If there was a confirmed exposure, or there is any likelihood that at-risk people will be using the space, it is prudent for the manager to enlist a qualified biohazard contractor.
One of the more difficult and incredibly important questions business and building owners have asked recently is “How do I find a qualified COVID-19 contractor to do cleaning?” This leads to the next question, “What makes a contractor qualified to do COVID-19 cleaning?” As with any biohazard emergency remediation, cleaning, and decontamination, a combination of certifications, education, and experience is the best measure of qualifications.
The enormous demand for COVID-19 cleaning has seen a barrage of “ready to use” devices and chemicals of varying efficacy come to market and companies with little or no experience providing the services. How do building owners find the most qualified contractor to ensure the safety of their customers and employees?
Ask About Biological Decontamination Experience
When reviewing a contractor’s qualifications, start by asking how long they have been performing high-risk biological decontamination specifically. Have they performed remediation for infectious outbreaks? In addition to new companies jumping into the COVID-19 cleaning arena, there are contractors who have specialized for years in fire, water, and wind damage remediation. Working in that environment does not require the same training and certification as that of professional biological decontamination contractors. An inexperienced contractor can potentially worsen a scenario if the area is not properly contained.
Why Does Previous Experience Matter?
Ask about a potential contractor’s credentials. Well-qualified contractors have specific certifications and training with organizations like OSHA and IICRC. Project managers should have backgrounds in infection control and biohazard remediation. Established biological decontamination companies are typically affiliated with associations like the American Bio-Recovery Association (ABRA.)
Contractors who have experience in this space also have experienced crews. These crews have been trained in the proper use of Personal Protection Equipment, cross contamination prevention and proper use of decontamination procedures. Those without prior experience likely do not have crew members who are well versed in these critical skills.
Ask About the Process
Ask any potential contractor about the process they will use:
- How do you pre-clean?
- What cleaning techniques will be applied?
- How do you verify the area is clean upon completion?
- What type of chemicals will you use?
- What type of Personal Protective Equipment do you use?
The answers should be readily at hand and thorough. Anything less should sound alarm bells as to the competence and experience of the contractor.
Insurance Restoration Specialists, Inc. (IRS) is a premier provider of disaster recovery mitigation, environmental remediation, biohazard emergency response and HVAC inspection and cleaning in the New Jersey-Philadelphia-New York City area. IRS is certified by NADCA and have Certified Air Systems Cleaning Technicians and a Certified Ventilation System Inspector on staff. Services include mold removal,water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, flood damage cleanup, smoke damage remediation, and biohazard remediation.