This procedure is known as the Pittsburgh protocol. Its use is advised for structures that have been exposed to Category 3 water (mainly rising groundwater floods such as those experienced following recent hurricanes) for extended periods of time.
This procedure meets IICRC guidelines. There are less rigorous procedures for category 3 contamination that can be quickly remediated (a toilet overflow for example).
There is also an alternate procedure known as the Carolina Protocol.
Steps to flood remediation
- Remove and dispose of floodwater-saturated carpet, carpet padding, drywall, plaster, insulation, and other highly absorbent building materials.
- Rinse mud and visible soil from exposed wooden studding, joists, rafters, sub-floors, metal studs, cement block and masonry walls, and cement floors. or other building materials wetted by floodwater. Use low-pressure (not high-pressure) water for this rinsing. The goal is to move the soil off the surface and avoid driving it into the material. Use of a surfactant/detergent such as Vission or Viper 7 is helpful.
- Foam the surfaces with a disinfectant solution. Dilute according to label directions. Examples include Microban Disinfectant Spray Plus; a ready-to-use solution of Germicidal Cleaner Concentrate; Benefect Botanical Disinfectant; Concrobium Broad Spectrum Disinfectant; Sporicidin Disinfectant Solution, and Bactibarrier Cleaner/Disinfectant. Allow it to dwell (10 to 30 minutes). The Foam-It Jr. is very effective for this service.
- Follow up by controlled pressure washing with a solution of Germicidal Cleaner Concentrate (2 ounces Germicidal Cleaner Concentrate per gallon of water); Benefect Botanical Decon 30 (ready-to-use); or Bactibarrier Detergent/Disinfectant (2 ounces per gallon of water) to cleanse and remove surface contaminants. Controlled pressure washing with a small pressure washer (1750 PSI @ 1.6 GPM) uses as little as 4 ounces of solution per square foot of surface area.
- Use a soft bristle brush to agitate the solution into cracks and crevices of cement floors, and masonry walls.
- Clear water rinse floors and walls.
- Re-clean floors and walls with a pressure washer.
- After wood surfaces drip dry, use an airless paint sprayer to apply SurfaceShield (by ProRestore Products), a highly permeable antifungal protective coating. Similar products are also available from other vendors.
- Dry the structure by using dehumidifiers or auxiliary heaters and air movers.
By Scott Warrington. Most of the above information was provided by Legend Brands.
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