It’s no secret that winter weather can wreak havoc on commercial buildings. Cold temperatures, snow, salt, and ice can cause a lot of wear and tear through the winter months. When the winter freeze starts to dissipate, facility managers and building maintenance teams must often hit the ground running, making necessary repairs and preparing for Spring and Summer. Between this seasonal wear, the emergence of springtime allergens, and the continued risk of coronavirus, hygiene and facility cleanliness are key in 2021.
FROM THE GROUND UP
Your building’s floors often take a beating during colder months. Snow, ice, street salt, and dirty boots can take a toll. Take advantage of this time to catch up on deep cleaning and to prepare for the mud that so often accompanies the upcoming rainy season. Consider knocking out the following:
- Deep-clean carpets to remove stains.
- Deep-clean floor mats before storing.
- Clean flooring baseboards and corners with a high-powered vacuum.
- Buff and scrub tile and concrete.
- Consider re-finishing and re-sealing floors.
UP IN THE AIR
Although current temperatures may be mild, test your buildings cooling systems well before the Summer heat hits. Once the heat waves roll in, a defective HVAC system will be a nightmare for you, your building maintenance team, and your tenants. Since these systems often go unused all Winter, they are susceptible to dust and dirt buildup. This often results in decreased efficiency, increased allergens, funky smells, and even unit failure. Learn more about Spring HVAC maintenance in our previous article.
BE FIRM WITH GERMS
The past year has taught us that cleaning goes far beyond what meets the eye. Often, a thorough, disinfection cleaning is in order. Maintaining optimal hygiene standards and cleanliness is more important than ever to keep tenants and employees safe and comfortable.
Develop and Implement A Plan
Determine which areas need to be cleaned and disinfected, how you will disinfect, and whether personal protective equipment (PPE) is necessary. Also, consider if any additional safeguards are required during the use of specific cleaning products. High-traffic areas should be cleaned and sanitized at least once a day.
General Cleaning Tips
In addition to wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands frequently, cleaning surfaces regularly and thoroughly is the best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Additionally, you should always:
- Wear gloves and discard after each use.
- Clean dirty surfaces with soap and water before disinfecting for maximum effect.
- Clean high-touch surfaces such as keypads, pens, countertops, shared tools and equipment, tables, doorknobs, and phones before each use whenever possible.
How to Disinfect for Coronavirus
The Environmental Protection Agency has a specific list (List N) that includes all the approved disinfectants for Coronavirus. More than 500 items in this database can be searched by surface type to be cleaned, the type of site where they’ll be used, and other keywords to quickly find an approved disinfectant.
How to Clean and Disinfect A Building or Work Site If Someone Is Sick or Has A Coronavirus Diagnosis
- Close off areas used by the sick person.
- Open exterior doors and windows and use fans to circulate the air for 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting if possible.
- Clean the sick person’s workspace and any surface they may have touched.
- Vacuum the area with a HEPA filter-equipped vacuum cleaner, but make sure the room is empty of all other people. Temporarily turn off all in-room ventilation systems while vacuuming, but do not deactivate central HVAC systems.
- If the area has been closed off for at least7 days following the sick person’s diagnosis, only routine cleaning is necessary.
Cleaning Outdoor Areas
Typically, only routine cleaning is required outdoors, however, high-touch surfaces made of metal or plastic, such as railings and grab bars, should be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly.