Heatwave Hygiene: Maintenance Strategies For An Unusually Warm Philadelphia Winter
The impact of El Niño is likely to leave Philly warmer and wetter than in previous years
A glance at the weather systems likely to hit Philly over the rest of winter reveal an interesting trend - warmth. As Axios notes, the impact of El Niño is likely to leave Philly warmer and wetter than in previous years - though that will bring with it plenty of snow with conditions finding the right balance. Businesses that are used to focusing their maintenance strategies on the deep freeze will, therefore, be left lacking.
Aside from the obvious shift in how properties must be managed during warmer and wetter weather, there are a few factors present in this sort of weather system that make a little bit more cleaning analysis necessary. Indeed, it may be necessary to build a new maintenance strategy around what this humidity can cause in the long-term.
High humidity brings one major risk to premises of all types - worse indoor air quality. Viruses are already high on the risk meter in Philadelphia. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the rollout of COVID-19 and flu vaccines has been broadened considerably, given both viruses, and HSV, are considered to be at an elevated risk going into New Year. It’s important that businesses do everything they can to protect both workers and visitors - especially due to the humidity risk. One National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health found that increased humidity increases ‘mass deposition’ - enhancing coronavirus rates.
One way to reduce this risk is through lowering humidity. That can be achieved through HVAC, but professional cleaning is essential to ensure such a system is working well. Beyond that, consider the general cleanliness of the property on a day to day basis. A deep clean will help to set a standard; from there, providing hand sanitizer, hand washing stations and everything else required to maintain those standards will put you in good stead.
Tackling deeper problems
Deep humidity and a generally wet and cold environment creates a greater risk of mold buildup in building structures. As Chalkbeat notes, schools across the city face closure after the discovery of the insidious element within their buildings. With private businesses subject to less rigorous building codes and regulations than public services, it is often up to business owners to make the checks themselves.
There are options. Through deep mold cleaning surveys and structural assessment you can make sure that you’re meeting the standard required. This can also help to flag up weaknesses in the wider premises. Mold and damp creep in where there are weaknesses in the structure of the building - which also creates a risk for pests, and can hurt energy circulation and ventilation, increasing energy builds. A proper in depth search and clean of the property will highlight any issues to be rectified, ensuring that it remains in a good state and doesn’t contribute to adverse health.
Protecting the workers
It’s obviously important to protect customers when they come on to a commercial premises. Having customers visit and leave poorly will damage reputation and, potentially, cause liability issues, making them a priority. That said, it’s the welfare of employees that can be equally as important and, sometimes, put aside.
According to Mondaq, the level of sickness currently being experienced in the average American business is concerning - indicating that workers are potentially not receiving the level of support they need. Workplaces can do a lot during the virus season to push back on that reality, helping workers stay in the workplace. This, in turn, ensures that you can keep providing a good service and keep working at maximum capacity. That’s crucial during the end of year period in which you’ll find yourself with the most footfall in your business - not a good time to lose out on sales.
The key is in regular and thorough cleaning. Janitorial and custodial services will ensure that professionals have a clear eye of the workplace and its risks. Hiring these professionals to give their expert view on the quality of cleaning, and also asking them to make sure their own efforts meet the regulatory and other standards in place with the workplace, will ensure you are giving employees the best chance to dodge sickness at work.
Winter is the season of viruses - and added humidity makes that even more of a risk. Science shows that contaminants and pollutants stick around in the air more when there’s lots of moisture. With Philadelphia set to experience an unusually warm and sticky winter, those risks are raised again. Businesses can do a lot, both for their customers and their workers, to hedge this risk and ensure that any visit is as routine as possible and with minimum risks of catching an illness. The key is in cleaning and routine maintenance - get that done, professionally, and the rest will fall into line.