Environmental Containment – How to protect the air your breathing in your home

What is Environmental containment?

Likely the most important roll a true restoration contractor should be the ability of controlling contaminates while executing remediation, restoration and decontamination procedures.

Otherwise why wouldn’t you just hire a guy with a tool belt in a pick up truck?

Well, here’s why, because contaminates and hazardous materials like mould and asbestos exist in many buildings and by the nature of deconstruction/ demolition, renovations and/or mitigation procedure like water and fire damage restoration, these contaminates will certainly be disturbed.

A responsible Restoration Contractor needs to preserve and protect indoor air quality both at the time of a loss like water or fire damage etc. And during deconstruction and reconstruction especially when buildings are occupied and furnished. These procedures are imperative to protect the health and safety of the buildings current and future occupants as well as the safety of the workers. Hazardous contaminates can be harmful to people and pets but are especially harmful to the Elderly, infants and/or immune compromised individuals.

The term containment refers to the ability to control the environment to eliminate cross contamination for the purpose of ensuring the health and safety of building occupants and workers tasked with maintaining or returning safe indoor air quality before, during and after repairs are complete.

Typical containment setups are an air – lock type tented off work space which maintains negative air pressure. For example: if one were to remove a water damaged section of wall with active mould growth, covering all surfaces with Polypropylene (poly) sheathing and limiting the work space by erecting (poly) zip walls (temporary wall or walls) Sealing all seams with sheathing tape and adding a transfer room / entrance room for decontamination of work tools which would also serve as an area to don and doff personal protective equipment (PPE). This type of containment would then be set under negative pressure by adding a hepa cabinet negative air machine to intake the air in the work area, scrub it with air filtration and exhaust to the outside of the containment (preferable outdoors) The above described is a negative air – airlock containment.

This type of containment functioning properly will eliminate the possibility of contaminates from entering non protected areas.

Examples of containment set-ups can be viewed on our website www.HYDRACLEAN.ca

Hazardous contaminates likely to exist in any building include but are not limited to the following:


Drywall Jointing compounds

Surfacing materials and coatings

Ceiling & wall texture


Roofing products


Window putties

Electrical insulation materials

Ducting tape

Fireplace components

Wood stoves

Stage curtains

Pipe wraps









Thermal switches

Control panels

Smoke detectors

Light bulbs (HID)

Fluorescent light bulbs (older style)

Light ballasts

Automated switching




Electrical components


Oil heaters

Hydraulic equipment

Light ballasts

Window and caulking

Weather stripping

Masonry expansion joints

Rubber products

Chlorofluorocarbon’s (CFCs)


Air conditioners (HVAC)

Smoke detectors

Exit signs (containing radioactive sources)

At HYDRACLEAN Disaster Restoration Services our advice is always free.

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