Are COVID Disinfecting Services the Future of Commercial Cleaning?

Nate Pruitt Commercial Building Cleaning

It’s not often that you find commercial cleaning services in the spotlight. However, since the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, the industry has received more attention than ever before. Today, the best methods for cleaning and disinfecting are topics of daily discussion, and industry professionals are asking if specialty COVID disinfecting services are the future of the business. 

That’s because properly sanitizing high-traffic spaces like schools, office buildings, grocery stores, churches, and more now requires a higher level of care and attention. To meet stricter guidelines, commercial cleaning companies have had to change their procedures and protocols to ensure the safety of their clients and the general public. 

COVID Disinfecting Services

A look at sales statistics for disinfectants at the start of the pandemic paints a clear picture as to why COVID disinfecting services are a hot topic.

Statista reports that within the first week of February 2020, U.S.-based sales of rubbing alcohol (a disinfectant) increased by close to 20%. By the last week of that month, sales had grown by a staggering 65%. Over the same period, hydrogen peroxide sales rose by 8% and nearly 30%, respectively. Americans were clearly preparing to fight the pandemic. 

At the same time, medical professionals and scientists worked around the clock to confirm which disinfectants were effective against the virus. While commercial cleaning contractors waited to learn how they would need to adjust their practices, one conclusion was unmistakable — simply wiping down surfaces with a mild, soapy solution would no longer be enough. 

How Commercial Cleaning Has Changed

Within weeks, commercial cleaning contractors had their guidance from various sources, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), among others. 

Each of these bodies made it clear from the start that their initial recommendations were the first step, and that policies and procedures would need to be reviewed and revised as the world learned more about COVID-19. 

Two years later, that initial guidance has been refined to result in the current standards: Mask wearing in crowded places, limiting social contacts, and more thorough cleaning procedures are part of daily life.

While additional guidance may vary from month to month and from state to state, disinfectants play a critical role regardless. These cleaners are essential as new variants of the virus continue to arise, bringing with them varying rates of transmission.

Adapting to New Practices and Procedures

During this difficult time, political resolutions forced the temporary closure of offices and schools nationwide. To facilitate reopening, the CDC made several recommendations, including more frequent cleaning in high-traffic areas, poorly ventilated spaces, and buildings with limited access to handwashing or hand sanitizer. 

Additionally, facility owners and building tenants needed to take special care in places visited by individuals at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 

And if ever a person in a facility tested positive for COVID-19, a basic cleaning to rid the location of germs was no longer enough. Instead, specialty COVID disinfecting services became necessary. 

Protecting and Training Staff

As the pandemic continued to spread and guidance on cleaning and disinfecting became solidified, additional training and protection were necessary for commercial cleaning contractors and staff. 

For instance, where single-use latex gloves were once the only form of protective wear required for cleaning staff, this was no longer acceptable. Face coverings like masks and shields became necessary, adding to supply needs.

In addition, company leaders had to ensure that team members knew the latest scientific recommendations. Keeping staff members up to date on cleaning procedures and guidance was imperative; it benefited both the team and their clients. 

Adapting to New Cleaning Supplies

Procedures, protocols, and updated medical guidance were only a few of the changes cleaning contractors had to accommodate. Contracting companies and their teams also reviewed the types of cleaning supplies they used, and time was spent training staff in the use of advanced cleaning supplies, including how to handle chemicals safely.

Early in the pandemic, the EPA published a comprehensive list of disinfectants known to kill the coronavirus. Since then, the list, known as List N, has been reviewed to ensure detergents and disinfectants continue to be effective against new variants. 

Reopening: Today’s Challenge for Commercial Cleaning

As businesses return to office-based work and schools reopen for in-person learning, COVID disinfecting services are more important than ever. Not only will there be ongoing specialty cleaning, but additional cleaning and disinfection is also required after prolonged shutdown or reduction in operation. This means that any time an outbreak occurs, or a smaller-scale shutdown needs to happen, specialty cleaning will come into play.

Of course, limiting the spread of the latest variant of COVID-19 is an important consideration, but there are other factors at play as well. 

For instance, water-related hazards like legionella are a major concern after a period of inactivity in a facility. Copper or lead contamination from corroded plumbing is another. Additionally, mold can grow within a matter of days, depending on the local climate and the building itself. 

The Benefits of Subcontracting Commercial Cleaning Work

Choosing the best cleaning solution can feel daunting in the best of times, regardless of the facility that needs to be tackled. And the more requirements that need to be followed, the more pressure is put on finding a comprehensive solution. 

Staffing an in-house team of full-time employees is one option. But filling out and managing a crew sizeable enough to adequately handle all duties can be challenging. 

First, an internal team does not just appear on your company’s doorstep. It takes many hours and much effort to hire the right employees. Then, when a cleaning crew is yours to manage, training becomes the responsibility of you, the employer.

It’s also your responsibility to purchase the right supplies, as well as to aquire and maintain the proper equipment. Finally, there’s the cost of payroll for those employees you hired. Taken together, an in-house team of janitors may not be the best answer.

On the other hand, hiring professional commercial cleaning contractors means a lot less work because the commercial company is the one to handle all roles and responsibilities. 

They ensure their teams and crews are fully staffed. They handle all training related to the safe handling of supplies and equipment. They even provide all brooms, mops, cleaning agents, buffers, rags, and more. 

Not only do commercial cleaners manage the day-to-day aspects of a cleaning business, but they also stay up to date on the latest cleaning protocols. With how often guidelines and procedures for COVID disinfecting services have changed over the past couple of years, it’s a lot for the average person to track. 

Plus, contracted cleaners can perform the service better because they can be scheduled with whatever frequency is needed, whether daily, weekly, or monthly. Their hours are typically more flexible than an in-house janitorial team, who tend to work more standard business hours.

Let Us Help With the New Standard of Commercial Cleaning Services

In a perfect world, COVID disinfecting services, by name, will become a thing of the past if and when COVID is gone for good. However, the specialty cleaning procedures and supplies that have resulted from the global pandemic will continue to be the industry standard. 

Founded on the principles of integrity, quality, and dependability, DTK Facility Services has kept Houston’s commercial spaces clean of germs and clear of debris for more than 25 years. Whether you’re a mom-and-pop retail shop, multi-building complex, church, school, or grocery store, we’ve been there for you.

We offer a full range of services, including cleaning and disinfecting, washing windows, shampooing carpets, and pressure washing. Contact us for a quote today, and let us handle the dirty work.