While we do offer Professional Deep Cleaning and Disinfecting services, it's important to us to provide practical education to the community on ways we can all help to prevent the spread of infection through routine cleaning.
We noticed a lot of fear mongering in the marketplace and we want to reassure our customers and those in our community that there ARE actual steps that we all are capable of performing to keep our properties and facilities safe at this time. Please read our practical guide to decontaminating your home or building as featured in the May issue of Building Management Hawaii.
When youre dealing with virus or bacterial contamination of any sort, whether it’s COVID-19 related or not, the recommendations from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) or our own professional industry association (Restoration Industry Association) remain the same. Below is a quick outline on what could be done by an outside contractor or by using your own in-house maintenance staff.
1. Establish an area to be cleaned – The first thing you will want to do is decide on the area in which you have concerns. Typically, these are high use areas such as lobbies, shared restrooms, mail rooms, etc. but they can be as specific as tracking where a specific contagious individual went.
2. Establish a decontamination area – This will be a space adjacent to the area to be cleaned to be used for the purpose of donning & doffing PPE, decontaminating tools & equipment, or general storage of debris prior to load out
3. Remove potentially contaminated waste – Examples include items and building materials that may have come into contact with bodily fluids, normal rubbish with tissues and other disposables, etc.
4. Consider the use of Air Scrubbers – An air scrubber is a portable filtration system that removes particles, gasses, and/or chemicals from the air within a given area. The use of air scrubbers will ensure that bio-soil, dust or other organic material will be filtered out should they become aerosolized during cleaning.
5. Cleaning of Touchpoints – Emphasis will be placed on cleaning surfaces more likely to be touched by building occupants, commonly referred to as touchpoints. Cleaning of touchpoints will extend past the focused item 3 to 12 inches. Touchpoints will vary by the type of facility being cleaned. For this reason, proper touchpoint cleaning will include developing a facility-specific detailed checklist of critical touchpoints. This checklist will be provided to the workers with training on the selected products and application methods to be used. Key examples include door handles, bathrooms, front desks, mail boxes, etc.
6. Pre-cleaning of all identified touchpoints, building components and contents – plan to remove all soil from the items you plan to apply disinfectant. This ensures an effective removal of viruses with an applied disinfectant. This can include a variety of cleaning methods to include wet wiping with a detergent, vacuuming with a HEPA vacuum, or carpet and upholstery cleaning.
7. Disinfectant Application – Please note that the application of a disinfectant is IN ADDITION to pre-cleaning. You cannot wipe with a disinfectant and do both in one step. The selection of a disinfectant isn’t crucial. Ideally you’ll select something that will work in conjunction with your existing cleaners. Pay particular attention to how your disinfectant is labeled. Most disinfectant will specify the length of time it should remain wet. Always use a product in consistency with the way it’s labeled.
8. Disposal of Waste – Any contaminated items or waste generated by cleaning activities should be removed from the site and disposed of in accordance with local regulations.
Whether you perform the cleaning yourself or rely on an outside vendor, the cleaning will be subject to some limitations which can include:
1. The space is only clean the moment you’ve finished cleaning it. Once the building population re-occupies the space, the possibility is always there for it to become contaminated again.
2. We always advise everyone to secure any clutter or personal effects. In the example of an office space, having clean and clear desk surfaces only helps to quicken cleaning. While we recommend cleaning up the clutter, leave high touch items (phones, computers, etc) so that we can clean and disinfect those items as well. The intent is to remove items that historically are not touched (Photographs, Decorations, etc)
3. Know that most bacteria and viruses have a half life and will eventually die if left on a surface long enough without a host. If a space has been unoccupied for a period of time, complete disinfection may not be necessary.
4. Consider hiring an independent environmental testing company to oversee you or your contractors work. They can help guide you on which practices are best and if there are any options available for testing that can validate the space is clean. For issues specific to COVID-19, there is no testing available at the time of authoring this but there is testing available for a whole host of other viruses and bacteria.
If you have any questions or would like information on Premier's Clean + Safe Program that provides both Professional Deep Cleaning and Disinfecting Services as well as Training for you and your staff on how to clean and disinfect properly, please click here or give us a call!
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