Chris Robison and Tony Jakob of UV Clean at Alpine Title. The new cleaning company uses ultraviolet C light to kill germs, including viruses. (Courtesy photo)

Cleaning services are seemingly more important than ever right now, as extra sanitation measures are necessary to combat the current COVID-19 pandemic, and local businesses are upping their game in doing so.

At the beginning of May, two locals, Chris Robison and Tony Jakob, launched UV Clean, which uses ultraviolet C (UV-C) light to eliminate germs, including viruses. It’s also meant to complement traditional hand-cleaning services, but if not handled correctly, the technology can be harmful to a person’s skin and eyes. Robison and Jakob said they haven’t teamed with any local cleaning services yet, but it has been discussed and may happen moving forward. Several medical journals have published pieces recently that suggest such rays may be able to effectively eliminate the novel coronavirus, including an ongoing study at Columbia University that is testing low-ultraviolet C rays that may be less harmful to people.

Jakob was already familiar with the cleaning technology since his father had used it to kill mold, and he knew it could be utilized during construction projects. The duo purchased two larger devices, which can sterilize a 4,000-square-foot space in four to six hours, Jakob explained. Handheld “blade devices” are employed for smaller areas and high-touch objects like keyboards, phones and even money.

“I learned about ultraviolet light as a means to eradicate COVID-19, and I thought, ‘UV-C light would be a great sterilization service to bring to our community,’” Robison said, according to a news release.

UV Clean is currently working with the Telluride Fire Protection District on an on-call basis to clean its ambulances, as well as Alpine Title, which was sterilized Friday.

“Alpine Title spends thousands of dollars on virus protection for our computers. Why would we not invest in virus protection for our physical space?” Alpine Title President Annelies Ribel said.

Mountain Adventure Equipment is also a client, Jakob explained, and the company can clean almost anything, including vehicles and planes.

“Overall, there has been quite a bit of interest,” he said. “The business is just getting started and we are pursing more clients, which include Kastle Keepers, Engel & Volkers Realty and Accommodations of Telluride. We are anticipating short- and long-term rentals, private and public transport vehicles, including planes, to become a key sector of our business, and we are open to other opportunities such as gyms, yoga studios, restaurants and more.”

While the company is focused on the current COVID-19 concerns, especially as the area moves toward reopening, Jakob said this type of business can be useful during the regular flu season, and the plan is to continue to provide service moving forward.

“The power of our machines is up to hospital-grade standards, and not something one can easily obtain. Beyond COVID-19 and our current crisis, this machinery is effective and necessary for flu season, and any other viruses, as well as mold mitigation,” he said. “We, along with experts, anticipate waves of viruses such as virus hitting our area in the future.

“As a premier tourist destination, with more businesses open and visitors coming to our community, the need for UV Clean increases. UV Clean sanitizes our businesses so people can get back to enjoying the many things that the Telluride region offers. UV Clean believes that the disinfection power of UV-C light is the future. Conventional hand-cleaning services can only do so much; UV Clean hits where they miss.”

For more information, including videos on how UV-C works, visit uvcolorado.com or email info@uvcolorado.com.