Frequently Asked Questions

Janitorial Services Commercial Carpet Cleaning Hard-Surface Floors Upholstery Cleaning and Fabric Post Construction Cleaning Pathogens Protect-3 Advance 
 
 
 

Janitorial Services

Do I have to sign a long-term contract?

A contract is not a requirement. ServiceMaster of Swift Current will develop a detailed proposal and task schedule that will both meet your needs and budget. At any time, you can make adjustments to your cleaning requirements, and your representative will then make changes as needed and advise of any pricing revisions. You may also cancel your commercial cleaning service with 30 days written notice

Will the changeover to ServiceMaster of Swift Current be smooth?

With over 65 years of commercial cleaning experience, we have perfected the transition of service from your previous cleaning vendor. With thorough planning; we will make the changeover a seamless process. The only difference you will notice is the obvious improvement in service and standards.

What are your rates?

All jobs are priced according to task, whether it is daily office cleaning, commercial facility cleaning services, regular carpet cleaning or a one off heavy duty clean. We then take into account variations such as equipment and materials used, employee density, traffic density, etc. in calculating the final cost. We would be happy to work with you to develop a customized cleaning plan that suits your needs. Click here to view our pricing pages.

How do we pay you?

Commercial cleaning customers are invoiced each calendar month and are given a standard 30 days from invoice date payment term.

Do you supply everything required?

We supply all the labour, equipment and materials required to carry out the tasks as would be outlined in our agreement with you. You may also exercise the option of having us provide various consumable goods for your facility such as toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, etc. at their added cost.

What are your hiring practices?

We have a comprehensive screening process for our janitorial staff that ensures the most trustworthy and qualified people will service your business.

Do all staff receive training and development?

All managers and supervisors receive ongoing and comprehensive training on the management of the sites they are allocated. All cleaning staff receive in-house and on-site training on process, products and equipment needed to carry out their given duties. All Health and Safety issues and company policies are covered in their initial induction with annual refresher training, as needed.

Will we always have the same cleaner?

We strive to maintain continuity as this helps build a healthy rapport and trust with our janitorial services customers along with added security.

How do you maintain worksite quality?

The ServiceMaster Clean Quality Assurance Program is designed to establish a continuous method of evaluating and monitoring janitorial services. The program is tailored to suit various types of complex office buildings, plants, schools, malls and healthcare facilities. ServiceMaster of Swift Current can assure you that your premises will benefit from the highest level of quality control available at all times by combining highly trained staff with state-of-the-art software driven technologies that allow stakeholders to communicate concerns in real time.

What steps are taken to safeguard our building security?

ServiceMaster Clean understands the critical importance of office security and prides itself on complying with our customers’ requirements. ServiceMaster Clean enforces a strict policy regarding all keys and security passes issued. Our employees wear a Company Uniform and have ID Badges so they are clearly identifiable at all times while on the job.

What insurance do you have?

We carry General Liability insurance and Workman Compensation coverage. This is to protect you against damaged property or injury to person while our staff is on your property performing janitorial cleaning services and other commercial cleaning services.

Are all your employees background checked?

We recognize that security and trust are a paramount concern, so at ServiceMaster of Swift Current we have taken an added step to help ensure compliance with customer needs by developing the Clearance Chek’d certification program to help preserve the peace of mind of our customers. Clearance Chek’d is a high-level Police and Criminal Record Check combined with Identity and Previous Employment Verification. Janitorial staff working on your cleaning program will have (ID verified & clean criminal record) clearance via this Program.

Can we contact you outside office hours in case of an emergency?

ServiceMaster of Swift Current will provide you with a live-answer, emergency phone number so that we can help you with any emergencies that may arise 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

How do we get started with ServiceMaster of Swift Current janitorial services?

ServiceMaster Clean makes it easy to get started. Simply click here to complete our contact form or give us a call at 306-773-7188. One of our representatives will set up a time with you to review your commercial cleaning requirements and develop a customized clean program that suits your needs.


 
 
 

Commercial Carpet Cleaning

How long will it take to have my carpets cleaned at my business?

The amount of time will be contingent on the size of the area that needs to be cleaned, the soil levels and the processes used, either low moisture, portable extraction, or truck-mount extraction. A trained ServiceMaster Clean carpet technician will then help you choose a program that best meets your needs and schedule.

Will carpet cleaning be disruptive to my business?

The team at ServiceMaster of Swift Current will work with you to schedule a suitable time, typically after hours. In the event that it is unfeasible to clean the entire area in one visit, we will develop a customized program to clean your carpets in sections. Our technician will also inform you of estimated dry times needed.

Can I use off the shelf carpet cleaners for spot removal?

We recommend using only ServiceMaster Clean products which are designed for specific types of spots. For more information, contact us at 306-773-7188.

How often do I need to get my commercial carpets professionally cleaned?

To keep the carpets in your business in good shape, we highly recommend a regular carpet cleaning and maintenance program that helps extend the life of your carpets. It’s best to have your carpets cleaned monthly using our low moisture method to remove soil before it gets ground into your carpet fibres to help alleviate premature degrading. By doing a monthly carpet cleaning, you may only need a deep cleaning carpet service once a year

When will I be able to walk on the carpet after it has been cleaned?

This depends on whether a low-moisture encapsulation or a deep clean of your carpet has been applied. However, a general rule of thumb is to allow a drying time of six to eight hours before you can walk on your carpet.

Will there be an odour after you clean the carpets?

Depending on the type of carpet we’re cleaning, you may notice a faint scent. This is especially prevalent when cleaning wool carpets. The amount of time it takes for the odour to dissipate is usually within an hour but varies based on air circulation, heat and humidity. A big difference in the way ServiceMaster of Swift Current cleans carpet compared to many of our competitors is that we do not put soap in our rinse water. We pre-spray the carpets, remove the spots, then use clean water extraction to ensure that we do not leave any soapy residue behind. This allows for fresh, clean carpets

Do I need to do anything prior to the technician arriving for my scheduled service?

Yes. Remove breakables from the tops of furniture in the room we will be cleaning. Pick up moveable items from the floor in areas you want cleaned, such as rugs, plants, trash cans, chair mats, etc. Pre-vacuum all areas to be cleaned, unless pre-vacuuming is part of your service agreement.

Do I have to move furniture before the carpet cleaning?

To get the best results with professional carpet cleaning, we recommend removing furniture from the rooms we will be cleaning. Items we clean around instead of moving include file cabinets, conference room tables, bookcases, lobby furniture and large pieces of furniture.

Are there instructions to follow after my carpets are cleaned?

Immediately after cleaning, it’s best to allow carpets to dry for 6-8 hours before walking on them. Walking on them may flatten the fibers. Use air movers if needed to help air circulation as this will speed up the drying time. If a carpet protector such as ScotchgardTM was applied, foot traffic should be minimized for up to 24 hours to let the product cure. Don’t move any furniture back in place until carpet is completely dry or the Scotchgard carpet protector has cured.


 
 
 

Hard-Surface Floors

Acrylic

Can I strip floors with acrylic finish?

Acrylic is strippable and does require periodic stripping

How often do I buff?

If heel marks and scuff marks become prevalent, buffing is needed.

Is acrylic flooring slippery when wet?

Any floor can be slippery when wet. Our acrylic products are considered to have acceptable slip resistance according to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) B101.3-2012 test method for measuring wet dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) of common hard-surface floor materials.

How long will acrylic floors last?

Wear of any finish depends greatly on the foot traffic in your facility, how the floor is used and the cleaning practices that are employed. Typically, the average lifespan of acrylic finish is about one year.

Does acrylic have an odour during application?

Acrylic does have an odour during application, but it is generally mild and usually dissipates within a short period of time.

Isn’t acrylic finish expensive?

Acrylic finish is generally less expensive than other finishes. However, multiple coats may be necessary to achieve the level of gloss and level of protection you desire

Will applying acrylic void my manufacturer’s warranty on the floor?

It may. However, most factory warranties do not cover scratching, wear and abrasion. If your floor has reached this stage, your best option is to protect it. Many factory finishes, like acrylic, will eventually wear out. You can most closely achieve that factory finish by applying a thin coat of acrylic. Refer to the manufacturer’s warranty.

Isn’t it hard to fix an area that is damaged on an acrylic floor? What if I drag a large piece of furniture across it and leave a scratch?

Acrylic finishes that are scratched can often be spray buffed or burnished so that the scratch is either less noticeable or repaired altogether. In many cases, applying a thin coat over the scratch is helpful. Call ServiceMaster of Swift Current professionals for an on-site consultation.

Will furniture scratch floors with acrylic finish?

Furniture that is broken, in ill repair or not fitted with the proper floor protectors may damage the finish. Inspect all furniture before acrylic installation and apply proper protectors.

How long will it take to have my floors coated with acrylic?

Preparation will depend on the condition of the existing floor, current number of coats, repairs required, etc. When applying an acrylic finish, stripping of the old finish is usually necessary. When that’s the case, finish removal plus the application of 3 coats of finish requires 1 hour for every 150 square feet of flooring. Generally, 3 coats of finish are required to achieve the desired effect. If a floor does not require stripping, it can generally be shower scrubbed which is a procedure used for preparing a floor for receiving a new layer of finish. Once that has taken place, a floor can be recoated at anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 square feet per hour.

Will the application of acrylic disrupt my business?

Unless your facility is open 24 hours, ServiceMaster of Swift Current can work after hours and the area worked on can be up and running the next business day. If your facility is open 24/7, we can work with you to determine the hours that are least busy. During those hours we can come, cordon off traffic areas and work in a manner that minimizes disruption of your work environment.

Does acrylic finish yellow?

Our acrylic finishes are non-yellowing.

Can I use off the shelf cleaning products on my floors?

All acrylic floor finishes can be damaged by highly alkaline products and alcohols such as the kind that you might see in hand sanitizers. If you must clean your floor yourself, we recommend using a neutral cleaning agent specifically recommended for cleaning acrylic floor finishes. ServiceMaster of Swift Current can provide more information on a suitable product.

How often do I clean my floors?

Floors should definitely be cleaned when they appear to be dirty. It is good practice to clean floors before it gets to that level because the floor can accumulate many tiny abrasive particles which can scratch it and mar its appearance. It is generally best to dry mop a floor with a microfiber cloth and then damp mop the floor with an appropriate cleaning solution to get up the soil.

When will I be able to walk on my floors?

Hard-surface floors treated with an acrylic finish can be lightly walked on within an hour after the last coat was applied. We recommend allowing the floor to dry for 24 hours before allowing heavy traffic on it.

Will the application process produce dust?

Our finish removal and floor preparation procedures are all done wet or damp to help minimize the generation of airborne dust.

I think my hard surface floor's appearance should be improved, but I'm concerned about the price. What should I do?

Consider the cost of non-action. Any finish will enhance the appearance of your floor in addition to providing protection. While refinishing your hard floor bears a cost, replacement of the floor due to neglect bears a much higher cost.

How do I maintain the floor after the acrylic application?

Leave the daily cleaning to the professionals at ServiceMaster of Swift Current. We offer daily, weekly or monthly cleaning services for your facility. If you should choose to do some of the cleaning yourself, pre-clean the floor in order to get all of the particulate soils off the floor such as dirt and sand, then mop the floor with a neutral cleansing agent and preferably a microfiber mop. Make sure to change the water and rinse the mop frequently to prevent the mop from leaving soil behind.

Do I need to do anything prior to the technician arriving for my scheduled service?

Yes, we ask that you remove breakables from the tops of furniture in the breakroom, lobby, conference room and other areas we will be cleaning. Pick up moveable items from the floor such as rugs, plants, trash containers, recycle bins, file cabinets, chairs, etc. Vacuum or dust mop all debris found on your floors prior to your cleaning. If items are too large to move, consult with your technician.

Do I have to move furniture before my acrylic floor cleaning?

Yes. We do not remove heavy items such as file cabinets, conference room tables, book cases, lobby furniture, and large pieces of furniture. We recommend that you have any such items moved prior to your appointment date. If items are too large to move, consult with your technician.

Are there instructions to follow after my hard-surface floors are cleaned?

Before you walk on your floors, it’s best to allow a minimum drying time of at least 1 hour. We recommend allowing 24 hours before walking on it with heavy traffic. Be cautious and protect floors from getting wet for 24 hours after application of either finish as it is not thoroughly cured yet. You can return furniture to your floors (with suggested use of felt pads) after 12 hours and return rugs to floors after 12 hours.

Is drying and curing the same thing?

No. Drying means that the surface layer is no longer wet or damp to the touch. Curing, on the other hand, means that acrylic has reached its maximum hardness thereby providing the necessary protection of your flooring.


Urethane

Can I strip floors with urethane finish?

Urethane is strippable, if necessary. However, when the product reaches the end of its life cycle, it can be abraded and recoated without stripping. ServiceMaster of Swift Current has products and procedures designed specifically for this purpose.

Does a urethane floor need to be buffed?

Urethane is NEVER buffed. Buffing may actually diminish the gloss of the finish.

Is urethane slippery when wet?

Any coated surface can be slippery when wet. Our urethane product is considered to have acceptable slip resistance according to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) B101.3-2012 test method for measuring wet dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) of common hard-surface floor materials. We offer optional additives to create high slip resistance (lower probability of slipping) for wet environments or areas of concern.

How long will urethane floors last?

Wear of any finish depends greatly on the foot traffic in your facility, how the floor is used and the cleaning practices that are employed. Typically, the average lifespan of urethane is about two years.

Does urethane have an odour during application?

Urethane finish contains no VOCs or solvents, which are often the source of odour and even harmful fumes. Urethane finish has a very light, almost unnoticeable, clean scent.

Isn’t urethane more expensive than a traditional acrylic finish?

Yes and no. The cost of product per square foot for the application of urethane finish is more than an acrylic finish. However, customers will see a return on the initial investment in urethane because of the reduced need for ongoing regular maintenance. As a facility manager, this will also result in fewer disruptions within your premises.

Will applying urethane void my manufacturer’s warranty on the floor?

It may. However, most factory warranties do not cover scratching, wear and abrasion. If your floor has reached this stage, your best option is to protect it. Many factory finishes will eventually wear out. You can most closely achieve that factory type finish by applying a thin coat of urethane. Refer to the manufacturer’s warranty.

Isn’t it hard to fix an area that is damaged? What if I drag a large piece of furniture across it and leave a gouge?

Urethane finish is relatively easy to repair. Call the professionals at ServiceMaster of Swift Current and let us repair the damaged area.

Will furniture scratch floors with urethane finish?

Furniture that is broken, in ill repair or not fitted with the proper floor protectors may damage the finish. Inspect all furniture before urethane installation and apply proper protectors.

How long will it take to have my hard floors coated with urethane?

Preparation will depend on the condition of the existing floor, current number of coats, repairs required, etc. The coating application can be accomplished at a rate of 750 square feet per hour with a two-person crew.

Will the application of urethane disrupt my business?

The initial application process will require stripping any existing coatings and applying urethane coating plus drying time. This process can be done after hours and will require only daily cleaning for the life of the finish, averaging two years. Because there is no buffing or recoating for that time period, there will be no other disruptions. The reapplication process will not require further stripping.

Does urethane finish yellow?

Our urethane finish is UV resistant and will not yellow.

Can I use off the shelf cleaning products on my floors?

Floors with urethane finish are easy to clean, and we recommend a neutral cleansing agent. ServiceMaster of Swift Current can provide more information on a suitable product.

How often do I clean my floors?

Urethane requires only damp mopping on a daily basis or the use of an auto scrubber with a white pad, red pad or a soft brush. Never dry buff or dry scrub your floor; a loss of gloss may occur.

When will I be able to walk on my floors?

The most rapid dry time is four hours but we recommend allowing eight hours before walking on the floor.

Will the application process produce dust?

Procedures that are required to prepare the floor can be done with a wet screening and/or wet conditioning pad, thereby reducing dust.

I think my hard surface floor's appearance should be improved, but I'm concerned about the price. What should I do?

Consider the cost of non-action. Urethane not only makes your floors shiny, which gives the perception of cleanliness, but it protects your flooring investment. Floors are subject to traffic wear patterns, chemicals and stains as well as scratching. Applying a urethane finish will protect your floors and extend their life span. Compared to the cost of the typically recommended traditional acrylic floor maintenance program, urethane generally represent a cost savings for you over time.

How do I maintain this floor after the urethane application?

Leave the daily cleaning to the professionals at ServiceMaster of Swift Current. We offer daily, weekly or monthly cleaning services for your facility. Urethane finish requires only damp mopping on a daily basis or the use of an auto scrubber with a white or red pad or a soft brush. Mop with a properly diluted neutral cleansing agent and warm water. Overuse of cleaning chemicals can build up and leave a residual film on the floor. Never buff your floor; a loss of gloss may occur.

Do I need to do anything prior to the technician arriving for my scheduled service?

Yes, we ask that you remove breakables from the tops of furniture in the breakroom, lobby, conference room and other areas we will be cleaning. Pick up moveable items from the floor such as rugs, plants, trash containers, recycle bins, file cabinets, chairs, etc. Vacuum or dust mop all debris found on your floors prior to your cleaning. If items are too large to move, consult with your technician.

Do I have to move furniture?

Yes. We do not remove heavy items such as file cabinets, conference room tables, book cases, lobby furniture, and large pieces of furniture. We recommend that you have any such items moved prior to your appointment date. If items are too large to move, consult with your technician.

Are there instructions to follow after my hard-surface floors are cleaned?

Before you walk on your floors, it’s best to allow drying time of at least 4 hours but we recommend 8 hours. Be cautious and protect floors from getting wet for 24 hours after application of either finish as it is not yet thoroughly cured. You can return furniture to your floors (with suggested use of felt pads) after 24 hours and return rugs to floors after 24 hours.

Is drying and curing the same thing?

No. Drying means that the surface layer is no longer wet or damp to the touch. Curing, on the other hand, means that urethane has reached its maximum hardness thereby providing the necessary protection of your flooring.


Tile and Grout

Why should I get tile & grout professionally cleaned?

High traffic gradually dulls the floors and the grout becomes dark with dirt. Regular mopping only removes surface-level dirt and often leaves residual dirt in the grooves of the grout. This is particularly troublesome if your tile flooring has not been properly sealed as grout is highly porous.

Is professional tile & grout cleaning expensive?

Professional tile and grout cleaning can be just pennies compared to the cost of replacing tile. Call today to get an estimate from one of our professionals.

How long does it take to get the tile & grout at my business professionally cleaned?

For a 300 square-foot area, cleaning generally takes 1 to 3 hours. If you choose to have the grout sealed by applying urethane, we recommend waiting 24 hours after rinsing to apply the finish so that it will adhere properly. Grout sealing itself takes two to three hours. Time varies based on tile size, the amount of soil in the grout and room configuration.

Will a professional tile & grout cleaning be disruptive to my business?

The team at ServiceMaster of Swift Current will work with you to schedule a time after hours or we can develop a customized program to clean your tile in sections. Our technician will inform you of the applicable dry times needed.

Can I use off the shelf cleaning products on my tile & grout surfaces?

Tile floors are easy to clean, and we recommend using a neutral cleaning agent. Please ask for information about specific ServiceMaster Clean products.

How often do I need to get the tile & grout at my commercial facility professionally cleaned?

To keep the tile floors in your property looking their best, we recommend having them professionally cleaned every year, depending on the amount of traffic, soil and regular floor maintenance.

When will I be able to walk on my floors after a tile & grout cleaning?

Stay off freshly cleaned tile floors for at least 30 minutes. Avoid getting any liquid on the floor for 24 hours until the sealant cures completely if grout sealing is included as part of the service.

Will there be an odour when cleaning tile and grout?

After tile and grout is cleaned, you may notice a faint scent. The amount of time it takes for the odour to dissipate is usually within an hour but varies based on air circulation, heat and humidity

Do I need to do anything prior to the technician arriving for my scheduled tile and grout cleaning service?

Simply pick up items on the floor, such as rugs, plants and trash cans, as well as sweep or vacuum the area to be cleaned.

Are there instructions to follow after my tile & grout surfaces are cleaned?

Stay off freshly cleaned tile for at least 30 minutes and avoid getting any liquid on the floor for 24 hours if sealant has been applied. Return furniture (with suggested use of felt pads) and rugs to floors after 24 hours.


 
 
 

Upholstery Cleaning and Fabric

Why should I get the upholstered furniture at my business cleaned?

Having upholstered furniture professionally cleaned eliminates odours, removes tough stains and extends the life of your furniture.

Is professional upholstery cleaning expensive?

Professional upholstery cleaning is just pennies compared to the cost of replacing worn office furniture that hasn’t been maintained. Call ServiceMaster of Swift Current to get an estimate from one of our professionals.

How long does it take to get my upholstered furniture at my office professionally cleaned?

Total cleaning time depends on the cleaning process used and the amount of time needed for the upholstery to dry. The technician will give you an estimated cleaning time prior to service.

Will a professional upholstery cleaning be disruptive to my business?

The team at ServiceMaster of Swift Current will work with you to schedule a time after hours or we can develop a customized program to clean your upholstery. Our technician will inform you of estimated drying times.

Can I use off the shelf cleaners for spot removal?

We recommend using only ServiceMaster Clean products. For more information, contact the professionals at ServiceMaster of Swift Current.

How often do I need to get my upholstered furniture professionally cleaned?

Furniture manufacturers recommend having upholstered pieces professionally cleaned every 12 to 24 months.

When will I be able to use my furniture after a professional cleaning?

Depending on the cleaning method we use, drying time differs. The average drying time is anywhere from 1 to 6 hours.

Will there be an odour?

Depending on the type of upholstery, you may notice a faint scent. The amount of time it takes for the odour to dissipate is usually within an hour but varies based on air circulation, heat and humidity.

Do I need to do anything prior to the technician arriving at my commercial facility for my scheduled service?

Pick up items on upholstery to be cleaned such as reading material or office partition decor.


 
 
 

Post Construction Cleaning

What is post construction cleaning?

Construction clean-up is a service provided to brand new buildings or buildings that are being remodeled. While building contractors will do a general clean-up of construction debris, a detailed clean is required to remove all the dust and dirt left behind.

Why is post construction cleaning important?

Post construction dust and dirt can be harmful to the health of the building’s occupants and it is quite often difficult to remove. Post construction cleaning requires specialized equipment, products and expertise to effectively remove the airborne dust particles and residue that settles everywhere after construction and renovation, including on furnishings, carpet, wall hangings, windows and fittings, sanitary fittings, walls, hard surfaces and tile floors.

What does your post construction cleaning service involve?

We provide the detailed cleaning that is needed after the construction work is completed and all construction debris has been removed. This is the final step prior to turning the building over to the owner. NOTE: Construction clean-up is divided into two categories: rough clean-up and final clean. ServiceMaster of Swift Current focuses on the final clean. Rough clean-up is the removal of construction debris and is often done by the contractor. ServiceMaster of Swift Current does not do rough clean.


 
 
 

Pathogens

What is an emerging infectious disease?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines infectious diseases as “illnesses caused by germs (such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi) that enter the body, multiply, and cause an infection.” Depending on the disease, there are different ways that it can be spread:

  • From one person to another
  • Through germs carried in air, water, food, or soil
  • By insects, ticks, or animals

Emerging diseases are infections that have increased recently or are threatening to increase in the near future. These infections could be

  • Newly discovered
  • Completely new to an area
  • Reappearing in an area
  • Caused by bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics

Source - https://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/who-we-are/about-our-name.html

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people and others cause illness in animals. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.

COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact.

There have been 2 other specific coronaviruses that have spread from animals to humans and which have caused severe illness in humans. These are:

  1. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS CoV)
  2. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV)

Source - https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/symptoms.html

What is an epidemic vs a pandemic?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “a pandemic is a worldwide spread of a new disease.” Before a disease is declared as a pandemic, it has to exceed a few other levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Sporadic:
When a disease occurs infrequently and irregularly.
Endemic:
A constant presence and/or usual prevalence of a disease or infection within a geographic area.
Epidemic:
A sudden increase in the number of cases of a disease — more than what's typically expected for the population in that area.
Pandemic:
An epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, affecting a large number of people.

 

How do coronaviruses spread?

Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze
  • close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

Current evidence suggests person-to-person spread is efficient when there is close contact.
Source — https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html#h

Why is it called COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an acronym that stands for coronavirus disease of 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially named the disease COVID-19 and the virus that causes the disease as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
Source — https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/naming-the-coronavirus-disease-(covid-2019)-and-the-virus-that-causes-it

 

What is the difference between self-monitor, self-isolate (quarantine) and isolate?

Self-monitoring means to:

  • monitor yourself for 14 days for symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough, fever and difficulty breathing
  • avoid crowded places and increase your personal space from others whenever possible

Self-isolation (quarantine) means to:

  • stay at home and monitor yourself for symptoms, even if mild, for 14 days
  • avoid contact with others

You should self-isolate if you:

  • have no symptoms and
  • have travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days or
  • have come in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or
  • have been asked to do so by your public health authority

Isolating yourself means to:

  • stay home until the local public health authority says you are no longer at risk of spreading the virus
  • avoid contact with others

You need to be isolated if you:

  • have symptoms, even if mild, associated with COVID-19 or
  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or
  • are waiting for laboratory test results or
  • have been advised to do so by your Public Health Authority

Source — https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html#h

How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

Social distancing
Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by making a conscious effort to keep a physical distance between each other. Social distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak.

This means making changes in your everyday routines to minimize close contact with others, including:

  • avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings
  • avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes
  • limiting contact with people at higher risk like older adults and those in poor health
  • keeping a distance of at least 2 arms-length (approximately 2 metres) from others

Hygiene
Proper hygiene can help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food
  • use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • when coughing or sneezing:
    • cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
    • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands

Cleaning
While it is not certain how long COVID-19 survives on surfaces, it does seem to behave like other coronaviruses. Preliminary information on COVID-19 suggests that the virus may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days depending on different conditions, such as:

  • temperature
  • type of surface
  • humidity of the environment

Although they do not claim to kill viruses such as COVID-19, cleaning solutions can play a role in helping limit the transfer of microorganisms. Health Canada has published a list of hard surface disinfectants that are likely to be effective for use against coronavirus (COVID-19). Public health officials such as WHO and Health Canada recommend cleaning high-touch surfaces often. In the workplace, it is recommended that high traffic work areas or frequently touched surfaces are disinfected twice daily. For example:
In your home:

  • toys
  • toilets
  • phones
  • electronics
  • door handles
  • bedside tables
  • television remotes

In the workplace:

  • desks
  • tables
  • handrails
  • doorknobs
  • computers, including keyboards and mice
  • countertops
  • light switches
  • faucet handles
  • cabinet handles
  • elevator buttons
  • phones
  • kitchens
  • cash registers
  • restaurant tables and menus

Source

  1. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html#h
  2. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/preventing-covid-19-workplace-employers-employees-essential-service-workers.html#_For_employers
Isn’t “clean”, “disinfect” and “sanitize” the same thing?

To the general public, these three terms — clean, disinfect, sanitize — are often used interchangeably. However, to a cleaning professional, these terms are not the same and can refer to very different outcomes. According to Public Health Canada and the U.S. Center for Disease Control, the definition of these terms are as follows:

Clean
This refers to the removal of visible dirt and debris through the use of soap or detergent and water. While this process may remove germs from surfaces, it does not necessarily kill the germs. This said, the mere act of germ removal lowers their numbers and does help in reducing the risk of infection.
Disinfect
With disinfection, germs are actually KILLED on surfaces through the use of chemicals. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
Sanitize
Lastly, the term sanitize has its roots in the word “Sanitary” which is defined as “of or relating to health”. When you keep this in mind, to sanitize means lowering the number of germs on surfaces to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This can be achieved by either cleaning and/or disinfecting surfaces to lower the risk of spreading infection.
Not to confuse you anymore, but as an added bonus, we’ll also define the term “sterilize” which is the process in which chemicals are used to kill ALL microbial life including bacteria, viruses, spores and fungi. This is a process that is very rarely undertaken in a facility outside of a healthcare setting.

So, for a cleaning professional, our disinfection process for your commercial facility is routinely a 2-step process - We clean first, then disinfect - in order to provide you with a sanitary facility in which to work!

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/school/cleaning.htm
  2. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/cleaning-disinfecting-public-spaces.html
  3. https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/bp-cleaning-disinfection-sterilization-hcs.pdf?la=en
  4. https://www.foodsafety.ca/blog/understanding-difference-between-cleaning-sanitizing-sterilizing

How can ServiceMaster Clean help?

If you need help maintaining routine cleanliness conditions in your workplace, you may want to call in a professional like ServiceMaster Clean to sanitize and disinfect.
Our expert technicians are trained to clean first to break organic loads and remove gross soiling. Then they sanitize or disinfect as appropriate.
When we do this, we follow the guidelines set in place by the health officials such as WHO and Health Canada. There are many methods of disinfection and you can be assured that your technician is trained to do each in the recommended manner. Our technicians also use appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) with your security and privacy in consideration.


 
 
 

Protect-3 Advance

We’ve already had deep cleaning and disinfection done in our facility, doesn’t that cover it?

The purpose of disinfection is for infection control to help ensure the health and safety of your facility and its occupants. Surface contamination can and is likely to recur. Once a surface has been disinfected, that same surface can easily be re-contaminated when the next passerby touches that surface or sneezes or coughs near that surface. As such, infection control is about regular and consistent cleaning and disinfection. Unless an occupant has been diagnosed with a confirmed case of an illness, you will likely not need to regularly perform deep cleaning and disinfection. However, to keep your facility healthy and safe, what you should be maintaining is your standard cleaning protocols with the addition of regular and consistent disinfection of high touch points.

How often do we need to disinfect?

A key consideration in determining how often you should be disinfecting is based on the traffic level in your facility. As disinfection is for infection prevention, the goal is to help to mitigate surface-to-person transmission of pathogens. If your 10,000 SF office will be occupied by 5 staff and no visitors, you can likely disinfect less frequently than that same office which might house 60 staff and consistent visitors. Additional considerations include how often multiple people may be touching the same surface as well as whether an antimicrobial surface protectant has been applied. At minimum, however, we would recommend daily disinfection of high touch surfaces. If the traffic in your facility is high, we would recommend increasing this frequency to multiple times per day. For example, common elevator lobbies in an office tower should be disinfected multiple times per day, particularly at the entrance level.

Why do I need to clean and disinfect?

A common misconception is that cleaning and disinfection are one and the same. In reality, they are two different processes which achieve related results but not the same results. Cleaning is the removal of visible dirt and soiling, for example the coffee ring on a kitchen counter. While cleaning may remove pathogens from surfaces by wiping them away, it does NOT kill pathogens. Disinfection, on the other hand, does KILL pathogens on surfaces through the use of chemicals. As such, both processes are used hand-in-hand — first cleaning, then disinfection — in infection control efforts. Please note — not all disinfectants are created equally! Typically, disinfectants are developed to kill certain types or classes of pathogens. As such, ensure that the disinfectant used in your facility has been approved to treat your pathogen of concern.

What is antimicrobial surface protection and why do I need it?

What antimicrobial surface protection offers you is greater peace of mind. The science of antimicrobial surface protection has existed since the early 1970’s. Antimicrobial surface protection is a chemical solution that, when applied, molecularly bonds to surfaces and renders that surface inhospitable to microbes, which inhibits their growth. What this means, effectively, is that surfaces stay cleaner for longer!

What’s different about your Protect-3 AdvanceTM program that I can’t get from another provider?

ServiceMaster Clean has developed our proprietary Protect-3 Advance program to help protect the ongoing and continuous health and safety of our customers’ facilities and their occupants.  Our program provides you with solutions that help to:

  1. Bring your facility to a healthy and safe state
  2. Keep your facility in that healthy and safe state

Incorporated into our Program are state-of-the-art equipment to not only deliver the best cleaning and disinfection solutions to our customers but also provides you with scientific validation that we have done just as we promised – delivered to you a healthier and safer facility for you and your colleagues!

Do I need professional cleaners for all of this?

Technically, no. However, you will need to ensure that internal staff conducting the cleaning are following Health Canada guidelines for cleaning and disinfection. That said, ServiceMaster Clean has over 65 years of experience and we are proud to be at the forefront of our industry. We achieve this by staying current with industry changes and innovations. We do our research so that we can bring the best possible solutions to customers. So, why not let ServiceMaster Clean take care of the cleaning and disinfection for you, allowing you to take care of other important matters?

How much is all this going to cost me?

FACT — Everyone has budgets. We understand that. As such, our Protect-3 Advance program has been designed to provide you with options so that you can make an informed and affordable choice. Our Program was not designed as a one-size-fits-all but rather as a customized solution for each and every one of our customers. Our goal is to provide you with a range of possible solutions for how you can maintain the health and safety of your facility and not break the bank! So, why not call ServiceMaster Clean today to find out what your choices are?