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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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Benefits of Getting Your Air Ducts Cleaned

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Indoor air quality has quickly become one of the premier health issues of our time. And with the American Lung Association reporting that indoor air pollution has become “significantly more prevalent in homes and businesses,” and the Environmental Protection Agency declaring “6 out of 10 homes are ‘sick,’” it is becoming increasingly apparent that homeowners and businesses need take steps to improve their air quality.

Unhealthy air can result in respiratory problems such as asthma, allergies, poor sleep patterns, headaches, and fatigue. But there is hope. One way to combat indoor air pollution is to have your ductwork professionally inspected and cleaned.

This article from AmericanLungAssociationCarDonation.Blogspot.com explains the benefits of that process.

Duct cleaning, which should be performed by a licensed professional using a special machine, consists of cleaning the air duct passages, heat exchanger, fan motor, vent registers and other components that collect dirt, dust, mold/mildew and other debris.

Benefits of duct cleaning include:

1 When you have your ducts cleaned you are creating a healthier indoor environment. Pollen, dirt, dust, dirt, bacteria, mold, pet dander, and other harmful substances can accumulate in the air ducts. When the air blows through the ducts, the harmful substances are released in the room air causing sickness. By having the ducts cleaned, your breathing will improve, your sinuses will clear up, you notice a drastic drop in sneezing and coughing, there will be less build up of dust and dirt on the furniture, you will sleep better and wake up more rested and alert. As well, your children and pets will be healthier. There will also be an improvement in odor of the room. Your room air will be clean and fresh.

2. Having your air duct cleaned is good for your heating and cooling unit. When there is an accumulation of foreign matter in the ducts and heating/cooling system, the system will not work as well, it will actually work harder to heat the rooms. This will cause strain on the system which can cause a break down. As well, working harder will cause an increase in your heating bills. A clean duct system will increase efficiency and lower your heating costs.

3. Without cleaning, over time ducts moisture and debris will accumulate. This environment will result in the growth of mold, fungi, mildew, and bacteria. As well, mice or rats running through the ducts will leave their droppings behind resulting in further contamination. Dust mites and ants will also accumulate and leave their waste. All of these contaminates will blow through a home and cause sickness when inhaled. Having your air ducts cleaned will keep air ducts dry and remove the breeding environment for vermin, insects, and prevent further infestation.

So do the right thing and have your air ducts professionally cleaned and inspected. This will not only improve your health (and your family’s health) but it will also extend the life of your heating a cooling unit. So what are you waiting for? Schedule a cleaning as soon as possible. If you have any questions, contact Atlantic Environmental Solutions by calling 877-296-665 or click here today!

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Symptoms of Black Mold Poisoning

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Many molds are pretty harmless, but others, like black mold (also known as toxic mold), can be dangerous. Black mold is a type of fungi that grows on anything – from walls, wood, inside air conditioners, clothes, food, carpets, etc. – in humid/damp areas with very little light.

This article from Buzzle.com outlines the signs of Black Mold, symptoms of Black Mold poisoning and tips for controlling Black Mold.

What are the signs of Mold?

  1. Moisture on the surfaces: Mold loves moisture. It is one of the key components of mold growth.
  2. Stains on the wall: Yellowish stain, due to moisture, can greatly help initial mold growth. If you start to see greenish, blackish or brownish patches sprout up, that is probably mold.
  3. Odor: A musty odor almost always indicates mold growth.
  4. Respiratory system response in the people: If anyone in your houshold begins to develop respiratory problems (allergies, asthma, etc.), then in that case there is a possibility of high mold growth.
  5. Poisoning due to mold: Poisoning due to the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) formed by mold is one of the most prominent sign of potential mold growth.

Symptoms of black mold poisoning:

o    Uneasiness in respiration

o    Headaches

o    Cough

o    Red eyes

o    Development of rashes and hives on skin

o    Nausea

o    Memory loss

o    In some cases, people experience bleeding in lungs

o    Lethargy

o    Dizziness

o    Lack in concentration

o    Problem caused due to irritation in mucous membranes

o    Asthma

o    Allergic reactions (such as itching of nose, runny nose etc.) of respiratory and/or nervous system etc

o    Irregularity in blood pressure

o    Damaged digestion and respiratory system

o    Infections of urinary track, problems in urination etc.

o    Pain in liver and other internal organs

o    High level or prolonged exposure to mold can lead to infertility in the patient

How mold can be controlled? (Tips for controlling mold problem)

o    Moisture is one of the most important factor for the growth of mold. By making it sure that the level of moisture is under check you can keep molds at bay. (Relative humidity i.e. RH can help in finding out when you need to dehumidify your building/house)

o    If there is any water leakage/intrusion, pipe leak, roof leak, condensation problem etc; it should be prevented first.

o    Ensure the air conditioners, HVAC systems, and air/ventilation ducts are clean. Normally mold formed in these systems are more dangerous as it easily escapes the human eye inspection.

o    Bathrooms are the most prone places for mold formation and growth. The tiles, curtains and appliances inside the bathrooms should be properly cleaned/removed in order to avoid mold formation.

o    If possible, use air purifiers to cleanse the air inside your house. Air purifiers can help in reducing the airborne particles of mold spores.

o    Now a day, there are many paints/anti mold products available in market that can resist moisture and/or mold at certain level. Using such products can also help in prevention of mold.

Mold is nothing to play around with. If you think you have the early signs of mold, contact a professional mold remediation service as soon as possible. If you have any questions, contact Atlantic Environmental Solutions by calling 877-296-665 or click here today!

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Mold in Residential Buildings: How to Limit Mold Growth

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Mold is everywhere. Sorry. That is just a fact. It is an essential part of the ecosystem; it is necessary for recycling organic materials, which is required to sustain plant and animal life.

As important as mold is to the environment, no one wants mold to start growing in their home or place of business. But, at some time or another, you will probably encounter indoor mold. When this happens, it is important to deal with the outbreak as quickly as possible, because, when inhaled, mold spores are unhealthy. Mold has been linked to asthma problems, allergies and other reparatory diseases.

This article from NAHB Research Center explains how mold grows in residential buildings and how you can deal with mold when you find it.

Mold spores are airborne and, no matter what you do, they will find their way into your building. The key to keeping this mold from settling in and growing is to eliminate any mold-friendly environments in your home or office.

Listed below are strategies that can help minimize mold growth:

•     Take notice of musty odors in the home because they indicate the presence of mold. Look for visible signs of mold and abate the moisture source.

•     Watch for condensation and wet spots and eliminate sources of moisture.

•     Prevent moisture resulting from condensation by increasing surface temperatures or reducing moisture levels in the air. To increase the surface temperature, insulate or increase the circulation of heated air. To reduce moisture levels in the air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify.

•     Perform building and HVAC inspections and maintenance. Repair the condensate drain if the air conditioning system’s drip pan overflows with water.

•     Vent clothes dryers to the outdoors.

•     Run the air conditioner and/or a dehumidifier during the humid months of the year. Controlling indoor air moisture to below 65 percent relative humidity will limit the probability of supporting mold growth.

•     Keep the relative humidity as low as is comfortable during the winter season for houses in cold climates. Mold growth on interior surfaces of exterior walls can occur during the heating season. The combination of cool surfaces and excessive humidity can cause a high near-surface relative humidity and condensation. Experience has shown that an air moisture level below 40 percent relative humidity during the heating season will prevent condensation on surfaces. This level of humidity may not be appropriate for houses in severe cold climates. A sign of excessive humidity is condensation on the inside of windows. If condensation is present for prolonged periods take steps to reduce the moisture source or increase ventilation.

•     Clean and dry any wet or damp areas within 48 hours.

•     Provide drainage for roof rainwater and maintain the ground with a slope that drains water away from the foundation.

•     Repair water leaks in the building envelope as soon as possible.

•     Do not store organic materials such as paper, books, clothes, etc., in humid locations (such as in unconditioned basements).

•     Exercise extra care when cleaning up after water damage from flood and sewer water.

Consider the use of dehumidifiers in areas such as unconditioned basements.

So now you know how to combat your mold infestation. But if the problem persists, or the mold growth is too much for you handle on your own, it may be time to call a professional mold remediation company. If you have any questions, contact Atlantic Environmental Solutions by calling 877-296-665 or click here

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How To Get Rid Of Basement Mold

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

As you have learned throughout our several blogs, there are many different types of mold. Some are harmless, but others can cause serious health problems. One of these harmful molds is stachybotrys, which throws off spores that, once inhaled, can lead to symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome: burning eyes, headaches, fatigue and more.

This article from HowToGetRidOfStuff.com explains everything you need to know about Stachybotrys mold detection, removal and prevention.

If you think you have mold, follow these simple steps:

  1. Reduce your exposure. Avoid potentially mold-infested areas until you are sure they are mold free.
  2. Find the mold. In particular, check for leaks; you’ll generally find mold.
  3. Clean up the mold. If the job is too big for you, call a professional.
  4. Check areas that hold the potential for forming mold. Have a professional point out potential “trouble spots” in your home. Correct them.

Most homeowners can easily treat small patches of mold on their own with a diluted bleach solution. Larger infestations, on the other hand, MUST be treated by a professional. The problem is that it is often hard for the do-it-yourselfer to tell when he/she has a large mold problem since mold likes to hide in dark, often hard to examine, place. If you think you may have a larger mold outbreak than you can deal with, call a professional mold inspector to assess your situation.

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

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How to Choose the Right Water Damage Company

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Water damage can strike at any time – a burst pipe, a leaky roof, a clogged drain, a frozen pipe, etc. – and there is no way to prepare yourself for the shock of the situation. Water damage can leave you scrambling for help as you try to clean up the situation, fix the problem and preserve any personal artifacts that may have been damaged.

The entire process can be frustrating and a little confusing. You have to try and determine the next course of action while still coping with the loss of your personal effects. One way to ease the burden on yourself is to hire an experienced professional water damage restoration service.

This article from WaterDamageMoldCleanup.com explains just how you can find the right water damage restoration company.

Do your research and look for a well-qualified restoration company with plenty of experience handling water and/or sewage removal, restoration and other tasks such as mold removal. Hiring the right water damage service can provide you the ease of mind you need to get through the whole ordeal. Not only will a good restoration company help repair your damaged home, but they may also be able to speed up the insurance paperwork, helping you to get your life back on track.

So make sure you ask plenty of questions before choosing your water damage restoration company. If you have any questions, contact Atlantic Environmental Solutions by calling 877-296-665 or click here today!

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What is Toxic Mold?

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

We all know that mold is a problem. It infiltrates our homes, damages our possessions and costs us countless dollars to remove. But did you also know that certain molds are toxic? It’s true. While not all molds are harmful, some species release mycotoxins – liquid or gas compounds that adversely affect human health.

This article from Allergy-Details.com seeks to better explain the effects of toxic mold.

Toxic molds cause health problems in a few different ways – through toxic effects, allergic reactions, immunotoxic effects and infections. While allergic reactions and infections do not fall under the toxic effects of mold, they are still fairly serious and should be addressed quickly. Toxic mold refers to either the toxic or immunotoxic effects of mold.

Some mycotoxins have a serious poisonous effect on the human body, often damaging the internal organs and nervous system. Many of these mycotoxins are also carcinogenic and after too much exposure can cause cancer. So if you find mold in your home, it is important to act quickly. Call a mold specialist to come out and examine the contamination to see what type of mold you have.

If you have any questions, contact Atlantic Environmental Solutions by calling 877-296-6653 or click here today!

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What is Mold?

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

You know one thing for sure – mold is bad. But what is mold and where does it come from? How can you identify mold in your home? More importantly, how do you get rid of it once you find it? This article from Allergy-Details.com helps to answer those tough questions.

First of all, mold is a multi-celled fungus. No one really knows how many species of mold exist, but one thing is for certain – it is a lot. Estimates are in the hundreds of thousands of species. Some are useful, some are edible and some are toxic. So it is important to know what you are dealing with before you attempt to handle your mold outbreak yourself.

First you need to understand what mold needs to grow. Once you understand this, you will be able to both eliminate and prevent future mold outbreaks. Mold needs moisture, nutrients, and the correct temperature to grow. Too much heat will kill mold, while colder climates will slow mold growth.

For these reasons, mold tends to appear in basements and bathrooms where the conditions are just right to facilitate growth.  But this does not mean mold will stay where it first appears. Mold spreads over long distances by releasing spores. These spores float through the air, eventually landing on a random surface. If that surface is moist with the right nutrients, a new mold colony will begin to grow.

Not only are these spores integral in the spread of mold, but they are also the main trigger for allergies. When inhaled in excessive quantities, mold spores can affect your health. So if you find yourself with a mold infestation, you should act quickly. Call a professional to come in and assess your situation.

If you have any questions, contact Atlantic Environmental Solutions by calling 877-296-6653 or click here today!

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Flooding: When is a Mold Clean up Job Complete?

Monday, March 28th, 2011

If you have ever had a mold infestation, you know just how time consuming and costly it can be to deal with. But how do you know when the job is done correctly and you no longer need to re-check for mold? The last thing any homeowner wants is another mold outbreak.

This article helps to answer those tough questions and identifies when you should order your post mold remediation clearance inspection and test.

There are a few things you should do after a mold cleanup.

  • Mold Clearance Inspections: After you have any large area of mold removed, you should hire an independent expert to inspect and test the building for mold before you pay the cleaning contractor. Be sure that the post mold-remediation clearance inspection includes a thorough visual inspection. Simple screening tests for the presence or absence of mold are not reliable. The last thing you want is to pay for an unsuccessful mold cleanup.
  • There should be no visible mold in the building: If you can see it, it is still there, meaning the something went wrong during the mold removal process.
  • All demolition and cleaning should have been completed before the mold clearance inspection is begun: Why test for mold if you are not finished the job? There is obviously still mold.
  • No moldy building contents should have been left in or stored in the building, and nothing that was removed from the building should have been returned unless it has been cleaned: So not be foolish. Clean everything thoroughly. You do not want to risk another mold outbreak.
  • There should be no wet areas in the building, including no hidden wet areas in building cavities or behind floor baseboard or trim: Mold likes moisture. So eliminate the moisture and you will hopefully keep the mold from coming back.
  • The building should not smell moldy: If you smell mold, there probably is mold.
  • Occupants returning to the building should not have an allergic or respiratory-distress or respiratory illness response that appears related to being inside the building. If this occurs, consult your doctor. People exposed to mold, allergens, and stress can become hyper sensitized to mold and other respiratory irritants.
  • Mold work area containment systems such as plastic barriers should be left in place until after a successful mold clearance inspection, including the lab work.

If you have any questions concerning mold, its removal or detection, please contact Atlantic Environmental Solutions by calling 877-296-6653 or click here today!

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