Along with the excitement that comes with having a new home, we have to be mindful of steps we should take to minimize the risk of anyone who lives there being exposed to the virus currently posing such a threat to the health of our population.
It’s worth repeating that there’s no need for panic. For the most part, this is just a matter of paying some extra attention to the cleaning and disinfecting you would perform under any circumstances. It’s important to distinguish between the two, however. Cleaning removes germs and dirt from surfaces, but it may not completely eliminate pathogens. To a limited extent, it lowers the likelihood of infection. But to be sure, you need to apply an approved chemical disinfectant after you clean.
For options, you can refer to the CDC’s home cleaning guide and information from the American Chemistry Council’s Center for Biocide Chemistries. The EPA has also published a list of recommended disinfectants that are effective against the novel coronavirus. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions on how long a product should remain on the surface.
Wear disposable gloves and masks while cleaning and disinfecting, and change them often to avoid cross-contamination. Always ensure that you have proper ventilation where you’re working. If possible, open the windows to bring in some fresh air. UV radiation from the sun may help to enhance the effects of your disinfecting process.
It’s best to avoid relying upon relatively ineffective homemade solutions, such as vinegar and water. But do keep Clorox bleach, Lysol sprays and toilet bowl cleaners on hand, along with Purell disinfectant wipes.
Pay special attention to surfaces that are touched often. Examples include countertops, sinks, toilets, desks and chairs, and smaller items such as handles, doorknobs, remotes and light switches.
Although there’s no evidence at this point showing that coronavirus can be transmitted through heat or AC systems (since it’s mostly spread via droplet transmission), it wouldn’t hurt to wipe down your vents as well.
If you’ll be telecommuting from your new home or having a permanent office there, establish a workstation routine that includes cleaning your keyboard and mouse frequently. That’s especially important to remember if you eat at your desk.
Don’t shake out dirty laundry, and use the hottest setting recommended by the manufacturer for the items you’re washing. Use the sanitizing cycle if it’s available. Also, remember to clean and disinfect all clothes hampers.
At times like these, we have to think “outside the box”. Can pathogens be carried into your new home on shoes? It’s not likely, but maybe it’s prudent to remove them before you enter. We do know that purses, backpacks and other similar items may have been on the floor at some point and should never be set on a surface where food is prepared or eaten. Changing clothes upon returning from other locations might be a good idea, as well. And have plenty of hand sanitizer easily available for both residents and guests to use. Be sure it’s at least 60 per cent alcohol.
That brings us to the one vitally important step that needs to be re-emphasized wherever and whenever possible. Wash your hands! Do it frequently and for more than 20 seconds each time, using soap and hot water. Wash them after removing gloves. And always do it after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, using the restroom, or being in contact with pets or other animals. Wash before and after preparing food or providing care for a child or another person – whether ill or not.
The Artisan Homes family is offering these important tips to help ensure that you’re better able to maintain peace of mind and keep yourself and others in the best of health during this very stressful period.