Containment: Best In Chicago Mold Removal!
Containment is a barrier that separates the clean area (the unaffected area) from the contaminated area (affected area). A very simple form of containment is to close the door between a contaminated room and the rest of the structure. In damage remediation work, containment needs to be more than just closing a door.
When entering and exiting containment, proper care needs to be taken concerning cross contamination. To prevent cross-contamination, remediators should remove and replace protective clothing each time they leave and re-enter the containment area.
Even though removal of a structural component may be necessary due to permanent damage, the actual removal may have to be delayed. Such is the case where removing the material will result in a loss of containment.
Source containment is used for small areas of contamination. This usually is for areas of mold growth, or suspected mold growth, of under 10 sq. ft. and involves Polyethylene sheeting installed as a temporary covering. Before installing the covering, the affected area should be HEPA vacuumed. The HEPA vacuum is used to vacuum the opened area and inspection is performed to determine if the now exposed area has further mold contamination. A HEPA vacuum is used to control and remove dust and airborne particles from the contained area.
Source containment may also be used to address relatively small areas of mold growth, or in combination with other engineering controls to reduce the amount of spores released and dust generated. Source containment may be used alone when fungal growth is limited to small, visible, controllable areas where no hidden mold growth is anticipated.
In areas where there is limited visible mold, and hidden mold growth is anticipated, a more extensive containment is recommended. Source containment methods may also be used within areas of more extensive mold growth in conjunction with other forms of containment.
Local containment involves affected areas of 10-100 sq. ft. Negative air pressure in this space can usually be obtained by using a HEPA vacuum cleaner. This type of containment is used for more complex and larger remediation sites than source containment. Local containments may be used when “moderate levels” of fungal growth are visible or suspected.
A structural enclosure can be built to contain the work area and separate it from the unaffected section of a structure. PVC pipe, wood framing, or spring-loaded expansion poles can be used to build an enclosure, which then is covered with an appropriate poly material. Constructing structural support is not always necessary if the isolation barrier can be securely attached to wall and ceiling surfaces.
Full-scale containment includes barriers and negative pressurization using air filtration devices to contain contamination which could include: mold fragments, spores, dust and debris from the remediation process. This usually is for affected areas that are larger than 100 sq. ft.
When full-scale containment is used, it is appropriate to install a decontamination chamber at the entrance to the containment area. Contaminated items, including bags of debris, equipment, personal protective equipment, etc. go into the decontamination chamber where they are HEPA vacuumed and wiped down with a biocide before being taken out through the unaffected area.
For local and full decontamination containments, the set ups are similar. Before actually starting, determination is needed as to: how large the containment needs to be, how to seal the containment to the structure, and how large the air filtration device (which will normally also provide negative air pressure) need to be.
Containment Access Door
Once the containment structure is in place, an access door will need to be created. Zipper doors can be cut into a convenient wall for easy access. Another type of door opening uses “flaps” and are known as either “T flap” or “Z flaps”. A “T flap” is a polyethylene flap (sheet) on the outside of the containment structure. One flap is attached to each side of the wall, and hinged on opposite sides of the entrance.
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