Environmental Disinfecting - 3 Simple Reasons Why...

By Andrew Fisher | 5 April 2020

3 Common Questions Answered - and 3 Reasons for Protecting your People, your Property and your Brand into the future.

Is your business ready to re-open ? In a few weeks things are hopefully going to begin a return to normal - the new normal that is. Malls and other public places will ease open their doors and retail operators will begin selling their wares, gyms will admit members and restaurants will fire up their grills. Schools will open and construction sties will crank into gear. But what will be different? Will people brave the elements to enter your shop, order a meal at your restaurant or browse the isles of the local library? (we could go on, Airports, Bus stops, Playgrounds, Churches, Cinemas, Stadiums...)

Roof Cleaning v Roof Washing ?

What have you put in place to reassure your clients and guests that your building is safe to be in? Whether we like it or not - there is going to be a bit of paranoia out there and we'll need to put measures in place to manage people's fears.

Reason #1 - You will most likely have to demonstrate that you have a clean and hygienic facility for your tenants, guests and clients.

What is Environmental disinfecting?

Environmental disinfecting is a procedure to effectively sanitise all surfaces within or outside a property, it involves fogging or spraying a fine mist no-rise sanitiser over everything. Fogging is a very fine mist which settles on the surfaces without wetting or damaging them. Paper and other absorbent materials will have to be covered over but that's about the only precaution taken before spraying out an office or classroom. Carpets, curtains and furniture are included in the process and 30-60 minutes is generally all that is required to re-enter the room.

This probably won't be the last pandemic we see, and we have been warned about super-bugs for decades. The medical world will no doubt frantically continue the development of new antidotes for viruses and other diseases but meanwhile, out awareness and synonymously our cleaning habits have changed - they've had to and it's most likely going to be a permanent change.

Cleaning programmes aren't going to be as they were before and property managers and cleaning companies are going to have to re-look at current procedures and systems to ensure every surface is bug -free.

Reason #2 Environmental disinfecting is the fastest and cheapest way to disinfect a facility and protect people.

How do we know it works?

The burning question is - that's all very well, but how do we know it works?

Surprisingly, there is not a great deal of data publicly available from labs about how surface sanitising works or its life span - one or two manufacturers out there have claims that can't necessarily be substantiated. There is however well established and industry accepted know-how on how certain sanitisers work and why they are effective.

There  is more information and some external links on our website with this information to reassure you. In simple terms , the sanitizers used in our applications are broad spectrum long-lasting residual surface sanitisers and are designed to protect for several days and i some cases several weeks.

If your roof looks something like this – it is quite dirty, just like your car would be if you didn’t wash it for 6 months. 

Dirt gathers on the flat tray profile and on the ends of the iron, especially evident on a low pitch roof like this and most other commercial roofs. There are likely moss or lichen spores in amongst this lot but not immediately visible as a green tinge just yet. 

A relatively easy clean, it will come up well with minimal effort. 

If your roof looks something like this – it is obviously very dirty, and it also has moss & lichen growth – this likely hasn’t been cleaned or treated for moss in the last 10 years! 

The roof coating and the membrane gutters, in this case, are at risk of been penetrated by Lichen and thus exposed to the elements. In a salt zone like most of coastal NZ, corrosion will set in quickly and start to rot the roof. 

This roof has been left way too long and it will involve a considerable amount of careful work to clean it up. 

What does yours look like?

When it comes to cleaning a roof - you have 3 options;

Roof Wash #1 - A Moss & Lichen Spray Treatment (sometimes called a Soft Wash)

This is a high-volume soaking using a Benzylamonium Chloride Solution - designed to saturate the roof and kill any moss & lichen spores. It remains active for a long time and is reactivated when wet - so every time it rains a bit more washes off and away.

PROS Low cost, effective, longer lasting, usually uses less access as a larger area of roof can be sprayed from a distance.

CONS Results are not instant, heavy on chemical use, rain water collection systems have to be disconnected for several months after to prevent contamination, does not remove dirt build up, does not remove bird droppings or debris on the roof surfaces, does not clean gutters.

Note - if your cleaning company mentions they'll be using bleach on the roof - tell them to run a mile.

What you need to know - not everyone who provides you with a quote for your roof wash will have inspected the roof up close - so will default to the 1st option as it is low risk. By the time you remember to check the results in 3-6 months time it's a bit difficult to account for.

The cost difference between option #1 and options #2 & #3 could be in the thousands of dollars - potentially double or more - so it is important to understand;

a The bottom line - what you are paying for versus your expectation of the Scope of work for your Roof Clean

b That you know what result you want - instant results (for pre-sale) - or are you happy with more drawn-out result?

c The numbers, roof cleaning is high-risk work by default, and the largest cost factor is TIME. If the quotes vary enough to raise your eyebrows, then it begs the question: 

* What safety practices are being followed?

* How long will it take?

* What method has been quoted for?

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