We asked bio hazard restoration expert Niki Ramirez for advice on evaluating contractors to effectively deal with COVID-19 cleanup in condo and townhome communities. She provided the following article on cleaning protocols effective against the virus.

COVID-19 cleanup advice from Niki Ramirez

Many management companies have reached out to us at Rainbow International Restoration for COVID-19 cleanup after identifying positive cases at their properties. Consider the following when qualifying a contractor to tackle COVID-19 cleanup.

  1. Ask your contractor about the standard of care they follow. Qualified contractors will be following an industry standard of care.
  2. Contractors who are certified in bio hazard cleaning and remediation may have the tools, experience and training to respond to COVID-19 exposures. Ask your contractor what other bio hazard services they are certified in. Examples include black water sewage mitigation, mold remediation, and trauma scene cleanup.
  3. The CDC recommends using disinfectants that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2. Verify this by asking the contractor to provide documentation for your files, should someone question what disinfectant was applied. Standard documents include product labels and the corresponding safety data sheet.
  4. Ask the contractor how long their product must remain wet on the surface to achieve the result per label instructions. We call this “dwell-time”. As you can imagine, it is much more difficult for a technician to meet the requirement of leaving a surface wet for 15 minutes than one minute.
  5. Determine how the contractor is protecting their employees and reducing the spread of COVID-19. It is important to remember that workers performing cleanup are at higher risk of exposure. If not properly protected, they may become exposed themselves, putting other workers, occupants, and future projects at risk.
  6. Be sure to understand how the contractor will document their work activities. Look for evidence of personal protective equipment for technicians and disinfectants in labeled containers. Also, request photo documentation showing the activities that took place.
  7. Ask your contractor about post-clearance testing to document the effectiveness of the cleaning process.
  8. Finally, request to be additionally insured on your contractor’s pollution insurance policy.

Read here for details on how Rainbow International Restoration in Hickory Hills, IL would respond to these questions.

Electrostatic sprayers and ULV foggers

Beware that applying disinfectants to dirty surfaces using the incorrect application method decreases effectiveness. While electrostatic sprayers and ultra-low volume (ULV) foggers are tools in the toolbox, there is no substitute for physically wiping down surfaces.

For prevention, see our previous article on cleaning protocol to fight virus transmission in your home.