Category

Mold

Mold-Specific Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction

By | Mold | No Comments

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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Odor Control

By | Indoor Air Quality, Mold | No Comments

Mold has many smells.

 

Step One: Find the Source!

Air freshers, disinfectant sprays, candles etc. only cover up the source of a mold issue. You may think your house is clean after smelling the Sea Breeze candle, but the cause of that mystery odor must be found and eliminated or the environment is unhealthy.

Mold is very good at hiding.

Mold can grow inside walls, under carpets, inside heating and ventilation ducts, and more.

Step Two: Remove the Source!

You just found mold under your carpet? Rip it out! Some areas contaminated with a mold colony can be cleaned to remove the mold, but some materials must be thrown away. These include porous materials such as:

  • Carpeting
  • Cardboard
  • Mattresses
  • Box Springs
  • Padding
  • Stuffed animals
  • Upholstered furnishings

Other materials:

  • Paper products such as books and albums
  • Food

Step Three: Clean the Air!

Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. A visible mold colony can be removed but the spores are still in the air. The spores can survive in harsher, drier conditions than a colony, and if moisture returns, the spores can regenerate a colony. A mold contamination is not remedied until the spores have been eliminated.

If you can’t find it, remove it, contact us for an investigation or mold removal:

Click Here to contact usClick Here to Learn more about our mold services

Aspergillosis in Dogs

By | Indoor Air Quality, Mold | No Comments

You may have just seen the Aspergillus info card we posted last Wednesday. So, you may know that Aspergillus is a common mold in the environment. While we know mold affects humans, you may not have known that it affects your dogs as well.

Aspergillosis is an opportunistic fungal infection.

The two types of Aspergillus infections are nasal and disseminated. The nasal version is most common in dogs with a more elongated snout such as a German Shepherd.

The nasal version occurs when a dog sniffs an area where the spores of Aspergillus is present.

Symptoms of the nasal version include:

  • Sneezing
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Ulcers at the tip of the nose
  • Pawing at or rubbing the nose
  • Swollen nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Long-term nasal discharge from the nose
    • Can contain mucus, blood or pus

Fungal infections commonly go to the lungs.

Disseminated aspergillosis is when the infection spreads from the nasal cavity into the rest of the body.

These symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Spinal pain and lameness
    • This can cause inflammation of the dog’s bones and bone marrow.

Dogs with immunodeficiency are at higher risk.

Prevent Mold Growth After a Storm

By | Mold | 2 Comments

The Atlantic Hurricane Season has arrived.

 

This means severe wind and rain.

Hurricanes can create all sorts of water damage and it is important to make sure mold doesn’t grow.

The health effects are numerous:

  • Obstructive lung diseases
  • Irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rashes
  • Fungal diseases

Mold can form very quickly on wet materials. Wood and other materials that look dry can still be wet enough for mold to grow.

Environment Specialist, Janie Harris, has some tips on how to prevent mold after water damage:

  • First take an inventory: List a room-by-room inventory of missing or damaged goods.
  • Dry all wet materials as quickly as possible. If possible, use air conditioning or heat with fans and dehumidifiers.
  • Remove wet carpeting right away. It’s best to discard it but if it can be salvaged- clean, disinfect and dry it quickly. Never reuse flooded padding.
  • Cut away wet wallboard and remove all damp insulation right away. Even if the wallboard appears dry- wet insulation will stay wet long enough for mold growth.
  • Clean items with non-phosphate detergents. Never use bleach. Disinfectants can kill molds, but they do not prevent regrowth.
  • Do all you can to speed the drying of subfloors, slabs and wall framing before replacing insulation, wallboard and flooring. Use air conditioning, heaters, fans or a dehumidifier. Contractors who specialize in water damage restoration have special equipment that dry materials faster than other methods.
  • Test the moisture content of studs and sheathing before replacing insulation.
  • DO NOT use vinyl wallpaper. It will prevent drying on the inside.
  • Damaged areas of the roof should be covered with a water-proof tarp. This prevents additional damage.
  • Remove wet insulation from the attic.

Moisture or humidity above 60% is ideal for mold growth.

Humidity around 45% is the best to prevent mold growth and keep your skin from drying out.

Keep Your Children’s Toys Mold-Free

By | Mold | No Comments

Mold can form on children’s toys when they aren’t taken care of appropriately. Mold can develop on toys that are kept in the basement, or left in a damp area outside. Bath toys that aren’t properly dried out can develop mold. The mold can easily damage children’s growing immune systems and cause respiratory problems and allergies.

Here are a few ways to prevent and clean mold:

  • Boil the toys in hot water to remove mold. Squeeze them out then lay them out where they can dry quickly.
  • Clean them with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

White Vinegar: Mix one gallon of water with half of a cup of white vinegar. Let the toys soak for one hour, squeeze them out and scrub them down.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Mix two parts water and one part hydrogen peroxide in a bucket. Soak the toys, scrub them, rinse them with water then let them dry.

  • Plug up the holes that allow bath toys to squeak. Water can seep in and start mold growth. It can easily be done with a drop of hot glue.
  • Run the toys through the dishwasher or washing machine.

If you think you may have mold in your home or building, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us for a Free Estimate.

Visit Our Mold Division

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

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Introducing Jason Young, Indoor Environmentalist

By | Baxter Group, Inc., HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Lead Paint, Mold | No Comments

Baxter Group, Inc. welcomes our new Indoor Environmentalist, Jason Young.

Baxter Group, Inc. welcomes our new Indoor Environmentalist, Jason Young. With nearly 20 years of experience with indoor environmental quality and air filtration, Jason takes our indoor environmental division to a whole new level. 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 we offer:

  • 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