Is Cleaning Your Air Ducts Worth the Expense?

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Is Cleaning Your Air Ducts Worth the Expense?

There are several benefits to having your air ducts cleaned, making the expense worthwhile. The most common problem that customers experience with their HVAC systems include mold, pet hair, dander, dirt, pollen as well as other debris and contaminates. The collection of these contaminates over time in your air ducts contribute to breathing disorders, including asthma and allergies as they circulate throughout your home. When moisture is present, if debris is in the ducting, mold growth can form and compromise the air quality in your house. By having your air ducts cleaned it will not only provide a healthier living environment, but also extend the life of your heating system.

If no one in your household suffers from allergies or unexplained symptoms or illnesses and if, after a visual inspection of the inside of the ducts, you see no indication that your air ducts are contaminated with large deposits of dust or mold (no musty odor or visible mold growth), having your air ducts cleaned is probably unnecessary. It is normal for the return registers to get dusty as dust-laden air is pulled through the grate. This does not indicate that your air ducts are contaminated with heavy deposits of dust or debris; the registers can be easily vacuumed or removed and cleaned.
On the other hand, if family members are experiencing unusual or unexplained symptoms or illnesses that you think might be related to your home environment, you should discuss the situation with your doctor.
You should consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned if:
  • There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system. There are several important points to understand concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems.
    • Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists.
    • You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation. For an additional expense, air and sample surface testing can be performed to determine if the substance is mold for sure.
    • If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced.
    • If the conditions causing the mold growth in the first place are not corrected, mold growth will recur.
  • Ducts are infested with vermin (e.g. rodents and insects)
  • Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of debris and or/or particles are actually released into the home from your supply registers.

If you still have questions remaining in regards to if you should have your air ducts cleaned, contact a professional. In searching for any company to perform services at your home, make sure to check out their website for customer reviews/testimonials. Also, check their ratings from other sources such as the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List. Make sure they are insured and certified to perform the work they are describing. Investing in the health of your family and home is crucial, therefore cleaning your air ducts is well worth the expense. 

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Reasons Why You Should Not Use a DIY Mold Testing Kit

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Reasons Why You Should Not Use a DIY Mold Testing Kit


Homeowners may be tempted to try testing for mold themselves with a DIY Mold testing kit, by setting out petri dishes for a period of time, to determine if there is mold present inside their home. This method is misleading and inaccurate for many reasons. The results lack enough credibility that lawyers, doctors, insurance companies, and remediation companies do not accept the results.


Here are some of the problems with DIY Mold Testing Kits:
  • No Expiration Dates – DIY mold test kits sit on hardware shelves or storage areas for undisclosed amounts of time, subjecting the agar (gooey stuff) to contaminants. Because there is no readily identifiable expiration date for these kits, despite the requirement that they be sterile, consumers cannot determine how much potential handling or exposure these kits have had.
  • No Inspection – DIY kits do no provide an overall understanding of your mold contamination. A critical part of a comprehensive mold investigation is the inspection process, which requires specialized instruments such as digital moisture meters, hygrometers, infrared cameras and other tools.
  • No Control Sample – A control sample is necessary to validate the elevation of spores and provide a meaningful reference point, but many DIY kits do not offer a dish to take such a comparison sample from another room or outside.
  • No Air Flow to Measure Mold In Cubic Units- Most standards and guidelines refer to mold spores per cubic meter or coliform forming unit, but obtaining a level of mold per volume of air is impossible without a controlled airflow through the use of a mechanical pump.
  • No Accredited Laboratory Certification, Endorsement or Chain of Custody – The labs associated with DIY kits are rarely certified (those listed with AIHA-LAP LLC Accredited Labs) and are not endorsed by any accredited agency. Often there is no chain of custody (COC) to properly document the transfer of the kit or to note acceptance of the kit by the lab and critical data such as the date, time of analysis, lab location etc. are often omitted.
  • Misleading Marketing/Information – Consumers often think that the DIY kit they purchase will quantify and qualify the types of mold they have, but this is not the case. For an additional cost, the petri dishes must be sent out to the lab for analysis (see point 1, 2, 3 for why this is meaningless).
  • Kits Do Not Account For Dead Spores: Settling plates and other DIY kits are focused on growing mold, but dead spores can also impact your health. Water damage-makers such as Stachybotrys, Chaetomium and Ulocladium may not show up on the DIY kit.
  • Spore Characteristics – Mold spores have unique weight, density and air flow characteristics and do not settle at the same rate. Heavier spores, for example, settle on the petri dishes at a quicker rate and take up more of the sample plate. Sticky molds, especially water damage indicators and Black Mold, might not appear as readily on the DIY kits, but this absence could indicate greater growth elsewhere.

Overall, Mold Testing DIY kits are useless for diagnosing if you have a mold problem and should be handled by a professional, who uses proper sampling collection protocol and a certified lab. Also, a professional can assist with interpreting the results so the customer understands the situation fully. Do not waste your time and money on a DIY Test, instead contact a trusted mold professional.
Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

How to Clean Mold out of Your Coffee Maker

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How to Clean Mold out of Your Coffee Maker

There is nothing better than a fresh cup of coffee in the morning to start off your day. What if that delicious cup of coffee was full of mold!?! Not so appetizing or appealing. Coffee makers are obviously a very moist environment, which is the perfect conditions for mold and bacteria to grow.

Hot water is not enough to clean out your coffee maker (the classic coffee maker with a basket and carafe). The best way to clean out your coffee maker is with vinegar, which not only sanitizes it but also decalcifies or removes the mineral buildup from tap water.

You should rinse out your coffee maker daily. The carafe, lid and filter basket should be cleaned with warm, sudsy water. If you own a Keurig or a machine that takes K-cups, debris can build up inside of those as well, they should also have a vinegar cleanse every few months. How often you clean your coffee maker depends on how often you use it and how long it remains unused.

Here are the steps for decalcifying a classic coffee maker:

1.       Fill the coffee maker's water chamber with equal parts white vinegar and water. Using a paper filter, allow to brew until half the chamber is empty.
2.       Turn the coffee maker off and let it sit for 30 minutes, then finish brewing.
3.       Rinse the machine by using a new paper filter to brew a pot of clear water. Do this twice.
4.       Fill the carafe with warm, sudsy water and some rice as a gentle abrasive. Swirl the mixture in the pot, then use a scrubber sponge to remove any build up. Rinse and dry. (Magic Sponge Erasers also work well.)
5.       Wipe the outside of the machine with a damp cloth (but remember, this and the previous step should really happen every day).


By following these steps it will not only make for better tasting coffee but also mold & germ free coffee! Overall, a much better and healthier way to start off your morning. 
Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Mold in Ductwork

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Mold in Ductwork


When was the last time you checked your HVAC system for mold?

Do not wait to check your ducting for mold, seeing as if you do have mold it will only progressively get worse. Ducting do not get the attention or inspection that they need, due to being hidden and out of plain view. Many unsuspecting homeowners easily overlook proper home upkeep, which further compounds the mold trouble inside unseen ducts.

A large amount of mold spores can pose potential hazards to your health. Some people develop allergies from mere exposure to them. Others, who are more sensitive such as the children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems get irritated respiratory tracts or skin. They can be potentially toxic when inhaled, too.

Mold damages a property the longer it grows unnoticed. If you have the slightest doubt that your home heating or cooling system is contaminated with mold because of the musty smell on the premises, don’t run it. Doing so would at least slow down the spread of mold throughout the house. If you have a drop ceiling in the basement, make sure it is not too close to the ducting when the air conditioning is running. Otherwise, condensation will build on the drop ceiling, which will cause mold to grow.
Can I prevent mold from growing in my air ducts?
Testing and early detection are key to preventing mold from thriving in your ductwork. However, most people fail to realize the presence of mold until it is too late. Perhaps, it is because of lack of information about the awful effects of mold. It is tough enough to keep molds out of visible surfaces. Mold presence in hidden ductworks would be even more difficult. But you can’t just ignore the issue – or it will never get solved. You must hire an experienced professional to check the air ducts and other potential sites for mold growth.
What do I do to get remove the mold from the air ducts?
Do not attempt to clean up the mold growth inside the ductwork. According to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only licensed service providers could check and eliminate growing molds in any property. Professionals have been properly trained and are certified with the skills and experience to carry out the proper clean up.

Professional inspectors would look into the source of moisture. After all, mold is a result of poor moisture or water control. Insulated air ducts, for instance, are prone to mold growth so even after thorough cleaning; the mold problem in air ducts might recur. It should be replaced with an HVAC system that does not get easily wet or moldy.
Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Tackling Bathroom Mold and Mildew

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Tackling Bathroom Mold and Mildew


Mold can be found almost anywhere; mold needs moisture and a food source to grow. Common food sources include wood, paper, carpet, drywall etc. The most common places for mold to grow inside of your home is your basement, attic and bathroom. Bathroom mold or mildew needs to be taken seriously and corrected ASAP to prevent the problem from progressing. It is important to tackle mold quickly because it can have serious consequences for your health, especially for young children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. One of the best ways to deal with a case of bathroom mold is to hire a professional contractor.

Even if you do decide to tackle the mold problem yourself, it is helpful to ask professionals to come and inspect your home and at least identify the kind and scale of mold problem that you are dealing with. The one true way to know what type of mold(s) you are dealing with would be through testing and analysis by an accredited lab by the mold professional.

A great tip for dealing with bathroom mold is to create a borax cleaning solution. Combine 1 cup of Borax with 1 gallon of hot water. Mix the solution together, spray it onto your bathroom tiles and then use a scrub or a bristle brush to clean the affected areas. You need to make sure that you are not only cleaning or removing the mold properly, but that you also have the proper ventilation in your bathroom. A lot of DIY mold removal tips and house cleaning products are great for getting rid of unsightly mold but they don’t actually kill the mold at the source. This means you can enjoy a clean surface for a while, but since the root of the problem has not been tackled it will invariably return.

Make sure you have a good quality bathroom fan that is vented properly through the roof and not into the attic. This may be worth a peek into your attic or crawl space to ensure the bath venting has been done properly. Simply utilizing your bathroom ventilation fan can drastically improve the ventilation of your space. It is recommended to turn your fan on while showering and leave it on after a shower; ensure it runs for at least half an hour afterwards. Along with your ventilation fan, it is also important to leave the door open to your main bathroom dwelling to allow fresh air to move in and replace the stale air. This helps keep the circulation of the room moving and makes it difficult for water vapor to build up on surfaces.


If you have mold growth or do not have the proper ventilation in your bathroom then you need to contact a professional to have this addressed. The sooner you take care of the problem, the better to prevent it from getting worse and essentially making the cost less to you. Comprehensive Mold Management can take care of the mold removal and ventilation in your home. Call us today for a *Free estimate to see what needs to be done to make your living space healthy. 
Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

How Mold Can Impact the Value of Your Home

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How Mold Can Impact the Value of Your Home

Mold can negatively impact a property valuation in a variety of ways. If you own residential property, you must make sure you understand what mold is doing to your property. You must consider all the things that mold does to the house before you take action to rectify the problem.
Visual Appearance
Mold can drastically alter the appearance of the interior of your home. Mold inside your home can leave spotting and marks on the walls, floors, ceilings and rafters. Someone who is diligently inspecting the house will notice these marks. The valuation of the home may be lowered based on such cosmetic problems.  
Mold & Your Health
Any home that has been infested with mold is not going to be a healthy place to live. Healthy people can experience annoying or even dangerous symptoms due to the presence of mold. People with allergy/breathing issues, compromised immune systems, children and the elderly are especially impacted. According to the EPA, studies show that mold odors in the home can increase the rates of asthma in children up to 2.5 times.
When someone is valuing the home, they will take note of the air quality or presence of mold in the space. If you are in possession of a house that has been stricken with mold, you need to make sure that you have the mold removed by a professional. A professional cleaning will remove the mold, clean the home and make it appear as though the mold was never there. Mold removal companies that do the work properly also correct the moisture issue, by installing the proper ventilation or proper drainage in the basement. You will have a chance to raise the value of the house by doing this, and you can avoid a sudden drop in the value of the house when mold is discovered. (Check with your mold removal specialist about their warranty’s transferability to the new owners.)
Fear
Even when the mold has been removed from the space, you will find that people do not want to live in a home that was once infested with mold. This fear in unfounded in almost all cases, but you cannot prevent people from being afraid of a home that was once overtaken by potentially toxic mold.
Mold that takes over a home has a profound effect on the price of the home. A real estate agent knows that a moldy home will not sell for a high price, and a potential buyer may not be willing to offer a high price for the house. You must take action to correct your mold problem and bring the cost of the home back up over time.
With regard to molds, the public needs to understand the health risks that may result from mold spores in the air. They need to understand all that is involved in air testing for type and quantity of molds, understand the remediation process and then testing again for post remediation air quality. Also, understand that moisture control is critical in any enclosed area and critical to the control of molds. Mold inside your home is a serious problem, which is best handled by professionals to protect your health and to ensure that it is taken care of properly. 
Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com. 

Fall Cleaning Check List

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Fall Cleaning Check List


Fall is quickly approaching, utilize the remaining few weeks of nice weather to tackle cleaning up your home. Your home both inside and outside needs to be prepared for the upcoming cooler weather. Each home is unique and needs special attention to certain areas, so use this as a starting point and adjust it as needed.

Inside Your House
Wash all windows.
Use glass cleaner, or one squirt of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle filled with water, and wipe down with a microfiber cloth. Pick a cloudy day so you can better see any streaks. If there is mold around your windowsills then you can clean it with a Borax solution. Combine 1 cup of Borax with 1 gallon of hot water in a bucket and wipe area with a sponge and solution.
Vacuum dusty canvas, cotton, and treated fabric blinds.
Use a low setting with a brush attachment. Vinyl shades can be wiped down with a dampened microfiber cloth if they need a little more attention.
Moderately dirty window treatments need a two-step approach.
Start by dusting or vacuuming the valance and frame, then vacuum from top to bottom using the upholstery attachment for drapes, and the brush attachment for blinds. Or submerge blinds or shades in a few inches of cool water and two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid (check labels first to make sure this is safe). Take out the metal weights first; they can rust.
If your window coverings are very dirty, check labels for cleaning instructions.
Some cotton, polyester, rayon, and wool drapes can be machine washed on delicate. Always send lace, linen, satin, and silk drapes and shades to a professional cleaner.
Clean the walls.
Dust, wash, rinse, and dry painted or wood-paneled walls.
Clean ceiling-mounted light fixtures.
Vacuum and spot-clean upholstered furniture and cushions.
Deep-clean if necessary.
Wipe down the kitchen cupboards.
Empty them, wash them down, replace liners (if you use them), declutter, and reorganize. You may need a grease cutter for areas near your range top.
Dust off the refrigerator condenser coil.
Use your vacuum’s brush attachment and gently vacuum it. This saves the life of your appliance and cuts down on electrical costs.
Do the carpets.
Have carpets professionally cleaned if needed.
Evaluate any wooden floors.
Have scratched or dull wood floors professionally scuff-sanded and recoated, or completely refinished.
Spruce up your computer.
Dust the tower, especially near the fan, clean and wipe down the keyboard, and dust off the monitor with a microfiber cloth.
Straighten the closets.
Declutter and reorganize. Donate unwanted items. Mold tends to appear in full or overstuffed closets due to lack of air circulation.
Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Or install them, if you haven’t yet.
Replace the furnace filter.
If you haven’t changed your furnace filter within the past three months, do so now. Look for an anti-microbial type.
Sweep the chimneys.
Have the wood-burning fireplace and stove flues and chimneys professionally inspected and swept.
Declutter and clean out the attic and basement.
If you find more than 10 sq. ft. of mold, call a professional. (Items too close to walls may contain moisture or mold.)

Outside Your House
Check weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows.
Repair or replace as needed.
Check and clean the gutters.
Do the downspouts, too. These should go out away from foundation by at least 6’.
Clean the patio furniture.
Then store away, making sure it is fully dried out.
Drain and store garden hoses.
Check the exterior paint.
Touch up as needed.
Drain the pool, if applicable.
Close it up for the year.

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Keep Mold From Developing In Your New Home

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Keep Mold From Developing In Your New Home


When a new home is purchased or built, there are many things that can be done to make certain it provides a healthy environment. Mold prevention is considered a top priority with homeowners. Mold is considered a contaminant that is harmful to a person’s respiratory system. Toxic spores breathed in for an extended period of time can be fatal. There are certain things a homeowner can do to prevent mold from developing in their house.


Exhaust Fan
The moisture levels in a home can be significantly reduced when an effective exhaust fan is used in the bathroom. It should be running before and after a shower is used. A bathroom is a moist place where mold can easily develop. Exhaust fans are designed to decrease amounts of bathroom moisture.
Plumbing
It is important to make certain that a home’s plumbing does not have any leaks. Preventing seepage can stop the growth of mold. When a home’s plumbing is free of leaks, mold will not be able to develop. 
Dehumidifier
Installation of a proper dehumidifier for the size of the house to control the moisture levels is imperative. An old home or a new one can benefit from having a dehumidifier. They can be attached to a home’s furnace and treat all the air in a house. It can also be connected to a drain, so its tank will not need to be emptied by hand. If the house is in a location that is extremely humid, a whole-house system could be a homeowner’s best option. (Read More Here)
Foundation
When a home is being built, the ground should be sloped away from the home’s foundation. This will prevent water from getting into or collecting around the foundation. When water is not able to collect in a foundation, the development of mold can be avoided.
Proper Drainage
Proper drainage systems on the inside and outside of the home. We highly recommend the installation of “dimple board” to the outside foundation walls prior to back-filling of the foundation. This provides a water-proof barrier of those outer walls. A French drain system on the inside and outside around the foundation’s perimeter is also very important.
Appliances
It is important for homeowner’s to vent their appliances that produce moisture. This includes stoves, clothes drivers, certain types of heaters and more. The vents need to be regularly checked for mold and cleaned. Also, keep an eye on your refrigerator if it has an ice maker. They can leak and cause issues in the floor boards and wall behind the unit if left undetected.
Monitor Humidity
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises people maintain a humidity level in their home between 30 and 60 percent. Moisture in a home can be measured by using a moisture meter. This is something that can be purchased at a local hardware store. A sign of excessive humidity is condensation on walls, pipes and windows. A moisture meter will help the homeowner know there is a problem. They can then locate it, and correct any issues.
Air Flow
An important way to help mold prevention is by having good air flow inside a house. When a home has good air flow, it will stop excess moisture from forming on walls, windows and more. A homeowner can improve airflow by keeping doors open between rooms and keeping closets slightly open.
Proper Gutters
Calculate the amount of roof square footage you have to determine the correct size gutter and down spouts for your house. Don’t rely on the builder for this. Have a professional gutter company review the plans of the home to determine the correct sizes you need. A minimum of six foot extensions for your down spouts is recommended.
Mold Proof Coatings
Apply mold-proof coatings on potential surfaces for mold growth (i.e.: plywood and supports, framing, basement block walls). Area must be dry and no moisture issue present for this to be effective.
Insulation and Ventilation
Ensure your builder or contractor is following all insulation and ventilation codes for your area. Call your local town code enforcement office for this information.
Polished Concrete
This is a flooring that has been treated with a chemical densifier. It inhibits mold growth. Polished concrete also decreases the chance for allergen and dust mite issues to develop.
Floor Preparation
Floor preparation for mold prevention can be accomplished by treating it with a Borax solution. Other floor preparation will require keeping flooring and subflooring free of moisture. Once mold is detected carpets and other items must be removed immediately. You may want to have a professional do this for you so that there is no cross-contamination.

Doing these preventive measures can save you a lot of money and potential health issues, not to mention headaches in resolving unnecessary problems with your brand new home. Your best interests for you and your family should always be the top priority.

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Tips to Keep Mold Out of Your Front Load Washer

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Tips to Keep Mold Out of Your Front Load Washer

Do you own a front-load washing machine?  There are advantages to purchasing front-loading washing machines over top-loading. Despite costing more, front-loaders are known for their energy efficiency and lower water usage. It also does a great job at getting your clothes clean and is gentle on your clothing.VOC gases are released by mold spores, even if they are in your washing machine. This could be cause issues for those in your home that are susceptible to allergens and toxic particles, such as the elderly, young children and immunocompromised individuals.

Does your washing machine have an unpleasant odor or do your clothes come out smelling worse than before you washed them? This is a common problem for people who own front- load washers. That mildew odor comes from mold growing inside your machine caused by residue and bacteria. However, due to their design, older front-loading machines can be great breeding places for mold and mildew, which causes your clothes to smell like dirty dishrags or sweaty gym socks.
Here are some tips to follow that will help eliminate the cause and remove the smell.
1.       Leave your washer open to allow it to dry out. This may seem like a very basic tip, however it can make a world of difference. Front load washers are sealed tightly, there is no way for the inside of the washer and the door gasket to dry out completely when the door is shut. After you finish your wash for the day, make sure to always leave the door open to allow the washer to dry and air out. This will help to prevent mold from growing inside.
2.       Transfer laundry over in a timely manner. Do not leave a load of wet laundry sitting in a front load washing machine. If you cannot immediately get in the dryer, go ahead and move it to a laundry basket. You do not want to create conditions where mold can grow.
3.       Use the recommended amount of HE laundry detergent. It is very important that you only use HE (high efficiency) laundry detergent in your front-load washer. Using non-HE detergent will cause suds and suds leave behind residue inside your machine. Using more detergent than recommended will also leave behind residue. Liquid fabric softener is another source of residue build up. Using softener sheets in the dryer instead is a great way to fight this problem.
4.       Use a hot water wash for your last load of the day. Washing in cold water saves money & energy but cold water does not kill bacteria and leaves behind more residue than hot water washes. Run your last load of the day, even if it’s an empty load, on the hot water wash setting. To be sure the bacteria in your machine is gone, once a month you should run 1 cup of borax per gallon capacity through your empty washer on a normal cycle with hot water.
5.       Clean out your drain pump regularly. Most front load washers have an accessible drain pump with a filter or trap inside. Lint, hair, coins and just about anything can end up there. By not allowing debris to build up inside your pump, you will eliminate one of the major contributors to mildew odor. If your washing machine has a filter/trap inside the pump, your owner’s manual will explain this procedure.
6.       Clean your washer once a month. To clean your front-load washer, pour 2 cups of distilled vinegar into the detergent dispenser and run your washer on the clean or normal cycle using hot water. When finished, clean the inside tub, rubber boot seal, detergent dispenser and inner door with a clean rag and a solution of half distilled vinegar and half hot water. Repeat this step using a new clean rag and hot water only. Run your washer a second time on the same cycle with hot water only. When finished, leave the door open for several hours to air it out. There are several products on the market for cleaning your machine that can be used instead of vinegar.
Following these suggestions can prevent mold from ever starting in new front load washers and will fight existing mold in smelly front-load washers. No matter what type of washing machine you have, the two best tips I can give you are always empty everything out of pockets before loading into the tub and never overload your machine. 

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Dangers of DIY Mold Removal Projects

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Dangers of DIY Mold Removal Projects

There are many at home DIY projects, that homeowners can tackle themselves. Today, there are many sources throughout the Internet such as handyman websites & blogs, as well as DIY Television shows that misinform people that they can take on a mold remediation project on their own. This is a project that should be handled by a mold professional.
Here are several reasons why do-it-yourself mold remediation projects can be dangerous:
1.       Insufficient Equipment/Personal Protective Wear
There are special supplies and equipment needed in order to properly perform a mold remediation job. This includes air filtration devices that get strategically placed inside the work area and are vented out through a window to create negative air pressure. This insures that no outside contaminants are entering the structure during remediation.
Protect yourself and others from getting sick or causing cross contamination. Numerous homeowners will not take the necessary precautions to protect themselves. Mold removal professionals are trained to handle contaminants, and know that there are certain ways to get in and out of your protective wear to prevent the spread or inhalation of the contaminant. 
Detailed training is imperative to remove the mold properly. Professionals have their crew members wear protective coverall suits and are fit for a high grade respirator. Purchasing a paint suit and dust mask from the hardware store is not enough nor is it the proper protection.
2.       Unknown Obstacles
As a trained professional mold remediation contractor, many times we find ourselves in complicated situations. We have to use our many hours of training to troubleshoot the scenario. Each job is unique and almost every job needs some type of specialized attention.
3.       Allergic reaction
Some people have severe allergies to certain types of mold while others have none at all. Most of us are unaware of these allergies until they start to see symptoms. There are also toxic mold spores that can be extremely dangerous, even in small amounts.

These are just some of the most obvious reasons to have a mold professional come out and evaluate your home. Every home and situation is unique and any qualified contractor should gladly come out to your property to discuss your options and provide a visual inspection. Make sure to use your judgment, ask questions, get references and ask for certificate of insurance. 


Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com

Mold in Rentals: What You Should Know As a Tenant

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Mold in Rentals: What You Should Know As a Tenant


Where Can Mold Be Found?
Mold comes in various colors and shapes. Some of the most common types of mold are stachybotrys, penicillium, aspergilus, paecilomyces, and fusarium are black, white, green, or gray. Some are powdery, others shiny. Some molds look and smell horrible; others are barely seen -- hidden between walls, under floors and ceilings, or in less accessible spots, such as basements and attics.

Mold needs a food source, such as water-soaked materials, i.e. wall paneling, paint, fabric, ceiling tiles, newspapers, or cardboard boxes. Humidity sets up prime growing conditions for mold. Buildings in naturally humid climates of Texas, California, and areas with high water tables such as Western and Central New York have experienced more mold problems than residences in drier climates. Regardless of the climate, mold can grow as long as moisture is present and they have a food source.

Reduce Humidity
Important areas to look for mold are underneath sinks, near bathtubs or on windowsills. One of the easiest ways to prevent mold from growing in apartments is making sure that repairs are made quickly when a tenant makes a request. If a tenant reports that a water heater is leaking in their home, then an apartment manager should have the item fixed quickly to prevent moisture on surfaces. Plumbing equipment is not the only thing that can cause mold to grow in apartments. Faulty air-conditioning and heating systems can increase humidity levels in a rental unit, making a perfect environment for mold spores.

Apartment Inspections
When renting apartments to tenants, apartment managers should have a lease that states building maintenance routinely inspects each unit. By inspecting apartments every few months, it is easy to find small leaks in water pipes or around windows that feed mold spores. A regular apartment inspection by management also encourages tenants to keep their apartments free of clutter that collects mold spores. When tenants leave items such as damp towels and clothing lying in piles on the floors and against walls, mold begins to grow in hidden areas. Signs of mold in apartments might include a musty odor caused by mildew in unventilated areas.

Mold and Your Health
Mold spores can spread to every corner of your house because of cross-contamination. Healthy people can experience many annoying or even dangerous symptoms due to the presence of mold. People with allergy/breathing issues, compromised immune systems, children and the elderly are especially impacted. Some of the more common health conditions mold causes are:

  • skin rashes
  • fatigue
  • depression
  • unexplained irritability
  • flu-like symptoms
  • trouble breathing
  • coughing
  • sinus congestion
  • nausea
  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • loss of memory
  • loss of hearing
  • loss of eyesight
  • bloody noses
  • arthritic-like aches
  • chronic headaches
  • "crawly" feeling skin
  • epileptic-like seizures
  • upper respiratory distress
  • irritation of the eyes, nose or throat
  • restlessness
  • equilibrium or balance loss
  • dizziness or stuffiness


Mold and the Landlord’s Responsibility

Mold Caused by a Landlord's Failure to Fix Leaks

Landlords in all states but Arkansas are responsible for maintaining fit and habitable housing and
repairing rental property. This extends to fixing leaking pipes, windows, and roofs - the causes of most molds. If the landlord doesn't take care of leaks and mold grows as a result, you may be able to hold the landlord responsible if you can convince a judge or jury that the mold has caused a health problem.

Mold Caused by Tenant Behavior

The liability picture changes when mold grows as the result of the tenant’s behavior, such as keeping the apartment tightly shut, creating high humidity, or failing to maintain necessary cleanliness. When a tenant's own negligence is the sole cause of injury, the landlord is not liable.

Mold Clauses in Leases

Some landlords include clauses in the lease that purport to relieve them from any liability resulting from mold growth. At least one court (in Tennessee) has refused to enforce such a clause, ruling that to do so would be against public policy. More cases from other parts of the country are sure to arise as mold litigation makes its way through the courts.

Mold Analysis
The prevention of mold is definitely the responsibility of the building owner, and in turn that of the people doing maintenance. There are species of mold that are extremely dangerous, leading to needing a professional analysis before performing a cleanup in an apartment. If mold growth is severe, tenants may need to leave the unit until it is returned to a livable condition.

If you think that you may have a mold problem in your rental unit, contact your local Public Health Department. Another option if you are willing to pay, is to hire an independent party to test for mold if you are unable to get your landlord to do their due diligence. 

Visit Comprehensive Mold Management's website for more information at www.compmold.com