We’ve all seen the pictures of street cleaners clad in bright coveralls and high tech masks spraying clouds of disinfectant around, but what does it do, how does it work, and how might it be able to help you maintain a safer workplace during the Coronavirus pandemic – and beyond?
This article gives a brief synopsis of the merits of fogging, as the cleaning and disinfecting method is known, and how it might help you fight against coronavirus in the workplace.
What is fogging?
Fogging is a method used to disinfect large spaces and rooms, where a disinfectant is suspended in the air in a kind of fog or mist. As a result of this airborne suspension, the disinfectant can reach into nooks and crannies that conventional cleaning methods might otherwise miss.
There are various safe and effective methods of fogging recommended by the government’s Health and Safety department, including the use of hydrogen peroxide in a cold mist, and using reactive and disinfecting gases such as ozone.
Fogging most often requires that the area that needs to be sanitised is sealed off, and that the applicator wears some form of PPE to protect themselves from the disinfectant. While it is possible for companies to undertake this process themselves, it is far more common to hire external contractors to carry out fogging.
The training and specialised equipment are in some cases quite an extensive investment, and outsourcing is in most cases the more efficient and practical option.
Through consultation with an appropriate provider of fogging services, such as SMC you can be informed as to which method best matches your specific cleaning requirements, depending on setting, use, ventilation and other variables.
How fogging works against the Coronavirus
The Coronavirus is transmitted through respiratory droplets, which an infected individual spreads whenever they breathe, cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets go on to infect others when they are breathed in by those in proximity to the spreader, or when they settle on surfaces which are then touched by others. In turn, it’s very easy to see how quickly the coronavirus can spread around the office or home.
These droplets can remain potently infectious on surfaces such as wood, plastic, and metal for around 72 hours, surfaces which are all very common in most work environments.
The use of fogging to protect against the transmission of infectious diseases is not new, and has been commonly used in medical settings to fight against infections such MRSA for a long time. There is therefore a strong precedent for its use, and even if it’s a new concept to many people, fogging shouldn’t be seen as experimental. It works, and is extremely effective and efficient when carried out properly in appropriate settings.
While deep cleans with regular disinfectants, alcohol based or similar, are both essential and effective, it is likely that small areas will be left uncleaned – either as a result of human error, or places just being too hard to reach with a cloth or brush. Fogging, however, can reach most surfaces, even through tiny gaps which wouldn’t otherwise be reachable.
However, as the disinfectant and cleaning properties used in most fogging methods work by falling from the air onto surfaces, it does mean that it is not as effective at reaching overhung areas such as under tables and chairs. These areas are better reached by hand, with spray products and clothes.
There are some instances where fogging can be of unique use. In unventilated or badly ventilated areas, Coronavirus infected respiratory droplets can remain in the air for prolonged periods of time.
If ventilation is inadequate in these areas, standard cleaning techniques such as wiping down surfaces with products and cloths will obviously fail to clear any infection which remains in the air, which could go on to settle on surfaces after they appear to have been cleaned. In these circumstances, fogging can, quite literally, clear the air of Coronavirus as well as surfaces.
If an organisation knows that someone who has tested positive has been in the premises, and may have potentially spread COVID, fogging can rapidly accelerate the process of returning the office to a safe and productive environment for employees to work in.
Regular and reactive fogging, given the above, can become an integral part of a workplace cleaning regime.
It is not a standalone approach, but can very effectively complement other deep cleaning techniques when used in combination by an accomplished and qualified provider.
Fighting viruses in the workplace
At a time when fighting viruses and maintaining a sterile workplace has perhaps never been more important, fogging can provide an extra tool in the deep cleaning process to provide the perfect service.
Containing the Coronavirus in the work setting will determine which companies thrive and which struggle in the coming months, as outbreaks can be incredibly damaging, both to the health of the staff body and the productivity of the company.
At SMC Premier, we’re an organisation with over 35 years of experience in the cleaning services industry, and can help strategise an effective and efficient response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
While the rollout of vaccines suggests that the virus will be relatively contained within months, experts also suggest that the Coronavirus will be an issue that remains at some level for many years to come. A proactive approach is therefore essential; every day the news shows the disastrous consequences of being reactive to such a virulent disease.
In light of this, when would be a good time to get an effective cleaning regime in place? Preferably before staff return to the office, from working at home, if this has been the case. It is never too late, but sooner, in this case, is always better.
Contact our team at SMC premier today to receive expert advice on how fogging can help contain the spread of COVID with our coronavirus cleaning, and bring about as swift a return to normal as possible.