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Are You A Carrier? Keep Your Equipment Clean

In the early part of the 1900’s, a woman named Mary Mallon became infamous in New York City. She appeared healthy, and she remained convinced for years that she actually was healthy, despite the fact that people were becoming gravely ill after consuming her cooking. Despite the fact that she lived until the age of 69, Mary was a carrier of a pathogen responsible for causing typhoid fever, and her irresponsible behavior caused several serious typhoid outbreaks. She’s presumed to have infected 51 people, at least three of whom died. Even after being presented with medical proof that she was responsible for the outbreaks, she refused to accept that proof and continued to work as a cook until she was finally quarantined for the remainder of her life. You may know her as Typhoid Mary.

Don’t worry, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll spread typhoid fever to any of your clients. While the equipment you use is inorganic and unlikely to cause such a scenario, we have presented the cautionary history lesson of Typhoid Mary to remind you that cleaning and decontaminating your equipment is still very important, especially after a Category 1 or 2 water loss. Typhoid Mary refused to accept responsibility or act responsibly because she herself appeared to be perfectly healthy, which allowed her to disregard the evidence and proof that was presented to her. In much the same manner, your equipment may not appear dirty or contaminated, but most carpets and flooring have contaminates that are easily dispersed by the air movement caused by airmovers. Once scattered, those contaminants can end up in and on your equipment, thus requiring cleaning and decontaminating even if no dirt or contaminates are visible.

What’s the best way to prevent microbial growth and prevent potential contamination of future jobs? It’s simple – just make sure that all equipment used on water losses is cleaned as soon as it is returned to your shop. Every surface of your equipment should be wiped down with a disinfectant like Benefect or Sporicidin. Be sure to also replace the filters in dehus and air scrubbers. If the water loss turned out to be a mold mitigation job, or if your equipment was on the job for a long time, then the HEPA filter on your air scrubber should also be replaced along with the pre-filters. Recovery tanks inside of portable extraction machines should also be flushed out and cleaned to remove any pollutants that were picked up on the job.

Granted, contamination may not happen on every job, and while air movement may scatter contaminates, that same air movement also makes it very hard for microbes to grow, including mold. This information, along with a natural inclination inherent to most small business owners not to waste money, may cause you to hesitate before deep cleaning your machines after each job. Since every loss is different, you’ll have to make a judgment call as to whether or not that deep cleaning is necessary, but it’s a good habit to go ahead and clean your equipment after all jobs anyway, just to be sure. Even if contamination isn’t an issue, regularly cleaning your equipment will ensure that it’s presentable to your next customer, who we guarantee will not be thrilled about dirty equipment being brought into their home. Finally, you’ll have the satisfaction and peace of mind that comes with knowing for a fact that your equipment is not introducing contaminants into your next water loss.

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First Choice Equipment Sales & Service

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Penrose, Colorado 81240

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Wade Lauhon
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