Recent Biohazard Posts

Sewage Cleaning Services in North Dallas, TX

4/26/2021 (Permalink)

Sewage Cleaning Services SERVPRO of North Dallas is prepared to respond to any sewage emergency. Our water damage experts will address the damage contamination step by step.

Sewage is also known as wastewater. Washing clothes, dishes, and body parts, as well as flushing toilets, all contribute to wastewater. Because sewage is biohazardous due to it containing human waste, systems are designed to keep sewage securely contained.

Sewage emergencies can and will happen due to sewer line failures or blockage within the system. It could also happen during a storm when floodwaters knock sewage-containing components out of place. 

However sewage gets inside your home or business, it’s necessary to exercise extreme caution whenever contaminated water is present. Making contact with the biohazardous waste in sewage threatens your health, and possibly your life.

How to Identify Sewage

If water is coming up through a toilet, shower, or sink drain that smells foul and looks dirty, there’s a high probability that it’s contaminated. If floodwaters enter your home or business from the street, there is also a good chance that the water has mixed with toxic waste.

Septic issues are another cause of sewage backup. The CDC advises those with septic systems to watch for these signs of septic failure:

  • Sinks drain slowly
  • Toilets drain slowly
  • Floor drains overflow
  • Sewage becomes visible outside the home

What to Do When There is Sewage Indoors

Because sewage contamination poses a serious health hazard, you should do your best to steer clear of it. Here are tips on how to handle a sewage contamination situation that is indoors.

  • Try to avoid the affected area as much as possible. Do not handle contaminated items without personal protective wear.
  • Turn off HVAC systems and open the windows for ventilation.
  • Turn off the main breaker if there are high floodwaters.
  • Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated.
  • You may add small amounts of chlorine bleach to standing water until help arrives.
  • Do not attempt to unclog drains because the sewage must be removed first.
  • Do not use a shop vac or other vacuum to remove contaminated water.
  • Call emergency services if the situation is life-threatening.
  • Take photos for property insurance documentation.

While no one likes to have a big mess in their space, it’s best to leave it alone and wait for professionals to come help. 

Call SERVPRO of North Dallas for Sewage Cleanup

SERVPRO of North Dallas is prepared to respond to any flood damage or sewage cleaning emergency. We have the proper personal protective equipment to get close to the contamination so that you won’t have to. 

Our team of water damage experts addresses the contamination step by step. First, we do an assessment of the area to see how much of it is affected. Next, we work to safely extract as much of the contaminated water as possible. Then we dry out the area and rid all materials of contamination, including any textiles that have been touched by the water.

If your home or business has been affected by sewage in any way, don’t delay! Contact us 24/7 at (972) 690-1414 for emergency contact.

Tips For Safely Cleaning Up Biohazard Waste

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

biohazard waste SERVPRO of Richardson has the experience to professionally handle a variety of biohazard cleanup scenarios.

If you’ve ever been to a doctor’s office, you’ll notice that there are separate bins labeled for biohazards. There’s a reason we keep biohazards contained and separate from the public. 

Cities will often issue a “boil water notice” when there is the possibility that the water supply has been contaminated with toxic material. Humankind has been battling the spread of illness for centuries, and containing what we suspect to be infectious is one of our best defenses.

SERVPRO cares about public health in Richardson, Texas. We offer safe and professional biohazard cleanup to mitigate exposure to harmful biohazards. Today, we’ll explain why biohazardous waste must be handled with care.

What is Biohazard Waste?

Biohazard material involves any biological material that poses a danger to other living creatures. Biohazards can be present in any environment.  Because of the risk of disease associated with biohazards, any biohazard cleanup should be handled with vigilant caution.

Professional biohazard cleaning services have extensive training and proper PPE (personal protection equipment) to remove biohazards and minimize risk to humans and animals. It’s best to leave it to the professionals. When in doubt, call SERVPRO at (972) 690-1414, so we may advise you on how to proceed with biohazard cleanup.

Different Types of Biohazard Waste

We throw things away every day, so what is the difference between trash and biohazard waste? Is your spoiled milk a biohazard? While spoiled food could make you sick, it’s not considered a biohazard. 

We’ll cover the criteria for what qualifies as biohazard waste.

  • Blood - Human blood or tissue that contains human blood.
  • Animal waste - Animal carcasses or decaying body parts.
  • Bodily fluids - Human fluids and secretions.
  • Microbiological - Specimen cultures, disposable dishes for the culture, discarded viruses, and any devices used for transfer or mixing of cultures.
  • Pathological - Biopsy materials, or anatomical parts from medical procedures.
  • “Sharps” - Needles, scalpels, or IV tubing, etc.

Biohazard Waste Levels

Assigning levels is how we measure the risk when dealing with certain substances. The higher the biohazard level, the more likely it is that you’ll need professional assistance and protocols to manage the biohazard cleanup.

Level 1 - Minimal threat (may cause illness): E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, and Naegleria gruberi.

Level 2 - Moderate threat (likely to cause severe illness in humans): HIV, hepatitis B, salmonella, etc. - those transmissions that occur as a consequence of direct contact with infected material.

Level 3 - Serious threat (serious diseases): Tuberculosis, Coxiella burnetii, etc. - those pathogens that spread by way of airborne transmission.

Level 4 - Highest risk (life-threatening diseases with no cure): Ebola virus, Lassa virus, etc.

If any of these diseases are known to be a clear and present danger, please don’t attempt to do a biohazard cleanup if you aren’t trained or don’t have the right supplies for it. Call the professionals at SERVPRO for guidance and assistance.

How to Properly Cleanup Biohazard Waste

The ability to do a biohazardous cleanup is ultimately dependent on what resources or trained workers are available to carefully address the cleanup of the hazardous materials present.

  • Solid waste - Any non-sharp material that contacts human or animal specimens such as personal protective equipment (PPE), towels, linens, Petri dishes, and pipettes. These are disposed of separately from “sharps” (like scalpels, needles, or fragile glass items). Healthcare workers dispose of solid waste in a designated container lined with an autoclave bag marked with a biohazard symbol. This waste is disposed of as regular medical waste and will be sent to a pre-approved landfill.
  • Liquid waste - Body fluids or blood that may contain an infectious agent that has a volume of 25 milliliters or less. These are placed in a specified leakproof container (indicated by a hazard label) which is safely installed so it won’t tip over. Sometimes these are placed in a secondary container for added security. Bleach or autoclaving is sometimes applied to liquid biohazard (except for body fluids or chemical waste).
  • “Sharps” waste - All medical instruments that could be infectious and are sharp enough to puncture the skin or a plastic bag (needles, microscope slides, scalpels, and broken glass vials). Dispose of these items in specified containers that are resistant to puncture, and are leak-proof. “Sharps” containers are picked up by a medical waste service provider for incineration.
  • Pathological waste - Animal or human organs, tissues, and body parts (such as biopsy material). Any one of these may contain infectious agents. This waste is double-bagged to prevent leaks and is stored in a secondary container. These would be incinerated as with liquid waste.
  • Microbiological waste - Laboratory waste such as disposable culture dishes and specimen cultures, or discarded viruses and devices used to mix cultures that may contain infectious agents or pathogenic organisms. These items are either treated onsite by qualified personnel or carefully disposed of in a designated waste storage area.

Biohazard remediation is done with the appropriate containment where it can be picked up by a professional medical waste company for transport to an industrial incinerator. Other means of biohazard remediation include disinfection, chemicals, and autoclaving, but in many cases, incineration is a regulatory requirement.

Where Does Biohazardous Waste Go?

To be 100% certain that infectious agents or pathogenic organisms from waste are securely contained, we place such materials in the proper containers and sometimes add additional protective layers. Professional training comes into play as understanding which is the appropriate means of disposal is crucial. 

The final destination for the bulk of biohazard cleanup waste is an incineration facility for the safe destruction of toxic materials. All packages are placed into a chamber with heat surpassing 850°C, then moved into a secondary chamber where it retains gases for over 2 seconds. Pollution control systems keep harmful gases from leaking into the environment during the process.

Improper Biohazard Waste Disposal

If biohazardous waste is packed up tight, how is it still a threat? Those in the sciences and medical fields want to make absolutely sure that nothing they throw away will harm other living beings.

Say you tossed a bag of biohazard waste into a dumpster behind a clinic. Animals could break into the bag and come into contact with bloodborne pathogens and spread this throughout the community. Dumpster divers might open the containers and hurt themselves on sharp containers. Also, it would be dangerous to have biohazards in general-purpose landfills.

For everyone’s safety, these materials must be properly disposed of to avoid the spread of such serious illnesses as Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, HIV, etc.

When biohazard cleanup waste disposal is not handled properly, this is likely a violation of state or federal law and could incur steep fines and possibly jail time.

Reach Out to SERVPRO of Richardson for Biohazard Cleanup

If you’re in doubt about whether you can handle a biohazard cleanup, more than likely you will need a dependable biohazard cleaning company to step in and help you dispose of biohazards safely and securely.

SERVPRO of Richardson has experience with a variety of biohazard cleanup scenarios including:

  • Crime scene cleanup (homicide, meth lab, tear gas, etc.).
  • Unattended death cleanup (suicide or accidental death).
  • C Diff Cleaning
  • Hoarding
  • Sewage backup or chemical spills
  • Animal waste (such as a rodent infestation).

Some scenarios are of a sensitive nature, and in such situations, our biohazard cleaning services are carried out with compassion and discretion. If you find yourself with an overwhelming biohazard cleanup situation on your hands, don’t take any chances. Leave it to the professionals. Call SERVPRO for 24/7 emergency contact at (972) 690-1414.

The 5 Stages of Hoarding and When to Get Help

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Richardson Hoarding Cleanup Services SERVPRO of Richardson Hoarding Cleanup Services

A hoarding situation is a delicate matter that is difficult to discuss with loved ones. If you or someone you know is living with a hoarder, you aren’t alone.

1 in 20 Americans lives in mild to moderate hoarding conditions, while 1 in 50 homes qualify as a severe hoarding environment.

Gathering information is a step in the right direction toward a better living situation. Please read through all 5 stages of hoarding and find out how SERVPRO of Richardson can help.

What is Hoarding?

Put simply, hoarding is an accumulation of objects, animals, or trash. It’s caused by neglect, compulsion, or a bit of both. It causes any and all parts of a home to be unlivable.

Life in a hoarding environment can cause problems relating to physical wellness, emotional health, relationships, financial, legal, and other aspects of life.

What Causes Hoarding?

Hoarding is symptomatic of underlying psychological issues such as OCD, ADHD, or depression/anxiety. Some have said it can be linked to a personal history of poverty (but this hasn’t been clinically proven).

Common Signs of Hoarding

Reality-TV displays the more extreme side of it, but there are 5 stages of hoarding that lead up to this. So, what are the first signs of hoarding? 

Levels of Hoarding

Experts found that hoarding is on a spectrum. Understanding the problem in-depth (by identifying the different types) aids in the treatment of underlying mental health issues. 

Read on to learn about the 5 stages of hoarding.

Level 1 Hoarder

The beginning stage of hoarding is the mildest. In the home of a Level 1 hoarder, you may find:

  • Some signs of animals/animal waste (pets or pests).
  • No strong odors.
  • Moderate clutter.
  • Mostly healthy and sanitary conditions from regular housekeeping.
  • Some gathering of items collected compulsively (but the movement is not blocked around doorways and pathways).

In this phase, compulsive collecting begins but hasn’t yet become a health issue.

Level 2 Hoarder

At this stage, the accumulation of items creates a blocked doorway or exit along with more signs of neglect. This level includes:

  • Increased clutter (to the point of blocking or narrowing the pathways).
  • Appliances or HVAC in disrepair for 6 months or more.
  • Mildew in the bathroom or kitchen.
  • Moderate pet odor.
  • Pet waste.
  • Litterbox is used three times and hasn’t been scooped or refreshed.
  • Several pets including fish, birds, or reptiles.
  • Signs of rodents.
  • Trash can overflow.
  • Dirty food prep stations.

Level 2 brings about social withdrawal due to anxiety, depression, or being too embarrassed to allow guests.

Level 3 Hoarder

Midway through the hoarding scale, there is increased clutter, more disrepair, and advanced neglect. Here’s what is found at this stage:

  • Visible clutter outside (such as broken appliances and old furniture).
  • More broken appliances than at level 2.
  • Light structural damage to the home.
  • Unmanageable or illegal amount of pets.
  • Neglected cages, tanks, or litter boxes for animals.
  • Signs and sounds of rodent pests.
  • Fleas
  • Spiders/spider webs.
  • More than one blocked doorway or narrow passageways through the home.
  • One bathroom or bedroom is unusable. 
  • Substances or spills remain on the floor.
  • Dirty laundry pileup.
  • Noticeable odor.
  • Overflowing trash cans.

At level 3, personal neglect is also evident. Those living in the home may not be bathing for several days, at or reaching obesity, and eating a poor diet. 

The occupants are also avoidant or defensive when others try to talk about the state of the living conditions.

Level 4 Hoarder

At this stage, the environment has reached toxic levels. Some or all of these listed are found in Level 4 hoarding situations:

  • Mold and mildew throughout the home.
  • Structural damage has gone 6 months without repair.
  • Pets counts are in excess of the legal amount (by at least four). 
  • At least three areas have visible animal waste.
  • Unusable bedrooms/bathrooms.
  • Presence of rotting food in the kitchen, fridge, and other rooms.
  • Very old canned goods.
  • All dishes and utensils are dirty and can’t be used.
  • Bug infestation in beds (including lice).
  • Beds without linens.
  • Several spiders and spider webs.
  • Bat or rodent sounds and signs.
  • More than one exit blocked.
  • Flammable materials stored indoors.

Personal neglect is advanced at this stage with many weeks without bathing, the onset of more severe mental issues, and escapism (living in the past or grandiose dreams of the future).

Level 5 Hoarder

Conditions of a level 5 hoarder home are considered to be unlivable. There is an increased concern for the personal welfare of the residents. Such extreme conditions are:

  • Severe structural damage to the home or broken walls.
  • Lack of electricity or running water (leading to human waste collection in buckets).
  • Fire hazards.
  • Rodent sightings (or other wild animals getting inside.)
  • Excessive clutter in bathrooms or kitchen (blocking the path).
  • Pet counts are in excess of the legal amount (by at least four). 
  • Human waste is seen or smelled.
  • Rotting food around the house or inside a broken refrigerator.

At this stage, the home may be abandoned with the residents away most of the time or staying elsewhere. 

The higher the level of hoarding the more likely it is that a resident has severe depression or other mental health problems. NAMI is available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. to assist those who need guidance on how to best help loved ones. Call NAMI at 800-950-NAMI (6264) or call 211 for Dallas area resources.

The International OCD Foundation also offers tips on how to approach those affected by hoarding.

Contact Us for Hoarding and Biohazard Cleanup 

Our SERVPRO of Richardson biohazard cleanup team understands the sensitive nature of hoarding situations. We’re ready to restore hoarding homes back to healthy environments.

We provide hoarding cleanup services and odor remediation with dignity and respect. 

We work with you to come up with a recovery plan for your specific needs. During our free consultation, we offer ways to service the residence while respecting a resident’s privacy (such as overnight cleaning). 

We’re here to answer your call 24/7. Reach out to us at (972) 690-1414 or fill out our quick and easy contact form anytime!

How to Disinfect Ambulances to Help Prevent Spread of Coronavirus

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

How to disinfect ambulances amidst COVID-19 SERVPRO Richardson How to Disinfect Ambulances During COVID-19

In recent months, information about Coronavirus has been circulating at dizzying speed. Accurate information must be readily available for frontline emergency medical management to be able to put together the most proactive and effective plans. More than ever, we look to trustworthy sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for reliable information on how to respond.

What the CDC says about the spread:

  • There is no vaccine for COVID-19.
  • The most common way the virus spreads is person-to-person contact (proximity within 6 feet).
  • When a virus carrier sneezes or coughs, infected droplets are released into the air. The spread advances when another person takes in these droplets through the mouth or nose. 

CDC directives (or prevention guidelines) are based on how the Coronavirus behaves. 

Recommended daily actions for spread prevention from the CDC:

  • Frequent handwashing, cleansing hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds.
  • When hand washing is not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol as needed.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands.
  • Maintain distance from others, especially from those who have the symptoms or have been recently ill.

As the number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus rises in Texas (you can find the updated case count for Texas here), so do the odds any particular ambulance may come into contact with a COVID-19 patient. 

For the protection of EMS personnel, their families and all patients who require that same ambulance after it is used to transport a patient infected with COVID-19, an ambulance needs to be kept sanitary.

Process of Cleaning and Disinfecting Medical Vehicles and Ambulances

In the medical industry, we trust that our providers follow a proactive protocol that ensures everyone’s safety. It is for this reason that, until recently, we wouldn’t think twice about going to a hospital after being injured or feeling unwell. Everything changed when society learned how easily COVID-19 spreads. Concerns about COVID-19 in a workplace, even without a positive test, have led to work-from-home policies in many industries.

Updates to standard operating procedures in response to the pandemic should include the consistent use of personal protective equipment (PPE), special instructions on handling patients who have (or may have) the Coronavirus, and diligent sanitation procedures. 

Recommended PPE for emergency medical services (including fire fighters, police, and emergency medical technicians), according to the CDC, include:

  • Disposable exam gloves that should be changed after contamination
  • A disposable isolation gown to protect the body
  • Respiratory protection (for example, the N95 filtering respirators that have been in shortage lately)
  • Eye/face protection (goggles/disposable face shield that covers the front and sides of the face)

Before we move to the next section, let’s iron out the concept of “PUI,” which stands for “Person Under Investigation.” 

According to the CDC, a PUI is anybody who is either exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or somebody who may be at high risk as a result of being in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient or recent travel to a high-risk area. With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the CDC’s recommendations for keeping people safe when EMS transport comes into play. 

The Recommended EMS transport procedure for a COVID-19 patient (PUI), as outlined by the CDC, are as follows:

  • Notify the destination healthcare facility, so they can prepare for the arrival of the infected person.
  • The patient’s family/companions should not travel in the ambulance.
  • If possible, prevent airflow from the patient compartment to the driver’s area.
  • Provide thorough and detailed documentation on the patient with any other required or relevant information.

As we all work together to make it through this challenging time, it helps to be mindful of the added responsibilities upon our medical personnel (including our ambulance medics). 

One of the chief concerns about the rate of the Coronavirus spread is the capacity of our healthcare system to support the demand. In support of our medics in being available to help those in need, please only call for emergency services when necessary.

Process of Cleaning an Ambulance or Medical Vehicle

Perhaps the most important step in transporting patients who have or are suspected to have the Coronavirus (in other words, a person under investigation) is cleaning up afterward. This includes proper handling of PPE and thorough sanitation of the inside of an ambulance.

Cleaning procedures based on recommendations from the CDC:

  • Step 1 - Leave the rear doors open to ventilate and completely air out the patient cabin. By the time the first responders complete the necessary paperwork, the exchange between outside air and inside should be sufficient.
  • Step 2 - Bioremediation technicians tasked with cabin cleanup should wear complete PPE. As discussed previously, this should include a full-body gown, double pairs of disposable gloves, and a full-face respirator with the appropriate filters.
  • Step 3 - Ensure the cabin is properly ventilated during cleaning, especially when using chemicals.
  • Step 4 - Pre-clean the surfaces. Next, sanitize target areas with an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant formulated for coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pathogens. The target areas are “high touch” areas and any other areas in contact with the patient/bodily fluids. Keep these areas in mind when disinfecting:
    • stretcher
    • rails
    • control panels and switches
    • floors
    • walls
    • seats
    • work surfaces
    • cabinets
  • Step 5 - Include the standard operating procedure cleaning regimen as directed by your management.
  • Step 6 - Prepare reusable equipment prior to use with another patient by cleaning and disinfecting all of it per manufacturer instructions 
  • Step 7 - Carefully prepare biohazardous items and disposable PPE for biohazard waste disposal by placing all affected items in the appropriate bags or biohazard burn boxes. 
  • Step 8 - Do not shake the linens. Contain and launder used linen per standard operating procedure. 

The CDC put together Transport Unit Decontamination guidelines during the Ebola crisis. For more detailed instructions on how to mitigate the spread of infection with protocol specific to before, during, and after stages, consult this CDC guide.

How Long Does It Take to Clean an Ambulance?

Medics ordinarily follow strict safety protocol by wearing gloves, properly disposing of biohazards (like needles), and other practices meant to ensure the safety of everyone aboard the ambulance.

Transporting a potentially contagious patient means additional time decontaminating the cabin area. This process can take 45 minutes or more. Using an industry-appropriate decontamination sprayer may cut down on time.

Schedule breakdown:

  • Airing out ambulance: 30 minutes
  • Donning complete PPE: Around 10 minutes (to save time, it could be done concurrently toward the end of airing out the cabin)
  • Cleaning of all surfaces and the stretcher: 10-15 minutes
  • Doffing of PPE and proper disposal of materials: around 10 minutes.

The above is an example of approximately how long each task may take is based on a video demonstration by Superior Ambulance. The time spent all depends on your current standard operating procedure and the additional adjustments necessary to ensure safety when a patient has been exposed to the Coronavirus.

How Often Does an Ambulance Have to Be Cleaned?

An ambulance interior should be cleaned exactly as stated in your standard operating procedure and this frequency should be indicated in those instructions. 

For EMS infection control, according to the CDC, it is a best practice to begin a thorough sanitation process of the entire cabin area after transport of a patient confirmed to have Coronavirus (or a PUI).

Esporta Washing Machine for Materials That Have Been in Contact with COVID-19 Patients

SERVPRO of Richardson is prepared to perform commercial cleaning services including proactive decontamination services for soft goods. Our process involves the use of an industrial Esporta Wash System which is specially designed to restore contaminated materials back to their original state.

Laboratory testing has proven the Esporta Wash System to be effective in eliminating unhealthy bacteria as materials were restored to food-grade level or better. We expect this decontamination laundry process to have the same benefits in regard to virus pathogen removal.

The Esporta Wash System Process:

  • Stage 1: An emulsifying detergent breaks down the food sheath layer of bacteria. This both deodorizes the material and removes harmful organic matter from the fibers.
  • Stage 2: A special detergent both breaks down inorganic material and eliminates contaminants.
  • Stage 3: Hydrogen peroxide sanitization kills any remaining molds or bacteria.

Along with its superior cleaning power, this machine uses an eco-friendly and hypoallergenic formula. This added benefit means less harm to the environment and no irritants to a patient’s sensitive skin.

We also ensure that contaminated materials are safely removed and transported for cleaning. We believe our soft goods cleaning service fits in well with an ambulance cleanup plan.

SERVPRO Can Provide Cleaning Services for Hospitals and Other Buildings

SERVPRO of Richardson realizes how inundated Dallas area hospitals and ambulances might become over the next few weeks, given the increasing number of COVID-19 infections across Dallas. We are fully prepared to support our area medical providers with safe and methodical cleaning services, including proper biohazard cleanup.

We’re your ally in this fight against COVID-19. Our team has the gear, the supplies, and the know-how to disinfect medical vehicles and buildings. We will thoroughly sanitize areas affected by Coronavirus pathogens. We’re here to support you. 

SERVPRO’s Commitment to Public Health:

  • SERVPRO professionals are trained in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
  • SERVPRO is performing all cleanup and bioremediation in accordance with the guidelines provided by the CDC and local authorities.
  • SERVPRO’s proprietary cleaning agent, SERVPROXIDE, is an EPA-certified, hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19) on hard, non-porous surfaces.

SERVPRO of Richardson stands behind our brave medical professionals to support them in putting forth the best efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19. We employ our years of experience and training in biohazardous situations, especially in the case of pandemic illness affected sites.

Our franchise is prepared and equipped to partner with our healthcare providers in assisting with cleaning procedures including the appropriate removal, transport, and cleaning of infected soft materials.

We continue to monitor the CDC website for any updated information or new instructions. We urge the public to stay current with information and directives from the CDC.

If you need additional support with the health maintenance of your facilities and vehicles or if you have any medical sanitation questions, call us anytime at (972) 690-1414 or complete our convenient contact form!

Coronavirus Cleaning and Disinfection Services for Nursing Homes

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

Coronavirus Deep Cleaning Coronavirus Deep Cleaning from SERVPRO

Nursing facilities and long-term care facilities are a focal point for the growing domestic COVID-19 (a.k.a coronavirus disease 2019) epidemic. The CDC has identified those with chronic medical conditions (heart disease, lung disease & diabetes) as being even more vulnerable.

As long term care facilities handle the ramifications of this disease on top of all the regular responsibilities of caring for the sick and elderly, cleaning services can be a huge help in managing the disinfection of a nursing home.

Best Practices for Visitors and Caretakers to Prevent the Spread of Pathogens:

  • Wash your hands with soap frequently and thoroughly.
  • When hand-washing is unavailable, use hand sanitizing products.
  • Avoid touching faces.
  • Practice social distancing (avoid hugs or shaking hands).
  • Stay home (especially if you’re sick) and cancel any unessential appointments. (If it can wait, cancel.)
  • Limit facility visitors.
  • Don’t allow symptomatic people to enter the facility.

Cleanliness is how an administration can be most proactive. Some may claim they have a product or service that can prevent and even cure this virus. Please remain vigilant that such claims are unsubstantiated. No product has been tested and proven to cure or prevent this strain of the Coronavirus.

Actions We Take to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus and Infectious Diseases

Long term care facilities are for those who (to various degrees) require help. This places a great responsibility upon nursing home care providers. Being proactive is crucial to mitigating the threat of pathogens.

The Coronavirus is currently thought to mainly spread through droplets that are released into the air from the cough or sneeze of an affected person. The virus is also believed to live for up to three days on surfaces. This means that if the microorganisms attach to the hands, the virus can enter the body by a person touching vulnerable points (mouth, nose or eyes).

Responding to outbreaks creates a need for bioremediation and decontamination of commonly used surfaces. An action plan should also include the safe disposal and carry of infected materials. It’s highly recommended that biohazard cleanup services be included in response to the threat against our most vulnerable.

SERVPRO Cleanup Scope and Disinfecting Procedures

We’re meticulous and thorough about our clean up procedures. The CDC highly recommends consistent cleaning of "high touch" areas. Below is a list of areas that are more prone to harboring germs.

Cleanup Scope of Work and Planning

Areas considered to be "high-touch" and should be kept sterile:

  • Counters
  • Tabletops
  • Doorknobs
  • Light switches
  • Bathroom fixtures
  • Toilets
  • Phones
  • Keyboards
  • Tablets
  • Tables

Examples of heavy use areas:

  • Kitchen/food areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail spaces
  • Water fountains
  • Shelving and racks
  • Sales counters
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Stair handrails
  • Elevator cars
  • Playground equipment
  • Fitness equipment

It’s crucial to keep high traffic and "high touch" areas thoroughly sanitized by frequent cleaning.

Disinfection Does Not Protect Against Future Contamination

Using a thorough and professional cleaning service like SERVPRO is not continuous protection for care facilities. The job only decontaminates the structure and its contents at the time of completion.

If it was discovered that another resident was diagnosed with COVID-19, or a visitor affected by the Coronavirus potentially left pathogens of the virus behind, the area and its contents would need a repeat decontamination.

Routine cleaning and decontaminating services may be required to manage risk for nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

SERVPRO Provides Other Services to Combat Spread of Infection

Our Commitment to the Community:

  • SERVPRO professionals are trained in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
  • SERVPRO is performing all cleanup and bioremediation in accordance with the guidelines provided by the CDC and local authorities.
  • SERVPRO’s proprietary cleaning agent, SERVPROXIDE, is an EPA-certified, hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19) on hard, non-porous surfaces.

SERVPRO of Richardson is actively monitoring the latest information and advisories from the CDC. We are a proven provider for the prevention and disinfection of affected areas. Our thorough cleaning plan includes textile cleaning with our industrial-grade Esporta Wash System. This involves the safe transfer of any contaminated objects.

We are on call 24 hours a day to assist in any nursing home or assisted living biohazard emergency. We are available for any kind of cleaning situation be it a preventive measure for suspected cases or a confirmed case of COVID-19 with a nursing home resident or staff member. We understand which resources are needed to carry out the bioremediation services. We thoroughly clean, disinfect and sanitize the facility.

SERVPRO is diligent in following all CDC regulations and guidelines and we recommend that all nursing care facilities do the same

SERVPRO of Richardson is committed to doing our part to be of aid to those who serve the most vulnerable. We are prepared to respond 24/7. Call us at (972) 690-1414 anytime.

University and School Cleaning Services for Coronavirus

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

School Sanitation and Cleaning Services SERVPRO Provides University and School Cleaning Services for Coronavirus

By now we’ve all heard of the “Coronavirus” which causes the deadly COVID-19 respiratory illness that has taken 4,418 lives so far and made its way into 100 countries globally.

Those in charge of public spaces everywhere are responding to the pandemic threat by canceling events, recommending “social distancing,” and reminding people of best practices in hygiene (frequent and thorough hand washing and avoidance of face touching).

In some parts of the country, schools have closed as a precautionary measure. It’s unknown what impact there will be on the greater Dallas area, but there are things we can do to be proactive.

The World Health Organization released an advisory for schools that remain open to:

  • Inform students on how to protect themselves.
  • Promote best practices with hygiene like handwashing.
  • Cleaning & disinfecting school facilities (especially water & sanitation).
  • Increasing airflow and ventilation.

When it comes to preventing the spread of this virus, it’s up to us as a community to do the best we can to remain informed and act with thoughtful consideration.

Students and their parents trust administrators to address public health issues and we’re here to offer our school cleaning services to help you put together an action plan that includes decontamination.

Cleanliness is how to best be proactive. There may be some out there seeking to exploit this growing crisis by claiming they have a product or service that can prevent or even cure this virus. But please be aware that claims such as these are unsubstantiated as no product has been tested and proven to cure or prevent this strain of the Coronavirus.

SERVPRO Response to Spread of Coronavirus and Infectious Diseases

Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and other diseases, public facility managers are faced with an urgent need for bio-remediation and decontamination of commonly used interior surfaces. An action plan should also include the safe disposal and carry of infected materials.

What we do know about COVID-19 (a.k.a coronavirus disease 2019) is that it’s usually spread from person-to-person contact when droplets of the virus become airborne through a cough or sneeze. 

We also suspect that COVID-19 can be contracted by a person’s skin picking up the contagions from touching a surface or object, then transferring these microorganisms through vulnerable points such as the mouth, nose or eyes.

Because the virus can live on surfaces and objects, it’s critical that areas be properly cleaned and disinfected. SERVPRO of Richardson is prepared to take immediate action for our Dallas area community to mitigate the spread of possible pathogens.

SERVPRO Cleanup Scope and Disinfecting Procedures

We’re meticulous and thorough about our clean up procedures. Below is a list of areas that should be disinfected.

Cleanup Scope of Work and Planning

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has provided guidelines for what are considered to be “high-touch” areas that should be kept clean:

  • Counters 
  • Tabletops 
  • Doorknobs 
  • Light switches 
  • Bathroom fixtures 
  • Toilets 
  • Phones 
  • Keyboards 
  • Tablets
  • Tables

The CDC has also identified the following heavy use areas as susceptible to harboring viruses:

  • Kitchen/food areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail spaces 
  • Water fountains 
  • Shelving and racks 
  • Sales counters 
  • Carpets and rugs 
  • Stair handrails 
  • Elevator cars 
  • Playground equipment 
  • Fitness equipment

The above are examples of high traffic areas and “heavy touch” surfaces which should be consistently sanitized.

Cleanup Does Not Protect Against Future Contamination

Using a thorough and professional cleaning service like SERVPRO only decontaminates the structure and its contents at the time of the cleaning. 

If it was discovered that a person testing positive for the Coronavirus was in the facility and potentially left pathogens of the virus behind, the area and its contents would need to be decontaminated all over again.

Professional routine cleaning may be necessary to stay on top of this issue.

Services that We Provide for Disinfection and Preventative Measures

SERVPRO of Richardson cares about this public health issue.

Our Commitment to the Community:

  • SERVPRO professionals are trained in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
  • SERVPRO is performing all cleanup and bioremediation in accordance with the guidelines provided by the CDC and local authorities.
  • SERVPRO’s proprietary cleaning agent, SERVPROXIDE, is an EPA-certified, hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19) on hard, non-porous surfaces.

SERVPRO of Richardson is keeping up to date with the latest information and advisories from the CDC. We make best efforts for prevention and disinfection.

We offer textile cleaning with our industrial Esporta Wash System. We also ensure the safe transfer of any contaminated objects.

SERVPRO is on call 24 hours a day to assist in an emergency. If night time or weekend cleaning is best for you, we’ll be there when you need us.

SERVPRO will respond appropriately to the situation be it a preventive measure for a suspected case or a confirmed case of Coronavirus on the campus. We’ll make sure we have any and all resources needed to completely carry out the biohazard cleanup services. We’ll thoroughly clean, disinfect and sanitize the affected areas.

SERVPRO is diligent in following all CDC regulations and guidelines and we recommend that all school campuses do the same. 

The world is still learning about this virus, so there are no guarantees that the Coronavirus pathogens can be completely eliminated, but we do believe our SERVPROXIDE is your best chance at effectively sanitizing an area affected by the virus.

SERVPRO of Richardson is committed to doing our part for public health while we cope with this pandemic. Remember we are ready to respond 24/7. Call us at (972) 690-1414 anytime.

Hoarding Cleanup Services

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Hoarding Situation in Garage SERVPRO of Richardson offers hoarding cleanup services to all of Dallas Fort Worth. Photo:

Hoarding Cleanup Services in Richardson, TX

We are often called to clean and restore properties with hoarding conditions after a fire or water damage.  Many hoarding situations require Richardson biohazard cleanup depending on the items being hoarded.  

No matter the type of hoarding help needed, our team has the experience to handle different types of scenarios, even before damage has occurred.

Hoarding Hazards

  • Hoarding can create cramped living conditions and fill a home to its capacity.  Often, only narrow pathways are available to move from room to room, and the number of items prevents the use of normal living space.  
  • Accumulation can be in every room of the house and may spread to the garage, vehicles, and yard.
  • When there are many items in a room, a fire hazard is caused.  This is due to blocked exits and excessive smoke caused by so many items burning at once.
  • Unsanitary conditions that pose a risk to health may occur.  Keeping a clean environment becomes difficult with a large number of items in a room.  We encounter this when our technicians have to clean around hoarded items as we try to perform water damage restoration.
  • A person who hoards may also choose to collect unsanitary items.
  • Hoarding may cause injury or getting trapped by shifting or falling items.
  • Hoarding may lead to legal issues such as eviction.

Hoarding Services

SERVPRO of Richardson offers hoarding cleanup services, including biohazard clean up involving bloodborne pathogens.  We are a full-service cleaning company.

We are prepared to:

  • Inventory, sort, and pack items of value.

Many times, the decision of which items to keep and which to throw away are made by the disaster in the house. In the case of fire damages, many items are often destroyed beyond salvage.  In other instances, a family member or friend will help our client determine which items to keep and which to let go of.

  • If needed, kept items will be transported to our facility for cleaning and storage.

In the case of water damage or fire damage, the affected items are sanitized.  When there is no disaster, it’s the client’s choice to have their belongings cleaned.  The items are kept in our long term storage until the client is ready to receive them again either at a new location or when their home is rebuilt.

  • Gather and dispose of items that require being thrown away.

Our technicians will inventory the items they can identify and report them to our customer’s insurance company.  Afterward, they are thrown away along with other debris.

  • Identification and cleanup of hazardous contaminants.

Safety is always our top priority, both for our crews and our customers.  If we find hazardous conditions, we will advise everyone but trained technicians to keep away from the area until it has been sanitized.  Our technicians will put on the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and clean up the biohazardous condition they find. Everything will be bagged according to law and disposed of properly.

  • Deep clean of the entire home, including the garage and yard.

When a disaster like water damage, fire damage, or mold is combined with hoarding conditions, we often recommend that the entire house is deep cleaned for the safety of its occupant.  Deep cleaning includes wet washing carpets, wall cleaning, and air duct cleaning.

  • If any part of the property is permanently damaged, our reconstruction team will rebuild it.

This situation is only warranted when the disaster that affected the home caused permanent damage.  In most cases, water does not do it. Mold and fire damage restoration often do require this level of restoration.

  • If requested, we can provide our services in unmarked vehicles for your privacy.

Your privacy is important to us.  We understand that some homeowners may be embarrassed by the situation they find themselves in and don’t want any added attention to what is happening to their property.  We will do our best to accommodate requests for the use of unmarked vehicles.

Fire and Water Damage or Mold with Hoarding

If we are cleaning a hoarder’s house after water damage or fire damage, we will also do the following:

  • Perform water damage restoration services such as water removal and drying.

Because water soaks into everything and gets into small crevices, we need to have access to every area of an affected room.  We also need to have room to properly set up our professional drying equipment in the location and quantity the property needs.  For this reason, the accumulation of items that inhibit us will have to move.

  • Perform fire damage restoration services.

We will immediately provide emergency roof tarping and board up.  This helps keep the weather outside of the property and cause additional damage.  We will work with our client’s insurance company to also get approval for smoke damage restoration, deodorization, permanent roof replacement, moving and storage services, contents and textile cleaning, and reconstruction.  

  • Perform mold remediation services such as mold inspection and mold removal.

We have a Texas Mold Remediation Contractor license, and we’ve helped many homes with all different types of mold and mold growth sizes.  

When hoarding begins to seriously affect the daily life of your friend or loved one, we’re to help.  Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

Trusted Leader in Water Damage Restoration and Fire Damage Restoration in Collin County, North Texas

SERVPRO of Richardson is a water damage restoration and fire and smoke damage restoration company on the border of Richardson and Plano Texas.  We have performed work in Dallas, Plano, Grapevine, McKinney, Frisco, Allen, and other North Texas communities in Collin County for over 30 years.  With our crews responding immediately to jobs, we are faster to any size disaster. We also have a Texas Mold Remediation Contractor License and offer free mold inspections.

Our crews are available dispatch for 24-hour emergencies every day of the year.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 690-1414.  Call us any time!

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“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.


Mayo Clinic

National Fire Prevention Association

End of Life and Unattended Death Cleanup in North Texas

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO worker dress in biohazard PPE SERVPRO of Richardson performs unattended death cleanup in Richardson, Plano, and other North Texas communities.

End of Life and Unattended Death Cleanup in North Texas

No two jobs are ever alike, but at SERVPRO of Richardson, one thing remains constant -- our team’s professionalism, compassion, and respect for privacy.  This is especially true when we receive requests from family members and friends asking us to clean and remediate their home after the death of a loved one.

Cleanup After the Funeral Home: Natural Causes

End of life events may or may not be in the presence of loved ones.  At times, a person may unexpectedly pass away and time passes before the event has been discovered.  In this case, the situation can require a biohazard cleanup.  Our team comes in after the funeral home has removed the body.  At that point, it is our responsibility to remove all biohazard and bloodborne contaminated material in order to make the property safe.

Cleanup After The Coroner: Homicide, Suicide, or Suspicious Death

In other unfortunate instances, end of life events occur due to accidental trauma or involve a crime scene.  

After the coroner is finished, our cleanup process remains the same:

  • We wait to be granted access to the property.  In most cases, this comes from a family member or the deceased’s trusted friend.  In the case of a crime scene, we must have police approval before beginning any cleanup procedures.
  • Death cleanups are not pleasant for anyone who knew the deceased, and we will do all we can to help them avoid the scene if they choose.  
  • Even if a family member or friend wants to be present, we do not ask anyone but our trained technicians to be present while the cleanup occurs.  
  • To avoid family member interaction with the cleanup scene until it’s finished, we arrange for access to the home or building using a secured method like a lockbox.
  • After we have access, we will complete a full assessment of the property.
  • Then, we will remove all biohazard-contaminated items, such as carpeting, clothing, bedding, furniture, etcetera.
  • If needed, we will also remove any affected subfloors.
  • If the death occurred on a top story, we will check the bottom story room for affected areas.  If any are found, the same process continues in the room.
  • The walls will also be cleaned and disinfected if affected.
  • If any smell remains after affected items have been removed, we will perform odor removal and deodorization services in the property.
  • If any flooring has had to be removed, our reconstruction team will rebuild the affected areas.  We have rebuilt damaged walls, subfloors, and replaced carpeting and wood floors.
  • If requested, the remainder of the home will also be deep cleaned, including air duct cleaning.  
  • Many times, the family simply wants to sell the property.  This happens often and is understandable. In this instance, we will remove all items from inside the house.  The items are packed up and moved to our cleaning facility for storage. The family can then have the items moved to another location, or they may authorize us to throw them away.

Cleanup with Hoarding

In the case of a hoarding situation, we will use specialized materials and techniques to lawfully clean and dispose of contaminated items.  

After Cleanup

Our team’s goal is to remove all affected items and smells so a family member doesn’t have to live with negative visual or sensory memories of their loved one’s passing.

Once affected items and smells have been taken care of, we notify the friend or family member.  It is at this point that the property is safe for anyone to come in and begin to organize, clean, or remove the deceased’s belongings.  

Moving Services and Storage Service

In some cases, we’re also asked to organize, document, clean, and pack all belongings and take them to long term storage.  When the loved one is ready, we deliver all stored items at a location and time of their convenience.

Your Privacy

We understand a family’s need for privacy during this time.  If requested, we will perform our work in an unmarked vehicle to avoid attracting any unnecessary attention.  

Trusted Leader in Water Damage Restoration and Fire Damage Restoration in Collin County, North Texas

SERVPRO of Richardson is a water damage restoration and fire and smoke damage restoration company on the border of Richardson and Plano Texas.  We have performed work in Dallas, Plano, Grapevine, McKinney, Frisco, Allen, and other North Texas communities in Collin County for over 30 years.  We also have a Texas Mold Remediation Contractor License and offer free mold inspections.

Our crews are available dispatch for 24-hour emergencies every day of the year.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 690-1414.  Call us any time!

Follow us:

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Linkedin   YouTube

“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.