How Spring Flooding Can Impact Your HVAC System

Homeowners that have been hit by spring flooding will be turning to restoration contractors to help restore their homes.  One of the components of the home that will require attention as part of the water damage restoration process is the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning [HVAC] System.  In this post, we’ll share:

  • An overview of the HVAC system
  • How the HVAC system can become contaminated in a flood 
  • The process of cleaning and restoring the HVAC System after a flood


HVAC System Overview

HVAC Diagram

HVAC System Diagram

The HVAC system is what controls the air quality and comfort in your home.  The system is typically made up of a furnace, air conditioner [AC], air ducts, supply vents, and return air vents and a furnace filter.  The furnace warms air [or AC cools the air] which is then blown through the air ducts and out the supply vents into the rooms in your home.  The return air vents pull air from the room and bring it back towards the furnace.  The air passes through a furnace filter before entering the furnace and repeating the cycle.W

While the HVAC system is in operation, it is “breathing” in and out.  It is the lungs of the home.


How Flooding Impacts the HVAC System

HVAC System is the lungs of your home

HVAC System is breathing in and out while operating

A home’s HVAC system can become contaminated in several different ways when flooding occurs.  The main culprits include: 

  • Contaminated flood water enters home and makes its way through the supply or return air vents and into the ductwork.
  • Contaminated water rises in the basement where the furnace is located and enters the furnace.
  • When things get wet for more than two days they usually become mouldy. Mould spores can become airborne and are then transported through the HVAC System.

Since the HVAC System is all interconnected, once one component in the system becomes contaminated, the entire system quickly becomes contaminated.  A contaminated system will have a significant impact on the overall indoor air quality.


Industry Standards Pertaining to Flooding and HVAC System

IICRC S500 Standard

IICRC S500 Standard

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) S500 is a procedural standard.  The S500 states that “since HVAC Systems circulate the air that workers and occupants breathe when the system is operating both during and after restoration, it is a critical component in the overall water damage restoration plan.”

The S500 explains that whenever the mechanical system has been impacted by water, the system should be inspected and cleaned as necessary by a NADCA [National Air Duct Cleaning Association] certified firm in accordance with NADCA Standard.

Since the HVAC System is all interconnected, once one component in the system becomes contaminated, the entire system requires cleaning.


The Cleaning Process

Bringing Furnace Out Of TruckAfter water has contaminated the HVAC system and the system, the first step is to drain and dry the system.  Next, the proprietary PURAIR Vacuum will be brought into the home and connected to the ductwork at the furnace.  Negative pressure will be applied to the system using the PURAIR Vacuum.  The indoor air quality technician will then go to each individual vent and register.  They will use high pressure air to blow any dust and debris down into the main ductwork. 

The technician will then use the PUR CURx Contact Cleaning System to scrub all four sides of the ductwork.  This will happen while the system is under suction to remove any remaining dust and debris.  The furnace including the fan, fan compartment, and A/C coil will then be cleaned.  The entire system will then be treated with a botanical disinfectant.  A new furnace filter will then be installed.  The system will be restarted and tested to ensure it is on the correct settings.


Who is Modern PURAIR?

Modern PURAIR® makes Indoor Air Quality easy. We are known for our clean shiny trucks, up front rates, uniformed PURAIR® technicians.  We help our clients make their homes’, business’, offices’, schools, hospitals, and ANY building experience clean air, simply by lifting one finger and calling our top ranked in-bound sales center.

  • Western Canada’s largest restoration duct cleaning service provider
  • Western Canada’s largest NADCA certified organization
  • Exclusive cleaning systems for accountability
  • Insurance friendly, paperless invoicing system for faster turnaround
  • Industry leading 30-day satisfaction guarantee