Blackwell’s, Inc. Uses Hospital Technique to Prevent Spread of Contaminants

negative air pressure containment

One of the techniques hospitals use to prevent spread of illness is a technique we often use in industrial facilities where we are working.

Hospitals use ventilation techniques to create isolation rooms to keep an infectious patient separate from other people to prevent the spread of the infectious illness. These isolation rooms work because of negative air pressure.

Similar Isolation Techniques in Industrial Cleaning and Industrial Flooring

When we are in industrial facilities doing industrial cleaning or industrial flooring, we create all kinds of dusts and contaminants (especially if the work involves demolition). Just like the hospital, we take steps to contain and prevent spreading of these dusts and contaminants from the room to other parts of the facility. If not contained, these contaminants can be harmful to workers and to sensitive industrial equipment in the facility.

How Blackwell’s Inc. Creates Isolation Rooms

We create isolation or containment rooms by using plastic sheeting to create barriers. Air naturally flows from areas with higher pressure to areas with lower pressure. A ventilation system (industrial fan) removes more air from the containment room than air allowed to come back inside the room. This creates the negative pressure inside the room.

Air is allowed into the containment room through a gap (typically about a half-inch or so high). Except for this gap, we make the containment room as airtight as possible. That means little or no additional air coming into the room through cracks and gaps. There are usually gaps galore in industrial facilities with their many ceiling joists, windows, light fixtures, and electrical outlets. These gaps are blocked with plastic or other material.

Negative Air Pressure Prevents Contaminated Air Escaping

Negative air pressure inside the containment room allows air to flow into the containment room but not out. Leakage can compromise negative room pressure we try to create.

Photos Show Both Positive and Negative Air Pressure Rooms Constructed by Blackwell’s, Inc.

Depending on the location in a facility where the industrial cleaning or industrial flooring work is, a positive air pressure room might be used. The accompanying photos show both positive and negative air pressure rooms.

The positive air pressure room is protecting sensitive equipment inside the room. Any air leak in this room would escape into the room where the actual work is taking place.

The negative air pressure room is containing any dusts or contaminants in the room where the work is actually being done from escaping.

Both rooms work because of one of the most important concepts of physics . . . air pressure.

positive air pressure barrier
Positive Air Pressure Expands the Plastic Barrier
negative air pressure containment
Negative Air Pressure Contracts the Plastic Barrier
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