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Air Quality Assessors Blog


When Humidity Rears Its Ugly Head
When Humidity Rears Its Ugly Head


What is Humidity? 

Humidity is described as the amount of water vapor or water molecules that are currently present in the air. So, what causes humidity in the air to begin with? It can all be traced back to the water cycle and wind patterns on the planet. When it rains and water reaches the ground, it evaporates back into the atmosphere when it reaches a certain temperature. When you hear meteorologists talking about humidity, they are referring to "relative humidity". What does that mean? This term simply compares the current amount of moisture in the air to the total amount of moisture that the air can hold.


Where Humidity is Most Common

Warm air can hold more water than cold air, which is why you experience those unbearably hot and humid days during the summer months. So, it's safe to say that you can usually expect higher levels of humidity in warm climates, especially if they are by a large body of water or experience a lot of rainfall. Humidity is often pushed up from wind currents originating from humid places around the world. This is exactly what causes changes in weather.


Indoor Humidity 

Humidity outside is one thing to deal with, and humidity indoors is another. The level of humidity in your home can impact the concentration of indoor air pollutants, which relates to the overall air quality. Having excess moisture in your house creates the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to form. Mold in the home can cause a variety of health disturbances, and it can affect the structural integrity of your home if it goes unchecked. Headaches, dizziness, respiratory issues, and asthma symptoms are some of the health dangers that mold in the household can bring. Mold caused by high humidity levels can wreak havoc on your health, emotional state, and bank account if you have to resort to remediation! This is why it is important to control the level of humidity in your home, especially in unfavorable weather conditions.


Controlling Humidity in the Home

You might be wondering, "How do I keep the humidity of my house in check in a climate like Florida?", and we're here to give you some tips. It is recommended to consistently use a dehumidifier in your house if you are experiencing excess humidity indoors, even in the cool winter months. Depending on the weather, you may need to adjust the dehumidifier when it does cool down a bit. You can also get a hygrometer, which is a small tool that measures the relative humidity level in a room. You generally want the relative humidity level to be between 35 and 45 percent, depending on your household. When using a dehumidifier, you'll want to be certain you're replacing the filters and cleaning it as needed. If you're using a dehumidifier with a dirty filter, mold and bacteria can grow quite easily, and those spores will go right into the air.

Could Where You Live Be Making You Sick?
Could Where You Live Be Making You Sick?
When you're sick for any amount of time, you naturally want to narrow down the cause of your illness. Yet, not everyone knows that where you're living could be making you sick and contribute to long-term illnesses. For many, it's hard to fathom that the place they call home could cause harm to their health. There are many environmental factors that affect our well being, and some locations are better than others when it comes to air quality. If you're somebody who experiences chemical sensitivity or chronic illness, it's very important to know what is going on around you. Otherwise, you could continue to get ill from breathing in the air that's around you, even if you're doing everything else right!


Your Location

Each state in the US has its own level of air quality, and it varies wildly from one place to the next. States like California and New York have some of the highest levels of air pollution, due to large populations. Some localities have strict regulations on pollution, and others do not. Did you know that more than 4 out of 10 Americans live in a place that has air which is considered unhealthy? 

That's almost half of the entire country, which is alarming! Air pollution is especially common in cities where a lot of traffic and corporate entities emit pollutants into the air. That pollution has to go somewhere, and most times it's right into the air that you breathe. 


Climate change is another factor that contributes to pollution. The American Lung Institute has said that warmer temperatures can worsen the air quality and makes ozone damage harder to clean up. You can find air quality reports of your exact zip code by doing some research online.


Consequences of City Life

Living in a city, it can be hard to avoid pollution, even while you're in your own home. If you live in a building that is close in proximity to a business such as a nail salon, huge corporation with billowing smokestacks, or any entity that uses a lot of chemicals, your health could very well suffer. These chemicals can make their way into the air in your home and wreak havoc on your health! This is especially true if they're in the same building as you. Mixed-use buildings are extremely common in large city areas. If you are moving into one of these units, be sure to verify what type of businesses also occupy the structure.


Environmental Impacts

If you live in a place that is subject to forest fires such as California or Colorado, you have the potential to incur even more damage to your lungs. This is because wildfires produce microscopic particles that are unhealthy for your respiratory system, and can cause both short term and long term damage by lodging deep into your lungs. This can cause asthma symptoms, lung cancer, and even heart attacks and strokes.

How To Know If Your Air Quality Is Safe
How To Know If Your Air Quality Is Safe


June is National Healthy Homes Month. This serves as a reminder of the importance of air quality in your home. Did you know that American spend nearly ninety percent of their time indoors on average? To thrive and stay healthy, it's vital to begin with adequate household air quality. 

 

The Risks of Poor Air Quality

If there are harmful substances in the house, like mold or any other organic or chemical pollutants (VOC's), health conditions can arise. Your symptoms could be as simple as nagging, persistent respiratory irritation. With repeated exposure, it can be as serious as cancer or cardiovascular issues. If there are children or immune compromised individuals in the household, it becomes that much more of a pressing issue. These groups are more likely to become negatively affected by poor air quality.


Know the Signs

There are some signs you can look out for to give you a better idea if you need to get the quality of your air tested. Is anybody in the home experiencing unexplained allergies or a sudden change in health? It could be a reaction to a pollutant in the house. Perhaps you've recently dealt with a flood or household leak and smell a musty odor, but you're not sure where it's coming from. There could be a mold issue lurking in an unseen spot such as behind the walls or underneath floorboards. Simply being curious about the overall safety of your home is reason enough to get your air tested!


Steps to Take

If you're concerned about the quality of your air and want to get it tested, there are options to consider. There are home testing kits available online which offer a convenient starting point. The most common kits test for mold, radon, and other VOCs. If your test results show poor indoor air quality, don't panic! There are different steps you can take immediately. You can ventilate the area, balance the humidity level with a dehumidifier, and change the filters on your furnace and air conditioner.


Why Call a Professional

Regardless of how bad your air quality issue is, it's always the best idea to get in touch with a professional as soon as you can. Air quality test kits can give you a general idea of the issue. However, you won't truly know the severity of the damage until an expert evaluates the problem at hand. Plus, if you don't understand the kit completely, you could get false results. From dust mites to tobacco smoke and pesticides, there are a lot of potential sources of pollutants in a home. This can make it hard to narrow down the source of the issue. 


Professional air quality assessors can accurately diagnose the problem and give you the best plan of action to fix the issue as soon as possible. You will feel great peace of mind when you're completely informed about the quality of the air in your home! Get in touch with a professional, such as Air Quality Assessors,  today for steps you can take to make sure the air is the best it can be for the health of your family.


Who Do You Call for Mold Inspection?
Who Do You Call for Mold Inspection?

Many people aren’t familiar with what we do at Air Quality Assessors until they find themselves dealing with an issue they’ve never dealt with before. Mold can be a troublesome disturbance to deal with, but luckily there are knowledgeable experts that can solve your problem so you don’t have to. We want you to be informed on how to make an educated decision on who to go to when you find you’re dealing with mold and know the full process, so here are some things to consider when you find yourself faced with a mold problem.

 

There is perhaps no houseguest more unwelcome than mold. Not only is it unsightly; untreated mold can grow out of control and cause an abundance of problems, including structural damage and even severely harm your family’s health. We aren't talking about a little bit of bathroom mold and mildew. We are talking about dangerous embedded growth that you can't get rid of by turning on your vent fan.

 

If you see any of the following signs of mold in your home, you should call the qualified inspectors at Air Quality Assessors right away:

 

·      Unexplained musty odors in any part of your home

·      Finding mysterious dirt or soot

·      Bubbling paint

·      Brown stains on your ceiling

·      Condensation such as fogged windows

·      History of past flooding or water damage

·      Health symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, rashes, congestion or headaches

 

Mold Inspection vs. Mold Treatment

The state of Florida mandates that the same company that tests for mold cannot treat any mold that may be found on your property. This is for the protection of consumer’s health and safety and to make sure you are getting the most accurate and honest service. Air Quality Assessors specializes in the detection, testing, and assessment of mold. Our three-pronged approach to mold evaluation guarantees that your home will be thoroughly vetted. If any mold is found, we will then refer you to one of our trusted mold removal partners who will work with you to make sure your property is completely clear of any damaging fungi.

 

At Air Quality Assessors, our mold testing specialists are trained and certified as Florida Licensed Mold Inspectors with the training and experience necessary to find the past and current mold growth. Not only do we check for mold, but if you have a mold problem you most likely have other hidden issues you should get inspected.

 

Our specialties include:

·      Mold assessment

·      Allergen testing

·      Water testing

·      Written protocols for mold remediation

·      Mold inspection

·      Chinese drywall

·      Bedbug DNA testing on mattresses and other surfaces

 

Here are a few things you’ll want to know about mold inspections with Air Quality Assessors:

 

We look for both past and current growth. Past mold indicates a water problem which may return if there is a specific problem like a recurring leak. 

 

We inspect both inside and outside your home. This is to find places where hidden mold can cause structural problems like inside walls and crawlspaces.

 

Some mold growth is normal. The operative word is some. However, we will test all mold found to determine if it is harmful or could be a problem in the future.

 

We look for moisture. Water is mold’s best friend so we check your property for sources of moisture that could contribute to mold growth.

 

So you feel confident is choosing Air Quality Assessors for your mold and indoor air quality needs, here is a little information about us. We have been serving Central Florida since 2010 and have almost 20 years of professional experience in the mold testing and remediation field. We operate in complete confidentiality and partner with trusted Indoor Environmental Professionals to give you unbiased results and the fast, effective solution you need to keep your home healthy and strong. 


 


Pollen Allergens | Indoor Air Quality
Pollen Allergens | Indoor Air Quality

 

 

Every year, millions of allergy sufferers are affected by pollen.  Pollen is a powdery yellow substance found on plants to help them reproduce.  In some cases, plants can fertilize themselves, but other plants rely on cross-pollination. As insects, birds, and the wind carry pollen between plants, some of the tiny particles inevitably drop. The pollen particles are then available to enter our nose, eyes, and throat, triggering varying allergies.  Pollen can travel hundreds of miles, so attempting to rid your yard of the offending plants will not help.  Ragweed, a common plant affecting many allergy sufferers, can produce over one million grains of pollen per day.  Fighting the allergenic pollen can seem like an insurmountable task.  Pollen is here to stay, but there are tips and tricks to help you cope. 

 

            Pollen allergies can last throughout the entire year, as several plants pollinate year-round.  The pollen count is dependent upon your location, and the duration of the season.  Pollen from trees is released during the spring, grass pollen is released during the summer, and weed pollen circulates during the fall.  Tens of millions of Americans are affected by pollen allergies every year and suffer from sneezing, nasal congestion, running nose, coughing, headaches, itchy and watery eyes, and wheezing, a lot of which can occur in your home. Indoor allergen levels can determine how impacted allergy sufferers will be indoors whether it be due to raised levels of pollen, mold, or chemicals. Pollen allergies can also exacerbate symptoms with asthma suffers indoors and outdoors.

 

            Loose pollen in the air can attach on skin, clothing, shoes, hair, and pets.  Once pollen enters your home it can cling to carpet fibers and furniture, and recirculate as you move around your home.  Attempting to keep pollen out of your home is challenging, but not impossible.  There are a few preemptive measures you can take to help make your home a no-pollen zone.  First, you want to keep your car in the garage.  If you do not have a garage, consider hosing down your car frequently.  Pollen can stick to your car, door handles, and windows, and spread easily anytime you touch the car or lower a window.  Next, check your shoes at the door.  Always wipe your feet, and then leave shoes and outerwear at the entry way or mud room.  Purify yourself – especially if you’ve been working outside.  Immediately throw clothing in the washing machine to prevent tracking the pollen throughout your house.  You also want to shower immediately, and always wash your hair before going to bed to prevent pollen-contaminated pillows and bedding.  Next, you want to make sure your indoor-outdoor pets are wiped down and brushed before returning indoors.  Another way to limit the pollen count from entering your home is to dust and vacuum frequently.  If you have a bagless vacuum, always empty contents in a bag outside.  Another tactic is to keep the windows and doors shut.  While it can be tempting to let in fresh air, pollen also enters the home and contaminates all that fresh air you crave.  Always remember to change HEPA and HVAC filters monthly, to ensure well-maintained units and clean sinuses.  Lastly, limit your time on the porch during high pollen count times.  When the pollen is low, or pollen season is over, clean your porch furniture and hose down the floor and screens. 

 

 To review, here are our best tips for keeping pollen out of your home:

▪   Keep your car in the garage

▪   Check your shoes at the door

▪   Shower and wash clothes after outdoor activities

▪   Bathe your indoor-outdoor pets

▪   Vacuum and dust frequently

▪   Clean outdoor furniture after pollen season

 

            If pollen has already entered your home, you are not out of luck.  You can still remove the pollen from your space with a few easy housekeeping measures.  Make sure to frequently wipe down surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth to trap the particles.  Thoroughly clean all surfaces and ceiling fans, and follow with vacuuming and mopping.  Be sure to use the suction attachment to clean upholstery, and navigate the corners and crevices in your home.  You will also want to wash all bedding in warm water.  Bathe and brush pets, and clean their paws as well.  Change all air filters once per month, and use vent filters for room vents to help trap pollen in the air ducts.

 

            There are many affordable products on the market today that can help improve the air quality in your home and trap the offending pollen particles.  HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters are designed to prevent 99% of pollen from entering the home.  HEPA filters help to clean the indoor air and prevent allergens from circulating.  HEPA filters are used in many air filters, air purifiers, and vacuum cleaners.  When used in conjunction with a well-maintained HVAC system, HEPA filters can drastically improve the air quality of your home. Air Quality Assessors can determine allergen levels in your home and offer advice to help you get through this allergy season.  We are licensed and certified professionals, with 30 years of experience in maintaining high indoor environmental quality.  Call today to schedule an assessment of your indoor air quality, and let us help keep you and your family protected this allergy season.

 

 



nbmmnbm 

Every year, millions of allergy sufferers are affected by pollen.  Pollen is a powdery yellow substance found on plants to help them reproduce.  In some cases, plants can fertilize themselves, but other plants rely on cross-pollination. As insects, birds, and the wind carry pollen between plants, some of the tiny particles inevitably drop. The pollen particles are then available to enter our nose, eyes, and throat, triggering varying allergies.  Pollen can travel hundreds of miles, so attempting to rid your yard of the offending plants will not help.  Ragweed, a common plant affecting many allergy sufferers, can produce over one million grains of pollen per day.  Fighting the allergenic pollen can seem like an insurmountable task.  Pollen is here to stay, but there are tips and tricks to help you cope. 

 

            Pollen allergies can last throughout the entire year, as several plants pollinate year-round.  The pollen count is dependent upon your location, and the duration of the season.  Pollen from trees is released during the spring, grass pollen is released during the summer, and weed pollen circulates during the fall.  Tens of millions of Americans are affected by pollen allergies every year and suffer from sneezing, nasal congestion, running nose, coughing, headaches, itchy and watery eyes, and wheezing, a lot of which can occur in your home. Indoor allergen levels can determine how impacted allergy sufferers will be indoors whether it be due to raised levels of pollen, mold, or chemicals. Pollen allergies can also exacerbate symptoms with asthma suffers indoors and outdoors.

 

            Loose pollen in the air can attach on skin, clothing, shoes, hair, and pets.  Once pollen enters your home it can cling to carpet fibers and furniture, and recirculate as you move around your home.  Attempting to keep pollen out of your home is challenging, but not impossible.  There are a few preemptive measures you can take to help make your home a no-pollen zone.  First, you want to keep your car in the garage.  If you do not have a garage, consider hosing down your car frequently.  Pollen can stick to your car, door handles, and windows, and spread easily anytime you touch the car or lower a window.  Next, check your shoes at the door.  Always wipe your feet, and then leave shoes and outerwear at the entry way or mud room.  Purify yourself – especially if you’ve been working outside.  Immediately throw clothing in the washing machine to prevent tracking the pollen throughout your house.  You also want to shower immediately, and always wash your hair before going to bed to prevent pollen-contaminated pillows and bedding.  Next, you want to make sure your indoor-outdoor pets are wiped down and brushed before returning indoors.  Another way to limit the pollen count from entering your home is to dust and vacuum frequently.  If you have a bagless vacuum, always empty contents in a bag outside.  Another tactic is to keep the windows and doors shut.  While it can be tempting to let in fresh air, pollen also enters the home and contaminates all that fresh air you crave.  Always remember to change HEPA and HVAC filters monthly, to ensure well-maintained units and clean sinuses.  Lastly, limit your time on the porch during high pollen count times.  When the pollen is low, or pollen season is over, clean your porch furniture and hose down the floor and screens. 

 

 To review, here are our best tips for keeping pollen out of your home:

▪   Keep your car in the garage

▪   Check your shoes at the door

▪   Shower and wash clothes after outdoor activities

▪   Bathe your indoor-outdoor pets

▪   Vacuum and dust frequently

▪   Clean outdoor furniture after pollen season

 

            If pollen has already entered your home, you are not out of luck.  You can still remove the pollen from your space with a few easy housekeeping measures.  Make sure to frequently wipe down surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth to trap the particles.  Thoroughly clean all surfaces and ceiling fans, and follow with vacuuming and mopping.  Be sure to use the suction attachment to clean upholstery, and navigate the corners and crevices in your home.  You will also want to wash all bedding in warm water.  Bathe and brush pets, and clean their paws as well.  Change all air filters once per month, and use vent filters for room vents to help trap pollen in the air ducts.

 

            There are many affordable products on the market today that can help improve the air quality in your home and trap the offending pollen particles.  HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters are designed to prevent 99% of pollen from entering the home.  HEPA filters help to clean the indoor air and prevent allergens from circulating.  HEPA filters are used in many air filters, air purifiers, and vacuum cleaners.  When used in conjunction with a well-maintained HVAC system, HEPA filters can drastically improve the air quality of your home. Air Quality Assessors can determine allergen levels in your home and offer advice to help you get through this allergy season.  We are licensed and certified professionals, with 30 years of experience in maintaining high indoor environmental quality.  Call today to schedule an assessment of your indoor air quality, and let us help keep you and your family protected this allergy season.

 

 

Every year, millions of allergy sufferers are affected by pollen.  Pollen is a powdery yellow substance found on plants to help them reproduce.  In some cases, plants can fertilize themselves, but other plants rely on cross-pollination. As insects, birds, and the wind carry pollen between plants, some of the tiny particles inevitably drop. The pollen particles are then available to enter our nose, eyes, and throat, triggering varying allergies.  Pollen can travel hundreds of miles, so attempting to rid your yard of the offending plants will not help.  Ragweed, a common plant affecting many allergy sufferers, can produce over one million grains of pollen per day.  Fighting the allergenic pollen can seem like an insurmountable task.  Pollen is here to stay, but there are tips and tricks to help you cope. 

 

            Pollen allergies can last throughout the entire year, as several plants pollinate year-round.  The pollen count is dependent upon your location, and the duration of the season.  Pollen from trees is released during the spring, grass pollen is released during the summer, and weed pollen circulates during the fall.  Tens of millions of Americans are affected by pollen allergies every year and suffer from sneezing, nasal congestion, running nose, coughing, headaches, itchy and watery eyes, and wheezing, a lot of which can occur in your home. Indoor allergen levels can determine how impacted allergy sufferers will be indoors whether it be due to raised levels of pollen, mold, or chemicals. Pollen allergies can also exacerbate symptoms with asthma suffers indoors and outdoors.

 

            Loose pollen in the air can attach on skin, clothing, shoes, hair, and pets.  Once pollen enters your home it can cling to carpet fibers and furniture, and recirculate as you move around your home.  Attempting to keep pollen out of your home is challenging, but not impossible.  There are a few preemptive measures you can take to help make your home a no-pollen zone.  First, you want to keep your car in the garage.  If you do not have a garage, consider hosing down your car frequently.  Pollen can stick to your car, door handles, and windows, and spread easily anytime you touch the car or lower a window.  Next, check your shoes at the door.  Always wipe your feet, and then leave shoes and outerwear at the entry way or mud room.  Purify yourself – especially if you’ve been working outside.  Immediately throw clothing in the washing machine to prevent tracking the pollen throughout your house.  You also want to shower immediately, and always wash your hair before going to bed to prevent pollen-contaminated pillows and bedding.  Next, you want to make sure your indoor-outdoor pets are wiped down and brushed before returning indoors.  Another way to limit the pollen count from entering your home is to dust and vacuum frequently.  If you have a bagless vacuum, always empty contents in a bag outside.  Another tactic is to keep the windows and doors shut.  While it can be tempting to let in fresh air, pollen also enters the home and contaminates all that fresh air you crave.  Always remember to change HEPA and HVAC filters monthly, to ensure well-maintained units and clean sinuses.  Lastly, limit your time on the porch during high pollen count times.  When the pollen is low, or pollen season is over, clean your porch furniture and hose down the floor and screens. 

 

 To review, here are our best tips for keeping pollen out of your home:

  • Keep your car in the garage
  • Check your shoes at the door
  • Shower and wash clothes after outdoor activities
  • Bathe your indoor-outdoor pets
  • Vacuum and dust frequently
  • Clean outdoor furniture after pollen season

 

            If pollen has already entered your home, you are not out of luck.  You can still remove the pollen from your space with a few easy housekeeping measures.  Make sure to frequently wipe down surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth to trap the particles.  Thoroughly clean all surfaces and ceiling fans, and follow with vacuuming and mopping.  Be sure to use the suction attachment to clean upholstery, and navigate the corners and crevices in your home.  You will also want to wash all bedding in warm water.  Bathe and brush pets, and clean their paws as well.  Change all air filters once per month, and use vent filters for room vents to help trap pollen in the air ducts.

 

            There are many affordable products on the market today that can help improve the air quality in your home and trap the offending pollen particles.  HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters are designed to prevent 99% of pollen from entering the home.  HEPA filters help to clean the indoor air and prevent allergens from circulating.  HEPA filters are used in many air filters, air purifiers, and vacuum cleaners.  When used in conjunction with a well-maintained HVAC system, HEPA filters can drastically improve the air quality of your home. Air Quality Assessors can determine allergen levels in your home and offer advice to help you get through this allergy season.  We are licensed and certified professionals, with 30 years of experience in maintaining high indoor environmental quality.  Call today to schedule an assessment of your indoor air quality, and let us help keep you and your family protected this allergy season.

 


Mold Testing & Inspection in Orlando, FL
Mold Testing & Inspection in Orlando, FL

Mold.

 

It's an ugly word, isn't it?

 

The mere mention of mold can paint a disastrous picture in our minds.

 

Allergy flare-ups. Coughing fits. Cleaning nightmares.

 

And that's just for starters.

 

Here's the really scary thing about mold, though: oftentimes it's hiding right under our noses and we don't do anything about it until it's too late. Fortunately, you can take steps to detect a potential mold infestation in your Orlando home and deal with it quickly and quietly.

 

That is, if you know where to look.

 

By understanding the where and why of a potential mold mishap within your home, you can save yourself money and a potential headache at the same time.

 

When It Rains in Florida, It Molds

 

While Florida may be known for its sunny skies, long-time residents understand that with sunshine also comes muggy, balmy conditions and frequent showers. No big deal, right?

 

Unfortunately, such conditions represent a breeding ground for mold growth.

 

That's because damp conditions sew the microscopic seeds for a mold infestation. When it rains, mold spores in the air tend to increase and spread: this effect can be doubled by humid conditions. If you've ever had a sneezing fit or cold-like symptoms in the wake of a rain shower, chances are that mold was to blame.

 

Remember: it's not the rain itself that's causing the mold, but the growth and spread afterward thanks to the temperature outside.

 

Could Mold Be Hiding On Your Windows?

 

When we think of mold infestations, we might picture spores hiding in air ducts or perhaps those slimy pink films that show up in the shower.

 

But what about your windows, which are prone to harboring mold and can easily, go undetected?

 

Even if you regularly apply household solutions to your windows on a regular basis, they could still be hiding a more serious infestation. Consider also the following places where mold may be lingering such as...

 

  • Between the actual window and the window sill, which naturally retains mold and moisture (especially in the case of wooden sills)
  • On the actual windows themselves, as well as within their tracks (both interior and exterior)
  • Tucked within the joints of the frames of the windows

 

Thankfully, each of the aforementioned mold hot spots can be detected and dealt with rather swiftly.

 

But how?

 

Mold Remediation: How It's Done

 

While we do not provide remediation services, we can lead you to some great companies that can help you out after our thorough testing process. (It is illegal in the state of Florida for the same company to test and treat a mold problem)

 

Not all mold is created equal: likewise, not all infestations are treated in the exact same manner.

 

That being said, the process of mold remediation is rather straightforward.

 

In short, we assess the specific areas of your home to isolate the infestation and determine the cause of contamination. Once the cause is detected, we can recommend removal. The affected area will be cleaned, sterilized and reassessed.

 

Following the cleaning process, we retest the area to make sure it is free of contaminants and allowed time to properly dry. In extreme cases, some materials in the affected area may need to be removed altogether.

 

Mold shouldn't be taken lightly. Likewise, infestations should be treated sooner rather than later to not only protect your home, but also the health and well-being of yourself and your family.

 

Interested in Mold Testing?

 

Whether you think your home is prone to an infestation or you simply want more information on the process, feel free to contact us. Our experts have seen just about everything when it comes to mold and we'd be happy to help you out.


Gadgets that Improve Indoor Air Quality
Gadgets that Improve Indoor Air Quality

 

Managing the indoor air quality in your home can be a struggle, especially if you've never attempted this before. Who knew you had to maintain the air you're breathing while inside the safe walls of your home? The good news is, there are ways to improve your indoor air quality, and 5 of them are listed below and are just a few clicks away from being in your home! 

 

GERMGUARDIAN


1.       GermGuardian is an Air Purifier that cleanses the air in your home by capturing dust, pollen and even mold spores. It uses a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter that forces air through it’s fine mesh, and traps unwanted particulates. It also comes with a UV-C light that zaps airborne viruses, germs and again, mold spores so they no longer exist. This is a great product to have in your home especially if you live with people with allergies, babies, or the elderly.

 

 

iROBOT ROOMBA


2.       How can a vacuum help improve indoor air quality you ask? Dirt, debris, and settled particulates are constantly being released into the air when people walk around, open doors, and go in and out of their homes. Running the Roomba, especially when you don’t have time to vacuum, will aide in ensuring your home (at least the floor) is kept clean, and dirt is controlled. The Roomba has a very powerful suction, but low air return that reduces the release of particulates into the air while vacuuming.

 

If you don’t have a Roomba and use traditional vacuuming, make sure the filtration system is cleaned regularly and working properly. It is also recommended that you purchase a vacuum with a HEPA filter which will not only vacuum, but filter the air it draws in and releases. To read a more detailed and technical explanation of how vacuuming contributes to indoor air quality read Clean Link’s article.

 

SAFE-T-AIR


 

3.       Safe T Air contains tea tree oil which serves as a natural fungicide which basically means it destroys fungi. This gel seeks and destroys mold and bacteria in the air, and most importantly its NONTOXIC. Bringing chemicals into your home to reduce mold formation can do as it says, but also emits harmful chemicals called VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) into the air of your home at the same time. Just place this clever little jar in areas of high moisture or where mold concerns occur, and see the difference. Purchase on amazon here and read about the many great reviews this product has.

 

 

AIR KNIGHT


4.        Air Knight is an ionizing air purification system for your home. It is installed alongside your HVAC system that uses a broad spectrum UV light to kill mold spores, break down dangerous chemicals, and control odors in your home. It also reduces germs and purifies the air as well as surfaces through a hydro peroxide method similar to hydrogen peroxide on a cut. Air Knight is sold through third party vendors like Top Tech Parts and Amazon. Contact your local HVAC or Air Conditioning Professional for purchasing and installation.

 

NEST


5.       One way to improve the indoor air quality in your home and prevent mold growth is by controlling relative humidity. The NEST is a thermostat that has many other properties other than just controlling the temperature. One of its best components is the Cool to Dry feature. What this does is works with your AC unit and dehumidification system to ensure the relative humidity in your home is managed properly throughout the entire day, even when you are not home. If you don’t have a dehumidification mode, you can view the relative humidity with your NEST app and adjust the thermostat yourself, from your mobile phone. Keeping the relative humidity at the proper levels will ensure that it’s not too high and creating humid/wet air, or not too low and causing condensation which in turn creates access moisture, then mold. Note: Relative humidity should always remain between 40%-60%

 

If you find you have a mold or indoor air quality problem in your home, it is best to contact a professional indoor air quality testing company to assess the source of the problem. The above products are great for preventative action and if you are looking to improve the air quality in your home. Breathe easy!


The Dangers of Toxic Mold Syndrome
The Dangers of Toxic Mold Syndrome

 

Toxic Mold Syndrome, also known as mold illness, is an illness that effects many people. When people get sick, they typically assume the causes are allergies, a cold, or a bad reaction to medications. When you notice a dramatic decline in your health, you have to wonder, what is the cause? Very commonly, people blame their poor health on  outdoor environments when in reality, they should be considering their indoor environments as the main culprit. Most people spend an average of 90% of their time indoors including time at work, school and at home. This fact alone should initiate further research into your indoor environments.


You may experience symptoms that are similar to colds and common allergies when dealing with Toxic Mold Syndrome including:


·         Coughing

·         Wheezing

·         Sore throat

·         Runny nose

·         Itchy eyes

·         And more…

 

There are more serious health problems related to toxic mold syndrome. In many cases, the above symptoms are just the beginning. Not only does toxic mold syndrome affect your respiratory health, but also your nervous system, circulatory system, skin, vision and mental health. As you can see, mold and any of the symptoms related to mold are all something that should not be taken lightly. It can lead to very serious health issues and even death.


In order to avoid long term health problems related to mold exposure, one would ask what is the real cause of mold growth? The simplest reason mold forms is because of moisture. There are many different forms of moisture that cause mold formation including leaks, condensation, humidity, and flooding. When moisture comes in contact with any and all kinds of organic materials (wood, carpet, clothing, etc.…) mold begins to form. There are many great mold prevention tips listed in our “How to Avoid Indoor Allergens" blog post that are easy and affordable to implement. Doing yearly inspections and taking care of your home overall will help lessen the chance of experiencing health issues related to mold.

 

There have been many case studies conducted to prove the effects of mold exposure symptoms. In this presented case study individuals that were tested ranged from 1.5 years to 52 years of age. The conclusion was conditional, however those who were involved experienced similar symptoms and reactions. Along with case studies, there are many personal stories, testimonials, and articles that present personal experiences people have had with toxic mold syndrome and mold related sicknesses. There is one story that stands out among all the rest about a woman who is now doing well, but at one point did not know what happened to her or where to turn. Kimberlyn is someone who one day, completely lost her motivation and began to become very confused as to why her personality and normal demeanor completely changed. With multiple doctor visits over 6 months, she started to find out what may be the cause of her sudden life altering ailment. If you are worried that you may be dealing with mold, her story is very relatable and could save you many unnecessary steps.


Ideally, we would like to say that mold will never be an issue in our lives, but that is not the case. Mold is everywhere. It really all depends on how quickly you handle a situation and how serious it is. Our best advice: be mindful of your surroundings and educate yourself on the signs and the steps to take to resolve your mold problem.



Recommended Links: Black Mold

                                       AMEN clinics

       US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health

                                       Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 


Ways to Prevent Indoor Allergens
Ways to Prevent Indoor Allergens

 

When people think of allergens, they often think of allergic reactions to substances such as pollen, animals and dust. Allergens sometimes get confused with allergies, but the difference between the two, lie within the definitions. Allergens are substances that cause an allergic reaction. Allergies are the damaging immune system response by the body to a substance. Allergens come in many different forms including those previously listed and more. Since people spend more than 90% of their time indoors, indoor allergens are the main cause of allergies year round. Outdoor allergies happen as the seasons change and as the outdoor allergen levels fluctuate.


Indoor allergy triggers not only include common household allergens such as dust, pollen and animal dander, but also include a small list of unexpected substances. Cockroaches, fabrics, new furniture, and glue are among the many unexpected household allergens. Paint can also trigger allergy-like reactions in people, especially if they are living in a home that was newly painted or with paint that has high volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and dangerous chemicals.


A few factors that play a role in allergen formation:

 

Humidity: Humidity plays a significant role in whether or not fungi will grow in your home. Fungi, or mold, is a major cause of indoor allergy symptoms and the more you regulate your home’s humidity levels, the least likely mold is to form. Mold can be very dangerous to your health especially for those who are clinically allergic. Recommended humidity levels should fall between 30% - 50%. Condensation and fogging are both signs of high humidity levels and cracking paint; doors or trim are signs of low humidity levels.


Ventilation: It is extremely important to allow your home to have proper ventilation during every season. Opening doors and windows creates proper air flow throughout your home which prevents moisture buildup and stagnant air. Cleaning under rugs and moving furniture that is pressed against walls is also a way to ensure moisture will not accumulate.


Leaks: Check your home for leaks. A common area where leaks can be found is your roof and windows. If you find a leak, put a stop to it as soon as possible because the smallest leak can cause deterioration and significant damage to your home.

 

There are many ways to reduce indoor allergens with only just a few simple and easy everyday adjustments.

 

HEPA: Use products with HEPA filters. High-efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA) are very beneficial to those who are concerned with allergens. There are many different products that contain HEPA filters, but they all aide in the same ways. HEPA filters cleans the air of all the microbial airborne particulates and when vacuuming, ensure that dust and dander do not return into the atmosphere. HEPA filters are also available for central air conditioners which create better indoor air quality overall.


Exhaust Fans: Use exhaust fans in every room where one is provided. This will help with air flow and to remove access moisture from the air.


Carpeting: Carpeting should only be used in rooms where there is not a lot of moisture present. For example, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens should not have carpet due to the presence of water flow from sinks and pipes. A minor leak onto carpet may seem like a small issue, but once moisture comes in contact with materials, mold can form. Remember, it is more difficult to reverse damage than it is to prevent it.


Storage: Always be mindful of how you are storing your seasonal materials. Blankets and clothes should be stored in air tight plastic containers or bags and placed in areas that are not susceptible to high moisture levels. A common issue is when people store their winter materials in their basements during the summer when humidity levels are very high without protective containment. When it comes time to unpack everything, mold has had significant time to form and people are left with musty and moldy belongings. 


Outdoor allergens are more difficult to control, but you can help prevent access formations outside your home. To help reduce the effects of outdoor allergens, you must take care of your lawn frequently. Regularly raking and mowing can help reduce the buildup of allergens outside your home. Raking prevents mold growth within leaves and mowing helps reduce the production of pollen. The safest way to prevent buildup is to keep your grass short. Always wear protective gear including gloves, sunglasses, a hat, and long clothes. This will prevent pollen from sticking to you and tracking it into your home. Do yard work either in the morning or evening when pollen counts are the lowest. If you have a severe allergy to outdoor allergens, asking someone to help you with yard work or hiring a company to take over the responsibility will help your allergies greatly. 


Recommended Links:  AQA Website

EveryDayHealth.com

ApartmentTherapy.com

Asthma and Allergy Foundation


The 411 on Leaks & the Damage They Cause
The 411 on Leaks & the Damage They Cause

 

Many times, a leak can be an easy fix with just a small replacement or adjustment as needed. Other times, a small leak can stem from a large problem where major damage control is required. If and when you detect a leak in your home or place of business, the issue should be addressed as promptly as possible. Ignoring signs of a leak can cause issues within your home that you can potentially avoid when you respond immediately.


There are many places leaks can occur:


o   Roof

o   Water Heater

o   Toilets

o   Washer

o   Faucets

o   Dishwasher

o   Pipes


Leaks can cause minor problems such as and an irritating runny faucet, waste of water, and high water bills. One household can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water per year just from water leaks. That waste not only has a negative impact on the environment, but also your wallet. Common household leaks cause your water bill to rise, which is money out of your pocket that you could have spent otherwise.


Although minor problems can be very troublesome, there are bigger issues that can severely damage your home.


Mold development is one of the most common and most consequential causes of leak damage. Mold can form anywhere moisture is present within 24-48 hours. This is the #1 reason why you need to act quickly when you find a leak because the quicker you get rid of a leak, the less chance mold has to form. To reduce the development of mold, you must control moisture. If mold penetrates an area surrounding a leak, the entire area must be removed to eliminate mold. For example, if you smell a musty odor coming from below your sink, you most likely have a mold problem. Fixing the leak will not get rid of mold, it will still continue to spread because of the existing moisture. Removing the surrounding cupboard and base may be necessary to get rid of mold entirely. This is a must especially because mold is overall very harmful and can cause serious health issues


Structure deterioration is a cause of damage from roof leaks. Chronic roof leaks can cause the wood in your home’s structure and ceilings to deteriorate. Although this can be a slow process, watch for signs of roof leaks such as dark spots in your ceiling. When you see water come through the ceiling and leak onto the floor, this means that the surrounding area within the ceiling is absorbing most of that water. Keep a close watch on even the smallest roof leaks because even one can cause wood to weaken and eventually cause a ceiling collapse.


Electrical issues can also be a factor in assessing damage from water leaks. As your household leaks pass through and comes in contact with many interiors, it will most likely reach the electrical components of your home. Uncovered wires and outlet framework can easily cause shock and even fires when coming in contact with water. It only takes one small spark to cause an entire building to burn down. Flooding can also be a factor in carrying electrical currents and causing a fire. Act quickly if you ever find yourself in a flood and turn off your electricity in the flooded areas. This can prevent your entire home from burning down and even prevent death.


To avoid major issues and costly repairs take care of leaks in your home or business facility immediately! Ignoring what might look like a small issue can uncover extreme structural damage and can even cause harm to those around it. Call your local leak detection service company at the first sign of a leak.

 

AQA Website - Leak Detection Services

Environmental Protection Agency

Alliance for Water Efficiency