In healthcare, manufacturing, and facilities management, there are some cleaning priority areas that need to stay dust-free
Dust is not a problem that many people give much thought to in the UK. (Of course, globally, dust can impact on weather systems; we’re talking here about dust in internal environments, as it affects indoor air quality and surfaces). In the UK’s homes, getting rid of dust is usually little more than an inconvenient chore. But for specialist commercial cleaning companies, dust is a big deal in deep cleaning. For certain of our clients, maintaining a dust-free environment can be a key factor for fundamental health and safety, as well as their bottom lines. In this blog, we’re looking at three priority areas where deep cleaning ensures they stay dust-free: healthcare, IT facilities, and manufacturing.
Why keeping dust-free can be a challenge
It’s important to stay on top of dust in non-residential facilities. But in a busy space, the footfall through it has a significant impact on indoor air quality. In non-residential environments, dead skin cells constitute about 20–50% of dust. The rest is composed of lesser amounts of plant pollen, human hairs, textile fibres, paper fibres, and various other materials found in the local (external) environment.
There are several reasons why a particular indoor environment needs to be kept dust-free. Often, it’s about ensuring the health and safety of service users and staff. It can be essential for infection prevention and control, as dust and other dirt can be a vector for pathogens. In other circumstances, being in a dust-free environment can be about optimising equipment’s long-term performance. A build-up of particles and dust in and around equipment can make it difficult to cool machines, and overheating machines can compromise equipment. Removal of dust and overall hygiene therefore also helps regulate an entire room’s temperature, so a dust-free environment can help organisations with sustainability goals by requiring less cooling.
How we go about making and keeping key areas dust-free
For facilities managers and FM companies which may need to take these factors into consideration, it’s not easy to go dust-free. Only a professional cleaning company knows how to clean the hard-to-reach spots which are susceptible to dust accumulation. And cleaning of delicate equipment requires experience and proper training. Many of our clients start off with us in advance of a health and safety inspection visit. But we can make dust-free deep cleans part of a planned preventive maintenance schedule. Whether it’s surface cleaning, underfloor plenum cleaning, or air ducting, it’s vital to stay on top of the problem.
Our dedicated facilities management cleaning teams know their way around dust-free cleaning. Our cleaners prevent contamination from building up in these areas, but they’re also responsible for not bringing contaminants in. We use PPE such as shoe covers and hairnets that can help avoid further contamination of sensitive locations. And we’ll focus on maintaining the indoor air quality, so that areas stay dust-free for longer.
Here are three priority areas where our deep cleaning teams work to reinforce a dust-free approach to cleaning.
Healthcare: operating theatres, endoscopy units, recovery rooms and beyond
In healthcare settings, there’s a priority to be dust-free in several clinical areas. Clearly, it’s essential for operating theatres to be dust-free to limit post-surgical infection risks. Other procedures such as endoscopies also require a strict dust-free environment. And even in areas where patients are less clinically vulnerable, it’s good practice to keep areas dust-free for better infection prevention and control.
Facilities management: data rooms and IT hubs
Most larger offices have a dedicated data centre, also known as a computer room or data room. These are simply locations where companies keep computing and networking equipment and servers. They may be used for collecting, storing, processing, distributing, or allowing access to large amounts of data. Or they may be a much smaller operation, as the basis for a local network within a building. When it comes to data rooms, size doesn’t matter, but being dust-free does.
Manufacturing: cleanrooms, production facilities and more
Increasingly, there are some manufacturing processes that require clean rooms. For certain IT equipment manufacture, including semiconductors, it’s essential. Similarly, some research facilities will require dust-free labs and other facilities. In extreme cases, the prevalence dust and other airborne particles can create potentially explosive atmospheres (Atex), which require highly specialist equipment and cleaning processes.
Less dramatically, there are other manufacturing processes that require areas to be dust-free. In food production for instance, certain production processes require a great deal of space and ventilation, meaning it’s important to stay dust-free at height too. But high level cleaning brings its own challenges – and that’s a topic for a future blog.
To find out more about REACT Specialist Cleaning and our commitment to deep cleaning for dust-free environments where our clients need them, contact one of the team today.
Post by Sam Haywood
Sam is Group Sales Director of REACT Group plc., a business dedicated to specialist cleaning going beyond the everyday. His focus is on delivering clients with excellent service whatever their cleaning challenges. Sam has a background working in facilities services and facilities management across hard, soft, and M&E services for national accounts and clients.