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Coronavirus cleaning checklist for commercial cleaning and sanitizing

COVID-19 Cleaning Checklist: What To Do So You Can Get Back To Work

This COVID-19 cleaning checklist is meant to help businesses get up and running again safely.

It would be an understatement to say that the COVID-19 virus has seriously disrupted businesses around the world.  Regardless of the actions we had to take to protect ourselves, we have to get back to business.

Our lives, the lives of our employees and in reality the country depends on us, the small businesses, to pick up the ball and get back in the game.

If you are reading this when “social distancing” is still recommended by the medical system, please follow their recommendations so we can somehow get a grip on this situation.

The intent of this article is to help you get back to business after the COVID-19 threat has subsided.

It is important to understand that the COVID-19 is just another virus.  We get these kinds of viruses throughout the year.  Although the COVID-19 has become a bigger problem than other viruses, the principles for being safe apply to all viruses and germs in the workplace.

Evergreen Building Maintenance has been cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting offices, shopping malls, government buildings, and more, for over 30 years.  We have proven systems to make any kind of business safe from the spread of diseases.

Give us a call for commercial cleaning advice or to get a quote for daily and weekly services.

The Nature Of Viruses And Other Diseases That Get Passed Around At Work

Generally speaking, viruses and germs can spread from person to person through the air or by touching things that have been infected.

Germs that are spread through the air are the most potent because they have just been launched from the person carrying the infection.

This is why personal contact with an infected person — such as a handshake or breathing in droplets from a cough or sneeze — is the most common way these viruses spread.

In many cases, germs are most infectious before the carrier even has any symptoms.  If symptoms are not present, respiratory droplets carrying the disease can fly through the air to about six feet and land on another person.

Coughing spreads infected respiratory droplets as far as six meters, and sneezing as much as eight meters. While these droplets stay suspended in the air for up to 10 minutes it is unknown how long the air inside a room occupied by someone with a virus remains potentially infectious.

If there is no one around to “catch” the germs, they land on the floor or on a nearby object.

Cold and flu virus-laden droplets may remain infectious for a  long time, depending on where they fall.

Germs and viruses generally remain active longer on stainless steel, plastic and similar hard surfaces than on fabric and other soft surfaces.

Other factors, such as the amount of virus deposited on a surface and the temperature and humidity of the environment, also determine how long cold and flu viruses stay active outside the body.

Viruses and germs may remain alive for hours to days.  This is why it is imperative that the office or other building be thoroughly cleaned, sanitized and disinfected on a daily or weekly basis.

What’s The Difference Between Cleaning, Disinfecting And Sanitizing?

Cleaning removes dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces.  The normal process of cleaning alone does not kill germs. However, when there are fewer germs the risk of spreading infection decreases.

Disinfecting is done by using chemicals to kill illness causing germs on surfaces.  The best way to reduce the spread of infection using disinfection techniques is to do it after a thorough cleaning.

Sanitizing is a term used by regulators.  When the number of germs on surfaces or objects is down to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements, your facility will be considered compliant.  A commercial cleaning company can achieve this result by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection

Choose The Right Method Of Cleaning And Disinfecting

It is important to match your cleaning and disinfecting activities to the types of germs you want to remove or kill.

Most studies have shown that the flu virus can live and potentially infect a person for up to 48 hours after being deposited on a surface.

It is not necessary to close your office building schools to clean or disinfect every surface in the building to slow the spread of a flu.

How To Clean And Disinfect Your Office

The Center For Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following:

Cleaning And Sanitizing Hard (Non-porous) Surfaces

If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

For disinfection, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.

A list of COVID-19 cleaning products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products for concentration, application method and contact time, etc.

Additionally, diluted household bleach solutions (at least 1000ppm sodium hypochlorite) can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application, ensuring a contact time of at least 1 minute, and allowing proper ventilation during and after application. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.

Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:

  • 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or
  • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Virus Cleaning For Soft (Porous) Surfaces

For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:

If the items can be laundered, launder items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and then dry items completely.

Otherwise, use products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 and that are suitable for porous surfaces

COVID-19 Cleaning For Electronics

For electronics such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines, remove visible contamination if present.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.

Consider the use of wipeable covers for electronics.

If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.

Eliminating Germs From Linens, Clothing, and Other Items That Go in the Laundry

In order to minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air, do not shake dirty laundry.

Wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.

Clean and disinfect hampers or other carts for transporting laundry according to guidance above for hard or soft surfaces.

BCCSA Recommendations For Virus Cleaning

The BC Construction Safety Alliance recommends that you clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Table tops
  • Control panels
  • Computer/keyboard/mouse
  • Door knobs
  • Light switches
  • Handles
  • Bathrooms
  • Steering wheels
  • Eating areas
  • Pens
  • Hoist gates
  • Stair railings
  • First aid equipment

Cleaning and disinfection should be done as often as possible and at a minimum:

  • At the beginning of shift
  • Before eating
  • Between crew changes
  • End of shift.

Avoid sharing tools and pens. Disinfect any shared items before sharing.

Cleaning Needs Of Every Facility Are Different

These guidelines are focused on community, non-healthcare facilities such as schools, institutions of higher education, offices, daycare centers, businesses, and community centers that do, and do not, house persons overnight.

Facilities will need to consider factors such as the size of the room and the ventilation system design (including flowrate [air changes per hour] and location of supply and exhaust vents) when deciding how long to close off rooms or areas used by ill persons before beginning disinfection. Taking measures to improve ventilation in an area or room where someone was ill or suspected to be ill with COVID-19 will help shorten the time it takes respiratory droplets to be removed from the air.

Additional Guidelines To Prevent Illness

Flu viruses are relatively fragile, so standard cleaning and disinfecting practices are sufficient to remove or kill them in most cases.  However, if you feel the need or if someone has been seriously ill in your facility, special cleaning and disinfecting processes can include:

  • Closing off areas visited by the ill persons.
  • Open outside doors and windows
  • Use ventilating fans to increase air circulation in the area.
  • Wait 24 hours or as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection.
  • Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas
  • Clean and disinfect shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines used by the ill persons, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.
  • Wipe down walls
  • Clean and disinfect ceilings, especially those with a variable texture (like stipple or “popcorn”).
  • Use room air deodorizers
  • fumigation
  • Electrostatic cleaning to get into crevices and areas that cannot be reached easily by cleaning staff
  • Immediately clean surfaces and objects that are visibly soiled.
  • If surfaces or objects are soiled with body fluids or blood, use gloves and other standard precautions to avoid coming into contact with the fluid. Remove the spill, and then clean and disinfect the surface.

Insist On “Green Cleaning”

Using harsh chemical cleaners can create more problems.  Frequently using chemical based air deodorizers, and fumigating can irritate eyes, noses, throats, and skin; aggravate asthma, and cause other serious side effects.

According to Wikipedia, “Green Cleaning” refers to using cleaning methods and products with environmentally friendly ingredients and procedures which are designed to preserve human health and environmental quality.

Green cleaning techniques and products avoid the use of products that contain toxic chemicals, some of which emit volatile organic compounds causing respiratory, dermatological and other conditions.

Green cleaning can also describe the way residential and commercial cleaning products are manufactured, packaged and distributed. If the manufacturing process is environmentally friendly and the products are biodegradable, then the term “green” or “eco-friendly” may apply.

Professional Commercial Cleaning And Janitorial Services

We all want to be safe, keep our families safe, protect our staff and do our part in protecting our clients and the general public.

Evergreen Building Maintenance has been providing professional commercial cleaning services for a long time.  We have several well trained and experienced cleaning crews that provide consistent cleaning and disinfecting services.  Let us help you keep your facility clean and healthy.

We can provide dependable year round cleaning and disinfecting for your facility.

Call now for a quote on daily or weekly airport janitorial services for COVID-19 cleaning: 1-888-959-7304 or 250-800-3732.

 

 

What Makes Evergreen Different From Other Commercial Janitorial Companies

Clients are looking for commercial janitorial companies that can deliver consistently reliable cleaning.  But they also want to keep their costs down.

Commercial janitorial companies also have to manage their expenses.  If you want top of the line services but pay bottom of the barrel pricing, something is likely to go wrong.

How Much Do You Need To Compromise?

Having a clean facility does not seem to be directly related to a company’s profitability.  Indirectly, however, the cleanliness of your office or building determines how comfortable your staff is working there. It also determines how willing your clients are to do business with you.  Both of these factors are directly related to profitability.

Even though you may not want to spend money on commercial office cleaning, you know you have to do it.  You have to bite the bullet and hire the best company you can find for as little cost as possible…but not so low that you end up getting a low quality cleaning company.

Low-Ball Pricing

Unfortunately, there are commercial janitorial companies that are more than happy to give you low-ball pricing.  You get excited when they promise to deliver almost everything you want, but when you try them out, quite often you realize that maybe you cut corners in the wrong place.

How Evergreen Building Maintenance Does Things Differently

Some Things To Look Out For When Hiring A Commercial Janitorial Service:

  1. When you were getting quotes, you may have indicated that you want to see the lowest price possible. Based on this, the commercial cleaning company may decide to cut their costs by not using the best cleaning materials or they may use low quality cleaning equipment.

You won’t realize this until you see that your facility is just not as nice looking or smelling as you would like it to be.  The cleaning staff may be doing all the right things but the results are not there.

Evergreen Building Maintenance has been in the business for over 30 years.  They know short-term thinking is not good for business.  We will never compromise the cleaning quality in order to provide bottom of the barrel pricing…but you’ll find our pricing to be very attractive!

We know that regardless of what you “appear” to be saying, if the cleaning company is not able to clean your office satisfactorily, you are not going to keep them around.  From experience, we know that, so we are not even going to try to give you unrealistic expectations.

Evergreen Building Maintenance spends a lot of time training cleaning staff so we can get your building cleaner at a lower cost.

We will never use inferior products or low quality cleaning equipment. 

  1. Another way to cut costs is to skip on using “green”, “eco-friendly” cleaning practices. “Green” or “eco-friendly” cleaning practices will prevent your staff and clients from having allergic reactions or getting sick from cleaning chemicals.  They will often also do a better job of eliminating viruses and bacteria from spreading.

However, for some companies, this is an “optional” service.   Eco-friendly cleaning “chemicals” and equipment can be more expensive.  If they know your main criteria for hiring a commercial janitorial company is to keep costs down, they just won’t offer you the “option”.

Evergreen Building Maintenance includes “green cleaning” as a standard part of their service.  We realize it is better for the health of your employees and clients, so unless you specify otherwise, “eco-friendly” cleaning is the service we will provide while still keeping your costs low.

  1. Sometimes a cleaning company can cut costs by hiring low-cost, temporary workers. This is a bad strategy if you want consistently high cleaning standards.

Commercial cleaning is not as easy as it looks.  We have found that properly trained personnel get better and better at cleaning the longer they are with us.

In order to keep employees so they stick around long enough to provide superior cleaning results we provide a respectable wage, benefits, good quality equipment suitable for the job and opportunities to move up in the company.

When you see the same people coming to clean your building day after day or week after week you get to know them, and they get to know you and the “special” needs of your office.  They learn the “secret” spots where germs hang out and when you need extra cleaning from time to time.

Long-term, consistent employees are a big reason why we are able to provide a high standard of cleaning without fail.

  1. What happens if you get new equipment, new circumstances or have a big promotion coming up? Will your commercial cleaning company be able to respond to the changed situation?  On time?  Effectively?

Evergreen Building Maintenance has lots of people with a variety of skills and experience so we can respond quickly to any situation.

  1. Is The Management Of The Company Easily Accessible?

If you have a special situation coming up, just give the cleaning team manager a call or even just call up the president of the company.  The management of the company is always happy to hear from clients.  In fact, we look forward to it.  Our management does an “official” review of the cleaning team’s performance every three months.

While every company wants to keep their costs down, the lowest priced commercial cleaning companies are often not the way to go.

Take time to review the reputation of the company you are going to hire…get several references and call those references to see what their experience has been.

Make sure the cleaning company you hire uses “green”, “eco-friendly” cleaning materials and cleaning equipment.  There is no sense in having your employees or clients getting sick from harsh chemicals.

Evergreen Building Maintenance provides a high standard of cleaning without you having to compromise on price.

Give us a call today!  Call 1-888-559-6870 or 250-999-2796.

A Question of Clarity – 10 Questions to Ask Your Cleaning Company

You’ve answered the first question – Do I want to hire a professional cleaning company to save time and money on all of my cleaning requirements? – with a resounding ‘Yes.’ Good choice. But now comes the task of choosing a cleaning company. There are many out there, but finding the right one for you and your business requires gathering information and doing research. You want to find a professional cleaning company with the skilled staff, ample resources and dedication to the task at hand. In order to help make your job that much easier, here is a list of 10 important questions to ask any prospective cleaning company.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN ESTABLISHED?

Look for a cleaning company that has been in business a minimum of 10 years and has grown throughout those years. Look for a company that invests in its staff and training, owns and operates the latest cleaning equipment, who cares about their clients’ needs and has the experience and reputation to back up any claims they make.

WHAT IS YOUR LEVEL OF CLIENT SATISFACTION?

Research the cleaning company you are thinking of hiring and find out what their clients have to say about them. Look for a company whose clients are very satisfied with the services provided and that the commercial cleaning company can handle your specific needs.

WHAT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE?

Does the cleaning company have the staff, skill, and capability to do what you need them to do? You may need just a general clean, or a specific clean with specialist equipment. A professional cleaning company will ensure they remain up-to-date on all the latest procedures and products to ensure complete client satisfaction.

WHAT IS YOUR CAPABILITY?

Does the cleaning company have the capacity to handle the work you need them to do? Different buildings, different requirements; so look for a cleaning company that can handle a wide variety of diverse industries, whether it’s retail, financial, healthcare, real estate, commercial office or government.

WHAT IS YOUR AVAILABILITY?

Make sure the cleaning company you choose can modify their supply to your demand. They need to meet your requirements and scope of work, and adapt their cleaning schedule – daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly – to your bespoke requirements.

WHAT ARE YOUR RATES?

Just as in any other business transaction, you want to make sure you’re getting the most for every dollar you spend. Ask your prospective cleaning company their rates and compare them to their competitors. Ask whether the rates are all-inclusive or whether there any extra fees for additional cleaning (E.g. emergency clean-ups).

ARE YOU INSURED?

This is important to protect your business and ensure your financial security. All professional cleaning companies will have the requisite liability and workers compensation insurance needed to conduct their operations safely and securely. If there is damage to any flooring, furniture, or equipment, it is the cleaning company who will foot the bill, not you.

WHO DOES THE CLEANING?

The larger the company the higher the chances of multiple cleaners entering your business throughout the year. Every cleaner must be trained, certified, background-checked, and equipped to handle all of your requirements, and be familiar with your workspace. You may not often interact with your cleaners, or you may prefer a regular cleaner (or team of cleaners) you can build a working relationship with.

WHAT TRAINING DO YOU GIVE YOUR EMPLOYEES?

A professional cleaning company must ensure that every member of their staff is consistent in their delivery of top quality cleaning services. All employees must be held to the same high standard, and the company dedicated to comprehensive and continuous training for all of their staff. A professional cleaning company will implement ‘green cleaning practices’ and refrain from using harmful chemicals such as bleach in order to keep your workplace healthy and safe. They will also make sure that their staff has been properly instructed in the use of the latest green cleaning products.

WHAT IS YOUR QUALITY ASSURANCE POLICY?

Ask the cleaning company what quality assurance policies they have in effect. How do they guarantee their work, and what happens if you have query regarding their work? The right cleaning company will ensure that all of the work they do for you meets with your complete satisfaction. Any concerns you may have must be dealt with swiftly and efficiently so that, come rain or shine, your workplace looks spotless.

Asking the right questions will get you the answers you need. Or, if you want to save even more time and money, you can skip these 10 questions entirely and call Evergreen Building Maintenance directly.

You can rest assured that you will be pleased with our answers to all of the above questions. Locally owned and operated, EBM has been a leader in the janitorial industry for more than 28 years. We specialize in commercial buildings and service 2.5 million square feet every day. We have the skills and expertise to guarantee only the very highest standards of cleanliness.

Please make the call; we’d love to show you what we can do.

Evergreen-Building-Maintenance-benefits-of-professional-cleaning-services

8 Benefits of Outsourcing Commercial Cleaning Services

Outsourcing commercial cleaning company is not a decision that should be taken without having conducted the proper research. Outsourcing your office’s cleaning services is an important strategic decision for your business. Doing so saves you time and resources, enabling you to grow your company and outperform your competition. All businesses, regardless of industry or size, have to ensure that their workplace is clean and presentable. This is not only to maintain an image of professionalism, but also to keep the workplace healthy and productive for employees.

CLEANLINESS

As the saying goes, ‘cleanliness is next to godliness,’ so a clean work environment is the primary focus of reputable cleaning companies. Since commercial cleaning employees are put through comprehensive training, they are able to perform cleaning tasks in less time with better results than an unskilled staff.

EXPERTISE

Janitorial specialists are trained in their field and have a razor-sharp attention to detail, which is important when cleaning spaces that entail carpets, floors, furniture, horizontal surfaces, glass, washrooms and problem areas that require a special set of professional cleaning equipment and products. If you want a spotless clean with proper disinfection, go with the people who do this for a living.

FLEXIBILITY

Outsourcing to a cleaning company means being able to modify the cleaning schedule to suit your needs. You can customize the schedule to have the contractor come in and clean exactly when you need them to (E.g. daily, weekly, bi-weekly, etc.) This kind of flexibility is very beneficial when it comes to keeping your operational costs low, but still keeping your office space clean and tidy.

SCALABILITY

You can scale the amount of cleaning that you require to suit your budget requirements and time concerns. For example, you can keep the costs down by adjusting the frequency of the cleaning schedule. If you ever need emergency or spot cleaning, your cleaning professionals are only a phone call away.

COST-EFFECTIVE

When you have an in-house cleaning staff, all the necessary expenses – from employee training to the purchase of cleaning equipment/supplies and overhead – are your responsibility. These costs can be substantial; however, if you choose to outsource your janitorial services, they will be covered by your commercial cleaning company.

STANDARDS

Maintaining the highest standards of health, hygiene and professionalism is our number 1 priority. We spend our time and resources to effectively train our staff to ensure that optimal standards of cleanliness, safety and quality are met at all times.

AVAILABILITY

Outsourcing to a cleaning company means never having to worry about your cleaners calling in sick. The issues of holidays or leaves of absence are replaced with the consistent availability of professional cleaning staff. You are also saved from liability and other concerns with managing additional employees.

ECO-FRIENDLY

Protect the environment by selecting a company that is eco-friendly. A contemporary cleaning company will implement ‘green cleaning practices and refrain from using harmful chemicals such as bleach in order to keep your workplace healthy and safe.

Hiring a commercial cleaning company saves you time and money, while keeping your workplace looking consistently presentable. You’re a specialist in your industry, so please allow the professionals in the janitorial field to take care of your cleaning requirements.

Evergreen Building Maintenance – when unsatisfactory service is not an option.