Deciphering Disinfectants with the Pros at Bishop Clean Care

Not all disinfecting products and methods are safe and effective. Educating yourself on proper usage and application is important. Here’s a quick guide to help consumers in purchasing products and services.

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Guidance on Disinfectant Application and Contractor Services

Guidance on Proper Use of Disinfectants (Antimicrobials)

Many contractors today are selling several disinfectant products and application methods for customers in the Albany, GA area. Like any disaster or contamination situation, consumers should be educated on the products and services they are purchasing. Not all disinfecting products and methods are safe and reliable, and not all contractors selling disinfecting services are properly trained to apply them. The following guidelines can help guide consumers in purchasing services.


Contractor Certification

Any contractor selling disinfecting services should hold a certification qualifying them by training and knowledge about appropriate product selection and application. Some examples in the restoration industry include the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA), or the Restoration Industry Association (RIA). In the Janitorial industry, this may include the Building Services Contractors Association International (BSCAI), or International Sanitary Suppliers Association (ISSA). Other associations in both the cleaning and restoration industries share knowledge about applying disinfectants. Contractors should be able to show proof of training and certification for disinfectant application. This ensures that they fully understand how to apply and use the products they bring into homes or facilities.


Occupant Safety

Disinfectants vary widely in their toxicity toward humans. Not all disinfectants are safe for humans, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE; e.g., gloves, goggles, respirators) always is recommended when applying them. Also, it is recommended that surfaces be cleaned with an appropriate detergent before disinfectants are applied. Otherwise, reaction with soils can render disinfectants ineffective. Further, some disinfectants (ammonium chloride based) leave residues that should be cleaned from surfaces after application, especially food-preparation or consumption surfaces. Moreover, most disinfectants must be provided at least 10 minutes of “dwell” time to kill microorganisms including fungi, bacteria and viruses. Botanical disinfectants, such as those containing thyme and lemongrass oils, have low human toxicity, and are preferred in most applications, especially in restaurants and child-occupied facilities. Look for EPA Registration on product labels or Safety Data Sheets.


ULV Fogging

Many contractors are using Ultra Low Volume (ULV) fogging to apply disinfectants in commercial or residential spaces. ULV fogging is an adjunct to, and not a replacement for, manual cleaning with appropriate detergent (see section below on Cleaning vs. Disinfecting). According to most product formulators, personal protective equipment (PPE) is required for ULV fogging, and unprotected occupants should leave spaces during wet fogging, and for up to 2 hours following application. During the fogging process micro-droplets are dispersed in air and can remain there for several hours, which is why safety instructions from formulators must be followed closely. Botanical disinfectants may require less evacuation time, due to their low toxicity. Never stay in your home or office during any fogging or misting application.


Thermal Fogging

Thermal foggers use heat in the fogging process, which renders many disinfecting products inert. Do not allow a contractor to thermal-fog a disinfectant, since no actual disinfecting typically will occur.


Special Notes to Restaurants and Child-Occupied Facilities

Products with quaternary ammonium chlorides may not be appropriate for ULV fogging in restaurants without proper follow- up procedures. These products state that, when applied with a ULV fogger, they must be given 2-4 hours to settle out of the air, then food preparation and consumption surfaces must be wiped clean using a food-grade sanitizer or detergent. In a child-occupied facility, disinfecting products may come into contact with toys or other items that could cause residues to be ingested by a child. Carefully study product labels for application instruction for restaurants and child-occupied facilities.


Cleaning Versus Disinfecting

Most disinfectants state that surfaces must be clean prior to application, which requires manual cleaning with appropriate detergent. This is because soiled surfaces can prevent contact between disinfecting agents and the virus itself, and reaction with surface soils can render a disinfectant inactive. This cleaning does not necessarily have to be done by the same contractor applying disinfectant. However, when hiring a contractor to apply disinfectant using a ULV or spray mist, you should ensure that the surface has been cleaned by yourself, or a qualified cleaning contractor, or by the contractor applying disinfectant. It is also worth noting that not all disinfectants may be used as cleaners, unless specified by the product label. Always discuss the cleanliness of your facility in detail with your contractor to ensure that proper disinfecting occurs.


Self-Application

If you do not hire a professional contractor for disinfecting services, it is important that you review other guidelines specified in this document, and follow formulator label directions. Always wear PPE according to product formulator label instructions, and always apply products according to label specifications. Remember, to be effective, most products require a clean surface and a minimum of 10 minutes of wet contact with the disinfecting product. Always apply disinfectants and leave them to air dry. If you immediately wipe a surface dry, you may prevent the disinfectant from completely killing the virus.


Using Bleaches as Disinfectants

There are two common bleaches used in homes and businesses today: 3% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and 5.25-6% household chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite). Peroxide should be used in the 3% solution, but chlorine bleach should be diluted to a 1⁄2% solution (mixed 1:10; i.e., one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts of water). When used at that dilution, household chlorine bleach is a useful fungicide, bactericide and virucide, including killing emerging pathogens such as Covid-19. However, chlorine bleach can be toxic to humans, corrosive to metals, and damaging to many household dyes, fabrics and surfaces with overuse. Chlorine bleach, as a disinfectant, is not recommended for use in most home and office applications, and other alternatives should be used when possible.


What Disinfectants Kill COVID-19

No disinfectant, at this time, may make a claim on their EPA-registered label that the product is proven effective at killing the COVID-19 Coronavirus. This is because COVID-19 is novel and actual testing has not occurred. The EPA’s anti-microbial product List N is based on Emerging Pathogen claims, however many disinfectants meet the Emerging Pathogen efficacy requirements and may not have been qualified yet for List N. Always check product Safety Data Sheets (SDS) from product formulators on any product a contractor is using for disinfecting. All major formulators have released statements and disclaimers on their products, and these are readily available for access on the formulator’s web site, or by contacting them directly.

 

This document was prepared using information from reliable government sources by Bishop Clean Care, Inc., an IICRC-Certified firm in Albany, GA, for educating the general public on choosing a reputable contractor for disinfecting services during a time of national crisis. The provider makes no representations, warranties or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein, or that it use will result in compliance with any applicable laws, rules or regulations, or in safe, satisfactory or complete performance of a decontamination project. Users of this document assume all risks and liability resulting from use of and reliance upon information contained herein. Application of the information contained herein is dependent upon the type of facility being treated and the overall health of facility occupants. This document may be shared publicly with no specific credits required.

Pre-cleaning and post-cleaning. What you need to know about our services in your home.

If you’ve never had your carpets cleaned, you can be a little worried about what you are expected to do and what tasks the technician will handle. We have outlined how we handle your scheduled cleaning appointment and what you can do to help before we arrive.

Before We Get Started:

  • Please remove all breakable items from furniture you would like moved during the cleaning process. We will not move furniture with fragile items remaining in place.’
  • For their own safety, please arrange to keep children and pets out of the area being cleaned.
  • Secure any full-length draperies to a height at least 12 inches off the floor.
  • Please direct the technician to any spot or stains that may require special attention.
  • Inform the technician of any high value or antique furnishings in the areas being cleaned.
  • For your protection and convenience, the technician will not attempt to disconnect or rearrange electrical connections.
  • In the event that you must reschedule your appointment, please do so at least 24 hours in advance.

 

Before Your Technician Leaves:

  • Inspect the areas cleaned with your technician.
  • Check to make sure all furniture is in its proper location.
  • Ask for an estimate of drying time or any special drying instructions.
  • You may pay your technician with cash, check Visa or Mastercard.

 

After Your Technician leaves:

  • Try to stay off the carpet until it completely dries. If you must walk on it, use extreme caution when stepping back onto hard surfaces such as tile, as this may create a slip hazard.
  • Leave HVAC blower in the on position and turn on the ceiling fans until the carpet is completely dry.
  • Leave moisture shield under the furniture for at least 24 hours.
  • Vacuum soon after, and regularly after the carpet has dried.
  • If you have any questions, please be sure to contact our office. We ask that you report concerns regarding cleaning results within 10 days of service.
  • Your carpet will be dry in 6-8 hours depending on humidity conditions. Low air flow can affect drying time as well.

Pricing FAQ’s

At any business, but especially with ours, we get a lot questions about pricing. Since every home, office and room is different, prices vary. We rounded up some of our most frequently asked questions, to help you make your decision as you pursue a cleaner indoor space.

How do you price your services? 

We price all floor and rug cleaning based on the square feet of area cleaned.   This applies whether we are cleaning only the traffic areas or wall-to-wall.  Upholstery cleaning is priced per linear foot.  Add-ons such as Scotchgard carpet and fabric protector, or post-cleaning fragrance, are priced the same way.

Why don’t you charge by the room like other carpet cleaners?

We believe the best way to serve you is to customize our cleaning service to your needs.  Pricing by the square foot or linear foot ensures you pay only for the service you want and need.

What’s your minimum service fee? 

Our minimum service fee is $95 for most in-home service.  This includes carpet, upholstery, tile, and drapery cleaning.  This does not include rug cleaning, water or fire damage, or duct cleaning.

What does your $95 minimum service fee cover?

This depends on what service you choose.  For carpet cleaning, you can expect two bedrooms and a hallway to be covered by this price.  For tile cleaning, this will generally cover a large bathroom or small kitchen.  For upholstery cleaning, this covers a recliner and possibly a small ottoman.

How much does an average sofa or couch cost to clean? 

Most standard 7-foot sofas can be cleaned for $140.

How long will my floor or furnishings take to dry?

Carpet generally takes 6-8 hours to dry.  Add two hours if you purchase Scotchgard carpet protector with your service.  Turning down your A/C or running a ceiling fan will speed things up a bit.  It’s ok to walk on your wet carpet if you must, but be very careful walking from the wet carpet to a hard, slippery surface such as tile or wood.  For tile cleaning, it will generally be dry to walk on in 1-2 hours.  Upholstery is mostly dry in 6-8 hours.

How should I prepare for your services? 

The main thing we ask is that we have easy access to the areas being cleaned.  We will gladly move furniture during the cleaning process if requested, but we ask that any personal items or breakables be removed from the area being cleaned.  Also, please secure pets to prevent any great escapes!

What if you can’t remove all spots and stains on my floor? 

We stand behind all our procedures and cleaning agents as the best the industry has to offer.  This does not mean we can safely remove 100% of permanent stains or spots in your carpet, tile, rug, or upholstery.  If you are not completely satisfied with our work we will always make a 2nd attempt at cleaning any areas of concern at no cost to you.

Are the chemicals you use safe for my children and pets?

Effective cleaning requires using chemicals that are generally not present in the home.  All the cleaning agents we use are carefully formulated to break down soil on the item being cleaned and to rinse away free of residue.  This ensures you get the best clean possible without the worry of lingering chemicals on your furnishings.  When possible, we try to use low VOC formulations.  None of our chemicals are toxic to humans.

How To Clean Smoke Damage

The rapid spread of fire can happen in seconds, and even once it’s extinguished, devastating damage can be left behind. Following these tips on how to clean smoke damage will help you get a start on making your home live-able again after a fire.

Determine Level of Damage
It is important to understand how severe the damage is before you attempt to clean it yourself. Trying to clean serious smoke damage can possibly cause further, more extensive damage. If you are unsure how severe the damage is, be sure to contact a professional.

Stay safe
If you choose to clean on your own, make sure you’ve prepared yourself physically for this type of work. Heavy-duty gloves and plastic glasses are essential. Protective respiratory wear is also strongly recommended, as exposure to soot residue can cause breathing and lung problems.

Turn off your air conditioning system
To prevent soot from rapidly spreading, shut off your air conditioning system. Utilize box fans by facing them towards open windows to direct polluted air outside. Getting rid of contaminated air is an important step for cleaning smoke damage and reinstating a healthy home environment.

Use a soot sponge to remove loose smoke
Dry removal of soot is your best option for safely cleaning walls and furniture. Use a professional dry cleaning sponge, especially on walls with a flat finish paint. You may use water and a mild detergent, but only on durable surfaces that are non-porous, such as glossy paint, fixtures, and sealed wooden surfaces. Clean metal fixtures first, as they may rust quickly from exposure to acidic soot residue. If you choose to use a vacuum make sure it has a HEPA rated filter bag. Always clean high surfaces first and work your way down.

Launder washable materials
Wash all bedding, clothes, curtains, and anything else affected by the smoke damage. Utilizing alkaline agents in this process often neutralizes the acid found in the soot. Make sure to dry clean fine materials.

 

 

 

 

Hose down exterior surfaces
Cleaning smoke damage needs to be addressed outside your home as well. Soot on your exterior walls commonly clings tighter to surfaces than inside your home. Be sure to use a hose with an attachment that is able to shoot a high-powered water stream. This will help you effectively remove soot and dirt from the walls.

Learning how to clean smoke damage is no easy feat, and it can be hard to know where to begin your road to restoration. Bishop Clean Care can help you through this process by ensuring your home reaches a full recovery. Learn more about Bishop Clean Care fire and smoke damage services and start a plan to repair your home today.

 


Bishop Clean Care, Inc. is a residential and commercial cleaning company serving our Southwest Georgia community for over 60 years. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more cleaning tips, and contact us today to learn more about our extensive cleaning, water damage restoration, and duct cleaning services.

What To Do After A Fire

 

Your worst fear just became a reality, as you’ve experienced a house fire. Your home is damaged, your mind is flooded with questions, and it can be hard to know where to begin. The answers to these common questions about fire restoration will help you start to restore your home.

A fire was just put out in my house. What should I do now?
First, if you haven’t already, you should call your insurance company and follow their directions. They will have you take pictures and extensively detail any home damage. Next, you should come up with a plan to clean your home. This is a process that can be hard to do correctly, and so it is important to seek out the proper help. Consult a professional cleaning company who specializes in fire and smoke damage clean-up.

How long will it take to clean everything up?
When determining what to do after a house fire, it can be easy to try to rush things, but it is important to be patient. The cleaning process depends on each individual situation and varies based on the extent of the damage, how much of the house was affected, and the size of the fire. It can take anywhere from a few days for a small fire to a few weeks for a large fire with extensive damage.

Can we clean the fire and smoke damage ourselves?
Although it is possible to clean up the damage on your own, there are very strict standards that must be followed when cleaning fire damage. These standards are set by the IICRC, and cleaning up the damage on your own means that you are assuming all liability for any future hazards and problems that may occur as a result of improper restoration.

Another challenge is that most fires involve different types of residues that are burned, and each residue requires a different and very specific clean-up process. Additionally, smoke particles are extremely small, which makes it difficult to completely clean them up. Without the proper tools or knowledge, it can be almost impossible to rid your house of the smell of smoke.

Should we throw out all of our food?
In most cases, you should wait until your insurance agent inspects the items before throwing them out. The agent usually deems food products damaged and unsafe due to the fact that fires cause the food containers to expand and contract, which allows smoke to get into the containers. If for some reason you cannot wait for your insurance agent to inspect them, you should take a video or photos of the items before throwing them away.

Can I stay at my property while the restoration process is occurring?
This will depend on how much damage there is, how severe the damage is, and your own preferences. Some things to consider while making this decision are whether or not your insurance policy will cover off-site housing, where the damage occurred, and how it will affect living conditions in that area.

What is the best way to secure my property after fire damage?
It is often best to hire a professional company who specializes in boarding up properties. Securing your house improperly after a house fire leaves your home vulnerable. In addition, if an intruder were to get injured while on your property, you could be held liable for their injuries.

What items should I keep in my possession?
It’s wise to keep important and expensive items with you after a house fire. This consists of anything that you consider to be of high value, and includes things like cash, medications, jewelry, checkbooks, pets, personal documents, and valuable artwork.

How can we estimate the costs of the damage for insurance purposes?
Many people request the help of a trusted home improvement company or restoration company in order to estimate the damage. However, this can cause many complications with your insurance company. If damages are being paid for by your insurance company, it is necessary to contact your agent and use a specialized software to estimate damage costs as accurately as possible.

Having an idea of what to do after a house fire will help you plan your cleanup and renovation process. Learn more about how Bishop Clean Care can help you begin the fire restoration process.

 


Bishop Clean Care, Inc. is a residential and commercial cleaning company serving our Southwest Georgia community for over 60 years. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more cleaning tips, and contact us today to learn more about our extensive cleaning, water damage restoration, and duct cleaning services.

Make Your Grout Great Again

When you buy a new home or when you are looking at tile in your existing home, you might think it’s time to get rid of everything from the tub to the floor because of dirty grout. Before you go through the hassle of a major renovation, consider these tips for your tile and grout.

 

First try to scrub the surface with a neutral tile and grout cleaner. Neutral cleaners do not have acidic solutions which breakdown sealers like bleach or vinegar. These cleaners are available at most hardware stores. You can even use a toothbrush to clean the grout more efficiently. If your tile is still looking dingy, try a professional cleaning. At Bishop, we have special methods and cleaners that can make your tile and grout look great again.

 

After your tile is clean, whether with a neutral cleaner or a professional cleaning, protect your investment with a grout sealer. Sealers can be found at the hardware store or can be professionally applied by Bishop Clean Care. Most sealers dry within 30 minutes and cure completely within 24 hours.

 

If you are in need of a professional cleaning, schedule one at your convenience through our online scheduler or give us a call today.

When to Clean and When to Replace Your Carpet

Five Things You Should Do If Your Home Floods

It can be difficult and overwhelming to try and clean up after your home is flooded, and there are many important steps that can be easy to forget. Check out these five things you can do if your home floods:

 

1. Check for Visible Structure Damage
It is possible that the physical structure of your home got damaged from the flooding. Look for any damage, such as warping or a cracked foundation. This is necessary in order to ensure that your house is safe for you to enter.

 

2. Document the Damage and Contact Your Insurance Company
One of the most important things you should do if your home floods is document the damage. You can do so by taking digital pictures and writing down details about specific items that were damaged. The next step is to contact your insurance company and notify them of the damage.
It’s important to know that you shouldn’t wait for the insurance agent to come out to your home to begin cleanup. That’s what you take pictures. Your job is to protect your home and your belongings to the best of your abilty.

 

3. Remove Water
Once you have determined your home is safe to enter, it is finally time to start cleaning up the damage. You can find a sump pump to remove the water at most hardware stores for $150 to $500. You can also use a wet vac, which is available for $40 to $130. Open any doors and windows in order to encourage air circulation. Also, turn on ceiling fans to help circulate the air.

Safe guarding your house and your possessions is a top priority. Should the water and cleanup be too much for a DIY job, contact a professional cleaning company as soon as possible. Every second counts when it comes to saving the items in your home from flooding.

Remember to take precautions: The water can be contaminated with chemicals or sewage so you should protect yourself by wearing rubber boots and waterproof gloves.

 

4. Contact a Professional Cleaning Company
Flooding leaves you at risk for excessive mold and bacteria growth and requires special cleaning procedures you may not be equipped to handle. Call your local professional cleaning company, like Bishop Clean Care, to assist in cleaning your home. Professional cleaning companies are trained to help work with your insurance company and the claim process.

There are many unpleasant results of flooding in your home. Follow these five things you should do if your home floods to get your house back to normal!

Bishop Clean Care, Inc. is a residential and commercial cleaning company serving our Southwest Georgia community for over 60 years. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more cleaning tips, and contact us today to learn more about our extensive carpet cleaning, water damage restoration, and other cleaning services.

 

5. Determine if Your Are in a Disaster Area
When a large area is affected by flooding, it is often deemed a disaster area by the government. If your region has been declared a disaster area, you qualify for access to more resources and, in some cases, financial assistance. Your insurance company should have information regarding your region’s status. You can also contact FEMA directly for information.

Alleviate Allergies with Spring Cleaning

We have had an unusually warm winter. We are not complaining about the temperature but the early arrival of pollen is most unwelcome! The nice weather might have sparked your spring cleaning fire a little early this year. As you are weeding out your closets and washing windows, consider adding these allergy fighting tasks to your list or better yet…have us do it for you!

 

Duct Cleaning- On a daily basis contaminants and air pollutants are created and pulled into your HVAC system 5 to7 times per day. If not cleaned periodically, they can cause build up and can harbor contaminants that could cause serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders and environmental allergies. Adding a duct cleaning to your spring cleaning list could help you and your family breathe easier the rest of the year.

 

Carpet Cleaning- We live our lives running in and out of the house. Within the chaos, we track in many pollutants and allergens along with dirt. According to the American Lung Association, if members of your household suffer from conditions that can affect their breathing, such as snoring or asthma, it’s especially crucial that you vacuum your carpets at least three times a week. Routine vacuuming can help tremendously, but a professional cleaning removes trapped stains and kills bacteria with special detergents and high-powered vacuums. Don’t just clean the surface. You need to get to the root of the carpet to improve the air quality in your home.

Give us a call for a free estimate or schedule a cleaning tailored to your home.