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Worker in a Tight Space

“We not only had to keep the entire crawlspace under negative air pressure, we also had to provide positive air for the tecnicians to work in the area.”
— Regina Holman, MSB Site Manager

Tight Spaces

Featured in Cleaning & Restoration - A Publication of the Restoration Industy Association

November 2013

MSB Disaster Recovery safely performs a dangerous clean-up beneath a historic building.

It was the kind of call no property manager wants to receive.

On Sept. 8, 2012, a retail tenant of a major mall management company reported that a floor drain had backed up and there was an odor in the restrooms in one of its historic buildings in Santa Barbara, Calif. A restaurant within the property also contacted its plumbing contractor after drains backed up in several areas. The plumber found standing black water and an open cap on a drainpipe within the crawlspace of the restaurant. The plumber contacted a local restoration contractor to clean and dry the interior of the space. The plumber then returned to remove a blockage from the restaurant’s sewer line. The management company hoped that this would be the end of the back-ups and odor in the building.

Before and After Photos

But its management decided that further inspection would be a good idea to ensure the safety of its tenant and the tenant’s customers. MSB Disaster Recovery Services of Escondido, Calif., found several high levels of moisture across the bottom of the subfloor covering the area’s crawlspace. Additional testing found that the crawlspace had been contaminated with Category 3 water, a combination of urine, feces and other organics that contain dangerous pathogens. Left untreated for an extended period of time, Category 3 water can result in increased bacteria and mold growth. MSB was asked to clean and restore the building.

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