Pro's Corner

The 5 Main Categories of Restoration Chemicals

Categories of Use:

The chemicals in this section are specialty products for specific use in restoration situations. Restoration includes services such as: Water Damage, Mold, Fire and Smoke, Trauma Scene Clean-up, etc. They include products for antimicrobial use, sealing, cleaning, deodorizing, and specialty use. They represent several different manufacturers including OmniPro, Benefect, Sporicidin, Pro-Restore, Dri-Eaz, Vaportek, Concrobium, and others.

Antimicrobials:

In general, this category includes any products that kill or control microorganisms. These have government regulations -- federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-- and usually the state Department of Agriculture.

To make any kill or control claims, the product must have an EPA registered number. bacteria-1

This number signifies that the EPA has reviewed and tested the labeling and 

product claims. and is the contract with the EPA and user that the product does what it says on the label.

After the EPA has approved it, each state has its own approval system. All the EPA registered products that we sell are available in all fifty states unless specified on the label or noted in FACTS. For example, many manufactures have a California only version.

The suffix of the descriptions tells you whether the product kills (ends with –cide) or controls (ends with –stat). Many products can be a –cide for one organism, but a –stat for another. Common descriptions with our products are: Bactericide/Bacteriostat, Fungicide/Fungistat (mold), Virucide/Virustat and Tuberculocide.

Above all else, remember that the label is the law. Carefully read the product’s label to see its directions and applications. If it’s not on the label, you can’t do it. In fact, all EPA registered products say, “It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.”

Two of the most common applications for our industry are to kill and control mold growth for mold remediation, and to kill and control bacteria and viruses (also Tuberculosis) from Category 3 water damages -- or sewage losses -- i.e. gross contamination of organisms that may affect human health.

We have three types of antimicrobial products – liquids for spraying or wiping, treated wipes for wiping surfaces as well as cleaning PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and antimicrobial hand sanitizers.

Sealers:

Sealing products are primarily for mold and fire/smoke projects as a final barrier and protection to seal and prevent mold or to seal odors that can’t be completely removed.

Cleaners:

These are specialized cleaning products for restoration. This usually goes beyond general cleaning products. These would include products for cleaning soot and mold.124187 Fire Power

Deodorizers:

Restoration odors can have unique considerations, chemicals, machines, and techniques. The four basic principles of deodorization are:

1. Find and eliminate the source.

2. Clean the contaminated area.

3. Recreate the conditions that caused the odor to penetrate the affected area the same way the contamination occurred.

4. If necessary, seal the area that was contaminated. (See “Sealers” section.)

Specialty products:

These products are related to restoration, but doesn’t necessarily fit any of the other categories. These include testing products for microbial growth, products related to lead testing and cleaning, and equipment cleaning and care products.

 

Written by Scott Warrington

Fire and Water Restoration