Rachel Adams, I.H., M.T. (ASCP), MWR Rachel Adams has been involved in the water damage and environmental health industries for more than 30 years. She holds a dual bachelor degree in Environmental Health Sciences and Medical Technology (Toxicology) from Purdue University. She is certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. She also holds a Master Restorer designation from the IICRC through her training, dedication and field experience. Rachel is currently a Regional Project Director and Technical Expert for J.S. Held and is in Indianapolis, IN. Rachel was founder and President of Indoor Environmental Management, Inc. (IEM) in 1994 in which she conducted inspections and grew to develop one of the leading consulting and state-of-the art laboratory serving the needs of clients throughout North America. Rachel served on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, Restoration Certification (IICRC) and was appointed to serve as the Technical Advisory Committee Chair for the development of the IICRC Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT). Rachel serves on the committee to write and establish guidelines and updates for the standard of care for mold remediation, also referred to as the S520, Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation. Courses that she currently provides for IICRC certification include, AMRT (Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT), Water Damage Technician (WRT), Applied Structural Drying (ASD), Health and Safety Technician (HST), OSHA 10 and 30 hour compliance courses, Lead RRP Licensing Training, Building Investigation and Environmental Microbiology Sampling. She is an Associate member of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).
Containment building is typically not a specialized skill that many contractors have developed. While technically there is no wrong way to build containment, it needs to be constructed with an objective: to prevent cross contamination! But many contractors take short cuts, may not have the right materials as well as the skill set/knowledge to build quality, professional containments. At the end of the day, the containment is a direct reflection of the professionalism of the contractor that built it. If it looks like a third-grader built it, what will the customer think about the quality of work being performed on the other side? It is not just about taping some plastic over a door while moldy materials are being removed. Containments can serve different roles throughout the remediation process.
An effective containment design accommodates many considerations. Each can have a direct impact on how well the containment will accomplish the intended objectives.
Construction Quality, Functionality and Cost are the main areas to focus on/. Some common questions that should be asked:
What type of containment makes the most sense? Source, local or full? Does it require specialty containment due to the challenges presented by the sturctore or occupants?
Where will the make-up air come from?
What acess points require critical barriers?
What presure differential needs to be established and how will it be monitored and documented?
How long does the containment need to be in place?
What are the safety concerns? PPE? OSHA?
What type of building is the project in? A commercial building may present limitations for the contractor as to the types of materials allowed for use (e.g. Hospital).
Space limitations typically found in residential settings can dictate the size and design of the containment. How and where can we construct an exit/decon chamber?
Is the containment sufficiently accessible to allow for proper entry, exit, adequate equipment and debris removal?
While containment products can include very expensive materials, their cost should be controlled. After all, the goal is to not only to reduce liability but to also get paid! A contractor should not get rich from building containment, but they should not lose money either.
Contractors often deploy the simplest and quickest method to set up containment. In reality, the design and construction of containment often takes far longer than the actual remediation. Containment quality controls one of the greatest liabilities that can impact both the contractor as well as the client and should be given priority. The best way to become proficient at building containments is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE in conjunction with data, data, data!