Bridge Gaps
Coping with the risk of exposure
Posted on: 03-24-2020 by Floor Covering Media


What's a home? It's supposed to be a safe haven. It could be a place to relax. It should provide an environment for unwinding after the workday. It can offer shelter. It might be a space for rest and recuperation from illnesses.



About the virus: There is the illness, the risk of illness and the anxiety created by vigilantly avoiding exposure to the virus. Once you're home, you should expect uninvited company: germs. We bring them with us to our doorstep into our homes; on our hands, our clothing, our devices and our footwear. The footwear is a primary carrier of these germs spread from the bottom of our street shoes. Remember: even remarkably well preserved flooring may harbor dangerous contaminants that might adversely affect your health.



But it's not all bad news. There are ways to protect you and yours. How? Clean your floors, the bottom of your footwear and leave the cleaned footwear at the entrance. It's an effective method of securing your home from unwelcome germs. After doing so, wash your hands, wipe down the countertops, doorknobs, light switches and the other common surfaces.


A cloth dampened in hot water and cleaner should lift and dilute the microbes that settle on the surfaces. Though, don't confuse cleaning (removing germs) with disinfecting (killing germs), an important distinction. Cleaning does not disinfect. Disinfecting when done properly should kill microscopic organisms on surfaces when someone in the household is ill.



A few key areas to address are those surfaces family members routinely share and surfaces in contact with bodily fluids.



Dirty windows? Probably not the most alarming health concern in the world. Doorknobs? A bit more of a health concern. Differentiate between disenfectancts (germ killers) and sanitizers (surface cleaners) and decide whether to wear gloves. Glove wearers: What kind? Rubber gloves are more durable and reusable, but disposable latex ones are also sufficient. Surfaces harbor unwelcome bacteria. Hands too. Belongings as well. What else? Light fixtures? Cabinets? Applianes? These have handles and control panels, which are touched whenever they're used.



Certain disinfectants might contain chlorine bleach that makes them unsafe for use especially in food preparation areas unless there is a rinsing step after disinfecting. Eating utensils, dishes and glassware?


There are two cleaning methods:


1.) Automatic dishwashers: make sure the water temperature is at 140 degrees(f) and the machine contains chlorine bleach. The above method may allow one to rest assured cookware and dinnerware are disinfected and free of bacterial growth.


2.) Handwashing: hands have bacteria. So add a final soak in a solution of one tablespoon of unscented chlorine bleach per one gallon of cool water. Time? Two minutes. Drain the solution. Let air-dry.


Don't use this solution on the silverware, aluminum products or any products with chipped enamel. Use liquid Bleach that contains a high-enough concentration of sodium hypochlorite to kill bacteria. A chlorine test strip could confirm there's a proper concentration of bleach (200 ppm).



Bathmats? Floors? Hand towels? Showers? Toilets? Toothbrushes? Towels? Tubs? Walls? All of these should be disinfected and replaced.  Clean the toilet after each use with a separate cloth to avoid transferring germs and bacteria. Disinfect each surface of a toilet (bowl, handle, lid, etc...).  Bedding, bed linens, mattresses, pillows and sleep clothing?



All of the above requires special attention for protection against harmful bacteria especially for someone who's feeling ill. Remember not to exclude outerwear, gloves, and scarves all of which that might have been exposed to communal germs. Recent sneezes? Disinfect the area immediately. Evidence of a past sneeze? Remove the dried remnants with a cloth, which should loosen it. Then, disinfect the area thoroughly.



Flooring? Taking care of flooring is a never-ending job. Just think about what gets dropped and spilled on your floors and what comes into your home on the bottom of shoes. Sweeping or vacuuming can capture much of the loose dirt and hair, but eventually, some of the mess will stick. The flooring's going to need to be cleaned with a mop and an efficient cleaner.



Mops? These are effective tools to maintain hard surfaces such as ceramic tile, concrete, harwood, laminate, porcelain stone and others. While a dreaded chore, mopping does not have to be the difficult task that many of us might remember with the recent advent of innovative floor mops.



Drains? During our busy lives, plumbing systems is just one of those things that we take granted until a serious issue arises stemming from maintenance neglect. Drain care? Preventative maintenance is a great way to care for your drains. Doing so might reduce the expected rate at which your pipe joints could disintegrate. Learn more about clog prevention.



Electronics? Don't use water, obviously. Clean it using an alcohol wipe with a predominant amount of isopropyl alcohol. These are great for cleaning laptop computers, smartphones, smartwatches, tablets and your television remote controls. Does your mobile devices need cleaning? Learn more about smartphone soap.


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