Spring Allergies 2019: A Timeline and Tips to Handle Allergies This Season

Spring officially started! We can say goodbye to winter, but when do we have to say hello to allergy season? It seems like allergy season lasts all year, and technically it does. Watery eyes, stuffy nose, rashes and other symptoms can show up thanks to triggers all year.

So when does spring allergy season actually start? And more importantly for me, when can I expect it to end? We look into and provide tips to help you get through spring allergies below.

When Do Spring Allergies Start?

Spring allergies occur for most people because of pollen. There are different types of pollen to consider (like tree pollen, grass pollen, ragweed pollen). Tree pollen hits in late March and April, and grass pollen isn’t far behind it. Other types of pollen hit later in spring into summer.

Experts say that warmer-than-average winter temperatures and climate change mean allergy season starts earlier and ends later. These factors lead to early tree pollination and led to higher pollen counts than normal for this time of year. As a result, we’re experiencing an early start to allergy season. And if you suffer from tree pollen allergies, you’re likely among the first to feel the effects.

Scientists have a hunch that an early allergy season could mean we’re in for a longer-than-average season. But because rainfall amounts have a bearing on how long trees and flowers pollinate; it’s too early to predict for sure. Whatever the outcome, if you are prone to seasonal allergies, now is a great time to get prepared.

Tips for Dealing with Spring Allergies

Use these simple tips to avoid symptom-triggering pollen and breathe easier this spring:

Know Your Pollen Count

Keep an eye on the daily pollen count for your city. You can use our handy pollen alert tracker in our Learning Center to track your city’s daily reports. On days the count is high (120 or above), stay indoors if possible to keep pollen exposure to a minimum.

Close Your Windows

Although it’s tempting to open your windows and let fresh spring air indoors, it may not be the best thing for your symptoms. Keep windows and doors closed to avoid letting pollen spores circulate and settle inside your home.

Shower After Spending Time Outside 

Take a shower after spending time outdoors to wash pollen out of your hair and keep it from falling onto your pillow.

Consider Using An Air Purifier 

Air purifiers, especially those that have HEPA filters, filter even the tiniest pollen spores out of your air along with other symptom triggers like dust, mold, and pet dander. With regular use, you can reduce and even eliminate your symptoms. Browse our air purifiers for allergies to see our top recommended models.

When to Expect Spring Allergies to End

So when do spring allergies go away? Unfortunately, the same qualities that make allergy season start earlier also makes them stay longer. April tends to be the worst month for most spring allergy-sufferers, but spring allergies typically last until early summer. It’s pretty easy to see why: That’s when most of the flowers and trees are blooming.

Tree pollen is the most common culprit for spring allergies. Grass and weeds also cause issues later in the spring allergy season. Most people see their allergy symptoms start to disappear by early June, but it can change depending on where you live in the country. The best idea is to be prepared and use our tips to fight them any time of year.

Article Source:
https://www.sylvane.com/blog/battle-early-spring-allergies/#more-2344

Common Threats of Rain Intrusion and Proven Ways on How to Prevent It

Here are the leading causes of rain intrusion:

One of the many problems that your home may encounter is rain intrusion. Generally, rain intrusion is one of the significant factors causing deterioration of stucco, wood, roofing and other materials.  Compromised building materials can cause leaks with the interior and exterior of the home or building that may lead to total structural damage and even mold.

•    Poor construction and low-quality materials of the structure.

•    Invasion of water caused by natural calamities such as rains, winds, and floods.

•    Deferred maintenance in your home or buildings.

•    Lack of repairs to the damaged areas.

Neglecting a small problem can worsen the situation in the long run. If treated this way, it will cost you a lot of budget for the repairs and renovations. Just the thought of this situation can be a headache.

Here are the possible effects of rain intrusion:

•    Moisture intrusion, moisture stains, and eventually offensive odors that smell like mold.

•    Inviting termites and other insects into your home.  They love moist environments caused by water   damage.

  • The threat of bacteria is also high. Category 2 water will eventually lead to category 3 water that contains contaminated bacteria.

•    Continued deterioration of the building envelope, including the roof, water proofing black paper, and seals surrounding your doors and windows.

The possibility of seeing your home or buildings deteriorate can be prevented. Awareness and proper action are key. Keep in mind that immediate maintenance, and annual inspections are a helpful way to prevent moisture damage and eventually mold.

Here are helpful ways of preventing common threats:

•    Consult professionals in finding the possible location of the leaks within your area. This is highly recommended to do after rain, flood or moisture intrusion.

•    Always check for the potential damages after any storm or flood. A monthly check is also suggested for the immediate location of damages.

•    Check every corner of your home or building – the walls, roofs, gutters, windows, and sinks. With this, it will be easy to take precautionary actions.

Identifying the problems immediately will save you a lot of money. If you are unsure about the inspection process, consider hiring a water damage professional.  Fun Guy Inspections uses state of the art moisture meters and infrared cameras to detect moisture.  In addition, you will receive a detailed report of findings with recommendations.  If water damage and moisture intrusion have been a problem in your home or office, let Fun Guy Inspections help you solve these problems before mold begins to grow.

Inspect for water damage problems in Los Angeles

FunGuy Inspections – 818-674-7541 www.funguyinspections.com

Madison Taylor Indoor Environmental, the Leading Mold Company in DC, Announces Recertification

Madison Taylor Indoor Environmental the largest indoor environmental company on the East Coast announces the completion of continued educational requirements for the DC Licensed Mold Remediator and the DC Licensed Mold Assessor Programs.

The District of Columbia’s Air Quality Amendment Act of 2014 protects tenants by mandating proper testing and remediation procedures when mold becomes a concern. The law requires that tenants must first notify the landlord in writing about mold issues in the home. The landlord must respond within seven days and has 30 days to repair the problem. Mold contamination greater than 10 square feet requires a DOEE licensed mold professional to assess (evaluate) and/or remediate (fix) the problem. Contamination from mold less than 10 square feet can be addressed by a non-licensed individual.

John Taylor, the owner of Madison Taylor Indoor Environmental, licensed mold inspector and certified indoor environmentalist says, “DC got their mold law right. DC’s Air Quality Amendment Act is a simple law that protects tenants from mold problems and gives effective guidance to landlords. As a company we have seen the direct impact to improving home and health since the passing of this law.” This law is streamlined and does not hinder clients from getting competitive and economical pricing for services, which some laws across the country do. Qualified mold assessors and mold remediation companies can efficiently become certified by DC and follow normal industry standards without needless additional convoluted processes which is beneficial for consumers.

John Taylor added, “Before the law was put into effect mold in DC rental homes and apartment buildings was quickly becoming a considerable problem for tenants and homeowners. Countless DC landlords improperly treated, cleaned, and remediated serious mold conditions, exposing tenants to contaminated indoor air quality, sometimes causing the occupants significant illness.”

Madison Taylor Indoor Environmental is the leading indoor air quality firm in Virginia, Maryland, and DC, providing mold testing and remediation services to residential and commercial clients all throughout the DMV. John Taylor expressed how rewarding it is owning a mold testing and mold remediation company. “It’s is what I call a happy business. Every day we at Madison Taylor Indoor Environmental are able to aid people in finding and fixing indoor air quality conditions. We have helped thousands of clients, with the testing and remediation of mold in hospitals, schools, government facilities, and homes, aiding building owners, homeowners and tenants in solving mold problems for over 18 years.”

If you have questions about mold or other indoor air quality concerns, contact:

John K. Taylor

Madison Taylor Inc.

Office: 877-932-4652

Cell: 703-932-6134

Email: john@madisontaylorservices.com

www.madisontaylorenvironmental.com

Article Source : https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/madison-taylor-indoor-environmental-the-leading-mold-company-in-dc-announces-recertification-300788725.html

Winter Driving Tips

Severe weather can be both frightening and dangerous for automobile travel. Motorists should know the safety rules for dealing with winter road emergencies. AAA reminds motorists to be cautious while driving in adverse weather. For more information on winter driving, the association offers the How to Go on Ice and Snow brochure, available through most AAA offices. Contact your local AAA club for more information.

AAA recommends the following winter driving tips:

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

Tips for long-distance winter trips:

  • Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
  • Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
  • Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
  • Pack a cellular telephone with your local AAA’s telephone number, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
  • If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
  • Don’t over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
  • Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
  • If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.

Tips for driving in the snow:

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

Original Article Source:https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/driving-advice/winter-driving-tips/#.XD5LvFxKhhE

DOES INDOOR AIR QUALITY MATTER TO YOUR HEALTH?

Four Person's High-fiving Each Others

Most of us believe that a good diet and exercise is enough to lead a healthy life to enhance longevity. Have you ever thought that the quality of the air you breathe can make a difference in your lifespan? If you haven’t, then start considering some facts that emphasize the importance of indoor air quality on health. In recent years, poor air quality has been linked to various health conditions. Some of these conditions include, but are not limited to, respiratory infections, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, strokes and even lung cancer. Research has suggested a link between heart disease and red meat consumption, but a link has also been suggested to poor air quality. Considering Americans spend an average of almost 90% of their time indoors as shown in one survey, the consequences of indoor air quality on health can be especially significant.

Many of the above listed substances originate from a-biogenic or biogenic sources. Dispersal of these materials takes place due to air pollution. Manmade activities or natural disasters such as forest fires, volcanic eruptions, flooding, etc. are identified as the main causes of air pollution. Some common obnoxious chemicals that are reported from air tests include: asbestos, formaldehyde, gases, heavy metals, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), pesticides, microbial/volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as, endotoxin, mycotoxin, etc, plus several other inorganic and organic materials. Besides these, some frequently reported biologically active constituents from air have been microbes, pollen grains, insect/insect bio-detritus, plant and animal-borne particulates, and protozoan cysts among others. Many of them are allergenic, infectious and pathogenic in nature. Some studies suggest that you can find higher concentrations of hazardous substances in the indoor air rather than in the outdoor air.

Having clean air in your environment will not just provide potential improvement for allergies and asthma, but can also benefit health in the long term. It has been shown that a reduction of just 10µg of particles per cubic meter of air can add on at least another half year to your lifespan. A reduction of almost 15µg of particles per cubic meter of air can add nearly another year to your lifespan. A few basic steps such as Do-It-Yourself (DIY) tests can provide information on air contaminants responsible for polluting the air quality in your home and environments. It will also help in understanding the indoor air quality and its proper management. Enhanced indoor air quality can improve quality of life as well as the longevity of your life span.

For more information or questions about IAQ baseline testing please contact Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory at 1-800-422-7873 ext. 304 or by the contact form on this website.

Article Source: http://www.edlab.org/blog/indoor-air-quality-health/

Repairs to Pensacola’s moldy federal courthouse to take longer than originally expected

Recent rainy and stormy weather has delayed the massive mold-removal project taking place at downtown Pensacola’s federal courthouse, according to the agency in charge of the building.

The $30.8 million project, which had been scheduled for completion in the fall of next year, will instead be finished late next year, said Adam Rondeau, spokesman for the General Services Administration.

“The project’s schedule has shifted due in part to the weather that’s impacted the Florida Panhandle over the last few months,” Rondeau said in response to emailed questions.

Rondeau said the project remains within its estimated budget. He said the bulk of the work to date has focused on interior and exterior demotion, waterproofing and electrical and HVAC upgrades.

The next step, scheduled for later this month, will be installing precast concrete panels on the exterior of the building, he said. The concrete panels will cover the black damp-proofing and waterproofing materials that have surrounded the building since summer.

The $10 million courthouse was built in 1997 under a contract that made the GSA, not the developer, responsible for maintenance and repairs of the building.

U.S. Chief District Judge Casey Rodgers sent a letter to the GSA in March of 2015 saying the courthouse had been infested with mold for 20 years without any permanent remediation.

Rodgers said more than half of the building’s employees had reported health problems consistent with mold exposure. Employees complained of a variety of sinus and respiratory issues.

Stable Foundations workers remove the brick facade on the Federal Courthouse in downtown Pensacola on Thursday, March 22, 2018. The currently vacant building is undergoing repairs to remedy water intrusion and mold. (Photo: Gregg Pachkowski/gregg@pnj.com)

The construction work began in 2017 after the developer of the building at Garden and Palafox streets agreed to an early lease termination and transferred the problem-plagued courthouse and surrounding property to the city. The city then transferred the title to the GSA.

In the meantime, U.S. District Court operations have moved to the nearby Winston E. Arnow Federal Building.

Jay Stake, president of the national Indoor Air Quality Association and an expert in mold assessment and removal, said it is crucial the entire courthouse structure be sealed to eliminate water intrusion before mold-contaminated materials are removed.

“If they have a leaky roof and it is continuously raining, everything they are doing is just wasted time,” he said. “You have to take care of the building envelope first.”

Mold is dangerous but its impacts are difficult to gauge because they differ from person to person, he said.

“Lead or asbestos will affect everybody. With mold, 10 of you could walk into a room with mold and each one of you will react different. There is really no set level for mold exposure,” he said.

According to the GSA website, work to be done at the Pensacola site includes modernizing and repairing the courthouse, replacing the facade and seam metal roof system to prevent water intrusion and conducting mold abatement. The site says work will also include repairing structural damage, upgrading fire safety systems and installing new heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems.

Article Source: https://www.pnj.com/story/news/2018/11/21/pensacolas-moldy-u-s-courthouse-repairs-take-longer-than-expected/2060153002/