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Business Re-Opening Disinfection Strategies

COVID-19 restrictions have slowly begun lifting across the country. There are many factors to consider if you’re business is newly re-open. This is a challenging situation that you probably haven’t had to deal with before. ServiceMaster of Tacoma compiled the following tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help you develop a re-opening disinfection plan. If you don’t know where to start, schedule a professional disinfection service. Our team can create a multi-service plan or provide a one-time clean.

Reduce Potential Exposure

Consider behavioral changes like eliminating the need to touch certain surfaces, wiping down surfaces after every use or removing items in common spaces like utensils or straws. Figuring out a new layout for your business can take time. It’s important to take your time learning all of your options and know that you can change your plan at any time. Make sure you follow local news about COVID-19 transmissions to decide what is best for you.

Outdoor vs Indoor areas

Outdoor areas generally don’t need additional disinfection. However, there are outdoor surfaces that can benefit from it. Focus on high touch hard surfaces and objects.

The majority of additional disinfection needs to take place indoors. While developing a re-opening disinfection plan for the indoor areas of your business you should consider the material of your surfaces. Most hard surfaces can follow the same disinfection procedure, but items made up of soft and porous material are difficult to disinfect correctly. Evaluate if you need to keep items like pillows, curtains and area rugs in your public space. If possible, remove these items.

Unoccupied Areas

Another factor that can affect the type and frequency of disinfection in your business is when the area was last occupied. If your business has been empty for more than 7 days, you may not need to take any additional disinfection precautions. However, once your business does re-open and is occupied frequently by employees or customers, you need to implement a special disinfection plan.

Professional Disinfection Services

If you don’t know where to start when creating a re-opening disinfection plan for your business, contact us. ServiceMaster of Tacoma is trained to isolate, clean, disinfect and decontaminate each surface following OSHA cleaning protocol. Our team’s training and experience coupled with protective equipment and EPA approved chemicals make us your local disinfection experts. As re-opening starts, schedule a professional disinfection service. We can create a multi-service plan or provide a one-time clean.

ServiceMaster of Tacoma has been serving our local community for 38 years. We care about our neighbors. That’s why we stand for the highest quality standards possible all year long. Count on us to bring your business back to working order. There is a lot of uncertainty right now, but you can count on us. Our compassionate professionals are here to help you through this uncertain time by bringing their expertise, training, tools, technologies and sympathies to your door. If you believe your business has been exposed, our team of experts can help. We also offer precautionary cleanings. Contact us today for more information.

 

Photo by: istockphoto.com/Nattakorn Maneerat

Disinfection Services & Tips to Stay Healthy

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, our team at ServiceMaster of Tacoma is doing all we can to help our community stay healthy. As Washington begins phased reopening, now is the time to create a new cleaning and disinfection process for your business. Incorporate disinfection habits into your daily routine to help keep your patrons and employees safe around the clock. ServiceMaster Restoration Services compiled the following tips from the CDC to help you prevent the spread of illness as much as possible during this uncertain time.

 

Personal Hygiene

Stay Home: If you feel sick, stay home.

Cover Coughs: Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue instead of your hands.

6 Feet: When around others, keep 6 feet of distance to avoid the spread of illness from person to person contact.

Hand Hygiene: Wash your hands often throughout the day the correct way. Use soap and water for 20 seconds and dry completely. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

 

Preventative Disinfection

Our years of experience with biohazard cleaning allows us to offer COVID-19 disinfections. We are trained to isolate, clean, disinfect and decontaminate each surface following OSHA cleaning protocol. Our team’s training and experience coupled with protective equipment and EPA approved chemicals make us your local disinfection experts. As re-opening starts, schedule a professional disinfection service. We can create a multi-service plan or provide a one-time clean.

 

Disinfection Maintenance

A professional disinfection service is a great first step, but you can’t stop there. Use the following tips to help keep your facility clean and disinfected between professional services.

 

High Touch Surfaces

It’s important to wipe down high touch surfaces daily. First, identify what areas are used the most in your space. Usually, these areas include tabletops, door handles, electronics, light switches, sinks and more.

 

Clean & Disinfect

While they’re both important, there is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning removes dirt, debris and some germs. Disinfecting kills germs. Use the following process when cleaning and disinfecting your business or home.

  • Before you begin, protect your hands with gloves and ventilate your space with an open window and fan.
  • Start by cleaning surfaces, especially high touch, with soap and water.
  • After surfaces are clean, use an EPA-registered disinfectant. Follow the label instructions for safe and effective use.
  • Don’t forget to teach all employees or family members how to use your cleaning supplies correctly.
  • Place cleaning supplies around your space to encourage everyone to wipe down surfaces after use.

 

ServiceMaster of Tacoma has been serving our local community for 38 years. We care about our neighbors. That’s why we stand for the highest quality standards possible all year long. Count on us to bring your business back to working order. There is a lot of uncertainty right now, but you can count on us. Our compassionate professionals are here to help you through this uncertain time by bringing their expertise, training, tools, technologies and sympathies to your door. If you believe your business has been exposed, our team of experts can help. We also offer precautionary cleanings. Contact us today for more information.

 

Photo by Polina Zimmerman

How to Spot Spring Water Damage

The official start of spring brings warmer temperatures and often milder weather conditions. However, melting snow and spring rain showers can lead to water, mold and flood damage. Your home or business may have experienced damage during the winter. Now is the time to repair the damage your property may have sustained and pay attention to water-related damage that may appear throughout spring.

Water Damage

Look for signs of water damage in your home. Water damage is not always obvious so it’s important to keep an eye out for it, especially this time of year. The indicators can occur both inside and outside of your home.

  • Walk the outside of your home and look for pooling water. Downspouts should divert water away from your home.
  • While you’re outside, check gutters, roof doors and windows for damage or any gaps that water could seep through.
  • Start indoors by looking for warped or cracked hard flooring.
  • Water spots on your ceilings and walls are sure signs of water damage.
  • Look under your sinks for warping and discoloration.
  • Soft spots in your floors near toilets, bathtubs, sinks, dishwashers and washing machines are also an indicator.

Mold Damage

Even small amounts of moisture can cause mold growth. If you find water damage in your home, you most likely also have mold damage. Use the following tips to find mold in your home. It’s not always obvious.

  • Visible mold is usually just the tip of the iceberg. If you see mold spores, always investigate further and contact a professional mold damage restoration team.
  • Your sense of smell can be a useful tool. Take note of damp or mildew smells.
  • A lingering cold or flu can be a sign of mold.
  • If you experience respiratory or breathing issues, you might have a mold problem in your home.

Flooding

The combination of snowmelt and spring rain can lead to flooding. Even a few inches of water can cause very expensive damage. Use the following flood damage prevention tips.

  • Consider buying flood insurance. Floods usually aren’t covered in a typical homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • Create a disaster plan with your family. Decide on meeting places, communication and assign responsibilities.
  • Keep digital copies of your important documents like birth certificates, insurance plans and social security cards. Protect the originals by placing them in a waterproof container on a high shelf.
  • Pay close attention to weather warnings and follow directions issued by the National Weather Service.
  • When a flood occurs bring outdoor furniture indoors, roll up rugs, secure breakables and place electronics and sentimental items in a waterproof container on a high shelf.
  • Evacuate when instructed to, never drive through flooded streets and only return to your home once authorities have given an all safe.

ServiceMaster of Tacoma has been serving our local community for 38 years. We care about our neighbors. That’s why we stand for the highest quality standards possible all year long. Contact us to restore your peace of mind. We’re available 24/7 for emergency restoration services. When you need water damage restoration from Seattle to Tumwater, you can count on us. The quicker you call the more damage we can prevent.

 

Photo by brenkee

How to Prepare for a Snowstorm

Rainstorms aren’t the only winter weather hazard that the PNW is likely to see this year. Storms of all types including wind and snow are possible this winter. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, this region will see the most snow from mid-December to late January. No matter which storm event ends up being the most prevalent this season, it’s important to be ready before it occurs. Use the following preparation tips to help you withstand a snowstorm with minimal damage.

 

Before

Before a snowstorm, stock up on essentials and be prepared to be confined to your home for an extended period of time. It’s important to put your winter storm plan to use in advance to avoid a last-minute dash to an empty grocery store.

  • Create an emergency kit containing non-perishable food and water that will last you a few days. Also include a flashlight, battery-operated radio and extra batteries. Don’t forget any medications or other personal necessities either you or your family members may need.
  • Subscribe to your local weather warning system.
  • Keep the cold air out by weather-stripping your doors and windows.
  • Fill your gas tank, keep blankets and some emergency supplies in your car.
  • Gather extra coats, gloves, hats and other warm clothes for your entire household.
  • Communicate with all of your family members about what to expect during a snowstorm.

 

During

Stay out of harm’s way and pay attention to snowstorm updates on your radio. Try not to wander outdoors until the storm warning is lifted.

  • Avoid driving or walking outside. Stay indoors if possible.
  • Pay attention to storm updates.
  • Check on neighbors. The elderly and young children may need extra help during severe weather.
  • Allow pets easy access to food, water and warmth. Setting up extra pet beds, blankets or even dressing them in boots and sweaters may be a good idea.
  • Make sure you set up generators correctly and limit their use to essential appliances.
  • Keep a close eye on space heaters. They use a lot of power and are highly flammable.
  • Learn the symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia. Take steps to prevent cold weather-related injuries by drinking plenty of water, taking breaks indoors and staying active when you are outside.

 

After

Even though the snow has stopped falling, icy roads or melting snow can still be hazardous.

  • Use caution when venturing outside for the first time.
  • Use sand or ice melt on sidewalks and driveways.
  • Avoid driving until road conditions improve.
  • If you decide to shovel snow, do so with care. It’s easy to overexert yourself with a task you’re not used to.

 

ServiceMaster of Tacoma has been serving our local community for 38 years. We care about our neighbors. That’s why we stand for the highest quality standards possible all year long. Contact us to restore your peace of mind. We’re available 24/7 for emergency restoration services. When you need winter weather restoration from Seattle to Tumwater, you can count on us. The quicker you call the more damage we can prevent.

 

Photo by Wolfgang Lützgendorf

DIY Fall Inspection Checklist

Fall has arrived! The cool weather is part of what makes tailgating, pumpkin carving and baking holiday treats so special. It might also be the breath of cool air you need after a hot summer. However, crisp air, wind and rain can also cause weather-related damage to your property. Before the sun is completely covered by grey clouds, prepare your home or commercial property for the cool months ahead with ServiceMaster of Tacoma’s DIY Fall Inspection Checklist.

Heaters

  • Dust your vents and turn your heater on. If you see debris fall from your vents or smell a musky scent, consider scheduling a professional air duct cleaning. Ensuring your vents are clean can improve your indoor air quality.

Portable Heaters

  • Always watch portable heaters while in use to avoid a fire disaster.
  • Make sure your heater’s cord is in good condition. If it’s frayed, stop using immediately.
  • Set up your portable heater on a flat, stable surface like wood or tile floors.
  • While your heater is running, check the outlet and cord. If it’s hot to the touch, turn off your heater and consult an electrician.

Chimney

  • Inspect your chimney for excess soot.
  • You should conduct a thorough chimney cleaning at least once per year depending on use. Call a professional chimney sweep to remove flammable soot.

Plumbing

  • Inspect areas that are prone to water leaks like bathrooms and laundry rooms. You might have to look behind appliances and observe them in use.
  • Consider wrapping exposed pipes with pipe insulation to prevent frozen pipes during the cooler seasons ahead. You’re most likely to find exposed pipes in your basement or attic.

Roof

  • If possible, break out your ladder to inspect your roof.
  • Look around the outside of your chimney to ensure the caulking is in good condition.
  • Replace missing shingles and fill cracks, especially around your chimney. Gaps in your roof will allow water to seep under your roof, often causing mold growth.

Gutters

  • While you’re at it, take a look at your gutters.
  • Remove debris with a small shovel or plastic spatula.
  • Check downspouts to make sure they’re directed away from your home and toward a path that allows it to escape from your property.

Windows & Doors

  • Make sure all openings to your home can close securely. Inspect your windows and doors for gaps.
  • If you find gaps, seal with weather-stripping that can be found at your local home improvement store.

Lawn Mower

  • Remove leftover gas from your lawnmower either by mowing your lawn one last time or storing it in a gas canister.
  • Store your lawnmower in a shed, away from the elements.

Yard

  • Trim trees and other large greenery. Gusts of wind can sweep branches into windows causing extensive damage.
  • Disconnect, drain and store hoses.
  • Use outdoor faucet covers to prevent them from freezing in low temperatures.

ServiceMaster of Tacoma has been serving our local community for 38 years. We care about our neighbors. That’s why we stand for the highest quality standards possible. Contact us to restore your peace of mind. We’re available 24/7 for emergency restoration services. When you need weather-related restoration from Seattle to Tumwater, you can count on us. The quicker you call the more damage we can prevent.

 

istock.com/schulzie

Preventing Property Damage: Going on Vacation

Do you have one last trip planned before summer ends?

Read on for tips to avoid property damage to your home from fire, floods, and even theft.

Vacation is supposed to be relaxing. Nothing ruins a trip quite like a call from home… let alone a call that your home has been compromised by fire damage, a flood, or even a break-in. Follow these tips to give yourself the peace of mind you deserve:

  • Stop the mail and newspaper service, or have someone pick it up regularly for you.
  • Put at least one light in your house on a timer.
  • Make sure your lawn is trimmed.
  • Unplug small appliances and electronic devices.
  • Put the water heater in “vacation” or low mode.
  • Turn off water valves to the washing machine, the dishwasher, the toilet, and under the sink.
  • Set your thermostat to a temperature closer to outside — warmer for summer, cooler for winter.
  • Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly.
  • Throw away food that could go bad.
  • Take out the trash.
  • Relax — time to enjoy your vacation!