Covering all their bases

Glendale News Press

There are two types of clean for Glendale-based Coverall President Mark Melton and Senior Vice President Kevin Derella.

There's the type of clean for appearance — that is, simply moving dirt around and leaving dust molecules behind to linger in the atmosphere, particles that will be breathed in when the building is occupied.

Then there's the type of health-based cleaning system where all those particulates are removed from the atmosphere, decontaminating the environment.

Started in 1985 in San Diego, Coverall, which has offices in Glendale and recently moved from Burbank after seven years, specializes in the latter, Melton said, a system that was conceived in the early days of the company when most of its clients were hospitals and medical offices. Cleaning such places left no margin for error — everything had to be spotless, down to the microbial level.

"The world has gotten smaller," Derella said. "The spread of things like [staph infection] and [antibiotic-associated diarrhea], things like H1N1, those kinds of pathogens used to be confined mostly to hospital or doctor office settings. Today, those viruses and diseases, you can find them almost anyplace."

When the company expanded to include franchises around the country, it took the health-based method of cleaning with it. Today, the company uses the same style and intensity of cleaning on all its clients' facilities, treating them as if they were medical facilities.

"We are cleaning at the unseen level," Melton said. "So we're trying to take germs and other pathogens out of the environment using disinfectant cleansers, using high-filtration vacuum cleaners, using microfiber cleaning cloths rather than cotton rags. Things like that that are actually going to clean the environment and disinfect it."

Coverall's move from Burbank came out of an opportunity to buy a building.

"We know we wanted to stay in the Burbank-Glendale area," said Melton. "We were able buy it and remodel it."

Coverall operates as a franchise, helping people who want to begin a janitorial business. The company provides the training and supplies for the franchise owner, and sales representatives provide a customer base to help them get started.

Coverall has 70 offices in the United States, with more than 9,000 franchise owners, Derella said. Each office functions as a support center for the franchise owner.

"When someone walks in the door, if they want to do X-dollars a month amount of business, then we will guarantee to get them that business to start," Melton said. "Then we provide outgoing help and support."

The Glendale office serves franchise owners in Los Angeles County.

"There's no better motivation than having your own money on the line," Derella said.

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