By O.P. Almaraz, President Allied Restoration
With more than 26 years of experience in restoration, decontamination and disinfection of bio-hazards, Allied Restoration has expanded its service to assist in cleaning, planning and deploying rapid response for COVID-19. This experience in virus-related mitigation in Southern California has lead the company’s staff experts to help businesses protect against the spread of the virus.
Our bottom line is ensuring people stay safe as possible from this virus. We at Allied Restoration want to take people from crisis mode to proactive competency. With a clear plan, fear shifts to empowerment which yields more compliance and prevention. We aim to provide any necessary resources and education that will help Southern California and the rest of the Unites States fight the second wave.
While continuing to avoid any gatherings and non-essential outings, here are some tips that can further minimize the risk of potential exposure and reduce the spread of the virus.
· Tip #1: Try your best to change out the air in your business and home at least 3-6 times per hour.
In a closed area with no windows open, the entire air in a room swaps out less than once per hour (which greatly increases the chances of infection if someone else infected is in the space). Compare this to a subway car that offers 18 exchanges per hour and a plane that offers 20, a home can actually be one of the most dangerous places to gather. Residents living with multiple people in their household can improve ventilation in their homes and minimize viral spread by opening windows at least 6 inches which increases ventilation by 30%. Opening a minimum of 6-10 windows in a home should reach the recommended air changes per hour. In facilities that cannot be properly ventilated, purchase or rent air purification devices.
· Tip #2: Disinfect actively before, during and after potential exposure
Each day we face an element of risk at work or at the grocery store. Be sure to actively disinfect your hands before, during and after any interaction with people outside of your household. One of the best things you can do to keep your home and work space sanitized. Mitigate spread to make sure your space is being consistently disinfected using cleaning products listed on EPA List N (Disinfectants for Coronavirus / COVID-19) found here: https://cfpub.epa.gov/giwiz/disinfectants/index.cfm
· Tip #3: Control your CO2and humidity levels
Many devices are now tracking one or both Relative Humidity and CO2levels. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to be in an area that has a CO2level of 600 or less (cars have 1000 and outside has 400) which can indicate how much expelled air is present versus clean, fresh air that is more likely to be free of viruses. The higher the CO2levels, the higher the risk of breathing air that may be contaminated with the virus. Additionally, avoid dryer rooms as this allows COVID-19 to travel further while aerosolized. It may not feel like it would make a big difference, but humidity can slow the virus’s travel time and decrease the potential range in which the virus can travel.
· Tip #4: Let science be your guide
The Allied Restoration team is a huge fan of this COVID-19 Indoor Safety Guideline created by some brilliant folks over at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). When evaluating the risk of exposure in a home or work environment, simply plug in the room’s conditions (including whether or not inhabitants are wearing masks) and an algorithm calculates how long you would be advised to quarantine and how long the occupants would be unsafe.
About the Author:
O.P. Almaraz, president and founder of Allied Restoration recently published Your Safe & Healthy Home: How To Protect Your Family & Get Peace of Mind in the New Normal – a guide to mitigating disasters including wildfires and earthquakes and creating a healthier, eco-friendly, efficient space. Allied Restoration is a water damage, fire restoration, mold removal, virus disinfection, and construction company. They are committed to providing the best disaster restoration experience possible, working closely with insurance agents, brokers, adjusters, and clients to make sure the restoration process follows Allied’s white-glove service to all customers.