2021 seems to be moving at a brisk pace already – we began the new year with a sense of optimism, hope and caution. Many areas of California welcomed the new year under extended stay at home orders as Covid-19 infections continued rising, particularly in densely populated areas. With a vaccine approved and in distribution, we look towards a better and brighter future for family, friends and businesses alike.
HVAC Filtration Enhancement Options
There’s no time like the present to prepare for the future. As we look towards partial and full re-openings, building owners and operators can take this time to upgrade their facility or property HVAC system. The ways Covid-19 has spread reminds us it in our best interest to do what we can to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Legionella, and other airborne diseases. Building tenants and employees need to feel safe and comfortable with indoor air quality. Landlords, developers, and building owners can consider the following:
Portable Air Filtration Units:
Portable High-Efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration boxes bring the benefits of hospital-grade filtration to a facility without completely redesigning the HVAC system. Commercial grade air purifiers with ionization and ultraviolet (UV) are also reliable. They can be rolled into a dental practice, conference room, or office space during a pandemic or flu season without having to outlay the high costs of a capital upgrade.
While a commercial-grade air handling unit (AHU) can’t push or pull air through a 99.97 efficient HEPA filter – many can be adapted to hold MERV 13-18 filters and capture up to 75-percent of airborne pathogens.
The central filtration system is installed on the building’s AHU and works by sending ions with a positive or negative charge into the air, causing small particles to cluster into larger particles to make them easier to capture in filters or HEPA vacuum cleaners. The ionization process also deactivates pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
Germicidal UV-C wavelengths effectively kill pathogens by destroying the pathogen’s outer protein layer, rendering it inactive. Employing UV-C in a commercial office environment can be useful. A building’s central AHU may experience a large electrical distribution requirement, and all efforts and precautions are taken to ensure that all building maintenance personnel are protected and safe. Contact Mintie for the best infection control solution for your facility.
Asbestos Cleanup for General Contractors
BY ALLIANCE ENVIRONMENTAL
Asbestos cleanup for contractors can be managed safely and adequately if a step-by-step approach is taken and proven techniques are employed.
Identify the problem
Identify the materials in question, either positively or negatively, for asbestos. During this inspection, it should be noted exactly where the asbestos materials are in use, e.g., air ducts, chimneys, vibration-dampers. The type of asbestos should also be recorded so that a precise plan for removal or abatement can later be formulated.
Handle the problem safely
After the full scope of the problem is known, it is always best to contact the appropriate local agency to ensure that all guidelines and regulations are understood and that full compliance can be observed during removal.
When you and your abatement team are on-site and ready to perform the removal procedure, here are the steps you should follow:
- Inspect and shut down the HVAC system so that no airborne contaminants enter.
- Seal off all the supply vents with plastic to prevent cross-contamination.
- Install a 3-stage decontamination chamber in accordance with state regulations, and to ensure the protection of all workers involved.
- Set some plastic under the ducting to catch any debris that might fall.
- Connect a negative air filtration system into the work area.
- Once the decontamination chamber is set and the work area is under negative air pressure, workers can suit up and begin the removal process.
- To minimize the volume of asbestos fibers released, wet down the ductwork before starting the removal process.
- Ducting should be removed in sections and then placed in adequately labeled bags.
- All parts of the remaining HVAC system, e.g., boots and plenum, should be stripped of all asbestos and encapsulated so that the ducts can be safely replaced.
- After all removal has been completed, mist the entire area with an encapsulant spray to ensure the work area is safe.
- Before leaving the work area, a supervisor should inspect it to make sure the full scope of removal work was completed and that the work quality is acceptable.
- All asbestos material must be properly loaded and hauled away for disposal at the nearest hazardous waste landfill.
The Importance of Proper Biohazard Cleanup at a Crime Scene
BY ALLIANCE ENVIRONMENTAL
Once officials have investigated and collected evidence at the scene of the crime that has been contaminated with biological material, there’s only one thing left to do: clean up. Aside from the stress and discomfort that may result from cleaning up the scene yourself, there are also potential health concerns and legal repercussions. Crime and trauma scene cleanup can be hazardous work that should only be done by trained professionals with biohazard experience.
The risks of improper cleanup
The presence of bodily fluids and exposed tissue during crime and trauma scene cleanup can result in the transmission of bacteria and viruses such as measles, MRSA, C-diff, and Norovirus, many of which can survive outside the body for days or even weeks.
- Bloodborne illnesses
HIV, Hepatitis, and other bloodborne pathogens don’t die immediately after leaving the body, and dried blood can remain contaminated for extended periods. Bloodborne pathogens can enter the body through cuts, and some can also be transmitted through contact with mucus membranes such as the eyes or mouth.
- Toxic chemicals
At drug lab scenes, dangerous and unstable chemicals are abundant. Methanol, acetone, ammonia, benzene, iodine, metallic lithium, and hydrochloric acid are just a few examples of substances you might encounter during a lab cleanup. Prolonged exposure to vapors and direct contact with the skin pose serious health risks.
- Legal issues
Improper disposal of biohazard waste and other hazardous substances is punishable by law. Disposal must be compliant with OSHA and health and safety codes at the state and federal levels. For example, biohazard cleanup in California must comply with OSHA and standards set forth by the California Health and Safety Code and the California Environmental Protection Agency. To avoid violation fines or even potential lawsuits, hire biohazard cleanup experts who know how to dispose of waste safely and legally.
Airtek Indoor Air Solutions is a company that understands the importance of indoor air quality, help you breathe easy, and the need for a healthy environment. We have the tools, techniques, and experienced staff to offer safer, cleaner air quality solutions for all. Get an estimate.
Commercial Air Handler Refurbishment by the Industry Experts
BY MINTIE LLC.
Air handler units (AHU) are frequently at work to maintain a comfortable building environment. While AHUs have an average lifespan of 20-25 years when properly maintained and serviced, they may become less efficient and affect overall indoor air quality as they age.
For the indoor air quality to remain comfortable, the air handlers need to operate without issue. We frequently see AHUs that are 25-50+ years old and still in service, but they do not always run as well as they did when first installed.
As the AHU ages, it will continue to provide airflow, but there may be more instances of poor or uneven conditioning and temperature control. While proper maintenance can improve the efficiency for a time, the additional benefits of air handler refurbishment include:
- Extend the potential lifespan of the AHU by 15-20 years
- Save or delay the significant expense and significant downtime of a full air handler replacement
- Improved indoor air quality, airflow efficiency, and comfort level of space
- Reduced maintenance costs related to air handler cleaning, damage from AHU water leaks, standing water, or structural issues
- Reduced energy usage
The Mintie Corporation has been in the indoor air quality business since 1940. Our team of highly trained professionals and will provide your business with quality results on every job. We are compliant with all regulatory standards, including NFPA, ASHRAE, The Joint Commission, EPA, and others.
Our air handler refurbishment services include:
- Cleaning and maintenance – replacing worn or damaged gaskets, cleaning the cooling coil, filtration equipment, and air blowers
- Coil restoration – eliminate biofilm buildup on internal and external surfaces of HVAC coils through proper, microscopic level cleaning and disinfecting using environmentally-friendly surfactants
- Coating applications – remove the previous coating, flaking, and corrosion, repair damaged areas, prepare and contour surfaces as needed, and apply a durable composite layer that consists of an engineered epoxy, advanced fire barrier, and antimicrobial waterproof topcoat.
Striving for Total Client Satisfaction
“So glad I found Alliance to assist with the drywall removal for a major repair at our house. I had to coordinate the project from out of town and Sal was terrific at scheduling with the other workers and communicating to me each step of the way.
All the work was done efficiently with no hiccups.”
– By Sherry S