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Mold

How do we prevent mold contamination in our homes & buildings?

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How do we prevent mold contamination in our homes & buildings?

The #1 most important thing that one must do to prevent or inhibit the growth of mold is to control the moisture in our indoor environments.

  • Control and maintain the humidity at 40-45%.
  • Address water intrusions and plumbing leaks immediately. If 12 or more hours pass without addressing water intrusions, the area should be addressed as though mold has started to propagate (because it probably has).
  • Run exhaust fans while cooking or showering, plus an additional 20 minutes. Confirm all exhaust fans are ducted to the exterior of the building.
  • Inspect ductwork at least once a year for mold and build up of excessive debris.
  • Use a HEPA-filtered vacuum when cleaning so that mold spores can be captured rather than circulated through the building.

To learn more or to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, visit baxtergroupinc.com.  Request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book.

Can mold cause health problems?

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Can mold cause health problems?

Hay fever-type symptoms, sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, skin rash, shortness of breath, fatigue . . . are just a few symptoms experienced when someone has been exposed to an excess level of mold.  A person’s personal susceptibility and sensitivity will determine their response to a mold exposure.

Allergic reactions to mold are common.  Mold can also cause asthma attacks.  Research on mold and its impact on our health is ongoing.  It is believed that long-term exposure to excessive levels of mold can lead to cancer and auto-immune diseases.

To learn more or to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, visit baxtergroupinc.com.  Request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book.

#breathehealthyinitiative

Why are we getting mold in our building?

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Why are we getting mold in our building?

 For mold to propagate, four things are needed to needed:

  • a mold spore,
  • something for it to attach to,
  • a nutrient, and
  • MOISTURE!

Mold spores are everywhere all the time.

Our indoor environment has plenty of things to attach to.

Nutrients for mold can include regular household dust and dander.

MOISTURE is the only thing we can control.

If you suspect a mold contamination, start by determining the source of the problem and addressing it.  Mold remediation is futile if the source of the moisture is not addressed.

To learn more or to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, visit baxtergroupinc.com.  Request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book.

#breathehealthyinitiative

November’s Breathe Healthy Initiative Topic: Wet Basements and Crawlspaces

By | Basement Dewatering, Basement Water Control, Mold, Wet Basements | No Comments

IS YOUR BASEMENT or CRAWLSPACE suffering from overexposure to moisture?

In the case where a crawlspace has been infiltrated with water over a period of 12 hours or longer, mold remediation is crucial to bring the area back to a safe condition prior to any waterproofing or mitigation.

Most likely, whether visible or not, after an area has remained damp or moist for a period of time, a mold contamination may exist. Remember mold remediation is futile unless the source of the moisture has been addressed. Otherwise, the next high humidity, moisture, or water event will bring the mold right back.

Addressing water-control / moisture-control and mold go hand-in-hand.

To learn more, to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, or to request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book, visit baxtergroupinc.com/healthy.

November’s Breathe Healthy Initiative Topic: Wet Basements and Crawlspaces

By | Basement Dewatering, Basement Water Control, Mold, Wet Basements | No Comments

DEHUMIDIFIER IS YOUR BASEMENT’S BEST FRIEND!

A proper dehumidification system will include a system to capture the water produced and exhaust it to the outside so there is no dependence of building occupants or maintenance personnel to empty the dehumidifier.

Between vacations and distractions, the chances are that there would be times when the dehumidifier was not emptied in a timely fashion. Such events would lead to high humidity episodes, which leads to opportunities for mold growth.

To learn more, to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, or to request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book, visit baxtergroupinc.com/healthy.

SO, WE’VE GOT A WET BASEMENT or CRAWLSPACE! WHERE DO WE START? – PART I

By | Basement Dewatering, Basement Water Control, Mold, Wet Basements | No Comments

Having a full assessment is the wisest move.  Stories are rampant of building owners who have paid for extensive and expensive waterproofing systems … only to find that by making other water-control repairs they could have avoided installation of such a system.

Needed gutter repairs is a great example:  The rainwater pours off the roof, around and through the deteriorating gutter system, down the foundation wall of the building and right into the newly installed French drains.  However, if the gutters had been repaired, the need for the French drains would have been eliminated.

In performing a full assessment, all sources of water are being identified, whether they are coming from landscaping issues, issues with the exterior systems of the building, or issues with the interior systems of the building.

To learn more, to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, or to request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book, visit baxtergroupinc.com/healthy.

November’s Breathe Healthy Initiative Topic: Wet Basements and Crawlspaces

By | Basement Dewatering, Basement Water Control, Mold, Wet Basements | No Comments

Maintaining the overall health of a basement or crawlspace is crucial to the health of a building.  The structural components of a building are equivalent to the bone system of our body – the basement or crawlspace is equivalent to the pelvis and lower back. When the pelvis or lower back are injured or deteriorating, it affects the body’s overall health. The same is true with a basement and crawlspaces.

This fact has been confirmed by tracer gas studies, which documented that a building’s crawlspace or basement communicates with the occupied spaces above. Approximately 40% of the air in our buildings originates from these areas.

To learn more, to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, or to request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book, visit baxtergroupinc.com/healthy.

TIPS FOR MOLD PREVENTION

By | Mold | No Comments
  • REACT immediately to a water, moisture, or high humidity event Immediately clean up water leaks or spills indoors
  • Address the cause of any condensation on windows or pipes
  • Control humidity by keeping it between 35-45%
  • Increase ventilation or air movement by opening doors and/or windows or use fans when humidity nears 55%
  • Use dehumidifiers in at-risk areas
  • Establish humidity monitors in at-risk areas and check regularly
  • Fix plumbing leaks immediately
  • Scrub visible mold off of hard surfaces
  • Clean and repair roof gutters and down spouts regularly
  • Landscape ground and sidewalks away from the building foundation
  • Clean air conditioning drip pans regularly
  • Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters. Exhaust to the outdoors where possible
  • Run the bathroom exhaust fan during showers plus twenty minutes
  • Use exhaust fans when cooking, running the dishwasher or other moisture creating tasks
  • Dispose of porous materials in which mold has rooted (ceiling tiles, carpet, drywall).
  • When removing mold contaminated components, if disposal requires moving through non-contaminated areas, bag the components so as not to cross-contaminate other areas in the building.
  • Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces without first cleaning the surface and ridding it of the mold colonies.
  • Minimize clutter. Mold spores get trapped in the clutter and will lay dormant until a moisture events occurs.

Mold-Specific Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction

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Buying a house?

This mold test can be very valuable!

Mold-Specific Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (MSQPCR) is a fast and highly accurate DNA-based analytical method for identifying and quantifying molds. MSQPCR methods can determine the genus and species level of molds. It was developed by scientists at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to detect and quantify molds associated with indoor air quality problems.

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