The use of a biocide may or may not be advisable. It depends on the circumstances at each water loss. However, general procedures that are antimicrobial in nature should always be employed.
The art is matching the right procedure to the job, just as with any other restoration practice.
In conditions with high risk of exposure to organisms that can cause sickness, discomfort or disease, restorers will choose to use a registered biocide. This is especially true in circumstances where the building occupants are at a higher risk because of a compromised immune system.
Cleaners and sanitizers
Many antimicrobial products can act as sanitizers, deodorizers and cleaners across a broad spectrum of building materials, while they are not necessarily biocidal on all surfaces. Selecting the right cleaner or sanitizer for a specific project requires reading the product label, and ensuring it appropriately addresses the project needs.
Many of the activities restorers perform on a daily basis are antimicrobial in nature. The very act of drying prevents a multitude of microbial problems. Ensuring regular, daily drying progress is the most important part of preventing microbial issues from developing.
Using an antimicrobial on a restoration project is a component of risk management. Make sure to choose the right product by reviewing the label carefully, communicate with customers and occupants and dry structures completely and thoroughly.
Mold: Separating fact from fiction
Of all biological contaminates, mold has probably received the most media attention in the last couple of decades and public awareness of the issue remains very high. It is important to inform yourself about the current trends regarding insurance coverage, litigation and medical research related to mold. According to Ed Cross, JD Attorney at Law, who specializes in legal services for restoration and environmental consulting industries, there is a lot of misinformation out there and you need to know what the facts are.
What happens in the court room and what the media reports as trends can be very different. For example, did you know that there have been fewer mold lawsuits in recent years? Heightened awareness has made landlords, developers and occupants more proactive; however, when cases go to court, you need to be aware of trends related to second party liability. Be smart; educate yourself on current legal issues. Consult with an attorney to stay current and protect your business.
Brandon Burton is the technical director for Legend Brands, and a trainer for Restoration Sciences Academy (RSA). He teaches IICRC-approved classes in the categories of Applied Structural Drying (ASD) and Water Damage Restoration (WRT). Burton has served the restoration community for more than 15 years as an IICRC-approved instructor, ANSI/IICRC S500 chair, RIA restoration council member, and many other industry roles. You can contact him at BrandonB@RSA-HQ.com.