Have you ever wondered what the difference is between hazmat cleaning and biohazard cleaning? In this article, we will give you a better understanding of what is involved in both of these cleaning methods.
Many people don’t spend much time thinking about the ins and outs of cleaning property that is a biohazard. Yet, these cleaners are essential to keeping our living environments healthy and clean after some of the worst messes occur.
Cleanup companies are there to help you and are available for around-the-clock emergency service. This type of cleaning does not keep regular business hours because a disaster can happen at any time, and the materials that need to be cleaned up are best left to the professionals.
Regular cleaning services, such as a maid or janitorial service, find that they are ill-equipped to handle the jobs that require special attention. For example, they most likely do not have the proper training, equipment, and protective gear to handle such jobs.
How do you know if you need to call a service that does biohazard cleanup or hazmat cleanup?
It is important to know the difference between these two cleanup services, so you’ll know who to turn to in your time of need.
This type of cleanup is necessary for messes involving dangerous materials in an environment that are not human or animal related, such as:
Most of these messes, indoor and outdoor, are caused by a spill of these materials that have been exposed to an open environment. To prevent the contaminants from causing further damage to the environment, it is important to have hazmat cleaners contain the mess and keep it from coming in contact with a human or animal.
Events that require hazmat cleaning include:
- Chemical spills at a factory.
- Gas leaks.
- Oil spills.
- Asbestos removal during a renovation.
- Lead paint removal.
Whenever one of these events occurs, a hazmat cleaning professional should be involved in the cleanup process. This will ensure that the surrounding environment is damaged as little as possible and no longer poses a threat to any living creature.
This type of cleaning is necessary for situations that include any bodily fluid or substances that come from a living organism. An individual who is untrained and needs to have the proper equipment should not attempt this type of cleanup on their own. In order to dispose of medical waste and similar materials, special permits and licenses are required.
It is also crucial to know that blood and body fluids can contain bloodborne pathogens, which can potentially cause diseases. If those pathogens become trapped in carpet, flooring, walls, and even ceilings, it can cause those living in the environment to become sick for months (and even years) later.
Here are a few examples of what is considered to be biohazard waste:
- IV tubing, such as bags and suction canisters.
- Laboratory agents.
- Contaminated personal protective equipment.
- Empty vials from vaccine use.
- Sharps waste – needles, scalpels, etc.
- Materials from a biopsy procedure.
- Surgical masks, gloves, swabs, and gauze.
Besides Bodily Fluids, What Other Substance Warrants a Biohazard Cleanup?
- Fingerprint powder.
- Tear gas.
- Chemicals used in police investigations.
- Hazardous chemicals.
A professional must be called whenever a disastrous event involves any of these substances. This will eliminate the potential for any materials to linger that could be harmful to a person’s health. Even the smallest amount that is missed during this type of cleanup can have disastrous consequences and cause problems further down the road.
What is Classified as a Situation that Requires Biohazard Cleanup?
- Hoarded homes.
- Areas on lockdown due to infectious diseases.
- Sewage spills and black water cleanup.
- Crime scenes, such as homicide or suicide.
- Odor removal.
- Unattended deaths.
- Homeless encampment cleanout.
- Animal infestations (rodent feces, dead carcasses)
- Mold or fungus infestations.
- Chemical spills in the workplace.
- Criminal cleanup involving materials related to meth labs or tear gas residue.
An efficient biohazard cleaning company will be prepared to eliminate harmful substances, legally dispose of infected materials, and decontaminate all salvageable surfaces. Their goal is to restore an environment to its pre-event conditions.
What steps will a professional cleaning company take that come in the aftermath process?
Step one – set up zones.
- Control zone – map out the areas where contamination and biohazard removal and cleanup will occur.
- Buffer zone – these are areas where technicians will put on protective gear and dispose of contaminated materials.
- Clean zone – this is a designated area where equipment and tools can be stored to help prevent the risk of cross-contamination.
Step two – cleaning and removal.
Once the zones have been set up, the removal and disposal of contaminated dirt, debris, and biological waste (such as blood and bodily fluids) will be removed and properly disposed of. Next, a thorough disinfecting sweep will be performed to eliminate any lingering odors.
What are the Steps for the Biohazard Cleaning Process?
- Safety first. Wear appropriate personal protective attire: gloves, goggles, and airtight clothing.
- Make sure the space you are working from is clean and has easy entry and exit access.
- Before you start, identify the biohazards in the area of contamination.
- Remove any items that have visible damage or are unsalvageable.
- Strip back the layer of carpeting or tile in order to test the hazardous conditions that lie beneath.
- Sanitize and deodorize the air using a UV light source.
- Dispose of all the biohazard material in the contaminated area according to local and state regulations.
Unfortunately, the process of biohazard cleanup, although extremely helpful, can also be unavoidably destructive. A complete inspection of the area will help the person cleaning it identify areas where enzyme cleaners may react with contaminants. In addition, a professional will be able to prevent further damage by knowing which chemicals and enzymes should not be combined.
The bottom line is that hazmat and biohazard cleanup should not be considered a DIY project. The Utah Disaster Clean Up & Restorations professionals will help eliminate any signs of damage caused by unfortunate events. So contact us today, and let us restore your environment to a healthy and safe place.