This section is designed to help facility zone and building managers take proper action when addressing facility water damage incidents. In the event of water damage/intrusion, please refer to the following guidelines.
Response and communication procedures
Immediately report any facility-related flood problem to Facilities Operations – Maintenance Customer Service at (650) 723-2281, who should then inform the appropriate facilities zone manager and maintenance shop(s).
The Facilities zone manager should:
- Determine the type of water damage sustained:
- Clean water: water directly released from instances such as broken water pipes, tub or sink overflows, and rainwater
- Contaminated water: water contaminated with sewage, biological, or chemical pollutants
- Determine the presence of additional facility hazards, such as damaged/impacted asbestos containing materials (ACMs**), electrical hazards, special laboratory or research hazards, falling plaster or ceiling tiles, and slippery walkways, and address as appropriate.
- If hazardous materials (radiological, chemical, or biological) are stored or used in the area, contact the lab manager or principal investigator (PI) before proceeding.
- Ensure all clean-up personnel are properly trained and informed of potential hazards before beginning any work. Contractors should speak with their own health and safety department before beginning any work.
- Work with the building manager to facilitate communication with building occupants. Work with EH&S to address health and safety issues.
**Contact the Asbestos Manager at (650) 723-0486 to determine if any ACMs are involved, and for additional recommendations regarding ACMs, if necessary.
General recommendations for clean-up
- Immediately fix the water problem by addressing the source of the moisture. Common problems include water leaks, maintenance issues, HVAC system problems, and humidity and condensation concerns.
- Thoroughly inspect area to determine extent of water intrusion/damage.
- Initiate cleanup and complete within 48 hours. In most cases, on-call campus custodial services can immediately provide initial cleanup (except where ACMs are damaged or impacted).
- To access carpeting and flooring surfaces, it may be necessary to relocate furnishings. Ensure plastic sheeting is placed under any wet materials or furnishings are relocated to non-affected areas.
- A disinfectant cleaner (indicated as a bacterial, virucidal, and fungicidal) that is safe for indoor use may be applied to affected surfaces (e.g. floors, walls, and furnishings), per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Specific recommendations: clean water and contaminated water
Based on the discretion of the zone manager, the recommendations listed in the table below may not be necessary for a “small scale” clean water intrusion, as long as the source of intrusion is fixed, clean-up is quickly achieved, and occupied areas are completely dry. Small scale is defined as when the water intrusion is of relatively small quantity, well-contained, and easily cleaned up within 24 hours, and building materials do not have to be disturbed or replaced.
|Water damaged material||Actions|
|Books and papers||
|Carpet and backing – dry within 24-48 hours||
|Ceiling tiles||Discard and replace|
|Cellulose insulation||Discard and replace|
|Concrete or cinder block surfaces||
|Fiberglass insulation||Discard and replace|
|Hard surface, porous flooring (linoleum, ceramic tile, vinyl)||
|Non-porous, hard surfaces (plastics, metals)||Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow to dry; scrub if necessary|
|Wallboard (drywall and gypsum board)||
|Window drapes||Follow laundering or cleaning instructions recommended by the manufacturer|
Table duplicated from Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, March 2001 (EPA 402-K-01-001).
- Do not use fans until the area has been cleaned and disinfected.
- Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including rubber boots, rubber gloves, disposable splash-proof coveralls, goggles, and masks for eye, nose, and mouth splash protection (recommend N95). Contractors should seek guidance from their own health and safety department regarding appropriate PPE use, training, and fit testing.
- Limit the spread of contaminated water.
- Remove contaminated water. Contact EH&S for details.
- Disinfect non-porous surfaces and discard porous articles (e.g. carpet and furniture).
- Consult with EH&S before attempting to restore any materials damaged by contaminated water.
- Occupants should not be allowed to re-enter the spaces until the water source is fixed and clean-up has been completed. If an occupant requires retrieval of critical item(s), coordinate the with supervisor to have response personnel retrieve and disinfect the item(s).
Information is available to help people better understand what mold testing can and cannot achieve. Often, people seeking mold testing actually require a thorough investigation into moisture problems and damage. Read more about mold testing at the State of Minnesota Department of Health.
Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments, New York City Department of Health, 2001
IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (S500-94)
Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, EPA (402-K-01-001)