Mould contamination (or contamination from the kingdom of fungi) is easily spreadable throughout indoor environments…when unqualified deconstruction methods are used, and especially when moulds, mildew and fungi are disturbed during deconstruction/tear out procedures, and the environment is not controlled as is commonly the case, the potential for cross contamination is always 100% guaranteed to spread contaminates beyond the affected area(s).
The kingdom of fungi exists naturally in our environment, and we need it as much as we need the plant kingdom and the animal kingdom. Its simply biological equilibrium.
The natural roll of fungi is to break down protein matter and cellulose matter for decomposition.
However, when a genus of the kingdom of fungi un-naturally takes up residence inside an occupied building the biological production of reproductive spores and volatile organic compounds can overwhelm and critically affect the indoor air quality which has been proven to affect human occupants’ health.
Some geneses of the kingdom of fungi, and particularly those that proliferate indoors will release reproductive contaminates that are harmful to human health, particularly know to cause upper respiratory conditions such as runny nose, sore throats, and flu like reactions to those exposed to such an environment. Even worse, an abundant accumulation of fungi growth produces mycotoxins’ which are much more harmful and can cause lower respiratory complications which are commonly more serious to human health.
It is for this reason that such contaminants should be removed and remediated properly so that to not spread the problem into other areas of the dwelling which in the future can be viable to procreate themselves, and in the present will load the indoor environment with respiratory contaminants.
The proper way to remediate mould contamination indoors:
- Coordain off the affected areas by erecting a temporary Polly containment tent that will be strong. Cover all non contaminated surfaces with vapour barrier polypropylene sheeting leaving only the contaminated surfaces exposed.
- Create an entrance point using the “Flap door method.” This entrance point is simply an additional piece of poly (about 4’ wide) taped at the top over a vertical slit cut in the containment tent.
- Erect a transfer room and a clean room, both of which are made of polypropylene sheeting, these are smaller tent structure that will be used to transfer bagged contaminated waste which will be wiped down in containment tent and then transferred to this room to be double bagged, wiped down again and disposed of in accordance with local regulations. The clean room is used for personnel to doff Personal protective equipment such as Tyvek suits and respirators after they are wiped down in the transfer room. These temporary containment tents are set up in a row outside of the main containment tent so that upon entrance the first room you would enter to get to the work area is the clean room, then the transfer room, then into the main containment area where the deconstruction will take place. In addition to the flap door at the containment room entrance, there should also be “flap doors” at the entrance points to both the clean room and the Transfer room.
- To create negative air pressure in the Containment room, transfer room and clean room a hepa cabinet air scrubber will be installed at the far end of the containment room to intake the air, hepa filtered and direct to the outdoor via poly ducting tube known as lay flat ducting. The ducting should be installed through the containment barrier and directed at least 10’ into the outdoors to ensure negative pressure. Total air changes per hour can be calculated according to local regulations based on the cfm capabilities of the hepa cabinet air scrubber, the size of the containment rooms, make up air allowances and the proper positioning of the hepa cabinet air scrubber intake. The containment room should bow inwards because of negative air pressure when a good vacuum is achieved.
- Once negative air is established, and the containment structures are proven to be rigid enough then the deconstruction of contaminated materials can begin.
All workers will need to don personal protective equipment which will include but may no be limited to Tyvek non permeable suits with hoods and feet, eye protection and/or a half or full-face respirator with a P100 filter with an organic vapour component and work gloves that protect against sharps. All workers should have a respirator fit test performed to ensure proper fit and safe respiratory filtration function.
- It is important to control dust fallout during demolition by wetting surface before, during and after removal. An amended water solution with a registered disinfectant is recommended. Once contaminated materials have been removed, they should be placed in manageable sized bags, wiped down and hepa vacuumed and moved to the transfer room to be double bagged and wiped down again for disposal.
- Affected non removable components such as framing and foundation walls and flooring can be scrubbed, wet wiped, hepa vacuumed and sealed to decontaminate. Structural framing that has been compromised due to rot will need to be removed and replaced. An engineer may need to be consulted prior to structural support framing removal and replacement.
- Once removals are complete and all structural framing, foundation walls and floors are decontaminated and sealed, containment barriers should be sprayed with an encapsulant sealer and left to dry prior to removing and disposing of all polypropylene containment tenting and surface coverings to further eliminate cross contamination. Containment materials that are being disposed of will also require bagging and should be disposed of in accordance with local regulations.
Please feel free to contact us if you have questions and/or inquiries
When in doubt…remember, our advice is always free!
Mark J. Gotro…CEO
AHERA Certified Building Inspector Certification #CABI-12-015
IICRC Applied Microbial Remediation Supervisor – Certification #18597
HCR Master Restoration Specialist
HYDRACLEAN Disaster Restoration Services Ltd.
24hrs every day of the year – 1-877-91FLOOD – 1-877-913-5663
Our advice is always free.