This article was originally published in the November/December issue of C&R magazine and has been reprinted with permission from the Restoration Industry Association
When you apply sauna-like temperatures to a structure and use filtration to capture contaminates before they spread, you use a method similar to the one that has been effective on food for more than a century. But only recently has the process been created to use in structures.
ThermaPureHeat uses heat on structures in a way that is similar to how Dr. Louis Pasteur used heat on food. Pasteur determined that by heating food products to a temperature of approximately 60 degrees C (140 degrees F) for several minutes, bacteria, viruses, protozoa, molds and yeasts in the food would be reduced to levels that would no longer cause the food to spoil or harm those who ate it. Pasteurization improved the shelf life of food products and, more importantly, reduced levels of contamination to allow for safe consumption without damage to the food.
Today, similar principles are used in structural pasteurization. Structural pasteurization is a process in which the temperature of a building or portion of a building is increased to a level that will reduce the targeted organ isms to acceptable levels while minimizing damage to the structure. This is a main component of ThermaPureHeat. Joe McLean, chief executive officer and co-founder of Alliance Environmental Group Inc., headquartered in Azusa, California, stated: “ThermaPure is a significant part of our business and provides us with a unique tool for our clients. Over the past three months, Alliance has done nearly 500 ThermaPureHeat projects. We solve many indoor problems with ThermaPure.”
During the past 10 years, ThermaPure has acquired the rights to insect patents; been granted patents for the remediation of mold, bacteria, viruses and volatile organic com pounds in structures; and has eight patents that strengthen the control of the technology for a range of indoor air quality uses. Additionally, the intellectual property includes more than 3 5 trademarks and foreign patents. Although the company started as a technology to control insects, it has expanded the method to other uses, such as in the restoration industry. A structure damaged by water can be effectively remediated through heat. The results can be better than traditional restoration methods.
ThermaPureHeat as a Structural Drying Tool
ThermaPureHeat as a Structural Drying Tool ThermaPureHeat is a complete water loss restoration process because it combines high-temperature drying and sanitization in a single restoration process. The application of high-temperature drying has been increasing as many restoration contractors are now using it. Additionally, it is defined in the most recent version of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) SSOO, Reference Guide for Professional Water Restoration. Structural pasteurization is recognized by the IICRC remediation standard, S520, as a process that can be effective in killing organisms.
According to an Xactimate/ThermaPure report, ThermaPureHeat is an effective restorative drying process for the following reasons:
- High-temperature applications will dry most structures more quickly.
- Applied appropriately, high-temperature drying is more thorough, reaching previously inaccessible areas such as wall cavities.
- High-temperature drying is more effective with porous materials, resulting in fewer replacements.
- The duration of the restoration process is faster, so loss mitigation is reduced by minimizing build back.
- By reducing the duration of the restoration processes, Category 1 water losses are potentially resolved before they become contaminated.
- High-temperature drying will sanitize the affected areas.
- In a Category 2 water loss, structural pasteurization can resolve bacterial contamination concerns.
- In a Category 3 water loss, ThermaPureHeat is effective in killing most species of bacteria, viruses, helminths and other unhealthy contaminants.
- High-temperature drying and structural pasteurization are both processes recognized in the IICRC drying standard, SSOO, and the mold remediation standard, S520.
The Move Toward High-Temperature Drying and Structural Pasteurization
The process of high-temperature drying and structural pasteurization are becoming the preference because it saves time and money, and it is effective in resolving issues before they turn into bigger problems. Specifically, ThermaPureHeat reduces drying cost (this has been demonstrated using Xactimate calculations), relocation expenses and business interruption costs, and it reduces or eliminates secondary damage (microbial contamination), demolition requirements and restoration/rebuild costs.
Recently, an independent testing facility, CodeBlue, tested “directed heat thermal energy drying against traditional drying methods.” Once the drying was complete, results were compared and it was confirmed that high-temperature drying reduces drying time.
By Larry Chase and Tim Gallagher