Service Master Of Fort Madison, IA News

Janitorial Caretakers in the Wapello, Iowa, Area

July 11th, 2016 · No Comments

Janitorial services typically include sweeping, mopping, repairs, and general clean up within the Wapello, Iowa, area. But janitors themselves do so much more. They’re usually the first folks into a building, and also the last ones to lock the doors at the end of a long day. They are caretakers, tending to the spaces in which we live, work, and play as a community. The janitorial professionals at ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration take this role very seriously and work hard to maintain high standards of health and cleanliness.

A custodian named Theresa Ely in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, embodies this principal, as she exposed a frightening student health concern within her school community. Here are a quick few facts about this special case, which truly expands the definition of “janitorial services” from cleaning to caretaking:

  • School Sanding: Back in 2011 and 2012, Ely and a few other janitorial staff were asked to dry sand tiles within two different schools within a Michigan district. These tiles contained asbestos, which OSHA later confirmed.


  • Protective Gear: Ely voiced health concerns about the janitorial services that she provided, because she was not given protective gear. Additionally, although there were students present during the sanding, they were not warned or properly protected. Although both staff and students could have been exposed to harmful chemicals within the school, Ely said, “My biggest fear is for the children.”


  • Rewards: OSHA awarded Ely with $200,000 for reporting this health concern, but no amount of money could remove the asbestos within her lungs, and within those of her students. Ely felt concerned that day-to-day operations within the school needed to change, so something this serious would never happen again. Ely said, “I encourage the parents and the members of this community to keep contacting the board of education and urging them to take action. Your child, your community, it has to start somewhere.”


Janitorial services mean a lot more than just sweeping and mopping within the Wapello, Iowa area. Although janitors are typically known for being cleaners, Theresa Ely is proof that these hardworking folks are also caretakers. Thanks to her wise eye, janitorial services, and concern for health, she reported harmful actions within her school and sought change.

If you want a professional cleaner and caretaker for your building who will go above and beyond, the folks at ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration are here to provide professional janitorial services in Burlington, Fort Madison, Mount Pleasant, and Wapello. Contact them today!



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