Facility Cleaning and Disinfecting in Response to COVID-19: An Interview with Mollie Spaugh
Over the past several months, the need to enhance and evolve cleaning and disinfecting practices in response to COVID-19 has become increasingly important to facility and property teams. The most recent issue of CRE Insight Journal explores these changes and Mollie Spaugh, a SOLID account manager based in Atlanta, GA, was interviewed as an expert source. Mollie shared the following insights on facility cleaning and disinfection strategies, the importance of partnering with experienced surface care providers and evolving expectations as people return to their offices.
Best Practices for Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection
When the pandemic began, Mollie said, “It quickly became apparent the need to not only continue cleaning schedules, but increase cleaning frequencies and add disinfecting services.” This transition is based on the CDC’s two-step prescription for eliminating COVID-19 on surfaces: routine environmental cleaning followed by disinfection using products on the EPA’s List N. Cleaning is an essential first step because, “dirt, dust and grime on a surface acts as a barrier and minimizes the effects of disinfection,” she stated.
While the CDC offers uniform guidance for enhanced cleaning followed by disinfection, different facilities and areas require specialized approaches based on several factors. For example, “a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within a building requires different protocols and PPE (personal protective equipment) for safety than proactive cleaning and disinfection services,” Mollie explained.
She also pointed out that electrostatic spraying has proven to be the most effective method of disinfection, as the disinfectant is electrically charged so it clings to and envelops surfaces from every angle. Some facilities are also choosing chemical-free disinfecting solutions such as UVC, or short wavelength ultraviolet light, offered by specialty facility care providers like SOLID.
Choosing the Right Surface Care Partner
When implementing a deep cleaning and disinfecting program, the most important step may be to work with qualified specialty providers that are well-trained, have years of experience and stay ahead of updates and recommendations from the CDC, EPA, OSHA, GBAC and other leading authorities.
“Janitorial teams are important for day-to-day facility upkeep,” Mollie said. “Specialty companies can partner with janitorial to provide additional training to compliment an enhanced cleaning and disinfection program.”
Choosing certified surface care experts and craftsmen that are equipped with world-class training, tools and materials will help ensure spaces look and feel their best before the doors reopen so facility and property managers can reoccupy reassured.
Moving into the “New Normal”
As the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects continue to challenge the industry, the focus of facility care has shifted from only function and aesthetics to health, safety and confidence. There is a new expectation for healthy building measures.
Hard and soft surfaces throughout facilities that are cleaned more frequently will result in spaces that look, feel and are actually healthier than before. Employees will also have higher expectations from employers, property owners and facility managers to take necessary measures to ensure their health and safety.
“Most associates will feel some degree of fear and uncertainty as they come back into an office environment,” Mollie said. “Help give them piece of mind and show that their well-being is top priority.”
Read the full article on pages 6-7 of the latest issue of CRE Insight Journal.
About SOLID Surface Care
Founded in 1996 in Charlotte, NC, SOLID® Surface Care, Inc. is the nation’s largest self-performing facility care company. SOLID is revered for its breadth of science-based cleaning/enhanced disinfection experience and world-class specialty surface care. SOLID’s well-trained teams deliver the highest level of cleaning, disinfecting, restoration and maintenance for all hard and soft surfaces, while providing a best-in-class client experience.
SOLID always puts the needs of clients first by going beyond the surface to grasp their brand, budget and culture to develop a Consolidated Care Plan, all with an advanced data management platform that assures immediate information and transparency.
The SOLID team is responsible for maintaining over 600 million square feet of commercial flooring annually. Behind the scenes, the company’s operational and technical teams are constantly working on research and development, and testing new methodologies while incorporating age-old craftsmanship to innovate processes. All of SOLID’s consolidated facility care solutions can be validated with testing and certification.
With SOLID, you can rest assured that your surfaces are protected, your spaces are kept clean and healthy, and your expectations are exceeded.