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Infiltration Forums > Rookie Forum > Thoughts on air quality in a tented structure?(Viewed 226 times)
sunlight location:
Bay Area
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Thoughts on air quality in a tented structure?
< on 2/10/2022 12:51 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
I'm going to try and ask this question without giving away too many details on this location. I've become aware of a structure that is currently covered in a plastic tent as a method of preservation while the local authorities figure out how to fund a restoration. Additionally, the windows and doors have been closed, so there's really two layers of isolation on this structure. The building is made out of a kind of wood known to decay slowly. It has been covered in this way for at least a year.

As far as I can tell, the main hazard associated with exploring this structure would be respiratory, because the structure is covered completely. I would assume animal droppings and a high particulate count are things to worry about, and in part from the guides on the site, I bought a mask to deal with those hazards. In addition, I'm also wondering about the potential for gases from decay to collect in the structure, or whether more experienced explorers would advise preparation for other types of hazards I haven't thought of.

Thanks in advance for the advice!

Aran location:
Grand Junction, CO
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Re: Thoughts on air quality in a tented structure?
<Reply # 1 on 2/10/2022 1:00 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
Plastic tent in my experience often means asbestos abatement, though there's certainly other reasons for putting one up such as general water-proofing. If it's for asbestos abatement, then they're tearing out the old asbestos and stirring it up so you'll want a P100 respirator or higher and a change of clothes to prevent tracking it everywhere in your house. If it's just for general weather protection than the air quality is no worse than you'd expect from most construction sites.

But the thing is, that's usually plastic tarp sheets over doors and windows, or else plastic sheeting hung from scaffolding. If it's a circus tent setup you might be looking at a fumigation attempt to flush out pests that inhabited it while it was abandoned. In that case, there's definitely a respiratory hazard and possibly a skin contact hazard from whatever it is exterminators use in fumigations. If it's an old wooden structure they plan on renovating at some point, than a termite infestation would certainly fit the bill.

As for toxic gases from the decay itself, that's usually only a problem in sealed places full of organic matter, such as sewers, some storm drains, and some caves. Perhaps in a particularly foul basement it could maybe be an issue, but in my experience the only kind of gas you need to worry about in above-ground structures are gas leaks.

[last edit 2/10/2022 1:05 AM by Aran - edited 2 times]

"Sorry, I didn't know I'm not supposed to be here," he said, knowing full well he wasn't supposed to be there.

sunlight location:
Bay Area
 |  | 
Re: Thoughts on air quality in a tented structure?
<Reply # 2 on 2/10/2022 9:32 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER ForumQuote
From my understanding, the plastic is not for asbestos abatement, just to preserve the building until they figure out what to do with it. However, I didn't consider fumigation, and you guessed correctly that it's a mostly wooden structure with a circus-type tent. So I'll make sure to look into that. If the building is being fumigated, it might be a dealbreaker for me Don't want to go the same way as the bugs

Thanks for all the information. And for a very fast response time!

Infiltration Forums > Rookie Forum > Thoughts on air quality in a tented structure?(Viewed 226 times)

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