Cleaning company staff dressed in full protective suits to go fight COVID-19

The following is part one of two of a question-and-answer interview held with Zac Copper, owner and founder of Northbay Maintenance Inc., a cleaning company in the Bay Area. Northbay is currently working with government agencies to help clean, sanitize and disinfect workplaces.

CleanLink: Your processes for cleaning for COVID-19 go beyond what is recommended by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Why do you believe it's important to do more than what the CDC guidelines suggest?

Copper: This is a rapidly-changing time with a lot of uncertainty. Although the CDC has issued guidance, the situation and circumstances have been changing in real-time as new information comes to life. Because of this, we believe that it is a safer bet to err on the side of caution. We are committed to the standards of excellence and continuous learning — over-delivery never hurt, but underdelivering certainly can.

CleanLink: What are your exact processes for cleaning against COVID-19?

Cooper: “Cleaning” against COVID-19 is a bit of a misnomer, as it only refers to using soaps and detergents to remove dirt and germs. We technically disinfect and sanitize against COVID-19, with sanitizing being a portion of a larger service.

CleanLink: What are your exact processes for disinfecting or sanitizing against COVID-19?


1.) Gear Up. We make sure all of our team members are fully protected with Tyvek suits, full-face masks (this helps keep our clients safe as much as it does our teams), gloves and full shoe covers. Then we go inside.

2.) Clean & Wipe. This is where cleaning comes in, as we want to get all surfaces as clean and free of dirt as possible. Dirt and grime can house bacteria and viruses especially well. Nothing too fancy here, just wiping down surfaces with a mix of disinfectant and soap while frequently changing out the rags to avoid cross contamination.

3.) Use UV Lights. Next, we use special UV lights to pass over high-touch areas, which are considered to be areas that get touched 80 percent more frequently than other household surfaces. Think keyboards, door handles, light switches, and more. This extra pass helps ensure everything is killed.

4.) Use Electrostatic Sprayers. Lastly and most importantly, we pass over the entire room with our electrostatic sprayers and hospital-grade disinfectants, making sure all surfaces are addressed to kill COVID-19. From walls and floors to vents, desks and all other surfaces, these sprayers cling and coat entire surfaces.

CleanLink: What type of technologies (brands not needed) do you recommend for these processes and why?

Cooper: Aside from the obvious safety and PPE — such as suits, masks, etc. — we highly recommend electrostatic sprayers because they offer the most comprehensive coverage. By positively charging the disinfectant being emitted the disinfectant clings to and coats all surfaces evenly, even wrapping and covering the backside of objects. This is really important as consistent coverage with a disinfectant is the most effective way of killing a virus. 

[We also use] a COVID-19-rated disinfectant. This is the most important part of this whole equation.  Without a proper disinfectant, it doesn’t matter how much scrubbing and wiping you do if you can’t kill the virus. Go onto the EPA or CDC and see the list of approved disinfectants against the COVID-19. 

CleanLink: What mistakes do you see cleaning service companies make right now in their effort to fight COVID-19 and how would you fix those mistakes?

The second part of this question and answer interview will be shared on on Monday.