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RIA members create cleaning solution for flood damage

hands.jpgA number of the Restoration Industry Association members have partnered with All Hands Volunteers to create The Sandy Solution, a cleaning solution designed to remediate houses with mould growth as a result of flood damage from Hurricane Sandy. The clean-up can be carried out by volunteers working with the property owner.

Michael A. Pinto, CSP, CMP, CEO Wonder Makers Environmental, and a leader on the project states: "The most important part was the generosity of RIA members and other professionals in the restoration field in sharing their expertise. All volunteer groups working to help needy homeowners have funding limitations. Through their donations of time, equipment and expertise the RIA has helped to make this comprehensive solution possible."

RIA members are dedicated to furthering education for residents and consumers so that they are in a position to safely and properly repair damage after flooding disasters.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, households up and down the East coast of the US were left with severe flood and storm-surge damage. Initial responders were faced with significant health & safety concerns. But, as the time between the initial flood damage and cleaning efforts expanded, mould growth increased, causing more problems for the homeowners and contractors working to repair the damage.

Government officials have been quick to warn residents of the hazards and need for proper mould treatment; however no cost-effective and efficient solution specifically designed for non-professionals has been agreed upon. The Sandy Solution was created to be a comprehensive approach to dealing with the clean-up, mould treatment and drying. Depending on the building conditions and the needs of the homeowner, The Sandy Solution offers a stepped approach to repair the damage.

The steps include:

1. Evaluation of the structure to determine conditions, applicability of services, and recommendations to the homeowner
2. Isolation of non-impacted upper levels from lower level (if applicable)
3. Removal of wet, porous materials (muck out) using proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for construction and contaminant hazards
4. Gutting of damaged finish materials, including plaster, wallboard and sub-floors, as appropriate
5. Renovation of electrical power panel to accommodate power distribution box for cleaning and drying
6. Documentation of the initial level of contamination through moisture measurements and biological field test measurements
7. Cleaning and mould treatment using a foam cleaning process
8. Drying of structural materials by re-establishing home heating and/or through supplemental drying
9. Air washing of isolated upstairs areas for spore removal
10. Documentation of final conditions in the structure through moisture measurements and biological field test measurements
11. Coordination of rebuilding

Unlike other cleaning solutions used in flood cleanup, The Sandy Solution uses a foam generator to apply antimicrobial cleaners. The cleaning process includes a number of explicit but easy to follow steps that can be broken down for volunteers to be able to safely apply the foaming solution under a trained supervisor on site.

The goal is to have enough equipment and teams trained to use The Sandy Solution correctly to be able to clean 100 houses in seven to 10 days.

"This is another example of how RIA members work to 'make it better' for consumers after a damage event in a very practical manner," says RIA President Sam Bergman, CR.

The Restoration Industry Association (RIA) has member firms worldwide. RIA provides industry leadership, supports science, and promotes best practices for cleaning and restoration through certification, training and standards development. More information is available on the RIA website: www.restorationindustry.org.

Here is RIA's latest press release detailing the "Sandy Solution" which can be used to clean homes impacted by mold following Hurricane Sandy. Michael Pinto with RIA member firm, Wonder Makers Environmental, Inc., played a major role in developing this protocol with All Hands Volunteers. Other RIA members have contributed equipment and products to All Hands to help hundreds of homeowners throughout New York and New Jersey.

T: 800-272-7012 / 617-312-2999
E: [email protected]
W: www.hands.org

T: 301-231-6505 ext. 28
E: [email protected]

21st February 2013

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