Curren Environmental Blog

Tiffany Byrne

Recent Posts

Does turning UP the Air Conditioner when you leave for the day cause mold growth?

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Aug 16, 2018 3:19:00 PM

When you leave your home on a hot and humid day, do you turn your air conditioner up past let’s say.... 78 degrees? Do you close all your windows and doors (probably yes for intruders!), and you didn’t have time to close the blinds and curtains? When you return home, if you don’t have the smart thermostat (more on that later), it may be a bit more hot, humid and muggier than when you left bright eyed in the morning - right? Now that is just one day, if you go on vacation for more that just that one day, do you turn your AC up or just plain off?

Mold growth on wood paneling

This may be something you do every day before you leave, and maybe, some days you get back later than others. Maybe, you don’t come back at all that day until after dinner, or when the kids are done their activities. You just provided a prime condition for mold spores and mold growth in your home. During these hot and humid months, Curren recommends the following to keep mold spores and mold growth out of your home:
  • Use your central air conditioning with a higher number MERV filter. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Rating Value. The higher the MERV, the better the filter will perform at removing smaller particle sizes. MERV 1 through 4 are designed to remove large particles. MERV 5 through 16 filters remove finer particles. The average particle size efficiency has three ranges: E1 (0.3 to 1 micron), E2 (1 to 3 micron) and E3 (3 to 10 micron) will determine MERV for these products. High MERV filters can help trap the mold spores that are naturally present.
  • Lower your indoor humidity. If your humidity is above 50 percent, then fungi will thrive. Try to keep your humidity at 35 percent.
  • Open doors within your home so air flow is fluent within the space.
  • Use your dehumidifier in your basement and crawl space. Make sure the bucket is being continually emptied, either into a sink or sump pump. The dehumidifier constantly keeps humidity lower in your home.
  • Keep your stove exhaust fan running when you cook, this will stop moisture from being added to the indoor air.
  • Always use your bathroom fan, this grabs the moisture and brings it (hopefully and not to your attic) to the outside.
Photo Aug 09, 11 54 23 AMMost importantly, if you can, keep your air conditioner running at a rate that keeps the humidity down in your home, this reduces mold spore growth and keeps allergens to a minimum. Mold spores can grow in the right environment without having water intrusion, especially on organic materials such as furniture. These mold spores can in-turn become air-borne where you breathe the spores into your lungs.Smart thermostats are Wi-Fi enabled and allow you to have multiple temperature changes throughout the day. Some can alert you when humidity is too high.Read more on Mold Testing and Mold Remediation on Curren Environmental's website.  Have questions?  Fill out the form to the right and Curren will respond immediately. 

Top 10 Reasons Why You Need Mosquito Remediation

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Jul 20, 2018 9:05:00 AM

10 Reasons for Mosquito Remediation

Curren Environmental spent several years cracking the code on mosquito control.  We figured out a formula that would keep the mosquitoes away and be safe for our clients. Curren keeps mosquitoes from hatching and knocks down mosquitoes that already have hatched on contact.

1. Be able to do yard work and not get attacked by annoying, biting mosquitoes.

When working in the yard - who wants to be bit up by mosquitoes?  Spraying the underside of the bushes, which is what Curren's technicians are trained to do, immediately knocks down the adult mosquito. Curren applies the quick drying barrier spray to foliage, shrubs, under decks, below and around sheds and other cool, moist - shady areas.   

2. Let the kids play outside while the weather is still nice.

Today, all kids want to play inside on their electronics.  It's easy to say "Mom, I'll just get bit by mosquitoes if I go outside".  The barrier spray is sprayed in and around shady areas, those areas include under the trampoline and other shaded areas where the kids can enjoy their time outside.  They won't get bit, they can't use mosquitoes as an excuse to stay "inside" anymore. 

3. Stop applying chemicals to you and your kids, no more purchasing mosquito spray and No More DEET.

Mosquitoes are attracted to scents, and each person - young or old have a certain scent.  To spray a chemical on yourself and/or your child is masking that scent.  Once that "Mosquito Repellent" wears off, you will attract biting, pesky mosquitoes.

4. Mosquitoes spread disease; we all need to avoid that.

Only the female mosquito bites and she bites to feed off your blood.  You may not have been the first meal, meaning that she may have had a meal on a bird or reptile or an amphibian. When the female mosquito bites, she inserts her proboscis (feeding tube) into the skin to penetrate and receive the blood.  To prevent the blood from clotting in the blocking the tube, the female releases a small about of saliva.  While that bite may take merely a second, that is how diseases are transmitted. Learn more at the CDC.  

 {Technician applying the barrier spray} 

5. BBQ without being the mosquitoes’ dinner!

It's time to grill and your outside, you keep getting attacked by mosquitoes. Enjoy the time outside while you make dinner for your friends and/or family without swatting the mosquitoes away.   

6. We live in New Jersey we should be able to enjoy the outdoors and not get driven inside by biting mosquitoes.

Even though this is the State of New Jersey and not some tropical area in the Amazon rain forest,   we are still laden with mosquitoes.  New Jersey is the most densely populated state, making the chances for the mosquito easier to bite you, they don't have to fly as far to find a meal. 

7. No franchise fees and no add-on pricing our service include ticks. Our service is priced for every budget.

Curren Environmental is not a franchise.  We have been in business for over 20 years as an Environmental company serving thousands of customers throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.  When you call our office, you get a live person, not an answering service.  

8. Safe for children, dogs – adults too!

Curren Environmental's formula is safe for everyone.  Mosquito Remediation is targeted at the mosquito which is typically 3 mm to 6 mm and weighs about 5 mg. The barrier spray is applied to the perimeter of your property and dries within 30 minutes.  Fast enough for quick bite to eat and back outside!

9. Sit on your porch, patio or deck without the nuisance of mosquitoes. Enjoy that cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine at night…outside.

By using the Mosquito Remediation, mosquitoes are controlled. The barrier spray is  applied to locations, such as beneath and around your porch,  patio and deck, areas in which you typically want to be, and areas where mosquitoes are hiding waiting to attack you. Thus, the smell of the coffee or the scent of your wine won't attract mosquitoes as you sit outside and either enjoy the sunrise or the sunset. 

10. At your home you are breeding mosquitoes and don’t even know it. At your first spray, Curren will provide you an on-side evaluation on your yard.

At your first spray, Curren will provide you an on-site evaluation.  We will let you know if there are any areas where mosquitoes can find breeding grounds, such as gutters (downspouts), birdbaths, recycling bins, etc.  

Our customers like our service so much that they refer their friends and families.  One of our clients said that they sat in a neighbor’s yard and did not get bitten by mosquitoes after a dinner BBQ and she asked what the secret was to mosquito control.   Once she learned what the “secret” was, she became a Curren customer soon thereafter and has referred many others.

Curren’s Mosquito Remediation controls the mosquito population in your yard so you can enjoy time alone, or with friends and family. Call today at

856-858-7172 or email Tiffany at Tiffany@currenenvironmental.com.

 

Have questions?  Learn more about Mosquitoes here.

 

Tags: mosquito control service, mosquito control

Black Mold? Mold comes in many different colors...not just black.

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Apr 24, 2018 3:02:00 PM

Did you know that Mold comes in many different colors? The color doesn't matter, what matters is if it there is mold growth and if you stopped the water filtration. 

At Curren, some of the most common questions are regarding the color of mold. For example:

  • "Is this mold bad because the mold is black or grey?
  • "What type of mold is black mold?"
  • "Is black mold toxic?"

The most popular used term for describing mold is Black Mold. Technically, there is no mold that is named black mold, many sources attribute the term black mold to the media. In reality there are many different types and colors of mold. Some types of Mold can be harmful (regardless if the mold is black) and can cause health issues.

Molds come in many different colors and can mean many different things. As you can see below, mold may be black, grey, orange, green, brown and even white. Many molds may not be harmful. Black mold may be completely innocuous (not harmful or producing no injury) or it could be problematic. Mold can be difficult to determine on your own. The mold you think you see might just be mildew or dirt. Remember, mold is usually not a problem unless mold spores land on something wet  indoors. Mold evaluation and interpretation is best left to the experts. At Curren, we have over 20 years experience testing mold, air testing and mold remediation.

 

Black Mold                                          Green Mold

Mold_in_Basement3-424194-edited                             Green_mold

White & Black Mold                           Brown Mold

IMG_5501-877705-edited                           Brown_mold-968330-edited

Grey Mold

Grey_Mold-078065-edited

Please don't hesitate to call us for your mold testing, mold remediation and mold questions.

1-888-301-1050 

 

 

 

Tags: mold, mold remediation, Mold Testing

Earth day is April 22nd. What can you do on this day?

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Apr 20, 2018 9:14:00 AM

 

Earth Day Friendly Things to Do

No one wants to do bad by the environment, and sometimes doing good things for the environment is hard.  Here are easy ways to help the environment for Earth Day and Every day.

  1. Go a day without drinking bottled water.

  2. Buy and use a refillable water bottle, just so you can keep promise number 

  3. Always keep a receptacle by your desk (Home or Office) to place non-trash items.

  4. Rather than drive around for the closet parking spot, park farther away where the spots are plentiful. Face it, you can use the exercise and less driving is less fuel consumed.

  5. Half a cup of water on your counter? Pour it in a houseplant.

  6. Buy fragrance free cleaning supplies, those fresh scents are chemicals.  Less chemical means cleaner air inside your home.

  7. Buy small reusable water bottles for your kids and stop buying juice boxes.

  8. Use a quality doormat and place them at every entrance to your home.  Doormats capture dirt, particulate and contaminants prior to entry to your home.  All that fertilizer on your lawn and on your shoes from the golf course will now stay outside.

  9. Start a compost pile for grass and leaves, the decomposition of both items will give you nutrient rich soil for next season

What are Mosquitoes Up To Now?

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Feb 21, 2018 8:58:00 AM

What do Mosquitoes do in the winter time? Mosquitoes are cold blooded creatures and do not generally bite in temperatures below 50F. Most male mosquitoes cannot survive the Northern winter months. Females on the other hand actually gain some size and can make it through the cold weather. Before the cold weather the females lay all their eggs. The eggs will winterize and can sustain through the winter. The eggs hibernate as embryos.

What is the life cycle of the Mosquito?blood sucking mosquito.jpg

  • Lay the eggs (in water)
  • Eggs become larvae (in water)
  • Larvae become Pupae
  • Pupae become adult mosquitoes

For more detailed information on the mosquito life cycle click here.

Mosquitoes don’t exactly bite humans, they feed on them. The female needs the protein to produce her eggs. Mosquitoes can spread disease; the diseases are often viruses that are picked up by the mosquito when it feeds on an infected host. When that mosquito then feeds on another host, it can spread that virus and so on. Moving from person to person until the eggs are laid.

Spring is in the air…warm weather and rainy days are ahead. Seasonal Mosquito Remediation packages are available through Curren Environmental.

Call Curren now at:

856-858-7172

or fill out the form and Curren Environmental will respond to you as soon as possible

Tags: mosquito, Mosquito Remedation

Mold Prevention Tips

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Sep 7, 2017 2:39:00 PM

Where there is Mold there is water!

Fix the water – stop the Mold growth.

Mold Prevention1.jpg

  • Get a dehumidifier for the crawlspace and basement areas.  
    • Keep the dehumidifier at 60 degrees or lower at all times.  
    • Never turn it off.
    • Have a hose hooked up to the water disposal and have it constantly running to the sump pump or to the sink

Mold Questions? Click Here

  • Check your attic for any water. Fix any leaks in your roof.
  • If you have an attic fan, make sure it is turned on. Better yet get one that is on a humidity thermostat. 
Mold Prevention2.jpg
  • Make sure the bathroom fans are always on during showers and stay on for at least 20 to 30 minutes after. To make sure the fan is working do the following:
    • Turn on the fan
    • Take a tissue and put the tissue up to the fan
    • Let go of the tissue
    • Does the Tissue fall to the ground? Or does the fan suck the tissue up to it
    • If the tissue falls to the ground GET A NEW FAN! If the tissue goes to the fan, that’s a good bathroom fan.
  • Check your dryer vents and clean them for any dust and particles. Make sure the vent exhausts to the outdoor.
  • While cooking use the exhaust fan, any moisture in the air can cause mold in the future.
  • Check under all faucet cabinets for any leaks, for example under your kitchen and bathroom sinks.
  • Check in your bathroom by your tub area for any calking that may need to be replaced. Calking may be old, stained and moldy.
Mold Prevention3.jpg
  • Clean roof gutters regularly. With the fall coming, more leaves will be falling clogging gutters. These gutters help water flow away from the home. Clogging gutters also lead to a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Direct the water away from your home by using roof leaders with PVC piping.  PVC piping is much stronger than corrugated and will not become clogged.
mold prevention4.jpg
  • Dry any wet areas within 48 areas. After 48 areas mold can get a toehold and begin to grow.  While some mold species are perfectly acceptable in the home, others need moisture and constant water to grow; these types of mold species are the types that are cause for health concerns.

mold prevention5.jpgQuestions?  Email Curren Environmental at info@currenenvironmental.com or call at 1-888-301-1050. Follow these preventative tips and mold will less likely grow in your home.  

 

Mold Inspections - Inspecting for Mold

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Jun 21, 2017 9:35:00 AM

A Home Inspector finds a “Mold like Substance”,

What Should You Do Now?

Home Inspector.jpg

Curren receives many calls where the home inspection report flags a fungal like growth, possible Mold like substance, black mold and evaluation by a licensed a qualified Mold company is recommended” sometimes the home inspector adds the following “Mold is due to high moisture levels” or “a Mold inspection is recommended due to a possible allergic reaction”.  In the state of New Jersey Home Inspectors are not licensed to inspect for Mold, they can state “fungal like growth” “Mold like substance” and recommend further evaluation.  This is where Curren Environmental offers their expertise on the Mold Inspections and Mold Remediation.

When a Home Inspector finds Mold and recommends a further evaluation what should the realtor and buyer/seller do?  First, is suspect mold is found in an unfinished attic, basement or crawl space, understand these are the most common areas for growth as these spaces are unconditioned.  By unconditioned I mean not heated or cooled by a HVAC system.  Mold likes to grow at temperatures and moisture (humidity) levels humans do not.  If you find yourself holding a home inspection you should contact an environmental company that has been in business for a long time (over 10-20 years) not one with PO Box # with an address and one that doesn’t just work with Mold and is not into restoration. 

On the further evaluation on the “Mold like substance”.  If the Home Inspector sends a detailed report to the buyer/seller with photos than that document can be emailed to the Mold Inspector.  Better inspectors photo document and detail where, most home inspectors do not list the mold location in great detail.  When photos are available, often times a qualified mold consultant can determine the complaint room and if Mold is present.  Curren Environmental typically will visit the property in question, do a walking inspection, check for any ways of water entry and get measurements of complaint room to provide a scope of work involved and a detailed quote to remediate without testing (Again EPA does not recommend testing if Mold is visibly present). During this type of transaction the buyer usually is the one who has the home inspection and would like the Mold remediation.  This Mold Remediation scope and quote is given to the seller who in turn either gets the remediation done or the price is worked into the cost of the house and the buyer gets the Mold remediation done after the purchase of the home.

 It is safest to get the mold work done before you buy, in the event that additional mold is found, say behind a wall or above a sheetrock ceiling. After any mold remediation is performed, we provide a detailed checklist with how to remain moisture free (ex. Adding gutters, leading water away from the dwelling, closing cracks in the foundation. Etc)

In most cases Mold takes years to grow, especially in older homes.  If a qualified Home Inspector provides a detailed report there typically is no need to test the Mold unless the seller wants to contest that what was found is actually mold.  Again EPA does not recommend testing when obvious Mold growth is present. The only reason to test for Mold is if the buyer really wants to know what type of spore it is such as Cladosporium or Stachybotrys or one of the 100’s of thousands of spores.

Now, in the case that there is no visible sign of Mold but the home inspector feels as if there might be a moisture problem and a Mold Inspection should be performed than there should be Mold Testing.  Mold inspections are a safe bet when you are dealing with a house that had undergone rehab, a flipper is involved or in general the house has been improved specifically for sale.  From years of experience it is these homes where we find mold.  Since the cosmetic work performed is meant to give the home inside curb appeal, people take short cuts, as we have found the following. 

  1. They may remove mold themselves not following proper procedures and we find high levels of spores in the air. We also find that they don not address the water issue that caused the mold.
  2. Mold gets painted over.
  3. Moldy basements get finished with sheetrock, covering over the mold.
  4. Insulation is placed on moldy ceilings in basements and crawl spaces.
  5. Crawl space openings get sealed over to avoid access for inspection.

This is when Curren Environmental would perform a Thorough Mold Inspection.   When no mold is visible present but there is reason to believe mold is present, inspections look for hidden mold, this is where testing (air) is mandatory as this form of testing is highly reliable in finding hidden mold.

  • Visual Inspection of the outside of the property
  • Visual Inspection of the inside of the property
  • Infrared inspection
    • Moisture reading
    • Check walls for moisture
    • Air testing (one outside and one in complaint rooms)

 

As a realtor or a buyer be very careful in a situation like this.   Mold can be hidden, and hidden well behind those freshly painted walls and newly painted trim. Above that painted ceiling as well.

 homeinspector3.jpg

Remember, most common areas of a residential property for Mold growth are in areas where moisture is high.  Areas that are cold damp or have a high humidity - such as the attic, crawl space, basement, under the sink, next to the bathtub or in a closet.  Other areas highly likely areas for Mold to grow are around the furnace (might be leaking or wet), near a sump pump or in an area that you haven’t been in a very long time (like that closet in the basement with all those empty Amazon boxes!).

If the Home Inspector requests a further evaluation by a qualified Mold company it’s in your best interest to do so.  In New Jersey there are NO licensed Mold companies, (only 4 states have licensing) go with a referral or again one that has been in business for a many years and is an Environmental company.  

Tags: Mold Testing

What Can You Do On Earth Day?

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Apr 21, 2017 8:55:00 AM

Earth_day_photo.png

Earth day became a National day from Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin.  Founded in 1970, Senator Nelson was inspired after witnessing the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.  Following the anti-war movement, Senator Nelson thought that he could bring this to colleges across America with campus teach-ins. Working with Pete McCloskey, a Republican Congressman as co-chair they recruited Harvard student Denis Hayes.  Denis Hayes was very interested in what Senator Nelson had in mind for the environment that he directly went to interview Senator Nelson and from the interview, Denis Hayes became the national coordinator building a staff of 85 to promote events, selecting April 22nd as the Earth Day date because it fell between spring break and final exams. 

On April 22nd, 1970 over 20 million Americans were lead to streets, parks and large gatherings to demonstrate the need to for a healthy and sustainable environment. Earth Day received such support from both the Republicans and the Democrats that by the end of the first year (1970) the government created the Environmental Protection Agency, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Acts.  By 1990 Earth day became global with more than 200 million people in over 141 countries involved with environmental issues taking the world stage.  Recycling efforts became more global leading to the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit.  Senator Nelson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995 for his contribution of Earth Day.

Now, Earth day is celebrated by more than a billion people ever year.  What can you do on Earth Day, April 22nd, 2017?

Events in New Jersey, Central PA,  Philadelphia, and check out the EPA for events around the country.

Don't Let Your Pipes Freeze!

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Jan 5, 2017 9:51:00 AM

There are many horror stories regarding pipes freezing. Pipes freezing can lead to bigger problems. Don’t let this be your story…

Going to on vacation?

A family of 5 was on their way to their vacation. Before vacation the family prepped the house for departure -  they closed all the bedroom, bathroom and basement doors.  Temperatures plummeted to below freezing for a day and two nights. The pipes froze.  Two days later the temperature rose to above freezing and the pipes burst. Water poured through the house and the walls to the basement.  The water stayed there for more than 48 to 72 hours allowing for mold growth. Don’t let this happen to your home.

How can you keep your pipes from freezing?

Pipes Freezing.jpg

Ten Tips for keeping your pipes from freezing during the colder months:

  1. Insulate your pipes. Insulate all hot and cold water pipes located in the crawlspace as well as under your house and in in the basement, attic, and exterior walls (if accessible) with snap-on foam insulation (https://www.lowes.com/pd/Frost-King-0-75-in-x-6-ft-Foam-Plumbing-Tubular-Pipe-Insulation/3133245). Make sure foam insulation fits tightly without gaps.
  2. Secure the basement doors and close and weather strip the exterior basement windows and doors.
  3. Drip both your hot and your cold water faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms. This helps keep water moving through the pipes and relieves built-up water pressure in the pipes if they should freeze. Pay particular attention to the pipes running in the outside walls.
  4. Turn off your sprinkler system and make sure you blow out compressed air through the irrigation lines to ensure the water is drained.
  5. Disconnect and drain garden hoses.
  6. Open up the cabinet doors under the sinks in the kitchen and bath if they are on exterior walls to allow heat to flow through to the interior pipes.
  7. Wrap your water heater with an approved manufacturer’s blanket.
  8. Don’t set thermostat lower than 55 degrees when traveling. Ask a neighbor to check on your house during below freezing temperatures.
  9. In your laundry room make sure your faucet is on drip and set your washing machine on warm and start the fill cycle periodically for few minutes to run the water through the pipes.
  10. Keep your garage doors closed during extreme cold weather.

Remember don’t let the temperature in your house get too low.  If you have a second home and you do not turn off the water make sure the heat is turned on at a temperature of 55 or higher.  Make sure you use the tips above…since you are not at that location all of the time and if the pipes burst/thaw and you will have a water problem. If that water problems sits for more than 48 to 72 hours than your problem becomes more than a water problem.  It becomes a mold problem.

What do you do if your pipes freeze? Locate the main cut-off valve and have the water cut-off key handy before attempting to thaw out the frozen pipes.  Open the faucet the pipe runs to before actually thawing the frozen pipe to allow water to flow through the pipe and relieve any built up pressure in the pipe.  You could also use a hair dryer, heat lamp or a portable space heather to thaw out the frozen pipes to help with any pressure built up in the pipe

Make sure you follow the 10 tips to keep your pipes from freezing.  Whether you are home or not you do not want your pipes to burst.

Tags: mold

What Can You Do On Earth Day?

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Apr 21, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Earth_day_photo.png

Earth day became a National day from Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin.  Founded in 1970, Senator Nelson was inspired after witnessing the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.  Following the anti-war movement, Senator Nelson thought that he could bring this to colleges across America with campus teach-ins. Working with Pete McCloskey, a Republican Congressman as co-chair they recruited Harvard student Denis Hayes.  Denis Hayes was very interested in what Senator Nelson had in mind for the environment that he directly went to interview Senator Nelson and from the interview, Denis Hayes became the national coordinator building a staff of 85 to promote events, selecting April 22nd as the Earth Day date because it fell between spring break and final exams. 

On April 22nd, 1970 over 20 million Americans were lead to streets, parks and large gatherings to demonstrate the need to for a healthy and sustainable environment. Earth Day received such support from both the Republicans and the Democrats that by the end of the first year (1970) the government created the Environmental Protection Agency, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Acts.  By 1990 Earth day became global with more than 200 million people in over 141 countries involved with environmental issues taking the world stage.  Recycling efforts became more global leading to the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit.  Senator Nelson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995 for his contribution of Earth Day.

Now, Earth day is celebrated by more than a billion people ever year.  What can you do on Earth Day, April 22nd, 2016?

Events in New Jersey, Central PA,  Philadelphia, and check out the EPA for events around the country.