Blog post courtesy of BBJ Environmental. See the original post here
The harsh reality of flooding is apparent with last weeks hurricane hitting the Texas and Louisiana coasts. The power and devastation of water can wipe out entire neighborhoods. Simply amazing…and heartbreaking.
By Dupondt - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4016859
However, once the flood waters recede another hazard will rear its ugly head almost immediately. This is fungal and bacterial growth.
Mold is all around us at all times. Areas with humidity and warmth will create breeding grounds for mold and mildew to form. This growth can cause permanent damage to household and commercial items as well as cause respiratory distress.
However controlling mold growth can be accomplished with a tried and true process.
1. Eliminate the source of dampness. This means thoroughly removing all standing water and using moving air to dry all other surfaces and materials.
2. Kill any bacterial and fungal growth. Use an EPA registered antibacterial and fungicidal to clean all surfaces make sure to read all directions as some cleaners will work better than others. This is a very important step.
3. Control mold growth by applying a mold control agent. Again, make sure these are EPA registered mold control solutions and that they are safe for use while buildings are inhabited.
4. Use an odor control agent to manage any residual odor caused by bacterial growth that may have occurred.
Following these rules will provide for the best results in removing and controlling mold after flooding. However, please make sure to call a certified professional if information needs for mold removal.
And also, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
If you are interested in any of the BBJ products that can help, here’s a quick list.
MMR-II – Mold and Mildew remover This is a powerful EPA registered disinfectant that kills mold, mildew, and bacteria.
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Mold Control for Floors and Surfaces – This is an EPA registered mold growth control agent that can be applied while building spaces are inhabited.
FreshDuct – Odor management solution
Recent news via BBJ Environmental (www.bbjenviro.com) is that their BBJ MMR-II product meets Ebola Virus disinfection interim guidelines as issued by the CDC. Their original blog post is located here. Here's some of the CDC statement, which can be seen entirely here.
Ebola viruses are transmitted through direct contact with blood or body fluids/substances (e.g., urine, feces, vomit) of an infected person with symptoms or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected blood or body fluids. The role of the environment in transmission has not been established. Limited laboratory studies under favorable conditions indicate that Ebolavirus can remain viable on solid surfaces, with concentrations falling slowly over several days.1, 2 In the only study to assess contamination of the patient care environment during an outbreak, virus was not detected in any of 33 samples collected from sites that were not visibly bloody. However, virus was detected on a blood-stained glove and bloody intravenous insertion site.3 There is no epidemiologic evidence of Ebolavirus transmission via either the environment or fomites that could become contaminated during patient care (e.g., bed rails, door knobs, laundry). However, given the apparent low infectious dose, potential of high virus titers in the blood of ill patients, and disease severity, higher levels of precaution are warranted to reduce the potential risk posed by contaminated surfaces in the patient care environment.
They continue as it relates to cleaning surfaces with the following statement
Use a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered hospital disinfectant with a label claim for a non-enveloped virus (e.g., norovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus, poliovirus) to disinfect environmental surfaces in rooms of patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola virus infection. Although there are no products with specific label claims against the Ebola virus, enveloped viruses such as Ebola are susceptible to a broad range of hospital disinfectants used to disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces. In contrast, non-enveloped viruses are more resistant to disinfectants. As a precaution, selection of a disinfectant product with a higher potency than what is normally required for an enveloped virus is being recommended at this time. EPA-registered hospital disinfectants with label claims against non-enveloped viruses (e.g., norovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus, poliovirus) are broadly antiviral and capable of inactivating both enveloped and non-enveloped viruses.
BBJ MMR-II is a hospital grade disinfectant that is used to clean and disinfect non-food use surfaces.
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Mini Split Cleaning Made Easy
Ductless mini split systems - or simply mini splits - are air conditioning systems that have taken off in popularity here in the USA recently. However, these units have long been the HVAC system preference in regions like Asia due to their small size and large cooling power as well as their power efficiency.
Split air conditioner systems act very similarly to regular ducted systems except they have no ducts. They are simply an air handler (evaporator) attach to a wall or ceiling which in turn is attached to a condenser unit outside. As such, ductless mini split systems require consistent, ongoing maintenance to maintain their performance and efficiency.
Basic maintenance should occur at least annually and in most areas twice a year. If you live in particularly dusty areas or have recently undergone gone construction, you may want to clean more often.
There are two parts of the system that need to be maintained, but before that is discussed, make sure to turn all power to the system off.
The outdoor condenser, which should be cleaned/rinsed with water twice a year to remove dirt and pollen from the coils. Then the indoor unit (aka blower unit or evaporator) coils also need to be cleaned. The washable filters should be vacuumed or rinsed according to the manufacturer’s directions.
The coil and the blower wheel/“squirrel cage” can be cleaned less frequently since they tend to attract the smaller particles of dirt and dander in the air. Factors including people, pets, and location can increase the fouling time of the coil and blower wheel. That debris, when mixed with moisture also causes the blower wheel to get gunked up and will be out of balance. These wheels can also be great breeding grounds for bacteria.
At IAQ Supply House we recommend the use of the Mini Split Bib Kit when cleaning your blower unit/evaporator. This all-in-one kit helps keep your room clean and protected as it captures all the water and cleaner you will use and safely funnels it away into the included 5-gallon bucket. If you are not using the Mini Split Bib Kit, then make sure you are protecting walls and area with drop cloths in case of overrun of fluids.
We also recommend the CoilJet CJ-125 coil cleaning system. This portable coil washer produces 125 psi of cleaning pressure with only a .5 gallon/minute flow rate. Plus, it's battery operated and rechargeable for easy transport and use.
If you are not using the CoilJet system then wet the coil with a fine mist from a pump sprayer, and then use Mini Split First Aid Kit. This product contains aerosol versions of Micro Coil Clean and Mold Control, and EPA registered mold and mildew inhibitor. Together, they will clean and protect the coils and blower wheel from mold and mildew.
Grab the BBJ Micro Coil clean. This aerosol coil cleaner is a low-foam spray, so it foams just enough to lift the dirt off the coil, but not enough to make a mess. The actuator on the micro coil clean gives you a stream like a wasp spray to help knock that dirt and debris loose off the blower wheel. Follow it up with a misting action of water and let air dry. Once the coils and blower fan wheel are completely dry, apply BBJ Mold Control for HVAC Systems and Air Ducts to prevent mold and mildew growth. This will keep your system smelling great and operating at full efficiency.
Follow this procedure for a consistent mini-split ductless system maintenance program.
If you didn’t want to use a water collection bag, use a spray bottle that can mist the water. This will help prevent overflow of the drain pan. If you didn’t want to use a water collection bag, use a spray bottle that can mist the water. This will help prevent overflow of the drain pan.
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After flooding, mold and mildew are a big problem. This article discusses steps to properly remediating mold and mildew after a flood. Always consult a professional.
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