helps you avoid unnecessary health issues that may result from incompetency.
In addition to ensuring that your cleaning contractor specializes in providing the type of services you need, it is always a good idea to get a written contract for the work.
Nevertheless, you should always find out what is included in the cleaning service contract you want to sign and how much the cleaning service will cost you.
Listed below are cost estimates for common San Antonio cleaning services:Cleaning a typical four-bedroom home$100 - $130 per visitArmchair cleaning$67 - $110Couch cleaning$90 - $222Footstool or ottoman cleaning$40- $85Pillow cleaning $7$18Graffiti removal and protection$1.41 - $2.38 per square footIndustrial cleaning services$0.20 - $1 per square footJanitorial services$0.11 - $1.00 per square footMedical office & healthcare facility cleaning services$60 - $100 per hour
Since the outbreak of the virus in the area in March 2020, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has recorded more than 521,385 COVID-19 across the city and other parts of Bexar County, as well as over 5,239 COVID-related deaths.
In comparison to other counties in Texas, Bexar County accounts for approximately 8 percent of the total COVID-19 cases and 6 percent of the COVID-related deaths in the state.
However, the danger of infection and COVID-related mortality in the area is moderate, which is a result of the fact that 70 percent of people living in San Antonio and other parts of Bexar County have received their complete vaccine dosage.
In addition to the high rate of vaccination, the city has also been able to manage the spread of the virus by enforcing different coronavirus orders.
To reduce the spread of the virus, city officials have urged residents to always wear face masks and ensure that their surroundings are clean. As such, it is a good idea to hire professionals to clean your home regularly.
However, it is also important that the individual you intend to hire adheres to the city's COVID prevention tips. Hiring a contractor that adheres to the city's COVID prevention tips not only means you are hiring a law-abiding citizen but also hiring someone that will not put you and your family at risk.
For more updates concerning the city's COVID-related orders, as well as the rate of infection and COVID-related mortality in the city, contact the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District at (210) 207-8780. You can also call the city's COVID-19 hotline by dialing 311and selecting option 8.
Do You Provide Commercial Cleaning Services for Non-Residential Buildings in the City of San Antonio?
Residential cleaning contractors specialize in providing janitorial services around your homes such as cleaning floors, bedrooms, and bathrooms. In contrast, commercial cleaning contractors are experts at cleaning your workshops, offices, industrial facilities, and sports facilities.
In San Antonio, neither residential nor commercial cleaners are required to obtain an occupational license. However, commercial cleaning contractors are expected to meet all appropriate business requirements before they can operate in the city.
Individuals interested in operating a commercial cleaning service firm can contact the city's Economic Development Department at (210) 207-8080 to find out about the applicable business requirements for cleaning service firms.
Before hiring a commercial cleaning contractor near you, it is important to confirm whether they have met the applicable business requirements in the city. Confirming that the business is registered not only protects you from unscrupulous individuals posing as legitimate cleaning service firms but also potential liabilities that may result from the work.
You can confirm whether a cleaning contractor has obtained the appropriate business license or registration by asking for proof of registration or license, and contacting the agency that issued the document.
In San Antonio, unionized cleaning service firms are generally preferred to cleaning service firms that are not members of any union for a variety of reasons. These include fairer wages, utilization of appropriate equipment, standardized and quality services, and organized working hours.
While hiring a cleaning service firm that is a member of a local labor union like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) gives you a lot of advantages, it is also important to note that you may be faced with pressure from the union that may affect your work.
Local SEIU protects its members by ensuring that they work under good conditions and earn fair wages. As such, before hiring a cleaning service firm that belongs to a union near you, it is vital to find out the type of regulations that apply to retaining the services of their members. This will help you avoid unnecessary disruption of work at any time during the service.
The best way to avoid getting infected with coronavirus is to take precautions to avoid exposure to the virus. One of the most important precautionary measures you can take is to hire competent cleaning contractors to carry out proper cleaning and disinfection of your homes and offices.
Competent cleaning contractors in the city offer COVID-19 -related cleaning services, and it is good to hire a cleaning contractor that not only adheres to the city COVID prevention tips but also the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency Cleaning and Disinfection Guidance (EPA). These requirements include:
- Wearing face masks and appropriate gloves while doing the work
- Identifying and cleaning areas that were occupied by the individuals diagnosed with COVID-19
- Prioritizing cleaning of high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, moveable lamps, bed frames, light switches, desks, phones, and toilets
- Ensuring that extra attention is given to poorly ventilated areas
- Cleaning dirty surfaces with soap and water before using an EPA-approved disinfectant that is effective against COVID-19
- Following the directions on the disinfectant label for additional PPE needs
- Washing hands thoroughly with soap and water after cleaning and using disinfectants
Hiring a cleaning contractor that is familiar with both the city's COVID-19 prevention tips as well as the EPA Cleaning and Disinfection Guidance is very necessary to guarantee the safety of your household or workspace.
More so, it is important to find out whether the individual has always adhered to these guidelines in the past. You can ask the cleaning contractors for a list of satisfied customers you can contact to verify if the contractor adheres to both the city's COVID-19 prevention tips and the EPA Cleaning and Disinfection Guidance.
Queries concerning the city's COVID-19 prevention tips and regulations can be directed to the city's COVID-19 hotline at 311, option 8.
The type of cleaning agents to be used for a cleaning service is often influenced by the item to be cleaned, the cleaning method, and the type of dirt found on the item. A good cleaning contractor knows how to apply the right cleaning solution for each type of dirt. The following are some common cleaning agents for various cleaning needs:
Detergents are often used in residential and commercial kitchens, and they operate by breaking up dirt, making it easier to wash away. Degreasers, on the other hand, are solvent cleaners that are used to remove grease from surfaces like counters and oven tops.
Abrasives are chemicals that are typically used to polish or clean a hard surface by rubbing or scrubbing, whereas acids are used to remove mineral deposits as well as rust from surfaces.
While the use of any of the aforementioned cleaning agents can remove stains, it is important to note that some items and surfaces need to be sanitized and disinfected after using a cleaning agent.
To avoid pest infestations and cross-contamination, items like toys, counters, and dishes should be sanitized. Cleaning contractors may use iodine, quaternary ammonia, chlorine/bleach, and other sanitizers to remove bacteria and fungi from items.
Furthermore, disinfectants may also be required for items like sinks, metals, air conditioners, and kitchen utensils to remove 99 percent of germs. Disinfectants are antimicrobial pesticides that are very effective against coronavirus. Cleaning firms must, however, ensure that the disinfectant they want to use is approved by the EPA.
In San Antonio, there are no mandatory insurance requirements for cleaning contractors. However, reputable cleaning contractors often maintain an active insurance policy to protect their clients from financial liabilities that may result from property damage and work-related injuries.
Therefore, before hiring a cleaning contractor, it is vital to ensure that the individual is insured. You must understand that your contractor or their employees may get injured at any point during the work.
As a matter of fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 307 fatal injuries and 64,790 nonfatal injuries were recorded amongst building cleaning and maintenance workers across the country in 2020.
To avoid being held responsible for work-related injuries that occur during your cleaning project, it is always good to ask the individual you intend to hire for proof of insurance coverage and means of verifying the information.
Furthermore, the State of Texas requires businesses including cleaning services firms that operate in San Antonio, to maintain commercial general liability insurance. Similarly, businesses that hire employees may choose to maintain workers' compensation insurance.
These types of insurance policies protect business owners against claims of liability for property damage, personal and advertising injury, and bodily injury.
For more information concerning the importance of commercial general liability insurance, call the Texas Department of Insurance consumer help desk at (800) 252-3439.
Likewise, for more information concerning workers' compensation insurance, call the Division of Workers' Compensation consumer hotline at (800) 252-7031.
In Texas, there were over 130,000 reports of consumer fraud in the first three quarters of 2021, resulting in over $249 million in losses. Home improvement scams ranked second in terms of monetary damage per incidence among consumer fraud, and each home improvement scam is estimated to have cost the homeowner approximately $2,700.
Residents of San Antonio are also victims of fraudulent contractors across the state as there are several cases of home improvement scams in the city.
In December 2017, Geoffrey Comstock, the owner of a janitorial company in San Antonio was convicted for an invoice scam, after receiving an excess of $500,000 from the city to clean the Alamodome. According to San Antonio Current, the contractor submitted fake invoices from 2014 to 2016, accumulating over $500,000 in surplus charges.
To avoid falling victim to home improvement scammers, residents of San Antonio are advised to evaluate the cleaning contractor they want to hire before signing off an agreement. Provided below are common tips to help you avoid fraudulent cleaners:
- Avoid hiring door-to-door solicitors and contractors without a verifiable business location for your cleaning services
- Always ensure that the contractor you intend to hire has met the applicable business requirements in the city
- Check Better Business Bureau to ensure that the cleaning contractor has not been reported for misconduct or fraud in the past
- Ask for a written estimate from multiple cleaning contractors to find out the average market price for your project. Avoid cleaning contractors whose prices are lower than the average market price
- Request for a list of verifiable references. Note that reputable cleaning contractors will be willing to provide references for similar work they did in the past
- Always ensure that the contractor has the appropriate insurance coverage
- Get a written contract and make sure it covers every aspect of the job to be done
- Do not sign the contract except you have read and fully understood it
- Do not pay for the work until you have carried out a final inspection. However, if you have to make an upfront payment, ensure that it is not more than one-third of the total contract price.
If you suspect consumer fraud during your cleaning project, report to the Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General's Office. You can file complaints with this Division either online, by calling (800) 621-0508, or by mailing a completed Consumer Complaint Form (also available in Spanish) to
- Office of the Attorney General
- Consumer Protection Division
- P.O. Box 12548
- Austin, TX 78711-2548