Society of Cleaning & Restoration Technicians
142 Handsome Jack Rd., Abilene, TX 79602
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The Experience

Question:  As an insurance adjuster, I keep getting invoices from contractors with charges for a negative air machines (NAMs) and a hydroxol generator.  Your thoughts?

Answer: from SCRT Technical Advisor, Jeff Bishop

Managed airflow (alias, negative air or NAM) – usually with containment - is required for several reasons:

  • always when partial demo of a room of an area in a building is accomplished to contain dust and heaven knows what else
  • always when HAZMAT is present or suspected (buildings built before 1980)
  • always when contamination is present (bacteria, fungi)
  • when highly allergic, asthmatic or respiratory impaired persons are present
  • when litigation is likely

This can apply even on Cat 1 losses.

The whole issue of hydroxyl generators (separating hydroxyl ions of water molecules in air, which attack airborne soils), is something on which I need more science-based, rather than marketing, information.  Perhaps at Connections in Florida this year. 

Follow-up Question:

Thanks - got all that on NAMs – but we got an invoice with charges for Hydroxol AND NAMs used together.  One can only assume that unless separated by containment, the NAM would simply remove (exhaust) the Hydroxol? 

I am not inclined to pay for both charges until someone can tell me using them together makes sense.  Some say that this is a correct action and the charges are justified.  Who else in the industry is an "expert" on Hydroxol Generators and their proper use?

Answer:

Well, let’s just get down to basics.  

The IICRC S500 specifies that using ozone (or other forms of gas) as a remediation tool to control or kill microorganisms is inappropriate and ineffective.  Studies on ozone demonstrate that it is not effective in controlling microbial growth on wood, drywall and cellulosic ceiling tiles.  No matter what it’s professional credentials, source removal is the way to perform mold remediation.  

With sewage, it’s a matter of cleaning surfaces thoroughly and then treating with an EPA-registered biocide/antimicrobial/pesticide, whatever complicated term the IICRC is calling it these days.  Therefore, unproven technology (science-based and peer reviewed, not marketing rhetoric) would be inappropriate to charge for.  

Antimicrobial chemicals should be used only in situations defined by the IICRC S500.

No matter how efficacious, source removal is the key, followed by drying to prevent microbial return.

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