Drop tile ceilings have been around for a long time, and while some might consider them to be a little outdated in newer buildings, they remain a tried and true ceiling fixture in a lot of commercial properties. While they don’t get a lot of attention, drop ceiling tiles can still stuffer from gradual discoloring, stains, and dust accumulation. Especially, if you have a building that allows you to open the windows in the spring when the outdoor pollen count is high.
This is the sort of thing that a lot of office managers and commercial property owners attempt to do on their own. Though many find that they have to admit defeat early on when they are assaulted by an unexpected amount of dust and clumsy reinstallation.
The truth is, if you are going to clean the drop ceiling tiles in your office or commercial property, then you need to have the right tools and use the right techniques.
The Best Tools & Equipment to Clean Drop Ceiling Tiles
Chances are you remember your dad telling you that you need to have the right tools for the job. While this is true of any type of efficient cleaning it applies even more when trying to efficiently clean drop ceiling tiles. This includes things like:
- Safety Equipment such as safety glasses and a dust mask. Old clothes are also a very good idea.
- A sturdy step ladder that is rated for your weight plus the weight of any equipment you might be carrying
- A vacuum with a soft brush and a sealed HEPA filtration system makes it much easier to remove dust, without spewing it back into the air to settle on office equipment and desktops.
- A high-quality duster can be an effective alternative to a vacuum. However, you need to ensure it is of high enough quality that it won’t get snagged on your ceiling tiles.
- Lint-free cloths that can be used for directly wiping the tiles.
- A cleaning solution that is free of any harsh chemicals which might stain the drop ceiling tiles.
- A dust sheet or large area drop cloth to help contain any dropped dust or particulate matter.
- A bucket & sponge for stains that might need to be moistened before removal.
Best Practices for Cleaning Drop Ceiling Tiles
With all the right equipment assembled, you can start the process of cleaning your drop ceiling tiles. It helps to use a methodical approach working in sections which allow you to move the drop cloth from one section to the next to contain any dust or fallen debris.
- Step One: Place drop cloths to control any mess that might fall down to save you from having to clean floors right after cleaning your ceiling tiles.
- Step Two: Put on your personal safety gear
- Step Three: Place the step ladder in an area that will let you access the most drop tiles at one time.
- Step Four: Use a HEPA filter vacuum with a soft brush or duster to thoroughly dust the Ceiling. The goal here is to remove any loose dust or dirt that might release and fall off of the ceiling tiles.
- Step Five: Carefully wipe each of the drop tiles with a lint-free cloth or microfiber cloth. You might have to dampen the cloth, then use it to wipe the ceiling tiles gently. This should remove any lightweight bits of dirt or dust.
- Step Six: Prepare a cleaning solution of liquid detergent and warm water. Then pour it into a bucket for easy access.
- Step Seven: Gently wipe and clean the tiles with the Solution by wetting a cloth or sponge with it. Then use them to wipe down each tile in the same side to side or front to back pattern.
- Step Eight: Thoroughly rinse the cloth after cleaning each tile to prevent cross-contamination of dust & debris. Then reapply the cleaning solution.
- Step Nine: Lightly rinse each of the drop tiles after each cleaning with a clean and damp cloth or a paper towel. The goal here is to get rid of any lingering cleaning solution.
How Often Should I Clean My Drop Tile Ceiling?
This drop tile cleaning process should be repeated every few months or perhaps once a year. Though it certainly can be done earlier if your ceiling tiles begin to look dirty. Regular cleaning will help keep your tiles in good condition, prolonging their lifespan, and reducing the need to replace them. The more often you clean drop ceiling tiles, the less dust is going to be there with each clean.
What To Do About Badly Stained Ceiling Drop Tiles
There are times when water stains or years of lax cleaning practices can badly stain one or more drop tiles. This is even more likely to be an issue if your commercial building has suffered a roof leak or a plumbing problem. Sometimes these water stains take a while to show up on a drop tile.
Unfortunately, the porous nature of drop ceiling tiles makes it very hard to remove water stains. In times like this, it’s better to remove the tile and replace it completely with a matching tile. Just make sure the cause of the water leak stain is properly addressed.
Chances are good that the replacement tile will not match with the surrounding tiles. Your best hope of getting it to blend in is to clean the entire ceiling. Removing dust and debris from the older tiles will reduce the stark contrast with the new ones.
When To Call in the Professionals to Clean a Drop Tile Ceiling
Drop ceiling tiles can be tedious to clean. A lot of property managers and commercial property owners have far better things to do than spend their nights and weekends wiping down office ceilings. In times like this, you can always turn to the highly trained, and experienced cleaning professionals at Building Services Inc. We have the tools, training, and techniques to clean your ceiling’s drop tiles efficiently and effectively.