Safe and Effective Flood and Mold Remediation after Super Storm Sandy with Tom Peter, Mike McGuinness & Global Watchdog Pete Consigli

Air Date: 3-15-2013| Episode: 277

This week we are live from the New Jersey shore at a conference organized to help explore issues and find answers following Super Storm Sandy…

Full Description:

This week we are live from the New Jersey shore at a conference organized to help explore issues and find answers following Super Storm Sandy. The conference is presented by the Fungal Research Group Foundation-the same group responsible for the Bioaerosols, Fungi, Bacteria, Mycotoxins in Indoor Environments and Human Health conferences since the early 90s. Joining us are three industry veterans attending the conference and more importantly working directly with those affected by Sandy.

-Tom Peter, CIH is VP of Insurance Restoration Specialists of Monroe, NJ. Since October he has been working in many of the Jersey Shore schools, commercial buildings, municipal buildings, residences and schools in the NY-NJ area.

-Mike McGuinnis, CIH, CIAQP is founder of RK Environmental of Phillipsburg, NJ. Mike is also busy helping business owners, contractors and residents of the NY-NJ Shore area consulting on mold and other indoor environmental contamination issues.

-Pete Consigli is a friend of the show, frequent contributor and restoration industry watchdog. He is representing the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) at the show.

We will be discussing the presentations at the conference, out of the box solutions being implemented and issues locals are facing almost six months after Sandy pounded this area.



Z-Man’s Blog:

Recovery after Superstorm Sandy

Radio Joe and the Z-Man made a road trip to the Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey, where Episode 277 of IAQradio was broadcast live. We had a panel discussion with: RIA Industry Advisor Pete Consigli, CR, WLS Mike McGuiness CIH and CIH & Remediation Contractor Tom Peter.

Bob Krell of kindly volunteered his skills and equipment to simultaneously record and internet steam video of the show.

Comments and impressions from our panelists:

Pete Consigli:

· Attendees echoed the phrase, “Where is FEMA?”

· Government agencies attended and were in involved in the event. Both reps of OSHA and the New York City Health Dept. made presentations.

· Union workers groups are heavily involved in Hurricane Sandy remediation and were prominently in attendance.

· Why doesn’t the government learn lessons from previous events? Why is the government so slow to respond with guidance and financial assistance after flooding catastrophies?o

· Poster presentations were made on a wide range of topics.

· Pete reinforced the need to dry adequately, the importance of following FEMA’s guidance dry wood to 15%-17% moisture content. Inexpensive moisture meters are available.

· New products, methods and procedures were showcased. Some old methods (misting) and materials (coatings) are going full circle and being validated.

· Pete recommends for both those who could and couldn’t attend the event the value of ordering a copy the proceedings for your reference library.

Mike McGuinness:

· 900 Mile wide storm, so strong that it rearranged the shoreline topography.

· Not enough available resources, everything was in short supply.

· Not everyone who lives on the shore is wealthy, many small beachfront bungalow homes have remained in families for generations.

· Challenges posed by cold weather storm.

· Cold weather material drying is difficult due to low vapor pressure.

· Eye protection is less important during water removal and extraction since airborne contaminants are usually not an issue due to “wet methods” of dust suppression.

· Splash hazard is a greater hazard than inhalation during emergency response to catastrophic flooding.

· Professional remediators didn’t have enough of the needed drying equipment. “No dehu (refrigerant or desiccant) will work in cold weather unless used as part of a combination system with heat. They will not work alone…” “Wet clothes will dry in clothes dryer not a refrigerator. Heat is needed to coax moisture out of wet materials”.

· Cleaning must follow the extent of penetration of contaminants.

· Mike was critical that remediators aren’t remediating crawlspaces correctly.

· Contractors are rebuilding on wet wood framing is resulting in latent mold problems.

· Mike is a fan of the new large sponge sampling swab introduced by Wei Tang, PhD .

· Media should cover the solutions not just the problems

· New Jersey is tough, strong and will bounce back!

Radio Joe Hughes:

· Joe was impressed with Chris D’Andrea from the NYC Health Department

· 12 fatalities of remediation workers and volunteers caused by vehicle strikes and falls.

· Steve Teme’s comment on government guidelines that recommended wearing goggles and dust protection. “Two pieces of PPE can’t simultaneously rest on the bridge of a worker’s nose.”

· Thumbs up on the medical presentations.

· Moisture in buildings causes respiratory problems.

· The importance of building back with water resistant materials.

· Great to have so many stakeholders together: researchers, physicians, remediators, government officials, public advocates, etc.

Tom Peter:

· Salt water flooding seemed to suppress some mold growth.

· People frustrated by waiting for decisions by government and insurance companies. New building code will require homes to be raised.

· Flood insurance premiums expected to increase dramatically.

· Importance of worker safety, the need to adequately protect volunteers. Other hazards include electrical and bacterial. Recommends face shield and N-95 mask.

· Tom recommends, that emergency cleanup of gross contamination caused by catastrophic be done wet cleaning processes.

· Tom advocates deep cleaning prior to structural drying.

· Tom is a fan of the foam cleaning process.

Dieter Weyel, PhD:

· We shouldn’t be surprised that fungi was the central topic at an event conducted by the Fungal Research Center.

· Safety is more important than it was 15 years ago.

· Safety and personal protection should be taught in schools.


After watching presentation after presentation at the event, in which the use of water and wet cleaning was denounced as a mold remediation tool, it suddenly dawned on me the great public and professional disservice caused by the inclusion of verbiage within the S-520 Mold Remediation Standard. This recommendation has been widely parroted resulting in: workers being put at greater risk unnecessarily, millions of labor dollars wasted by having workers perform cleaning tasks the hard way rather than more efficiently and effectively. Because the PhD isn’t always the smartest person in the room, we can’t allow people who know less than us to tell us how to do our job.

Today’s Music: Havin’ A Party by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes with Bruce Sprinsteen

Z-Man over and out

PS- IAQradio wishes to publically thank Bob Krell and Susan Valenti for their support and assistance in video recording and broadcasting today’s broadcast.