Facilities Management employs new devices to decontaminate spaces

Jheri Ridel, superintendent of Building Services, is demonstrating how to use the CloroxPro Total 360 Electrostatic Sprayer.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted Facilities Management to use new methods of cleaning campus buildings. Some of these new methods come in the form of the CloroxPro Total 360 Electrostatic Sprayers and Backpacks  two cleaning devices that make the job much easier. 

The two products are essentially the same device in two different forms. The sprayers are capable of spraying disinfectant across a large area, but must be wheeled around, while the backpacks do a similar job in a more compact form.  

The sprayers work by applying an electric charge to the mist as it comes out, causing the atoms to repel each other and instead seek out other particles to stick to, like viruses. 

Superintendent of Building Services Jheri Riedel said the sprayers are able to get the job done much faster than the traditional way of wiping down the room. 

“It doesn’t require any wiping or anything of that sort. So, we could do a classroom that holds 90 students in five to seven minutes, whereas before that [it] could take, you know, 45 minutes to do by hand,” Riedel said.

There are two sprayers on campus and eight backpacks. The two sprayers are kept in the Vadalabene Center and Korte Stadium, and are used to clean locker rooms and courts, while the backpacks are spread across several buildings on campus. 

Vice Chancellor for Administration Morris Taylor said the backpacks are convenient for smaller spaces. 

“The 360 Backpack is essentially the same thing except you put it on your back, and you can walk around with it. You can go up and down stairs easier, or if you have a seating arrangement like an auditorium type setting, you can just walk through and get all those surfaces rather than pulling the big 360 model on the floor,” Taylor said. 

While the devices are effective, Director of Facilities Management Craig Holan said they don’t entirely replace traditional cleaning. 

“It’s different than cleaning, because we’re also cleaning dirt and [non-viruses and bacteria] … it’s a different function,” Holan said. 

Riedel said the backpacks aren’t used in every classroom. 

“We’re not spraying every classroom, because not every classroom is being used. With the reduction of students physically on campus we don’t have to do every classroom like we were doing in fall of 2019,” Riedel said. 

Though they have certainly proved their value as a result of the pandemic, they weren’t bought in response to it, according to Riedel. He said the university will continue to use them even after the pandemic has passed. 

“We will probably continue to disinfect perhaps once a week, twice a week, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, that sort of thing. We’ll just have to see how it all pans out. Not only does this kill [COVID-19], but it’s also good for flu season, MRSA, any of those kinds of things that might be going around,” Riedel said. 

Those interested can learn more about the devices on the products’ website.

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