Sanitizing & Disinfecting

As places and organizations are thinking they can open under strict guidelines, we are seeing the conversations shift to what should we do to protect our community association and its members? What are the high priorities and how often should we clean and sanitize them? What does this process even consist of?

Most people use the words 'clean, disinfect and sanitize' interchangeably, but they are in fact very different. Understanding the differences between the three will help devise a plan for your community and determine which services and products and effectively get your communities safe.

Clean: This is typically the first step. Cleaning consists of mixing a clear with water to remove dirt. There are many different cleaning products for different types of service. It is important to note that cleaning does not kill bacteria, viruses or fungi.

Sanitize: The easiest way to think of something being sanitary is to think it will be hygienic and reducing 99.9% of bacteria. A surface needs to be cleaned first and then sanitized in order for it to effectively work. This is usually done by chemicals, heat or radiation. It is important to always sanitize places that people come in contact with most.

Disinfect: When disinfecting an area, you are killing 99.999% of germs and bacteria. It is important to look at labels to see what types of germs and bacteria the solution is indeed disinfecting. The environment in which you are disinfecting plays a vital role in determining the appropriate product to use. Disinfecting areas such as bathrooms, counter tops is highly recommended.

It's essential to focus on high touch and high traffic areas. Sanitizing and disinfecting of residential units and common areas (gyms, hallways, elevators, lobby, offices, bathrooms, playgrounds, etc) as well as handrails, door knobs, bathroom fixtures, light switches are essential.

Disinfecting areas routinely is key even if you're certain that the property hasn't been exposed to the virus. It is recommended by some of our experts to sanitize common areas bi-monthly at a minimum with products that will kill viruses up to 99.9% with a kill time of a 4 minute treatment. For a list of approved disinfectants to ensure the use of an effective envirocide meant to be used specifically against SARS-COVID, click here.  Hiring a trained, professional company is a way to ensure community members that areas will safely open as they are trained to look for potential affected areas and can guarantee safe use of products and solutions.

Communities should also limit the number of people in common areas and maintain safe behavioral practices - waving instead of shaking hands, maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet, washing hands frequently, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. For more tips to help prevent illnesses, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Please be Vigilant. Be Safe. Be Healthy!

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Marie Harrington - Monday, May 11, 2020

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