TITAN KC Enviro-Blog

What To Expect During a Professional Mold Inspection

Posted by MikaB on July 25, 2017

Home Mold Inspection

If you believe you’ve found mold in your home, the optimal way to plan its removal is to hire an experienced professional to conduct an initial mold inspection. This inspection determines the type of mold and extent of damage in your home, so that you can implement the most effective cleanup methods.

This article explains what generally happens during a home mold inspection, what credentials you should look for in a mold inspector, and common removal tactics and cleanup methods.

What Happens During a Home Mold Inspection?

What happens during a professional mold inspection may depend on the inspector’s credentials and experience. From our experience, we recommend that any mold inspection include the following:

  • Visual inspection: A visual inspection checks for mold throughout your house, including hidden areas like the HVAC system. That inspection is not limited to just the inside of your home. The inspection also includes the building envelope and surrounding landscape.  
  • Diagnosis: After inspection, the sources of moisture intrusion and/or relative humidity sources are identified.
  • Fungal sampling: Air, surface, and bulk samples are taken to determine the type and level of contamination. For example, air sampling can determine if the type of mold in your house is the type that causes allergic reactions from inhalation.
  • Written report: The report will detail findings and recommendations to remediate problem areas and prevent future occurrences of mold growth.

What You Should Look for in Mold Inspection Companies

Credentials include a state and/or a professional association certification that shows an individual can test, handle, contain, and safely remove mold. We would recommend that you choose a mold inspection company with such certifications, because the process of mold removal can pose health risks. Moreover, if mold is not removed thoroughly, it will just come back.  

At Titan Environmental Services, we are certified to perform mold testing and removal. That means we comply with current safety and other guidelines, as designated by the US Environmental Protection Agency, American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists , and American Industrial Hygiene Association. We would recommend that any mold remediation professional have similar credentials and follow these guidelines.

What Are The Best Mold Cleanup Methods?

You will receive a written report outlining the recommendations for mold removal. This report will typically recommend containing the mold and applying biocides. At the very least, containment removes and then seals mold in a plastic bag for disposal. However, that process becomes more intricate if large areas of your home are contaminated.

Most biocides are ineffective at killing mold. Biocides may also affect human health. Thus, you should insist that a professional follow US Environmental Protection Agency guidelines on biocide use.

If you have any questions on mold remediation methods, testing for mold in your home, need to hire a mold remediation professional in the Midwest, or are interested in taking our 8-hour mold remediation technician training course, please call us at (816) 960-4675 or contact us online at Titan Environmental Services.

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How to Prevent Hidden Mold in Your Home

Posted by MikaB on July 20, 2017

hidden mold in showerMold is a tricky thing to remove from your home. Many times, homeowners clean up the mold they see but don’t realize that there is mold hidden behind walls and floors or in dark places like the basement or attic.

Or they clean up the mold, but don’t eliminate the cause of the moisture.

In either case, it’s highly likely that hidden mold will spread.

Hidden Mold Spreading Means DIY Cleanup Did Not Eliminate the Problem

Hidden mold is the mold that you can’t see that returns to the same place when given time to grow. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. It will be back if proper cleanup methods are not followed.

When to Look for Signs of Mold Growth

All mold growth can lead to minor health issues such as headaches, a stuffy nose and sore throat, or as serious as a lung infection. Some types are very dangerous like black mold. So, how can you determine when you should suspect mold growth?

  • Actually seeing the mold on walls, floors, etc.
  • The scent of mold even if you can’t see it
  • Recent water damage such as a burst water pipe, flooding, or condensation.

Steps for Mold Removal

If you notice any areas in your home that are showing the signs of mold, you should call a professional to make sure it is properly and thoroughly removed.

  1. Hire a mold inspector. It is not enough to do a home test on your own as these tests aren’t always accurate. A professional can easily determine the type and extent of mold growth in your home. This can be expensive, but it is a necessary step.
  2. If mold is found, contact your insurance company to see if mold removal is included in your homeowner’s policy. You can use that information to hire an expert mold removal company which within your budget.
  3. Hire a professional mold removal company such as Titan Environmental Services to do the job effectively and efficiently. We have the necessary equipment to inspect, identify, and eliminate the problem. We can also give you suggestions to prevent growth such as ways to ventilate your home to avoid dampness, identify problem spots, or even how to make modifications to your house to enhance airflow.

Avoid hidden mold taking over your home by calling Titan Environmental Services. Contact us online or call us at (816) 960-4675 if we can be of assistance!

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Mold-Causing Problems In Your House and What to Do About Them

Posted by MikaB on July 12, 2017

mold growth in home

Mold can have deleterious effects to the structure of your home and your health. Preventing mold growth is the best way to prevent any ill-effects from occurring. Once mold sets in, its spores will quickly spread and elimination can be difficult and expensive.

We want to help homeowners prevent this situation from happening by showing you how and where mold grows, and what homeowners can do to stop it.

How Mold Grows

Mold needs one thing to grow: moisture. There are many types of mold which can grow in both warm or cold temperatures. However, it all needs water or moisture to grow. So if there is a mold problem in the home, you must take steps towards mold cleanup and fixing the source of moisture.

Moisture Culprits in Your Home

One of the most common places for mold to grow is in the bathroom. The surfaces of the bathroom, like the tub and walls, are usually damp. Make sure you are checking your bathroom’s surfaces every few weeks, particularly if you notice any odd smells. Areas like behind toilets, underneath sinks, and around any tile near the shower are usual culprits.

However, there are also other moist places in your home, many of which are hidden. These places include the HVAC system, unit ventilator, and the roof, wall, and water pipes where water leaks can happen. Many of these areas can be hard to reach and require a professional inspection.

Control the Moisture

Controlling moisture requires preventing water leaks, controlling humidity, and preventing condensation.

Preventing Water Leaks In the case of water leaks, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) homeowner’s guidelines recommend cleaning up the leak as soon as possible, ideally within 24-to-48 hours. Typically, mold will not grow if the moisture dries out within this time. You must also fix the source of the leaks.

Being proactive is the best way to ward off any mold growth from water leaks! Do the following EPA-sanctioned steps to make sure your home is always protected from an emergency:

  • Repair roofs and clean gutters
  • Make sure water does not pool around your property’s foundation; make sure the ground slopes away from the building
  • Clean and repair air conditioning drip pans and drain lines

Controlling Humidity

In controlling indoor humidity, ventilation is key. Opening windows, running bathroom exhaust fans, and using de-humidifiers will help protect your home. Remember that the ideal indoor humidity environment is between 30% to 50% humidity. Pro tip: you can measure this using an inexpensive humidity monitor!

Preventing Condensation

Condensation can accumulate on windows, walls, or pipes. It usually occurs when the indoor environment is very humid, or when there is a difference between surface and air temperature. For example, a hot steamy shower will cause condensation on (colder) mirrors. Cold water pipes may also accumulate condensation if the air around it is warmer. Once condensation accumulates, wipe and dry surfaces as soon as possible. Afterwards, prevent condensation by increasing ventilation, increasing air temperature, and covering cold surfaces with insulation.

Now that you know where moisture hides in your home, and what you can do to prevent it, your home will be significantly more mold-free!

Need assistance preventing mold in your home? Titan Environmental Services stands ready to assist you with sound, results-oriented solutions. We serve customers throughout the Midwest region and beyond. Contact us today at (913)-325-4328.

How Can I Eliminate Mold in My Home?

Posted by MikaB on June 20, 2017

mold removal technician

If you’re an unlucky homeowner who has just discovered mold, you can soon breathe easy. Yes, it’s true that mold is a common problem for homeowners, and if left unchecked, can be dangerous – not only to your home’s structural integrity but also to you and your family’s health. The best way to combat mold in the home is to enlist a trusted professional who will eliminate the problem quickly and safely while educating you on the best mold preventative measures.

How Can I Prevent Mold in My Home?

Mold grows in damp or wet environments; to continue growing indoors, it also needs a food source, such as sheet rock, your bathroom floor, the kitchen ceiling, and even pieces of furniture inside your home. The best preventative strategy is to control water and moisture intrusion.

This may start inside the house, by ensuring there are no leaky taps or windows with broken seals, but can also require taking a closer look at outside areas around your home’s foundation where water can easily find ways to seep inside.

If you do find areas where water is accumulating, dry them out thoroughly, and consider calling a professional to assist you in preventing further issues.

What If I’ve Already Found Mold?

When mold is suspected or detected, enlisting an experienced professional is the only way to be certain that all mold – and what’s creating it – will be eliminated from your home. Why? Professional expertise is required to properly contain and remove mold, for many reasons.

  • Mold can cause structural damage, creating dangerous and even life-threatening environments which are unsuitable to address on your own
  • Large commercial machinery is often needed to eradicate mold growth
  • Due to mold’s adverse health effects, personal protective equipment (PPE) may need to be worn during the elimination process
  • HVAC and air handling systems are often the root cause of mold, and require professional inspection
  • No matter what is causing the mold, specialized equipment must be used to locate the source, confirm the cause, and eliminate the problem thoroughly and safely
  • Professionals are able to set up strategic preventative measures, such as constructing vapor barriers, so you never have a problem with mold again

Mold is certainly bothersome, but uncontrolled, it can become a safety hazard. Don’t wait—call a trusted professional today. Titan Environmental Services has a proven track record of success and offers highly personalized service from a team of trained professionals.

Call us at (913) 432-5500. We’re here to help you say goodbye to your mold problem for good.

What are VOCs and Why It’s Important to Eliminate Them from Your Home

Posted by MikaB on June 16, 2017

volatile organic compounts

Starting in the 1970s, we began building homes and businesses with greater energy efficiency. While this was good for the environment as a whole because it decreased the use of polluting fossil fuels, in some cases it has led to worse indoor air quality because harmful emissions are trapped inside our well-insulated buildings. One contributor to poor indoor air quality is the prevalence of products containing volatile organic compounds or VOCs.

Defining Volatile Organic Compounds

All substances that contain carbon molecules are organic. Some are volatile in the sense that they easily emit gasses into the air. There are thousands of products that qualify as VOCs. Some of the most common are cleaning products and building materials.

Scientists are just beginning to study these compounds and it is not clear how many of them are dangerous, but some, for example benzene, formaldehyde, toluene and perchloroethylene, are clearly harmful to human health.

What the chemical is, the amount and length of exposure to it, all combine to determine the health danger. Individuals who are chemically sensitive, allergic, or asthmatic will also react stronger than the typical person.

Where Are VOCs Found?

We spend 90% of our time indoors. With so much time spent inside, it follows we should be conscious about what’s in our indoor environment, especially in the spaces we frequent, like our homes, offices, and schools.

Of particular concern are volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are gases emitted at room temperature as a byproduct of certain materials, many of which are common household items and office supplies. There exist a number of VOCs, with the most-known ones including formaldehyde, pesticides, cleaning supplies, and solvents.

VOCs can have an adverse affect on human health, much like microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs), which are gasses produced by mold. Like with MVOCs, symptoms of overexposure to VOCs can include dizziness, headaches, and/or irritation to the eyes or respiratory system.

However, certain VOCs, like formaldehyde and pesticides, are known carcinogens (i.e. cancer causing). Also, unlike MVOCs, VOCs are industrially produced and are not emitted from living organisms. As such, identifying the source of VOCs and their elimination entails different processes.

Possible Sources of VOCs

There are literally thousands of products that produce VOCs. Common household products include cleaning sprays, paint, finishers, moth balls, bug spray, and air fresheners. Common workplace products include printers, copiers, permanent markers, and adhesives. Even with caps tightened and items put away, VOCs can still escape from bottles and cabinets. Here are some other examples of sources of VOCs:

  • paints
  • varnishes
  • waxes
  • cleaning and disinfecting products
  • air fresheners
  • fuels
  • degreasers
  • glues
  • markers
  • photography chemicals
  • dry cleaning solvents (commercial and home use)
  • carpet, vinyl and composite flooring
  • upholstery and foams

While we can eliminate the source of these VOCs by using these products more responsibly or throwing them away, such is not necessarily the case with building materials. Exposure to VOCs may be of particular concern in newly-constructed or remodeled buildings, as formaldehyde-based resins are commonly used in compressed wood, plywood, paneling, and subflooring. In other words, VOCs may be entirely surrounding you, as they emit from the walls, floors, and furniture of your home or office.

What Can You Do?

ventilation covers

If you suspect you have been affected by the presence of VOCs, or if you would like to limit the amount of VOCs in a new construction project or renovation, consulting a professional is a sure way to identify and mitigate your exposure.

Professionals are well-equipped to identify sources of VOCs, suggest proper venting and other solutions for your particular space, as well as distinguish the presence of VOCs from other possibly harmful air pollutants, like MVOCs.

  • Limit direct exposure: Check the products you buy to reduce that amount of VOC emitting products in your home or business. The less VOCs you live with in the form of building materials, and the less you use in the form of cleaning and craft supplies, the better.
  • Avoid leaks: Some of these chemicals can leak out, at lower levels, when stored. So don’t stockpile solvents, paints or other products. And what you do store, store in a basement or garage where you aren’t exposed every day, all day.
  • Ventilate: Swap out the indoor and outdoor air by opening doors and using fans in doorways and windows.

How Important Is It To Eliminate the Presence of VOCs?

Quite important. Due to their health risks, VOCs are on the radar of various agencies that seek to limit our everyday exposure, like the American Medical Association, the American Lung Association, the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Administration, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Possible Symptoms of Short-Term Exposure

  • eye, skin or respiratory irritation
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • memory or vision difficulties
  • nausea
  • lack of coordination
  • asthma attacks

Possible Long-Term Health Consequences

  • damage to liver, kidneys or central nervous system
  • cancer

Want more information on VOCs? Need a consult on what remedial measures you can take? Contact us at Titan Environmental Services. We’re always happy to lend our expertise and lead our customers towards results-oriented solutions.TYP-CTA-Link-to-Download-Mold-101-Guide

Is Mold Making You Sick? The Top 3 Mold Symptoms to Look For

Posted by MikaB on June 6, 2017

woman with sickness caused by mold

While mold looks unpleasant and you probably don’t want it in your house, is it actually hurting anyone? At Titan Environmental Services, this is one of the most common questions we get asked. The answer is that as some, not all, molds grow, they can create toxic byproducts. These are called mycotoxins, and so far scientists have identified 200 mycotoxins in common molds.

Common Mold Symptoms

Research is ongoing as to the health implications. Meanwhile we do know of three common symptoms associated with mold. If you notice anyone in your home suffering from these symptoms, it’s worth it to have your home checked for mold.

1. Allergic reactions

Some people are allergic to mold. If they are, exposure to it often exacerbates the allergic reaction. If they aren’t allergic to begin with, repeated exposure can sometimes create a sensitivity. If you are allergic to mold, you may experience hay fever like symptoms such as headache, sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, or a skin rash.

2. Asthma Attacks

If you have asthma, and you are allergic to mold, it can bring on an asthma attack, from mild to severe. If you notice anyone in your home having worse asthma attacks or experiencing them more often than normal, mold could be the culprit.

3. Irritation of Eyes, Nose & Throat

Mold can irritate the membranes in the eyes, nose, throat or lungs.as well as skin,  or lungs. Anyone can experience this irritation, even those who aren’t allergic to it.

Related Read: Top 3 Kinds of Mold and Where to Find Them in Your Home

Other Irritants That Cause Similar Symptoms

Although these are all associated with mold, other irritants in the home can cause the same symptoms.

  • Dust mites, cockroaches, or other household pests.
  • Bacteria is another possible culprit.  Another source of potential contaminants are Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs.
  • VOCs are gases emitted from 1000s of household products such as paints, varnishes, cleaners, solvents, fuels, pesticides, craft products, building supplies and office machines.  Concentrations can be up to ten times higher inside a building, and some of these gasses can have short and long-term health effects.

So is mold making you sick? It might be. If you are experiencing the allergy symptoms listed above, your doctor can conduct tests to see exactly what you are allergic to, mold or something else.mold-101-homeowners-guide-titan-environmental

The Top 3 Types of Mold & Where to Find Them in Your Home or Business

Posted by MikaB on May 30, 2017

3 kinds of mold in your home

We build our homes and businesses according to functionality and safety. Unfortunately, one of the elements that affects safety is something small and often hidden…mold. Mold comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Could you identify the most common types of mold and where they are found within your home or business? Most people cannot. Let’s discuss the top three kinds of mold and where to find them in your residential or commercial property.

Aspergillus

Aspergillus is an allergenic mold. It is most associated with homes in warm and humid climates, where constant dampness is hard to avoid. Here’s an interesting fact about aspergillus: it was first discovered and cataloged by Italian priest and biologist, Pier Antonio Micheli, in 1729.

This type of mold is seen all over the world, from the tropics to the Arctic. Although this type of mold is fairly common, it does not normally cause illness, except to those with weak immune systems. Aspergillus mold looks just as you would think, the greenish, grayish, slightly fuzzy growth that was on the strawberry you threw out last week!

Given the fact that this mold is most common in areas that have experienced flooding, calling professionals to assist in addressing all issues is a wise idea.

Cladosporium

Cladosporium is a black or green “pepper-like” substance that is usually found growing on the back of toilet tanks, painted surfaces and fiberglass air ducts. Ranging in color from dark green, brown, or black, this mold is well known to aggravate those with allergies. It has even been reported to cause infections.

It  is commonly found in fans and ventilation systems, a serious issue for people with asthma and other breathing conditions. It can be present in carpet, wallpaper, and mattresses, making it hard to avoid. Again, maintaining humidity is necessary to restrict the growth of this mold. Wiping off visible mold and cleaning with the right solution will help, too.

Stachybotrys Atra (also known as “black mold”)

This kind of mold is most likely to appear in areas of your home or commercial property that are warm, humid, and damp. Basements are particularly susceptible to the growth of black mold. Leaky pipes or a leak in the roof can also lead to excess moisture buildup that may go unseen, leading to mold growth.

Prevention is key, such as proper ventilation in bathrooms and using a dehumidifier in the basement. Mold resistant paint is also an option. The first step is to repair leaks and thoroughly dry areas that have been exposed to moisture. Hard surfaces can be cleaned but care should be taken to follow directions of the product you use.

For those with allergies or compromised immune systems, care has to be taken to avoid exposure as it can cause illness. Black mold can cause a variety of health problems in people who reside in buildings that contain it. Symptoms of mold exposure include: chronic fatigue or headaches, fever, eye irritation, sneezing, rashes, and chronic coughing.

Four Steps for Mold Prevention

Now that we know the three most common types of mold and how to identify them, let’s talk about how to prevent mold growth. First of all, you want to identify mold problems areas in your home:no mold sign

  1. Dry areas that have become wet immediately.
  2. Prevent extra moisture in the air by making sure that your home has proper ventilation. An example of this would be cleaning your vents frequently and running an exhaust fan while showering.
  3. Monitor the humidity in your home or commercial property. The EPA recommends that indoor humidity should be between 30 and 60 percent.
  4. Try to keep mold off of your indoor plants. A good idea for this is to add a little Taheebo tea to the water that you give your indoor plants. The oil in the tea helps to decrease mold growth in the soil.

If you suspect or know that your home or business has a mold problem, Titan Environmental Services provides professional and affordable solutions. For more information about how we can help, please contact us.

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Top 10 Things You Should Know About Mold

Posted by MikaB on May 11, 2017

checking mold on ceiling

Mold growth in your home or business can cause unpleasant odors, allergic reactions, and even serious medical issues. The good news is, you can usually remove surface mold by wiping it away with a wet cloth and detergent.

But if mold is growing inside the walls of your home or business, getting rid of it poses more of a challenge. You might have to open up the wall to assess the extent of the damage and remove the mold. Titan Environmental Services has put together this fact sheet about mold to help you know what to do when you find it.

10 Mold Facts Worth Noting:

Because mold can cause health problems, it’s good to know its causes, proper treatment, and removal methods.

  1. Moisture, condensation, and water leaks are the main causes of mold growth. By staying on top of these issues, you reduce the chances of a mold problem developing in your home or business.
  2. You can reduce indoor moisture by venting bathrooms, installing dehumidifiers, and using fans during any activity that generates humidity.
  3. It is vital to clean up water spills and leaks within 24 to 48 hours so that you don’t give mold a chance to grow.
  4. Prevent condensation by adding insulation to all potentially cold surfaces, such as floors, windows, and exterior walls.
  5. Avoid carpeting areas where moisture is prevalent, such as below sinks or drinking fountains. Carpet traps water and creates an atmosphere where mold is likely to fester.
  6. As soon as you spot surface mold, immediately wipe it away using a wet towel or wipe and detergent. If mold is present on a porous surface, have a professional from Titan Environmental Services inspect the area to ensure mold isn’t growing inside the material. If it is, you will need to remove the section containing mold.
  7. After cleaning up mold, identify its root cause (e.g., moisture, a water leak, condensation) and eliminate it. Otherwise, the mold will grow back in short order.
  8. You can never completely eliminate mold in your home or business unless you completely eliminate moisture. Therefore, aim for as little humidity as possible.
  9. Mold can grow almost anywhere with moisture. If you leave a sheet of paper on your desk in a high-humidity environment, you might return to find it covered in mold.
  10. Prolonged exposure to indoor mold can cause allergic reactions and respiratory ailments.

Mold presents a significant threat to your home or business, particularly if you live in a humid climate. By understanding what makes mold grow and how to deal with it, you can create a safer and healthier environment to live and work.

If you suspect mold that you can’t see or have battled a mold problem just to have it return, give the professionals at Titan Environmental Services a call at (913) 325-4328 or contact us to fix your mold problem today.

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Mold 101 – What Is Mold & Why Is It Dangerous In My Home?

Posted by MikaB on May 3, 2017

dangerous mold in home

Chances are you’ve have some encounter with mold, but have you ever wondered what it’s really made of? Or where it comes from? Lucky for you the experts at Titan Environmental Services are breaking down the most frequently asked questions about this common organism.

What Is Mold?

Mold is an organism that’s found both indoors and outdoors. They are in our environment, everywhere, all the time. While sometimes referred to as fungi or mildew, mold is neither a plant nor animal; it’s a part of the Fungi Kingdom.

Various types of molds are a natural and important part of our environment and play a critical role of breaking down and digesting organic material, such as dead leaves.

How Does Mold Grow and Spread?

Molds multiply by producing microscopic spores (or sporulation), and upon their release, they easily float through the air and are carried great distances or across the room to colonize.

The number of mold spores suspended in both the indoor and outdoor air fluctuates from season to season, day to day, and even hour to hour….it’s constantly changing.

Why Is Indoor Mold a Problem?

We know that mold is usually not a problem indoors until water and/or moisture is introduced into the indoor environment, and when left unchecked, molds will start to grow on and digest porous contents and cellulose rich building materials such as sheetrock, cabinets, carpeting and padding, etc.

Unchecked mold growth can cause damage to building materials and furnishings, and can even eventually cause structural damage. Mold also poses a threat to human health. It is important, therefore, to prevent mold from growing indoors.

The Color of Mold

If you thought mold was always black, you’d be wrong. Molds exist in practically every color you can imagine, ranging from purest white to darkest black with stops along the spectrum at brown, tan, green, red, orange, yellow, and even blue.

“Black mold” is not a species or specific kind of mold, and neither is “toxic mold“…although the news media likes to loosely throw those terms around. Biologically a mold is a mold is a mold. Many black molds are relatively benign and common in the environment.

The mold growths that cause the most concern among mold specialists are actually the white molds which can include some very dangerous characters indeed.

Mold Needs Two Things to Grow Indoors

To grow indoors, mold needs water and/or moisture and a food source. Mold can grow on virtually any organic substance and most buildings are full of organic materials that mold can use as food, including paper, cloth, wood, carpet, furniture and other cellulose rich contents. Water and moisture intrusion control is the key to mold control.

Where Does Mold Grow?

Mold can be found anywhere moisture and a food source are found. Many times darkness accompanies mold growth as well. Often, more than one type of mold can be found growing in the same area, although conditions such as moisture, light, and temperature may favor one species of mold over another. Common sites for indoor mold growth include:

  • Sheetrock walls and ceilings
  • Bathroom tile and grout
  • Behind refrigerators and dishwashers
  • Under and behind sinks and toilets
  • Behind clothes washers and dryers
  • Surrounding, under and in furnaces and air conditioning systems
  • Finished basements and the contents within

Types of Mold

The most common types of mold include aspergillus, cladosporium and stachybotrys atra (also known as black mold).

Aspergillus

Aspergillus is a fairly allergenic mold that is commonly found on foods and in home air conditioning systems.

Cladosporium

Cladosporium is typically a black or green “pepper like” substance that grows on the back of toilets, painted surfaces and fiberglass air ducts. While this mold is nontoxic to humans, it can trigger common allergy symptoms, such as red and watery eyes, rashes and a sore throat.

Stachybotrys Chartarum

Toxic black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, as it’s known to scientists, can release spores as it feeds on organic materials in common household items like drywall, carpet, insulation or subflooring that have been exposed to moisture.

These spores, if ingested or inhaled, can cause a range of unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms in humans including:

  • Chronic coughing and sneezing
  • Irritation to the eyes and mucous membranes (nose and throat)
  • Rashes
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Persistent headaches

In particularly severe cases of prolonged exposure, and compounded by allergic reaction to the black mold spores, symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, and bleeding in the lungs and nose. Understanding black mold symptoms and health effects can help you and your family identify these indicators and take swift action to protect your health and your home.

If you suspect mold in your home or business, give Titan Environmental Services a call at 913-325-4328 and we’ll send someone to investigate.

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Is Exposure to Lead Paint Causing Your Children Developmental Issues

Posted by MikaB on August 25, 2015

The answer, in many cases is, YES! If you have young kids, it’s important to find out whether there’s any risk that they might be exposed to lead, especially if you live in an older home.

Long-term exposure to lead, a naturally occurring metal used in everything from construction materials to batteries, can cause serious health problems, particularly in young kids. Lead is toxic to all of us, but unborn babies and young children are at greatest risk for health problems from lead poisoning — their little, growing bodies make them more predisposed to absorbing and retaining lead.

Each year in the United States 310,000 1- to 5-year-old kids are found to have unsafe levels of lead in their blood, which can lead to a wide range of symptoms, from headaches and stomach pain to behavioral problems and anemia (not enough healthy red blood cells). Lead can also affect a child’s developing brain.

The good news is that you can protect your family from lead poisoning. Talk to your doctor or contact us about potential lead sources in your house or anywhere your kids spend long periods of time, especially if they are under 3 years of age.

And it’s important for kids to get tested to determine their blood lead levels if they’re at risk of exposure — many people with lead poisoning show only mild symptoms or even no symptoms at all.

Why Is Lead Dangerous?

When the body is exposed to lead — by being inhaled, swallowed, or in a small number of cases, absorbed through the skin — it can act as a poison. Exposure to high lead levels in a short period of time is called acute toxicity. Exposure to small amounts of lead over a long period of time is called chronic toxicity.

Lead is especially dangerous because once it gets into a person’s system, it is distributed throughout the body just like helpful minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc. And lead can cause harm wherever it settles in the body.

Most lead ends up in the bone, where it causes even more problems. Lead can interfere with the production of blood cells and the absorption of calcium that bones need to grow healthy and strong.

Effects of Long-Term Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning can lead to a plethora of health problems in kids, including:

  • decreased bone and muscle growth
  • poor muscle coordination
  • damage to the nervous system, kidneys, and/or hearing
  • speech and language problems
  • developmental delay
  • seizures and unconsciousness (in cases of extremely high lead levels)

Treatment

Treatment for lead poisoning varies depending on how much lead is in the blood. Small amounts often can be treated rather easily; the most important part of therapy is reduction of lead exposure. Gradually, as the body naturally eliminates the lead, the level of lead in the blood will fall.

All siblings of a child found to have lead poisoning also should be tested. Doctors will report cases of lead poisoning to the public health department.

The Titan Environmental Solution

We here at Titan pride ourselves on ensuring you and your entire family’s safety. Lead remediation is a service we provide all year round to make sure we are available to you when you need our help most. We work mostly within the mid-west region:

  • Missouri
  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Arkansas
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin

Here are some helpful links to all of these, and many more, states’ Environmental Health Departments.

Protecting Your Family

Have your kids tested for lead exposure, particularly when they’re between 6 months and 3 years old. Kids this age spend a lot of time on the floor and trying to put things in their mouths.

If you suspect that you might have lead-based paint on your walls, use a wet cloth to wipe windowsills and walls. Watch out for water damage that can make paint peel. Don’t sand or heat lead-based paint because doing so increases the risk that lead will be inhaled. If the paint doesn’t have many chips, a new layer of paint, paneling, or drywall will probably reduce the risk. It’s best to consult a professional, especially because other precautions might be needed to contain the lead in the paint.

The children are our future, so the quicker we can completely eliminate their threat from lead, the brighter our future will be! For more info contact us today for an inspection before you and your family fall victim to this unforgiving poison!