Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have upped their cleaning to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. In fact, shoppers cleared superstores’ shelves of disinfectants like Lysol Wipes nearly overnight. Companies also took many precautions to disinfect surfaces in their facilities. Many commercial businesses and care settings that did not close down have used additional cleaning and disinfecting to protect the health and safety of their employees and clients. Fogging, in particular, has resurged in popularity in hopes of stopping spreading infection.
In this article, we will discuss fogging and how it can be used for COVID-19 prevention. This article will cover what fogging is, what it entails, how it cleans surfaces, the disinfectant products it uses and whether it should be included in your facility’s cleaning routine.
What Is Fogging?
Fogging is an FDA-approved and EDA-certified disinfection method. It is used to deep clean shared spaces and commercial settings like offices, care homes and industrial warehouses.
During fogging, antiviral disinfectant products are sprayed in the form of fog or mists and cover all hard or soft surfaces. The disinfectant is poured into a fogging machine before being released into the atmosphere as a fog or mist. The machine may either be in the form of a backpack with a nozzle used to spread the chemicals or a machine/bowl that distributes the fog automatically.
When in the machine, the disinfectant is atomized or turned into a gas. This allows the chemicals to spread and settle across all surfaces, hard or soft. This proves to be a particularly effective way of disinfecting surfaces, especially those that are hard-to-reach and wash like cracks, crevices and more.
How Does Fogging Help Disease Control?
Before the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic cleaning and disinfecting commercial buildings meant cleaning equipment and floors, as well as sanitizing high-touch surfaces like light switches and elevator buttons. Most commonly, cleaning was done using soap and water or other disinfecting solutions. Since the World Health Organization announced the ability for the virus to land on any surface and be contracted via the eyes, nose and mouth, disinfection methods have increased. Now antibacterial disinfectants are highly recommended and should be used on any and every surface in a facility.
Fogging is an effective and relatively low-effort method of disinfection. Instead of scrubbing surfaces, disinfectants are atomized and sprayed to clean surfaces. This kills germs and bacteria across an entire surface, reducing the risk of missing or forgetting to disinfect specific areas. This has proven to be extremely beneficial in past health crises. For example, fogging was used in hospitals for combatting Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) a staph bacteria that can cause infection in different parts of the body. Its effective use to fight against MRSA has proven its ability to protect one’s health and clean any facility, even those filled with harmful germs and bacteria.
Disinfectants For Cleaning & Fogging
While typical cleaning products are great at cleaning visibly dirty surfaces, they are not powerful enough to fight off COVID-19 bacteria. These products provide a mere surface cleaning to wipe away dirt, meaning they leave behind the virus that causes COVID. Stronger cleaning solutions need to be used when disinfecting buildings for COVID-19.
Multiple studies show that hydrogen peroxide vapour reduces the level of contamination on surfaces, even after these surfaces have been cleaned regularly using disinfecting solutions. It is hard to know the exact effectiveness because the number of germs and bacteria varies greatly from study to study. Despite this, it proves to be an effective solution for reducing the risk of COVID-19.
Safety Requirements For Fogging
Like most cleaning and disinfecting routines, there are many health and safety directions for fogging, the most important being adequate ventilation. Ventilation speeds up the air-drying process and rids the disinfected area of harsh chemical smells which can cause headaches and respiratory issues. Determine the air exchange rate of your HVAC system to decide when to re-enter the area.
With that being said, employees or customers should not be present while a building is being disinfected. This is because cleaning disinfectants are comprised of many chemicals and without proper protection (gloves, mask, etc.) disinfectants could cause health issues. Even something so small as removing gloves can have negative consequences.
Due to safety regulations, only specialized cleaners like GPower Cleaning Services can safely disinfect a building with an antiviral disinfectant product. While spraying disinfectants, the specialist will be outfitted in extensive personal protection equipment (PPE) to protect themselves against hazardous chemicals. They will wear gloves, a chemical suit, a mask and an air-fed ventilator throughout the entirety of the cleaning and disinfecting services.
Protect Your Business Against COVID-19
Overall, fogging is an effective cleaning method for any facility or business that wishes to protect the health and safety of its workers and customers. However, business owners should remember that Public Health Ontario stated that fogging was “designed as a supplement to, not as a replacement for, routine cleaning and disinfection by environmental service workers.” This means that strict cleaning should be completed on a routine basis. Professional cleaning services can help alleviate the burdens of business owners and ensure their facility is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
Alongside regular cleaning services, there are many other methods of protection against COVID-19. For instance, staff should wash hands regularly with soap and water. Linens, uniforms and other materials should be washed with regular laundry soap or detergent on a routine basis. UV light may also be used to sterilize cell phones and rid them of microorganisms that could cause infection. There are many ways to protect yourself and your business against COVID-19.