Indoor environmental problems in your home
We take the time to find the right solution.
Indoor Air Quality
Protocol Design For Mould Decontamination
Solutions For Indoor Air Quality Problems
Protection Against Microbial Contamination - AEGIS Microbe Shield
This inspection includes examining the outer surfaces of the home for indications of past or existing water infiltration. We look in attics, all rooms of the home, basements and crawl spaces. We also check your furnace, air conditioning, humidifiers and dehumidifiers for proper functioning with respect to their effect on air quality.
After identifying the extent of the mould contamination, we will then develop the appropriate decontamination specifications based on the published and widely accepted mould remediation guidelines of the Canadian Construction Association, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Mould, mildew, bacteria, fungi, yeasts. Visible and invisible, beneficial and deadly - but always present. The AEGIS Microbe Shield™ Program provides safe, effective solutions to microbial contamination in the indoor environment.
Symptoms of indoor air quality problems
Worsening asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems
Headaches and nausea
Shortness of breath
Sinus congestion, sneezing and cough
Memory loss, dizziness, fatigue and depression
Eye, skin, nose and throat irritations
Indoor Air Quality Problems
Residential Inspections and Testing
We analyze air quality problems in private residences, including houses. chalets, condos, apartments and even in automobiles and boats. In the end, you get a written report detailing our observations, a discussion of what effect these have on the home's air quality, and specific recommendations on what measures you can take to solve the problems identified.
If necessary, we will do air and surface-contact testing and analysis for indoor pollutants and for microbial contamination. In our experience these tests are usually not necessary. In fact, they can be misleading because they don't usually help in identifying the source of the air quality problem. It is usually better to spend your money on eliminating the source of the problem once we have identified it and explained where is the source
Protocol Design For Mould Decontamination
After identifying the extent of the mould contamination, we will then develop the appropriate decontamination specifications based on the published and widely accepted mould remediation guidelines of the Canadian Construction Association, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the New York City Dept. of Health, as well as the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) with Standard S520. After presenting this protocol to you, we will assist you in finding a qualified contractor who has the appropriate training in order to safely and thoroughly remove the fungal contamination. We will further assist you by supervising the work of the contractor to ensure that the specifications are followed and the desired result is achieved. Sometimes we will require the contractor to redo portions of the work and this is at the contractor's expense.
In this protocol or specification, we will specify the isolation of the work area as required to prevent contamination of clean areas of the premises. The extent of the isolation will depend on the surface area of the mould, whether a ventilation system is involved and the sensitivity to dust/mould spores by the occupants. If warranted, we will require the use of a negatively-pressured enclosure.
During the remediation process we will see that the dead mould fragments and spores are removed with a combination of brushing, sanding and vacuuming always with a machine equipped with a HEPA filter. We specify the use only of industrial-strength, HEPA-filtered vacuums to thoroughly clean all surfaces to avoid any spreading of the contamination, and then thoroughly clean and carefully decontaminate mould-infested surfaces, using environmentally-safe products. Although present industry standards do not require an antimicrobial or disinfectant to be used in the surface remediation, we usually specify the use of an environmentally-friendly surface preparation product that also does destroy much of the microbial growth. We no longer recommend use of bleach as a cleaning disinfecting agent because of its high toxicity and adverse impact on the environment.
As a final treatment, to ensure that all residual contamination has been removed from every surface and corner of the work space and to ensure that the contamination won't return when environmental conditions favour microbial growth, we will recommend the application of a safe, long term antimicrobial product, called the Aegis antimicrobial as part of the Aegis Microbe Shield program
Solutions For Indoor Air Quality Problems
Odours are the human body’s reaction to a particular chemical or chemical mixtures. These odorous chemicals come from mould, bacteria, sewer gases, decomposing rodents or their wastes, combustion gas fumes (car or furnace), and pets (to name a few of the common odour sources). These certainly affect indoor environmental quality problems in buildings. Odours are organic or inorganic compounds and can be both pleasant and unpleasant. Some chemicals (at low concentrations) can be health hazards before they are detected by the nose, while others even at relatively high concentration are irritating, but not a health hazard for most people (people with environmental or chemical sensitivities may have health effects at very low concentrations of many chemicals). While most chemical contaminants originate from within the building, chemicals can be drawn into a building from the outdoors as well. We will work to identify what these chemicals are, whether they are a health hazard or not in your circumstances, where they come from, and most importantly, what can be done to eliminate this problem.
Protection Against Microbial Contamination - AEGIS Microbe Shield
"AEGIS" Means Protection (AND SOLUTIONS)
Mould, mildew, bacteria, fungi, yeasts. Visible and invisible, beneficial and deadly - but always present. The AEGIS Microbe Shield™ Program provides safe, effective solutions to microbial contamination in the indoor environment. Enviroperfect can assess and solve existing problems (even after flooding and other catastrophic events) or can effectively prevent problems from happening.
The key is the unique AEGIS Antimicrobial technology. In contrast to the conventional weapons you use in the unending battle with microbial contamination (sanitizers, disinfectants, bleach and biocides), it is odourless, effective, durable and professionally applied. Even more importantly, it has over 30 years of safe use on a broad array of products and in virtually every type of building.
This document will tell you:
The Program Can:
How and Why Does it Work?
The AEGIS Microbe Shield™ Program is based on years of indoor environmental problem solving work, extensive microbiological and testing/laboratory capabilities and a unique chemistry that permanently bonds to surfaces and won't wash off or dissipate into the air. In other words, it doesn't enter the environment. The primary treatment material, AEGIS Antimicrobial, contains no heavy metals, formaldehyde or phenols. It is significantly different from conventional antimicrobials, sanitizers or disinfectants. Some of the differences are its chemical nature, how it works, its effectiveness, durability, low toxicity and safety.
Since AEGIS Antimicrobial chemically bonds to the application surfaces, it cannot diffuse or migrate once it has been professionally applied and has dried. It is uniquely different from most other antimicrobials in that it is only effective against single-celled organisms. Since it doesn't dissipate, it minimizes or eliminates the potential for micro-organisms to adapt or build up a tolerance and become resistant. It acts by rupturing the cell membrane - not by poisoning. Almost all other antimicrobials, sanitizers and disinfectants are designed to diffuse and be absorbed. Once absorbed, they act by poisoning or causing fatal mutations. As they diffuse, they lose strength and adaptation can and does occur.
The durability of the AEGIS Microbe Shield™ Program has been extensively tested. Treated surfaces will remain antimicrobially active for at least one year and up to three with follow-up service (we even guarantee that it will). Effectiveness in controlling airborne microbial pollution depends on the extent of the surfaces treated, the effectiveness of cleaning prior to treatment and the amount of growth which has occurred inside of materials before treatment. In fact, the Aegis treatment will normally last the life of the surface treated for surfaces not subject to wear.
Although no material is truly "non-toxic", AEGIS Antimicrobial has a long and extraordinary record of safe use and application. It has been used in thousands of buildings - offices, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, industrial sites, labs, homes, etc. and has been registered for and regularly applied to carpeting, hosiery, undergarments, hospital gowns, surgical drapes, mattress covers and many other items. It is, of course, registered with Agriculture Canada under the Pest Control Products Act administered by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency under PCP 15133 (the registration is listed as AEM 5700, the registered name for the antimicrobial concentrate).
How and When Is It Applied?
The AEGIS Microbe Shield™ Program is a precise application process custom designed to your building to achieve a complete surface treatment of contaminated materials or potential growth areas. The antimicrobial is normally spray applied in a dilute water solution. Since it only acts on contact with organisms, it is essential that a complete treatment be made. After flooding or other catastrophic situations, the program should be implemented as soon as cleaning has been completed and the drying process has begun. It is not necessary to have the area completely dry for effective treatment. Building areas close to flooded or water damaged sections should be treated immediately to deter the growth of fungi, bacteria and organisms which are encouraged by high humidity and which can cause serious human health problems.
What It Doesn't Do
There are many advantages to the AEGIS Microbe Shield™ Program for restoration of disasters, but it is not a “miracle product”, nor a cleaning program and it cannot:
How the Aegis Antimicrobial was Developed
Dow Corning utilized its silicone chemical technology to incorporate an antimicrobial (a quaternary amine) into a silane.
In contrast to most silicones, which are slippery, non-reactive materials, silanes are highly reactive materials which are used primarily as coupling agents and adhesion promoters. Silanes react with virtually all surfaces to alter the surface characteristics. They become a part of the surface, rather than a coating.
As a silane, AEGIS Antimicrobial becomes a part of any surface to which it is applied. That means it does not dissipate into the air or into water or any liquids.
Because it does not dissipate, it retains its full antimicrobial strength indefinitely.
A Non-Microbiological Explanation Of A Unique Antimicrobial Activity
In the world of antimicrobials, the Dow Corning-developed ÆGIS™ Antimicrobial is in a class by itself because of its totally unique chemical bonding system.
The chemical bonding causes the treated surfaces themselves to become antimicrobially active --- not just surfaces from which an antimicrobial leaches or volatilizes.
On direct contact with a microorganism, the technology works by disrupting (or rupturing) the cell membrane. This interrupts the normal life process and destroys the cell. The interruption is caused by two forces --- the long chain chemical component and the positively charged nitrogen component. The first can be compared to a "sword", the second to "electrocution".
Like a "sword", the strength of ÆGIS Antimicrobial is not used up or diminished when it acts. It can be used over and over again. Conventional antimicrobials are absorbed and are more like "bullets". With each use, some of the ammunition store is used up and effectiveness diminishes.
The unique bonding and killing capacity of ÆGIS Antimicrobial, with its one-two punch, allows it to effectively control bacteria, fungi (mold, mildew and yeast), algae and other one celled organisms, as well as some viruses.
Because it acts only on the membrane and does not lose strength over time, it doesn't create the conditions which allow microorganisms to adapt to its presence or develop resistance. As conventional antimicrobials gradually lose strength, new, resistant microorganisms can develop.
What About Other Solutions- If They Are So Good, Why Haven't They Solved The Problem?
The EPA, NIOSH and IAQ experts say that 80% of buildings have IAQ problems.
They also say that 20% or less of problem buildings has a clearly identifiable cause for the problem - nothing is present in quantities that exceed generally accepted problem levels. The standard fall-back position is "stale air" or "insufficient fresh air".
Microbial contamination is either the major cause or a major contributor in 80% of problem buildings.
Almost all of the standard remedies (HVAC modifications, cleaning, filtration, etc.) are generally beneficial, but they are temporary, expensive and they address the symptoms rather than the sources.
Unless the sources of contamination are removed or neutralized, problems will always return.
Typically There Is No Single "Problem"
If you exclude the problem buildings which have specific chemical problems like asbestos, radon, exhaust fumes, or infiltration of some toxic material and illness like Legionnaires' Disease, the human symptoms are remarkably consistent - headaches, sore eyes, congestion, sinus problems, sore throat, drowsiness.
These symptoms are not identifiable to any single pollutant - either chemical or microbial.
The logical conclusion is that the bulk of building problems result from human reaction to the total contaminated load in the building.
Just as the human immune system provides resistance to disease only until it is overwhelmed by the combined bacterial and fungal insult level, it resists reaction to airborne contaminants only until it is overwhelmed by the total contaminant level.
If the total contaminant level is significantly lowered, the so-called "sick building symptoms" tend to disappear. The rate of disappearance depends on the individual sensitivities of the inhabitants.
This phenomenon is clearly seen when we compare a building treated with the ÆGIS antimicrobial vs. a building with the HVAC system modified to greatly increase the amount of "fresh air". The difference is that the ÆGIS Solution removes the sources of contamination and lasts for a very long time, but the HVAC solution does nothing to eliminate the sources - consequently the problems are likely to return as microbial contamination continues to bloom. AND there is no comparison in the costs of the two solutions!
How It Is Different From Other Antimicrobial Remedies?
Almost all other treatments (antimicrobials, fungicides, insecticides, disinfectants, sanitizers, etc.) act by volatilising into the air or dissolving in a liquid. Then the active ingredient is dissipated rapidly or over a period of time - but all have a relatively short effective life. Once inside the organism, the material acts either by poisoning the organism or by promoting lethal mutation.
Since ÆGIS Antimicrobial does not dissipate, the organism does not absorb it. Instead it acts by rupturing the cell wall of the organism - when the organism comes into DIRECT contact with the antimicrobial.
In theory, ÆGIS Antimicrobial becomes a permanent part of any application surface and will continue to be fully effective permanently. In effect, it alters the application surface to make it permanently antimicrobial.
In practice, ÆGIS Antimicrobial is not permanent. It may be abraded from the surface. More commonly, it loses effectiveness because it is covered with something - dirt, soap film, chemical pollutants, carcasses of dead bacteria and fungi, etc. Since it only works on contact, it will not work when it is covered, the antimicrobial effectiveness is reduced.
As a practical matter, the antimicrobial effect should remain strong for at least one year under adverse conditions and for at least three years with good housekeeping procedures. New, untreated surfaces introduced into the building may require treatment if they are microbially active.
For more information:
The best evidence of success is always past experience. Enviroperfect can provide you with case histories on buildings ranging from private homes to a twelve story hospital which was flooded with 500,000 gallons of water, and from "sick" office buildings to schools with "insoluble" problems. To obtain specific information on what the AEGIS Microbe Shield™ Program can do in your building situation or to find out more about AEGIS and its many services to improve the indoor environment, click below:
Here are some useful links to unbiased indoor air quality/environmental information from government agencies or associations or reliable private organizations.
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
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