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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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Environmental Asthma Triggers

Posted by titanadmin on August 6, 2013

Indoor allergens and irritants play a significant role in triggering asthma attacks. When American’s spend up to 90% of their time indoors, it’s no wonder asthma is on the rise.

If you have asthma, you may react to just one trigger or you may find that several things act as triggers.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnfVYHpzBqY]

Common Asthma Triggers:

Secondhand Smoke– This asthma trigger contains more than 4,000 substances, including several compounds that cause cancer. Children’s developing bodies make them more susceptible to the effects of secondhand smoke and, due to their small size, they breathe more rapidly than adults, thereby taking in more secondhand smoke.
Dust Mites– Found in mattresses, pillows, carpets, upholstered furniture, bedcovers, clothes, stuffed toys and fabric and fabric-covered items. Body parts and droppings from these tiny bugs can trigger asthma. Exposure to dust mites can cause asthma in children who have not previously exhibited asthma symptoms.
Molds– For people sensitive to molds, inhaling mold spores can trigger an asthma attack. Found almost anywhere when moisture is present, these tiny spores reproduce quickly and can live on plant and animal matter as well.
Cockroaches and Pests– Droppings or body parts of cockroaches and other pests can trigger asthma. Certain proteins found in cockroach feces and saliva can also trigger asthma symptoms in some individuals.
Pets– Proteins in your pet’s skin flakes, urine, feces, saliva and hair can trigger asthma. A safe measure is to keep pets out of the sleeping areas, off of upholstered furniture, carpets and away from stuffed toys; as well as keeping the pets outdoors as much as possible and isolating sensitive individuals from the pet as much as possible.
Nitrogen Dioxide– This odorless gas can come from anything that burns fuel such as gas, kerosene and wood. Smoke from your stove or fireplace can trigger asthma. Exposure to low levels of NO2 may cause increased bronchial reactivity and make young children more susceptible to respiratory infections as well.
Chemical Irritants– Cleaners, paints, adhesives, pesticides, cosmetics or air fresheners may trigger asthma. Green cleaning is a safe alternative!
Outdoor Air Pollution– Small particles and ground level ozone from car exhaust, smoke, road dust and factory emissions; as well as pollen can trigger asthma.
Wood Smoke– Smoke from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces contain a mixture of harmful gases and small particles that can trigger asthma. If you’re using a wood stove or fireplace and smell smoke in your home, it probably isn’t working as it should.

Be sure to work with a doctor to identify triggers and develop a treatment plan that includes ways to reduce exposures to your asthma triggers. But, as a precautionary step, always maintain a clean indoor environment and do your best to avoid common asthma triggers.

Energy Upgrades for the Home and EPA’s Protocol to Protect Health

Posted by titanadmin on August 1, 2013

According to the EPA, there is a set of best practices when it comes to improving indoor air quality in conjunction with energy upgrades in a home.

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This isn’t new information, but it isn’t old news either. In fact, we’re recapping nearly two-year old information:

In November 2011, the EPA came out with the new guidance to help ensure home energy upgrades would protect the health of Americans while saving energy and money.

While home energy upgrades make a home more comfortable and affordable, there are an abundance of benefits all around—improving quality of life for occupants, protecting the environment, and sustaining American jobs.

However, if the appropriate home assessment is not made before the work begins or the work isn’t performed properly, the home energy upgrade activities might negatively affect indoor air quality.

The EPA’s Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades focus primarily on the health and safety of the building occupants. The document identifies priority indoor environmental issues and includes Assessment Protocols to evaluate existing problems. Minimum Actions to be taken during home energy upgrade activities, and Expanded Actions, which provide opportunities to promote improved occupant health through home energy upgrades.

Titan recommends work done in pre-1978 homes and buildings, be performed by an EPA certified Lead-Safe Firm or by home energy upgrade workers who have sufficient resources and are properly certified to work with lead paint.

Environmental Awareness-101

Posted by titanadmin on June 27, 2013

DID YOU KNOW?
* The average person spends 90% of their time indoors.
* The air indoors is 2-to-5x more polluted than the air outdoors.
* Children breathe in 50% more air than adults.
* According to the CDC, at least 4 million households have children living in them that are being exposed to lead.
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Factors that compromise an indoor environment include:
* Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) * Carbon Monoxide
* Lead Paint and Lead Dust * Asbestos * Mold * Dust Mites
* And scores of other common indoor pollutants.
Common signs of indoor toxicity:

* Allergies, asthma, headaches or fatigue worsen when
you are in your house or another building.
* You generally feel sick or tired indoors.
* Unsuccessful attempts to feel better.

Spreading knowledge is key to these very serious problems.

CARE FOR YOUR AIR!