Protecting Health and Decontamination

Protecting Health

mold inspectionTo protect the health of building occupants and crews responding to water damage it is necessary to know the category of water involved. The source of the water, and appearance and odor will help in deciding into which category it belongs.

If the water is category 2 or 3, Environmental Health and Safety should be addressed. Crews should be instructed to avoid contact with contaminated materials, and wear appropriate personal protective equipment when direct contact is necessary. Appropriate equipment may include:

  • Respirator, additional organic vapor or other cartridges may be warranted
  • Protective clothing including boots and gloves
  • Eye protection.

When in the vicinity of category 2 or 3 water pay special attention to cuts, abrasions, and other wounds that break the skin and expose an individual to the potentially infectious organisms.

It is important to advise building occupants of the risks,if any, and give them guidance on entering the area. Air handlers should be isolated or shut down if necessary and the area sealed to prevent the spread of contamination.

Removing Contamination

Once the flow of water is stopped and undamaged materials have been protected, remove the excess water and any contamination carried with the water. Pumping is the preferred method to remove large volumes of water. Where water depths prevent the use of pumps, wet vacuums are the next best choice. Mopping is a less effective method that is limited to relatively smooth,hard surfaces. With category 2 or 3 water it may be necessary to repeatedly flush the area with additional clean water to assist in the removal of contamination.

Once the contamination and excess water is removed, a decision can be made regarding the use of biocides as part of the clean-up and restoration process. The use of biocides may or may not be warranted. Biocides can slow microbial growth and aid in sanitizing contaminated materials, but they can also cause eye and respiratory irritation, and odor complaints with building occupants. Determining the proper application rate can be difficult. Refer to the product label for instructions for use and personal protection.

Microbial Growth:

  • Control of microbial growth will be based upon the Industrial Hygienist Results which determine: Types of microbe, Extent of contamination, Environmental conditions and Potential risk.
  • Scope is to be determined upon air testing results
  • Sterilize all pours materials
  • Sanitize all contaminated materials by way of anti-microbial cleaning agents
  • Stabilize environment by way of HEPA Filtration/ Air-Scrubbers
  • Critical barriers will be constructed to contain any air borne particulate
  • Ingress/Egress zipper doors will be installed at all entrance/exits
  • Third party clearance testing will be encouraged to insure there is no conflict of interest

Blue Team abides by the following state & federal regulations:

  • Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. March, 2001.
  • Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments. New York City Department of Health. Updated April, 2002.
  • Carpet Cleaning Standard S001. Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC).
  • Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration S500 (2d Edition). Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) 1999.
  • Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation S520 (1st Edition). Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) 2003.
  • Assessment, Cleaning, and Restoration of HVAC Systems ACR 2005. National Air Duct Cleaners Association. September, 2004.
  • Texas Department of State Health Services: Texas Mold Assessment and Remediation Rules 25 TAC § 295.301-338. Austin, Texas

Final Completion Submittals/Close-out Documentation per job:

  • Temperature/Relative Humidity/Moisture Content data for drying
  • HEPA-filtered equipment service/maintenance records
  • Pressure differential (manometer) records
  • Daily site and containment entry/exit logs
  • Copies of citations/violations
  • Copies of safety meeting attendance records
  • Copies of reports of accidents/first aid administration