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Air Scrubbers a Necessity in Water Damage Remediation Environments

When it comes to construction and restoration work in buildings or warehouses where there has been water damage, air scrubbers are necessary to combat air contamination that occurs in the process of solving water damage issues. Dust particles, ultra-fine dirt, and fungal spores become airborne when carpets, walls, and other materials are forcibly dried. Not only can this issue increase the overall cost of the job, but workers are put at risk of inhaling these pollutants. These allergens and toxins can linger after the building is reoccupied, causing health issues, complaints and, in some cases, can lead to legal action. One economical way to prevent this is through the use of air scrubbers as they reduce overall job time, and improve hygiene and safety throughout and after the remediation process.

Huge Air Scrubbers EquipmentPhoto Courtesy of Adwest Technologies, Inc.

Dangerous particulates released from water damaged materials and equipment used during the remediation process include drywall, VCT, dirt, carpet and asbestos fibers, concrete dust, saw dust, metal fumes and smoke particles. While the larger and heavier particles settle onto surfaces where they can be easily cleaned, studies have shown that 99% of particulate matter suspended in the air is 0.0004 inches/10 microns or less in size, invisible to the naked eye. These particles can remain suspended in the air, spreading through the environment on air currents for long periods of time because they are so light; and even if they do settle, they are easily stirred back up into the air.

Air Scrubbers EquipmentPhoto Courtesy of Adwest Technologies, Inc.

These allergens and particles also pose the greatest health threat because they are so small. Larger particles that are inhaled can be cleared from the throat and nose by sneezing, swallowing or coughing, but, according to the American Lung Association, particles 10 microns and smaller are much more likely to be pulled directly into the lungs upon inhalation. The smallest of these can eventually reach the alveoli where they could remain embedded for years, or even be absorbed into the bloodstream. These harmful particulates include microbial pollutants like fungal spores, bacteria, arthropods, algae, pet dander, insect remains, and pollens as well as volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are harmful and irritating gas-phase derivatives that are released when chemicals containing ketones, alcohols, aromatics and hydrocarbons vaporize. Obviously, the inhalation of these particulates should be avoided at all costs and the prevention of this can be ensured through the continual use of an air scrubber.

In addition to preventing serious health issues, air scrubbers also reduce cleaning time after jobs and lower the possibility of re-contamination of the site as they capture airborne particulates and prevent them from dropping and re-settling on cleaned surfaces. Air scrubbers work continuously to remove harmful airborne particles and bio-pollutants, filtering the air in the work-zone six to eight times an hour. Proper air cleaning is ensured with this number of air changes per hour (ACH). These devices also remove odor, low concentrations of VOC and other gas-phase contaminants, providing a much safer and higher quality work environment.