What Are Restoration And Remediation Services?

The primary function of Restoration and Remediation work centres around returning homes, places of business and other properties (normally focusing on the indoor environment) back into their previous state after they have been affected by flood and water damage, fire and smoke, trauma and death, biological contaminants such as mould and chemical contamination such as Methamphetamine along with other potentially hazardous materials and substances.

Drying of the structure and contents after a flood or after sustaining water damage is one of the primary purposes of water damage restoration and should be undertaken as soon as possible due to its ability to mitigate further loss. This generally results in formation of visible mould due to the elevated moisture content within the building envelope. Remediation process is coming to place when mould has formed and decontamination is required.

What Is The Difference Between Cleaning And Restoration/Remediation?

The difference between normal cleaning (even when it involves the use of commercial or domestic household disinfectants etc) centres around the large amount of specific information, scientific knowledge and processes designed to maximise the desired outcomes of proper and professional decontamination rather than superficial cleaning or basic aesthetic improvement. The situations and events restorers/remediators encounter every day have a significantly elevated level of hazards and contaminants when compared to those encountered by regular cleaners.

The knowledge and training required along with the skills, equipment and safety knowledge is extensive and extremely specific to individual situations with no one restoration or remediation job being the same. The hazards and risk and route of exposure to contaminants and other hazards are always different and sometimes not immediately foreseeable and therefore proper processes and risk mitigation frameworks for the protection of staff and clients must be implemented so that the risk of injury or exposure to staff, customers and the general public is eliminated or significantly reduced/controlled.

Why Should I Be Concerned About Mould In My Home?

Although a large number of people will experience no obvious side-effects or negative health effects from the presence of mould in their home a significant number of people will have an adverse allergenic response or experience respiratory irritation from the presence of mould in the home. Those with compromised immune systems such as infants under the age of 3/4 along with the elderly and other people with various medical conditions or who are undertaking medical treatments or taking certain medications that reduce the ability of their immune system to respond to external pathogens can be susceptible to the disease-causing species of mould.

In these cases, if the certain species of mould required to cause certain diseases are present a person with a compromised immune system is at the potential risk of contracting such diseases. Such diseases include Aspergillosis which is most commonly caused from the aspergillus species aspergillus fumigatus and aspergillus flava. Those in vulnerable and high-risk categories such as asthmatics are at increased risk. Although the effects are most commonly experienced as minor illness or discomfort, in serious circumstances exposure can lead to significant medical events and the requirement for hospitalisation especially in those with pre-existing conditions such as asthma.

What Do Crime Scene And Trauma Cleaners Do That Other Cleaners Can't?

Again, the primary difference lies in the training and knowledge, skills and equipment that these technicians have. They have extensive training to mitigate risk both to themselves and to their clients along with being able to properly remove contaminants like blood, bodily fluids and other possibly hazardous substances. As with mould and water damage and other restoration and remediation portfolios superficial cleaning is not sufficient enough in most cases to properly remove the contamination and/or risk of exposure from the affected area. Bodily fluids just like water can penetrate into non visible areas or areas that the average person would not anticipate finding them. It’s the knowledge and training a technician has that allows us to inspect and determine where this contamination may have ended up and undertake investigative processes along with the appropriate disinfection or removal of affected materials

Are The Processes Involved In Restoration And Remediation Expensive?

Yes, they are. The chemicals, products and especially the equipment required to undertake this work along with the insurances, training and certification and risk mitigation processes and protective equipment that are required are not cheap. For example, during a water damage and/or mould job there may be $20 000 to $50 000 of equipment on site at any one time.

Who Is The IICRC?

The IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. They are a not-for-profit organisation based in the USA whose primary function is to develop the standards that form a fundamental reference point and guidance for the work undertaken by the industry technicians and organisations. They combine legal consultation and scientific research to produce comprehensive standards regarding processes and establish best practice for the industry. Note that this industry is yet to be regulated in Australia.

What About My Affected Personal Belongings And Contents?

Often affected contents cannot be restored or decontaminated. Textiles and fabrics effective by sewage contamination or visible mould growth in the majority of cases almost always cannot be deemed as successfully decontaminated. There are provisions under most standards provided by the IICRC to address items of significant sentimental or financial value that in normal circumstances would be discarded.

What Is Involved In The Testing And Sampling Process?

Testing and sampling are usually undertaken to determine the presence or the successful removal of biological and chemical contaminants such as mould, bacteria such as E. coli and Methamphetamine. These samples can be taken directly from surfaces or from the air using specialised equipment.

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