Topic: Mold Remediation

Mold Remediation: Getting Rid of Mold After Flooding

 

Getting Rid of Mold requires knowledge of what mold is, where it exists, how to detect it, why it proliferates and the consequences of living with it. Then we can properly dispose of it so we can enjoy healthy indoor living. There are many myths related to mold some created by suppliers of mold products & contractors that want your money. When unsure of mold facts go to Centers for Disease control and prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/mold.

What is mold: Mold is an essential component to our ecosystem that provides decomposition of many organic substances necessary to plant, animal and human life. Mold multiplies by producing spores which circulate in the air. When the spore contacts a moist surface it clings to it and mold develops. In an indoor environment, airborne mold spores can cause health problems to the occupants. Air quality is a key factor to healthy living, and often when houses are sealed for temperature control, the lack of ventilation can cause a build up of humidity and serious air quality problems, especially if mold is present. (more…)


Save Money on Flood Repairs After Flood Damage

Getting your house in order after a hurricane isn’t an easy process, but it’s necessary to get your life back on track. Flood repairs and restorations aren’t cheap, however you can save money by cutting back on unnecessary repairs while you recover from natural disasters. Here’s a guide to saving money while working with your local contractor to restore your home.

Severe storm damage is expensive to replace, but budgets can be modified according to specific circumstances. (more…)


Green, Yellow and Red Cards & Hurricane Electrical Safety Repair

Due to severe flooding from Hurricane Sandy, homes and businesses throughout New York City have suffered electrical water damage. Electrical panels, wires, outlets and appliances have all been affected, and as a result, these homes and businesses are without power.

New York City’s Department of Buildings (DOB) has been working feverishly to inspect buildings ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. They’ve placed green, yellow or red placards on buildings to inform residents of their building’s condition.

Green: No restriction. No apparent structural hazards were observed; you are not restricted from entering and re-occupying your home.

Yellow: Restricted use. Property is damaged; entry limitations are specified on each posting.

Red: Buildings tagged with a red placard are not safe to enter. Property is seriously damaged and is unsafe to enter or occupy.

In the event your block doesn’t have obvious and apparent structural damage, one single green placard, may be posted in a prominent location. If your home is on a block and it doesn’t have a placard, then your home has not been inspected or inspections didn’t determine any apparent structural hazard. Call 311 for more information.

Also, as of November 13, homeowners can sign up for NYC Rapid Repairs. NYC Rapid Repairs is a new program that sends contractors and inspectors into neighborhoods impacted by Hurricane Sandy. They’ll be able to make quick and efficient repairs to damaged homes. Visit DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-62103362, to get a FEMA ID number. Once you have your FEMA ID, visit NYC.gov or call 311.

Getting Power Back to Homes with Green or Yellow Cards

If any electrical wiring, receptacles or equipment were submerged in water during the storm, you are required to hire an NYC-licensed electrician to inspect equipment prior to use. In most cases, any electrical components that have come into contact with salt water must be removed and replaced due to the fact that dried salt conducts electricity. Licensed electricians can disconnect affected wiring to allow unaffected areas to be used in service again. Licensed electricians should file completed, signed and sealed Self-Certification Forms directly with LIPA.  (more…)


Sick Building Syndrome – Is It a Joke?

Before you ask yourself “what is sick building syndrome?”, I want you to take a personal inventory of what your is health like? Right now. If, after your personal health inventory, you acknowledge that you have been sick often, and you spend the majority of your time within the same building, then chances are it’s SBS and not the common cold. Before you click to another blog post or another website altogether because you find it so hard to believe, please ask yourself this, “What is sick building syndrome?” 

Typically speaking, SBS is caused by indoor air pollution via poor ventilation and chemical and biological contaminants. Biological contaminants include, but are not limited to: pollen, molds, bacterias, pet dander and insect debris. Chemical contaminants can come from a wide variety of sources including carpeting, paint and airborne chemicals such as air fresheners. As such, our lungs can only take and filter but so much, sometimes leaving us with potential short-term or long-term illnesses. SBS is very real, especially if you are within the confines of a building for extended periods of time every day. Illnesses and symptoms that could develop include allergies, skin, eye, nose and throat irritations as well as other, more serious, ailments.

Although leaving the building can almost immediately relieve the symptoms you may be experiencing, there are sometimes lingering and long-term effects caused by SBS. Long-term effects of SBS can include the development of allergies, fibromyalgia, and even cancer. Perhaps the best indicator to whether or not you are suffering from SBS is to see if others within the building exhibit or complain of similar symptoms which you may be exhibiting. So what can be done to limit these symptoms or mitigate any long-term effects to  your health? One of the easiest ways to lower your chances of developing SBS symptoms is to step outside often during the day, every day. Being that the outdoor air is more often than not much cleaner than indoor air, it would behoove you and others to take frequent steps outside and/or to actually go outdoors for your lunch breaks.

As well, speak to your supervisor or manager about taking steps to lower the contaminants within the building, many of which are very simple. Besides removing and replacing the air filters of the AC system, simply putting some indoor house plants throughout the building as certain plants can absorb some hazardous airborne chemical contaminants. Their other obvious benefit is to provide pure oxygen, which we need to live. Another tactic to reducing these contaminants and allergens is to make sure maintenance cleans thoroughly and often and to make sure any leaks in the plumbing are fixed. Excess moisture promotes mold growth, so the fewer leaks there are the better.

There are many ways to diagnose whether or not you and/or your co-workers suffer from SBS and just as many ways to prevent or lower the risks of developing symptoms of SBS. Stay safe and productive.


Basements and Indoor Air Quality

The basement. Home to a myriad of things we put away for storage, college kids using it a “pad”, and as a not-so-secret “underground lab” for when we need to work on special projects that may or may not be picked up by big business. But it can also be a breeding ground of poor indoor air quality that can make any of us suffer while down there. The basement is often an afterthought for those of us too busy with maintaining cleaner IAQ in our normal living spaces but those areas which we generally do not always go to are equally important. So what dangers do basements present in relation to IAQ? (more…)