While most cities and municipalities offer street cleaning services for the city streets, if you own a large retail, industrial or other commercial complex and parking lot, the responsibility of keeping these paved spaces clear from litter and debris falls on you, the property owner. That's where a private street sweeping service can help. However, how do you know which contractor to choose? To make sure that you get the most for your maintenance dollars, it's wise to ask a few questions before you sign a contract.

  1. What services do they offer? Street sweeping is more than just driving the sweeping machine along the curbs. Will the contractor clean the walkways and areas that aren't accessible by a vehicle? What about debris in your landscaping and large items, such as downed tree branches? Do they have the capacity and manpower to handle these items, also?
  2. What hours will they be working? Leaf blowing and street sweeping can be noisy. If you have a retail complex, you may not want the company working during the hours that you're open for business.
  3. Can the equipment clear your parking garage? If all or a portion of your parking facility is covered, you'll want to make sure that the vehicles the contractor uses will clear the top of your parking garage entrance, exit and ramps. It's best if the contractor does a test run with the sweeping machine before you hire the company.
  4. What kinds of equipment will they be using? In addition to the sweeping machine, ask about how they will clear the pathways, golf-cart paths and sideways. A blower is generally a better option than a power washer, which can prematurely age your concrete and stone surfaces. Chipping concrete is not only unsightly, but can cause a safety risk to your customers and employees.
  5. What about stains? If you own a parking lot, especially a concrete one, you're going to have oil stains and stains from other vehicle fluids. In addition to getting rid of leaves, litter and debris, is the contractor you have in mind equipped to clean up oil and other stains on your parking lot surface?

Choosing a street sweeping contractor doesn't have to be stressful or complicated. However, to make sure that you choose a company with which you can work well, be sure to ask about services, hours and equipment. This will ensure that your streets are taken care of and are up to your standards.