Whether businesses and facilities are preparing to reopen after the COVID-19 shutdowns, or they are performing ongoing efforts to keep their space as clean and sanitized as possible, Goodway Technologies is offering some tips to keep surfaces and the indoor environment safer and cleaner for its occupants. Goodway, which manufactures specialized cleaning and sanitation equipment, has been implementing these steps as they continue to produce solutions for the wide array of industries seeking solutions to keep their employees, customers, and any building occupants safe and healthy.
“Proper sanitation has never been more important than it is right now, and it’s going to be a question that everyone asks themselves before they enter a facility,” says Tim Kane, president, and CEO of Goodway Technologies. “It is the responsibility of the building owners, maintenance personnel, and leadership to make sure every step is being taken to maintain a healthy environment.”
The first thing to keep in mind is the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cleaning removes germs and dirt from surfaces and objects, while disinfecting uses chemicals to kill the germs to lower the risk of spreading infection. Sanitizing goes a step further to bring the number of germs to a safe level according to public health standards. When using sanitizing and disinfecting products, Goodway recommends making sure they are EPA registered and then reading the label in its entirety, paying careful attention to any surface contact times required to kill certain germs and viruses. Using a product in a manner different from its labeling may reduce it’s efficacy dramatically.
Perform deep cleaning and sanitation
Cleaning may be an obvious step to prepare for opening a business back up or keeping up with the current sanitation needs and standards; however, it’s critical to conduct a thorough cleaning and sanitation to help keep employees and customers safe.
Here are Goodway Technologies’ recommendations for achieving a complete cleaning:
- Get behind production and packaging machinery, tool chests, and storage areas as these areas can develop a buildup of fluids, garbage, and other debris.
- Clean the walls to remove residual dust and residue. Buildup on walls can reduce indoor air quality and impact the quality of products being produced.
- Make sure to clean the top of the lighting fixtures and remove residual dust.
- Drains are an area where bacteria can collect and should be included with a deep cleaning. The best solutions for cleaning drains include chemicals or using steam solutions.
- All surfaces (both top and underneath) in breakrooms or high traffic areas should be cleaned.
- Any electronics that are generally not deeply cleaned or sanitized due to their sensitivity need special attention. These are best cleaned and sanitized using alcohol-based products, which are quick drying.
Don’t forget about your HVAC system
HVAC systems can often be overlooked, but they are a vital part of indoor environmental health. Indoor air quality refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures. Proper maintenance, cleaning, and sanitizing of a building’s HVAC equipment is a significant component of helping to reduce the risk of reduced indoor air quality or pollution.
Here are some things to keep in mind when conducting the cleaning and maintenance of your HVAC system:
- Coil Cleaning: Without proper cleaning, air conditioning coils in the air handlers can become a hot spot for mold and mildew growth. Both of these are culprits for poor indoor air quality.
- Air Duct Cleaning: Since duct surfaces are typically hidden, they are easy to forget. This means they often accumulate dust, pollen, mold, and more, and this debris can collect on coils and recirculate into the air. There are several tools available for duct cleanings such as vacuums, agitation devices, and duct isolation equipment.
- Cooling Tower Cleaning: Cooling towers can also be a breeding ground for Legionella and other harmful bacteria. If a tower is infected with bacteria, it can spread to indoor air through ventilation and doorways/entrances and could impact the outdoor air quality in the surrounding area. Cleaning the cooling tower helps to prevent sediment, scale, and slime buildup, which can be cleaned with specialized cooling tower vacuums to avoid shutting down or draining the system.
- Cooling Tower Water Treatments: The outside air that is drawn into the tower can be contaminated with pollutants, which can increase bacterial growth. Chemical water treatments can protect against these issues and control the growth of harmful bacteria; however, they should be used in conjunction with mechanical cleaning methods.
For more information on the steps, your business or workplace can take during COVID-19, Goodway recommends visiting the CDC’s website for additional resources on planning and responding during this time.