Curren Environmental Blog

How Can You Conserve Water?

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Mar 23, 2016 3:00:00 PM

Are you taking a 20 minute shower? Do you leave the water running while washing dishes?

There are many theories and thoughts about our water supply.  Are we going to have enough in the future?  Is our water supply depleting?  We have stories from NASA, CBS News, and the National Geographic, these stories are telling us that we need learn how to conserve water.  Water conservation is using water efficiently and avoiding waste. Everyday use of water such as dishwasher use, laundry use and long hot showers significantly reduce clean water and add to more strain on septic and sewage systems which then lead to contamination of groundwater.  Conserving water is a national topic and the information that can be found on the web is abundant. 

Earth is made of 70 percent of water but only 1 percent of that is considered fresh, clean water available for use.

Tips for conserving water: 

  1. When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  2. Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
  3. Run your dishwasher only when it is full and you could save 400 gallons a month.
  4. Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost instead and save gallons every time.
  5. Plant during the spring or fall when the watering requirements are lower.
  6. Use a layer of organic mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and save hundreds of gallons of water a year.
  7. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save 3 gallons a minute. That's more than 1000 gallons a year.
  8. Direct downspouts and other runoff towards shrubs and trees, or collect and use for your
  9. Time your shower to keep it under 5 minutes. You'll save up to 1000 gallons a month.
  10. Consider installing new appliances. They are more water and energy-efficient than older appliances. A new washing machine can save up to 20 gallon per load.
  11. Install low-volume toilets.
  12. Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl, you have a leak. It's easy to fix, and you can save more than 7000 gallons a year.
  13. Soak your pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
  14. Do one thing each day that will save water. Every drop counts!
  15. Start a compost pile. Using compost when you plant adds water-holding organic matter to the soil.
  16. Aerate your lawn. Punch holes in your lawn about six inches apart so water will reach the roots rather than run off the surface.
  17. Turn off the water while you shave and you can save more than 100 gallons a week.
  18. Do not use water to defrost your food, put it in your refrigerator to defrost.
  19. Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap water run cold
  20. Install Rain Barrels

What are Rain Barrels?

A Rain Barrel (rainwater tank) is a water tank used to collect and store rain water runoff, typically from rooftops via rain gutters.

Why install a Rain Barrel?

Drought and aquifer mining are increasing in terms of use. Many people are looking for a ways to minimize the impact of their municipal water supplies. Installing a rain barrel is way to help conserve water.  You will have your own water source in case of a drought.  You can water your garden from your rain barrel reserves.  Having your own rain barrel helps reduce runoff pollution by collecting water before it hits the fertilizer, and increase algae growth in lakes. Rainwater, unlike tap water, doesn’t have the salt and chemicals.

rain_barrel3.jpg

Photo courtesy of Emma Howell, Shawnee High School.

Some interesting facts about Rain Barrels: 1-inch of rain on a 1,000 square foot roof yields 623 gallons of water. Calculate the yield of your roof by multiplying the square footage of your roof by 623 and divide by 1,000. Depending on your roof area, a rain barrel can fill up when there has been as little as 1/10th-inch of rain. To collect twice this volume from the same downspout, connect the overflow hose from the first rain barrel to a second rain barrel.

Conserving water helps the community, the environment and may even help lower your electric bills.  Conserving water may also help keep moisture away from your house, keeping possible mold from growing in your home.

Check your local County website for different ways you can help and conserve your own water.  Many counties offer free classes on conserving water and how to build your own rain barrels. 

Tips to get your lawn green.

Posted by David C Sulock on Mar 15, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Green Lawn Tips

Green_lawn.jpg

Remember what your lawn looked like last year?  Good or bad lets get it green.  Here are a few tips to get started.

Americans spend over $6.4 Billion a year on lawn care, according to the Professional Lawn Care Association of America. Why not get started in the spring to ensure a beautiful green and healthy lawn.

Start out by checking the soil pH levels.  Winter can alter the soil pH and create conditions that are friendly to weeds and disease.  The soils pH should read between 6.5 and 7.0 which are slightly acidic. You can test your soils pH by purchasing a pH tester.  After the soil has been checked, invest in a rental aerator.  In high traffic areas grass becomes compacted.  The aerator will draw wine cork-sized plugs out of the lawn surface giving roots the room to spread and allow for air, nutrients and moisture to penetrate the soil.

Pro Tip 1

The soil cores should not be raked always, as they contain bacteria and nutrients that will return to the soil.

In the early spring, apply a pre-emergent weed control to prevent crabgrass.

 Pro Tip 2

½ the dosage of preemergent and reapply in 3 weeks to increase the treatment duration.  Try to get your immediate neighbors to do the same so you encompass a larger spread of weed control.  If your neighbor does not apply preemergent, weeds can grow and move to your yard.

During late spring fix any patchy places and apply your seed.  When seeding in the spring it is pertinent that you provide consistent watering to allow the seed to germinate

Pro Tip 3

Water twice a day for 7 to 10 days to allow the seed to germinate.

When watering, make sure one inch of water to 12 inches of soil is preferred ratio for watering actively growing grass.  You most likely will have to seed again in the fall months.

With the spring upon us, it is very important to prepare your lawn for the warmer, sunnier months ahead.  Having a nice, thick green lawn helps with excess rain, capturing the moisture so it does not end up in your house and produce mold. 

IDo you think you have mold in your home or dwelling?  Curren can answer your questions call now at 888-301-1050 or email at info@currenenvironmental.com

 

 

When is the first dayof Spring?

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Mar 8, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Why does the 1st day of Spring Start on March 19th?

What is the first day of spring?  Well, naturally it means the flowers are supposed to bloom, the day is longer, the weather gets warmer and the rain never stops.  Astronomically speaking, it is when the equinox occurs when the Sun crosses the celestial equator on its way north along the ecliptic.   

Spring_image.jpg

In the years 2008 and 2012, those living in Alaska, Hawaii and the Pacific, Mountain and Central Time Zones on March 19. And in 2016, it if you are in California it will start on March 19, for the Eastern states it will be on March 20th at 12:30 AM.

There are a few reasons why seasonal dates can vary from year to year.

A year is not an even number of days and neither are the seasons. To try and achieve a value as close as possible to the exact length of the year, our Gregorian Calendar was constructed to give a close approximation to the tropical year which is the actual length of time it takes for the Earth to complete one orbit around the Sun. It eliminates leap days in century years not evenly divisible by 400, such 1700, 1800, and 2100, and millennium years that are divisible by 4,000, such as 8000 and 12000.

Another reason is that the Earth's elliptical orbit is changing its orientation relative to the Sun (it skews), which causes the Earth's axis to constantly point in a different direction, called precession. Since the seasons are defined as beginning at strict 90-degree intervals, these positional changes affect the time Earth reaches each 90-degree location in its orbit around the Sun.

The pull of gravity from the other planets also affects the location of the Earth in its orbit.

So Spring doesn’t start on March 21st not even March 20th for the western and mid-western states. Find your date and mark your calendars for the first day of spring! Get the garden tools out, check the lawn mower and prepare your cleaning supplies a day earlier.  Also, check your downspouts and make sure there is proper drainage that slopes the ground away from the foundation of your house or dwelling to ensure no water or moisture gets in to prevent against indoor mold.

For more information about Curren Environmental click here

 

What should an area look like after Mold Remediation?

Posted by david sulock on Feb 23, 2016 9:30:00 AM

If Mold Remediation was performed properly there are a few things you should be able to see, even with an untrained eye. 

  1. On a basic and an expected disclosure basis, the owner should be able to explain what the mold problem was, including the extent and cause.
  2. The area remediated should look clean or cleaner than it was before the remediation. While clean is tough to quantify, you would not expect a crawl space or a basement to have a sense of clean like a living room, generally it should be devoid of debris and heavy/dust/dirt.
  3. No mold should be visible. This is important, as the site of mold may have been the trigger for remediation.  Remember remediation = removal.
  4. The space should be dry. Simply put, moisture caused the mold growth, just remediating the mold without addressing the cause does not solve your problem. There  should be a working dehumidifier in basements and crawl spaces. Building repairs that allowed the initial water entry should be completed, such as leaking basement windows, or roof leaks.  On the outside -  roof leaders should be extended away from the house.   There should be a slope away from the foundation to carry water away (positive drainage). 
  5. Ceilings, wood framing, roof sheeting, any remaining organic surfaces within the space, should have been treated with a mold resistant coating.  The coating seals the wood to prevent moisture from getting a toehold, which is exactly how the mold was able to grow  in the first place.  The coating should also have a long acting fungicide to prevent future growth.  The better coatings have a 10 year warranty and are white in color so you know the area has been treated visually.  The clear coat products have lost favor, as it is difficult to ensure that application was even and thorough throughout the space.
  6. If the owner performed the remediation, an invoice should be obtained to ensure that the mold remediation was performed professionally and not DIY. 
  7. A warranty (typically on the mold resistant coating) should be obtainable and transferable to the new owner.  Warranties that are provided by the company PERFORMING the work are nearly worthless since these companies come and go with little in financial backing.  The companies that manufacture and sell the coating to mold remediators to utilize are multimillion dollar firms with the deep pockets to backup and support any future warranty claims.Click to edit your new post...

Mold Questions? Click Here

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Tags: mold

All Appropriate Inquiries Innocent Landowner Defense

Posted by David C Sulock on Feb 16, 2016 3:54:12 PM

 

Due Diligence and the Innocent Landowner Defense

 

The experienced and well informed know that due diligence is an important and common practice when purchasing real estate.  The advantage of due diligence and conversely not performing due diligence can best be compared to the saying "you break it, you buy it".  In real estate terms if you buy a property that has an environmental issue (broken) that you were not aware of prior to purchase, you own it and the issue is yours to pay for no matter the cost or value of the real estate.

For example a couple received an inheritance from a relative, the money's were substantial enough for the couple to realize a dream of buying and operating an automotive garage.  This dream was achieved by buying a garage cash from a fellow who was retiring.  They were able to buy the land and tools for approximately $100,000.00. (As a side note the lower the value of the property, the more risk there is that an environmental issue can be a large percentage of the property price. I say this as time and again prospective buyers defer a Phase I as the purchase price is low).   They used an attorney for the paperwork, but no bank was involved.  While the attorney advised of performing a Phase I, the buyers were not concerned and did not want to derail the deal for something they saw as a waste of time and money.   Couple buys property, run the garage for three years and then husband develops health concerns limiting physical activity such as working on cars.  Couple list property for sale, potential buyer finds property and decides to buy it.  Buyer goes to bank, as he is not able to pay cash as the current owner did.  Bank does phase I, finds issues leading to a phase II. Phase II finds oils in ground from garage operations. Buyer requires owner to remediate, owners say not their problem and are selling as is.  

Deal falls through, owner now paying money from retirement to cleanup the problem.  Buyer is gone, garage is closed and owners are spending 50% of what they paid to cleanup the site. 

Can the owners claim an innocent landowner defense?  

No, the innocent landowner defense is based upon a party purchasing a property and having no knowledge of contamination at time of purchase. A buyer must perform an all appropriate inquiries (AAI) prior to purchase to begin to have this defense.

 

What does an All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) inquiry entail?

Completion of a Phase I ESA as per

  1. All Appropriate Inquiries

“All appropriate inquiries” refers to the process of evaluating a property’s environmental conditions and assessing potential liability for contamination either past or present.  This applies to any party seeking to assert protection from CERCLA liability as an innocent landowner, or a bona fide prospective purchaser, or a contiguous property owner. 

In 2002 Brownfields Amendments were set forth requiring the EPA to establish regulations establishing standards and practices for conducting all appropriate inquiries. These practices were meant to include research into the previous ownership and uses of a property necessary to qualify for certain landowner liability protections. 

November 1, 2005, the EPA published in the Federal Register its final rule entitled “Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries,” in which it declared that the American Society for Testing and Materials (“ASTM”) E1527-05 standard, entitled “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process,” can be used to comply with the provisions of the rule.  The standards and practices constituting “all appropriate inquiries” are set forth in 40 C.F.R. Part 312.

 

Get answers to Phase I Questions

What is included in the All Appropriate Inquiries?

  1. Must be conducted or updated within one year of acquiring ownership of a property. 
  2. Interviews with past and present owners, operators, and occupants, the review of government records, visual site inspections, and searches for environmental cleanup liens, must be conducted or updated within 180 days prior to acquiring ownership of the property.
  3. An environmental professional must conduct or oversee the conduct of activities required by the all-appropriate inquiry rule. 
  4. The environmental professional must conduct the following inquiry activities:
  • Interviews with past and present owners, operators, and occupants of the facility for the purpose of gathering information regarding the potential for contamination at the facility;
  • Reviews of historical sources, such as chain of title documents, aerial photographs, building department records, and land use records, to determine previous uses and occupancies of the real property since the property was first developed;
  • Reviews of Federal, State, and local government records, waste disposal records, underground storage tank records, and hazardous waste handling, generation, treatment, disposal, and spill records, concerning contamination at or near the facility;
  • Walking inspections of the site and of adjoining properties;
  • Assessments of commonly known or reasonably ascertainable information about the property; and
  • Assessments of the degree of obviousness of the presence or likely presence of contamination at the property, and the ability to detect the contamination by appropriate inspection.
  • 5 Searches for recorded environmental cleanup liens against the site that are filed under Federal, State, or local law.
  1. Assessments of specialized knowledge or experience on the part of the prospective landowner.
  2. The relationship of the purchase price to the value of the property, if the property was not contaminated.

An innocent landowner defense also extends to the operation and maintenance of the site after purchase. Once the property is owned the new owner must take reasonable steps to stop any continuing release, prevent any future release, and prevent or limit human, environmental, or natural resource exposure to any previously released hazardous substances. The owner must also cooperate, provide assistance, and allow access to persons to conduct response actions or natural resource restoration at the site. Owners must maintain any and all land use restrictions and not degrade the effectiveness of institutional controls.

Additional responsibilities cover cooperating with requests and administrative subpoenas concerning the facility and follow through with all legally required notices (public notification and government) regarding the discovery or release of any hazardous substances at the facility.

Lastly to comply with AAI, the purchaser cannot be associated/affiliated with any other potentially responsible party through any direct or indirect familial relationship, or any contractual, corporate, or financial relationship (excluding relationships created by instruments conveying or financing title or by contracts for the sale of goods or services).

Bottom line the new owner has to be able to prove that the environmental contamination damages were caused by a third party with whom the new owner does not have an employment, agency, or contractual relationship, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 9601(35).

Buyers beware and perform your due diligence so you know before you buy?

Tags: Phase I, AAI All Appropriate Inquiries

The Truth about Mold in your House/Business.

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Feb 16, 2016 2:30:00 PM

Raised_mold1.jpg

(Raised Mold On Wood)

There are so many myths out there regarding Mold.  If you Google “Does Mold Cause Cancer” you will get many different answers.  Let’s see if we can find the truth.

The best and only place that you should ever visit on the web regarding mold are government sites, such as the CDC, EPA  or state sites. Many states have no standards regarding mold and Mold Inspectors and Remediators do not have to be licensed.  New York is one of the only states at this point that Mold Inspectors and Remediators have to be licensed and this began starting this January (2016).

Examples of Government websites.

www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs

This website details many different issues that arise regarding mold.

http://www.epa.gov/mold

Good information on keeping a home mold free.

The State of New York

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/environmental/mold.shtml

Can Mold really make you sick?

No and yes, not all molds cause illnesses or even cause cancer.  There are thousands and thousands of types of mold and mold spores that are alive in every area of our living space. This means both inside and outside there are some levels of mold.  The most important part of understanding mold is finding where the moisture problem is – take care of the moisture problem first, then address the mold.  With that being said, if mold is present and there is belief that this is causing some sort of illness, testing for types of mold and mold spores would be a good idea.  In the event that you have certain types of mold spores a remediation would be necessary. For example, if there is Aspergillus spores, there is a possibility of illness in those with weakened Immune systems. (https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001326.htm).  That is just one example of types of spores that have possibility of causing illness. 

Remember – always double check your information.  The internet is not always correct.  Double check the information and again make sure that these sites you receive your information are government websites.  

For more information on Types of Mold click here.

Questions about Mold?  Please call us at 888-301-1050 or fill out the form below.  Thank you.

Tags: mold

Is a Tank Sweep (tank scan) necessary?

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Feb 4, 2016 8:30:00 AM

GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar)

Ground Penetrating Radar surveys (GPR) can locate subsurface obstructions – including utilities, Underground Storage Tanks (UST), former swimming pools and more.  For more information GPR systems click here.

Why do you need a tank scan (tank sweep)?

Sometimes homeowners are unaware that they are the owners of an Underground Oil Tank (UST). They had gas since they bought the house, or there was an above ground oil tank but had no knowledge of an UST. When the homeowner decides it’s time to sell notably there is no evidence of an UST. This is when the Buyer makes the decision to do a tank scan. 


Things to know if you believe a tank scan is necessary.
1. House built before 1985
2. Above Ground Oil Tank
3. Fill Pipe
4. Vent Pipe
5. Copper lines
6. Neighborhood that typically has Underground Storage Tanks
7. A furnace chimney
8. Oil Emergency Shut Off Switch by heater

House built before 1985
Almost always there was an oil tank if the house was built in the 1940’s and early 1950’s
If the house was built before 1985 you should presume that there is an Underground Oil Tank unless the seller provides otherwise.

 

find buried tank

Above Ground Oil Tank
Before oil tanks homes were heated with coal. Then the underground oil tanks were followed by above ground oil tanks. If there is an Above Ground Oil tank there is a large possibility that there, at some time, was an Underground Oil Tank.

A Furnace Chimney
In many old homes the chimney was not just used for wood burning, it was used for coal or oil. Check the chimney and see how many flues there are.

chimney.jpg

Need a tank scan (tank sweep)?  Please fill out the form below or please call at 888-351-1050.

Prevent Mold Growth Over the Winter...

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Jan 27, 2016 9:00:00 PM

Prevention Tips to keep a clean and moisture free home.

Steps to prevent Mold in the Winter Months...

Don’t let mold grow over the winter…

Mold_on_ceiling_of_bathroom.jpg

 

Steps to prevent mold in the winter months.

  • Keep moisture from creeping in your home or building.
  • Check for cracked or defective areas in your basement. Water can find those areas and seep in.
  • Inspect all outside drainage areas, all the roof leaders (downspouts), all gutters should be cleaned and clear.
  • If the home is vacant for the season make sure all pipes are dry and the water has properly been shut off.
  • Set the heat to a proper temperature to ensure no pipes can freeze and burst.
  • If there are freezing temperatures, take measures to insulate pipes inside and out to ensure they will not crack and/or burst.
  • Make sure all the seals on the windows and doors are not compromised and in good-working condition.
  • Ensure proper ground sloping away from your home or building foundation so that water does not collect in a certain area to enter it.
  • Properly use your bathroom fan.  Always use when the shower is on and try to keep a window open.
  • Always act quickly if you see condensation on windows, pipes, or walls inside a building. Find the source of the condensation and provide a solution.
  • Keep everything clean and dry.

Cold and wet moisure can creep into cracks, holes and small areas of your home or building.  If you see any moisture build up find the source as soon as possible to prevent mold growth.  

Questions or concerns on Mold?  Contact us by filling out the form below.

 

Mold Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by David C Sulock on Jan 21, 2016 11:11:17 AM

After almost 20 years of providing environmnetal solutions, we have provided a summary of the molst commonly asked mold related questions.  What to know about mold, toxic mold, mold remediation and who to hire to perform mold remediation?   Read our commonly asked mold questions.

IMG_1305.jpgWhat is Mold?

Mold is a fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. Mold is natural to our environment; some level of Mold is present at all times.   Outdoor Mold can be found in shady, damp areas such as where leaves lay or where vegetation is decomposing. Indoor Mold is found when moisture levels rise above 60; for example, Attics, Crawl Spaces, Basements and Showers (bathrooms).

 How many types of Mold are there?

There is no general consensus as to how many types of Mold there are in the world.  Estimates range from tens of thousands to over three hundred thousand or more.

 What are some of the common indoor Molds?

  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus

How do Molds affect people?

In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mold [PDF - 2.52 MB]. Studies have suggested a potential link of early Mold exposure in children to development of asthma in, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.  Bottom line more research is needed, but evidence to date correlates to health related concern in Moldy environmental as compared to living spaces that lack Mold growth.    Molds grow best in warm, damp (wet), and humid conditions. When Mold grows it can off-gas and produce the smell of musty odor that is so commonly associated with Mold.  When conditions are right (humidity below 55 and temperature below 70 degrees), Molds will go dormant, like a lawn in winter.  When temperatures rise and moisture levels increase Molds will grow again, which is when you are more likely to smell the musty odor.

I smell a musty odor but don’t see any Mold? 

If a musty odor is present, which is not typical for the living space, quite simply you have something that is off-gassing causing the odor.  You must ask yourself a few questions.

I see Mold but I do not smell a musty odor, why?  If I don’t smell Mold is it not Mold? 

In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found evidence to link indoor exposure to Mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor Mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children.  

  1. Has anything changed in the space?  
  2. Has anything new been brought into the space such as books, boxes or old possessions that maybe giving off an odor.  
  3. New carpet, paint, furniture?  

You see where this is going, if nothing has been added then something that is and has been present is off-gassing and if the odor is truly musty, then a moisture issue is present and fueling Mold growth.   In the industry we call this Hidden Mold and you should hire a professional to look for Mold.

Can Mold be killed by cold weather?

Mold spores can survive extreme environmental conditions, such as dry and freezing conditions.  Like grass they go dormant and will become active again when conditions improve.   

I am looking to hire a firm to remediate Mold, what licensing should I look for?

If your site is in New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Delaware, there is no licensing or state certification.  Unlike tank removal which requires companies to be certified, Mold remediation is not a service where a license is required.

Should I be concerned that the Mold Company is not certified?

Yes and no.  Yes, you should be concerned as it is difficult to ascertain if the company is qualified or competent to remediate Mold when a licensing program does not exist.   There are things to look for when evaluating Mold fits.  One did you find them through advertising?  Surveys have shown that referral is a more solid form of evaluation as opposed to pay per click advertising.  Next, google the company, is it a PO Box, do they work out of a house in a residential area, if so tread with caution, these firms need personnel and equipment to perform the work and a home based business typically means they subcontract the services.  Third, do they provide any other environmental services?  Carpet cleaning and termite services are not what is typically associated with environmental services, these firms maybe doing Mold as a sideline.  Full-service companies would also perform other remediation services such as tank removal, soil and water remediation and environmental audits.  These types of firms have no doubt encountered Mold in a variety of commercial and residential settings and are more likely to have the expertise.  As a general point of reference New Jersey, Pennsylvania & Delaware require licensing to perform these tasks so you can be assured there are some core competencies at the firm. 

Why should I not be concerned about Mold licensing?

Well to be fair, only New York State has licensing requirement for Mold inspection and remediation and that started on January 1, 2016.  So it is hard to be licensed in a state if the state does not offer it. I would circle back to the above answer for a more thorough explanation as to why you should be concerned.

I obtained two quotes to remediate the Mold and the prices are wide spread, why are costs so variable?

We have found that companies that are home based or “Mold only” firms, swing high on costs as their workload is so variable and to survive they have to charge more when work is not abundant.  These firms also suffer from a diversity of services, so if jobs are not coming in for Mold related work, they have no other sources of revenue.   Remember every property needs plumbing, roofing and painting, NOT every site will require Mold remediation, so if that is all a company offers too many eggs may be in one basket.  In Curren’s 20 years of business, we have seen the opening and closing of franchised operations with too high of an overhead same goes for small, home-based entities closing up shop.

black mold

 A company tested for mold and told me I have Toxic Mold and need to remediate the mold immediately. Is there such as thing as Toxic Mold?  I feel like the mold company is trying to scare me, no one is getting sick from the mold.

 Great questions and you should be wary of anything else the mold company says. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and this is directly from their website http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm

The term "toxic mold" is not accurate. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous. Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds, which can grow in your house.

Who is the CDC?   Why should I believe the CDC, when they say there is no toxic mold?

From the CDC web site: The CDC works 24/7(http://www.cdc.gov/24-7/index.html) to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

Unfortunately, Mold is highly unregulated and misinformation is being presented by mold companies (private non-government web sites) that only cares and confuses consumers.

 I had Mold remediation performed, how do I prevent Mold from returning?

Take away the food source and environment and Mold growth can be prevented. Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%—all day long. An air conditioner in summer and or dehumidifier YEAR ROUND will help you keep the level low. Humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so 24/7 dehumidification is recommended. Dehumidifiers that are able to operate autonomously, meaning units that have a drain house connected to an outfall such as a sink or sump, so human interaction is not required to empty the water tank is best.   Exhaust fans that actually suck air in humid environments such as bathrooms are needed and MUST be used when humidity increases.  Bottom line we find Mold in bathrooms where exhaust gas fans are not present, are not used or lack sufficient power to exhaust humid air.  Take our test, turn on the fan and place a paper towel on the fan, if the fan cannot hold the towel in place, your fan sucks and not the good kind (replace the fan).

  • Attics should able passive and active ventilation
  • Crawl spaces should be dry with vapor barriers.
  • Soil should have a positive slope around the entire house so water flows away not toward the foundation.
  • All roof leaders should be extended 5’ to 10’ away from the building foundation.
  • Do not carpet bathrooms and basements.
  • Any water entry, flooding, eat, must be dried out within 48 hours to prevent Mold growth.

I saw Mold and hired a company to inspect and they confirmed it was Mold.  They were quick to give me a cost to remediate (read expensive Mold remediation) but said little regarding why the Mold was present.I found Mold growing in my home, how do I test the Mold?

The EPA and CDC do not recommend sampling for Molds. Since the susceptibility of individuals can vary greatly, the type is not important.   If you are susceptible to Mold and if it is seen or smelled, there is a potential health risk; therefore, no matter what type of Mold is present, you should arrange for its removal. 

Mold inspection without evaluation as to what caused the Mold is a concern.  Mold inspections should provide an opinion as to why the Mold was present, i.e., what caused it and what to do to prevent growth in the future.   We have seen Mold grow back after remediation due to the fact that the moisture problem was not addressed – controls to stop the moisture were not established so of course Mold can grow back.

Don't let Mold Grow in your Humidifier...

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Jan 19, 2016 11:30:00 AM


Dry skin? Bloody noses from dry air?  

A humidifier can ease these symptoms during the dry, cold winter months.  But be careful, when you use a humidifier it is recommended to keep the humidity at a certain level and keep it clean. Dirty humidifiers can produce mold and bacteria which then filters into the air. Minerals can be released in the mist and settle as fine white dust. The white dust may contain particles that can enter the lungs. While the health effects are not quite clear yet, any type of impact on human health depends upon the types and the amounts of minerals found in the water used.



Use the following steps to keep the humidifier clean.

  1. Replace old humidifiers.  Old humidifiers can build mineral deposits that are difficult to remove and contain bacteria growth.
  2. Use distilled or demineralized water. Tap water contains minerals that can deposit and promote bacteria growth.
  3. Clean your humidifier every three days. Make sure you unplug the humidifier first.  Empty any unused water.  Add undiluted white vinegar and let sit for 30-45 minutes.  Empty vinegar and use small scrub brush to remove any leftover residue. Rinse.  
  4. Disinfect your humidifier every three days. Remove any mineral deposit and use a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution.  (Found at any local pharmacy usually in the brown bottle). Add the hydrogen peroxide and let sit for 30 minutes.  Scrub and rinse the tank after cleaning so no chemicals become airborne.
  5. Change water daily.
  6. Change the filter. Read the directions and change the filter as often as the manufacturer recommends.
  7. Prepare humidifier for storage. When the spring comes prepare your humidifier for proper storage.  Follow procedures to properly clean, remove filters and dry the humidifier.

Don't let your humidifier look like this.    It should look like this.

Dirty Humidifier                                     Clean Humidifier

 Humifier_dirty.jpg          humidifier_clean.jpg

 



 For more information on Mold fill out the form below or call Curren Environmental, Inc. at 888-301-1050.

Tags: mold