With the outbreak of Coronavirus, the virus which causes the COVID-19 illness, many businesses across the United States have found themselves deeply impacted by mandatory closures or employees contracting the virus. To keep their doors open, many small businesses have invested in coronavirus disinfection services to keep employees safe, healthy, and feeling secure.

But how do you know what disinfection service to choose? Many ‘sanitizing companies’ have opened their doors since the pandemic began. But do they have the right training, equipment, and experience to ensure your business is properly sanitized?

Before choosing any disinfection company, you should do your research and ask questions to be sure they’re the right fit to keep your business safe. Follow this guide to help choose a trustworthy coronavirus disinfection service for your small business during the pandemic.

Does the company have demonstrated experience with biological contaminants?

If the answer is no, then this may not be the company for you. With such high demand for disinfection services, it’s likely there are companies who have no experience with biological contaminants and are only offering the service to cash in on the pandemic. When your small business wants to pay for a service to keep your doors open and employees safe – You don’t want to pay for an ineffective service.

When researching the company, check out their website and advertising to see if they offer any other biohazard, hazmat, or pathogen services. Handling biological contaminants properly is something that requires extensive training and resources. Look for what certifications or qualifications they have with biological contaminants. A reputable, experienced company should have these prominently advertised on their websites or will have no problem providing them when asked.

Are they clearly following CDC guidelines?

Every coronavirus disinfection service should be following the recommended guidelines set forth by the CDC (Centers For Disease Control) and the WHO (World Health Organization). All cleaning protocols should be in line with these recommendations and continue to change as updates are announced regarding the virus.

A reputable disinfection service should be clearly stating that they are following the guidelines from the CDC. If you aren’t sure, ask a representative of the company where their cleaning protocols are being informed from. If their program is not guided by the CDC, do not use that service and look for a program that is. Much research has been conducted by the CDC to help stop the spread of the virus and should be used as an authority in the field.

Are their disinfectant chemicals on the EPA registered disinfectant list?

The EPA has compiled List N: Disinfectants For Coronavirus. All the chemicals on this list have bee approved to kill SARS COV-2 when used in accordance with label directions. These chemicals can all be classified as hospital-grade disinfectants, which is also in accordance with the guidelines for sanitizing and disinfecting from the CDC.

If a company will not provide what type of chemicals they are using, or the chemicals are not on this list – Do not hire them to disinfect your small business. Only the products on the EPA list are approved for use against COVID-19. Any reputable company will be able to inform you on what chemicals they are using as well as the SDS (Safety Data Sheet) information at your request.

You should also be weary of any companies that claim to use chemicals that ‘protect’ against the virus for a certain amount of time as this claim is untrue and unsupported. Offering long-term protection for COVID-19 to customers is considered false and misleading by the EPA.

Are they using proper equipment?

Effective disinfection will require the proper equipment. Disinfection companies should be making use of UV foggers, electrostatic sprayers, and personal protective equipment (PPE). A professional disinfection company will invest in the proper equipment to provide the most effective service possible.

Does the company provide varying disinfection plans?

Every business is unique, as well as their sanitizing and disinfecting needs. You should look for a company that will create a personal disinfection plan based on your industry, business type, square footage of the building, amount of high touch points, congestion points in the building, amount of people in the building, and how people move around. All of these factors can impact a disinfection plan in your business. These factors are also important when creating a plan for emergency disinfection.

Have any other small businesses used this company?

As with any service, you should be sure to research reviews before deciding to hire them. Check to see how many other businesses have used the service and if they were happy with it. If a company seems to be specializing in residential disinfection, they may not be best suited for your needs. There are far more people and spaces to disinfect in a commercial building compared to a residential building. If you have a large warehouse or building, you may want to use a service that you know can handle the size of your facility.

Is the cost of the service too high or too low?

If you come across a company providing disinfection services at an extremely low price, this may not be a good sign. The materials and training needed to create a biological contaminant disinfection program come at a considerable cost. As most experienced at the beginning of the pandemic, PPE, chemicals, and other cleaning supplies have not been as easy to come by and are many times being sold at a higher cost. A company offering these services at an extremely low price may be cutting corners with their chemicals or training.

This point does not mean that the most expensive disinfection service will be the best either. Simply, it is more likely that an average priced or slightly higher priced service will provide a higher standard of cleaning than the cheapest option. And when your small business is paying out of pocket for these services, you want to be sure you get exactly what you were expecting. Compare prices of different companies before choosing your service provider.