Flu season looms over us as the air becomes brisk and temperatures drop. Beyond your regular cleaning routine, maintaining a clean and hygienic environment within your facility has never been more crucial.
From thorough disinfection practices to expert sanitization techniques, commercial cleaning services can be your ultimate ally in promoting a healthier and safer environment for all. This article discusses how top-tier cleaning services can play a pivotal role in ensuring that your space is well-prepared to combat the challenges of the flu season.
Understanding the Consequences of Failing to Prepare for Flu Season
Influenza (commonly referred to as the flu) is a highly contagious infection that can spread rapidly, leading to severe health issues, and if left unattended, even death. In fact, seasonal influenza accounts for over 400,000 deaths annually.
The symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, fatigue, and more. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and individuals with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to severe complications like pneumonia, bronchitis, and worsening existing health problems.
Inadequate preparation for flu season can burden healthcare systems, leading to a shortage of resources such as hospital beds, medical staff, and supplies. Keep in mind that the shortage of manpower can cause a downturn in the economy of a city or even an entire nation — consider what it could mean for your enterprise.
How Professional Cleaning Services Help With Flu Prevention
1. Effective Disinfection
Commercial cleaning services use hospital-grade disinfectants specifically formulated to eliminate viruses, including the flu. These disinfectants are applied to frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, light switches, countertops, and remote controls, where viruses can linger.
2. Thorough Cleaning Protocols
A professional cleaning service follows detailed protocols covering various cleaning tasks, including dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and sanitizing. Focusing on a comprehensive cleaning routine reduces the chances of flu virus-carrying particles settling and spreading. Trained cleaners are also knowledgeable about the proper cleaning techniques and the correct use of cleaning agents so they can effectively eliminate the chances of infection.
3. Targeting High-Risk Areas
Certain areas in your facility, like the bathrooms, kitchen, and high foot traffic areas, are more prone to harboring viruses. So, it's important to hire a commercial cleaning company with well-trained professionals who can carry out deep cleaning practices and disinfection techniques in these high-risk areas.
4. Cross-Contamination Prevention
Cross-contamination happens when microorganisms are passed from one surface to another. This can occur in many ways, including moving objects from a contaminated surface to another surface. As a result, it’s important to consider this before you start your routine cleaning and disinfection practices. Using a commercial cleaning service increases your chances of tackling this challenge since their workers are trained in the best cleaning practices to prevent cross-contamination.
5. Regular Cleaning Schedules
Eliminating the influenza virus in a one-time cleaning spree is usually challenging. However, consistent cleaning and vacuuming will contribute to eliminating the virus in your home or facility. A professional commercial cleaning company can schedule a cleaning routine, whether daily, monthly, or weekly, for your facility. They can also offer professional advice and tips on preventing the flu from spreading before and during the flu season.
6. Use of Specialized/Advanced Equipment
The traditional cleaning method of using brooms and mops may help reduce the spread of the flu virus; still, specifically designed equipment can trap visible and invisible pathogens. Professional commercial cleaning services are equipped with advanced equipment like UV-C light devices, steam cleaners, and electrostatic sprayers, among many others.
Affirming the importance of UV light, the National Library of Medicine notes that ultraviolet (UV) radiation may be an important environmental intervention that can reduce contact spread and airborne transmission of pathogens.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional Cleaning Service to Sanitize Your Facility
There’s always a “do it yourself” (DIY) option for everything you can think of within your facility. No matter how cost-saving this approach may seem, it comes with its setbacks. Here are the top benefits of hiring a commercial cleaning company to handle your facility’s sanitization needs:
- Expertise and Experience: Professional cleaners have gathered a wealth of experience handling different facility cleaning challenges. Beyond these experiences, they run intermittent training to ensure their staff are up to date with the latest cleaning strategies. They're trained in time management, communication protocols, correct tool usage, and more. This equips them with the right knowledge to handle tasks and limit the spread of germs.
- Customized Cleaning Plans: It's important to know that every facility has unique cleaning needs. For instance, what works for other brands in different industries may not be ideal for hospitals and other healthcare-related facilities. Professional cleaners don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach; rather, they tailor their offerings to suit their clients' specific needs and schedules. So you can request nighttime cleaning, if that works for you, or ask for regular cleaning and disinfection if your facility is more prone to spreading disease.
- Health and Safety: Commercial cleaning companies like Georgia Facility Services are Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certified. This means they’ve met the requirements, and their staff have undergone compulsory training that arms them with the right knowledge and resources to protect you and your facility’s occupants from accidents and health challenges.
- Saves You Time: Cleaning can be daunting, especially if you are not experienced in the nitty-gritty of comprehensive sanitation. Rather than overwhelming your employees with cleaning activities, hire a professional cleaning service; they'll help you save time and money. This way, employees can channel their work prowess into strategic growth plans to move the business forward.
- Regulatory and Environmental Compliance: There are specific cleaning and waste management rules for different facilities, and strict compliance is essential. A trustworthy commercial cleaning company is well-versed in these regulations and ensures strict compliance. This can lessen the negative effects on the environment, promote a healthy lifestyle, and reduce the spread of the flu.
Disinfection Tips to Consider During Flu Season
These effective disinfection tips will help keep your facility and its occupants safe and flu-free:
1. Regular and Proper Hand Washing
Encourage all employees and guests to wash their hands with soap and water, especially after being in public places, touching surfaces, shaking hands, or coughing/sneezing. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the flu and other illnesses.
2. Use Hand Sanitizer and Disinfectant
When soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content. Also, use EPA-approved disinfectants to clean frequently touched surfaces, like door knobs, light switches, remote controls, phones, and computer keyboards.
3. Practice Respiratory Hygiene
One of the ways the flu virus spreads is through tiny moisture droplets released when people sneeze, cough, or speak. So, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or elbow when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of flu-carrying droplets. Once you're done, dispose of the tissues immediately and wash your hands. Additionally, try to maintain distance from people who are sick, and if you're sick, stay home to prevent the spread of the virus.
4. Proper Ventilation and Hygiene
Increase ventilation in your living spaces by opening windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate. Proper ventilation helps reduce the concentration of virus particles in indoor areas. Wash bed linens, towels, and clothing regularly in the warmest water appropriate for the fabric. Use the dryer on high heat if possible. Don't shake dirty laundry to avoid dispersing germs into the air.
5. Avoid Touching Your Face
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, as these are the doorways through which germs can enter your body. If you must touch your face, ensure your hands are properly washed or sanitized. For this reason, carrying a pocket-sized hand sanitizer is advisable.
Important Factors to Look for When Hiring a Cleaning Service
Your search for “commercial cleaning services near me” is the first step to keeping your facility free from the flu. After finding a suitable cleaning company, certain factors determine whether they’re a good fit for your facility. These factors include:
- Reputation and Reviews: It's important to research the company’s reputation by reading online reviews and asking for references. Positive reviews and testimonials from previous clients can give insights into their quality of service.
- Experience and Expertise: There are higher chances of efficiency and job satisfaction when working with experienced and well-trained cleaners. Most are well-versed in handling different projects and knowing how to handle cleaning challenges that may arise. So, it's important to look out for a commercial cleaning service with a proven track record and experience in the industry.
- Services Offered: Before hiring a commercial cleaning service, inquire about their prices, hidden charges, flexibility, communication mode, and transparency. Then, determine how well they fit your facility's needs. This will help you make informed decisions while setting clear expectations.
- Insurance and Bonding: In the case of unforeseen events, business insurance and bonding protect your business from financial losses. Before hiring a commercial cleaning company, verify if they have insurance and bonding to cover damages during cleaning services.
- Operational License: While looking to hire a cleaning service, it's advisable to go for professionals licensed within your region. Hiring a company without an adequate license may lead to legal issues.
- Run Background Checks: Establishing trust even before hiring the services of professional cleaners is beneficial. So, be sure you inquire about the company and conduct personal findings on how they recruit their workers.
- Cleaning Products and Equipment: Cleaning products and equipment used by the company you intend to hire should be safe for individuals and the environment. It's important to ask questions about the type of cleaning agents and tools to ensure effectiveness and safety.
Steps to Take After Hiring a Cleaning Service for Your Facility
After hiring a commercial cleaning service for your facility, here is what you should do:
- Provide access to your facility
- Discuss realistic expectations
- Share important and relevant information that concerns the facility
- Collaborate with the company to create a feasible cleaning plan that can be agreed upon by both parties
- Monitor progress and provide necessary feedback and reviews
- Maintain open communication and inquire about their service
- Discuss invoice and payment plans
- Designate storage space for your cleaning company to access and use
Don’t let the flu season catch you and your loved ones unaware. Send an inquiry to Georgia Facility Services today for a customized cleaning schedule for your facility.