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With so little known about the new strain of coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, it is difficult to establish an exact procedure for how industrial buildings should be decontaminated if they are found to be infected with Covid-19. As of right now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that cleaning companies use the decontamination procedures they have used for previous strains of coronavirus. Although Covid-19 is much more transmissible and deadly than other strains of coronavirus, the best option for now is to decontaminate a building as if it has been infected with other well-known strains of coronavirus.

The first key to decontaminating a building with Covid-19 is to make sure to bring in experts on decontamination procedures. This includes, but is not limited to, an HVAC company, industrial hygienist, and any other experts in the field. After these experts have been consulted, a cleaning company should be called. It would be best if that cleaning company has a crew with prior experience decontaminating industrial buildings from the disease. There are several protocols and government guidelines that need to be followed when decontaminating a large building, which makes the presence of all these specific experts necessary.

Once the cleaning company is cleared to enter the building and begin disinfecting and cleaning, there are several steps that need to take place. First, it is important to neutralize the disease. Before any deep cleaning takes place, the cleaning company should disinfect all surfaces in the building with a solution that contains the following: 62%-72% ethanol, .5% hydrogen peroxide, and .1% sodium hypochlorite. After all surfaces have been disinfected with this solution, the majority of the Covid-19 cells will be inert. The next step is to deep clean all the surfaces. This should take much longer than the disinfection stage, and the cleaning company should make sure every surface is thoroughly cleaned multiple times. Once all surfaces have been deep cleaned, the cleaning company should do one more disinfection of all the surfaces with the previously stated solution. This final step will make sure that any remaining Covid-19 cells are cleaned before anyone is allowed to re-enter the building.

One final consideration for cleaning companies is that some research has concluded that heat aids in eliminating Covid-19. Although the CDC is far from officially announcing this, several lab tests have proven that Covid-19 survives a much shorter time in temperatures between 86 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Disinfecting and deep cleaning are still the best way to decontaminate an industrial building from Covid-19, but cleaning companies may want to consider pairing those steps with extreme heat in order to further disinfect the building.

Cleaning companies have a major role to play in decontaminating an industrial building that has been infected with Covid-19. Although little is known about this specific strain of coronavirus, previous coronavirus decontamination procedures have proven to work well so far. Therefore, building owners that suspect Covid-19 has spread in their building should contact industry experts and a cleaning company right away.

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