Crafting a Unique Disinfecting Program to Fit Your Needs
With the onset of COVID-19, ensuring clean, safe, and healthy environments has never been more important. Long gone are the days of simply dusting, emptying the trash can and cleaning the restroom.
The challenges of a global pandemic demand more, including enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols as part of an overall risk mitigation strategy.
With its science-based, data-driven approach to analyzing infection risk, WellNest Professional Cleaning is uniquely positioned to help you navigate this new reality.
Cleanliness Means Business
Traditionally seen as a cost center, building maintenance — including cleaning resources — has often been treated with benign neglect.
The onset of COVID-19 has challenged this paradigm.
Today, in addition to being essential to keeping building occupants safe, healthy and productive, cleanliness is now a key driver in attracting and retaining customers, students, clients and staff — not to mention a civic duty.
Whether you own a business, run a school or manage an office, you are in critical role to keep building and occupants healthy.
WellNest Professional Cleaning is here to help.
Introducing the Data-Driven 3-Pillar Commercial Cleaning Framework to Maintaining a Clean Environment
Based on extensive research and an expert advisory board, WellNest developed a proprietary, 3-pillar commercial cleaning framework to create a custom cleaning plan specific to your needs. The three pillars are:
- Your infrastructure (facility) – Assessing your air quality, ventilation, materials, and technologies.
- Your ingress/egress patterns (access) – Analyzing commuting methods, entry/exit points, elevators, and stairs.
- Your floorplan and flow (space use) – Examining your spaces use, flow, layout and common areas.
By analyzing the infection risk within each of the three pillars, WellNest can ensure that our janitorial professionals are cleaning and disinfecting the right areas, at the right times, using the right products, within budget.
Most importantly, this rigorous analysis and customized plan will give you — and your building occupants — the most priceless benefit of all: peace of mind.
Pillar 1: Your Facility
While human behaviors such as handwashing and social distancing are on the frontlines of the battle to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, the buildings people occupy also play an important role to stop the spread.
Therefore, one of the first areas WellNest assesses to develop your customized plan is your existing infrastructure. That includes a look at the available disinfection technologies for your space, as well as your HVAC and indoor air quality and facility materials.
With the uncertainty that comes with a novel virus, it’s tempting to adopt a scorched-earth mentality when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting. But widespread spraying of disinfectant may be overkill at best or squandering resources at worst. There are several technologies and disinfecting methods on the market that may be a better fit for your environment.
WellNest can help you sort through the marketing hype and determine what technologies — if any — are appropriate for your facility. Some of the more popular options include:
- Electrostatic spraying: This method uses sprayers that apply a positive charge of electricity to a chemical (disinfectant) so the solution will attack a surface, providing full coverage over and around a surface. The science behind this is simple: Opposites attract. A positively charged particle will aggressively look for and find a negatively charged surface to attach. This method is used by hotels, airlines, schools and fitness facilities, to name a few.
- UV/visible light: This method uses light spectrums to kill germs, bacteria and viruses (Note that the Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency are still reviewing this method for effectiveness).
- Steam cleaning: This method uses extremely high heat to kill microorganisms.
Disinfecting techniques aside, WellNest will also review other ways you might be leveraging technology to reduce the spread of viruses, including:
- Touchless faucets, soap dispensers, trash cans and paper towel dispensers
- Handwashing stations at entry/exit points
- Automatic door openers (as appropriate considering security issues and technology, such as key fobs or touchless, secure entry/exit)
- Smartphone and mobile apps for payment transactions, to operate building mechanics (i.e., lights and thermostat) or to manage orders and deliveries
Knowing what technologies are supporting your infection risk-mitigation strategy helps WellNest allocate the appropriate cleaning and disinfection resources where they are needed most.
HVAC, Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation
In addition to close contact with infected people, there is a possibility that spread of COVID-19 might also happen via airborne particles in indoor environments, in some instances beyond the 6-foot range suggested in social distancing guidelines.
Therefore, it’s important that your facility’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are operating properly.
Some questions to consider:
- Can the amount of natural/outdoor air be increased?
- Is the air flow in occupied spaces maximized?
- Is the air filtration system optimized? Is there a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan system? What about UV treatments?
- Are the exhaust fans (such as in restrooms or kitchens) operating at full capacity?
- Does it make sense to add physical barriers, such as sneeze guards, in high-risk areas?
Based on your facility’s capabilities in these areas, WellNest can develop strategies to mitigate risk through enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
Since the novel coronavirus can live on surfaces and objects anywhere from hours to days, evaluating and, in some cases, adjusting the materials occupying the space can both reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus as well as minimize the use of harsh disinfectants and other cleaning supplies.
Some questions to consider:
- How many surfaces are non-porous (such as glass, metal or plastic)?
- How many surfaces are porous (such as carpets, rugs or seating areas)?
- Of those surfaces, how many are high touch?
- High-touch, non-porous surfaces can be disinfected more frequently than non-porous. Therefore, are they any hard-to-disinfect surfaces or unnecessary objects that can be removed?
- Does the space include antimicrobial or antiviral materials, such as copper?
Pillar 2: Your Ingress/Egress Patterns (Access)
When it comes to analyzing infection risk, it’s impossible not to consider how building occupants are getting to the facility.
Afterall, someone who has been in an airport, subway station or bus terminal has a much different risk profile than someone who drove straight to the facility in their own car.
Knowing how many of the building’s occupants are public transportation users also allows WellNest to calibrate your plan to incorporate more frequent disinfecting of high-touch points as well as to make recommendations for stopping the virus from entering your space to begin with.
For example, if Metro users typically arrive during morning rush hour from 7 AM to 9 AM, your cleaning and disinfection plan would allocate disinfection resources (via a day porter, for example) during or immediately after that period so any pathogens carried in from Metro use are removed for the remainder of the day.
The number of entrances and exits, how often they are used and how congested they can get are all key variables to adjusting how often they should be cleaned and disinfected.
For example, if everyone is coming in/out through one door, that creates a concentrated risk and, subsequently, requires the appropriate disinfection resources. Conversely, if there are multiple points of entry, your customized plan would account for that scenario.
Just like other high-touch surfaces in common areas, adjusting physical layouts to reflow traffic patterns can also reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.
For example, if a high number of employees pass by a kitchen to get to their desks, the kitchen will be a high traffic area and your customized cleaning and disinfecting plan will be calibrated accordingly.
Elevators and stairs are other points in the building-occupant journey that require extra care when developing an infection risk profile because they are enclosed spaces. WellNest can help you assess the risks at these high traffic points and make recommendations as part of your customized cleaning and disinfecting plan.
Pillar 3: Your Floorplan and Flow (Space Use)
The third pillar in WellNest’s framework includes a thorough examination of how people are interacting with your space.
In other words, in this step, WellNest looks at how building occupants flow, navigate, congregate and interact throughout the interior of the building.
For example, if your space has a conference room, your customized plan might recommend a daily disinfection schedule, supplemented with a protocol to disinfect after each use while a facility’s employee kitchen might require increased cleaning and disinfecting after mealtimes.
Spaces used for group classes, such as dance studio, would need to disinfect equipment and other high-touch surfaces such as the barre.
With this top-down assessment, your customized plan will be calibrated to align with your building occupants’ journey.
Your tailor-made recommendations might include:
- A day porter to disinfect during peak times or high-traffic areas
- Defining cleaning, disinfection and transition protocols for shared spaces including frequency, disinfection methods (i.e., using electrostatic sprayer in a classroom) and high-touch surfaces
- Identifying opportunities to reduce high-touch points
- Making janitorial services more visible, such as day porters performing disinfection procedures during high-risk periods, or transitioning to day cleaning (vs nightly janitorial services)
When is Just as Important as How
Finally, your customized cleaning and disinfecting plan can be adjusted to not only how the space is used – and when it is used – but how visible you want these professional services to be.
For example, do you want the cleaning crew there while the building is closed or unoccupied (such as overnight)? Or would you prefer that your customers and staff see with their own eyes the cleaning and disinfecting efforts? Or maybe it’s a combination of both?
WellNest can work with you to make the building’s cleaning and disinfection schedule as visible or behind the scenes as you need to build trust with your building’s occupants as well as keep them healthy, safe and productive.