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Air Quality Assessors Blog


Spring Into Cleaning!
Spring Into Cleaning!


Spring is the perfect time to start off with a fresh slate by ensuring that the surroundings in your home are as clean as possible. But, spring is also a suitable season for mold growth when you consider the increased moisture in the environment. Are you ready to make sure your home is both immaculate and hygienic with the arrival of the new season? Get a head start on your spring cleaning with some of the following information and tips!

 

Areas To Look Out For

 

It becomes easier to guard yourself against mold and mildew when you're informed about the common areas where mold and mildew occur around the home. Mold and mildew thrive in humid and damp conditions found in basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. It's also important to pay attention to areas that often go overlooked such as ventilation ducts, areas around HVAC systems, crawl spaces, and underneath surfaces like carpet.


Mold v. Mildew 


Are you aware of the difference between mold and mildew? You can tell mold and mildew apart by how it looks, where it grows, and the effects that the two substances have. Mildew has a powdery or fluffy appearance that forms on the surface of an area, while mold tends to have a fuzzy or slimy appearance that is often green or black. Mildew can damage the surface of whatever it grows on, but it's not known to be quite as harmful to health when compared to mold. Mildew is also easier to remove than mold, as it only requires a cleaner and a scrubbing utensil as opposed to a professional remediation team.


Best Cleaning Products 


It's helpful to be informed about the best cleaning products to use, especially for the indoor air quality of your home. If you're cleaning mildew, consider using a gentler cleaner that doesn't contain harsh chemicals that affect indoor air quality. You can use simple cleaning ingredients found around the house such as vinegar or carefully diluted bleach. If you have a mold issue in your home, it's best to consult the professionals to remediate the problem. Otherwise, you could make the issue worse by spreading mold spores to new surfaces.


Why Spring Clean?


A clean home is important for your health. Not only are mold and mildew unsightly and unpleasant to smell, but they can also cause serious health problems if not taken care of. Exposure to mold over a prolonged period of time can induce asthma-like symptoms in the form of respiratory irritation. Have you noticed that yourself or the people in your household have unexplained symptoms like sneezing, coughing, eye irritation, skin irritation or chronic headaches? Your bodies could very well be reacting to mold and mildew in the household.

The best way to stay on top of the mold and mildew in your home is to stay vigilant. When you make sure that moisture and humidity are in check throughout the household while spring cleaning, you will enjoy having a healthy environment free of mold and mildew.

Steps Towards a Healthier Home – After a Major Storm
Steps Towards a Healthier Home – After a Major Storm

Has your home recently been affected by a major weather event such as a hurricane or tornado? Perhaps you're anticipating a big storm and want to be sure you're protecting your household as much as possible. It can be a scary thing to experience an intense weather episode no matter how many times you've been through it before. Each storm is different and has the potential to damage your home.


Impacts of a Major Storm

Your house is one of your biggest financial assets, and it's also a sanctuary for all who inhabit it, so it's natural to want to make sure it is in the best condition possible. For those living in a climate that has unpredictable storms or a predictable storm season, there's a lot to think about when it comes to securing your home against damage during a weather episode. Intense storms can seriously take their toll on the structural integrity of a home if proper steps aren't taken after damage occurs. It's easy to get overwhelmed with damage to your home after a storm, after all, it can get pretty costly. However, when all is said and done, the most important thing is that your home is still a healthy environment to live in after a storm.


Common Household Damages

So, what type of damage can happen to a home after a storm? Of course, the more intense a storm is, the more potential it has to cause damage to structures in the area. The most common damage you will find to a home will be due to water from precipitation getting into the house along with damage from high winds that often accompany a storm.


High winds most commonly cause damage to the roof including the shingles and gutters, siding, windows, garages/sheds. Powerful wind can uproot trees, bring down power lines, and even turn a seemingly lightweight object into an airborne danger. When the high-velocity wind picks up an item in the middle a storm, there's no predicting what route it will take or what damage it will cause! Water damage can quickly turn into a mold remediation issue if you do not take steps to get rid of the water in the home as soon as possible. Mold resulting from water damage can seriously affect the health of those who live in the household!

 

Steps Toward a Healthier Home

Here are some quick steps you can take to protect your home after a major storm like a hurricane:

  • Create airflow through the house and ventilate the area by opening doors and windows
  • Dry any wet items that you find as soon as possible, and throw away anything that was damaged too badly for use in the future
  • Ensure any mold remediation is done by a licensed professional in the field
  • Deep clean the entire home to make sure there isn't any moisture lurking around
  • Take precautions to prevent future water intrusion with home repairs both indoors and outdoors
  • Create a structured plan for cleaning, drying, and remediation so you aren't scrambling if it happens again

 


The Mold Series- Stachybotrys Chartarum

Part 1 of the "Mold-ifying" Series 

 

“The Quiet Killer”

 

Stachybotrys Chartarum

 

This killer has no boundaries and shows no mercy for homeowners/businesses. Don’t dare think you can stop all of it with regular bleach or other household disinfectants. A trained team will be needed in order to catch and eliminate this quiet killer. Mold hides in non-porous materials like drywall and hardwood flooring or where moisture and water is/has been present (moisture & water are the Quiet Killer’s life source). It can be lurking, growing and producing mycotoxins for weeks until found. “Mycotoxins” aka the killer’s minions: extremely toxic, take 8-12days to make their appearance and then they slowly break down your body’s defense, causing very serious health issues (sore throat, headaches, chronic muscle pain and in worse cases they can/will kill you)…malicious little monsters! Signs that the Quiet Killer has marked his next target include: the smell of its musty cologne, its yellow moisture stained drawings on the wall or show signs of his curse (coughing, nausea, headaches and more). Its nasty, greenish-black demeanor means business!

 

How does one win against this “Quiet Killer”?

 

The killer can grow where there is or has been moisture or water related problems. Look for places in your home/business that are susceptible to water or moisture damage like: A/C unit, Bathroom, Laundry Room or Attic... This is where the battle will take place. The best way to eliminate the Quiet Killer is to have a specialized team come in to destroy it! Since no one ever knows the extent of damage the Quiet Killer has caused, having an Air Quality Assessor on your side is the best way to know what you are up against! The assessor’s findings helps him conjure up a strategic battle plan (protocol report for remediation services) for you to use against/destroy the Quiet Killer. Since the killer is very toxic, it is necessary to have a licensed removal force (remediation companies) fight on your side during the battle! The removal team sticks to the battle plan drawn up by the assessor and removes all traces of the killer and his minions. Once the removal team has done the fighting/killing, the Air Quality Assessor comes back into play and makes sure, once and for all, the Quiet Killer has been defeated and all is safe.