Due to the coronavirus still running rampant, many people are leaving their homes less often than prior to the outbreak. Others may be gradually returning to work, leaving office buildings filled with fewer people. In either case, continuous disinfection and cleaning is necessary for protection against Covid-19.
How Does Covid-19 Spread?
It is now common knowledge that Covid-19 spreads through respiratory droplets, such as when people sneeze, cough, or speak. Nearby individuals (people within six feet of distance) can inhale the infectious airborne particles and contract the illness in either its mild or severe form.
Covid-19 also spreads when individuals handle infected surfaces and then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes. The coronavirus then has an entry point through which it may invade the person’s respiratory system. But the coronavirus remains viable for different lengths of time on various surface types.
How Long Does SARS-CoV-2 Remain Viable?
Researchers conclude that SARS-CoV-2 survives on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces for three to seven days; on copper surfaces, the virus is viable for four hours (which is odd because copper often kills just about any other virus within minutes); on paper and glass, the virus can live for up to four days; on cardboard 24 hours; and, on wood it lives up to two days.
Numerous common, high-touch objects in homes and buildings feature these materials. Food packaging, credit cards and light switches are made of plastic. Refrigerators and keys are stainless steel. Paper products include toilet paper and tissues. Windows and mirrors are glass objects.
The coronavirus can live on high-touch surfaces like the ones mentioned for enough time to infect someone. Due to the virus’ highly contagious nature, homes and buildings should be cleaned and disinfected often. It is important to recognize the difference between cleaning and disinfecting.
What is the Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting?
Effectively killing the coronavirus requires both cleaning and disinfecting. An initial cleaning removes dirt and grime buildup but does not kill any lingering germs. Disinfecting, on the other hand, kills germs and viruses but does not rid the surface of dirt and grime.
Cleaning should always be done first to wipe away dirt and residue from surfaces. Soap and water or regular household cleaners are sufficient to achieve an effective clean. Follow the cleaning with a disinfectant product that contains bleach or 70 percent alcohol.
How Often are Cleaning and Disinfecting Recommended When No One is Sick?
How often people should clean and disinfect their home or business depends on numerous factors. The number of people who live in a home or who inhabit a workplace plays a large role in the recommended frequency of coronavirus cleanings and disinfections.
People who share common surfaces are advised to conduct cleanings and disinfection more often. When a family member works outside the home, it is prudent to clean and disinfect the home regularly. Frequent cleanings are especially warranted when high-risk people live or spend more time inside the home.
Cleaning and disinfecting the entire home from top to bottom is unnecessary, especially when no one in the home or building is ill with Covid-19. Rather, it is critical to primarily disinfect high-touch objects regularly. Car keys, for instance, are objects used outside the home and merit frequent disinfecting.
Elevator buttons in buildings should be cleaned and disinfected every day, if not more frequently, by building maintenance staff. Other common areas in buildings that require at least daily decontamination and disinfection cleaning include stairway railings, door handles, mailboxes, laundry rooms and reception areas.
How Often are Cleaning and Disinfecting Advised When Someone is Ill?
When an individual displays symptoms of Covid-19, it is important that the person self-isolates at home. During self-isolation, frequent cleaning and disinfection of the surrounding environment should be performed to prevent people who are not ill from being exposed to the coronavirus.
In the event a person sick with Covid-19 has been inside a building, the affected area should first be closed off. Air circulation should be promoted by opening windows and doors. Cleaning and disinfecting should be postponed until 24 hours have passed.
Any places the sick individual has used should undergo a thorough cleaning and disinfection. These areas include restrooms and common areas, as well as shared items, like electronic equipment and ATM machines. Vacuuming the space with a HEPA filter may be necessary.
Once the facility has been fully cleaned and disinfected, people who have not been in contact with the sick individual may safely and immediately return to the building. If the sick person has not visited the building in seven days, additional cleanings and disinfection are unnecessary.
What are Cleaning and Disinfecting Best Practices?
Properly disinfecting residential homes and commercial spaces requires knowledge of best practices. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends people use household disinfectants that have been proven to effectively work against SARS-CoV-2. Follow all instructions as listed on the product label.
Splash hazards are possible, so people handling disinfectants are advised to wear skin and eye protection. Adequate ventilation is a must when spraying disinfectants. People with asthma should not be present when disinfecting, as the fumes can trigger asthmatic symptoms.
Both cleaning and disinfecting are critical in the coronavirus era. When your commercial space requires decontamination and disinfection services, consult the pros at ServiceMaster DAK. We recently invested in new technologies that work against the coronavirus in commercial and residential spaces.
ServiceMaster DAK technicians use electrostatic sprayers to decontaminate large buildings. Our system can quickly and thoroughly disinfect properties up to 18,000 square feet. Once all surfaces, including undersides, sides, and backsides, are treated with our electrostatic sprays, people may immediately re-enter.
Our trained and experienced sanitizing and disinfection crews also use disinfectants designed for midsize properties, such as homes, apartments, vehicles, small office spaces, and commercial buildings. The sprays we apply in midsize buildings have a triple purpose: disinfection, sanitization, and deodorization.
Minimize the risk of Covid-19 spreading to employees and customers in your commercial building with a deep coronavirus cleaning and disinfection from ServiceMaster DAK. We proudly protect businesses in Northbrook, Buffalo Grove and the surrounding communities in Lake and Cook County with high-quality commercial disinfection services.