Storage areas and transport containers for perishable and non-perishable items are at risk from microbiological contamination that can destroy products by contaminating them with toxins, musty odors, unsightly stains, bio-slimes, and deteriorate the materials of construction, furnishings, and stored materials. Cary over of contamination to downstream transport vehicles or storage facilities can cause loss of your customer’s goods and ramifications to you for such losses. Even more important to the warehouse or transport container company is that mold and mildew will destroy the asset value of their facility, cause excessive maintenance problems, and affect the health and well-being of the occupants.
Two scenarios are common but linked: 1. Seasonal or water event build-up or episodes allow mold and mildew to contaminate surfaces and bloom in growth. and 2. New facilities or ones that have had good environmental and contamination controls are at risk of future contamination. In both of these cases recognizing the problem by testing and observations, remediation, restoration, and control practices need to be put in place.
The remedies are simple to state but complicated in their choice of materials, processes, and skilled people. Clean it up, contain it, and protect/preserve against the return. There are chemical and physical ways to approach each phase and the best solutions combine both.
Audit and Test the Facility
Set a baseline of mold presence for control in the visible and out-of-sight and out-of-mind places in the facility. Test air and surfaces for general contamination and contamination associated with human health problems. Map out the problem areas and create a photo album of the worst areas.
Set SOP’s for Clean-Up
Clean-up of a mold contaminated facility requires professional support to assure that the job is done and that adjacent areas are not compromised in the process. Singapore has specific standards for this kind of process and there are internationally recognized accepted procedures. Using negative air controls for the space and including chases and air handling systems, if present, steam and/or pressure washing should be undertaken using all required PPE and environmental controls with all wastes dealt with under local requirements. Special care needs to be taken for contamination of unsealed concrete as the mold will have penetrated into the structure of the concrete. Testing representative surfaces before and after this process is important to setting limits of control for subsequent work. This is tedious work but is essential to the stabilization of a contaminated facility. Water leaks and materials unfit for use must be dealt with during this phase of work.
Using standard disinfectants is seldom appropriate for a storage facility and application techniques by experienced personnel are as important as the choice of disinfectants. Avoiding the use of aggressive oxidizing chemicals like bleach or ozone that will damage materials or surrounding areas or leave residues of “legacy poisons” must be avoided. The best formulated products for disinfection also have some capability to provide some surfactancy for breaking down any oils or dirt. Standard quaternary ammonium products have some value but a stabilized chlorine dioxide such as Halo OXtm is formulated to kill microbes, clean surfaces, and eliminate odors is the premier sanitizer/disinfectant as it kills bacteria, fungi, algae, and inactivates viruses and mold spores. This hospital grade treatment is economical, fully registered with regulatory bodies around the world, effective with as low as three minute contact times, and can be applied by electrostatic foggers, misters, sprays, or wipes, destroying the microbes and the odors.
Preservation of the Cleaned and Disinfected Surfaces
After cleaning and disinfection treating the surfaces with the SiQuat Antimicrobial Preservative leaves behind a hydrophobic treatment that reduces mold, bacterial, and algal populations for 6- 12 months. This allows for a 1. Clean, 2. Disinfect, and 3 Preserve punch to remove and keep mold contamination under control and allows for an on-going testing and retreatment schedule that is practical and economical.
Testing and Follow-Up
To assure the success of the decontamination and protection strategies described above a pre-clean-up series of air and surface testing along with photos and physical observations should be done. This testing and walk-through observations should be repeated bi-monthly or quarterly to assure owners and your customers of the state of hygiene of your facility. A re-treatment schedule for the Halo OXtm should be established as determined for a routine certification.
Part of the problems of mold in a storage facility are because of the mold contamination that comes into the facility from the outdoors but also from contamination that comes in from “exchanged” pallets, containers, or other materials that could bring contamination from other facilities or shipping vehicles. These should be treated with the Halo OXtm when identified as a risk and routinely treated as needed.
Cleaners & Sanitizer Disinfectants:
The treatments of choice for storage facilities should meet minimum standards for disinfect with minimal risks of cross-contamination and leachable residues for both product contact surfaces and for other environmental and equipment and personnel surfaces (garments). The availability of disinfectants in the marketplace changes slowly but does change so we have selected the best of the best for the rehabilitation and protection of a contaminated storage facility. To that end we offer:
Cleaners that meet the best of standards for green and sustainability and have cleaning efficiencies that make them effective on all kinds of dirt and soiling and are economical should be used to complement the disinfection and preservation treatments.
Halo OXtm: Chlorine dioxide is the most potent antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent available and has the added properties of destroying residual enzymes and other microbiologically sourced contaminating chemicals. The drawbacks of CLO2 are its chemical and physical properties that limit its use. The Halo OX is uniquely formulated for its role as an odor reducing treatment and as a hospital approved antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent giving 99.999% sanitization. This technology and special formulation has a two year shelf life and can be used without specialized protective equipment. Programs of routine use or sequential use with other products can be designed for specific production, storage, and occupant areas.
NOTE: We do not offer products based on the bischlorinated phenol chemistry because of its links to dioxins and to microbial adaptation.
SiQuat Surface Preservative is a specially formulated preservative treatment that chemically bonds to the treated surfaces to give a long-lasting anti-mold and anti-bacterial treated surface that also is slightly hydrophobic which enhances cleaning when needed.
The mode of action of the Halo OX is to destroy critical enzymes and structural chemicals in the membranes of microorganisms and for the SiQuat treated surface antimicrobial is that of rupturing the membranes of viable microorganisms on contact because of the positive charge of the surface and the lipid loving chemical structure of the treated polymer. The tested microbes include those in this representative list:[one_half] Bacteria
Staphylococcus aureus (pigmented)1
Staphylococcus aureus (non-pigmented)1
Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 4352
Pseudomonas aeruginosa PDR-10
Escherichia coli ATCC 23266
Xanthomonas campestres Vancomycin Resistant enterococci
Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
[/one_half] [one_half_last] Fungi
Oscillatoria borneti LB143
Anabaena cylindrica B-1446-1C
Gonium sp. LB 9c
Selenastrum gracile B-325
Volvox sp. LB 9
Pleurococcus sp. LB11
Anti-viral data available on request.