6 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Surface Cleaning Company During COVID-19

The challenges brought to the business world by the COVID-19 pandemic have been significant. Among them is a new look at the way we approach cleaning––especially our offices and commercial facilities where germs are coming in from a variety of places and are hard to contain. 

And while surface cleaning isn’t the ONLY way to help prevent the spread of coronavirus at your facility, it’s an important step you can take to reduce the risk for your team. Plus, it can give your customers peace of mind knowing that your facility is taking extra measures to ensure your facility is clean and safe.

Don’t just bring in anyone to do this important work. Make sure the surface cleaning team you bring in has the experience, proper technique and chemicals to eliminate germs and bacteria in your office.

What to Look for in a Surface Cleaning Vendor

So, how do you know your surface cleaning vendor is up for the job?

Here are some questions to use as you navigate this vendor decision:

Q: Does your company have the proper certifications necessary to apply disinfectant?

Working with disinfectants and cleaning agents is, in reality, working with potent chemicals. As such, it’s important that the people applying them know what they are doing and are working as safely as possible. 

You want to hire a company with fully-certified and trained professionals who are working at the highest level of competency. Each state has different requirements for certification and laws around how cleaners are to be stored, transported and applied. 

In Tennessee, there are special rules for application of microbial products, often used in COVID-19 preventatives. Applicators who hold a special license in Microbial and are certified in category 14, or those approved through the emergency rule who hold a GRC license and are certified in category 7 can treat for COVID-19. That means, applicators working under a licensee must hold a category 14 (Microbial) or category 7 (Industrial, Institutional, Structural and Health Related Pest Control) certification. You can look up Tennessee companies to see if they have appropriate charters here.

DPM technicians all hold the necessary certifications and licenses for microbials in Tennessee, including those identified by The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as effective against COVID-19. 

Not all firms make certification and licenses a priority. It’s important to make sure that you are comfortable with your technicians’ knowledge base when it comes to chemical application. 

Q: What kind of kill-rate does your disinfectant have?

It can be confusing to know the difference between a 99% kill rate and 99.9999%, but that distinction matters. A 99% kill rate reduces bacteria down to 10,000. But a 99.9999% kill rate, or 6-log kill, reduces it to 1.

That’s a BIG difference when you’re talking about microorganisms. 

DPM Care achieves a 6-log kill with SaniShell, the highest available, which is considered hospital-grade disinfection. If you’re hiring someone to ensure your surfaces are germ-free, make sure you can get the highest level of disinfection available.

Q:  How do you know if the disinfectant works?

A lot of companies say they can kill germs, viruses and bacteria, but can they prove it? Do they know how effective their disinfectant is?

Be sure to ask these questions because there’s a lot of marketing and hype around surface cleaning to kill COVID-19. Find out what kind of testing or data they have about their product’s ability to remove microbial material.

At DPM Care, for instance, we test surfaces before and after application of our SaniShell Surface Treatment to ensure microbial material is removed. We also retest every month to ensure surfaces are clean and sanitized. 

So, when we say we can kill 99.9999% of germs, we mean it. And we have the data to prove it. Make sure your surface cleaning vendor can say the same thing.

Q: Does your disinfectant offer residual kill?

No one wants to waste time and money cleaning and re-cleaning and then cleaning again. It’s neither effective nor efficient. But that’s often what many disinfectants require. 

A better plan? Use products that keep working after they are first applied. Ask your vendor if their products offer a residual kill.

For instance, our product doesn’t just kill microbes once applied, it continues to kill viruses and germs for up to 90 days on hard surfaces and textiles.

Not only does that give you peace of mind with the level of germs on surfaces, but it also reduces the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting necessary in your facility.

Q: Are your chemicals safe and non-toxic?

Many disinfectants are harsh, abrasive and noxious. So, while they might kill germs, they might not be safe for the people in your building or the planet at large.

Our SaniShell Surface Protection System is environmentally friendly, sustainable, non-toxic and gentle. Not only is it safe for the people in your building, but it’s also safe for use on any surface if your facility.

Q: How often does your disinfectant need to be applied?

In many cases, disinfectant needs to be applied  in order for it to be effective. That could mean having a cleaning crew in every week to disinfect your facility, plus repeated wiping and sanitizing throughout the day.

Make sure you understand the costs and implications of bringing in a surface cleaning company that often. Not only does that level of frequency add up cost-wise, but that increases the number of people in and out of your building. Plus, some companies are having staff or day porters clean surfaces in between their deep cleanings, which also adds to the cost of surface cleaning.

That’s not the case with DPM Care. Our SaniShell System adds an invisible, protective barrier on surfaces to prevent the spread of viruses, bacteria, mold and mildew. That means, once it’s applied, it keeps working to kill germs for weeks or even months.

That means you only need to get a SaniShell Surface Treatment once a month or once a quarter and simply keep your regular janitorial cleaning services. Plus, with an application lasting up to three months you only need to do regular cleaning, not a constant wiping down of everything throughout the day. 

The frequency of cleaning can have a big impact on your bottom line, so be sure you understand what this will look like when you talk to your cleaning company.

Find a Surface Cleaning Provider You Can Trust to Kill Germs

DPM wants to be your surface cleaning provider (especially if your business is in Tennessee). But most importantly, we want you and your team to be safe and healthy. And we hope this guide helps you ask the right questions of your cleaning vendors to ensure you are getting the best solution for your business. 

If you are interested in hearing more about our qualifications and how we can help you and your facilities team, contact us here. We’d love to help you if you’re in the Nashville or Knoxville area.