How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Did you know poor IAQ or indoor air quality can affect the health of your occupants and visitors? Keeping the air in your facility clean is vital to occupant comfort and health. Find out how to remove viruses, mold, dust, and other air pollutants in this article.

Did you know poor IAQ, or the indoor air quality, can affect the health of your occupants and visitors? Keeping the air in your facility clean is vital to occupant comfort and health. Find out how to remove viruses, mold, dust, and other air pollutants in this article by learning how you can improve indoor air quality at your business’s facility.

What are the Downsides of Poor Air Quality?

IAQ, or the indoor air quality of your building, has a big impact on your occupants. Poor indoor air quality can create discomfort and illness amount the people in your building. Sometimes it can even lead to health issues that seemingly have no direct cause, meaning that fresh air is crucial for the well- being of everyone in your facility.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) refers to this as “sick building syndrome,” which is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building. There are numerous causes for sick building syndrome including chemical and biological contaminants, but inadequate ventilation and poor air quality are notable sources of discomfort for many.

These symptoms typically include, but are not limited to: 

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Irritation of nose, throat, and eyes
  • Respiratory diseases

Depending on the type of facility you manage, this can create several issues.

Poor IAQ in schools can create long and short-term health effects for students and staff, which can affect their performance. Students that are affected by poor air quality may have reduced attendance, comfort, and performance. Given how students attend school with the primary purpose of learning, poor air quality can inhibit their growth and development in the classroom.

For businesses, employees can also be affected by poor indoor air quality which can cost tens of billions of dollars each year because of reduced worker productivity and illnesses. Poor air quality can also be detrimental to the well-being and experience of customers who visit your facility.

Up until recently, improving indoor air quality wasn’t a high priority for many businesses. However, as COVID-19 surged, more people realized the importance of clean air since illnesses including COVID, the flu, and the common cold are spread through the air.

While COVID-19 has been around since 2019, removing the virus (SARS-CoV-2), and other contaminants, like dust, allergens, and other illness-causing germs is still as important as ever.

If there is one concept that will last well past the current COVID-19 surge, it is the importance of improving indoor air quality. Before we tell you how to improve your building’s indoor air quality, let’s review:

What is Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor air quality refers to the number of pollutants inside and around the outside of your facility. The air outside of your facility contributes to the quality of air inside your facility because ventilation systems allow air to pass into your building. If there are high levels of air pollution outside of your building, your indoor pollutant levels will also likely be high.

What Are the Most Common Air Pollutants? 

There are many pollutants that linger in the air that we breathe every day. Some of the indoor pollutants that cause poor indoor air quality include:

  • Bacteria, Mold, and Viruses
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Dirt and Dust, Including Dust Mites
  • Building Materials
  • Outdoor Sources (such as tobacco products, etc.)
Poor indoor air quality impacts concentration and performance.

Poor indoor air quality impacts concentration and performance, among many other factors for an individual’s well-being and performance. Allergens, like mold, can cause musty odors and are linked to health issues like headaches, allergic reactions, and respiratory discomfort.

In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of using an air purifying system to help you understand if it might be a good indoor air quality solution for your facility.

How Can You Improve Indoor Air Quality?

The best way to improve indoor air quality is to reduce the number of pollutants that are present in the air.

While this can be done in several ways, some of the most popular include:

  • Increase ventilation. There are several ways to accomplish this including opening windows and doors to create natural ventilation allowing fresh air into your building.
  • Have your building’s HVAC (Increased Filtration and Purification Technologies) systems inspected to ensure it is operating properly. Make repairs and upgrades if needed.
  • Check and clean or replace air filters.
  • Clean and maintain your facility on a regular basis, reducing the build up of dust.
  • Invest in portable air purifying technology.

While there are several ways to improve indoor air quality, the most flexible, versatile, and economical option is through the use of a portable air purifier.

What are Portable Air Purifiers and Why are they a Flexible Option for Commercial Buildings?

Portable air purifiers are commercial air purification systems that operate separately from your facility’s HVAC system. These purifiers filter the air in a certain area of your facility and complete multiple air changes per hour.

A portable air purifier can either be wall-mounted, recessed into the wall, or standing. The Fellowes Air Purifier provides flexibility to install units in locations that are most convenient while not occupying a large amount of space.

Fellowes Aeramax Pro Air Purifier

Some of these systems have features that are easy to use and can provide your occupants and visitors with clean air, faster. These features include:

  • Multiple Layers of Filtration
  • Smart Technology
  • Easy Movement

Multiple Layers of Filtration

There are commercial air purifiers that use multiple layers of filtration to remove as much of the air pollutants from an area as possible. The different filters work together to remove different kinds of particles from the air, like odors and VOCs.

Smart Technology

Some units have smart technology that will allow the purification system to run most efficiently. This smart technology uses a sensor to sense when people are in the area and will adjust fan speeds to best clean the air while conserving energy and extending the filter life. There are also settings that accommodate the need for quiet fan speeds and will emit less noise when the room is occupied.

The air purifier may even have the capability to show you the percentage of particles being filtered out of the air and the quality of the air in the room.

Many commercial air purifiers are built to be run 24/7 without affecting the effectiveness of the system. Because of this, you can rest assured that your air is being cleaned consistently.

Easy Movement

Another feature of portable air purifiers that makes them a good option for cleaning the air in your facility is that they can be moved easily. If you notice that an area is being used less, you can move the equipment from a low-traffic area to a higher trafficked one.

What are the Drawbacks of Commercial Portable Air Purifiers?

Though portable air purifiers are a great air cleaning solution, their size affects the amount of space they’re effective in. Each commercial air purifier has a maximum space recommendation that will allow the air purifier to achieve 3-5 air changes per hour. It’s important to note that you may need more than one device to clean the air in your entire facility.

By putting a system in a room that is too large, you may not be able to remove pollutants from your air. This means that you will need multiple portable air purification systems to efficiently clean the air throughout your building.

What Businesses Can Benefit from Commercial Portable Air Purifiers?

Now that you understand how you can improve indoor air quality, you may be wondering what types of facilities are most applicable for their use. All types of businesses, whether they are large or small, and no matter what types of services they provide, can benefit.

Imperial Dade has had success with the Fellowes Aeramax Pro® line of portable air purifying devices, which is a great option for cleaning the air in your facility to create a safer environment.

In fact, one of our customers purchased the Fellowes Aeramax Pro ® purifiers to help them improve the quality of air in their school. They were looking for ways to ensure that their students were coming into a safe and healthy building as they returned to school after the summer.

Many of the students have medical issues that are related to allergies and asthma, which are triggered when there are higher levels of pollution in the building. They chose to implement portable air purifiers throughout their school because of the company’s experience with air purifying technology and the purifiers are inexpensive to run.

Improved indoor air quality in schools has been shown to improve attendance, enhancing focus, and making students more comfortable. With the addition of portable air purifiers, schools can ensure the air their students are breathing is clean and safe.

Improved indoor air quality in schools has been shown to improve attendance.

Final Thoughts

By learning how you can improve indoor air quality at your facility and implementing improvements that lower the amount of contaminants in the air, everyone in your facility will be more comfortable.

If you’re interested in improving your facility’s indoor air quality, an Imperial Dade Specialist can help you decide on the best air purification system for your building. Our specialists will assess your specific needs, building size, and budget to match you with the system that will be most effective. In addition, Imperial Dade also offers a complete line of cleaning products and janitorial equipment to help your facility clean.

Reach out to an Imperial Dade specialist today! Visit our website for a location near you.

Four Things You Need To Know About No-Touch Disinfection

As we’ve always known, schools are where most students need to be, and they are now reopening while we’re still in the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, we will also be entering another annual cold and flu season with its attendant absenteeism and other adverse health impacts. It’s enough to make anyone responsible for providing and maintaining healthy environments lose some sleep!

Disinfecting all of the critical high-touch objects in our buildings is a challenge for any housekeeping program at the best of times, even more so during periods of increased illness rates and outbreaks. However, we believe that an established technology known as No-Touch Disinfection (NTD) can help solve this problem. 

Through the use of electrostatic spray devices, NTD augments your current daily cleaning and disinfection practices, allowing you to ensure complete disinfectant coverage of all high touch surfaces economically and efficiently.  As you are probably aware, this approach is now being used to provide enhanced disinfection for everything from nursing homes to passenger planes to schools.

Implementing NTD can be easy once the facility’s requirements are appropriately matched to the correct application technology and disinfectant chemistry.  Once the technology is selected, education and training enable the safe deployment of NTD.

Here are some guidelines when evaluating NTD:

What is electrostatic spray application?

During periods of heightened threats of infection or actual outbreaks, you need to be able to ensure 100% coverage of all frequently touched surfaces and objects. Imperial Dade offers electrostatic and spray disinfection systems that can meet everyone’s budget and application requirements.  These units impart an electrostatic charge to the disinfectant to achieve 360 degree surface coverage. As a result, large areas can be effectively and efficiently treated economically.

Handheld Victory Electrostatic Sprayer

What needs to be considered when instituting a NTD program?

In an educational setting, the disinfectant needs to be matched to the organisms of most concern, be it the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus which causes the infection known as Covid-19, Influenza, Norovirus, MRSA, or any number of other bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Then, is it necessary to treat the high-touch objects on a weekly or more frequent schedule?  Also, will the areas to be treated be adjacent to occupied spaces?  Can corded equipment be used in the desired regions, or is there a need for battery-powered devices for portability?

Which disinfectants can be applied electrostatically?

Most importantly, the disinfectant chemistry for NTD needs to be compatible with this type of application equipment.  Is the disinfectant product approved or authorized for this application method, with electrostatic spray, mist, or fog?  What is the label dwell time requirements and the efficacy against the microorganisms of concern?  Regarding SARS-CoV-2, is the disinfectant on the EPA List N of products approved for use against the coronavirus?  Fortunately, according to the EPA website, products on List N are effective against all strains of SARS-CoV-2 as genetic changes to the virus do not impact the efficacy of disinfectants.  Finally, regarding your staff, what is the safety profile of the product and the recommended Personal Protective Equipment?

What types of NTD devices and disinfectants are available?

There are several manufacturers of NTD devices and chemistries that are available.  Many customers have found success with the corded Clorox Total 360 systems. However, many others prefer the ease and portability of the Victory Innovations line of battery-powered electrostatic sprayers.  Furthermore, the Victory units are designed to use a wide range of disinfectants, including peroxide and chlorinated tablets, so the chemistry can be tailored to meet the individual educational facility’s budget and infection prevention needs.

Clorox Total 360 System

Your Imperial Dade sales consultant has the resources, knowledge, and expertise to make the correct product recommendation for your specific needs.  Don’t hesitate to contact a branch near you to learn more about how No-Touch Disinfection can benefit your school.

Hand Hygiene – An Important Way to Beat COVID-19, the Flu, and Other Illnesses

If we have learned anything from our experience with COVID-19, we know that we are supposed to wash our hands.  Study after study shows that proper hand hygiene is the most critical thing we can do to prevent the spread of infection in education, healthcare, or any other field serving the public.  This is mainly in viral diseases, such as COVID-19, influenza, and other respiratory maladies. Even gastrointestinal viruses like norovirus can be controlled through proper hand hygiene.  Beyond COVID-19, the stakes remain high as colds, the flu, and norovirus outbreaks result in millions of lost school and work days and costs the economy tens of billions of dollars.

Unfortunately, even during the pandemic, research shows that poor compliance to proper hand hygiene continues to be a significant obstacle to controlling these illnesses, even in the highly regulated healthcare field where healthcare-associated infections are a constant threat. For example, while over 50% of students wash their hands in schools, less than 20% use soap.  Men are also less likely to wash their hands properly – come on, guys, we need to get into the game.

Poor compliance can be attributed to several different factors we can control.  The condition of the restroom and the supplies provided throughout the facility can and does encourage people to help keep their hands in a more hygienic condition.  The following four considerations can summarize these key actions.

1.            Hand Care Products that Encourage Use

Get rid of the bulk soap dispensers.  There has been significant development in hand soap formulations that improve performance and reduce skin irritation. In addition, hand soaps from many manufacturers come in hygienically sealed cartridges, eliminating contamination.  These are the types of products people are looking for when washing their hands away from home.  Remember, the idea is to encourage hand hygiene and not look at the expenditure only as a cost.

2.            Convenient Dispenser Locations

There should be sufficient dispensers in the restroom to facilitate the hand washing process.  In addition, hand sanitizer dispensers should also be available throughout the building.  As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol hand sanitizer is effective against the SARS_CoV-2 coronavirus, as well as those pesky colds and flu viruses. It is a viable option for hand hygiene when hand washing isn’t an option.  However, as with hand soap in the restroom, empty hand sanitizer dispensers are a common complaint.  Dispensers need to be routinely checked and filled. 

3.            Access to Paper Towels and Facial Tissue

Simply put, most people like to dry their hands with paper towels, and most people don’t actually like hand dryers.  Paper towels provide for higher compliance, and the mere wiping of wet hands can remove bacteria and viruses through mechanical action.  But, just as with soap and sanitizer, empty dispensers discourage compliance.  Lastly, where practical, providing facial tissues is a great way to control cross-contamination from sneezes and runny noses. 

4.            Established Educational Programs

As with any behavior change, education is key. Every primary hand care and paper company can provide educational programs and materials appropriate for a wide range of audiences.  Whether it be elementary students, college campuses, or the workplace, tools are available to help promote effective hand hygiene.  Talk to your Imperial Dade sales consultant and find out if there is more that you can be doing to encourage this vital health and wellness behavior.

Visit https://imperialdade.com/Locations to find a branch near you.

Best Odor Control Practices for Carpets, Restrooms, Dumpsters, and More

Controlling odors in and around a facility is a common problem for most cleaning professionals. Odors can lurk in many places: carpets, restrooms, dumpsters, and more. The best way to eliminate odors is to understand the cause of the smell. Once you identify the problem, consult this list of solutions to control the offending odors.

CARPETS

  • Carpet odor stemming from a food source, vomit, or urine should be approached with a carpet sanitizer.
  • Using an extractor to kill the odor source is recommended. If you can still smell the odor after thoroughly rinsing the carpet, follow up with an enzyme product.
  • After extracting the carpet, use a carpet fan, not a box fan. It dries carpet faster. Be sure your carpet is dry in 24 hours, or there is a risk of mold bloom.
  • Pet odors can linger in carpets. Enzymatic digesters will get to the source, killing the odor and not just covering it up.

RESTROOMS

  • In restrooms, urine is often the source of odor. Disinfectants will not impact urine that has dried. If urine odor is present, use an enzyme. If you are using an enzyme, do not use a disinfectant in the same area. Disinfectants destroy the enzymes before they are able to digest the bacteria. 
  • Check the floor drains, a common source of the odor. If the trap in a floor drain dries out, it will emit sewer gas. Use a drain cleaner, enzyme, or water to keep drains odor-free.
  • Don’t forget to clean often missed spots. The base of toilets, under urinals, urinal throats, partitions, and walls are often overlooked. Ceilings should be cleaned once or twice a year.
  • While it doesn’t replace a good cleaning program, adding an air care unit to help with transient odors will add to a pleasant restroom experience.

OTHER BUILDING LOCATIONS

  • Janitor closets can omit odors. Keep a tidy closet! After use, rinse mops with clean water and hang to dry. Empty and rinse mop buckets.  Clean, empty, and air out recovery tanks on equipment.
  • Inadequate ventilation can be cause challenges. If possible, open windows or clean air vents to improve air quality
  • Is the odor coming from the dumpster area or wastebaskets? There are several products made specifically for this application.

If you need more information on a specific odor or area, please contact your Imperial Dade Sales Consultant. A good daily cleaning routine will keep odor problems to a minimum! Visit https://imperialdade.com/Locations to find a location near you.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

5 BEST PRACTICES TO PREVENT AND CONTROL MOLD

Mold and mildew are hot button topics any time of year but especially during humid summer months. According to the EPA, “Mold can grow on virtually any organic material as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that grow on wood, paper, carpet, food, and insulation. Because mold eats or digests what it is growing on, it can damage a building and its furnishings. If left unchecked, mold eventually can cause structural damage to building materials. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to buildings and building contents, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.”

How is mold linked to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?

When mold grows indoors, there could be reports of musty or moldy odors. These should be investigated immediately. Mold can be linked to various health issues such as headaches, allergic reactions, asthma symptoms, nasal irritation, and nausea.  For more information on Indoor Air Quality, please review the EPA’s Guide for Building Owners & Facility Managers.

What are the 5 best practices to prevent and control mold?

  1. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
    • Venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
    • Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
    • Using exhaust fans whenever cleaning
  2. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials or furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  3. In areas with a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (e.g., by drinking fountains, classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  4. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (e.g., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  5. If mold is a problem, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.

If you think your facility has mold or mildew you should first understand what type issue you have.  If the issue is flood water, please review the EPA Fact Sheet Flood Cleanup Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems”

There is no practical way to eliminate all molds and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

If you see mold, how do you get rid of it?

Who should do the cleanup depends on several factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you and your team can handle the job yourself by following the guidelines below.

However, if the affected areas are greater than 10 square feet, a professional remediation contractor may be required for the cleanup.  In any event, check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, which gives advice on all building types.

What do you wear when removing mold?

  • Wear an N-95 respirator.  Please note that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that respirators fit properly (fit testing) when used in an occupational setting; consult OSHA for more information (osha.gov).
  • Wear gloves. Long gloves are recommended.
  • Wear goggles.

What are the best methods to cleanup mold?

  1. Scrub mold off hard surfaces, and dry thoroughly.
  2. Discard contaminated absorbent or porous materials, such as ceiling tiles.
  3. Avoid exposing yourself or others to mold.  Wear appropriate PPE.
  4. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold – it could spread mold throughout the building.

What chemicals should you use when removing mold?

Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial cleaning products, disinfectants, or a bleach solution. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for use (see product label) and ensure proper ventilation throughout the cleaning process.

If you choose to use a cleaner-disinfectant product, check the label to ensure that it has efficacy claims for fungal organisms, such as Aspergillus niger. Niger is a black mold commonly associated with high moisture events.

Some disinfectants may even offer residual antifungal benefits that can help control the return of the mold problem.  Most importantly, certain disinfectants contain odor control agents that help eliminate the moldy odors, which are frequently a cause of student and staff complaints.

If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold, never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.

Who else can help when I have a mold problem?

Whatever mold situation you may be facing, it is suggested that you consult with your Imperial Dade sales consultant for recommendations specific to the needs of your case and your facility.  Our representatives know what products and equipment may be needed to help you resolve your problem as quickly as possible. Visit https://imperialdade.com/Locations to find an Imperial Dade location near you.

Improve Your Cleaning Program Results With Resources from Imperial Dade

Maintaining an efficient cleaning process is vital for any business but improving that process and garnering better results are equally important. As a customer of Imperial Dade, numerous programs and resources are at your disposal to ensure that a healthy environment for your staff and customers is provided.

Imperial Dade’s HyProtection Zone Program: Hand Hygiene and High-Touch Surface Disinfection

This program provided by Imperial Dade is ideal for educational facilities, restaurants, fitness centers, office buildings, retail stores, hotels, and houses of worship. This program assists customers in improving their hand hygiene, cleaning, and high-touch surface disinfection protocols. By participating in this program, consumers will benefit from site surveys where critical touchpoints will be identified, product reviews that ensure that the right products are being used on each surface, and an in-depth explanation of the best practices. For even easier accessibility, onsite or virtual HyProtection Zone training is available through the Imperial Dade Cleaning Institute. The training will be conducted by experienced consultants who will guide you through the process and provide informed recommendations to guarantee a healthy and clean environment that prevents the spread of illnesses.

Imperial Dade’s EatSafe Program: For a Clean Dining Environment

The EatSafe Program assists restaurants and other foodservice establishments in providing a safe and welcoming environment for their customers. The program contains core product recommendations for every individual area in your facility, help for visual learners such as wall charts for cleaning tasks, and assets that can be used to promote the EatSafe program to your guests. In addition, the increased sanitation performance helps present an establishment that is hygienic and clean. The three core areas are front-of-house touchpoints such as table-tops, chairs, and menus, restroom fixtures like faucets, flushers, dispensers, door handles, and floors, including hard surfaces and carpeting and matting.

Imperial Dade’s Environmental Service Program: Victoria Bay Equipment and Chemicals

This program is customizable to each customer’s needs. Offered are dish and laundry equipment, chemicals, and dispensers. All of which are backed by 24/7 emergency technical service. Whether it’s warewashing, tackling everyday kitchen cleaning challenges, following proper 3-compartment sink procedures, or utilizing Victoria Bay’s chemical management system, this Imperial Dade program can maximize efficiencies and effectiveness.

Imperial Dade’s Cleaning Institute: Delivering Cleaner, Healthier Facility Solutions

Imperial Dade offers exceptional training to customers on a variety of topics ranging from general cleaning to floor care. Our Director of Training teams with our sales staff to make specific labor-saving recommendations. A computer-aided task analysis system identifies opportunities for a company and then suggests relevant training to accomplish the tasks at hand. The benefits of this program include improved safety, enhanced wellness, increased productivity, and reduced overall costs.

Imperial Dade offers highly effective consultative programs to better customers’ processes and help them maintain peak performance in areas of cleanliness. Visit https://imperialdade.com/Locations and contact a location near you.

7 Things You Need to Know About Caring for Luxury Vinyl Tile

Around since the 1970s, vinyl composition tile flooring (VCT) has been the most common type of commercial flooring. It can be found almost everywhere: hospitals, offices, retail, and schools. Building managers love its durability and life expectancy, whereas custodians prefer it because it is familiar and easy to maintain.

Recent trends have seen a surge in luxury vinyl tile (LVT) placement in commercial properties. It is easy to see why. Everyone loves how LVT can imitate many different varieties of hardwood or stone. In addition, LVT is very budget-friendly, easy to install, and durable!  Caring for these floors can be a snap if you follow some simple guidelines. But first, don’t forget these essential steps:

  • Check the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Test products in an inconspicuous area to determine suitability.
  • Safety first! Wear PPE and set up wet floor/area closed signs during floor maintenance.

Best Practices for Daily LVT Cleaning

  1. Proper use of floor matting provides the first level of protection to your floors by preventing soils from entering the building.
  2. Sweep or vacuum floor (Do not use a vacuum with an agitator).
  3. If needed, use a microfiber mop to pick up fine particles.
  4. Do not use harsh chemicals. Use a product specifically made for LVT.
  5. Clean floors using a damp microfiber cloth.
  6. Do not saturate the floor. Too much water can work into seams and edges destroying bonds.
  7. NEVER USE A HIGH SPEED BURNISHER! Burnishing can cause the layers to separate.
Before and After

When these steps are used for daily cleaning they can reverse the visual effects of standard wear and tear. The solution will fill the scratches and will help flooring maintain its original look.

For more information on luxury vinyl tile or any other types of floor care, contact the experts at Imperial Dade. For a location near you, visit https://imperialdade.com/Locations today.

What Happened to the Supply Chain?

Over the last year and a half, significant challenges have arisen in maintaining a robust and reliable supply chain for both businesses and consumers. This past week, news channels spotlighted the problems that continue to plague businesses in all sectors. The White House has created a task force including the secretaries of commerce, transportation, and agriculture to address the issues. From paper products to semiconductors, food products to transportation services, companies are struggling to keep up with increasing demand.

Another sector that has been experiencing severe supply chain issues is the plastics industry. Plastic resins are an integral part of the economy. Plastic is used in countless products and product packaging and are vital to multiple industries. Pandemic-related plant shutdowns, ocean shipping delays, and harsh winter storms wreaked havoc on the industry. With plastic resin shortages now predicted to last until the summer, it is essential that businesses utilize suppliers that can successfully maneuver the bottlenecks, backlogs, and raw material shortfalls that negatively impact the supply chain.

The health crisis highlighted weaknesses in the way modern supply chains operate, and it is vital for companies to take additional measures to ensure material availability during difficult times.

Businesses are now diversifying their acquisition of products and formulating new ways to monitor supply partners. Shipping companies are also adjusting to accommodate backlogs. However, the current shortage of labor in the American workforce must also be overcome to successfully address supply chain issues. Lack of truck drivers, warehouse workers, and other employment sectors will hamper some of the efforts to make the corrective changes needed to address product availability on a wholesale and retail level.

For over 85 years, Imperial Dade has been a leading supplier of foodservice packaging and facilities maintenance supplies and equipment. Over the decades, our team has overcome the challenges that arise when the supply chain is compromised. We have dealt with shortages caused by wars, natural disasters, and other crisis-level events. By maintaining strong business partnerships with hundreds of manufacturers, the dedicated procurement and logistics experts on our team have been able to respond to shortages and shipping disruptions.

Imperial Dade prides itself on being able to meet the ever-changing demands of our customers. Our sales consultants work closely with customers to identify product options and alternatives that will meet their needs. Through creative adjustments to our procurement practices, we’ve worked to reduce the challenges in obtaining foodservice packaging, maintenance supplies, and PPE.

If your company requires supplies to meet the increased demands projected for this year, contact the experts at Imperial Dade. We are committed to providing a wide range of solutions to our customers, helping them overcome the challenges that may develop in the supply chain. To learn more about the many resources we have to offer, contact the Imperial Dade location near you.

Can’t Touch This: The Benefits of a Touch-Free Restroom for Your Business

As the world continues adapting to the ever-changing COVID-19 environment, the importance of maintaining clean and sanitized facilities has become paramount to offices, schools, restaurants, and all other commercial buildings. Customers are more likely to be loyal to businesses that have enacted additional precautions for the safety of their clientele. One way companies have adapted to this new environment is through the utilization of touch-free restrooms.

The popularity of touch-free or contact-free lavatories was already on the rise prior to the pandemic. Yet, as scientists continue to discover how transmissible the disease is, the importance of touch-free restrooms has become abundantly clear to large and small businesses alike.

The Victoria Bay Restroom Collection is a complete dispenser and refill solution.

Here we will discuss some of the advantages of having a touch-free restroom for your business:

Increased Cleanliness and Improved Sanitation

The first and most obvious benefit to having a touch-free restroom is the reduction in the number of germs that customers are exposed to. Touch-free toilets, sinks, soap dispensers, and paper towel dispensers reduce the likelihood of customer contamination due to physical contact.

High-touch areas often spread germs more easily between employees and customers. By removing the need to physically touch these appliances, you will mitigate the potential for employee illnesses due to viral and bacterial exposure and increase client confidence in your business’s sanitation policies. In fact, three in five Americans agree that utilizing automatic paper towel dispensers in public restrooms would improve their perception of the business’s cleanliness, according to a survey conducted by Sofidel.

Streamlined Amenities for Customer Convenience

Touching various surfaces like faucets, paper towel dispensers, and soap dispensers can be cumbersome to some of your customers. If someone is using their smartphone or carrying a handbag or briefcase, the added convenience of simply putting your hand in front of a sensor saves time and effort. In addition, touch-free restroom fixtures increase accessibility for customers suffering from mobility issues and have difficulty manipulating handles and knobs.

Reduction in Water Usage and Waste

Touch-free restrooms also reduce water consumption and waste products. By utilizing sensor-controlled faucets, water is only being used while a customer or employee is actively washing their hands. Over time, the elimination of unnecessary water use can add up to significant savings on water usage, which is both good for the environment and your bottom line.

Touch-free soap and paper towel dispensers can also save you money by reducing product usage from customers and employees. With the ability to individualize soap and paper allotments, you can minimize soap and towel waste. As every business owner knows, resource management, even on a small scale, is critical to the company’s long-term success.

Enhanced Reliability and Long-Term Viability

Both customers and employees can be demanding when it comes to bathroom amenities. From kicking toilet handles to pushing against faucets and soap dispensers, your restroom can sustain a lot of damage during use. Incorporating touch-free features can help reduce the likelihood of a client or employee being too rough with your restroom fixtures. This will improve the reliability and lifespan of all elements in your restrooms.

Imperial Dade: Your Source for High-Quality Touchless Restroom Solutions

Imperial Dade is a leading supplier of facility maintenance supplies and equipment for large and small businesses. We offer a wide range of products, including the Victoria Bay restroom dispenser collection, to help upgrade your existing conventional restroom into a touch-free environment. From touch-free soap dispensers to automated in-stall air freshener dispensers for your existing toilets, Imperial Dade is your only source for high-quality touch-free products at an affordable price.

For more information about Imperial Dade and how we can transform your business, contact us today!

Why Become a GBAC STAR Facility?

Organizations and institutions nationwide are taking active steps to prevent the spread of the ongoing pandemic within their facilities. To this end, the GBAC STAR Accreditation Program has emerged as a key solution in helping businesses prepare, respond, and recover from infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

The Global BioRisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) is a division of ISSA, a leading global trade organization for the cleaning industry. Their STAR Accreditation Program was launched in May 2020 to combat the intense COVID-19 breakout. Over 2,500 businesses have been accredited so far and can be found on the GBAC STAR Facility Directory. As this program’s success continues to grow, facilities from all over the world have expressed their interest or have committed to accreditation.

The GBAC STAR Accreditation Program was established to help organizations and institutions develop a comprehensive cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention system through extensive training from some of the cleaning industry’s leading minds. The program teaches correct disinfection techniques, cleaning best practices, and proper protocols relating to biohazard situations. Each facility must complete the 20 GBAC STAR Elements to earn its accreditation. Resources such as the Readiness Assessment Checklist and the Recommendations for a Successful Accreditation worksheet are available on the GBAC website.

Any facility can apply for accreditation, regardless of size or industry, including but not limited to:

  • Convention Centers
  • Stadiums and Arenas
  • Office Buildings
  • Schools
  • Hotels
  • Athletic Clubs
  • Retail Stores
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery Stores
  • All Public Venues

GBAC STAR is considered to be the gold standard of safe facilities. Earning this esteemed accreditation shows a commitment to prioritizing health and wellness. Accredited facilities must first undergo a rigorous screening process to prove their dedication to championing cleanliness.

“We’re doing everything we can to create the safest and healthiest environment possible. We didn’t want to create our own standard; we wanted to be accountable to the most credible third-party standard that exists. Working with GBAC ensures compliance with critical guidelines for the highest standard of cleanliness, and it is our hope that other venues will follow suit as we navigate through these unprecedented times.”

Tom Garfinkel, Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium Vice Chairman and CEO

By demonstrating appropriate work practices and employing strict cleaning and disinfection protocols, GBAC STAR facilities instill confidence in employees and consumers. Additionally, employees of all ranks will feel empowered in knowing proper cleaning procedures to provide a safe environment.

Imperial Dade, a member of ISSA and janitorial products supplier to Hard Rock Stadium, encourages organizations and institutions to consider a GBAC STAR Accreditation. Our GBAC Trained Technicians are available to help answer questions, review cleaning chemicals and procedures, as well as provide a number of other COVID-19 resources. Visit www.ImperialDade.com for a location near you and contact us today.