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Sanitation Salvation

Diversey Care describe the best sanitisers and detergents that will help get your restoration back on track after a flood.

The aftermath of a fl ood can be distressing to the occupiers of a building, whether their home or business has been affected in isolation or as part of a wider natural disaster. It is important to ensure that the clean-up is completed as quickly and carefully as possible to reduce the risk of infections or longer term problems.

Water in fl ooded areas contains a variety of pathogenic organisms, so protective clothing and gloves should be worn at all times and fresh water used for all cleaning tasks. When this is not possible, any available water should be pre-boiled to kill off pathogens that may be present. Effective hand and skin cleansing helps reduce the risks associated with handling contaminated water and materials, and it can be augmented with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser or disinfectant such as Diversey Care’s Soft Care Med H5 – particularly important when the water used is not of drinking quality. All of this helps to protect the individual from infections in contaminated water and on hard surfaces, but also helps to prevent the spread of infections through hand-to-hand contact.

Any food preparation or storage area that was in contact with fl ood water must be cleaned and sanitised thoroughly; if there is any doubt, it is sensible to sanistise all surfaces. Each area should be cleaned using a sanitising detergent and then disinfected by its repeated use. For areas where a kitchen sanitiser is not strong enough, sanitisers which contain chlorine, such as Diversey Care’s Endbac Cleaner Sanitiser Powder, are suitable, but the water used for the fi nal disinfection stage should be of drinkable quality.

For other areas, physical debris and damaged items should be


removed and disposed of safely, before the affected surfaces are cleaned thoroughly using a sanitising detergent. As with kitchens, a chlorine- or oxygen-based bleaching system may be more effective than an everyday cleaning product, but can also be used for terminal disinfection. The Titan range from Diversey Care comprises high- performance cleaning and sanitising products for hard surfaces, walls, fl oors and equipment and is ideal for non-food applications, while Oxivir Plus can be used on those areas sensitive to chlorine such as fabric or furniture. Water used for the terminal disinfection stage though should, as before, be of a drinkable quality.

After disinfection where malodours remain, one simple option is to use Good Sense Breakdown; this innovative cleaning product can be used diluted as a hard surface cleaner or neat when poured down drains or toilets. It’s active ingredients include powerful agents that break down organic matter, while an additional patented Odour Neutralising Technology (ONT) ingredient eliminates strong smells rather than simply masking them with overpowering perfume.

If a fl ood is localised within a building it may be possible to prevent long-term effects by removing the contaminated water from the fl oor quickly; a scrubber dryer is ideal for this, as it removes dirt, debris and water from the fl oor mechanically before placing it into its built-in collection tank. The foul water can then be disposed of in a safe way to remove the risk of infection and contamination from the fl ooded area. Further decontamination may be required, but will be easier if the majority of water and contaminants have been removed. Another

option is Zorba, a super-absorbent disposable barrier strip that can be used to contain and remove localised fl ooding. Each 60cm of the strip can absorb up to 2l of water, and when saturated, it can be disposed of quickly and without leaking to remove the water from the affected area.

After the areas have been cleaned and sanitised, they should be dried out as soon as possible, as damp conditions are favourable for mould and fungal growth which can damage surfaces and generate harmful spores. TASKI Sani Mould Out is ideal for this task, although the sanitisers used for the original cleaning can also be used. Chlorine-based bleaching agents can damage soft furnishings though, so for these an oxygen-based sanitiser should be used.

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