After being cooped inside for months and coronavirus stay-at-home restrictions now begging to ease, your house may need some TLC.
Businesses, like cleaning services, have been cleared to reopen in the Charleston area. Some owners are getting back into the swing of things, and business is picking back up.
Maid Brigade of Charleston, a residential-focused cleaning service in the tri-county area, is one of those businesses. Owner Marc Titlebaum said they were closed for about a month and some customers asked to put their services on hold.
Maid Brigade has provided services the last 26 years and has adapted in order to reopen.
"For us, because of COVID-19, we've been focusing on additionally providing disinfecting at touch points, or high-use touch points in the home, including doorknobs, cabinet handles and kitchen surfaces," Titlebaum said. "We're using hospital-grade disinfectant after cleaning high-touch surfaces to additionally disinfect."
Titlebaum said the majority of his customers have been happy to have his crew come into their homes, and he's added a few new clients, too. But some have put their services on hold to June or later.
While his staff usually wears shoe coverings if clients ask them to, it's not a requirement. They also now wear goggles, masks and gloves.
The services vary from weekly, biweekly or monthly. They also do move-in and move-out cleaning, or one-time spring cleaning. Crews dust, vacuum, clean and sanitize kitchens and bathrooms, called a "comprehensive clean." Services range from about $90 to $130 depending on square footage and frequency of cleaning.
Market Street Cleaning, which primarily services commercial buildings in the tri-county area, has taken a hit because of the pandemic. Owner Josh Oleen said the business had a contract with the school district, too, and with those closed, he cut nearly three-quarters of his staff.
"We had a number of offices close that don't need service while the lockdown's been imposed," Oleen said. "The people that have stayed open have requested us to up the cleaning and use cleaning products that are certified with the EPA to kill coronavirus."
Like Maid Brigade, Oleen at Market Street Cleaning said the biggest difference is the use of disinfecting spray.
"Normally, we wipe down everything, but now we also spray surfaces and door handles, computers, telephones, elevator buttons," Oleen said.
His company's pricing ranges as well, from $300 a month to $20,000, depending on the size of the facility and frequency.
Shukora Elliott runs Fairy Mary Cleaning Services, which offers residential and commercial cleaning. She's based in Charleston and been in business about two years, primarily focused on using organic cleaning products.
Elliot said she's felt the downturn in people asking for services.
"I've been wearing a mask and wearing gloves, but I haven't been using different products," Elliott said.
Southern Extreme Details owner James Brewer said he's seeing an uptick in business, starting with car cleaning, then switching to general contracting painting, porch additions and branching into residential cleaning.
"A lot of our clients have been OK with us coming in, and few are making special requests," Brewer said. "We're practicing social distancing, of course, and keeping a distance while we're there."
Brewer said many of his residential clients have reached out looking for much-needed cleaning.