Lately, you’ve been hearing and seeing a lot about fogging and thermal fogger to disinfect environments, whether commercial, industrial, residential, or mobile. Let’s clear the air, or perhaps fog when it comes to understanding it’s use and application.
The history of fogging started many years ago, used in the military, among other uses. The concept came from what was known as pulse-jet technology, as in the early days of jet propulsion technology. This lead to the first handheld thermal fogger, which created dense, spreading clouds of fog. These units were the first thermal foggers based on pulse-jet technology.
After many years of use in a variety of areas and applications, it became apparent that it would be effective in controlling pest outbreaks, and it can be a much more efficient method of killing germs (bacteria, pathogens, and viruses). After all, very often it is hard to know where these germs may reside.
The practice of fogging to disinfect is certainly not a new process, it has been in use for years. The main area of concern has been the chemicals used with the fogging. With that being said, the technologies involved and the chemicals used have come a long way and are immensely safer. More on that later.
Fogging technology has evolved to become more accessible. It is excellent for decimation of pesticides and disinfectants, as fog will reach hard to access areas, therefore saving time.
Now it seems to be emerging into the mainstream and has become very appealing to all industries, especially in the time of Covid-19.
Not only do we use fogging extensively for elimination of germs, we have helped and continue to help people understand the value in using fogging as it relates to combating Covid-19 and other infectious diseases.
So What Exactly Is Fogging And How Does Fogging Work?
There are a few different types of fogging equipment, the selection of which is dependent on the environment.
Wet-type foggers produce a fine fog similar to a mist, while dry fogging is excellent for areas sensitive to moisture, as in use on electronics (keyboards, etc.). Electrostatic fogging is somewhat similar to wet, albeit the mist/fog is electrically charged right at the tip of the fogger output, which is the opposite charge of surfaces. It is designed to adhere, and wrap around these surfaces in a more uniform manner. All of these methods will provide outstanding results.
Particles of the biocide (disinfectant active ingredient) are suspended in the air for along enough period of time that viruses, bacteria, mold, and odours are killed. It’s about creating an atmosphere, any surface that the solution touches, including countertops, walls, floors, and ceilings are also disinfected.
The great advantage to fogging as opposed to conventional “spraying & wiping” is that since the particles are in a fine mist or fog, the fog will seep into hard to reach spaces that normally could not be accessed, including crevices, the nooks and crannies. Even manual cleaning by hand can miss spots but fogging completely encapsulates the area for a total coverage disinfection.
Another important aspect of this is the dwell time, as in disinfectant dwelling on surfaces for a minimum period to kill germs. All too often we see cleaners spray surfaces, and immediately wipe them, which is not sufficient for a proper kill.
To see how effective fogging can be, ATP testing can be used to measure the contamination level of surfaces before and after. The ATP testing method was initially used by food and beverage processors to quickly assess the cleanliness of surfaces or liquid samples. Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is present in all organic material and is the universal unit of energy used in all living cells, including viruses.
Is Fogging Safe?
A big question on everyone’s minds is often “is fogging safe?” and in fact it is.
Years ago, fogging was found to be unsafe. People would get sick after a space was fogged, this was due to the chemicals used. Over the years, advances in biocidal technology have come such a long way that most solutions are organic, non-toxic, and safe for everyone, even pets, kids and plants.
Fogging equipment only takes a matter of minutes for the fog/mist to disinfect an area, but of course, there is always the possible risk of an allergic reaction if the particles land directly on someone’s skin. For this reason, we always perform our service with no one else inside the space other than our own technicians who are completely covered for their own protection. Once the particles have settled and adhered, they are no longer a risk. We carry a variety of solutions that are all organic and non-toxic. We use Ready To Use (RTU) hospital grade products, all certified by Health Canada. After a disinfection, there is no need to wipe down surfaces, even for food use.
Why Should You Disinfect and Fog Your Space?
If you’re wondering if you should fog your space (whether commercial, residential, vehicles), then take the following factors into account.
The number one reason would be that it is a very safe, efficient and effective option, especially when it comes to preventing the spread of bacteria and germs.
Fogging is quick, and especially important when there is a need to thoroughly disinfect in high-traffic, or high turnover environments, such as healthcare, offices, etc. Considerable time is saved and manpower usage limited with fogging. The bigger the space, the more time it takes to make sure it is done effectively with 100% coverage, however, it will still be faster and safer for everyone.
At Disinfect & Fog, we offer comprehensive disinfecting fogging services, however, we like to think of it as providing peace of mind. After a job, we always post a sticker on the external door, dated, as notice to everyone that the space has been 99.99% disinfected, thus instilling peace of mind to staff, customers, or anyone going inside the space that they are entering a clean and germ free environment.
We also leave behind best-practice posters to remind everyone what they can do to prevent the spread of disease. Some might think it’s just common sense, but it’s always good to have a little reminder of what you can do to help everyone around you.
We are often asked to provide our peace of mind services after a COVID-19 outbreak. Yes, we can handle this, however, it’s vitally important to start thinking more proactively. When we see the common cold wreak havoc, the common denominator is almost always where we spend so much of our time, the office, manufacturing facility, gym, or educational institution. Why wait for an outbreak, why not work or play in an environment conducive to being healthy and safe?
In conclusion, if you are concerned about your work or home environment and you want to be protected from viruses, bacteria, and mold you should consider thorough disinfecting via fogging. Everyone shares the responsibility for trying to stop the spread of bacteria and germs, especially in a time of a pandemic. The Disinfect & Fog team offer a range of disinfecting equipment available for purchase, and our team is always happy to help find the best solution for you!
We are currently using social distancing practices, however, you can also help by keeping yourself, your family, and your employees safe with thorough disinfecting practices in the environments we all share.