University of Nevada, Reno Facilities Services Department STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE. Facilities Maintenance Services

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1 University of Nevada, Reno Facilities Services Department STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE Facilities Maintenance Services Indoor Flood Cleanup and Mold Prevention DATE: 6/24/15 REVISED: PURPOSE This University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Facilities Services Department (FSD) Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) provides guidelines for proper methods for cleanup and disposal following an indoor flood. Prompt isolation of the leak and cleanup of water is critical to minimize property loss and prevent health-hazardous microbial growth. SCOPE The guidance in this SOP applies to all flood cleanups on University of Nevada, Reno properties. These procedures are based on guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency publication, Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. PROCEDURES Health & Safety: Water-damaged buildings and materials and the investigation and performance of water damage restoration can expose workers to health and safety concerns. Potential hazards include: Chemical contamination Asbestos Lead Electrical shock Slip-and-fall hazards Appropriate safety procedures, personal protective equipment and signage must be used to protect both employees and the public. The following steps will be used to respond to indoor flooding. SOP FSD 1

2 Secure the Location Secure the location to prevent the general public from entering. Use appropriate barriers to ensure people don t enter a location with hazards. Isolate the Water Source If water has reached outlets, the power must be turned off before entering the area. The first step is to isolate the water source. Moisture problems must be identified, located and corrected to effectively abate flood/mold response. Asbestos Verification Contact the Asbestos Shop to determine if any of the materials in the area are asbestoscontaining material (ACM). If the materials are ACM, stop and have the asbestos crew or a certified contractor remove the ACM. Remove Excess Water All excess water should be removed once the source has been isolated. Look for drains, doors, and locations to move the water. Damming and diking of water may prevent further exposure, depending upon the nature of the flood. Water Release and Leak Clean-up Use Table 1 below for initial assessment when responding to water damage. These guidelines are designed to help avoid the need for remediation of mold by taking quick action before growth starts. It is essential that water-impacted materials be dried and/or removed as soon as possible following a leak event to minimize the possibility of mold growth. The EPA suggests materials be dried and/or removed within 48 hours following a water release event to minimize the potential for mold growth. It is also important to visually monitor materials for mold growth during the drying period. Depending upon the size of the area involved and the resources available, professional assistance may be needed to dry an area quickly and thoroughly. Table 1: Response to clean up water and prevent mold growth WATER DAMAGED MATERIAL ACTION(S) Books and paper For non-valuable items, discard books and papers. Photocopy valuable/important items, discard originals. Freeze (in frost-free freezer) or freeze dry. Carpet and backing (dry within 24- Remove water with water extraction vacuum. 48 hours) Reduce ambient humidity levels with dehumidifier. Accelerate drying process with fans. Steam clean with a fungicidal detergent Insure the carpet, padding and sub-floor are dry. You may have to remove the carpet or lift up a portion to verify. Ceiling tiles Discard damaged tiles. SOP FSD 2

3 Cellulose insulation Discard and replace damaged insulation. Concrete or cinder block surfaces Remove water with water extraction vacuum. Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters. Fiberglass insulation Discard and replace fiberglass insulation that was wet. Hard surface, porous flooring (linoleum, ceramic tile, vinyl) Vacuum or damp wipe with water and fungicidal detergent and allow to dry. Scrub area if necessary. Non-porous, hard surfaces (plastics, metals) Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow to dry. Scrub area if necessary. Upholstered furniture Remove water with water extraction vacuum. Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters. May be difficult to completely dry within 48 hours. If the piece is valuable, you may wish to consult a restoration/water damage professional. Wallboard (drywall and gypsum) May be dried in place if there is no swelling and the seams are intact. If not, remove, discard and replace. When in doubt, tear it out; our focus is to avoid mold. Ventilate the wall cavity if possible and safe to do so. Do not direct fans toward contaminated materials (mold, asbestos, lead). Window drapes Follow laundering or cleaning instructions recommended by the manufacturer. Wood surfaces Remove moisture immediately and use dehumidifiers, gentle heat and fans for drying. (Use caution when applying heat to hardwood floors.) Treated or finished wood surfaces may be cleaned with mild detergent and clean water and allowed to dry. Wet paneling should be pried away from wall for drying. Furniture/files on floor Lift up with dowels or other lifting materials to allow air flow for drying. Drying Strategies The objective of drying is to minimize the amount of time materials spend in an abnormally wet state and to return affected materials to an acceptable level of dryness as quickly and safely as practical. Once excess water is collected and removed, evaporation of the remaining water in materials should be promoted (Table 1). SOP FSD 3

4 Dehumidification/Ventilation/Air Circulation To avoid secondary damage, moisture evaporating into the air should be exchanged with less humid air from other sources, and/or it should be collected and removed from the air through dehumidification. Fans should also be used to direct air towards wet materials to circulate air and promote drying. Consider opening small holes along the bottom of walls (e.g., behind the cove base) to promote air circulation inside wall cavities. In addition, consider operating airconditioning equipment serving the areas being dried continuously (i.e., 24-hours a day) to promote dehumidification and ventilation. Care should be taken to protect openings to HVAC equipment in any area when dust-generating activities may occur as a result of restoration work. Temperatures in the drying environment should be maintained to enhance the evaporation rate and effectiveness of dehumidification. Documentation Upon initial evaluation and throughout the restoration project, notes should be kept documenting all steps taken to correct the problem. Pictures should be taken prior to, during and after all cleanup procedures. In many instances, more extensive or specific documentation may be required or warranted and documentation may be needed for insurance claims. Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) and/or Business Center North (BCN) Risk Management should be contacted with any questions regarding documentation requirements. The Service Center will initiate a work order(s) during normal working hours. The Stand-by Supervisor ( SBS) will generate a work order(s) during off hours. All work in response to a flood will be applied to the work order(s). Mold Growth Water-damaged building materials, especially those that are porous such as wallboard and/or ceiling tiles, that have been wet for an extended period of time or have been chronically wet, can develop mold contamination. If mold growth is encountered during the course of the restoration project, water damage restoration activities should stop until such time that the area of existing or suspected mold contamination is contained. EH&S should be contacted for recommendations. The mold will be remediated before work progresses. If possible, remediation activities should be scheduled during off-hours when building occupants are less likely to be affected. Always ensure the safety and protection of remediators and building occupants from exposure to mold. In cases when extensive or hidden mold is expected, when remediation may involve demolition of moldy materials that could generate elevated airborne mold sources or when sensitive individuals are present, a more cautious approach to remediation may be required. EH&S must be involved when dealing with mold issues. They will advise on safe work methods and appropriate levels of personal protective equipment (PPE). CONTRACTORS Contractors may be used for large jobs. The Service Center will have a BPO set up for this purpose. The Assistant Director/Director level management will make the call when to use contractors. SBSs have the authority to activate a contractor for flood response outside of SOP FSD 4

5 normal working hours. The SBS coordinates the work of all crafts and/or contractors required to respond to the service call or emergency. The SBS communicates progress or resolution to the call originator. The SBS enters an initial Sharepoint entry and updates the Sharepoint entry as the event progresses through resolution. IMPLEMENTATION The department supervisors are responsible for the implementation of this SOP within their respective areas of responsibility. TRAINING All personnel responsible for flood response shall receive training by the supervisor on this SOP prior to being assigned the task of performing an indoor flood clean-up. The supervisor shall ensure regular review of and compliance with the SOP. COMPLIANCE Compliance with all UNR and FSD policies and procedures is required of each employee. Failure to comply with this SOP may result in disciplinary action as outlined in the Nevada Administrative Code, the Nevada System of Higher Education Prohibitions and Penalties, and/or the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents Handbook. References: Mold and Moisture, a Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mold and Moisture, Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. SOP FSD 5

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