The key to proactive environmental assessment, accurate damage assessment, and appropriate restoration is an understanding of the contamination and its potential impact on electronic and mechanical equipment. Without understanding the composition of the contaminants, repair versus replace decisions cannot be made and "standard" restoration procedures may cause more harm than do good.
ART scientists and engineers understand that different contaminants will have dramatically different effects on equipment reliability and restorability. This is why chemical testing and analysis is incorporated into all of our damage assessments after fire, smoke, water, dust and other contamination events.
For rapid, on-site assessment of the degree of contamination and initial damage assessment, qualitative and semi-quantitative techniques are used. Depending on the event, the following measurements are often made of settled contaminants (e.g., soot, dust, water residue, etc.):
Corrosivity (copper mirror)
Carbonate (electrolytic corrosion)
The results from the qualitative sampling are also utilized to determine the extent of contaminant distribution throughout a facility. For example, contaminant deposition onto electronic equipment due to a smoke event several floors away may not be visible, but may be as damaging as on equipment a few feet away from the fire. Chemical testing allows ART to follow and document the path of contaminant distribution from both particulate and water damage events.
To accurately determine the degree and impact of contamination after a disaster event, quantitative samples are often taken to fully document the extent of an insured loss and/or to develop appropriate restoration procedures. ART can sample and provide quantitative results for most chemical species in settled and airborne particulate and gaseous contaminants. Techniques that we often use include NIOSH/ASTM/ACGIH or specific industry approved sampling and analysis procedures for:
Airborne particle counting is a unique quantitative technique that we often use to evaluate the path of contaminant migration, verify that appropriate environmental controls (air filtration, pressurization, etc.) are in-place to minimize further equipment damage, and to help prevent cross-contamination.
For complete information on ART Environmental Assessment Services click on the link to the right.