Indoor Air Quality Includes the Outdoors

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No one thinks about this certain source of indoor air pollutants because it is the exact opposite of the indoors.

The Outdoors!

If the outdoor air around your home or building isn’t healthy, your indoor air will be affected. If your HVAC outdoor intake is pulling in air near a cooling tower, generator, plumbing vents, garbage etc.…that air is going to be filled with contaminants which is now freely flowing through your house. Even a loading dock upwind can contaminate the air your outdoor intake pulls from.

ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) has a standard to use when putting in HVAC systems. The standard recommends 25 feet between the intake and a cooling tower and a minimum of 15 feet to the nearest dumpster.

So, make sure the outdoor air is clean to help you control the indoor air.

Land of the Free

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Memorial Day, a United States Federal holiday, is observed each year on the last Monday in May.

This year, it will be observed on May 29th.


And it’s coming up this weekend.

But before bringing out the plastic cups, paper plates, and burgers for the the grill- take some time this weekend to honor everyone who has died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.


There are several ways to remember those Americans:


• Display your American flag.

• Attend a Memorial Day parade – The parade in Washington D.C.
is the nation’s largest Memorial Day event –

• Visit a battlefield –The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in
the Civil War; fought at the local Gettysburg National Military Park –

• Go to a memorial service organized by a veterans group.

• Observe the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00pm on
Memorial Day.

• Share photos and memories of your friends and family who have
fallen in battle.

PARTICLES: Just Because They Are Nearly Invisible, Doesn’t Mean They Don’t Matter

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Air is seemingly empty to us because the human eye cannot see many of the particles floating around. Particles can be human skin scales, bacteria, viruses, soot, rust, pet dander, pollen grains, mold spores, car-tire particles and more. Particles can be smaller than .01 micron in size. A micron is one-millionth of a meter, and the human eye cannot see anything under 40 microns.

To put this in perspective, the diameter of a single human hair is about 100 microns.

Household dust can range anywhere from smaller than .01 micron to 10 microns. Mold spores can be 2 microns to 10 microns. Bacteria are normally 0.1 micron to 10 microns and viruses are even smaller. Animal dander can be 5 to 20 microns in size.

So, what does this have to do with healthy indoor environment?

Particles travel on airflows created by HVAC systems and ventilation and, the smaller the particle, the longer it remains airborne. Some are even permanently airborne. The longer it remains airborne, the more time available it can be inhaled deeply into the lungs. Bacteria and viruses carry diseases. Some cause asthma and allergy symptoms. These particles that we can’t see need to be filtered out as much as possible.

Products such as HEPA filters remove 99.97% of particles. Air purifiers can be beneficial but can also be detrimental. An air purifier that ionizes air or creates hydroxyl ions creates an irritating gas to provide that fresh air smell.

The best way to removes these particles is to remove the source altogether. For example, if mold spores are coming off an old rug, get rid of the rug.

Baxter Group, Inc. Graduates from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program

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Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program links business learning to action! Baxter Group, Inc. was one of the 20% of applicants accepted into their Spring 2017 Cohort. Jocelyne Melton, CEO and President of Baxter Group, Inc., stated, “Through the program, participants gain skills in key financial ratios, building out opportunities, leadership, company culture, market opportunities, process improvement, marketing, and forecasting.” Applicants must intend to increase employment with their company. Jocelyne further shared that “Upon graduation, participants receive the professional support to develop a strategic and customized business growth plan that will take the company to the next level.” Jocelyne was part of the national cohort of scholars from the United States and Puerto Rico. All participants were on full scholarship from Goldman Sachs valued at $50,000.

10,000 Small Business (10KSB) is guided by an advisory council on which Babson College President Kerry Healey serves, and is co-chaired by Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein; Bloomberg L.P. founder, president, and CEO, and 108th Mayor of the City of New York Michael R. Bloomberg; Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffet; and the Initiative for Competitive Inner City’s Michael Porter.  The National Urban League and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce also are represented on the council, among other groups.

Upon graduation, Jocelyne Melton and Baxter Group, Inc. received a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and became an alumnus of Babson College. Program results show that graduates of this program consistently grow their revenues and create jobs at rates that outperform the broader economy.

Baxter Group, Inc. Expands Damage Restoration Division

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When Baxter Group, Inc. owner and CEO Jocelyne Melton heard that Steven E. Jaymes, owner of Steven E. Jaymes Contracting, was retiring, she instantly called her friend to ask what he was going to do with the business. The two agreed that Steven would sell his home improvement company to Baxter Group, Inc. Acquiring the home improvement resources allows Baxter Group, Inc. to further accomplish the clients’ needs by adding more solutions, including:

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

Jocelyne Melton stated, “We’ve been working together for a decade and have been friends for even longer. That made this venture even more exciting.”

An IAQ Partnership

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Baxter Group, Inc. owner and CEO, Jocelyne Melton, and Building Performance Analyst, Patrick Aaron of Total Comfort, Inc. have begun a partnership to improve the indoor air quality in our community. Clients now receive the added benefit of an expanded knowledge base to help identify problems and create solutions for their indoor environmental needs. The client has the option for a free consultation with both Jocelyne Melton and Patrick Aaron to determine the best resolution, including:

  • In-Depth environmental investigations, testing, and remediation
  • Changes to HVAC systems
  • Indoor air products

These products and services can be utilized for both residential homes and commercial buildings.

Baxter Group, Inc. and Total Comfort have worked on several projects together, realizing they share the same values and passion about the environment in which we live and breathe. Patrick Aaron stated, “Teaming with Baxter Group 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.”

Baxter Group Grows Radon Division

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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.

Asbestos in New Building Materials

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Many people believe asbestos is illegal to use nowadays, so new building structures cannot possibly have asbestos in them. Unfortunately, that perception is incorrect. Though strictly regulated, asbestos is still in use today.

In 2010, a suburban county in Maryland was finally able to construct eight new elementary schools after dealing with the expenses and delays due to asbestos remediation and control for the last two decades. Many times, the building materials were just assumed to not have any trace of asbestos. Out of hundreds of new floor tiles, batches of similarly colored tiles repeatedly tested positive for asbestos. After vigorous analyses using several methods, it was proclaimed that the tiles should be treated like asbestos containing materials.

This resulted in the manufacturer offering to remove all the newly installed tiles, re-installing new non-ACM tiles, and any cleanup. The school saved over $500,000 in current and future clean-up expenses, and the students, staff, educators and parents avoided asbestos exposure.

Dirty Sock Odor After Turning on Your Central Air?

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Summer is around the corner and we’ll be turning on our air conditioning. CAUTION: That dirty sock odor is an indication that the A/C unit has become contaminated with microbial growth. Whenever warm, moist air is cooled, water will form condensation and microbes like yeast, bacteria, and mold only need oxygen, moisture and dust to grow.

Airborne particles can be carried through on air flows throughout our houses and buildings causing allergies, asthma, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, a potentially life-threatening respiratory illness.


Adequate filtration.

This is the most important. Without adequate filtration, A/C coils, drip trays, and fibrous liners become contaminated due to the dampness. Pleated media filters with a MERV rating of at least 8 are recommended.

But don’t forget to change the filters on the recommended schedule, otherwise even the very best filtration will become filthy. And it is always a good idea to have the HVAC systems inspected before you turn it on for the spring or summer.

Which Buildings Require Asbestos Testing Prior to Renovation/Demolition?

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Which Buildings Require Asbestos Testing Prior to Renovation/Demolition?


Answer: All of Them.


One of the most common misconceptions is that a building built after 1980 cannot possibly contain asbestos, and not be subject to asbestos inspection and sampling provisions required by the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). Products containing asbestos have not been completely banned in the U.S.

Some products still in use are:

  • Pipeline wrap
  • Vinyl-asbestos floor tile
  • Roofing felt and coatings
  • Shingles
  • Millboard
  • Gaskets
  • Automotive products

All buildings, except for residential structures of four or fewer dwelling units, are subject to Asbestos NESHAP regardless of the structure’s age. Prior to performing any renovation and/or demolition, the owner or operator must conduct an asbestos inspection, including bulk sample collection and analysis of any area of the structure that will be affected.