Technology in Cleaning and Restoration

December 1, 2006
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Professional cleaning and restoration technicians are always searching for equipment and technology to help them do their jobs better and more efficiently. For the fourth consecutive year, ICS Cleaning Specialist looks at some of the innovative equipment and technologies making their way into the industry.



Professional cleaning and restoration technicians are always searching for equipment and technology to help them do their jobs better and more efficiently. For the fourth consecutive year, ICS Cleaning Specialist looks at some of the innovative equipment and technologies making their way into the industry.

Now keep in mind, this is not a “Best of the Best” list; it is a chance to see and read about some of the equipment making its way to the marketplace.

Principles and long-accepted methodologies need not be shattered in order for something to be innovative. Some may have already seen some of this technology at various trade shows and exhibitions, while others are getting their first look at what the cleaning and restoration industries have to say about some of the latest developments as we head into 2007.

Cleaning Systems

A new cleaning technology from Novozymes Biologicals incorporates a unique surfactant system and a promicrobial package. An advanced pH-neutral formula is harnessed to a promicrobial package selected for its ability to release soil and degrade stain material and odor precursors that often find their way deep into carpet and padding – places that have been inaccessible to conventional cleaning approaches, the company said.

Novozymes believes its unique synergistic approach is capable of delivering overall cleaning results unmatched by chemistry alone.

Contamination Detection

The bio-reveal system from Building Environmental Management Corp. allows water restoration professionals, IAQ consultants, industrial hygienists, mold remediation contractors, insurance companies and more the ability to quickly, accurately and cost-effectively test for mold and bacteria contamination of water-damaged materials, the company said. The biofilm associated with mold and bacterial growth on water-damaged building materials can easily be detected using the bio-reveal system.

Mold Remediation

Thermapure, also known as structural pasteurization, is a process that essentially pasteurizes a building, or a portion of a building. This is a chemical-free process and is much more complex than simply applying heat to a structure or an architectural element. In general, the process heats a structure directly, via propane-fired heaters, or indirectly via boilers outside the structure.

In addition to heating, the process involves a large number of fans and ducting to evenly distribute heated air within the building and/or treatment area, and heat-tolerant fan units equipped with HEPA filters to scrub the air clean and physically remove biomass and aerosols.

Moisture Monitoring

MonitorBot is a totally integrated moisture monitoring system that, once set up, can be monitored remotely via the Internet from your desktop, laptop, or PDA from anywhere in the world you have an Internet connection. You can receive readings and charts on temperature, relative humidity and GPP from affected areas, unaffected areas, the HVAC system, outside air, and from your dehumidifiers.

The moisture content percentage in the carpet and pad, wood subfloor and drywall is also available simultaneously. Alerts via e-mail, pager or text message let you know when your job is dry to your “dry standard.”

Robotics

The world’s first commercial robotic vacuum, the IV 800 from Intellibot is designed specifically for large carpeted or hard-surface hallways in schools, hospitals, office buildings, hotels, convention centers and other facilities that get heavy traffic and must frequently be cleaned to a high standard.

Using proven navigation and sonar sensor technology found in the company’s IS 800 robotic floor scrubber, the IV 800 robotic vacuum provides similar efficiencies, working for long periods of time with minimal human intervention.

Dehumidifiers

The R175 marks Phoenix Restoration Equipment’s entry into the manufacturing of roto-mold LGR dehumidifiers. The design results in the R175 removing 30% more water (92 pints at AHAM) than competitive LGR units of similar size, while drawing only 6.1 amps of power, the company said. The new solid-state control panel features a lighted hour meter, pump purge control and a defrost light.

The hour meter can be activated for ten seconds when the unit is unplugged to log the status of the unit in the warehouse or on the truck. The recessed 12-inch wheels, compact design and balanced weight distribution make the R175 the most maneuverable dehumidifier in the restoration industry.

Multi-Surface Cleaning

Rotovac Corp. recently introduced the Rotovac 360, a cleaning tool designed to clean carpet as well as tile and grout. The 360 works in conjunction with any standard portable or truck-mounted extractor, and has two interchangeable cleaning heads, one for carpet and the other for tile and grout. The carpet-cleaning head has three V-shaped composite smooth-glide vacuum ports, along with three spray jets rotating over the carpet at an adjustable 100-200 RPM.

The tile-and-grout-cleaning head has nylon brush bristles, spray jets and flexible rubber squeegee vacuum pickups, all rotating at an adjustable 100-200 RPM.

Area Rug Cleaning

Last year Luv-a-Rug, a Canadian company, introduced the Rugbadger, an acronym for Bugs, Allergens, Dirt and Grit Extractor for Rug Renovating. The design is based around the idea of a high-tech material rotating at high speeds in order to hit the back of a rug. The amount of force is carefully calculated to be safe for all rug types, the company said, yet powerful enough to knock, shake, vibrate and propel any dirt out even if it was locked deep down and embedded between rug fibers.

Business Management Solutions

The basic premise of Your Mobile Office is to combine a modern proven and stable technology with current software products, providing an all-in-one mobile solution combining a PDA Smartphone with selected software in a small suitcase with a printer, efpos terminal and Bluetooth connectivity.

The idea is to replace the phone, diary and account book; receive payments and issue receipts; prepare quotes; update records, etc. – to take each of these from an individual task to an integrated task, an on-the-spot, all-in-one process, greatly reducing after-hours bookwork.

Audits and Inspections

PDmB, Inc.’s Pdspect is a customizable inspection program adaptable to almost any audit or inspection application. With Pdspect, inspectors and auditors in fields as diverse as franchise restaurant management, heavy equipment maintenance, or playground inspection can tailor their audits and inspections to their specific needs.

The PDspect program allows auditors/inspectors to create and use custom forms and comments. Auditors can also integrate pictures into their inspections, point out specific issues with PDmB’s exclusive EZMark photo highlighting tools, then e-mail the completed reports anywhere in the world.

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