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Archive for August, 2011

Mold in Rentals

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Mold can be found almost anywhere, from attics and basements, to bathrooms, carpets, wall paneling, ceiling tiles, etc. Molds can be black, white, green, or even gray. Some are powdery, while others are fairly shiny.

Some molds are harmless, yet others pose serious health risks to you and your loved ones. But since it is often hard for a novice to tell the difference between a harmless and a harmful mold, all molds you come across should be treated as harmful and dealt with in a timely manner.

But if you live in an apartment or rental home, is it your responsibility to have the mold removed?

For the most part, landlord responsibilities regarding mold are not clearly defined in building codes, ordinances, statutes, or regulations. Some states (Maryland is one of them) and cities do have specific mold laws, explaining how landlords can be held responsible for mold problems. These laws include:

Federal Law. No federal law sets permissible exposure limits or building tolerance standards for mold.

State Laws. California, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana, and Maryland have all passed laws aimed at developing guidelines and regulations for mold in indoor air.

For example, California’s “Toxic Mold Protection Act of 2001″ authorizes the state’s Department of Health Services (DHS) to set permissible levels of indoor mold exposure for sensitive populations (like children, or people with compromised immune systems or respiratory problems). The California law also allows DHS to develop identification and remediation standards for contractors, owners, and landlords and requires landlords to disclose to current and prospective tenants the presence of any known or suspected mold. To date, the DHS has not published its findings.

Local Laws. A few cities have enacted ordinances related to mold. For example:

•      New York City. Landlords in New York City must follow Department of Health guidelines for indoor air quality.

•      San Francisco. In San Francisco, mold is considered a legal nuisance, putting it into the same category as trash accumulation or an infestation of vermin. Tenants (and local health inspectors) can sue landlords under private and public nuisance laws if they fail to clean up serious problems.

If you have found mold in your apartment or rental and you are protected by any of the laws above, it may be time to contact your landlord.

If you have any questions, contact Atlantic Environmental Solutions by calling 877-296-665 or click here today!

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Mold: What is it, How Do You Get Rid of it, and How Can You Prevent it From Growing Again?

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Darkness, moisture, and a lack of ventilation all lead to one thing – mold. Mold is an unwelcome houseguest, but often shows up more than your favorite aunt or uncle. Mold is persistent and does not easily take the hint that you don’t want it around. Sometimes the only way to truly get rid of mold is with the help of a professional remediation service, like Atlantic Environmental Solutions.

But before you go calling in the big boys, it is nice to know what you are dealing with, how to cleanup small outbreaks yourself, and how to prevent future mold growth. This article from PlanetGreen.com can help. It outlines several interesting and useful facts about mold.

  1. Molds are microscopic life forms that can be found outdoors or indoors. Not all molds are bad; for instance, those used to make cheese and antibiotics are good. Toxic or allergenic molds that grow indoors, however, are bad news.
  2. Beyond being gross and smelly, mold can be seriously dangerous to your health. There are a variety of molds, and many have been linked to a number of symptoms, including allergic reactions, headaches, dizziness, decreased concentration, agitation, and severe asthma. Some people are especially vulnerable to mold exposure: infants and children, the elderly, pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems and people with existing respiratory conditions.
  3. Trust your nose: if you smell mildew, there is a problem somewhere. Don’t delay in eradicating it at its source. If you can’t find where the odor is originating, hire professionals to do it for you.
  4. In addition to harming people, an untreated mold problem can cause tremendous property damage. The cleanup of which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Again, get to the source early.
  5. If your mold problem is small (a few square feet), you can probably do the cleanup yourself. Always wear rubber gloves and a quality mask. While bleach may remove mold from the surface, a proper mildewcide needs to be used to kill mold and mold spores.
  6. If the problem is greater than a few square feet, it’s recommended that you hire a professional to remove the mold for you.
  7. To prevent mold, make sure rooms are well-ventilated. Invest in the right sized air conditioner or humidifier for rooms during humid months. In the colder months, proper insulation of exterior walls helps prevent condensation on inner walls.

If you have any questions, contact Atlantic Environmental Solutions by calling 877-296-665 or click here today!

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10 Mold Prevention Tips

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Mold can be a hazard for both your health and the environment of your home. Therefore, you should take preventative measures in order to ensure that mold is not growing in your spaces. According to this article from Planet Green there are 10 steps to mold prevention.

1. Keep Humidity Low
The less humidity in the air, the less moisture, the less mold. The EPA recommends a humidity level of 30-50%.

 

2. Give Your Roof Some Love
Make sure to keep your roof in working order. A leaky roof leads to a moldy house. Make sure to keep your gutter in good stead as well.

 

3. Clean Up Spill Quickly
If you can clean the area within 24-48 hours, mold will probably not grow.

 

4. Air Conditioners
Keep air conditioner pans clean and drain lines working correctly.

 

5. Showers
Open the window or run the exhaust fan when showering. Opening the windows is the electricity-free choice.

 

6. Vent Appliances
Vent appliances that create moisture to the outside when possible.

 

7. Increase Ventilation
Open windows when possible.

 

8. Cold Pipes
Cover those cold pipes with insulation.

 

9.  Increase Air Temperature
The EPA says increase air temperature, but we are all trying to reduce our home’s air temperature to save energy. What to do? Increasing your insulation may be a better overall solution. A dehumidifier is another option.

 

10. Keep Water Away from Foundation
Make sure the ground slopes downward away from your home. Water pooling around the foundation of your house is a sure recipe for mold.

 

For more suggestions on your home environment contact Atlantic Environmental Solutions here today!

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The How and Why of Black Mold Removal

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Not all mold is harmful, but others – like Stachybotrys, also known as black mold – can cause adverse health problems, like: swollen, irritated, itchy and burning eyes; weight loss; constant dull, throbbing headache accompanied by sneezing; red and itchy skin; increased risk of asthma and respiratory problems; and increased susceptibility to other infectious diseases. In the most severe exposures to the fungus, brain damage, lung cancer and even death can occur.

This article from Articlebase.com explains the importance of proper mold removal and remediation.

In order to lessen health risks, black mold should be removed as soon as possible after it has been discovered.  It has a harmful toxin that affects normal body functions.

If you feel as if you have been exposed, a simple blood test can be administered to find out. Exposure to mold is seen in the human body as an allergic response to something toxic. The body will increase the amount of killer T white blood cells, producing antibodies in an attempt to destroy the mold spores. The doctor will look for a rise in the white blood cell count to confirm or disprove your worries.

Since, like most molds, black mold thrives in areas of high moisture and humidity – like bathrooms, cabinets, kitchens, basements, etc. – the only way to truly be sure you rid yourself of this harmful fungus is to hire a professional mold remediation specialist.

If you have any questions, contact Atlantic Environmental Solutions by calling 877-296-665 or click here today!

Make sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter as well!

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