It is a prime concern for Indoor Environmental Professionals addressing the possibility of Bacterial Contamination in a flooding, sewage back up or broken pipe. Determining if sewage contamination has occurred is a prime public health concern. Some of the potentially harm organism are E.Coli, Shigella, and Salmonella. As these organism are usually found in low numbers in sewage, other more common types of bacteria have been used as primary indicators. In the past, those organisms are typically coliforms and tota fecal coliforms. These samples were originally used to test clean water samples and are now used to test for bacterial contamination.
Coliform test is one of the first methods of Bacteria Testing which is used to detect the presence of members of the coliform group. The coliform group includes E.Coli, Salmonella and Shigella. The coliform group include similar characteristics such as aerobic, or facultative anaerobic, non-spore forming, rod shaped, lactose tolerant. This group is naturally occurring in the guts of many mammals and little significance as a fecal indicator – sometimes causing a false positive in the tests.
- Fun Guy can examine the building structure for fecal contamination & moisture.
- Bulk sampling of potentially contaminated materials within the flood-water damaged zones.
- Fun Guy will determine areas impacted by bacterial contamination.
- Fun Guy can recommend protocols for abatement/remediation companies to follow.
- Fun Guy will can conduct final clearance bacteria testing to determine if bacterial contamination has been removed.
E.Coli has been used for Bacterial Test as a very specific indicator in fecal or sewage contamination. Advances in testing for E.Coli have made it one the primary indicators in determining fecal contamination. The test does have limitations, E.Coli is found naturally occuring in soils and the tests are not 100% accurate. The test for entercacci, group entercaccus was soon developed thereafter.
Fecal Coliform test has been developed to determine if fecal or sewage contamination is present. This group of organisms grow and multiply at 44.5c and ferment lactose producing acid production. This group may include E.Coli, Entrobacteria, Citrobacter, and Klebsiella. Results for this test should be interpreted with caution, as a false result can be triggered by plant materials.
Fun Guy Inspections can confirm the presence or absence of bacteria in your home following a black water or category 3 water intrusion. Professionals use the standards dictated by the IICRC s500 to properly clean bacteria from the surface of the building materials. Often, anti microbial solutions are used to disinfect materials that can not be removed.
Screen for E.Coli and harmful bacteria
Bacteria testing & Cleaning
Water is the necessity of life. With that being said, humans, animals, plants, and many other biological organisms need water to grow, develop, and to thrive in life. There are endless needs that require water, including agriculture, cleaning, gardening, chemistry, and more. Clean water is a necessity of life and instead of water that is polluted we strive to keep our main resource as clean as possible. Dirty water can cause many problems for human beings as well as other living creatures. It poses a threat to the human beings.
• Water Damage Causes of growth of mold
It does not matter what has triggered the water damage, a pipe or roof rain water run off, people should understand that the damage caused by water needs more than just wiping the water away and drying the walls by switching some fans on it. This never results in mold or bacteria free area.
• Mold is the result of the water damage and water intrusion. According to an estimate, there are 100,000 species of mold which break down biological materials such as dead animals and toppled trees. When the mold begins to develop inside the building, it starts to break down the materials of the building and makes it weak. Different types of mold began to grow and eventually Wood rot and other more severe consequences can result from water damage. With the presence of mold in the area it is possible that an immune response could develop and may begin to cause allergies. Certain people cannot bear mold allergies and with the presence of indoor mold growth, susceptibility maybe more common. It can affect the health of the people in the following manner:
- Mold can cause different kinds of allergies, red eyes, and runny nose among different individuals. It is potentially more dangerous to those individuals with weak immune systems, immune compromised people, and the patients of AIDS, those who are extremely younger or older.
• It can cause attacks of asthma. People also face skin and eye allergies.
• If products are not created in a sterile environment contamination may begin. Mold affects so many different products including medicine, food, tobacco, liquid, and cosmetics. If these products are used in an enclosed environment, it can cause serious health issues in human beings.
In short, it can make an individual sick and cause extreme problems that may take several days or weeks to combat.
To escape mold problems, it is important that preventative steps be taken to inspect and repair cracks, crevices, and other problems that pose threats to the foundation of the building.
It is important to hire professionals to get rid of this serious problem.
• Water Damage, Cause of Bacteria
Besides the mold threat, water damage is also a blameless propagation ground for germs including pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and intestinal worms. Another hazardous microorganism that flourishes in damp circumstances is mold. The American Lung Association estimates that bacteria and mold are the threats to the health of people and the people suffer from lung disease. There are also some toxic such as nitrates and phosphates which are present in polluted water along with the algae. According to the Environmental Pollution Centers, these bacteria can cause attacks of asthma and therefore more deadly to the old aged people and the children. Dripping water from wrecked pipes; incline to form lochs of stagnant water that could amass high absorptions of hazardous chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, PCBs, paint thinners, arsenic and VOC (volatile organic compounds).
These substances can certainly infect concealed water foundations. This water can worse unless one practices a particular apparatus to carry out tests; it is not always relaxed to notice the above-mentioned chemical contaminants.
• Categories of Water Damage
The categories of water are three ranges of contamination which pollute the water. In water pollution detection there are 3 things to consider, the originating sources of water and the contact materials which are in the water, the temperature that affects the amplification of pollutants. The undesired substances cannot be reflected or seen in an indoor environment.
Depending on the category of water intrusion and the time materials have been wet, the area must be dried out. Whether category 1 or category 3 water intrusions the area must be completely dried out, including the infrastructure to stop the progression of different kinds of bacteria and molds. The water damaged areas must be located and the structural materials and items must be disinfected. The unsalvageable items which are cannot be restored and endure the risk of further pollution, should be thrown away. The continuous use of unsalvageable items will cause potential for further contamination and possible health concerns. In short words, professional and quick water damage renovation will help your property and make it safe once again.
There are three basic categories of water damage, based on the level of contamination.
In different temperatures, the microorganisms can increase or decrease their growth in wet conditions. This will lead to the change of the category 1 water and the odor of the water will tell that the water has deteriorated and needs the attention of the property owner.
1. Category 1
The category 1 water originates from a sanitary water source and it does not pose an extensive risk. It is usually called as “clean water”. The category 1 water damage includes a tub, sink overflows, appliance malfunctions, and broken water supply lines. No person wants damage to his/ her home. But the damages are part and parcel of life and the humans expect that if there is some water damage, it can be category 1 damage because it is a direct threat to humans and their pets. Category 1 water is also known as clean water. Although the property is not damaging from the category 1 water yet it should be cleaned appropriately and punctually. If the category 1 water damaged is not looked for 48 hours it can turn into contaminated water and can cause different pollutants.
2. Category 2
Category 2 water has physical, biological, and chemical contaminants. These contaminants become the cause of different diseases when it is consumed by human beings. This type of water is also known as grey-water and there are small microorganisms in it. There are also nutrients to microorganisms. Examples of such water damage include sump pump failures, urine, and seepage because of hydrostatic failure. The water which is discharged, it includes water of dishwashing and water of washing machines. As some chemicals are used to wash clothes and dishes, these chemicals also present in water damage.
Category 2 water is directly harmful to humans because it can cause deadly diseases in human beings. The category 2 level water has microorganisms as well as nutrients of microorganisms and it has inorganic matter such as biological and chemical matter and organic matter which are harmful to clean water which is the basic necessity of life. When organic microorganisms(urine) coming from broken toilet bowls meet with the inorganic microorganism(biological and chemical) of the liquids used for dishwashers and laundry machines or seepage due to hydrostatic pressure, the category 1 will come into being category 2 water. If the situation is worsened, it can convert to category 3 water.
3. Category 3
This water is completely contaminated water and it is called “black water”. This water encloses harmful bacteria, unsanitary agents, fungi, and other deadly contaminants that cause severe diseases in human beings and other living beings. This type of water damage comes from water sources such as sewage, rising waters of rivers, standing water, and groundwater. The category 2 water can also become category 3 water if it is properly removed from the structure or it remains stagnant. A toilet back run that creates from beyond the toilet setup is deliberated as black water contamination regardless of noticeable color or content. The category 1 water can worsen to Category 2 or 3. Category 1 water does not constitute an immediate change in a category unless it flows in a contaminated building or structure because it depends on the microorganisms that how long they remain wet in water and they get temperature, these things affect the growth of the microorganisms.
The category 3 water comprises toxigenic, pathogenic, and many other deadly agents and it results in deadly outcomes when human beings consume and contact it for their use. The category 3 water is not limited to waste- line backflows and sewage rather it includes other sources of water such as streams, rising waters of rivers, and seas, it mixes with the waters of the factories and other chemicals excluding sources. The wind-driven rain from hurricanes and other sources brings lengthy levels of perilous materials such as toxic organics and pesticides which are being used in the factories, homes, and agricultural lands. There are different kinds of pesticides that are used to kills insects and the water is allowed to go in the streams, rivers, and seas. When there are heavy rains and there is the rise of waters in the rivers and seas, this chemical water comes in contact with human beings, their use, and other living creatures of the universe and results in deadly effects. There are other deadly chemicals in such water such as asbestos, mercury, arsenic, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls, radiological residues, solvents, fuels, and caustic chemicals. The last one of the water devastation may occur which is identified as “black water” and this is extremely dangerous to health. This kind of liquid contains fungi, bacteria, and other minute organisms, which are invisible to our naked eyes. These invisible and minute micro-organisms cause extreme revolting living conditions and deadly diseases. They can infect human beings, crops, cattle, wild animals, and agricultural land. Usually, this kind of water destruction may occur due to flooding, heavy rains, cyclone, or tsunami. In the modern age, there are diverse types of techniques that can be utilized for taking off the water which becomes the cause of water destruction. There are capable water destruction refurbishments professionals who can repair the system timely and save from further deterioration of the structures. The experts help in bringing back the structure to its previous healthy condition.
Ways to test for bacteria
Normal testing involves taking swabs from the separate types of building materials such as wood, drywall, concrete, tile and grout. Emlab and Latesting can help in testing bacteria. These companies provide wide range of products that include Asbestos Sampling, Moisture sampling, rental equipment and Moisture meters, etc.
• Bio- Reveal System, bacteria testing system
To check the bacteria in the water sources (category 1, 2, or 3), the bio- reveal (bio- contamination detection system) can be used. It can be used to check the level of bacteria (contamination) in the water damage. For it, the sample is collected from the affected area of the water damage. The sampling aims to decide the level of organic apparent of building equipment, materials, devices, and general surfaces within an interior location. The bio-contamination detection system is intended to assess the level of organic surface purity and disinfected cleanness in the indoor atmosphere. This Bio-Reveal system aims to identify and certificate the surface disorders where pathogenic bacteria may be spotted or sheltered as an outcome of cloudy or unhygienic locations.
The bio-contamination detection system is the elucidation for determining and testing the level of pollution which is defined according to IICRC, Category 1, and Category 2 or Category 3 water harm positions in seconds. The Bio-Reveal system is a perfect instrument for measuring the bacterial level and adulteration in water as well as defining the number of bacteria in the construction materials affected by water beating. These bacteria testing system permits the consumer to document and measure and the level of biotic pollution of the water directly with the usage of the Bio-Reveal and Aqua Snap ATP procedures or of the water injured construction materials using the Bio-reveal Ultra Snap ATP mops. This contamination detecting system is also valuable in calculating the usefulness of biological sanitization of remediation apparatus which can be utilized to correct water harm proceedings to avoid cross-contamination from one category to another category.
• IICRC – Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification
The restorers should assess the amount of dampness to control it and to begin the drying process. The requirement of controlling the humidity is the class of water. By the class of water means to assess the estimated evaporation, wet surface area, and sponginess of affected areas, before initiating the process of inspection it is important to know the class of the water. The classes are divided into four separate descriptions;
1. Class 1 includes the least amount of evaporation load and water absorption, water intrusion in the materials such as gypsum board, concrete masonry unit, carpet, and fiber-filled insulation, etc can be included in class 1. The materials (with low evaporation load) such as wood, concrete, masonry (low evaporation assemblies), gym floors, multilayer subfloors, and multilayer wallboard have abilities of minimum absorption of moisture.
2. Class 2 water has the ability of significant absorption.
3. Cass 3, there is the greatest amount of water evaporation and absorption load with more than 40%.
4. Class 4, there is noteworthy water interference that contains a weighty amount of water. To dry it needs special methods or extensive water vapor pressure with longer dehydrating times.
• Factors Essential for Assessment of Drying Ability
Some factors should be considered which can affect the drying process of the wet surface.
The restorers should comprehend and ponder over these factors. Timely estimation of the drying capacity can avert the additional reimbursements.
There are other factors which include:
• Effect of ventilating, heating, and air conditioning (HVAC) structures
• It is important to know the build-out concentration of the affected zone.
• It is also important to know the effects of outdoor weather and the complexity of the construction of the building.
• The restores should understand preexisting damages which are caused by the water. Initial Contact and Information whether the mutilation is from the impairment of the appearance or wetting and it should be known that the source of water (material of damage) is from the indirect or direct source. Examples of sources of pre-existing water damage include urine contamination, chronic water leaks, and visible mold growth. To assess the damage, it is important to know the visible evidence of deterioration and straining, it will guide to understand the level of damage. It is because of the prolonged indirect exposure to contamination and water that it becomes a serious threat.
- The restorers should inspect the excessive humidity and the moisture level should be inspected in the affected areas. The dry standards can be a rational calculation of the moisture and level of materials before water repairmen interference. An adequate process to begin a dry standard is to estimate the dampness level of the affected areas. When genuine resources do not exist, the restorer may utilize a location from related structures and the experiences of similar drying projects.
• Knowledge of the geographical area
According to IIRC, the restorers should know instrumentation and local influence of the moisture. When the restorers have prior knowledge of the local influence of the moisture, they can easily locate the cause of the water damage. It is suggested that the damaged materials should be restored to an acceptable level of moisture which should not be harmful to the structure.
• The Preliminary Determination
Before starting the restoration, there must be knowledge of the category of the water damage if he comes to know that the water damage is due to category 1, he can proceed without using the contamination controls which are used in the category 2 and category 3 water damage. The predetermination of the category of water is very important as it will give a direction to the restoration process.
Determine the affected area
If the water damage is due to category 2 and category 3 water, then the contamination controls are used to overcome the damage. The contamination can be trolled through forming pressure disparities and creating the containment barriers etc. IEP (indoor environmental professional) can be used to assess the levels of the contamination of the water and it can also be used to control the humidity if the water damage is due to category 2 and 3 water. Sometimes the assessment by IEP is not necessary in many cases but if there are serious risks then IEP should be retained for use. It is also used to stop the contamination at a lower level.
The prior knowledge of the category of water also prepares the restorer to save himself from the contaminants. Category 2 and 3 water damage can affect the health of the inhabitants and restoration professional of the building. It is important to categorize the contaminant in the water damage because it can also affect the health of the workers. The contaminants maybe aerosolized. The preliminary purpose makes the restorer think a pre-restoration estimation.
Common problem in many buildings
Both the commercial and residential buildings have water damages; however there are some differences between the water damage which affects the commercial buildings and the homes. The big difference between commercial and homes and is the kind of carpet that usually gets wet during the water damage. Domestic residential water injuries intrusion problems habitually have rugs over stuffing (padding) When the water intrudes and damages the carpet then it does not make makes the carpet and padding wet. The traditional protocol is to eliminate the carpet from the flooring and eliminate the insulation (padding from the area). These areas considered porous items that need to be removed. The tack strip is also removed which keeps the carpet down. The tack strip, which also keeps the carpet down, is also removed. Many landowners do not eliminate the tack strip and when they augment the speed of the fan to dehydrate the carpet, it dries the surface but the inner strip remains wet.
An air mover is usually used to dry the carpet, the air mover is used to blow on the carpet and many companies provide this facility. The air mover, a high powered fan, is used to dry the carpet. It does not dry the inner layer, padding, of the carpet and it typically remains wet. This problem can become larger because the restorer does not know the carpet cleaner, property manager, and service provider, and this ignorance increases the problem of water damage. The dampness beneath the carpet (keep it in mind that the carpet is pasted to the ground and no one can feel the wetness under the carpet) will be nourishing earth for bacteria and mold. After some days this problem shows itself in the form of bad smell (foul odor). That odor is an indication of the growth of bacteria and other germs.
Moisture meter testing.
With a moisture meter, a trained water damage professional can efficiently move through a building to assess the damage caused by water damage. Without the moisture meter, it becomes difficult to assess whether the carpet is wet because the outer surface is dry. However, drying beneath the carpet and averting the bacteria growth and mold damage is very stress-free.
The molds take usually 36 to 72 hours to grow and this growth can be prevented through proper restoration and timely cleanliness or drying procedure. The professionals can assess the problem and they set the direction to remove the wetness professionally. Some untrained experts do not clean or dry properly which results in the permanent problem and threat for the inhabitants. If the carpet seems and feels as dry after drying through the air mover, the carpet must be dried through the flowing air from the air meter for more than 24 hours.
The moisture meter helps in detecting how much is the existence of dampness in the carpet or building materials. After 24 hours the carpet should read dry, but if not let it runs another 24 hours. The air mover and dehumidifiers sucks the moisture from the carpet and there is no dampness left in the carpet which later causes foul odor and growth of the bacteria as a result of it.
In the pharmaceutical and hospital companies and many other complex industrial establishments, have these problems may be compounded. Because of the alarms concern of bacteria and mold, these issues may hinder the facilities and affects the patients’ health and engineering procedures. There are times when the building has to be shut down to facilitate inspection, testing, and water damage remediation. In hospitals, there are patients of different diseases; the water damage can directly affect them, especially those patients of various lung diseases.
The important thing is to be cautious when employing a water harm renovation cleans up company. The professionals can be hired who can take care of the construction and alarm about the threats on time and create emergency strategies to mark it sure that all the needs are being fulfilled to deter the water damage. It is not a wise decision to start water damage recovery when all the pipes burst, it will result in collapse and confusion.
The restorers repair the water damage according to the structure of the building because different systems are used in the different buildings according to the needs of the constructions.
Materials and Time
It is advisable by IIRC that the restores estimate the costs and materials of the project of solving water damage. This method will save the time of the restorers and they can focus on the project with all its needs and requirements.
Dignified Assessment or Bid
It will be convenient for the restorers that they make a bid of the project of removing water damage. This method will save the time of the workers and the material can be used according to the need. When the restorers have the satisfaction of the prices, the laborers can work with devotion.
Materials for Water Damage Removal
The restoration of the building should be determined by the structural assembly of the building. The mechanical, flooring and roofing assembly is the foundation of the building and it is important to remove the water damage according to the construction assembly of the building because the same materials are used in all buildings. It becomes difficult to assess the problem through the materials rather it is important to keep in mind the assembly of the building. Cleaning and restoration should be formed by the assembly, and not the particular materials.
Firstly, the restorer should examine the affected area because some damages do not need heavy restoration as category 1 water damage does not require heavy materials and it can be solved at an early stage. This will help the restorer in drying the affected area. If there are contaminated materials, it is important to remove them before starting the drying process. If the restorer finds asbestos material in the construction of the material, he should stop the restoration because otherwise, it can cause the materials to become aerosolized or friable which causes breaking, sweeping and scraping, etc. If Category 2 or 3 water has traveled or composed under the finish floor or floor, the restorer should replace the flooring.
During the days of heavy rains, the storms bring water in the homes when there is no proper drainage system. In the days of flooding, it becomes difficult to keep home dry and safe from the moisture. If the building has a proper drainage system, the rainwater can come underneath the home when the water comes fast enough. It is important to place an effective drainage system underneath the foundation of the home or the pipes (one or two) can be placed to avoid the seepage. There are many pumps available in the market which can be used to control the seepage.
Water damage is an essential part of life because as the building becomes old, the materials of the building also become old, and with time, they need cleanliness and restoration unless it becomes a collapse of prickles. It is not only the passage of time that affects the construction of the building and poses threats rather the weather and geographical position of the building are also related to it. When the water that disturbs an erection is polluted with sewage cradles, flooding from seawater, river flooding and ground surface water, there is a grave impending warning to indoor environmental quality and human health. The buildings with the problem of water-drenched absorbent materials are the ultimate foundation for the development of different viruses such as fungi and bacteria. The progression of these kinds of bacteria can yield toxic constituents that can be unprotected to humans within the enclosed atmospheres.
Water damage can take the shape of a nightmare if it is not controlled at its early stage. There are many buildings whose foundations become weak because the water penetrates to its roots. Restoration of the water damage is not only important for the foundation of the buildings but also for the health of the inhabitants.
The evolution of mold and bacteria can take place from all kinds of water damages as defined by the IICRC, whether the water is from hygienic water cradles (Category 1), soiled or gray water causes (Category 2) and pathogenic or black water bases (Category 3). The danger of bacterial uncleanness of building constituents and contact to pathogenic microbial or viral related bacteria rises as the category of water changes from category 1 to category 2 or 3 and from category 2 to category 3. The problem of water damage can be removed by regular inspection and detection of the source if there is some minor problem of water.