NADCA, RIA, IICRC: Essential Business Joint Statement

Posted on 03/21/2020

To Federal, State, and Local Officials:

Tens of thousands of dedicated professionals in America’s HVAC, air duct cleaning and surface cleaning/disaster restoration and indoor air quality industries provide essential services that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, healthcare, and other facilities.

On March 18th, Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue offered guidance to President Trump, recommending the government designate “essential businesses and services” during the coronavirus outbreak. While states are calling for quarantine orders and business closures, businesses and services that support the infrastructure needed to combat the coronavirus must not be harmed, Donohue wrote in a letter to Trump.

In spite of this request, the administration has held off on clearly defining the classifications, leaving states to individually determine and declare essential versus non-essential business.

Because this is uncharted territory, the local, state, and federal authorities are making decisions swiftly with as much information as is available to them. Our members and certified professionals, in some states, have been on the receiving end of what are surely unintended consequences because of some state classifications of essential versus non-essential. These consequences may have a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of occupants within a particular building environment. In addition, these essential services being delayed will most assuredly cause further economic damages in cases where impacted buildings are not treated in a timely manner.

While plumbers and contractors are clearly cited in some state classifications, HVAC technicians, air duct cleaning companies, surface cleaning /disaster restoration contractors and indoor air quality professionals have been overlooked. The argument should be made that language such as “…and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation…” as was included in the California state designation, directly grants essential status to these professionals.

Whether it be through cleaning, disinfection, and application of antimicrobial products to help control the spread of infection, to restoring facilities impacted by flood, fire and other catastrophic events and assessing the indoor environment to ensure the protection of building occupants, these professional services are essential to the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences, healthcare, and other facilities.

As such, we implore you to recognize and cite “HVAC technicians”, “air duct cleaning companies”, “surface cleaning/disaster restoration contractors” and “indoor air quality professionals” to the list of essential businesses. Each of these industries provides essential services related to the health, safety, and welfare of building occupants in residences and facilities.