Until 2020, few businesses, with the exception of Food and Healthcare related facilities thought much about disinfecting services for their shop, office, restaurant, warehouse, or even government facility. Well, we are now living in a new world defined by coronavirus COVID-19. But unfortunately, there's still a lot that business owners and managers don’t know about professional disinfection services. As Stratus Building Solutions franchise model has been in the business of commercial cleaning and disinfecting services for over 14 years, we are hoping to answer some of your most important questions here:
What are Disinfecting Services?
Disinfecting services are cleaning procedures that utilize a disinfectant. According to the EPA, a disinfectant is an antimicrobial pesticide used on inanimate surfaces and objects to destroy or irreversibly inactivate microorganisms. Disinfectants are distinguished into two categories, hospital-type and general use (household). Disinfecting services for commercial facilities should use hospital-type disinfectants that are used for infection control, as Stratus Building Solutions franchisees do across the US and Canada.
The disinfecting cleaning procedures used can vary depending on the facility, tools, chemical, even company providing the service ranging from deep cleaning, disinfectant fogging and electrostatic-sprayer dispersal.
Does a Suspected/Confirmed Coronavirus Exposure in a Building Require HAZMAT Cleaning?
According to the CDC and OSHA, HAZMAT cleaning protocols are not needed for facilities exposed to coronavirus. Most professional disinfection services utilizing EPA N List chemicals meet the guidelines outlined by these organizations, including coronavirus cleaning and disinfecting services provided by Stratus Building Solutions.
Why Should Soiled Areas Be Cleaned Prior to Disinfecting?
Cleaning soiled surfaces prior to disinfecting allows the disinfectant to work more effectively. If you have a layer of dust, dirt or oils, this creates a barrier between the surface and the disinfectant which prohibits the disinfectant from destroying or inactivating the microorganisms on the surface face.
What is the Difference between Disinfecting Services vs Sanitizing Services?
Disinfecting services use a disinfectant which is any chemical that destroys or irreversibly inactivates microorganisms on surfaces. Sanitation services tend to use less potent chemicals, sanitizers, which reduce but not always eliminate microorganisms from materials. Hospital-grade disinfectants and disinfection services are best used for infection control, like coronavirus COVID-19, where sanitizers and sanitizing services are best used in relation to food, carpet, or clothing (EPA).
How Much Do Commercial Disinfecting Services Cost?
Of course, as most services do, disinfecting services price ranges vary based on location and size. It can also depend on the type of facility and the potential risk involved. Disinfecting services pricing is usually calculated based on square footage. For example, Stratus franchisees calculate pricing based on square footage typically ranging between $.05 - $.10 per square foot for spaces larger than 5,000 sqft. Some companies can charge up to $2.50 per square foot.
When Should I Disinfect My Business?
There are multiple occasions when someone should use disinfecting services at their business, and an outbreak is definitely one of them. Recurring disinfecting services benefit high traffic businesses who see a lot of customers and/employees on a daily basis. Additionally, those facilities like doctors' offices, clinics, and hospitals that need to be concerned with infection control benefit from recurring services.
For the Coronavirus crisis, it is important to get your facility disinfected if you have a suspected/confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 exposure. This means you know, or suspect, an employee or customer came into your business while infected with the virus. Disinfecting services are also important for “essential businesses” who need to stay open to support public needs; so they can remain open and productive for the benefit of not only their business, their employees, but the general good as well.
What Should Businesses Do to Prepare to Re-Open After Coronavirus?
As businesses prepare to reopen after the coronavirus outbreak, it would be advisable to get a disinfection service conducted at your facility prior to doors-open and your employees return. There is still not enough data to know how long the coronavirus COVID-19 lives on surfaces, it ranges from hours to days on different materials according to the CDC, and you want to help assure the health and safety of your customers and employees upon their return.
It is important to note that disinfecting services are viable until a surface comes into contact with human touch or fluids, so if you can guarantee no one is going to your business during your state’s stay-at-home period, it is beneficial to jump on these services prior to the expected rush once the orders are lifted.
You may also want to consider adding, or increasing the frequency of your janitorial services. Customers and employees are going to be very conscious (and thankful) of your efforts in this regard after experiencing such a dramatic period. It also helps us all reduce the opportunities for the coronavirus's resurgent return if we all have better health and cleanliness habits.
Stratus Building Solutions has also created a 4-Point Back to Business Plan: A Safer Way to Re-Open Your Business to help businesses prioritize their cleaning needs in this unprecedented time.
How Do I Verify if the Right Disinfectants Are Being Used to Combat Coronavirus COVID-19?
The EPA has released List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2. This is a list of primary EPA chemical registrations that have been deemed effective against “Emerging Pathogens”, or those viruses more hard-to-kill or similar to coronavirus COVID-19. You can verify the chemicals used in your facility are listed in two ways: by either finding the EPA’s Emerging Pathogen disclosure/badge on the label or by comparing the first two sections of the EPA Registration number and comparing it with the chemicals on List N. More information can be found on the EPA’s FAQ Page
It is also important to note that Stratus Building Solutions franchisees when conducting professional disinfection services use EPA List N chemicals. You can learn more about our services on our website.
Contact us if you have any further questions about disinfecting services for your business. Stratus Building Solutions is proud to be your partner to help keep your workplaces clean and productive, and your customers and employees safer during this unprecedented time.
Please contact your local regional office to arrange a quote to disinfect your facility, recurring services are available. We look forward to working with you.