What is containment and why is it important? Specifically, containment is preventing something from escaping. The restoration professional is likely to encounter substances like mold, microbials (naturally occurring micro-organisms), toxin-producing pathogens, friable lead and asbestos. Most of these toxins are very small and can easily hitch a ride on normal air currents found in most buildings in Minneapolis. During mold removal, without containing these potentially toxic substances, at the source and within a confined area, they are likely to end up creating a significantly larger mess than first encountered and quickly saturate the air being inhaled by workers, homeowners and occupants of the affected buildings.
Within the protocols we use, there should be a very high value on containment because it alone has the ability to prevent further damage to health and property. It keeps a bad situation from getting worse. It puts a lid on it. Everything else addresses the aftermath.
Containment is typically broken into two types: source and area containment.
In talking about source containment, I often use the example of a broken water pipe. With water spewing everywhere, nobody in their right mind would even think about fixing and cleaning up the mess until the water valve was turned off first. That is source containment.
For area containment, think of a quarantine room where someone sick is isolated. The point is not necessarily to keep the person inside, but to keep the pathogens contained and from escaping.
In the first example, the water is quite visible. In the second, the pathogen is microscopic – invisible. This cloak of invisibility is probably the main reason some professionals don’t take containment so seriously. It is the perception that if you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.
But it does exist. And in the case of some molds, just a slight breeze or vibration and they go into survival mode – spewing hundreds times more spores into the air. Without proper containment, the cost of mold removal can increase dramatically. But it seems to be the greater cost is in the potential health issues by carelessly allowing cross contamination. Medical research continues to tie exposure to toxins and molds to significant health effects.
Reducing the impact of tiny invisible airborne contaminants is exactly why containment is a valuable part of our protocol.
If you will, picture each part of the mold removal protocol being a person, a specialist in charge of part of the disaster medical team. You would have a first responder (containment), a surgeon (remediation) and a physical therapist (restoration). Each is tasked with a special function. The first responder stops the bleeding and gets the patient to the surgeon, who cuts away the damaged tissue and does the necessary surgery. The physical therapist gets the body working right again.
By effectively reducing the volume of mold spores by the use of source containment, testing is more likely to pass the first time out – reducing the cost of re-cleaning and testing a second time. The same holds true for effective area containment.
We take the lives of our customers very seriously, and will always take the extra steps needed to provide the cleanest and safest environment possible.
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For mold removal or mold testing in Minneapolis, call 24Restore today.