Cleanliness should always be a priority in any senior living community, but the COVID-19 pandemic has raised the stakes on the importance of sanitation.
Our Maintenance and Housekeeping teams stay busy making sure that every nook and cranny of every Arbor Company community is disinfected on a daily basis, and one tool in particular has helped keep germs at bay, while saving time and effort.
High-tech electrostatic sprayers are in use in every Arbor community, and the devices have made it much easier to keep communities sanitized.
The sprayers, which also have been adopted by many schools, hotel chains, and airlines, originated in the food service industry, said Daniel Asencio, maintenance support specialist for The Arbor Company.
The unique feature of electrostatic sprayers, in comparison to traditional methods of cleaning, is right there in the word electrostatic.
Using traditional methods of spraying and wiping, a worker would have to spray both the top of a table and the underside, then wipe both sides down thoroughly. With the electrostatic sprayer, the chemical mist “wraps around” and adheres to both sides of the table, almost like a magnet Asencio said.
The chemical used is also “food safe” and EPA-approved, meaning that it can be sprayed on top of food preparation tables, Asencio said.
The first electrostatic sprayer was tested and used in an Arbor Company community as far back as 2018, when Asencio worked at Arbor Terrace Morris Plains.
His goal was to keep the community as germ-free as possible, “so I would make it a three-times-a-day spraying of the common areas of the community – all the doorknobs, all the rails in the hallways,” he said. “It sprays such a fine mist that within five minutes, I would say, it’s dried up.”
There’s no visible residue on most surfaces, Asencio said. And it generates a faint aroma, similar to a sauna or public swimming pool, but it also absorbs odors in places such as restrooms.
“We figured this out, not through the vendor but from trial-and-error,” Asencio said.
It saves time because there’s no wiping down after spraying, so there is no need to change towels after every few swipes.
In February and March, when it first became apparent that the coronavirus would become a serious, worldwide health threat, The Arbor Company ordered electrostatic sprayers so that every community could be equipped with them.
“We’re proud and thankful that our company was able to be on the forefront of ordering these for our communities and having them as part of our infection-control and cleaning processes,” said Judd Harper, president of The Arbor Company.
Van Bartlett, campus maintenance director at Arbor Terrace Hamilton Mill, uses the sprayers daily in his community. In his view, they provide a sense of security for residents who see the precautions being taken on their behalf.
“It’s a high level of sanitation,” Bartlett said.
The sprayers are worn in backpacks, and that portability makes it more comfortable for workers to use as they spray down stairways and into corners of rooms, Bartlett said.
“They’re user friendly and able to cover a lot more territory,” he said.
The sprayers make it easier when a new resident moves in; the maintenance team can spray down the apartment the person is moving into, as well as the possessions the resident is bringing in from outside the community.
“So, it’s an extra step of precaution,” Bartlett said. “You feel secure with this thing.”