September is historically the time of year with the most optimal conditions for the formation of hurricanes in the mid-Atlantic region. Because of the high amounts of humidity and warm air in the Caribbean, its geographical location houses the perfect conditions for catastrophic hurricanes. In fact, this year marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Maria, the deadly Category 5 hurricane that devastated the northeastern Caribbean in September 2017.
As a result of Hurricane Maria, the island of Puerto Rico lost most of its essential services’ infrastructure, communities were leveled, many were displaced, and thousands of lives were lost. Five years after the disaster, the reconstruction and restoration efforts on the island are still ongoing. Following the immediate devastation in 2017, Abatement Technologies customer and restoration expert, Pat Dooley, was contracted to fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to do an assessment of the flood damage in the Mall of San Juan, a 1,580,000 square-foot shopping mall that first opened its doors in 2015. Upon initial assessment, Pat and his team discovered that nearly 18 inches of water had flooded the mall.
As a result of the hurricane, there were travel and equipment delays that prohibited Pat and his team from arriving in Puerto Rico until 14 days after the hurricane had already passed. Because mold incubates from a spore for 12 to 24 hours, and starts showing visual signs of growth in 48 to 72 hours, the team was challenged upon arrival with remediating severe mold growth. When remediating mold, it’s important to remove every spore to prevent regrowth. Because of this, workers had to cut and remove drywall and other materials, which lead to dust and other potentially harmful particles in the air.
In order to safely contain the mold, Pat and his team decided to bring in 100 of Abatement Technologies’ air filtration devices. These devices were situated throughout the mall to help remove any harmful particulates, bioaerosols and volatile organic compounds that were released into the air during the project. By leveraging this equipment, the team was able to help protect the short and long-term health of those involved and helped ensure that they were breathing the cleanest air possible.
As a remediation and restoration expert, Pat is an IICRC Instructor and is the founder of what is known today as the Applied Structural Drying Course. Leveraging his education and experiences, like the project in Puerto Rico, Pat has carried out water restoration projects with a total value of nearly $14.7 million and has participated in numerous natural disaster restoration projects. With a passion for helping and protecting people, Abatement Technologies is proud to work with remediation and restoration experts, like Pat, to deliver the best solutions available in the market.
Contact our team today to learn more about our air filtration devices and other restoration and remediation products!