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Tiffany Byrne


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Top 5 Environmental Deal Breakers in Real Estate

Oct 1, 2020 11:00:00 AM / by Tiffany Byrne posted in Selling a house, Buying a house, Real Estate

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You found the perfect house, it's beautiful inside and out.  This is not the first house you looked at, you actually lost count, so you have a large pool of houses you considered before you decided to make an offer on this one.  There may be a few adjustments when you move in (that worn carpet is going, that wall separating the kitchen and family room is going to go  and lastly the large pink bathroom is getting redone.) but mostly it is actually your dream home (great location, yard, large bedrooms and closets).  You do the walk through and make an offer on the home.  Move forward and now even though the home was your dream home, you never even thought about the environmental issues would impact the purchase of that property. 

Underground Oil Tank

The house has charm, it was built in 1950, so oil heat is assured (there really weren't any other choices).  You do a tank sweep Oil Tank Sweep and find a long forgotten oil tank in the side yard.  Should be easy to remove, cost is around $1,600.00.  You request it be removed. Oil Tank Removal.  The seller's google oil tank leak and get skittish.

tank found with oil tank sweep

Mold in the Basement

Home inspection find suspect fungal growth in the basement.  You hire a mold consultant and the basement is tested and mold is confirmed Mold Inspection & Testing.  Mold remediation as well as mold prevention measures are $2,700.00.  Seller gripes about having to remediate the mold, but their realtor and attorney advised that now that the presence of mold is known it must be disclosed to future buyers and many buyers may be hesitant to buy a home with old.    You are told that mold is not a selling feature.    But hey the mold remediation comes with a long warranty, who doesn't want piece of mind.  Mold Remediation

mold remediation

Call for Mold Questions.

Asbestos in the Wall you want to remove.

Asbestos was actually considered a green building product back in the day.  It was used everywhere, including in plaster and since the house was built in the 1950 (asbestos was banned in the 1970's).   The contractor you had walk through to give you a renovation budget said the presence of asbestos is almost guaranteed as he has worked in the town for years and it comes up on all his projects of homes from that era).   Not a huge problem, but it is going to add thousands to the renovation budget, the landscaping budget just evaporated).  The money for the asbestos is not a concession the seller is willing to step up to, since its well documented that older homes have asbestos.  In fact your realtor tells you that it would be a real feat to find a home built before 1970 that doesn't have asbestos somewhere in the home.

The HVAC System has poor Indoor air quality.

You learned during the home inspection process that the HVAC system is the lungs of the home.  Makes sense hot and cold air run through the system so anything that the system does to improve air quality helps.  This system doesn't do much.  You learned that the little 1"  (inch) filter does next to nothing to remove particulate from the air.  You need a MERV 13 or 16 filter, which is 5" thick.  MERV: minimum efficiency reporting value.  The MERV 16?  Well that filter captures >95% of particles in the entire size range tested (0.3-10.0 microns), one micron — a millionth of a meter, kind of like adding a N-95 mask to your HVAC system.    The system also needs to add more fresh air every hour to compensate for people consuming air and adding carbon dioxide with every breath exhaled.  The house doesn't have a whole house humidifier, which you need in winter to raise humidity.  Apparently viruses can thrive in a low humidity environment.    Lastly you need a UV light added to the system.  Why UV Light?  Ultraviolet lights have been proven to  kill mold, viruses and bacteria for more than 100 years. In 1903, Niels Finsen was given the Noble Prize in Medicine for using UV to effectively treat patients with skin infections.     UV Light is also being used to clean areas of Covid-19.   It all makes sense, you though a heater was a heater, but indoor air quality is on everyone's mind and improving indoor air quality.  Again the sellers are not contributing to the cost since the HVAC was visible, but your untrained eye missed what the HVAC system as missing.  On a side note, their realtor tells your realtor that they are making the same changes to the HVAC system on the home they are buying.

Oil Tank Leaked.

Sellers agreed to remove the tank, and yes a buried metal tank in the ground will rust and oil will leak through the holes.    Remediation cost you are told is around $19,000, and that is not a really expensive cleanup either.  The sellers move forward with the work, but settlement is delayed 45 days due to the remediation and the government signoff of the work.  Again your realtor and attorney explain that a looming oil tank remediation is going to deter other buyers.   Side note, both your mortgage company and home owner's insurance carrier had issues providing insurance and a mortgage on a property with oil contamination.

Want to learn about environmental issues in real estate?

What to know how a home can be green?

Curren Environmental is an education provider and lectures on these topics?   Want to make your staff, your company, your associates smarter about environmental topics?   Call Tiffany Byrne to learn how we can help   856-858-9509

 

Curren Green Home Ideas

 

 

 

 

 

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NJDEP Grant for Leaking Underground Oil Tanks (LUST)

May 27, 2020 9:00:00 AM / by Tiffany Byrne

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New Jersey has a grant program available if you removed your underground oil tank and soil contamination above the NJ standards are present. Eligible applicants can request reimbursement for tank removal costs and future remediation expenses. There are, however, some stipulations that you must be aware of first before you can begin your application.

The NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA) makes the determination on the applications eligibility for the grant award. To be considered for the grant the following must exist:

  • It must be an underground oil tank. For the tank to be considered an underground oil tank it must be at least 10 % underground.
  • Taxable income of no more than $250,000 and a personal net worth, exclusive of applicant's primary residence, employer sponsored pension and traditional retirement accounts such as 401K’s and IRA’s, of no more than $500,000.
  • You must use a licensed oil tank removal company to remove the oil tank and provide soil sampling.
  • Must own tank at time of removal and home must be primary residence.

Those applicants not meeting the criteria for financial hardship will not be considered for the grant program.

The application itself is detailed and applicants need help filling out the application and acquiring the attachments. The NJDEP Grant application requires information including the site address, case number, tank removal company and information regarding your insurance coverage. Below is an example of what should be filled out:

  1. Application (3 Pages) – (if a section does not pertain to your site, please mark N/A). Note on the first page of the application the total amount requested is blank; this will be completed upon receipt of all paid invoices and the final amount of the remediation is determined.
  2. Attachment A (1 Page)- sign in the presence of a notary
  3. Attachment B (1 Page)- sign in the presence of a notary
  4. Attachment C is for Non-Profit Organizations.
  5. Attachment D (Information on the tank removal date and company that provided the tank removal)
  6. Attachment E (if it pertains to you and your property)
  7. Attachment F (if it pertains to you and your property)

Once your application is filled out, receipts and lab data are included and the application is notarized, it is ready to send to the NJDEP.

The following is a general overview of what you can expect about the timing and costs for the grant process.

Grant applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received and are approved as funding allows. The NJDEP Bureau of Contract & Fund Management will review the proposal for compliance with their rate structure. The NJDEP Bureau of Contract & Fund Management will also determine if the scope of work is acceptable, which validates the cost structure. Upon completion of its review, the NJDEP will forward eligible application to the NJEDA.

New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA)

After the NJEDA has received notification from the NJDEP accepting the scope of work, the NJEDA will send you, directly, an application packet to be completed and returned to the NJEDA. The NJEDA will then review your application and determine eligibility for the program based on your financial situation. You will need to submit a $250.00 (nonrefundable) application fee. You will be notified of their findings. Curren does not have an estimated timeframe for the review process, but in the past it has ranged from 2 to 4 years.

Once the NJEDA has approved your application, you then send the approval to the company that assisted you with the application.

More information can be located at the NJDEP

Curren Environmental has over 15 years’ experience with the NJDEP EDA LUST grant program, helping homeowners in New Jersey with tank leak problems. Surprisingly we find many eligible applicants are unaware or misunderstand the grant program and very few environmental companies actually explain the program to their tank removal clients. If you want to know your options and get expert advice call Curren.Call Curren Today

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Rounding of Analytical Data.

Feb 19, 2020 1:19:00 PM / by Tiffany Byrne posted in LSRP in New Jersey

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On December 8, 2019 the NJDEP presented a link to a document presenting the NJDEP’s position on the use of rounding analytical data in order to achieve compliance with regulatory cleanup criteria.  This rounding practice has been primarily used with respect to groundwater data.  Under the “What’s New!” column on the right hand side of the page, fourth item down titled Notice Concerning the Use of Rounding of Analytical Data as a Method to Determine Compliance with Remediation StandardsThe message can be found here. 

 

As stated, the NJDEP “does not have an official policy regarding rounding as a method of compliance” and that “current laws and rules regarding remediation do not address rounding as a method of compliance”.  The NJDEP has also indicated that “rounding of analytical data may not be used as a compliance option”.

According to the Site Remediation Reform Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10C-1 et seq, which is law,  states as follows; 

58:10C-14. Certification of documents by site remediation professional

The licensed site remediation professional shall employ the following remediation requirements in providing professional services for the remediation of contaminated sites:

(3) The licensed site remediation professional shall apply any available and appropriate technical guidelines concerning site remediation as issued by the department. The department shall provide interested parties the opportunity to participate in the development and review of technical guidelines issued for the remediation of contaminated sites.

(4) When there is no specific requirement provided by the technical standards for site remediation adopted by the department, and guidelines issued by the department are not appropriate or necessary, in the professional judgment of the licensed site remediation professional, to meet the remediation requirements listed in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the licensed site remediation professional may use the following additional guidelines to make decisions regarding a remediation, and shall set forth justification for such use, in the relevant submittal:

(a) relevant guidance from the federal Environmental Protection Agency or other states; and

(b) other relevant, applicable, and appropriate methods and practices that ensure the protection of the public health and safety, and of the environment.

 

As shown above section 58:10C-14c(4) indicates that in the absence of official regulations and/or guidance by the NJDEP, the LSRP may rely upon other credible guidance in order to make decisions regarding their oversight of a remedial site.

More information on the USEPA document titled Procedures for Rounding-Off Analytical Data to Determine Compliance with Maximum Contaminant Levels Present in NIPDWR, April 6, 1981 can be found here.

The document refers that all Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) contained in the National Interim Primary Drinking Water Regulations are expressed in the number of significant digits permitted by the precision and accuracy of the specified analytical procedure(s). Data reported to the State or EPA should be in a form containing the same number of significant digits as the MCL. In calculating data for compliance purposes, it is necessary to round-off by dropping the digits that are not significant. The last significant digit should be increased by one unit if the digit dropped is 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9. If the digit is 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4, do not alter the preceding number.

For example, if the monthly mean for coliform bacteria is 1.4999, the reported result should be 1 (one). A result of 3.50 should be rounded to 4 (four).

Chemical and radiological data may be treated in like manner. Analytical results for mercury of 0.0016 would round off to 0.002 while 5.4 pCi/l of combined radium-226 and radium-228 would round down to 5 pCi/l.

Another document is from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection titled Guidance for the Use of Significant Figures and Rounding Conventions in Water Quality Permitting  which states;

In reporting results and in calculating permit limits or mass loads, it is necessary to round the results to the correct number of significant figures. There are different rounding conventions in use, and BWPC has adopted a hybrid approach in which the rounding convention used for a number ending in 5 depends on the context. In reporting measured values, 5 is rounded to the nearest even number. For calculated values, 5 is rounded up.

Both referenced documents present the same procedures for the rounding of analytical data.  The use of these documents by the LSRP to manage a remedial site is supported by SRRA.  The decision to continue to use and potentially go against the December 2019 NJDEP e-mail message is a decision that needs to be made by the Person Responsible for Conducting Remediation (PRCR) and the project LSRP.

You really need a firm with experience and understanding of environmental regulations to help you  navigate New Jersey’s environmental regulations.  Curren has over 20 years’ experience.  We provide an initial consultation with parties requiring LSRP services in New Jersey.  

Call Curren Today

 

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Why is the Best Mosquito Control Important?

Feb 18, 2020 11:00:00 AM / by Tiffany Byrne posted in mosquito, Mosquito Remedation, mosquito management service, mosquito control service, mosquito removal, mosquito control

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Mosquito control is critical in disease prevention. Mosquitoes transfer diseases such as Yellow Fever, Malaria, Dengue, plus the West Nile virus. We need to protect ourselves from these viruses by protecting our yards. Without proper mosquito control, yards can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

How can mosquitoes transfer disease? You are the meal for the female bloodsucking mosquito, who, in turn is feeding the eggs. When the female needs to find food it goes for you, the blood meal. Male mosquitoes only suck on nectar and hang out in shady areas of you yard, waiting to reproduce. As a mosquito flies closer to its target, it looks for the movement of dark objects. Once it finds you, it lands, inserts its proboscis and probes for blood vessels beneath the skin. When it finds one, it injects saliva into the wound. The saliva contains an anticoagulant that ensures a steady, smooth flow of blood. Unfortunately, the mosquito’s saliva also may contain pathogens such as malaria parasites or encephalitis virus. This is how mosquitoes transmit disease.

Ready for Spring This Mosquito cant wait-1

What other reasons why it is important for mosquito control? It hits you psychologically, you are constantly looking over your shoulder wondering when the next mosquito is flying for their next meal of the day. To be perfectly honest, mosquitoes are annoying and can ruin your time outside which is why you won’t 

Research shows that mosquitoes began to emerge in New Jersey in April. Prior to April there are few things that as a homeowner you can do yourself to control mosquitoes.venture out during those dusk hours.

  • Empty all buckets of standing water.
  • Clean your gutters (or call a gutter guy to clean them for you). Leaves clog the gutters and downspouts, leading to an area where the female can lay her eggs.
  • Check areas around your home where water pools, fill these areas with topsoil and some grass seed. Keep the water pooling to a minimum. A mosquito only needs a capful of water to lay her eggs.
  • Remember any water outside at your property can lead to a mosquito breeding ground.
Mosquito Breeding Ground

While the above is important, once mosquitoes become adults, they are on the underside of bushes hiding and  waiting for you to come outside. This is where you need a professional company to control the mosquitoes.

Mosquito companies will spray the underside of the bushes, trees, under decks and around the foundation of your dwelling to manage the mosquitoes in your yard.

For more information please contact Curren Environmental. It’s time to learn more about mosquitoes and controlling these annoying pests in your yard – take back you yard this spring.

 

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Mold Remediation with Post-Air Sampling Data

Feb 6, 2020 11:22:00 AM / by Tiffany Byrne posted in mold remediation, Mold Testing, mold assessments

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Mold is the four-letter word of real estate transactions. Finding mold can pause a sale and stop the sale all together.  If mold is visually found and/or confirmed via testing, the odds of the sale failing increases, unless you can get ahead of the problem.

IMG_1015-1
There are many stories of real estate transactions with mold growth, but this one is very interesting.
The story goes that a buyer was interested in a home and the property was an in an estate.  This particular property had been vacant for some time (About 26 months).  The buyers were from out of state and mold was a concern.  During the home inspection, the home inspector took air samples throughout the home. He also found possible mold growth on some wood furniture. Those air samples were mailed to an independent lab, and once the lab finished testing the samples, they sent a report back to the home inspector. The home inspector then sent the lab data to the buyer.   Elevated mold spore count were found indoors as compared to outside levels.   The levels were also higher than you would typically find in a home sand water damage.

 

Tape sample

 

Outside sample
 

 

Tape sample

 

What does mold lab data mean?
First, as part of the story, you need to know that this property was vacant for over 2 years. The heat was on as part of maintenance but the home was not property dehumidified (air conditioned in the warmer months). Mold growth occurs where there are moisture and organic materials. In this case, again there were only visual signs of mold growth on some furniture, but no visual signs on the sheetrock walls, kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets and no signs on the ceilings throughout the home.

What caused mold to grow in a vacant home?
When the humidity is high and the property is not well ventilated, mold growth will occur. These spores can become airborne and move throughout the home. This home had a lot of carpets which contain organic matter (dirt, skin cells, etc.) and carpets hold mold spores.

Curren Environmental completed a mold assessment and found no outside water entry, plumbing leaks, roof leaks, etc. Mold growth was contributable to the home being vacant without consistent heating and air conditioning operating.  Mold Remediation at this property was performed and removed the airborne spore count to levels comparable to outside.  Remediation was performed as follows:

  1. The carpet was removed and tack strips were removed.
  2. All organic furniture that could not be wiped down was disposed of (fabric coating sofas and chairs.
  3. HEPA vacuumed walls and floors in the master bedroom, in-law suite, and 2nd floor.
  4. A broad-spectrum, FDA approved, fungicide was applied to the walls and the flooring in the rooms.
  5. Air scrubbers operated during and after the remediation based on volume of air in the space and goal of completing multiple air exchanges. 

As the story goes, post air testing showed that the elevated spore levels dropped dramatically at the property. Please see below. For this story, no walls were removed, no ceilings were opened nothing was torn down to the pre-construction stage.

 

 

Post remediation Data 1

 

Post Mold Remediation Lab Data 2

 

 
Post remediation Data 1

 

 

The ending, a happy buyer, a happy seller, and a clean home. Not every property that has elevated mold spores needs to have everything torn down and removed.   Mold testing must be assessed facting in history of the space, current conditions and an understanding of mold spores found and what environments these spore thrive.   A mold remediation professional will look at the data, photos provided and any other detailed information before handing over a cost. It is very important to understand that mold is everywhere and there are no “Mold Free” properties.  

Call for Mold Questions.

 

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Top 8 Reasons Why You Need a Tank Scan.

Nov 11, 2019 11:45:00 AM / by Tiffany Byrne posted in OIl Tank Sweeps, tank scans

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Buying a home is one of the top ten most stressful situations in an adult’s life. The stress of the inspections, cost of inspections, time and effort put into buying the home is extensive. The amount of inspections one will go through to buy a property could be, at least, totaling six (6). One of those inspections should include searching for an underground oil tank.

Underground oil tanks have a finite life span and were not built to last forever. If you forego the tank scan, you may have just bought yourself an underground oil tank. If the tank leaks you could be faced with a large and pricey problem. Not all recent homeowners are even aware that they bought a home with an underground oil tank.

Top 8 Reasons for a Tank Scan:

1. House built before 1980.
2. Above Ground Oil Tank.
3. Fill Pipes.
4. Vent Pipes.
5. Copper lines are visible.
6. Neighborhood that typically has Underground Storage Tanks
7. Furnace Chimney.
8. Previous tank scan was done with a magnetometer.

House built before 1980
If the house was built before 1980 you should presume that there could be an underground oil tank unless the seller provides you information otherwise. But beware, if a tank scan was done with a magnetometer, the scan may not have been enough to identify an underground oil tank. Ground Penetrating Radar is the most advanced technology used in today’s market to identify buried tanks.

IMG_4352

Above Ground Oil Tank
Prior to oil used as the main heating source, coal was providing the heat in the home. Coal was difficult on the homeowner, as you would have to shovel coal every 4-8 hours to keep the heat on. After coal, oil tanks became a popular heating source. The tank was buried as it was not an added value in the property aesthetics. When homeowners believed that the underground oil tank was no longer working, or it was time for a new tank an aboveground oil tank was installed. In essence, if there is an aboveground oil tank than there is a possibility that an underground oil tank exists on the property.

Fill Pipe

Oil tanks have fill pipes where the oil is distributed to the vessel. The fill pipe is attached to the oil tank and is what the oil delivery company uses to fill the tank with oil. If the fill pipe is noticeable during the home inspection, then that is a sign of an underground oil tank.



Vent Pipe
The vent pipe on the oil tank allows air/fumes to escape from the tank when the fuel is being added. The vent pipe commonly has a mushroom like cap to keep water from entering the oil tank. If a vent pipe is visible than that is sign that there my have been an underground oil tank at the property. If only a vent pipe is found then that means the tank may have been abandoned in place, meaning filled with sand or another inert material.

Copper Lines in Basement Leading to underground oil tank-1

Copper Lines
The oil fuel lines are made of copper tubing (lines) that allow the fuel to move from the tank to the furnace and back to the tank. The supply line provides the fuel from the tank to the furnace and the return line supplies the fuel that was not used back to the tank. If there is any evidence of current lines or lines that were cut, then there may have been an underground oil tank.

 

 

Neighborhood
Neighborhoods start with one home, moving to many, many more homes. Each neighborhood has a timeline, starting with the first home built. If this home was built prior to the 80’s than there is a possibility that a tank was on the property. The neighborhood may not have had a gas hook up line till after the homes were built, meaning there needed to be another source of heat prior to gas. If the neighborhood homes were built prior to gas in the neighborhood that it is likely that there is another source of heat and that could mean 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.

Previous tank scan with a Magnetometer.
There have been many instances where Curren Environmental is called upon to determine whether what the previous metal detector tank scan found is an underground oil tank. Metal detectors find any metal in the structure or asphalt/concrete. A/C units, reinforced concrete and chain link fences all have metal. There have been water lines and sewer lines that have been thought to be underground oil tanks, or on the flip side they were thought to be sewer or water lines and not an underground oil tank. To save money on inspections, start with the Ground Penetrating Radar not with a metal detector.


More questions?  Call our office today and speak to someone in person.

Call Curren Today

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Good vs. Bad Underground Oil Tanks. Which Tank do you have?

Aug 22, 2019 11:29:00 AM / by Tiffany Byrne posted in tank removal, oil tank, underground oil tanks

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Questions that are quite often asked “Do I have a good underground oil tank or a bad one?”, or “What is the difference between a good or bad underground oil tank?”. Answering questions regarding underground oil tanks is an easy one, if your tank has been under ground since tanks started being buried (late 1940’s to early 1950’s), then there is no good or bad tank – you need to remove that oil tank. The tank has exceeded any functional and reasonable life expectancy.

In situations when the underground oil tank is still in use and older , the oil tank should be removed and replaced with an aboveground oil tank. Ask yourself a simple question, “Would you buy the house with an oil tank that old in the ground?”.

Tank Removal Question

Underground Oil Tank with holes

Anything subject to corrosion such as a metal tank deposited in the ground has a finite life span, time will cause any underground oil tank to leak. There are no warrant

ies for oil tanks that were placed into the ground over 40/20 years ago. Warranties on oil tanks that are bought today have only a 1 to 10-year warranty. Also, you most likely do not even have insurance that would cover an oil tank leak at this point. Insurance companies started to negotiate covering oil tanks and began removing coverage when the carriers suffered huge claims from underground oil tanks leaking years ago.

Why remove your underground oil tank? You may not see the tank or use the tank but the longer it sits underground the more time it has to rust and for holes to occur, causing oil or residual oil to seep into the ground. Many oil tanks that Curren Environmental remove were in use and found to be leaking and showed no evidence of leakage to the owner prior to removal.

What if you decided to sell your property? Today with that oil tank in the ground, the “buyer” would have a difficult time getting a mortgage and homeowners insurance. You underground oil tank is not “good” sitting underground waiting to for removal. Again, consider if you would buy the home again knowing what you know now about oil tanks.

How would yooil tank delineationu know if you had a “bad” oil tank? You won’t know anything about that oil tank until its removed and soil samples are provided. Soil samples are grabbed directly beneath the oil tank once it has been removed. Those soil samples are taken to an independent lab, analyzed and a report is provided to the client discussing if those soil samples are Non-Detect (ND) or above standards. More information can be found here regarding sampling. Each state has different regulations regarding how much oil is allowed in the soils. NJ is one of the strictest states regarding oil tank removal and contaminated soils.

If you know the age of your oil tank, there were differences between the 1950’s tanks as opposed to the 1970’s tanks. The steel from the 1950’s was stronger and thicker, meaning if the tank was built and put in the ground during that era, the steel may last longer. But remember, if it was put under ground that was over 60-70 years ago! Even if that tank is no longer in use, why keep it in the ground? Nothing is meant to last forever – well maybe plastic water bottles.

There are no good or bad underground oil tanks, just underground oil tanks that need to be removed. To learn more on the removal of your underground tank, soil sampling and costs contact Curren Environmental today by filling out the Form to the right or by calling us now.

Call Curren Today

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The Truth! Mold in Basements.

Jul 29, 2019 10:16:00 AM / by Tiffany Byrne posted in mold inspections, mold assessments

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One of the most inspected areas for Mold Inspections are basements. Basements are subterranean, meaning basements are under the earth’s surface. It is cooler under the earth’s surface and the soils under the surface holds moisture. Mold growth occurs on organic surfaces such as wood, furniture, and porous items. Mold does not grow on steel or metal unless there are dirt and dust particles, mold can grow on those organic materials.

Moisture can get out of control when not properly managed in subterranean areas, causing mold growth over time on organic surfaces. There are also some one time-events that can happen such as water rising from the ground and into the sub flooring, or leaking through windows, foundations, vents and doorways. Other events such as a pipe bursting and plumbing leaks (hot water heather leak when they fail), if not fixed will cause mold growth.

First and foremost, in any subterranean space a dehumidifier should be running continuously year round. A dehumidifier will reduce and maintain the level of humidity in the air surrounding it. The dehumidifier works by grabbing the moisture in the air and then dumping it into the “tray”. Instead of emptying this tray every day or every other day or never…run a hose from the dehumidifier to an area where the water can be delivered such as sump pump or sink.

Mold needs moisture and organic materials to grow, such as in the basement photo below. This basement had water intrusion, no lid on the sump pump and no working dehumidifier. Water was also coming from all four corners of the basement and was not corrected.

Mold Growth on basement Rafter

Because the water issue was not resolved and there was no dehumidifier, mold growth occurred. Mold growth does not happen overnight, it takes a while for it grow and when it grabs a toehold on organic materials, it will grow in the right conditions fast.

Sump Pump No Lid leads to Mold-1

There are other instances where mold growth occurs because there are no dehumidifiers running.For example, in the picture below, if you look closely, you will see a film on the wood paneling, these are colonies of mold growth. There was no water entry into this basement, mold growth occurred overtime due to the moisture in the air and the organic materials (wood paneling) for mold to grow on.

Mold growth on panneling walls

Mold growth was found on the wood paneling. The basement above was inspected during the summer, which is hot but cooler below the earth’s surface. There was no dehumidifier running and the basement was very humid. In situations such as above, if mold growth is on one side it will be on the other side of the paneling.

Last – don’t do this! All this does is hide the problem, not take care of the problem – it may even cause more!

Does not Prevent Mold Growth-1

Check your basement for any leaks, water intrusions and provide a dehumidification system.If you do not, mold growth will occur, you may not see it now, but trust me, you will soon

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Don't Get Eaten Alive by Mosquitoes!

Jun 24, 2019 8:40:00 AM / by Tiffany Byrne posted in mosquito control service, mosquito removal companies

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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.

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Is There Lead in Your Home?

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

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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.

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