Flood Damage Clean-up Advisory for Restoration Professionals and Homeowners
Cleaning up Flood Damage is crucial due to the environmental contaminants and health issues associated with flooding. There are potential health problems for people ho have skin contact or inhale any of the contaminants.
Environmental contaminants found in flood waters could include:
- Micro-organisms/Bacteria – gram negative bacilli from raw sewage, fungi, viruses, parasites
- Heavy Metals – arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, nickel silver, zinc
- Diesel Range Organics – Oil
- Agro-pollution from pesticides – DDT, cvhlorodane, heptachlor, non-water solumble organochlorine compounds and fertilizers
In homes, contaminants were found in levels high enough to impact the health of the people exposed to them. Unprepared workers and volunteers put themselves at risk for long-term health effects following exposure to the contaminated water. Due to testing limitations, these hazards are not identified until after the workers have been exposed to them.
- Antibiotic resistant staph infections (MRSA)
- Flesh-eating bacteria
- Intestinal complications
- Respiratory problems
- Exposure to e-coli
- Undiagnosed rashes
Flood-borne contaminants impact virtually everything in its path. The contaminants and illnesses mentioned above affect residents, workers, buildings, vehicles, infrastructure, and vegetation. At this time, the workers remove and replace flood-impacted porous materials. Additionally, contamination will also be in semi-porous materials such as studs, sub-flooring and wall sheathing.
Due to the severity of flood-related illnesses, PACIFIC Restoration implements the Pittsburgh Protocol. It is a protocol that deals with mold growth and severe bacterial contamination. These are the four steps:
- In addition to well-ventilated fans, the work areas are placed under negative pressure containment.
- Vacuuming large quantities of mud is impractical. Therefore, it is best to scrape off heavy deposits of mud. A HEPA vacuum will loose mold contamination. Afterwards, the remaining mold is treated with a foam application of an antimicrobial or a cleaner.
- Pressure cleaning with an antimicrobial cleaner is effective and will remove the visible contamination on the surface. Additionally, the cleaning will fungistatically protect the surfaces.
- Most important, a highly permeable encapsulant is necessary to protect the surfaces and inhibit future growth.
What You Should Know
PACIFIC Restoration is aware of:
- We will not go to the area until it is safe to do so.
- When we do go, PACIFIC brings all of the supplies needed to complete the flood damage work. PACIFIC will bring generators, fuel, and building supplies.
- Communication is difficult, thus, PACIFIC is set with telephones and walkie-talkies to stay in touch with the office for further information.
- PACIFIC equips vehicles with GPS to get to the flooded destination. We also track the trucks to determine their location.
- PACIFIC Cleaning and Restoration are professional workers. The worker may refer the client to a doctor if there are health issues
Floods are imminent in the California raining season. When water damage strikes, contact PACIFIC Cleaning & Restoration for reliable and professional work. As always, call PACIFIC at (949) 829-8790 for a free quote on flood damage.
On the next blog, we will discuss cleaning and safety procedures and business basics that will help alleviate the process of cleaning water damage.
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