Category

Radon

An Invisible Cause of Lung Cancer

By | Baxter Group, Inc., Indoor Air Quality, Radon | No Comments

A cancer-causing radioactive gas that comes from the soil and can seep into any type of building- house, office, school, hospital, etc.…It can get in through cracks in solid floors and walls, construction joints, gaps in suspended floors and around service pipes, cavities inside walls and even in the water supply.

It is found all over the United States, but areas are broken into three zones measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L).

  • Zone 1 Highest Potential (greater than 4 pCi/L)
  • Zone 2 Moderate Potential (from 2 to 4 pCi/L)
  • Zone 3 Low Potential (less than 2 pCi/L)

No level of radon is safe, but anything above 4 pCi/L needs to be mitigated. Franklin County, PA and the immediate surrounding counties are all in Zone 1 meaning those counties have the highest radon exposure risk.

 

However, if your next-door neighbor’s house tests at 27 pCi/L, your home could test at 36 pCi/L or it could test 2 pCi/L. Many factors play a part in radon levels. The building structure, the wind, how much uranium is in the soil, rocks or water etc…

 

Just because the surrounding area tests high doesn’t mean your house will test high.

 

But the only way to know is to test.

Baxter Group, Inc. Expansion

By | Baxter Group, Inc., Home Improvement, Indoor Air Quality, Radon | No Comments

Environmental company grows in response to the community’s needs

Baxter Group, Inc. is bursting at the seams after acquisition of the basement waterproofing company, Steven E. Jaymes Contracting, expanding the BGI Radon division, adding a new Indoor Environmentalist, and joining forces with a local HVAC company to improve the indoor air quality of their clients. When Jocelyne Melton, Owner and CEO of Baxter Group, Inc., heard that Steve Jaymes, a long-time friend and owner of Steven E. Jaymes Contracting, was going to retire, she immediately approached him to inquire about his plans for the business. Both parties agreed that the acquisition of Steven’s home improvement company by Baxter Group, Inc. couldn’t have been matched more perfectly. The addition of assets owned by Steven E. Jaymes Contracting to Baxter Group, Inc.’s existing resources allows the company to further accomplish their client’s needs by making more solutions available to the community. Some of the additional resources gained by Baxter Group, Inc. through the acquisition of Steven E. Jaymes Contracting include:

  • Waterproofing
  • Wall stabilization
  • Renovations
  • Home and building improvements

“We’ve been working together for a decade and have been friends for even longer. That made this venture even more exciting.” – Jocelyne Melton, Owner & CEO of Baxter Group, Inc.

Baxter Group, Inc. has also embarked on another new partnership and Building Performance Analyst, Patrick Aaron of Total Comfort, Inc., has agreed to join forces with the company to improve the indoor air quality throughout the community. After working on several projects together, Jocelyne and Patrick realized they share similar values and a strong passion for maintaining the cleanliness of the environment in which we live and breathe. Patrick Aaron stated, “Teaming with Baxter Group, Inc. provides us with the opportunity to better serve our customers. By taking a more holistic approach to a home’s indoor air quality and HVAC systems, we aim to create a much healthier and comfortable living space.” Clients are benefiting tremendously from the expanded knowledge base used in helping to identify problem areas, as well as create solutions for their indoor environmental needs.

Both residential and commercial Clients have the option of receiving a free consultation with Jocelyne Melton and Patrick Aaron to determine the best resolution for their issues.

These free consultations include:

  • In-Depth environmental investigations, testing, and remediation services
  • Recommended changes to existing HVAC systems
  • Products recommended for improving indoor air quality

Baxter Group, Inc. would like to welcome our new Indoor Environmentalist, Jason Young. His background and experience takes our indoor environmental division to a whole new level. Jason has almost 20 years of experience with indoor environmental quality and air filtration. He’s tested emission sources in oil refineries, trash to steam facilities, medical waste facilities, printing facilities etc.…

He’s tested and certified entire production facilities mostly in the Semi-conductor or pharmaceutical industries, has performed HEPA filter leak testing, Laboratory Fume hood testing, Laminar flow device and Biological Safety Cabinet testing and certification.

Jason is here to help with all your indoor environmental quality needs. He’ll work with you to identify the problem and provide the proper remediation resources.

Services offered:

  • Global Harmonization Establishment and Maintenance
  • Odor Investigations
  • Comprehensive Indoor Air Quality Assessments
  • Testing for TVOCs, PCBs, formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, dichloroethene (ethylidene chloride), carbon tetrachloride, asphalt fumes, ammonia, ethanol, nicotine, new rug odor, total petroleum hydrocarbons, silica, endotoxins, mycotoxins, PCR – ERMI, bacteria, and so much more.
  • Dust Sampling
  • Drinking Water Analysis
  • Testing for Sick Building Syndrome
  • HVAC Cleanliness Inspections
  • Preventative Maintenance Programs

While the collaboration ventures were in the works, spring rolled in and the home-buying season took off. Baxter Group, Inc. has now begun working on new construction projects as an addition to the company’s existing radon measurement and mitigation services already being provided to both residential and commercial clients.

The rapid expansion of Baxter Group, Inc.’s radon division was proving to be quite overwhelming for the staff and the addition of personnel dedicated to the division was necessary for ensuring that the company was able to continue delivering quality customer service to their clients. Our client’s loyalty has allowed Baxter Group, Inc.’s radon division to double in size over the past three years.

Jarret Rine and Alex Cox have joined Baxter Group, Inc.’s radon division as part of the field crew, while new employee, Mark Delaney, manages the administration. This group of individuals work hard daily to extinguish all client concerns regarding the presence of radon within their homes and or businesses, while providing top-notch customer service that is nothing short of exceptional.

Baxter Group, Inc. sends a huge “thank you” to each one of its employees dedicated to ensuring the success of the company’s radon division for surviving an incredibly overwhelming transition period, and to each and every one of our clients. We appreciate the support we received from everyone during this painful, yet exciting growth period and we look forward to providing our clients with the highest quality service for many years to come.

National Healthy Homes Month

By | Asbestos, Home Improvement, HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Lead Paint, Mold, Radon, Safety | No Comments

Celebrate National Healthy Homes Month!

 

June 2017 is the Second Annual National Healthy Homes Month.

Indoor Air Quality has been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of the five most urgent environmental risks to public health. HVACR manufacturers, distributors, and contractors are installing more indoor environmental products noticing that IAQ plays a large role in employee health and performance.

People spend most of their time indoors; National Healthy Homes Month offers concepts and tips for keeping those inside spaces healthy and safe.

The theme for this National Healthy Homes Month is Everyone Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home. Each week in June; NHHM will focus on the “Principals of Healthy Homes” with associated set of activities:

  1. Childhood lead poisoning prevention
  2. Residential asthma intervention
  3. Injury prevention
  4. Smoke free public housing
  5. Safe indoor pest control
  6. Radon Safety
  7. Disaster Recovery

A series of webinars will also be happening throughout the month.

For resources and activities updates, visit the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes.

Download the NHHM Planning Guide from the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes

Download

Baxter Group Grows Radon Division

By | Baxter Group, Inc., Indoor Air Quality, Radon | No Comments

Baxter Group, Inc. has expanded its radon measurement, mitigation, and administration staff to better serve the community. Along with their residential and commercial measurement, Baxter Group, Inc. now offers radon measurement and mitigation systems for new construction. The company has doubled since 2014 because of loyal clients.

Employees Jarret Rine and Alex Cox have joined the radon field team, while Mark Delaney manages the administration of the division. This group of individuals are here to extinguish your radon concerns with exceptional service.

A thank you to Terry Toms for surviving an incredibly overwhelming transition period and performing almost as a one-man show. As always, a huge thank you to our wonderful clients. We appreciate all your support during our growing pains and look forward to providing the very best service for years to come.

Spring Maintenance Checklist

By | Asbestos, HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Lead Paint, Mold, Radon | No Comments

 Spring Maintenance Checklist

For facilities managers and homeowners alike, Spring starts with cleanup. Some tips to remember while performing Spring maintenance and cleanup:

 

  • Reduce your chance of being exposed to contaminants through proper use of personal protection equipment,
  • Minimize the use of chemicals that leave residual compounds and could impact building occupants,
  • Increase ventilation before, during, and immediately after cleaning, and
  • Be alert to signs of inadequate ventilation, evidence of water intrusions or moisture marks, and evidence of mold growth.

 

A good Spring Maintenance Checklist includes the following:

 

  • Gutters and downspouts are draining water away from the buildings
  • Gutters and downspouts are debris-free
  • Trip and fall hazards are removed
  • Choking hazards are eliminated
  • Sharp edge hazards are addressed
  • Fencing is secure around pools or trenches
  • Rodent infestations are addressed
  • Window wells are debris-free
  • Exterior drains are debris-free
  • Interior drains are debris-free
  • Puddling inside or outside is addressed
  • Sump pumps are tested and properly working
  • Dehumidifiers are tested and properly working
    • Set at 45% humidity
    • Filters clean
    • Draining properly
  • Roof shingles and flashing are intact
  • Chimney and chimney flashing are intact
  • Attic vents are clear of congestion
  • All painted surfaces, inside and outside, are intact
  • Flashing below windows and doors are intact
  • No broken or cracked glass in windows
  • No leaks around windows and doors
  • Dryer vents are clean
  • Exhaust ducts are clear
  • Any evidence of water or moisture damage is addressed
  • Washer and dishwasher hoses and connections are secure
  • No evidence of water pipe leaks
  • Refrigerator drip pan is clean
  • No damage around sinks, showers, or tubs
    • Sink, tub, and shower are drains operating effectively
  • Hot water heater and boiler have no leaks
  • Septic tanks are not full
  • Bath and kitchen exhaust fans are operational
  • All exhaust and HVAC filters are clean and operational
  • All electric cords are intact
    • Ground fault interrupters are operating properly
  • Smoke and CO alarms are charged and operating properly
  • Insulation in attics and crawlspaces are intact
  • Radon manometer is reading appropriately
    • Proper radon measurement taken (every two years)

 

Spring and Summer become so much more enjoyable when maintenance has been performed and major catastrophes prevented. Once all these items are checked, follow up with projects to maintain the property or get it up to “snuff”.

Baxter Group, Inc. Educational Programs

By | Asbestos, HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Lead Paint, Mold, Radon, Uncategorized | No Comments

Bring awareness to your company, safety team, or organization on topics surrounding healthy indoor environments. Baxter Group, Inc. will come to you! Learn about healthy environmental living and the know-how to stay healthy at home and in the office. Our professionals provide various educational programs on safety topics, specific contaminant topics, and many more. All programs can all be tailored specifically to meet your group’s needs.

Topics include:

  • Healthy Homes
  • Healthy Buildings
  • Asbestos
  • Lead-Based Paint
  • Mold
  • Radon
  • HVAC Contamination
  • Indoor Environmental Quality

Education can include:

  • Identification
  • Health Effects
  • Hazards
  • Safety Precautions
  • How to Remedy

These programs are perfect for safety tailgate meetings, employee training sessions, group presentations, auxiliary and business meetings, PTA, and more. Any groups interested in healthy environments to live in and work in will be inspired.

Baxter Group, Inc. has already been given the opportunity to provide these services to some organizations, including Brechbill and Helman, Associated Builders and Contractors, Wilson College Facilities Department, and real estate agencies.

Contact the office today at 717-263-7341, or fill out our contact form.

How Do I Know If My Home Has Radon?

By | Radon | No Comments

Radon in Home

 

 

Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in rocks and soil.  Uranium deposits can be found randomly throughout our environment.  Radon gas enters buildings through hollow block walls, cracks in the foundation floor or walls, and opening around drains, pipes and sump pump holes.  Therefore, the only way to determine if radon gas is entering your building is through testing.

 

There are two types of radon tests:

  • Short term:  These tests typically last from 48 hours to seven days.  Closed house conditions must be maintained during the test.
  • Long term:  These tests typically last from 90 days to a year and provide a long-term average of the building’s radon level.  Closed house conditions are not required for this test.

A radon mitigation system is recommended for any building whose test results show levels of 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) or higher.

 

It is estimated that 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes have radon levels greater than the EPA guideline of 4 pCi/L.  Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today and is estimated to cause approximately 21,000 deaths annually.

Is the Silent Killer Creeping Through Your Home?

By | Radon | No Comments

silent killer

 

Is the Silent Killer Creeping Through Your Home?

Radon is an invisible, odorless, colorless radioactive gas.  It fills our basements, creeps up through openings in the floor and walls and enters the air that we breathe.  It does not cause a cough, nor does it make our eyes sore or our nose run.  It is silent and deadly being the number one cause of lung cancer to non-smokers and the number two cause of lung cancer to smokers.

 

How do you know that radon has infiltrated your home?  The only way is to have a radon measurement taken.  Can something be done about it?  Yes, a radon mitigation system can remove the contaminant from your home.

 

Why do some homes have radon and others do not?  Radon is a radioactive gas caused by the natural decay of uranium.  Uranium deposits are randomly found throughout the soil.  So, one home may have a deposit under or near it and the home right next door may have no radon issues.  That is why it is important to have a radon measurement taken.

 

Radon gas moves through the ground seeking an escape.  Its escape route may be the cracks in a foundation, the openings for electric lines and plumbing, the areas where the floor meets with the wall.  Your home then traps the radon where it can build up to excessive levels.  It does not matter if it is a well-sealed home or a drafty home, a home with a basement or a home without.  Any home may have levels of radon.  No level is a safe level.

 

The best solution:  have your home tested.