The Importance of Keeping Server Rooms Spotless

by Lawton Brothers | Nov 11, 2021

In many businesses, the server room plays a vital role in keeping the place running smoothly. Customers and employees alike rely on round-the-clock performance from your server room, making its efficiency and upkeep a main priority. 

Why Clean Your Server Room

Frequent cleaning (regular maintenance) can reduce downtime. Over time, the electronics will begin to accumulate dust and debris, which can negatively impact the equipment’s efficiency, performance, and longevity. Dirt and dust can clog air filtration systems that are designed to continuously filter contaminants and protect the servers. Since your hardware is running continuously, each machine is consistently drawing in these contaminants, further slowing your server’s capabilities. When a servers air components become clogged, the machine can become insulated and can overheat, leading to expensive damage and even fires. This can result in costly damage including data loss, downtime, and equipment malfunction. 

How to Clean Your Server Room

A server room should stay cool and dry to keep equipment in optimal conditions. Start by carefully monitoring the air temperature and humidity – these should be maintained at around 64.4-80.6 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity of 40-50 percent. Should the temperature reach 80 degrees or higher, it will damage the equipment and shorten the lifespan of your servers. Meanwhile, low humidity can lead to electrostatic discharge and high humidity can cause rust, corrosion, short-circuiting, and mold. 

Use the proper tools to help organize and store the equipment. Using racks and proper organization hardware can help to free up space as well as promote airflow (which will help keep a balanced temperature throughout). In the same vein, consider organizing cords that are color-coded or labeled, keeping them as short as possible. This will help prevent tangling and loss of cords and ensure that the correct cords are plugged or unplugged. 

On a weekly basis, use a microfiber towel and an antistatic cleaning solution to collect any dust on the outside of servers. Using a microfiber towel will keep the dust from flying and ending up in the circulation systems. Clean the floors weekly with a dry mop and make sure that all surfaces of the equipment are cleaned (even those that aren’t typically visible). Regularly shut down the cooling system to remove debris and, when necessary, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. If your server room contains a ceiling plenum to house cables or ducts, this area should be deep cleaned every 6 months. Additionally, raised tiles should be removed and deep cleaned every 6 months. For the deepest clean, try only cleaning a smaller section at a time (~24 sq ft) to reduce the number of debris and contaminants in the air. Also, consider requiring protective booties and matting to decrease dirt tracked in via shoes as this can account for up to 80% of the contaminants in your server room. 

Here to Serve You

As your local janitorial supply company since 1946, Lawton Brothers is an expert in the field, with professionally trained and courteous staff ready to answer your questions. Not sure of your cleaning processes or looking to optimize your routine? Give us a call today and see about getting a free audit at: 800.432.0813

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