Industry Insights

Cold & Flu Prevention

Nov 2, 2020 9:40:01 AM / by RenovationsPlus


The effects of getting sick reach far beyond your body. If the 2020 cold and flu season is like each one before it, workers will use nearly 44 million sick days in the U.S., resulting in nearly $9.5 billion of financial burden on the business economy.1 You can minimize the financial and physical harm caused by the cold and flu with the helpful tips listed below.


From switching to paper towels and touch-free solutions in restrooms and other common areas to installing hand sanitizer dispensers and incorporating microfiber cloths into your cleaning routine, there are many ways you can help prevent cold and flu from endangering the well-being of others and your budget.


Wipe Germs from Surfaces

Cold and flu germs love high-touch surfaces like doorknobs and tables because they come into contact with a lot of people. Provide your team with the proper essentials, such as microfiber cloths and cleaning disinfectants and sanitizers, to keep commonly touched surfaces free of germs and safer for others to touch.


It’s important to know the difference between “cleaning” and “disinfecting” so that you can handle germs in the best way for your needs. “Cleaning” refers to the simple removal of germs from surfaces, not the killing of germs, which lowers the risk of infection. “Disinfecting” is the process of using cleaning chemicals to kill germs. While disinfecting may not actually clean dirty surfaces, it further lowers the risk of infection for others.3


No matter if it involves cleaning or disinfecting, or both, it’s important to follow the label instructions on cleaning products to ensure safe and effective usage. Also, be sure to wear gloves and take other precautions when ridding germs from surfaces.


Go Touch-Free

No one likes their personal space violated, especially by illness-causing cold and flu germs. While cold and flu germs are abundant and everywhere this time of year, you can keep them at bay with touch-free solutions in high-risk areas.


Door handles, faucets, toilets, light switches and other high-touch surfaces in building entrances, public restrooms and common areas can spread cold and flu viruses faster than you can say “sneeze”. This quick spreading of germs endangers the health and wellness of others and reduces staff productivity, leading to an unwell bottom line.


Install sensor toilets, faucets and urinals, touch-free paper towel dispensers, smart thermostats and security products and other touch-free solutions to help prevent cold and flu from causing a major disruption to your operations and others’ daily lives. For more information about going touch-free, view our previous blog (


Paper Towels Vs. Hand Dryers

The best hand-drying method is clear: paper towels prevent people from leaving restrooms with more germs on their hands than when they entered. As opposed to hand dryers, which can re-contaminate hands by blowing potentially bacteria-carrying water droplets as far as 6.5’ into the air, paper towels physically remove bacteria and moisture for more effective and hygienic hand drying.2


In fact, paper towels have been found to reduce bacteria on hands by up to 77%! It’s one of the many reasons paper towels are the recommended hand-drying method of the World Health Organization (WHO).2 Be sure to place trash receptacles near doorways to make it easier for users to throw away used paper towels.


Stay Healthy This Winter

Going touch-free is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to reducing exposure to cold and flu germs this winter. Install sensor faucets and other touch-free solutions for the best way to prevent cold and flu germs from running rampant in your facility.


However, be sure not to use sensor hand dryers. While these are touch-free products, the air they blast out does more harm than good when it comes to preventing the spread of germs. Instead, choose sensor paper towel dispensers to help minimize others’ exposure to cold and flu germs after they wash their hands.



  1. Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., “H3N2 Spreading Rapidly Nationwide: Earlier, More Aggressive Flu Season Could Cost Employers $9.4 Billion.” (2017).
  2. Tomorrow's Facility Management, "Kimberly-Clark Reveals The Disgusting Truth." (2018).
  3. CDC, “General recommendations for routine cleaning and disinfection of households.” (2020)

The information provided in this blog does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all content is for informational purposes only. This blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Home Depot Pro. You should consult your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal issue or problem.


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