Curren Environmental Blog

Tiffany Byrne

Recent Posts

Don't Get Eaten Alive by Mosquitoes!

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Jun 24, 2019 8:40:00 AM

Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance, they can carry & spread diseases to pets and humans. Some mosquitoes can fly up to a mile or two or some fly only 100- 200 yards (Asian tiger mosquito). You should be aware of your surroundings and what water is on your property, especially after the heavy rain storms this past week.

The good news is that as a homeowner you can help reduce the mosquito infestation in your own backyard. Curren Environmental’s Mosquito Control & Remediation recommends that you follow the steps below so that you, your friends and family may enjoy your backyard.

  • Corrugated drainpipes off downspouts. Each trough is a potential breeding ground. If you have many feet of drainpipe, consider replacing it with smooth PVC piping. If you can’t do that, just replace them.Corrugated downspout

  • Children’s toys, especially plastic toys that have small areas where water can pool. Keep in mind that the toy itself may be very big, like a bike or a playhouse, but if it has handles or any indentation where water can pool in small amounts, it’s a breeding ground.

  • All containers, such as buckets, pails, water bottles, trash cans (including lids), storage totes, recycling containers, etc. Even if these items are kept upside down, water can often pool in the handles or lips of the container.

  • Tarps that hold water, even just a little, flip and empty them. Dry the tarps before replacing.

  • Plastic chairs, tables and all outside furniture, especially if it is upside down

  • Flowerpots, especially those with a saucer underneath it to catch water.

  • Wheel barrels stored improperly.

  • Anything that can hold small amounts of water. Even large things that hold water, like bird baths, usually have calm areas around the edges where mosquitoes can breed.

If you follow the steps above and remove the breeding grounds to best of your ability you may be able to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard.

For more information on Curren Environmental’s Mosquito Control & Remediation please call 856-858-9509 or email at tiffany@currenenvironmental.com.

Tags: mosquito control service, mosquito removal companies

Is There Lead in Your Home?

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on May 15, 2019 11:07:00 AM

Lead is a naturally occurring element that many elementary students learn about in school. Lead became popular in the early 1940’s because it simply made products better. Lead was used to seal jars; lead gave roofs waterproof linings and lead was used in sewer and water pipes so that the pipes would not easily crack. Lead was most popular in paint, as it would quicken the drying process to resist moisture and increase the durability of the paint.

Later, lead was found to be toxic to humans and animals, causing health issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that even though there are no known identified safe blood lead level, exposure can seriously harm a child’s health. Exposure in children can lead to damage to the brain, nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning & behavior problems as well as hearing and speech problems. The human bodies simply cannot process metals.

The most common source of lead exposure in children is lead paint. Lead paint was banned in 1978 in the United States.If your house was built prior to 1978 it is highly likely that there is lead paint somewhere, especially on any old cracked, peeling paint windows and door frames. Lead on doors, wood trim and around windows are more prone to deterioration and chipping especially if the wood surface is exposed to direct sunlight. Lead can be dangerous if it is not properly contained. Maintaining painted surfaces with fresh coats of paint will help prevent lead from separating from the painted surface.There are a number of low cost DIY test kits for lead paint .  If you are not sure if you have lead paint, visit Home Depot for a lead paint test kit.

 Lead Paint on Door

How can you avoid lead exposure in your drinking water?

If your home was constructed before 1986 than your water pipes may contain lead. The longer lead sits in your water pipes the more time it has time to accumulate. If you have not used your water for several hours, it is important to flush your pipes in the morning, after school or after work for one to two minutes before drinking or cooking. Never use warm water immediately from the tap for consumption as the heat can help leach the lead from the water piles in the pipes. For more information on lead in drinking water visit the EPA.

If your water has not been tested or treated, look into a test, or they have tests at Home depot as well.

For more information check government websites such as the EPA an CDC or call your local township and government offices and see what assistance they can provide.

The SuperMoon will bring outside brightness on the first day of Spring...more time for outside "Spring" cleaning!

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Mar 19, 2019 10:35:00 AM

This first day of spring is different than many others. On this Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 it will be a special night for the " SuperMoon". The Sun actually moves in a direct line across the sky and the noonday sun stands at a medium or average height above the southern horizon. Set your clocks at 9:43 PM EDT on March 20th, 2019. This is the third and final "SuperMoon" of 2019. Meaning, the moon's closest point to the earth.

With all the brightness and the reminder of Spring...get the garden tools out, check the lawn mower and prepare your cleaning supplies! 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. Mold growth can be a health concern to you and your family. Take the preventative steps and measures to stop mold growth before it can occur.

Curren Mold Remediation

Don't forget about those pesky mosquitoes! They are breeding in all the stagnant water that you have around your home. Admire the SuperMoon's brightness and walk around your property and empty buckets, plant pails and standing water on the first spring night. After the next rain storm do the same, and remember to always empty any standing water. Mosquitoes can complete their life cycle in as little as four days according to the American Mosquito Control Association.

Mosquito control dont's

For more information about Curren Environmental click here.

Who Reports a Tank Leak?

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Feb 14, 2019 8:15:00 AM

What is the process of the Notification of Requirements when an Underground Oil Tank Leaks (Discharges)?

There are many conflicting concerns regarding who makes the phone call for the notification of discharge to the NJDEP (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection) when an Underground Oil Tank in the state of New Jersey is found to be leaking.  Is it the homeowner, or contractor who removed the tank?  Could it be the nosy neighbor watching from kitchen window in the next yard over?

Historically, the reporting of a discharge was the responsibility of a knowledgeable party.  Meaning if you knew you were supposed to report a leak, you were the individual who should do it.

 reportable tank leaks

The NJDEP amended and updated their Heating Oil Tank System Remediation Rules on August 6, 2018. According to those rules, "Upon discovery of discharge, the owner shall immediately notify the Department by calling the Department hotline at 1-877-WARNDEP (1-877-927-6337)".  The owner of the property where the underground oil tank is located, and where the leak (discharge) was discovered is legally required to call in the discharge to the NJDEP at time of discovery of the discharge. (7:26F-1.6 Notification Requirements).

There are other processes and concerns as well. That nosy neighbor may be concerned if your property is leaking oil onto theirs which is highly unlikely.  But the NJDEP has rules and regulations and in 7:26C-1.7 Notification and public outreach - "Immediately after discharges commences a person or persons responsible for a discharge who knows or should know of a discharge shall IMMEDIATELY notify the Department".  It is also noted that the person responsible for providing the remediation will notify the NJDEP if any of the of the following is identifiable on the site:

  1. Contamination caused by a discharge that has not been already known to Department
  2. An immediate environmental concern
  3. Contamination, that was previously reported to Department has been determined to have migrated onto the site from another site.

(If the discharge occurred from an historic fill site the person is not required to notify the department regarding b and c above.)

What the NJDEP amended regulations are providing, is the owner of the underground oil tank, if the tank is to discharge oversees making the phone to the NJDEP (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection) and providing the Department with the proper information regarding their tank and the discharge of the oil into the soil.

So when a property owner finds a leak that has occurred on their property, the leak should be reported by the owner. If you are buying a property and do testing and find contamination the contamination must be made aware to the owner so it can be reported. 

Bottom line discharges are required to be reported, if you know of a discharge and that it is not reported you need to report the discharge. 

Please don't hesitate to call Curren Environmental

1-888-301-1050

 and we will answer any questions you may have regarding your Underground Oil Tanks.

Tags: NJDEP HOTS

Mold Growth. Learn Fact from Fiction.

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Dec 20, 2018 11:09:00 AM

Fact: Mold needs water to grow.

“There is always some mold everywhere – in the air and on many surfaces. Molds have been on the Earth for millions of years. Mold grows where there is moisture”

From CDC (Center for Disease Control)

When you see mold, it indicates water issues - water is the fuel that propels mold growth.

Fiction: The leak just went away.

No, the leak didn’t just “go away” it was diverted and is leaking into a different part of your home. The leak could also happen when certain conditions are met, such as rain from a Northeastern direction or when your guests are using the spare bathroom. Take care of any leak be it  roof, bathroom or basement right away before it can turn into mold growth.

Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes will save you from mold. Mold growth can begin to occur 48 to 72 hours after water/moisture appears on organic surfaces.

Fact: Mold comes in many different colors, green, yellow, black, white…etc. 

Mold Color Collage

Fiction: Black mold is the bad toxic mold.

Black toxic mold is a myth. There is a mold of color that is black but there is no such mold as the “black toxic mold”. There are thousands of mold spores that have different colors and have different health effects. Find out more at Types of Mold. 

 

Humidity caused mold

Fact: Mold growth can occur due to excess humidity.

When your home does not have the proper (habitable) humidity and temperature inside, mold growth can occur, without any water leaks. American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHREA), recommends 30 to 60% RH (Relative Humidity) indoors. (Read more here).

 

 

Fiction: Houses do not need gutters.

House needs gutters

When you don’t have any gutters, rain water falls directly adjacent to the dwelling foundation. This water can cause damage to foundation and find a pathway into your home. In the image, no gutters were installed and water drained into  the crawl space, causing mold growth. The HVAC system was located in the crawl space, where airborne mold spores were brought into the HVAC from the crawl space and distributed throughout the entire house. This caused a musty smell, and after air sampling, showed high levels of mold spores.

Fact: Exposure to damp and mold environments may cause health effects.

Many government organizations (EPA, CDC, Health Canada) agree that water damaged building materials can have adverse health effects to humans exposed to these materials. Who is most likely to be affected by mold depends on the sensitivity of those exposed. People with allergies may have more severe reactions to mold. Those that are immune compromised, have chronic lung illness, infants and young children or the elderly are also more likely to have an allergic reaction to mold growth.

Fiction: Any exposure to mold will cause health effects.

Again – mold is everywhere. It is inside and outside and everyone has different reactions to different types of mold spores. The specific type of reaction a person will have to mold depends on that person.

More Facts:

Fact: Subterranean spaces need dehumidifiers.

 Dehumidifier

True. Managing relative humidity is key to preventing mold growth. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHREA), recommends 30 to 60% RH (Relative Humidity). Subterranean spaces such as basements and crawl spaces by nature have higher relative humidity, which can be controlled by utilizing a dehumidifier.

Fact: Mold can be carried into your home by attaching itself to clothing, shoes, bags and pets.

True, old books, magazine and cardboard boxes can harbor mold spores. Pets that go outside and stay in the bushes or lay in the grass bring mold into the home. 

Fact: Mold can grow inside during cold weather.

In the winter, when buildings are heated, mold often grows in cold, uninsulated exterior windows and walls, including uninsulated closets along exterior walls where building surfaces are generally cold relative to the indoor air temperature. These temperature differentials can allow condensation and are associated mold growth.

Fact: Temperature affects mold growth.

Different types of mold have minimum, optimum and maximum temperature ranges for growth. Many fungi grow well at temperatures between 60- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit, which are also ideal temperatures for human comfort. In addition, as mentioned above, temperature gradients often produce the moisture needed for mold growth. The relative temperature will dictate what type molds are more likely to grow in a that given environment.

Questions? Call Curren Environmental at 856-858-9509 or email us now at info@currenenvironmental.com.

Tags: mold

Don't Let Your Pipes Freeze!

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Nov 15, 2018 8:35:00 AM

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

Before vacation a family prepped the house for departure - they closed and locked all doors, left some lights on and turned down the heat (50 degrees). The family even called a local friend to keep an eye on the home. But what they didn't pay attention to was that that the temperatures plummeted to below freezing. The family forgot to turn off their outside plumbing hose bibs.  The pipes froze to the outdoors. Two days later the temperature rose to above freezing and the pipes burst. Water poured into 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.

 

Outdoor pipes freeze

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

  • Disconnect and drain garden hoses from the outdoor faucets (NOW).
  • Turn off water inside the home to these bibs.
  • 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.
  • Secure the basement doors and close and weather strip the exterior basement windows and doors.
  • When you leave your home in winter, 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.
  • Turn off your sprinkler system and make sure you blow out compressed air through the irrigation lines to ensure the water is drained (October or November) If the water is not drained it can freeze inside the lines damaging your expensive water system.
  • In your laundry room, turn off the water valves to the washer and dryer.  The hoses hold pressure which builds up the longer the washer and dryer are not used.  
  • 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.
  • Wrap your water heater with an approved manufacturer’s blanket.
  • Don’t set thermostat lower than 55 degrees when traveling. Ask a neighbor to check on your house during below freezing temperatures.
  • Keep your garage doors closed during extreme cold weather.

IMG_5978

 

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

Whether you are home or away, don’t let your pipes burst - make sure you follow the above 10 tips to keep your pipes from freezing.

 

Tags: Mold Testing

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