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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Decontamination / Mold remediation.... Our process spelled out..!!

It seems to be a mystery among remediators of contamination and mold as to which method or product they use.  The varying methods and fungicides and biocides differ greatly in this industry.  This is the reason there so many options for which company you choose to hire to perform these services in your home or business.  I would like to shed some light on what sets  Damage Control LLC apart from other companies in our market area.  Or as I think of it,  the reason you should hire us.

It is imperative that the steps to a safe remediation be followed.
1.  Find source of water - water is necessary for mold to grow
2.  Correct or Repair the source of water -  fix the pipe, or wait for the water table to go down
3.  Conduct a preliminary assessment -  what is contaminated, and how far is it spread
4.  Identify the type of contamination -  is it catagory 1, 2, or 3
5.  Design the remediation strategy - what do I need to use to kill/stop contamination
6.  Set up containment area -  contain the area that is affected
7.  Suit up and enter containment area - use personal protective equipment
8.  Perform the remediation - hepa vacuum and remove the contaminants and use the proper chemical for the contamination and hepa vacuum again
9.  Dispose of contaminated debris - contain the contamination in sealed bags
10.  Clean up - make sure debris is bagged, and properly cleaned
11.  Containment exit protocol -  hepa vacuum and wipe all equipment and tools used in remediation, and hepa vac and wipe all things that will exit the contained area
12.  Post remediation evaluation - visually inspect and smell for any mold odors prior to conducting clearance testing by a Certified Industrial Hygenist
13.  Break down of containment -  clean up and return house hold items
14.  Document the entire process - report of procedures

Through out this process, it is crucial to communicate with all involved parties.  This includes the homeowner, and technicians performing the remediation, as well as the hygenist performing the clearance testing.

The above listed 14 steps are industry standard for proper mold remediations.

Question:  Where does the varying types of remediation occur, and what is the difference in techniques?
Answer:  Step 8

I have recently heard many varying types of remediation techniques.  From high pressure washing with water and chemicals, to sanding and air pressure washing following sanding with out chemicals.  This is a wide spectrum of options with varying hourly rates that will be tabulated in a bill format.

Our process involves Chlorine Dioxide.  What is this?  Where does it come from?  Is it safe?
There was an article that I read in the paper recently where some who lack proper education have called it bleach and reffered to it as a scam. 

Please follow the link to learn what the epa study has shown :

The metabolism of microorganisms and consequently their ability to survive and propagate are
influenced by the oxidation reduction potential (ORP) of the medium in which it lives (USEPA,
Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is a neutral compound of chlorine in the +IV oxidation state.  It disinfects by
oxidation; however, it does not chlorinate.  It is a relatively small, volatile, and highly energetic
molecule, and a free radical even while in dilute aqueous solutions. At high concentrations, it reacts
violently with reducing agents. However, it is stable in dilute solution in a closed container in the
absence of light (AWWA, 1990).  Chlorine dioxide functions as a highly selective oxidant due to its
unique, one-electron transfer mechanism where it is reduced to chlorite (ClO2) (Hoehn et al., 1996)

Our chlorine dioxide generator can be used in the following applications:

  • Municipal treatment plants
  • Wastewater disinfection
  • Water reuse and recycling
  • Horticultural irrigation
  • Corrugators and paper manufacturers
  • Food processing plant sanitation
  • Cooling towers
  • Bathroom sanitation and odor control
  • Septic tank odor control
  • Drinking water disinfection
  • Agriculture
  • Fruits & vegetable sanitation
  • Oxidizing agent
Typical Properties Include:
Common Microorganisms Eliminated:
  • E. Coli
  • Legionella
  • Pneumophilia
  • Streptococcus Facalis Bacillus
  • Clostridium
  • Amoebae
  • Giardia
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Pseudomonas
Damage Control has put a lot of effort into finding a solution that is safe, and effective for use in your home following a flooding catastrophe such as we are experiencing currently.  We do use other types of chemicals to kill these types of spores and bacteria, but Chlorine Dioxide has proven to be effective and safe with out leaving a dangerous residue.  

Following the chlorine dioxide treatment, we apply a protective coating that has an additional anti microbial agent in it.  This product gives a 5 year warranty against re-growth of molds from this flooding in the treated area.  This gives peace of mind, and comfort to a job well done.  Also aids in resale if your real estate is subject to that.

In mold remediation and decontamination, it is important to use a product that will eliminate the very microorganisms that threaten health and happiness.  Be comfortable with the choice you make in hiring someone to clean up after flooding.  Make sure they are insured, and certified.  Make sure they are experienced and can provide references.

Most importantly, make sure that what they are telling you makes sense...!

For a  FREE no obligation consultation, and a quote, call today..!!
Damage Control LLC

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What Do I Do While I Wait???

The crawlspace or basement is full of water.  The flow of the river brought the current into my basement and now I am stuck with it.  As a result of the flooding river, the water table is elevated and nothing will dry.  What do I do?  What is this going to cost me?  Should I pump it out, only to find the water level in my home the same? Should I put a fan blowing air into my crawl space?  Am I going to have mold growing in my house?

These questions are asked daily, over and over again.  One neighbor is pumping water out of his crawlspace and the guy next door is finding water increasingly coming into his home.  WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER..!  Wet is wet.  Our community is wet.  It will not go away all at once, and we share the same elevated water table.
I have checked from Darby to Thompson Falls, and Drummond to Whitefish, and found the same situation;  water in crawlspaces and basements...!

So what is the answer?  What should we do?

Just as a chef in a kitchen has to use ingredients to make a meal fit for a king, the drying process has ingredients that will create evaporation and remove water from its unintended hiding spots.  Airflow, Humidity, and Temperature are the essential ingredients necessary in order to make wet things become dry.  An example of this is your laundry.  You wash your cloths in the washing machine, then you transfer the wet clothing into the dryer or put them on a cloths line in the yard.  Lets look at how the dryer works.  There is heat from the heating elements.  There is airflow which also controls the humidity removing that moisture through the air and depositing it outside.  Think of it as a drying vacuum which sucks the wet air out side and maintains an airflow blowing outside into a separate air system.  We need to set your home up like a cloths dryer.  We need to be able to control the temperature, humidity, and airflow to return your home to the dry condition it once had.

Picture with me a crawlspace full of water.  Imagine the entrance is in a bedroom or hallway closet and there are no vents outside.  Now lets envision a panic stricken  homeowner that is desperately trying to save his/her home.  What should he do?  Sadly enough, this is all to real, it is not much of a stretch of the imagination to envision this taking place.

Our problem is difficult to deal with.  We are experiencing high water table, ground water, and high flowing rivers that are above flood stage.  In order to get this dry, we need the water to go away, we need the water to recede and the rivers to return to the boundaries of their banks.  Any attempt to dry or pump water out with high water levels like this would be just like putting your laundry outside to dry on the cloths line during a rain storm.

What we need to know, and what we need to do until the water levels go back to normal can be complicated.  Patience will be key.  The ingredients to drying are going to be important as we wait, we do need to keep moisture from migrating into more areas that it does not belong.  Remember that water will evaporate as we go through the process of waiting on the rivers levels to recede.  As the evaporation process occurs, the moisture becomes airborne.  This wet air has to travel somewhere.  As the day time temperatures rise outside, the humidity drops.  As the outside air temps drop, the humidity will rise.  What happens when to that moist air from our crawlspace when the outside air temperature drops below that air temperature inside our crawlspace.  The dew point temp will create vapor pressure that will try to balance, or reach a equilibrium.  Through this process, we can have and will see condensation.  The trick to staying out of water trouble, mold problems, etc. is how do we balance the air pressure to make sure moisture is not migrating to unseen areas and will later develop into a mold problem.  Water damage restoration companies like ourselves are highly skilled, and we use high tech equipment to monitor and diagnose moisture levels in your walls, floors, ceilings, and air spaces inside and outside your home.  We use tools to measure air speed on negative air systems to ensure that it is what we designed it to be.

When using airflow, the general rule of thumb is "negative air always."  Negative air pressure is defined as;  a condition which exists in a building when less air is supplied to a space then is exhausted out from that space.  With the given situation at the current moment, we need to apply this in our homes.  The best way to safeguard against unseen moisture migration, and potential mold problems is to create a negative air pressure system in your home.  This will keep any airborne moisture moving outside and keep it from being absorbed into building materials.

One caution I would issue with adding airflow into your drying system is the potential for airborne contaminants to become present.  Also there is a risk of bringing high levels of moisture into the airspace as it travels via make up air.  Make up air is defined as; air that is brought into a building from outdoors through ventilation or air gaps in building construction.  Regarding airborne contaminants,  it is essential that your property goes through a decontamination process.  This process can be a threat to you while it is being applied.  Bleach water may not be the best option.  This needs to be done by trained professionals, who are licenced and insured to perform these types of practices.

The above listed principles need to be considered before you start pumping any water out of your home.  Pumping the water out will rapidly increase evaporation, and facilitate moisture migration into unwanted areas thus causing mold problems.  You also need to be mindful of your neighbors foundations, and wall systems as you pump.  Hydrostatic pressure can be very destructive if not respected properly.  If there are 5 houses in a row with wet crawl spaces, and the middle one starts aggressively pumping water out while the others are not, he will put his home, and his neighbors at risk of slab and foundation issues.  You can create a land slide under water, and under the foundations that will cause the ground to settle differently and adversely affect the neighborhood.  You need to respect the force water can have if not applied properly.  Those 5 homes need to be pumping in harmony, and at as close to the same rate as possible in order to protect the neighborhood.  How do you think the grand canyon was carved?  Remember water is powerful.

Remember that the water levels need to go down, the river needs to return to the boundaries of its banks, and the water table needs to stabilize before we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Let us guide you through the darkness of the waiting process.  We are here to help, and will be available with the equipment, and know how to get to that bright day in the future.  Fear not my friends, we will win!  We will overcome this adversity in our lives, water and mold will not stop us.

If money and financial concerns are stopping you from calling in the professionals to help with you, we have sympathy and can work out what ever you need to in order to protect your home.  We are standing by ready to serve.

Call today:
Damage Control LLC