Reopening Your Property Guide – What to Clean and Disinfect

As new phases of reopening business and common-area, residential spaces begin across the country, what are the updated guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting?

In a recent article, we gave an overview of how to prepare for reopening your property. Now here is a cleaning and disinfecting breakdown, based on official guidelines from the CDC.

Clean and Disinfect Surfaces Regularly to Reduce Transmission of COVID-19

According to the Center for Disease Control,  “Coronaviruses on surfaces and objects naturally die within hours to days. Warmer temperatures and exposure to sunlight will reduce the time the virus survives on surfaces and objects.”

Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is the best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings

The CDC also notes that 80% of illness-causing germs are spread through touch, including surfaces, and so cleaning and then disinfecting surfaces regularly is the best way to limit outbreaks in an environment. Effective strategies also require a thorough approach that targets germs on both hard and soft surfaces. However, not all surfaces require disinfectant, particularly if they are not high-touch surfaces.

Pay Attention to “High-Touch” Surfaces

So as not to waste disinfectant supplies, focus on disinfecting high-touch surfaces and cleaning other surfaces with just soap and water. High-touch areas tend to be the main source of spreading bacteria and viruses, especially when located in communal areas. What high-touch surfaces are covered by your janitorial team on a regular basis?

The following need to be disinfected daily:

  • Phones and Handsets
  • Desks / Countertops / Tables
  • Computer Keyboards & Mouses, Copier Machines & Printers
  • Cash Register Keyboards/Screens and Order Screens
  • Sinks and Faucets
  • Restroom Facilities
  • Elevator Buttons
  • Light Switches
  • Door Knobs/Handles and Drawer Handles
  • Railings and Chair Arm Rests
  • Trash Can Lids
  • Floor Surfaces

“Soft Surfaces” Need Disinfecting Too

Carpets, curtains, upholstery, and other soft surfaces can be germ reservoirs, and some of these are high-touch areas as well. As with other surfaces, if not high-touch, then normal, regular cleaning should suffice.

Are the high-touch, soft surfaces also being disinfected as a part of your ongoing facility service program? Another option is to move these to storage for the meantime. TWS can assist you with any of these options!

What About Outdoor Areas?

According to the CDC, “Outdoor areas generally require normal routine cleaning and do not require disinfection. You should maintain existing cleaning and hygiene practices for outdoor areas.”

Many outdoor surfaces will not be touched by people, thus using a disinfectant on them is a waste of supplies. However, some outdoor areas qualify as high-touch surfaces. The CDC suggests targeting these areas only with disinfectant, but still keeping other surfaces cleaned and maintained as usual.

What If No One Has Been on the Property Recently?

If your property or an area on it “has been unoccupied for 7 days or more, it will only need your normal routine cleaning to reopen the area.”

The CDC states, “This is because the virus that causes COVID-19 has not been shown to survive on surfaces longer than this time.”

However, once you reopen, you will need a plan for disinfecting in addition to regular cleaning.

Use Products Effectively

An experienced facility service provider won’t cut corners nor use disinfectant inefficiently. They will follow EPA guidelines for disinfectants. The CDC offers a useful infographic to determine what surfaces need disinfectant, and which can be simply cleaned with soap and water. While some services may resume as normal, others may increase, and an adaptable provider like TWS will help you create a plan to meet your specific needs.

TWS is a facility service company that is dedicated to doing the job right, both as responsible members of our community and as a team committed to supporting our clients’ success. You can count on us to take a thorough and effective approach to combat viruses as a part of our janitorial and day porter services. With regular and thorough facility service and additional service for cleaning and disinfecting, you can begin to safely reopen your properties for business and tenant use.

Need to adapt your service plan? Contact us for a no-obligation chat about your needs and find out the options that are available: 888-883-1915












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