The Western states of the US have seen scorching and dry conditions. The sweltering heat combined with drought across California has spurred wildfires. Summer travel and vacation have been close to pre-pandemic levels as people want to go out and enjoy recreational and leisure activities. A concern, though, most recently is that Covid-19 cases have seen an uptick with surges in several states, including areas within California. The more infectious and fatal Delta variant is alarming and primarily affecting those that are unvaccinated.
In this issue of our newsletter, we initially address the wildfires’ impact in California, especially Northern California. The wrath and devastation of these fires have seen homes, structures, and properties burnt down. Alliance Environmental offers demolition, site clearing, and fire debris clean-up after the fires. Secondly, our focus is on how Airtek Indoor Air Solutions can improve indoor air quality for guests in hotels craving to enjoy some vacation time at hotels and resorts. Following that, we shift our focus to how Mintie can assist with air scrubbers and activated charcoal filters to remove odors and smoke during and after wildfires. Our next topic is on why Covid-19 cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection services are still needed. We look at how the virus has mutated and how companies and businesses need to provide reassurance to employees and customers returning to these facilities. In conclusion, we end off with Coast IAQ and Life safety services providing their much-needed expertise in removing mold in hospital air ducts and HVAC systems.
Happy Reading! Hope you enjoy this issue!
After the Wildfire – Abatement and Site Clearing
BY ALLIANCE ENVIRONMENTAL
Debris left by wildfires is not the easiest to clear out and has a good chance of containing hazardous materials that need special handling and removal. For the safety of everyone around, professionals should be brought in to handle and dispose of hazardous materials safely and lawfully. Alliance Environmental Group specializes in site clearing will be there to clean it up. From asbestos and lead abatement to site clearing, Alliance Environmental Group offers multiple services to assist after a fire has ravaged an area.
To add insult to injury, older structures involved in the fire may contain asbestos and lead – natural occurring materials that are highly toxic when airborne. Before demolition, site clearing, or just returning can occur, the asbestos and lead-affected materials must be removed for the safety of anyone in that area. Fires can make it difficult to know if these materials are present. Our highly skilled and certified crews adhere to strict setup, decontamination, and disposal procedures in line with OSHA, EPA, Department of Transportation, and county-specific air quality district rules and regulations.
Our crew will coordinate a timeline that works best for you. We begin by checking for asbestos and lead, in case an abatement needs to be performed. If there are life-threatening, hazardous materials present, we will analyze the situation and present the best action plans. If there aren’t any, we will proceed with the site clearing starting with collecting salvageable items like copper wire, insulation furnishing, lighting, etc. Then, we step further to separate materials that can be recycled according to local and state ordinances. After those steps are taken, our crew will go in with their heavy equipment to clear all leftover debris to be disposed of safely and lawfully.
Our crews adhere to standards, and we are proud members of the National Demolition Association. We are asbestos and HAZMAT/HAZWPR certified with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Contact Alliance Environmental to take care of your hazardous materials and fire debris clean-up needs.
Servicing Hotels – Improving Indoor Air Quality for Guests
BY AIRTEK INDOOR AIR SOLUTIONS
After over a year of staying home and exploring locally, people are itching to travel. With the influx of people heading out to explore, the hospitality industry — especially hotels — needs to prepare and up their cleaning and sanitizing game to ensure their employees and customers are safe.
Proper ventilation, airflow, and filtration are essential factors to gaining better indoor air quality. If one or all are compromised, so is the air everyone is breathing. Bringing in air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters can help reduce airborne contaminants by capturing particles as small as 0.3 microns. Placing air purifiers in high traffic areas can reduce contaminants and create a sense of safety for guests and staff.
Hotel HVAC and air ducts were not designed to filter contaminants; they were designed for energy efficiency and guest comfort. With our knowledge of airborne transmission, it would be ideal if hotels could completely upgrade their systems. Unfortunately, that is not always an option. An optimal solution would be to make sure the air systems are clean. Routinely cleaning the HVAC and air duct systems makes a world of difference. Having a professional come in to inspect will give an idea of what needs to be done. From mold to dust and other particulates, who knows what is building up. The Airtek team offers complete HVAC and air duct cleaning. Our detail-oriented team target every part of the system (HVAC, furnace, furnace blower, air conditioning coils, registers, returns, and air ducts). They take mechanical brushes, where necessary, to agitate and vacuum dust and debris simultaneously. Our team utilizes state-of-the-art video inspection equipment to make sure their job is complete to reach even the most challenging areas.
Airtek Indoor Air Solutions is a state-licensed contractor with nearly 30 years of experience. Our technicians are highly skilled and ASCS (Air Systems Cleaning Specialist) certified by the National Air Duct Cleaning Association. We offer multiple services to help hotels improve their air quality in all areas of the property. High traffic areas, like the lobby and reception area, where there is more passerby contact, and bedrooms where people tend to be more vulnerable are of great concern. Request a Quote or schedule a service with Airtek today.
Air Scrubbers and Negative Air Machines – Removing Odors and Smoke during and after Fires
BY MINTIE LLC.
As wildfire season continues, smoke filled-air is blanketing areas close by and affecting their indoor air quality. Although your building is not directly affected by the fire, wildfire smoke travels through the air and enters nearby buildings. This smoke brings along less than manageable odors, soot, ash, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause difficulty breathing, inflammation in the lungs, headaches, fatigue, nausea, suppressed immune response, and more. It can even worsen existing conditions like asthma and allergies.
Why Use an Air Scrubber?
An air scrubber filters out gases, particles, or chemicals out of a particular area in a room. It is generally used to improve indoor air quality by trapping airborne particles. There is also a carbon filter attachment that can be put on the end of the air scrubber, which can trap odors.
Using an air scrubber during mold/dust cleanup is extremely important for health and liability reasons. If mold or other hazardous materials are released in the air, they may contaminate neighboring areas of your property, office, business, or home previously uncontaminated. Air scrubbers have triple stage filtration with HEPA filters. The Hepa filter will capture small particles such as mold, bacteria, lead, dust, and many other airborne contaminants. Air scrubbers will continuously clean the air and provide a clean, healthy and productive environment.
The Importance of Activated Carbon (Charcoal) Filters
Carbon air filters are the filters most commonly used to remove gases. They are designed to filter gases through a bed of activated carbon (also called activated charcoal). They are usually used to combat volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from everyday household products. They are also often used to remove odors from the air, such as the smell of smoke from brush fires and wildfires.
Activated carbon has unique properties that allow it to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odors, and other gaseous pollutants from the air. Some of the gases in wildfire smoke can be removed from the air by a carbon filter. Benzene, toluene, xylene, and some chlorinated compounds are among those that carbon filters may remove.
You may need air scrubbers and for the removal of smoke, odors, gases, fumes, and other VOCs. Contact Mintie to enquire about our rental or purchase of air scrubbers and negative air machines.
The Delta Variant – COVID-19 Sanitizing and Disinfecting Services
BY ALLIANCE ENVIRONMENTAL
Just as we thought COVID cases were decreasing in the US, mutations of the virus seem to be causing them to slowly creeping back up. One, in particular, has already been ravaging countries all over the world. The Delta variant has become a more significant concern in recent weeks. It is a highly contagious and potentially more severe strain of SARS-CoV-2, first identified in December 2020 in India. The Delta variant is now the dominant strain in the US.
Considering the pandemic is not over, we must continue to take precautions, especially in workplaces and public facilities like restaurants, shopping centers, etc. Facility managers have the critical task of ensuring these places are safe for both employees and customers. Any exposure can lead to an outbreak, and outbreaks can turn fatal if not taken seriously. COVID-19 safety protocols should continue to be followed, and extra precautions should be taken to ensure facilities are providing a safe space for their employees. Preventative measures like better hygiene (washing hands and using hand sanitizer) and wearing masks, and social distancing, although no longer required, should still be considered to help stop the spread.
Alliance Environmental Group offers both preventative services and post-exposure services. Alliance began to offer disinfecting services at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 and has become an additional resource for facility managers when dealing with COVID-19. In addition to disinfection, the team at Alliance also introduced sanitization in preparation to reopen or as a routine service to stop the spread and keep the facility feeling safe and comfortable for employees and customers.
The Alliance team uses ProKure (www.prokuresolutions.com), an EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectant, to disinfect and sanitize facilities. ProKure is made of Chlorine Dioxide (ClO ) because it is a chemical widely known to kill bacteria, viruses, mold, mildew, odor sources, and more. Chlorine Dioxide is a cell disrupter that destroys the cell membranes of unwanted pathogens instead of harsher chemicals that ingest or digest to kill the pathogen.
ProKure kills SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) on non-porous surfaces in just 30 seconds. The Alliance team sprays ProKure all over the facility, especially in high trafficked and contact areas. After reaching large areas, the team then uses microfiber cloths paired with ProKure to wipe down areas that the sprayer may not access. They make sure to reach every surface to ensure their service disinfects and sanitizes as they promise.
If your facility has experienced potential or known exposure, call Alliance Environmental Group immediately. If your facility is looking to incorporate regular sanitizing into its schedule, call Alliance to set up routine sanitizing.
Getting rid of mold in Hospital HVAC and Air Systems
BY COAST IAQ AND LIFE SAFETY SERVICES
HVAC and air system cleaning is essential, especially in a healthcare facility. Patients and staff depend on well-maintained air systems in facilities with the long-lasting reputation of being the most sterile. Unfortunately, mold can easily find a place to grow and compromise that reputation – that is why routine maintenance of areas prone to moisture is highly crucial. Two large hospitals are still facing lawsuits because of mold found in their air systems. The slip in cleaning and maintenance is making for big problems that are continuing years later. Sadly, there still happens to be patients passing away from the carelessness of one of the hospitals.
Aspergillus, the mold found in the hospitals’ HVAC systems, is a common mold that grows in moist areas indoors and outdoors. It is usually harmless to people with healthy immune systems but can be especially dangerous for individuals with compromised immune systems. For those with compromised immune systems, breathing in aspergillus spores can lead to lung or sinus infections that can spread throughout the entire body.
Coast IAQ & Life Safety Services offers various services to hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Coast performs its services to Joint Commission standards, so your facility is ready for its next inspection. Coast’s services to get HVAC systems in their best functioning condition include air handler, coil, and duct cleaning. The Coast team begins with analyzing the system before creating containment to limit patient risk and exposure. Because they set up containment, they can perform services without much downtime for your facility. After a secure containment has been made, Coast moves on to the cleaning. Cleaning is done with a combination of hand wiping, HEPA vacuuming, and mechanical agitation to get even the hardest to reach places. Photo documentation is provided with every service. Coast will also provide drawings, so you know where your air ducts are. Contact Coast IAQ and Life Safety Services to get your facility in proper working and functional order.
Striving to Ensure Total Client Satisfaction
By Robert. C
Alliance Environmental Group did a fantastic job on my house. I had water damage that involved asbestos in the wall, and they responded quickly and did a great job. Furthermore, Big Chris and Michael cleaned everything up afterward, and the house was left in excellent condition.