Plastic caused a fire at a Ford dealership which required CPL t/a Rainbow International to find the best air purifier for smoke in order to work out how to fix smoke damage. The fire left heavy to medium soot damage and soot odour to the parts area of the back office and medium to light soot damage and odour to the open stores, service reception, showroom and offices on the first floor. Soot odour also affected the stairs, filing and administration offices and toilets on the second floor of the dealership.
At CPL t/a Rainbow International we describe this kind of fire as a wet fire because the soot is very sticky and difficult to lift from surfaces, furniture, fittings and fixtures. Firemen used water to extinguish the blaze so the dealership had to be dried out as well as cleaned. Ford wanted to keep the business operational and working to full capacity during the clean-up operation. This meant CPL t/a Rainbow International’s experienced technicians could not use Ozone but had to use air manager instead in the customer-facing and highly staffed areas of the building.
Smoke damage cleaning companies like CPL t/a Rainbow International check the unseen areas of your business
We had to check the ceiling void area above the suspended ceiling in the parts office which flowed into the service area and the separate ceiling in the showroom. As we suspected there was some soot damage but it was not as bad as expected and our swift and efficient clean-up prevented further deterioration.
CPL t/a Rainbow International began the clean-up in the back office where the fire started. We removed burnt items like ceiling tiles and carpets. Then we dry vacuumed the concrete ceiling above the suspended ceiling and locked in the soot on the ceiling and walls. We removed wet plasterboard and installed drying equipment to dry out the wall and ceiling. We cleaned all affected hard furniture and we installed air manager to remove the odour. We sealed off the back office but left a passage to the parts area so that there was no business interruption.
In the showroom and reception, as well as wiping surfaces with specialised products for breaking soot down, we dry vacuumed all the lighting fittings, cleaned the carpets and applied specialist deodorising to a wet fog area. We also made good, a fog void above the service reception.
Finding the best air purifier for smoke is essential if staff and customers are occupying the premises
Avoiding any business interruption and protecting the health and safety of all staff and customers on site are always the key priorities for CPL t/a Rainbow International. We needed to strip back as much burnt material as possible and then clean and seal all absorbent building surfaces. Cleaning and sealing the surfaces allows us to get the source of the odour under control before using our best air purifier which may or may not be Ozone.
Odour is very important, not only because of the smell but because it indicates that bacteria are present which need to be disinfected. CPL t/a Rainbow International and other smoke damage cleaning companies know to identify and treat the cause of the odour as well as the smell itself.
Odour can also become trapped behind walls, in cavities, between ceilings where it becomes embedded in the fabric of the building and upholstery. In hot weather, the pores within porous materials can reopen and the odour may return. Smoke damage cleaning companies will make sure that all smoke damage, soot and odour are fully removed at the time of the clean-up and the building and its contents are fully decontaminated.
Why does Ozone matter and is it the best air purifier?
Ozone is used as a disinfectant because it sterilises, removing chemical contamination, in this case by oxidation. It contains three atoms of oxygen rather than two in the air we normally breathe, making it the best air purifier. Ozone is the second most powerful steriliser in the world and can be used to destroy bacteria, viruses and odours. It’s also reported to be more effective than chlorine at deactivating bacteria and viruses and it works more quickly than other cleaning techniques.
Several regulatory agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), have said that the safe allowable level of residual is 0.10-ppm (parts per million). It’s important to note that this permissible level is for continuous exposure throughout an entire 8 hour day for 5 days a week. Even experienced CPL t/a Rainbow International technicians do not work with Ozone for this length of time.
However, temporary effects of such exposure to Ozone would range from headaches to sore throats, irritation in the eyes, and nose. It’s these effects that CPL t/a Rainbow International will avoid by choosing a different cleaning technique if staff and customers are occupying the building during a clean-up operation. No long term effects have ever been documented from ozone exposure.
Wet fogging is an alternative to Ozone treatment in public places
CPL t/a Rainbow International uses wet fogging, air management and steam cleaning to eradicate bacteria and control odour. These techniques remove 99.9% of airbourne pathogens. Extra care is taken of high touch surfaces, for example, door handles, telephones, desks, computers and other office equipment. In the Ford dealership, the car door handles would also be high touch.