Chimney and Fireplace Mold Prevention and Tips

One of the most troublesome issues to identify in any house is the development of mold. Mold damage happens gradually. You may never see it until it’s past the point of no return. Did you know when mold spread entirely to your house it can harm your family?

Like any other home exterior, mold can also develop and multiply in your chimney when dimness, poor ventilation, and sogginess exist. To prevent issues like this, start looking for these visible signs.

In addition, chimneys can create negative pressure inside your building envelope and cause the dynamics of moisture to shift and be drawn into your home. It may seem unlikely, but the fireplace in your home may have several ways to fail and ultimately produce water damage and mold in your home.

•    Check Your Ventilation

Poor ventilation traps condensation, which promotes an environment conducive for mold build-up.

•    Maybe the Chimney Crown Is Broken

If your chimney crown is damaged, water can pass through creating a damp environment, resulting in mold growth. A tiny crack is enough for mold to build up around your chimney and fireplace.

•    Bricks and Mortars Are Not Waterproof

Check if your brick and mortar are correctly waterproof with sealant. Water will leak through it if your brick and mortar are sealed improperly.

•    Smokestack Cap Failure

If the pipe on your chimney is damage from an unfavorable weather condition, or not correctly installed, most likely it cannot keep the dampness out.

•    Eliminating Mold from Your Fireplace Is Not an Easy Job

Once you notice mold in your chimney, set up an immediate appointment for a fun guy inspection if you cannot do it on your own. Health risks associated with molds are dangerous and might cause more trouble for your family. Skilled professionals from Fun Guy Inspections can remove all your mold problems completely.

The Unpleasant Negative Health Effects of Mold to Your Family

Mold can cause breathing issues, such as common cold, coughing, headache, sore throat, and wheezing. On the other hand, mold spores when inhaled can cause serious ailments. An asthma attack, for example, followed by some allergic reactions, sinusitis, and the worst possible disease you can get from a mold is pneumonia.

Mold Prevention Tips for Your Chimney and Fireplace

•    Fixing the primary source of dampness is the ideal approach to avoid mold growth. Without moisture, mold won’t develop.

•    Proper waterproofing of your chimney is the answer to prevent mold growth. It should be done after it’s been examined and fixed by a professional. Fixing it will prevent water from leaking.

•    Schedule your chimney for a consult and inspection regularly. You can also set an appointment schedule to check your chimney for any damages after suffering from bad weather. This technique will prevent future problems.

The simple tips mentioned above will help you save money in the future and can keep your chimney and fireplace mold-free.

Fireplace Safety Guidelines – review

Regardless of how bad the season is, you can always find your inner peace and happiness in cold weather. Especially when nestled in front of the warmth of your fireplace. Certainly, cuddling in front of the lovely and warm fireplace is one of the few superb things that you can do in a cold winter day.

As beautiful as flames can be, you should not disregard the fact that a fireplace, when not properly maintained, can pose a serious health risk to you and your family. According to a study, 42% of home accidents were fireplace-related.

Enjoy the warmth that your fireplace gives you in the winter season by maintaining and keeping safety precautionary measures before and after using it.

Ensure that your cold nights can be filled with warmth with these simple tips on how to keep your fireplace safe.

  • The Fire Must Not Be Left Unattended

A fire when left unattended may cause harm to every member of your family. Make sure that you extinguish the fire before tucking in your bed.

  • Children Must Not Get Too Close To The Fire

Do not allow your children to play near the fire even if you were there watching them. A fire is one dangerous thing, and children should keep their distance.

  • Don’t Ever Try Burning Trash And Used Home Supplies In Your Fireplace

Trash and some used home supplies such as glues and empty inks can produce toxins when burned in the fireplace. These toxins, once inhaled by your family, can cause breathing problems.

  • During Cold Months, Your Firebox Must Be Cleaned At Least Once A Week

Cold weather is bed weather, and it makes a person lazy. It is a struggle to do your daily routine, but you must do your best to get up in bed and clean your firebox at least once a week.

  • Keep One Window Open When Using The Fireplace

In this way, you can prevent the smoky feeling in your room. The air coming from the open window helps push the smoke up to your chimney.

  • A Nonflammable Rug Is An Essential

Keeping a nonflammable rug near your fireplace is a must so that sparks won’t melt and damage your carpet.

  • Always Keep A Fire Extinguisher Near Your Fireplace

Keeping a fire extinguisher near your fireplace is a smart move, and can be used in emergencies.

  • Never Operate Appliances That Vent To The Outside

Bathroom vents, dryers, kitchen range hoods, and vacuum systems are one of the many examples of appliances that vent to the outside. Avoid using these appliances when you are using your fireplace as it may cause carbon monoxide build-up inside your home.

  • Set An Appointment Schedule To Clean And Inspect Your Home

If it is necessary, set an appointment to a professional chimney and fireplace inspector to check and clean your chimney. Chimney and fireplace are prone to mold build-up and can cause harmful effects to your family.

Following the precautionary methods listed above will not only make your family safe. However, being responsible for your own actions can help overcome many avoidable accidents that might happen in your home. For home inspection and assistance you can reach Fun Guy Inspections and Consulting, LLC in this number (866) 674-7541 or you can visit our website: https://funguyinspections.com/ for more information.

Attic Mold: Is it a Big Deal?

Have you ever wondered where mold could appear in your house? Well, you probably think that it only occurs in damp places like your kitchen, bathroom, and in your basement. However, it’s not just those areas. There is another commonplace that they love, and if you have one, you need to be aware of it. It’s the attic!

The attic might not be the area where people go up every day, so you may not be aware if your attic is safe and clean. You never know if mold is silently growing on it while you leave them undisturbed. It is also one of the common areas where mold mainly appears. Because of its wood sheathing, ventilation, and roof leaking, they tend to attack the attic.

Yes! It’s kind of rare for an attic to affect your home. They are at the top of your house, and people rarely go there. It’s just an attic, and it’s not a big deal. Well, then, you’re wrong. It’s somehow dangerous for your house, for you, and your family. Why is it so?

Attic Mold: The Issue

We are talking about your attic, and the issue here is the mold that spreads across the walls, ceilings, and roof by air. Moisture and mold are always partners because they grow from it. Some causes are:

  • Insufficient ventilation
  • Roof leaks
  • Exhaust vents

Attic Mold: The Deal

Depending on the amount of mold we can simply leave them be on your attic. For larger amounts of visible mold you may say that it won’t affect your home and your family since it’s up to the roof, but no one knows for sure! Some attic mold might not be harmful, normally considered lumber mold, but they can be dangerous if they impact the drywall and building materials of individual rooms. Here are some reasons why it is a big deal.

  1. It’s Dangerous

Mold could be dangerous to your health. Although with attic vents and gable vents it is unlikely that it concentrations of mold may build up. Some might be allergic if located in close proximity. Sometimes visual perception is a huge deal. Ultimately, people don’t want mold in their homes.

  • It Can Spread

It will be more of a problem if mold this type of mold could spread. Normal molds can travel anywhere because they spread through the air inside your home. If mold could find its way out of the attic, it will eventually spread to your living room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.

  • It Might Damage Your House

It doesn’t matter how big your house is, or how elegant your interior is because you now know the mold is there in the attic. In reality, it has probably been on the building materials since the home was built.

Other times, we experience major roof leaks and water has damaged the materials. Extensive water damage can weaken roofs and cause mold to grow on the plywood and structural lumber. In this instance, a roofer and a mold remediation company are probably your best calls to make at that point. Try to coordinate the efforts of the roofer with the cleanliness of the mold removal company to ensure materials are removed, cleaned, and disinfected properly.

Molds can be everywhere in your house, and we know that all you want is to live peacefully with good health. You need professionals to help you with these problems and provide you a good quality service. Fun Guy Inspections will always be ready to help you in any situation. You can’t do it all by yourself. So, visit our website funguyinspections.com and schedule your appointment today!

Water Damage and Wood Flooring: What You Need to Know

Water is one of the fundamental necessities for life on this planet, and is a critical ingredient in many substances.  You, yourself, are almost 60% water.  We drink it, bathe in it, swim in it, eat food grown with it – the list goes on and on.  Considering how ubiquitous, essential, and common water is, it’s all the more amazing that it can also do such devastating damage.  Water is one of the biggest hazards in the home.  Unwanted moisture and water damage can contribute to a myriad of home problems, health problems, and can even render your home uninhabitable.

Today, we’re going to look specifically at water damage and wood flooring.  We’ll explore the sources of water damage that can have an impact on flooring.  Additionally, we’ll talk about the various categories of water damage, and how they dictate different levels of inspection, remediation, and restoration response. 

Then, we’ll look at what water does to wood floors, and talk a bit about the different kinds of wood floors and how they respond and handle this damage.  Next, we’ll focus on the key hazards created by water damage to wood flooring – not just physical and aesthetic problems, but much more serious health hazards like mold, mildew, bacteria, and fungal growth. 

Further, we’ll look at the different steps for identifying water damage, inspecting for water damage, and hiring professionals to remediate and restore your wood flooring.  Finally, we’ll talk about one of the premiere testing companies who can help inspect and determine the extent and impact of water damage on your wood floors – FunGuy Inspections. 

Where Does Water Damage Come From?

Water damage can have a diverse range of causes, both natural and man-made.  In some cases, water damage is very obvious, from things like floods.  In other cases, signs may be less obvious, especially in the case of slow leaks from appliances and the like.  Some of the most common causes of water damage to wood flooring include, but are not limited to:

  • Natural disasters such as excessive rainfall, hurricanes, and floods.
  • Leaking appliances, home heating and cooling systems, washer/dryer units, refrigerators, and similar.
  • Leaking plumbing lines in the home (common with fridge/freezer water/ice lines, older service lines, etc.).
  • Overflowing or leaking toilets, sinks, washer/dryers, showers, bathtubs, etc.
  • Catastrophic plumbing failures or other household incidents leading to large liquid releases.
  • Cracked foundation slabs allowing moisture in from below the floor or all around from natural rainfall and runoff activity.
  • Minor spills in the home, depending on the type of flooring, quantity of liquid spilled, and how long it goes unaddressed. 
  • Overflowing gutters, a leaky roof, damaged seals on windows, and so on, allowing in rain/snow/ice or just excessive moisture and humidity.
(more…)

The next asbestos? What you need to know about silica

Lungs Free Photo

Silicosis, caused by dust particles from making stone benchtops, can kill. What’s being done?

TV programs and tightening credit are prompting more Australians to renovate their homes while evidence mounts that kitchen upgrades can have deadly consequences for tradesmen.

Silica from stone benchtops is responsible for serious and sometimes fatal health problems for the workers who cut and install these products.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking about adding one to your home.

What’s the problem with silica?
Crystalline silica has been implicated in the deaths of numerous stonemasons who have worked on benchtops. The law firm Slater and Gordon announced in March it was in the early stages of mounting a national class action against manufacturers, as authorities brace for a health crisis that could be worse than asbestos.

Silica is found in stone, rock, sand, gravel, clay, bricks, tiles and concrete, and in artificial stone, natural stone and some plastic benchtops.

Silica dust is 100 times smaller than a grain of sand, and exposure can lead to lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease.

WorkCover Queensland has accepted 164 worker compensation claims for silicosis from stonemasons in the benchtop industry. WorkSafe Victoria received 28 claims for silica-related conditions in 2018, and 15 workers have died from the disease since 1985. SafeWork NSW has had 12 silicosis claims. Tasmania has had five cases.

In 2011, about 587,000 Australians were exposed to silica dust at work and an estimated 5,758 will develop lung cancer over the course of their lives, according to the Cancer Council.

What should customers ask prospective kitchen suppliers?
Paul Sutton, the Victorian Trades Hall Council occupational health and safety expert, urged consumers to be proactive in asking kitchen benchtop suppliers about their safety measures for stonemasons.

Suppliers should be managing the silica dust with local exhaust ventilation, water suppression and dust collection attachments, and ensuring workers have appropriate personal protective equipment including respiratory masks.

Sutton said techniques involving wet cutting were preferable to dry cutting.

All states and territories other than the ACT have banned uncontrolled dry cutting, in which the dust is not controlled by water or extraction.

Canberra designer Stephen Collins said his family was conscious of the occupational health and safety issue when they started researching kitchen designs, having read about silicosis cases in the media.

“It’s all very nice to have a granite benchtop … but if someone is potentially going to die in 20 years because of your granite benchtop, then that’s not a good reason to have one,” Collins told Guardian Australia.

Collins toured the Granite Transformations factory in Goulburn to satisfy himself that the company was looking after workers’ safety.

He said the tradies who installed the family’s benchtops were “completely paranoid about safety”.

“Everyone on the site on the day was wearing a face mask, not just a surgical mask, but a mask with breather [valves].”

He said the tradie cutting the stone benchtop in his garage was wearing a Hazmat suit, and an industrial-strength extraction fan was in action.

Which materials are safer?
“One thing consumers could do is ensure they order natural stone, not artificial ones [because of the lower silica content],” Sutton told Guardian Australia. “That’s a massive difference to the worker in terms of exposure levels.”

Artificial stone benchtops can contain more than 90% silica, whereas natural stones such as granite contain between 25% and 40%.

However, natural stone benchtops tend to be a bit more expensive compared to engineered stone benchtops.

Engineered stone benchtops range from $400 to $600 a square metre, excluding installation.

Marble is a more expensive option – $800 for a square metre but up to $3000 after installation.

Granite can range from $700 to $1,700 per square metre, including installation.

What are authorities doing about silicosis?

Safe Work Australia, the national body that develops work health and safety policies, has decided to cut the silica dust exposure limit from 0.1 milligrams per cubic metre over an eight-hour shift to 0.05 milligrams.

But the new limit won’t come in for three years and has to be ratified by state and territory governments.

The Cancer Council of Australia, unions and Victorian government wanted the limit to be set at 0.02 milligrams per cubic metre, which would make the nation a world leader. But business groups had been arguing for the status quo.

Victorian Michael Nolan, 33, was diagnosed with silicosis in March after cutting stone benchtops for a decade, and has a life expectancy of only five to 10 years if he does not get a lung transplant soon.

“What they really need to look at is banning the products at 98% silica and having some sort of limit [on silica content],” Nolan said. “We may as well be making benchtops out of asbestos.”

The engineered stone is manufactured in countries such as Italy and Israel. Raw stone slabs are imported into Australia, where workers cut, grind and polish the stone.

Documents obtained by the Guardian show the federal health minister, Greg Hunt, last year requested that Safe Work Australia consider putting in place “importation controls on engineered stone products”.

Hunt wrote he was “extremely troubled by the recent surge in cases of silicosis”.

The government’s new $5m national dust diseases task force began work this month on a prevention, early identification, control and management plan. It is working on getting a national dust disease register up and running by the end of the year.

Jonathan Walsh, the principal lawyer for dust diseases at the Maurice Blackburn law firm, said there’s merit in considering an importation ban similar to asbestos.

“I think the market forces are going to be innovative and products will be created in order to replace those silica-based products that are coming in,” Walsh said.

How is the industry reacting?

The Australian Stone Advisory Association, an industry group which covers 70% of manufacturers, insists that calls for import controls and moratoriums on engineered stone are unnecessary and the focus should be on safe work practices.

“Silicosis is preventable – what we are seeing now is the re-emergence of an old disease reflecting inadequate work health and safety practices with a comparatively new material,” the association said.

“Work practices that allow the safe use of engineered stone include wet cutting, the use of local exhaust ventilation, on-tool extraction and respirators to ensure the protection of worker health.”

Stone benchtop manufacturers are keen to emphasise their products are completely safe once installed.

Pure Air Control Services’s IAQ Guard Remote Monitoring

Assorted-color Hot Air Balloons on Grass Field during Golden Hour

Indoor air quality remote monitoring is poised to become an industry standard in the coming years. The conventional methods to monitor baseline IAQ involve being onsite to conduct a variety of tests. Typically, building scientists and industrial hygienists are called for testing when indoor air quality conditions degrade to the point of affecting building occupants. But what if a facility manager or industrial hygienist could view real time environmental data to respond more quickly to potential issues? Now you can with IAQ Guard!

IAQ Guard is a 24/7 indoor air quality remote monitoring program. It consists of a series of remote sensors that are placed throughout different zones in the building envelope. The sensors connect via the local WIFI network to a gateway node which in-turn connects to the building’s router for internet service. The gateway aggregates data from the sensors then uploads it to an easy to read IAQ Guard remote dashboard. A unique dashboard is created for each building signed up for the service program. Building Sciences team members, as well as facility staff can access the dashboard view IAQ stats.

“We are very excited to launch this first of its kind program.” says Alan Wozniak, President and CEO of Pure Air Control Services, “Preventative maintenance through indoor air quality remote monitoring can lead to huge cost savings. IAQ Guard allows us to quickly respond to situations that can very easily escalate if they are otherwise unknown.”

How the IAQ Guard program works
The technicians from Building Sciences will evaluate the building in need of monitoring to the ensure optimal number and placement of the sensors. Then all of the sensors, the gateway and corresponding connectivity is installed. Finally, the account and dashboard are setup so that the IAQ Guard indoor air quality remote monitoring can begin. Over time data is logged and trends begin to emerge that illustrate a baseline of the buildings use. For example, Carbon Dioxide will likely rise when the space is occupied and decline after work hours.

Once the baseline is established alerts can be setup to trigger should parameters become elevated over an extended period of time. This would then queue a response call from Pure Air Control Services to notify facility management about the concern. If it appears an issue is beginning to manifest a technician from Building Sciences will be dispatched to the site for a forensic investigation. A detailed report will be supplied outline the conditions and any recommendations for remediation.

What data does it monitor?
IAQ Guard uses an electrical outlet powered all-in-one remote sensor that monitors a variety of environmental conditions. The setup is turn key and the sensor provides full operational accuracy right out of the box. The basic IAQ Guard program logs real-time data for the following:

Temperature and relative humidity
Total volatile organic compounds (TVOC)
Particulate matter (PM1.0, PM2.5, PM10, and total number of counted particle sizes)
Carbon Dioxide (CO₂) and other gases
IAQ Guard can be setup for other specific assays for an additional cost. These can include Carbon Monoxide (CO), Formaldehyde (HCHO), Hydrogen Sulfide (H₂S), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO₂), Ozone (O₃) and Sulfur Dioxide (SO₂).

Additional Benefits
Since IAQ provides indoor air quality remote monitoring in real-time there are other beneficial uses for the program beyond preventative maintenance. IAQ Guard’s reporting and record keeping can help ensure compliance for organization programs like ASHRAE, LEED, OSHA, or WELL. It can track changes in building performance and send alerts for corrective action. IAQ Guard can also reduce project liability exposure for damage to sensitive critical infrastructure.

So much emphasis is being placed on both the energy and people costs in facility operations. IAQ Guard is the ideal program to supplement energy efficiency and occupant well-being initiatives. Real-time indoor air quality remote monitoring isn’t just the wave of the future, it’s here now with Pure Air Control Services IAQ Guard program.

Source: https://www.facilitiesnet.com/site/pressreleases/Pure-Air-Control-Servicess-IAQ-Guard-Remote-Monitoring–44561

Pure Air Control Services Certified as an Environmentally Responsible Contractor

Hot Air Balloons On Field

Pure Air Control Services, Inc, a world renown Indoor Air Quality firm, earn a CERC certification for their exemplary work in the field by demonstrating a high level of commitment and professionalism to environmental risk management.

Certified Environmentally Responsible Contractor Criteria
The CERC program was initiated by Environmental Risk Professionals, LLC to endorse a contractor’s environmental due diligence and jobsite protocols. There are two categories that qualify a contractor for a CERC. They are Best Management Practices and Cleanup Protection.

Best Management Practices
Best management practices (BMPs) were introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prevent the release of toxic and hazardous pollutants to surface waters. Adhering to EPA guidelines and implementing BMPs through training and protocols is the main consideration for CERC. These BMPs put into practice on every job mitigate common environmental, health, and safety risks while promoting pollution prevention.

Cleanup Protection
Cleanup protection simply verifies the contractor’s insurance relative to environmental accidents. It ensures that should an environmental accident occur the contractor has the ability to pay for cleanups and third-party damages.

Since 1984 Indoor Air Quality has been our #1 priority. As such, we have a vast knowledge of environmental contaminants and how to handle them. We take very seriously our commitment to procedural training and jobsite safety protocols.
-Alan Wozniak, President of Pure Air Control Services, Inc.

Why Seek Out A CERC?
CERCs such as Pure Air Control Services add an extra layer of compliance and confidence to the successful outcome of a project. The certification shows that the contractor has done their due diligence to provide risk management, skilled labor and insurance protection. Not only that, utilizing a CERC contributes to sustainable communities.

Pure Air Control Services provides indoor air/environmental quality testing, building envelope studies, HVAC hygiene/performance assessments, and laboratory analysis, as well as building remediation and HVAC restoration services. Their eco-friendly PURE-Steam HVAC coil cleaning service is the only Green Clean Institute Certified process of its kind.

The company’s staff includes certified indoor air quality professionals, certified indoor environmental consultants, licensed mold inspectors/remediators, National Air Duct Cleaners Association certified technicians, and Ventilation System Mold Remediation certified technicians.

Article source: https://pureaircontrols.com/pure-air-control-services-certified-as-an-environmentally-responsible-contractor/

Leaky Appliances Lead to Big Problems with Water Damage and Mold

Most people have, by now, heard about the dangers of mold growth in the home.  Toxic mold makes the news quite often, and is a real, meaningful threat to health if left untreated.  But where does this mold growth come from?  Why do some homes get dangerous mold growth whereas others never have to deal with it?  In almost all cases, it comes down to moisture.  So, naturally, we must ask ourselves – where is all this moisture coming from that leads to mold growth? 

One of the most common sources is from leaky or malfunctioning appliances, producing moisture in your home in places you might not even be able to see or access.  Over time, this moisture leads to water damage and mold growth, which can then spread like wildfire.  Read on to learn more about how leaky and malfunctioning appliances create moisture problems in your home, some tips on how to avoid these problems, and some advice on periodic inspection and remediation to keep yourself and your family healthy and safe.

Common Appliance and Fixture Sources of Moisture in a Home

There are numerous appliances, fixtures, and systems in your home that produce or deal with moisture.  Some are fairly obvious, such as those that deal with water as part of their operation.  Others are far less obvious and hidden.  Below, we’ve briefly described some of the most common culprits as sources of home moisture and water damage, and where, specifically, malfunctions and leaks in their systems can lead to moisture and water damage in your home. 

Washing Machines

Washing machines have several pathways from which moisture can leak out.  Water lines in, drain lines out, and the various seals where they meet the machine itself are often locations from which a leak can spring.  The wash tub, pump, and other aspects of the machine itself also have seals, gaskets, and internal piping that can become compromised over time.

Driers and Duct Work

Driers are one of the home appliances people often overlook as a potential moisture culprit.  The vents and ducts out of a drier to the outside of the home contain warm, moist air.  If they develop leaks, it’s a perfect vector for moisture to get loose in your walls, ceilings, and inaccessible spaces in your home, leading to mold growth.

Dishwashers

Like washing machines, dishwashers can be a common source of water damage and leaks.  Hoses, fittings, and fixtures can result in leaks.  Even a faulty or damaged door seal can allow small amounts of moisture to leak out during the dishwasher cycle, seeping into the cabinets, floors, or sub-flooring and leading to mold.

Water Softeners/Heaters

Obviously, water softeners and water heaters are two systems that deal directly with high volumes of water in the home.  Leaks in any parts of these systems can rapidly cause serious water accumulation and damage. 

Sinks and Plumbing Fixtures

Smaller leaks can often develop around sinks, drains, toilets, and plumbing fixtures.  These may only be evident on use, and be intermittent in nature, but can still cause damage and lead to mold development in walls, cabinets, floors, and similar.

Refrigerators/Ice Maker Water Lines

One of the most common, and often hidden sources of water damage is a leaky or malfunctioning water line running to a refrigerator/freezer unit.  As they are usually behind the refrigerator during normal use, you don’t see the water leaking out of the line.  But it can accumulate and seep into flooring and walls quite easily, and almost always leads to significant, and often hidden, mold growth. 

Tips for Preventing Moisture Leakage and Accumulation

Not all moisture leaks and malfunctions of home appliances can be prevented.  However, there are some useful tips to follow to help reduce the risk of this kind of problem happening to you.  Even if you do have water leakage, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of developing mold right away, too.

  • Ensure your home appliances, fixtures, plumbing, and any accessible pipes or duct work are maintained, with annual check-up appointments on major appliances from a qualified service technician.
  • Periodically inspect your appliances, piping, and similar, especially when the weather changes, as different humidity and temperature conditions can greatly alter the condensation and non-leak-related moisture content that can develop.
  • Make sure that any work done in your home on appliances, piping, or similar is done by a qualified professional rather than on a DIY basis.  Cheaper is not always better!
  • If you notice a water or moisture leak or problem, shut off the water to that appliance or fixture, and try to absorb any standing water from the leak with a towel or towels.  Use a fan to circulate lots of air to help promote fast drying of remaining water.  Open windows in the home to increase airflow.  Then seek out a qualified inspector for water damage and mold growth.

Professional Inspection and Monitoring for Water Damage and Mold

The best way to tell if you have water damage and mold growth in your home is to call on the services of a professional inspection service.  In the greater LA area, the premiere home inspection company that offers these services is FunGuy Inspections.  Mold, mildew, water damage, and even lead, and asbestos can all be detected by FunGuy Inspections, who can then provide remediation advice and information as well.  FunGuy Inspections uses the latest technology and equipment, and has extremely well-trained expert team members, who will help ensure you know what’s going on in your home – even behind the walls and under floors – and can take appropriate action to fix the problem.  For more information, visit https://funguyinspections.com/.

Mold in building forces Holland schools to relocate Spanish immersion students

Holland Public Schools has closed Holland Language Academy due to mold spore colonization and will relocate students to the vacant Longfellow Elementary for the 2019-20 school year.

Person Touching Rock

The Academy building was not occupied when the mold was discovered.

Mold was discovered in two other buildings after a check of all facilities: Holland Heights Elementary and Maplewood Early Childhood Center, according to Superintendent Brian Davis. However, he said mold at those schools was not a colonization, rather isolated pockets.

“The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority and we’ve been working with reputable people with the best remediation teams in the region,’’ Davis told MLive Thursday, Aug. 8.

“We wanted to make sure we were very thorough by checking all our buildings.’’

The Holland Language Academy is a K-5, two-way Spanish immersion program. An information meeting for all parents and guardians is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at the performing arts center at Holland High School, located at 600 Van Raalte Ave.

Davis said the district is confident in its partners, Summit Laboratory and VanDam & Krusinga Building Restoration, who are providing expert, science-based information and remediation services.

Following the Aug. 2 mold discovery at the Academy, located at 461 Van Raalte Ave., Davis immediately closed the building to allow for further testing by Summit Laboratory and to begin plans for remediation.

The new school year begins Aug. 19. The Academy is being relocated because the remediation will be extensive and will require several weeks to complete.

Davis said he thought it would be too disruptive and unfair to relocate students and staff back to the building in the middle of the school year.

“We are taking extra precautions at HLA (Holland Language Academy) to fix the current problem and eliminate the risk of future contamination,” Davis said. “This includes removal and replacement of all carpeting and other textiles throughout the building, whether or not they show signs of spore colonization.”

The Maplewood and Holland Heights remediation will be completed before schools starts.

Davis said the mold development at the Academy was traced back to mid-July.

The building became conducive to mold spore colonization when the Jace, a device that provides connectivity to the HVAC system failed, causing the system to not work properly during an extended period of high temperatures and relatively high humidity, he said.

Molds are fungi that grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Penicillium and Aspergillus were the two common types of mold found in the buildings.

Summit was called in for testing at the Academy after a contracted cleaning company reported potential air quality issues at the building on July 31, after the HVAC issue had been repaired.

Davis said the mold is not visible to the naked eye, but some cleaners became nauseous or had headaches, indicating there was an issue.

“We are fortunate to have a vacant building in the district to be able to relocate our students,’’ said Davis. Last year’s restructuring in the district moved the Early College program out of Longfellow, 45 E. 25th St.

“VanDam and Krusinga is deep cleaning Longfellow because I want to make sure our families impacted have complete confidence in that facility.’’

Holland School Board approves restructure to right-size district

The Holland School Board voted Monday, March 19, to restructure the district.

The Ottawa County Health Department will inspect the kitchen at Longfellow as part of the transition.

The Academy has been at the Van Raalte site since the 2016-17 school year. There were 320 students enrolled last school year, according to the state.

Remediation of the Academy was scheduled to begin Thursday, Aug. 8, and include physical removal of any mold spores or colonization utilizing negative air pressure, according to the district.

The remediation team will use personal protective equipment during remediation.

The mold is in a small storage closet at Holland Heights, and in a few classrooms at Maplewood that had been used for storage. The heat and humidity in July is believed to have caused the mold.

How to Deal With Your Damaged Skylights

How to Deal With Your Damaged Skylights

Everyone loves sunlight. It helps your home evoke a better mood. However, it cannot be sunny all year round. When the rainy season sets in, you must accept the fact that your home cannot always be in a good condition. All homes are susceptible to damages such as water leaks as the weather changes. Skylights, for instance. Though they add appeal and elegance to the overall aesthetic of your home, they are prone to weather-incurred damages. So if you happen to notice that your skylights are not functioning like they had in the past, you must act immediately.

The moment you find out that your skylights have stains caused by possible water leaks, here are some of the actions you can take.

•    Identify Where the Leak Is Coming From

It’s hard to notice that your skylight had already been suffering from excessive condensation.  It is often caused by water dripping from the leaks in your roof. If you don’t have any specialized knowledge about this and you are not confident of your skills, try contacting a professional that can do the inspections for you.

•    It Is Not Sealed Properly

Skylights, if not correctly sealed, can lead to water leaking inside your home. Use specific sealants that can seal any cracks on your skylights. There are many types of sealants available in the market, do ask an expert for some advice. Also, you can try researching for tips on the Internet to help you pick the best.

•    Double Check Your Flashings

Double check the flashing around your skylight. Perhaps, the material that stops the water from leaking between your shingles and skylights are already damaged. If so, replace it immediately.

•    Your Skylights are Broken

It’s easy to notice a broken skylights. You don’t need to be an expert to know that this kind of issue has no other solution than a total replacement.

•    Roofing Issues

If your skylights are exquisite and sealed correctly in its place and the flashings are okay, but there are still leaks, then you might need to check your roof for some issues.

You have two (2) options when dealing with your roof issues. One, you can replace it with a new one, or you can repair it.

Dealing with damaged skylights is easy and will keep you out trouble if you take action immediately.  

With the simple tips listed above, it can help you save your property and your pocket from further hassles! If you still have no idea where to start or you don’t have time to do it yourself, you can hire professionals to help you with your skylight and roofing problems. With the experts, rest assured that the job can be completed immediately and efficiently.  

To relieve yourself from the stress of this property problem, seek help from Fun Guy Inspections and Consulting, LLC. We can help you fix your damaged skylights and more. For more information, visit our website: https://funguyinspections.com/ or contact us today to book an appointment: (866) 674-7541.

Asthma Triggers Cause 10 Million Missed School Days Each Year

Asthma

A well-managed Indoor Air Quality plan can identify and reduce asthma triggers, while lowering facility operating costs.

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases that afflicts children. Attacks can be debilitating enough to affect student performance and attendance. While there is no cure for asthma, there are ways to medically treat the symptoms and there are recommendations to identify and reduce agents that act as asthma triggers.

A 2015 study on the association of cognitive function scores and the indoor environment published by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that occupants exposed to less volatile organic compounds (VOCs) had increased cognitive function performance.

“We have been ignoring the 90%. We spend 90% of our time indoors and 90% of the cost of a building are the occupants, yet indoor environmental quality and its impact on health and productivity are often an afterthought,” said Joseph Allen, assistant professor of exposure assessment science, director of the Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment, and lead author of the study. “These results suggest that even modest improvements to indoor environmental quality may have a profound impact on the decision-making performance of workers.”

And the performance of students too!

According the Florida Department of Education student absenteeism costs the state $228,557,676 per year. Florida schools can lose at least $1020 per chronically absent student. Asthma related absence certainly contributes to these numbers.

Developing a strategic IAQ plan to identify and reduce asthma triggers

Both the CDC’s National Asthma Control Program (NACP) and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommend having a plan for improved IAQ and asthma/allergen trigger reduction. The first step in developing an IAQ plan is to identify and quantify the asthma triggers that are present in a facility. Recognizing that people with asthma might react to just one asthma trigger or sometimes multiple triggers.

Common Asthma Triggers Found in Schools
• Mold
• Pollen
• Dust
• Dust Mites
• VOCs

Establish an Indoor Environmental Testing protocol to find and quantify the specific asthma triggers lurking in the facility. There are a variety of sample collection methods and tests that can be performed to establish a baseline and determine the condition of the indoor environment. Culture (Bioaerosol), Non-Culture (spore trap analysis), and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) are often used for enumerating the allergens/triggers found. Enzyme Immunoassay (ELISA) of air or dust samples can also be utilized thought it can be costly, time consuming and allergen specific.

While most of the common asthma triggers are well known, VOCs deserve a closer look for better understanding. VOCs are basically organic chemicals. They are numerous and varied. VOCs can be both man-made and naturally occurring chemical compounds. These pollutants can include (but are not limited to) tobacco smoke, emissions from products used in the building such as: office equipment, furniture, wall coverings, floor coverings and cleaning products, as well as gases like carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.

Once the building and HVAC system has been tested, the data can then be used to recommend various methods to strategically remove/reduce any asthma triggers that were found. These methods can include Hygienic HVAC System/Ducts Cleaning, Mold Remediation, and hard products like Professional Air Purifiers, to name a few solutions.

Finally, repetition of these two steps, testing and remediation, on a regular basis is what really creates a proactive Indoor Air Quality management plan. The result is healthier and higher performing students, staff and buildings.

About Pure Air Control Services

Pure Air Controls is committed to excellence in all aspects of Indoor Air Quality.

Since 1984 they have endeavored to improve the health, comfort and energy efficiency of their clients’ buildings to the benefits of occupant well-being and the operational bottom line. The company’s fundamental purpose is to provide professional environmental consulting, engineering and evaluation through building diagnostic protocols, laboratory support services and building/HVAC system remediation services.

The company’s three specialized divisions include Building Sciences, Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory, and Building Remediation Sciences. They offer precise building health assessments as well as innovative services for the hygienic cleaning/restoration of HVAC systems and indoor environments. Pure Air Control Services, Inc. can be utilized directly with their cooperative purchasing contracts through the Florida Buy Program and E&I.

For more information on Pure Air Control Services, Inc. please contact Dr Rajiv Sahay or Alan Wozniak (800) 422-7873 ext 802 or 804.

Article Source: https://pureaircontrols.com/asthma-triggers-cause-missed-school-days/

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