Recent Biohazard Posts
sewage back-up in basement
Yuck! What’s THAT???!
Well, we never said it was a glamorous job! Sometimes when we are called into situations, we are not even exactly sure of what we are getting ourselves into. Biohazard conditions can present themselves in many ways. This was called in as a water damage, however, upon arrival it was clear that it was not quite that simple. Both the visual inspection and odor presented indicated that there was sewage contamination as well.
For the sake of the inhabitants of the home, as well as our crew members, extra precautions were necessary to ensure that we leave this space free of any contaminants that could be harmful. Proper personal protective equipment including suits, rubber boots, and gloves and respirators were imperative for our staff and the proper disinfectants ensured that we left the home safe for rebuilding.
Biohazard and Crime Scene Cleanup
Recognized as a leafing fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies nationwide, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals offer fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners.
Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.
Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations. Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can help with:
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- Methamphetamine Labs
- Crime Scene Residues
- Sewage Backups
- Black Water Intrusions
- Mold Mitigation and Remediation
As professional restorers we must face situations that are often times very difficult and emotional for the party for which we are doing the work. We must also be aware that it can affect our staff members as well and be prepared to deal with this element accordingly.
In some instances we must report to jobs in which a homeowner has passed on and perhaps it goes unknown for a period of time for a variety of reasons. This requires that we have our crew members don full personal protective equipment as these circumstances are considered to be biohazards due to the nature of the work to be performed. In these instances, working proficiently and timely is of utmost importance so that the insured can begin the rebuilding process, both physically and emotionally. It is no doubt the most difficult aspect of our work.
What are "SDS" Sheets?
Safety data sheet (SDS), material safety data sheet (MSDS), or product safety data sheet (PSDS) are all terms used to describe specific papers written about all cleaning products and chemicals that we may use at a home or business and these products vary based on what type of situation we are addressing.
As responsible remediators, we must be prepared to provide information to our clients. This is especially the case where either inhabitants have compromised immune systems or allergic sensitivities or when we are working in a commercial environment and business owners must be prepared to answer employee concerns.
Our crews are all equipped with binders including the SDS sheets for any products that will be used on the job so that if the customer has any questions we can answer them quickly and informatively.
Types of Biohazards
Bloodborne Pathogens: SERVPRO Franchise Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Trained SERVPRO Franchise Technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure.
Methamphetamine Labs: Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.
Crime Scene Residues: From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can clean and restore your property and contents.
Arson and Vandalism: SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods and human or animal waste.
Sewage Backup: Sewage Backups and black water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO Franchise Professions remove the sewage, contaminants and moisture, disinfecting as they clean. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected and deodorized.
Hoarding: A Serious Situation
According to The Mayo Clinic, "Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of acute value, occurs." Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem.
Hoarding items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging.
Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.
SERVPRO of Patchogue encounters hoarding situations in several different ways. Often we are called in for a fire or water loss and find the hording situation when we arrive on-site. We will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored by SERVPRO of Patchogue, or relocate to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin.
Another way SERVPRO of Patchogue encounters hoarding situations is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.
Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO of Patchogue I here to help make it "Like it never even happened." If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call SERVPRO of Patchogue today!
How to Safely Clean Mouse Droppings
Leave it to the Professionals!
Mice are carriers of potentially diseases and bacteria. Areas of your home infested by mice will no doubt contain considerable amounts of urine, feces and saliva. Once all the mice have been removed and their continued entry prevented then it is important to clean up the mess. Mouse contamination inside cupboards, behind appliances or on top of counters can very be very dangerous stuff. It is essential that certain safety measures are observed.
Hantavirus is one of the greatest health concerns associated with mouse droppings. The virus lives inside mice feces and when disturbed can become airborne. Humans that inhale the disease are most at risk for transmission. During the cleaning process, every effort should be made to prevent stirring up harmful dusts.
- Begin by airing out the infected space. Open as many doors and windows as possible for at least 30 minutes to allow for proper ventilation. Remain out of the space during this time.
- Be sure to wear proper safety equipment during cleanup. It is recommended to wear a full-face respirator with certified P100 filter cartridges. These can be purchased at safety supply stores. Disposable paper dust masks do not provide the same amount of protection and should not be used to clean up toxic messes. Non-absorbent or rubber gloves should also be worn.
- To prevent hazardous particles from becoming airborne never sweep or vacuum mouse droppings.
- Carefully soak all infected surfaces with commercial grade disinfectant. A mixture of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water can also be used.
- Wipe up all droppings and nesting material using a paper towel and dispose of in well-sealed plastic bags. Place bags outside in a sealed container and put out for garbage collection. Be sure to dispose of gloves and towels as well.
- Thoroughly wash hands and clothing in with soap and water.
CLEANING MOUSE DROPPINGS IN THE ATTIC
Mice that have found their way into a home will spend a great deal of time in the attic. The warm and darkness of attics makes it an ideal place for mice to hide and breed. Homeowners can often go years without knowing they have mice attic and shocked to discover just how much activity has been going on just above their heads.
With time, attic that is home to mice will begin show significant evidence. One quick look into the attic will reveal not only their tunnels through the insulation but also the thousands of droppings they have left behind. Mice scatter their droppings wherever they go, making it impossible to perform spot clean ups. In many cases, a full attic restoration is required.
Mouse droppings inside your attic are not only harmful to your health; they can also significantly hurt the value of your home. Documented mouse activity on home inspector’s report will not go unnoticed by potential buyers. To avoid this situation is may be necessary to remove and replace all contaminated insulation.