Written by ICP Group

Fiberlock Recon Ultra and Fiberlock AfterShock Have Achieved Lubrizol Advanced Materials FBC™ System Compatible Certification

Chemical compatibility in construction is critical to making sure your installations will stand the test of time. When you choose ICP’s Fiberlock Recon Ultra Odor Sealing technologies and Fiberlock AfterShock fungicidal coatings, you can be sure they are compatible with these brands from Lubrizol Advanced Materials:

What us the Lubrizol FBC™ System Compatible Program?

As a solution to compatibility issues related to chemicals and coatings being installed around fire suppression and other plumbing systems, Lubrizol Advanced Materials developed the FBC™ System Compatible Program to ease the burden associated with researching and selecting accompanying construction products.

How did ICP become certified?

To qualify, ICP submitted Fiberlock Recon Ultra and AfterShock for third-party testing. ICP also agreed to third-party audits of its manufacturing facilities on an annual basis and that there would be no alterations to the tested formulation.

Where are the certifications valid?

The FBC System Compatible Program serves the industry with active use in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, 25 European countries, the United Arab Emirates, India and China.

 

ICP is currently having other products tested under the FBC System Compatible Program. Check back for additional updates or contact us for more information.

Written by ICP Group

Protect Your People and Facilities: Before, During & Post-Pandemic

Surface Hygiene: Epidemic & Pandemic (S.H.E.P.) Blog – Post 1 of 4

Having realistic, clearly defined plans and key performance indicators to define your success is essential to every organization. The same principle applies when dealing with pandemic or epidemic, which are increasing in frequency and lethality. To paraphrase joint guidance on CoV-2 in 2020 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), every individual or group responsible for an indoor environment where our people live and work must engage in three fundamental steps: Make a Plan, Implement the Plan, and Never Stop Revising the Plan. Surface Hygiene: Epidemic and Pandemic (S.H.E.P.) Plans are imperative in any facility, and after the CoV-2 pandemic, we better appreciate the dangers of extraordinary outbreaks, as well as the cost of preventable “ordinary” occupant sickness. We will introduce the mission of SHEP, the definitions, the importance of these plans, and how to develop and implement these plans tailored to each facility.

First let us start with both the concept and some basic definitions of S.H.E.P:

The acronym itself is a jumping off point. At ICP, we have been involved with contingency planning for disaster and epidemic since 2005. And regarding just surface disinfection, there is a lot to remember that goes into emergency response. Whether that emergency is a hurricane coming ashore or a breakout of infectious disease, information is crucial. There is often too little, some “facts” are wrong, and there is a lot of noise during a stressful time. SHEP is a concept created at ICP to cut through the noise and teach best practices of surface disinfection that can be flexed to accommodate circumstances. SHEP is both an acronym and a mnemonic device. Acronyms are words made up of the first letters of other words. As a mnemonic device, acronyms help us remember the first letters of items in a list, which in turn helps to remember the list itself. During training, SHEP helps teach cleaning and disinfection. When the event transpires, SHEP reduces hesitation and makes us more responsive.

Surface – So the “S” stands for surfaces. What is a surface in the context of infection control? A touchable location where communicable disease can be transmitted through dermal (skin) contact, and/or carried by touch to avenues of infection like mouth/nose/eyes.

Hygiene – from the dictionary: conditions and practices that promote and preserve health. Hygiene is the discipline of practices and protocols to assure or restore cleanliness.

Epidemic – a widespread disease that affects many individuals in a population. Typically used to describe an unusual outbreak with transmission rates that are upward trending and not completely controlled. Epidemics usually are still a limited geography event compared with pandemic, but what is not stopped as an epidemic can become…

Pandemic – an epidemic over a wide geographical area and affecting a large proportion of the population. Associated with uncontrolled community transmission. Inability to immediately control can be due to an emerging pathogen (viral or bacterial) against which the medical profession has little experience and few intervention treatments or preventatives.

What does S.H.E.P. look like in practice?

S.H.E.P. is the ICP Building Solutions Group (icpgroup.com) concept for healthy environments. S.H.E.P. is based on our experience, technology pedigree, and the irreplaceable expertise based on participation helping combat past pandemics. Focusing your plans based on the S.H.E.P. model will ensure that you are maximizing effectiveness while minimizing any potential risk from disinfectant usage, and that you are constantly evolving your plans to meet the inevitably invasive microbial factors that are beyond our day-to-day norm & that we have little or no control over.

Surfaces are considered primary or secondary transmission vectors for the majority of (but not all) pathogenic microbes that comprise the group most likely to impact your people and facility (view our antimicrobial disinfection efficacy matrix). Therefore, touchable surfaces should be a focal point of consideration when addressing protection plans for your facility. Disease experts refer to these surfaces as fomites, which is defined as any inanimate object that, when contaminated with or exposed to infectious agents, can transfer disease to a new host. These fomites include everything from clothing and utensils to things like furniture and fixtures. Surfaces can be contaminated a variety of ways including through airborne contaminants, and via touch. Note that surfaces can be fixed like a countertop, or mobile like a cart with a handle. Shared items present a range of disinfectant challenges of varied profile and porosity from plush toys to athletic mats.

Humans touch their face, according to the Journal of Hospital Infection, on average 23 times per hour, with contact mostly to the skin, mouth, nose, and eyes. We also touch common objects or shared surfaces such as buttons, door handles, etc. approximately 3.3 times per hour, so surfaces are a crucial cause for consideration & concern.

Hygiene is the discipline of practices and protocols to assure or restore cleanliness. Hygiene is always desirable. In fact, in buildings where human beings share an environment, hygiene should be mandatory. Certainly, after this pandemic those who are responsible for our built environment will be held to a higher hygiene standard then perhaps ever before. Hygiene becomes critical in a time of great infection. Consider a nexus of surfaces, a microbe that readily spreads via fomites, and uncontrolled community spread risking oversimplification, that means:

  • more infected people are depositing more potentially infectious microorganisms on surfaces that can be touched,
  • which in turn creates a numbers game or raw probability dynamic. Any touch on any g touchable shared surface might be a touch sufficient to carry a dose to the body of a previously uninfected person. So, when we have “red communities” and uncontrolled spread then hygiene needs to be enhanced or ramped up to reduce a dosage probability inherent in that numbers game.

Epidemics happen frequently and need to be addressed with layered mitigation locally to prevent growth of the outbreak. During the pandemic in 2020-2021, a concept we repeatedly introduced to the thousands that attended our education programs, is that the mitigation steps being taken and the knowledge and appreciation underpinning that mitigation, that all needs to carry forward once the pandemic is over. Those steps and skills are both integral to a healthy indoor environment, as well as being the best preparation for the inevitable next emerging pathogen outbreak. To keep it simple and memorable, it was taught as: we will need this knowledge again. With all we have learned from CoV-2, is that we should now be better with a more universal understanding of what is required to maintain a healthy environment the next time there is a meningitis outbreak at our local University, or a MRSA outbreak in the locker room of our local athletic team, and innumerable similar and local situations.

Pandemics are epidemics that have grown both out of control and to a wide geographical area & affect a large proportion of the population. Pandemics are often caused by a new microorganism against which we had little previous knowledge and no immunity. Pandemic, albeit thankfully rare, is included in the S.H.E.P. concept because there will be future episodes when nature leans into the SARS playbook. Few try to dispute that there will be future, even more frequent, zoonotic crossovers of viruses that have pandemic potential. There are bacteria that too have pandemic potential not to mention antibiotic resistance. According to the University of Minnesota’s CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy):

Medical historians tell us there have been nine influenza pandemics in the past 300 years. So, one every 30 to 35 years or so, or roughly three per century, is everybody’s best guess about the future frequency.

The P in S.H.E.P. is for pandemic; but it is also for Prepare.

The Surfaces, Hygiene, Epidemics and Pandemic components of SHEP are insight tools. Separately and altogether, these buckets need to be considered when building your organization/facility’s emergency and customer care plans. Some examples would be to reflect on the types of surfaces you have in your facilities and how many employees & customers enter your business daily? What is the typical customer (outsider) traffic flow in your facility? Do we have adequate controls in place to ensure our facility is meeting hygiene needs? How will a simulated epidemic or pandemic affect the region my business is in? How are we going to communicate these plans to our staff and customers?

Stay tuned for parts 2-4 of our S.H.E.P. blog coming soon!

Written by ICP Group

How Investing In The Right Mold-Resistant Coating Can Save On Project Costs Later

By Cole Stanton

It’s vital that your team is equipped with the tools that allow you to walk away from a job well-done the first time.

One of the most satisfying and fulfilling feelings for a mold and remediation professional is when a large-scale project comes together. On the flip side, however, one of the most discouraging events is when a finished project turns out to be not-so-finished. Not only is this frustrating for the team involved, but it is inefficient, costly, and can negatively affect a company’s reputation.

Therefore, it’s vital that your team is equipped with the tools that allow you to walk away from a job well-done the first time. One of those tools is a high-performance mold-resistant coating. Mold-resistant coatings do two jobs: First, they encapsulate any spores that may remain on a surface following a thorough cleaning and disinfecting, preventing them from becoming a problem later on; second, they create a surface that is inhospitable for new mold growth in the future. Investing in the right coating will help ensure that new buildings stay mold-free.

When choosing your coating there are plenty of factors to consider. In fact, there are so many options to choose from that some brands will go as far as to create a custom coating through a production company. This is a special process, and, while it may work for some, it isn’t typically the most cost-effective method.

It’s additionally important to understand the purpose and the placement of your coating before selecting one. One of the most telling factors is whether you have an indoor or outdoor environment that needs coating. Depending on location, the weather can also drastically affect what properties are required of the coating itself. Though the use of mold-preventative coatings isn’t unheard of outdoors, the most common applications will be indoor spaces. There are always exceptions to the rule, but because of the way mold and fungi thrive in dark, warm, slightly moist areas, the plentiful nooks and crannies that spores can find indoors are the most likely places in need of attention.

The right mold-resistant coating, however, creates a world of difference.

Upfront Cost vs. Lifetime Cost

Cost will always be a factor in making the right choice for a project. However, it’s common for professionals to make the mistake of looking at an initial price point and equating that to the total cost. An important consideration when sourcing your products as a remediation pro is the lifetime value of the products and tools that you’re using. Much like the way machinery depreciates over time, using inferior products can lead to problems down the line. While investing in the proper coating upfront might have a higher purchase price point, the longevity and sustainability you gain will far outweigh the upfront price.

Consider IAQ 6000 from ICP Building Solutions Group, a durable, flexible, and permeable vinyl-acrylic water-based coating. While the cost of the IAQ 6000 sits around 76 cents/square foot, and the most comparable competitors are only slightly lower at 67 cents/square foot, the IAQ 6000 requires just one coat of coverage—competitors require two. When factoring in the cost of a second coat, the closest competitor price comes to a total of $1.34/square foot in material vs. the 76 cents/square foot price that you get by going with the superior product.

Additionally, the specification and use of a higher-performance mold-resistant coating at the start of a project can help reduce the likelihood of mold regrowth and the customer callbacks that may result. Backtracking is never efficient and is rarely enjoyable. It is, however, costly. Re-doing the same work twice takes time, labor, energy, and of course materials. Not to mention, with mold, if handled improperly, the likelihood of spores returning is rather high. While there is never a guarantee that mold extraction is 100% successful, with the right coating the chances of mold return are significantly lower.

Investing in the right coating upfront will help you prevent future mold outbreaks, whether you’re working on remediation after mold extraction or building a structure from scratch.

The Environmental Factor

With good reason, the awareness of the environmental impact of various products has come into much sharper focus over the last decade or so. This extends far beyond the scope of remediation and mold prevention, and every industry has begun to take steps toward supporting the wellness of our planet. That’s why the IAQ 6000 was reformulated to be a vinyl-acrylic, water-based coating, which no longer requires the prop 65 warning.

This is a win-win for you and your team. Not only will it allow your brand to gain the reputation of being sustainable and environmentally focused—by supporting and using sustainable products—but the wellness of the planet isn’t the only health issue at stake. The well-being of your team, staff, and contractors are all vital to your ability to go into the field and get work done.

Coating Products and ASTM

Much like other industry-standard and testing organizations, ASTM publishes a wide variety of industry standards and regulations that apply to a spectrum of areas. The ASTM D3273 is the standard test for mold-growth prevention on the surface of an interior environment. Passing this test with the highest rates possible, IAQ 6000 is one of the strongest fungistatic and anti-mold coatings for professional-grade use that’s on the market.

Using products that have been third-party tested should help you rest assured that you and your team are sourcing the safest and highest-quality products that are available. Ultimately, saving you time, energy, and of course, money.

Wrapping Up

Mold is a part of life, and in some ecosystems it’s absolutely vital. However, our homes, businesses, and other personal spaces are absolutely not those ecosystems. Architects and remediation professionals alike have a need for mold-preventative solutions and with IAQ 6000’s new formula, a solution has arrived.

The IAQ 6000 coating is both fungistatic and mold-preventative, requiring only one coat to be effective. The new formula doesn’t require a prop 65 warning as it’s vinyl acrylic and water-based, making it a healthy choice for the environment and your body. It’s also an excellent coating for indoor spaces as it has an 80% photon reflection rate; generating a perfect environment for healthy plant life where you choose to put it, while keeping out the mold from behind your walls.

Finally, there’s the matter of the bottom line. As noted earlier, when compared to the closest competitors that require two coats for coverage, IAQ 6000 only needs one, making the cost comparison a grand slam at a total cost of 76 cents/square foot vs $1.34/square foot.

Environmentally sound, third-party tested, and cost-effective compared to competitors, IAQ 6000 is the right choice for professionals seeking a reliable mold solution.

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