Pete Schnepp and his crew from Envision Painting donned goggles, respirators, latex gloves, hats and protective coveralls as they sprayed inside the Gilbert chapter of Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley near Gilbert and Elliot roads.
This was no ordinary job for the Gilbert company, which showered walls, doors and furniture with EPA-approved disinfectant that kills the coronavirus.
It was a service the 13-year-old company with six employees offered for free to the nonprofit.
“We’ve been trying to figure out a way to contribute to the community, a way to give back in a meaningful way,” said company owner Schnepp. “We feel blessed. We are still working while so many people out here are still affected.”
Schnepp said it dawned on them the “solution to kill this stuff can be sprayed with our OSHA gear.”
“The light bulb went off and it made a lot of sense how to make an immediate impact,” the Gilbert resident added.
The company began reaching out to local nonprofits with the proposal of sanitizing their buildings for free. Gilbert Chamber of Commerce was the first to take Envision Painting on its offer a few weeks back.
Schnepp figured he has spent $1,000 so far on new equipment such as an industrial fogger and supplies.
“We’re trying to get all kinds of equipment to help us do these things in mass quantity,” he said.
While his workers provided their labor for free for the Chamber job, which took three hours, Schnepp told them he didn’t expect them to continue doing so and is paying them when they work a donated job.
He said the disinfection solution is safe to apply in an empty building and needs about an hour or so to air out before people can use the facility.
“I have a list of nonprofits right now,” Schnepp said. “I have two churches that have expressed interest but nothing is set up with them yet. Both are kind of waiting to see when they get the word to open up.”
When the pandemic crisis passes, Schnepp said his company will still offer nonprofits the free service and will likely charge a fee for repeat customers.
“Places like churches and the Boys and Girls Clubs need to have it done on a regular basis; these buildings with lots of people coming in and out,” he said. “We will continue to do donations at a certain amount but we can’t do everything for free.”
He said the company will teach nonprofits how to sanitize their buildings.
“Lots of these places have their own maintenance staff,” he said. “We’re not out to get anybody for re-occurring costs. We’re trying to go out and do good things.”