Advanced Answers From Advanced Cleaning & Restoration
As a veteran mover and homeowner, I’ve seen a fair share of dream homes turn into nightmare scenarios after disasters like fires and floods. Of course, folks are always grateful if no one is hurt in these situations. And of course, after a fire or flood, homeowners know to contact their insurers as soon as possible to get their homes habitable again. But what can you do if your house is suffering from an undiscovered moisture or leakage problem that results in the need for mold remediation?
The statistics associated with health issues caused by exposure to mold in American homes tell a sobering story. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency in association with the Berkley National Laboratory conducted a joint study that found indoor dampness and mold increased the risk of respiratory health problems by anywhere between 30 and 50%.
And the study went on to find that of the nearly 22 million asthma sufferers in the U.S., about 4.6 million cases are directly caused by exposure to dampness and mold in homes. Staggeringly, the annual costs associated with treating American asthma cases brought on specifically by this problem are $3.5 billion! As luck, or fate, would have it, I’ve just finished successfully fighting a mold problem I never thought I would have to personally wage. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to observe Jason Mercer, Project Manager for Advanced Cleaning & Restoration, in action. Together with his crew, Jason performed such a superior job of mold remediation that I interviewed him in order to share what I learned with MyMove’s readers.
Jason’s a twenty-year veteran of the cleaning and restoration business, who, through experience and continuing education, maintains a host of cleaning and restoration certifications. Whether you’re currently in need of mold remediation or not, read his tips to protect yourself and your home from the dangers of mold, dampness and water damage
Jason’s Tips to a Healthy Home
Fix Leaks Immediately
Since standing water can easily lead to dampness and mold problems, any leak in your plumbing is an invitation for disaster. Regularly check your pipes to insure they’re in good working order. And if you find any leaks, fix them as soon as possible. Always remember: fixing a leak is far less costly than having to deal with a mold issue later.
It was Jason that climbed into the attic crawl space above my bathroom and found a major fault with the ventilation system. Basically, moist air was being pumped into the attic instead of outdoors. Had it not been for his diligence, I probably wouldn’t have discovered this problem until it was too late. From dryer vents to kitchen vents, check that they’re all doing their jobs correctly.
Consider how much time you spend at home with either the heating or air conditioning on. Now ask yourself: when was the last time you had your air ducts cleaned? Have all ducts cleaned every two to three years to help keep the air you breath at home as clean and healthy as possible. And for those who’ve recently purchased a home and don’t know when its ducts were last cleaned, don’t take chances. Get them cleaned right away.
Change Air Filters
From furnaces to vacuum cleaners, anything in your house that operates with an air filter attached to it needs that filter changed regularly. Check the recommended time interval with the appliance’s manufacturer.
Don’t Disturb Mold
If you discover, or even think you’ve discovered a mold problem in your home, don’t disturb it in an attempt to scrub or wash it away. Moving mold spores around can cause them to spread, which in turn can result in airborne spores that can contaminate an entire house instead of the one space where they were originally found in.
Consult an Environmental Hygienist
Don’t play a guessing game with your family’s health. If you believe you’re dealing with a mold problem, seek the help of a licensed environmental hygienist. He can conduct the appropriate tests and advise you on how to perform thorough mold remediation.
Hire Qualified Cleaners
Hire licensed cleaners who are trained and certified to deal with the problem. In the case of Advanced Cleaning & Restoration, it’s an Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certified (IICRC) business. In plain language, it means Jason and his team must maintain their licenses and certifications by constantly keeping up on training, education and product advancements in their combined fields of expertise.
As I breathe a healthy sigh of relief and thank Jason for his time, hard work and insights, it occurs to me that he and his co-workers earn the title of advanced cleaners every day they’re on the job.
For more information on this subject, see the EPA’s A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home.