Structural Drying >> Drying Techniques From Flood

The impact of Hurricane Sandy extended far beyond the structures destroyed by the storm surge. Although the water has receded and most structures have been pumped out, Drying Techniques From Flood the large number of properties that need repair means that restoration will go on for months.

Therefore, this Fact Sheet was developed to help building owners, operators, contractors, and volunteer assistance groups deal with the challenges of working in structures that were not fully cleaned and dried shortly after the flooding. Remember that when first returning to a flood-damaged building, Drying Techniques From Flood responders should follow the initial precautions and restoration steps detailed in the FEMA Recovery Advisory.

The ABC's of Returning to Flooded Buildings (Appendix E of FEMA 549, 2005). When a flooded home has not been cleaned and dried within a few weeks of the flood event, Drying Techniques From Flood mold contamination should be expected, and specific steps are needed to clean and restore the home. 

Basic cleaning Drying Techniques From Flood and drying information is presented in the FEMA Recovery Advisory Initial Restoration for Flooded Buildings(FEMA 549, 2005), which specifies five steps for post-flood building restoration, including (1) air out, (2) move out, (3) tear out, (4) clean out, and (5) dry out. 

This Fact Sheet builds on the last two of these steps and assumes that the majority of the muck-out Drying Techniques From Flood and gutting process has been completed and the home is ready for cleaning and drying.Key Issues Floodwaters carry a variety of contaminants such as bacteria, oil, heavy metals, and pesticides. 

While first responders' initial evaluations of Hurricane Sandy floodwaters indicated that exposure to such items are below current limits for safe occupancy, proper cleaning Drying Techniques From Flood and preparation for rebuilding is critical to protect workers and occupants from both short-term hazards and long-term risk.  

Other hazards are present in addition to the substances brought in with the floodwaters, especially in homes that were not dried out within a week of the flooding. Safety issues related to wet mechanical and electrical systems, Drying Techniques From Flood exposure to lead and asbestos released from building materials, and mold growth need to be addressed. 

Mold is a serious health hazard if the home is reoccupied without proper cleaning. Although a variety of products and techniques can reduce and control mold, Drying Techniques From Flood the cleaning and drying process described in this Fact Sheet also helps to remove other floodwater contaminants.Personal SafetyFlooded buildings can pose a number of health and safety risks, for both individuals who wish to maintain occupancy and those who work to repair them. 

Eliminating hazards is the best way to protect occupants and workers; however, until conditions can be returned to normal, Drying Techniques From Flood anyone working in a flooded building should use appropriate personal safety equipment and take appropriate safety precautions. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Fact Sheet, Hurricane Sandy Cleanup PPE Matrix, Drying Techniques From Flood provides information on personal protective equipment (OSHA-FS-3612, 2012). Protection from electrical shock: Because of the danger of shocks and fire, electrical receptacles that were flooded should not be used to operate cleaning or drying equipment. 

An electrician should evaluate the condition of flooded components prior to use. As a rule, all flooded receptacles should be removed and replaced after the appropriate circuit breakers Drying Techniques From Flood or fuses are deactivated and the interruption of power to the receptacle confirmed. Protection from mold contamination: 

Anyone entering a house with visible mold growth should wear a disposable suit to prevent contamination of their clothes and vehicle, rubber gloves or other hand protection, Drying Techniques From Flood and respiratory protection. A disposable respirator marked with an N-95 rating (when used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions) offers the minimum lung protection that should be used when in the presence of mold. 

A full-face respirator is recommended for mold cleaning to protect both the eyes and the respiratory system. If a full-face respirator is not used during cleaning, goggles or a face shield should be worn with the disposable respirator. The OSHA Fact Sheet, Mold Hazards During Hurricane Sandy Cleanup, Drying Techniques From Flood provides information on mold (OSHA-FS-3619, 2012). 

Protection from asbestos and lead paint: Asbestos in floor tile, pipe and boiler insulation, and electrical wiring is common in many homes built before 1980 (Figure 1). Breathing asbestos fibers released from building products can increase the risk of cancer Drying Techniques From Flood and cause a number of serious lung diseases. Similarly, paint in homes constructed prior to 1978 may contain lead. 

If lead paint is aerosolized during muck-out or gutting activities it can damage a person's health and is especially dangerous to child occupants if not cleaned up properly. If asbestos or lead paint is suspected, Drying Techniques From Flood obtain the services of a specialist to perform material testing, and do not disturb the material until testing has been completed. 

If testing confirms the presence of lead, remediation should be conducted by a licensed professional. If materials containing asbestos are present, Drying Techniques From Flood remediation must be performed in accordance with applicable State and Federal regulations.Figure 1: Mold (on wood) and asbestos (yellow arrows) hazard in flooded house Cleaning Flood-Damaged Homes 

If not already installed as part of the muck-out and gutting process, Drying Techniques From Flood plastic barriers should be set up between affected and unaffected areas of the premises (typically between the first and second floors at the base of the stairs). The barriers will reduce the potential of mold spores spreading to unaffected areas.

Because of the wide range of contaminants that can be present in floodwaters and grow on wet surfaces, all objects that came into contact with the floodwaters should be cleaned and sanitized. Generally, Drying Techniques From Flood water-damaged porous materials are difficult to properly clean and should be discarded. Selecting a Cleaner or Sanitizer

There is a wide variety of products that help eliminate mold and bacteria growth. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registers products that are approved as a disinfectant and sanitizer for water damage restoration. It is critical to choose products registered with the EPA, Drying Techniques From Flood as they have been proven to be effective for such biological contaminants. 

For information related to registration of chemicals as antimicrobials suitable for work with mold, access the EPA's pesticide product label system (PPLS).1 EPA's Web site allows searches by chemical name, Drying Techniques From Flood manufacturer, or EPA registration number. Regardless of the chemical selected, it must be used in accordance with the label directions.

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