The coronavirus COVID-19 has changed everything about the way property managers run their properties, including how often they clean. This is because COVID-19 is highly contagious, and we must do all we can to stop the spread of the virus that has already resulted in over 1 million cases in the United States.
In order to best protect tenants, clients, and employees, property managers must take additional steps to ensure their health and safety. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are already seeing major changes taking place. For example, Marriott Hotels have started using electrostatic sprayers with ‘hospital-grade disinfectant’ in their hotels, as well as placing disinfecting wipes in hotel rooms for guests to use.
This also explains the sharp increase of calls to restoration companies Tampa property managers have been making. Cleaning properties just became a much larger and more difficult job – and one that is difficult to accomplish on your own. To help property managers have a better understanding of what is necessary during this time, we are sharing our best sanitation tips.
First, Dririte, a water damage restoration service in Tampa FL, would like to applaud you for simply starting to think about what you need to do to protect those who enter or live in the properties you manage. This shows you are already trying to be proactive. It is important to begin thinking about the steps you need to take before someone is infected with COVID-19 rather than after. By taking the time to make a business plan for dealing with the potential of an outbreak today, you will save yourself a giant future headache. Use the information in this article to help you make a plan for your properties and employees.
Stay Up to Date with the Latest Recommendations
Scientists are continuing to learn more and more about COVID-19, such as how long it can stay on surfaces and new symptoms. With each new discovery, new information is coming out about how best to protect ourselves, our homes, and our businesses. Therefore, it is important to stay up to date with the latest recommendations from authoritative sources like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Difference Between Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sanitizing
It is likely that you have been using the terms “cleaning,” disinfecting,” and “sanitizing” as if they mean the same thing. However, it is more important than ever before to understand the difference so that you can be clear about your expectations with whomever you hire to work in your properties. Cleaning refers to removing dirt and impurities; however, cleaning does not kill germs. Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs; however, in order to disinfect, you must clean first. On the other hand, sanitizing is a gentler form of disinfecting that removes germs to a safe level. When dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is best to do all three whenever possible, with the ultimate goal to be disinfecting exposed items and materials.
Clean and Disinfect High Touch Areas
When it is time to get to work, the first thing you want to clean and disinfect is anything deemed “high touch.” As the name suggests, this refers to any objects that are frequently touched in your properties, such as the following:
- Coffee stations
- Computer mice
- Diaper changing stations
- Doorknobs and handles
- Elevator buttons
- Kitchen surfaces
- Light switches
- Stair railings
- Reception areas
- TV remotes
These high touch areas should be cleaned first with soap and water and then disinfected with an EPA-registered household disinfectant.
Clean and Disinfect Shared Spaces
In addition to the high touch areas, property managers also have to pay special attention to shared spaces in their properties, such as break rooms, offices, sales counters, elevators, gyms, restrooms, and communal living spaces. These spaces need to be cleaned twice a day with furniture arranged to allow for social distancing.
If someone living or visiting your property is infected with COVID-19, you will need to take additional measures. The CDC recommends closing offer areas visited by the sick person, opening the windows to allow for circulation, and waiting for 24 hours before the cleaning and the disinfecting process begins.
If during your cleaning process you discover mold, Dririte offers mold removal in Tampa property managers can trust.
Sanitize All Linens and Dishes
Property managers should also request all linens, including items like throw blankets, are laundered. This is a safe way to sanitize linens to protect the next guests who may come in contact with them. Additionally, you should sanitize all dishes and flatware – even if you are not sure if it has been used. Many dishwashers have a sanitation cycle designed to kill bacteria.
Create Sanitation Stations
It is also wise for property managers to create sanitation stations in high traffic areas on their properties. A sanitation station should include hand sanitizer, and you may also wish to include disposable gloves or face masks that make employees and guests feel safer.
Maintain a Cleaning Schedule
You always want your properties to look their best, but during this time, it is more important than ever before for them to remain clean. Implement a cleaning schedule and make sure it is maintained. The CDC recommends cleaning the high touch areas more than once a day if possible.
Call Dririte for Help Cleaning and Sanitizing
Offering more than water damage restoration in Tampa has come to rely on, Dririte is also ready and able to help property managers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you need a traditional restoration service, or you need to clean and sanitize properties, we are here to help and have the tools to do so. We’ve been working with Tampa assisted living homes, condos, and more to provide quality services.