The heating and air conditioning system ducts are usually the first items checked and cleaned following a fire or puffback emergency. Because the system is usually running during the event, it can work to spread soot, smoke and/or odor throughout the structure - making prompt, corrective action imperative.
The HVAC system may also be affected during a water damage. Many times, water can travel throughout the duct system by gaining entrance into floor or ceiling vents. Additionally, flooding may have occurred near the unit. If the accumulated water has been left unattended, mold development is possible, therefore allowing for spores or bacteria to be pulled into the system and spread throughout the building via the duct work.
In general, professional cleaning, deodorizing and, at times, sanitizing treatments are less costly and more time-efficient than system replacement, therefore minimizing property losses. Crystal Restoration Services offers complete repair and restoration of residential and commercial HVAC systems following puffbacks, boiler explosions, fires, floods, oil spills and similar emergencies.
To prevent further contamination, the air handling unit is turned off, and filtering material is placed over all registers and return vents.
- At the beginning of the cleaning process, all registers are removed and washed.
- Negative air vacuums are then used in order to put the heating and/or air conditioning system under negative pressure. The inside of the duct system(s) is then agitated, loosening the contaminants trapped inside. The loosened debris/soot is then blown into the negative air vacuums using high-pressure, compressed air.
- The air handler is cleaned with vacuums, including the blower, heat exchanger and coil.
- Depending on the severity of the damage and the intensity of any offending odors, deodorizers such as Bad Air Sponge and x100 Odor Treatments may be used to treat the system.
- If the system is being cleaned due to water damage, a sanitizer is applied to kill mold, mold spores and bacteria. In some instances, duct-wrapped insulation is removed and replaced, as well as any flex duct that might be involved.
- The furnace filter is cleaned or replaced, depending on the type of filter.
- Finally, filter covers are removed after several days. If there is a possibility of recontamination, Crystal Restoration's crews will install new filtering devices in the registers and return vents until reconstruction and total restoration of the building is complete.