mold-growth

Healthy Humidity |

You Have Mold Growth – Now What?

3 minute read

We all try our hardest to reduce mold growth or mold exposure in our homes. Try as we might, mold can find its way in through our windows, vents, or heating/cooling systems without our knowledge. We ourselves can even bring it inside on our clothing or shoes – our pets can also be carrying culprits. That said, these uncontrollable factors can make it pretty difficult to avoid mold in our everyday lives but, luckily, there are ways to reduce your exposure to mold.

Mold loves moisture. Without moisture, there’s no mold growth so it’s essential to keep your home dry and free from water. Mold also tends to thrive around leaks in roofs, windows, and pipes. Sometimes, you can even see it on surfaces, appearing like spots of many different colors with a musty smell. It can show on cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, paint, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, and fabric. But, despite our best efforts, it’s possible to still expose your home to mold and fuel growth accidentally. So, if you have mold, you’re going to want to remove it. Here are some tips for mold remediation, removal, and prevention so you can say goodbye to mold in your home.

Best Tips to Prevent Mold Growth

Invest in Healthy Air

First things first, if you’re looking to get ahead of future mold issues, you must invest in Healthy Air. Poor air quality can impact your health in many ways so it’s important to control your home’s humidity, while ensuring proper ventilation, and air purification. Without these solutions, your polluted indoor air can directly impact your home’s susceptibility to mold.

As a general rule of thumb, your home’s humidity should fall below 50%, while ventilation should be present in areas prone to high moisture, like kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements.

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Build with Mold Resistant Materials

When building or remodeling a home, be sure your materials are resistant to mold. Whether you choose to use mold-resistant drywall or paint, these quick adaptations can help prevent mold and moisture control issues in your home.

Remove ANY Sight of Mold

If you see something, do something. It doesn’t matter what kind of mold you have or how much there is. If you have any mold, it must be removed. Mold poses as a direct threat to your home’s environment and air quality, as well as your family’s health. Plus, mold can spread…just think: when one slice of bread gets moldy, eventually all of them become spotted and spoiled in no time. So, be sure to dry any wet areas immediately to help slow the spread and growth. If you think there’s mold in your HVAC system, it’s best to stop running it so the mold doesn’t spread further into your home.

Best Tips for Mold Removal

 Should You Hire a Mold Inspector?

The CDC actually doesn’t recommend mold inspection. It can not only be costly, but can become a long process. The best thing to do is forego the inspection process and have the mold removed regardless. Again, if you see mold, take the necessary steps to remove it.

Options for Mold Remediation and Removal

There are plenty of options when it comes to mold remediation and removal. If the area you’re looking to treat is less than 10sqft, you should be able to complete the job by yourself. Mold can be removed from hard surfaces with household cleaning products, soap and water, or a bleach solution. General rules of thumb when embarking on DIY mold remediation:

  • Use no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water
  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners, as the combination can create a poisonous gas
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Open doors and windows while using bleach; ensure proper ventilation
  • Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and protective eyewear during remediation efforts

If, for larger areas, you decide to call in a professional, be sure they’ve dealt with mold in the past. Plus, if you have any health concerns, it’s always best to consult with a pro before beginning cleanup.

Looking for more remediation or removal tips? Let these tips help guide you through the process:

  • If you suspect your carpeting or ceiling tiles are moldy, it’s best to throw them away rather than try to salvage them
  • Don’t paint or caulk in an effort to cover up mold; instead, clean mold and dry the surface prior to making any improvements
  • If you’re unsure how to repair or clean a moldy item, contacting a professional who specializes in furniture repair, restoration, or water damage may be beneficial
  • Be sure you’re protecting yourself and your family from mold during the cleanup process by wearing the recommended material and following the outlined cleanup steps

Healthy Humidity plays a key role in our overall wellness. Just think…without it, your home could become a playground for mold growth. Ensuring your home is filled with Healthy Air through humidification and ventilation efforts can keep your family happy and healthy in your home. Find a Healthy Air Professional near you to find out how you can protect your home from future mold issues and breathe better overall.

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Healthy Clean Air | Environment |

Top 5 Summer Allergens Invading The Home

2 minute read

Top 5 Summer Allergens

Summer Allergen #1: Pollen

  • Six out of ten people are exposed to pollen trapped indoors

Summer Allergen #2: Dust Mites

  • An estimated 10% of the general population, and 90% of people with allergic asthma, are sensitive to dust mites

Summer Allergen #3: Pet Dander

  • An estimated 10% of the entire population may be allergic to pet dander

Summer Allergen #4: Mold

  • Roughly 15% of Americans are allergic to mold. Moisture control is the most important strategy for reducing indoor allergens from mold growth

Summer Allergen #5: Mildew

  • Scientists have identified over 1,000 types of mold and mildew inside houses in the United States

Prevent Irritants from Entering Your Home

Take measures to reduce allergens by making sure dust, dirt, and other pollutants are prevented from entering the house. Remove shoes before entering the household. Be sure to close and windows and doors during high pollen days. Do not allow smoking indoors.

Install a Whole-Home Air Purifier System

Whole-home air purifier systems remove up to 99% of airborne allergens and contaminants (even those one micron in size) and are 40 times more efficient than a standard furnace filter. This system removes allergens such as dust, dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, pollen, viruses, fungi, mold, and other dangerous substances from the air throughout the entire home.

Maintain Humidity Levels at Home

Whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers can help control allergens with the perfect level of moisture—one in which dust mites, mold, and mildew are not likely to survive.

Environment | Healthy Home |

Spring Home Checklist: Your “Honey Do” list has arrived!

2 minute read

Your “Honey Do” list has arrived! Below are some important and relatively easy home maintenance projects you can complete in a few weekends. Print this page out, hang it on the fridge, and check them off as you go.

Home Maintenance “Honey Do” List

  1. Inspect Your Foundation: From outside your house (and inside, if you have a basement), inspect your home’s foundation for cracks.
  2. Look in the Attic: Especially if it’s unfinished, the attic may be a place you rarely venture. However, like the basement, it says a lot about your house. Look for leaks and signs of rodents or bugs. Also, look for mold, which may appear as gray or black stains.
  3. Check the Gutters: No one wants to go out in a storm. But the next time a moderate rain blows through, throw on a slicker and take a quick walk around your house. Confirm that water is making its way to the downspouts and not running off the sides or over the top of the gutter.
  4. Service the Air Conditioner: A spring check of the cooling equipment should be performed each year. Maintained equipment runs more efficiently and last longer.
  5. Use a Pressure Washer: While spring cleaning is going on inside, there is plenty of home maintenance to do outside as well. A pressure washer is a great way to remove algae, mold, dirt, and other stains from a house with vinyl, aluminum, or other engineered siding.
  6. Repair Cracks and Potholes: In cold climates, ice and snow do a number on sidewalks and driveways. Fill in or patch any defects that could lead to injury for you, a loved one, or a passerby.
  7. Inspect Your Deck: Take a look under your deck and make sure there are no rotted boards or broken supports. This could be dangerous when you invite a big group over for a BBQ.
  8. Reset the Patio: Prevent stubbing your toe or tripping your mother-in-law by leveling out raised or sunken bricks. You will need paver sand, a trowel and a level.Home maintenance can also serve as marriage maintenance too.
  9. Sharpen your Lawn Tools: Grab a file and put a nice new edge on the blade of lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, and other gardening instruments.
  10. Perform General Indoor Cleaning: Deep cleaning carpets and dusting hard to reach places can remove allergens and other irritants. A whole-home air purifier also helps trap dust and allergens as they travel through the house.

Environment |

Summer’s Most Common Bugs

2 minute read

When it comes to a love of humidity, humans and pests are on opposite ends of the spectrum. While we tend to despise air that is thick with heat and water vapor, most bugs actually thrive in it and need it to live.

Unfortunately, this means that the impending summer humidity in certain parts of the country is about to bring these summer pests out in a big way.

Summer’s Most Common Pests

Cockroaches

The German cockroach is the most common roach species infesting our homes in North America. They are attracted to warm and humid places, making your kitchen and the water heater in the basement their most frequented hideaways.

Silverfish

These small, wingless insects are nocturnal and need to keep their bodies moist at all times in order to survive. You are likely to find them beneath boxes or furniture in your basement, the shower, or hiding in your kitchen.

Centipedes

Carnivorous and nocturnal, with their 100 feet, these pests can move quickly and spend most of the day hiding in humid, secluded places. They are highly attracted to the moist, humid parts of the home because they need to rehydrate constantly in order to live.

Earwigs

Known to burrow into topsoil outside, these nocturnal bugs can also infiltrate dark and humid areas of your home. You are most likely to find them around floor drains, bathrooms, or under rugs or furniture.

Roly-Poly Bugs

Also known as pill bugs, sow bugs, potato bugs, or armadillo bugs, these bugs often infest damp basements.

Tips to Prevent/Eliminate Summer Pests:

Healthy Home |

Professionals Needed: Here Are The Home Projects You Should Never DIY

2 minute read

So you bought your first house and can’t wait to rip up that crummy carpet. Go for it! But if you hit dirt, you might need to call in backup. As more millennials take the plunge into home ownership, it’s becoming more and more common to see DIY projects big and small. Things like carpet removal are doable. But no matter how many tips and tricks you’ve picked up from HGTV, Pinterest, or YouTube, there are some projects that simply aren’t worth the money, time, or risk to do yourself.

Setting Limits on DIY Home Projects

Skill Level for DIY Home Projects:

For some people, DIY is a way of life. For the rest of us, we need to be honest about our skills and level of experience. Sometimes a “simple” job can actually be a lot more complex than it appears. Hire a professional for these projects before you try it yourself and make a mistake that costs way more to fix.

  • Paving your driveway
  • Custom kitchen and bathroom jobs – backsplashes, flooring, countertops
  • Pest removal
  • Window Installation

Time Commitment for DIY Home Projects:

Some home improvement jobs can take weeks to complete when you try to do them yourself. For big projects, hiring a professional will mean a quicker and more efficient job done well so you can get back to enjoying your home without interruptions.

  • Large landscaping projects
  • Flooring
  • Demolition

Permission for DIY Home Projects:

Some home improvement projects require permits due to building codes. Save yourself the headache, and possible code violation, by hiring a professional who’s familiar with the process when it comes to these types of jobs.

  • Additions and remodels
  • Deck or patio addition
  • Major electrical/plumbing work
  • Pool installation and repairs

Safety Risk for DIY Home Projects:

If there’s any question of your ability to do something without injury or structural damage to your home, it’s most definitely a job for a professional.

  • Mold, asbestos, lead removal
  • Tree removal
  • Roof and foundation repairs
  • HVAC system installation and repair

When you’ve decided you need a pro, try to keep the process simple to save you time and headaches. Start by reaching out to a few trusted contractors in your area to get estimates on the work, (recommendations from friends are a great place to start) and then consider price and professionalism before making your decision.

When it comes to HVAC work, we make it easy to find a pro. Along with plumbing and electrical work, HVAC is an area where it’s crucial to get the job done right the first time.

Sources:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/millennials-take-on-diy-projects-with-more-confidence-and-budgeting-discipline-than-previous-generations-300813538.html

https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/10-home-projects-you-should-always-hire-a-pro-for/

https://www.ahs.com/home-matters/quick-tips/8-household-projects-to-leave-to-professionals/

https://www.rd.com/home/improvement/diy-home-improvement-projects/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/projects-you-should-not-diy_n_3923456

https://www.hallerent.com/blog/when-to-call-professional-for-home-improvement-repairs/

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Healthy Air |

A World, Reopened: Rising to the Occasion Following COVID-19

4 minute read

.Let’s start with a trip down memory lane, back when things were ‘normal’ and bustling. As lockdowns and quarantine measures took effect around the world, something incredible seemed to be happening before our eyes. The world almost appeared to be healing, at least a little bit. Looking outside, we saw clear skies as far as the eye could see with wildlife-populated oceans and land. Humans got a glimpse into a world unknown, filled with nature, clean air, less waste, decreased pollution, and much, much more. Remember that feeling?

Now, let’s fast forward to present day. We’ve discovered that despite all the ‘wins’ our world has experienced on the environmental front during this period of time, we’ve actually done very little in slowing the effects of climate change. We must do more. We must prioritize our planet and work tirelessly to keep it healthy. But where do we start?

Rising to the Occasion

In similar fashion, we’ve seen elevated conversations surrounding human rights, with efforts like small business fundraisers and compassionate moments between neighbors, community members, and more. But this is only the beginning. How can we continue these moments and movements as time marches on and enact real change?

What about the ‘wins’ for health? While millions fight against the coronavirus in a multitude of ways, we’ve discovered firsthand the passion our healthcare workers and first responders have for their jobs. We’ve continued to see compassion between people. And though we know mask use and social distancing measures work in slowing the spread, we must think bigger to enact necessary change. How can we make sure our buildings, homes, offices, schools, restaurants, and other commonly visited spaces are safe once again? Overall, as the world reopens and we discover our new normal, how can we make a change that’s right for all of us?

A Focus on Climate Change

It appears that the moving arrow of climate change isn’t slowing down any time soon. While the changes we’ve experienced throughout this pandemic (like decreased flight travel and commuting efforts) have helped in lowering carbon emissions and more, these temporary changes are happening at too slow of a speed. At this rate, we will not make a dent in the effort of combatting or reversing climate change. Think of it this way: Emissions would need to lower by more than 25% to see a drop in the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, which in turn, could slow the annual global rise in temperatures. Right now, emission reductions are not sustainable since they are the result of an economic fallout, not a planned structural reduction.

Returning to normal, the normal we used to live, is bad news for our planet. If we revert back to our old ways, how can we possibly make a difference if we weren’t making one before? Luckily, clean air is possible without a pandemic. We must prioritize the right technology to help us along the way. Here’s what we can do to help:

  • Prioritize Healthy Air. Bringing Healthy Air indoors is easy for us—it’s what we do. But outside, it’s a larger group effort. We must do what’s necessary to bring Healthy Air out into the world so we can help reduce the impact of climate change and keep our planet healthy, safe, and clean for years (and generations) to come. Healthy Air starts with change.

Prioritizing Humans and Experiences

Whether you use TV or social media to stay updated on world and local news, you’ve definitely seen neighbors, communities, and people all over the world coming together to fight causes across multiple platforms. But the same question still lingers, how can we continue to make positive changes that impact us all? The answer is simple:

  • Calling on this quote from António Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, we start “by respecting human rights in this time of crisis and building more effective and inclusive solutions for the emergency of today and the recovery of tomorrow.” We keep words like this in our minds, no matter the situation.
  • Next, we continue our mission to fill every home with Healthy Air and provide resources to help everyone contribute positively to our environment—creating a healthier world for all.
  • Finally, we rise to the occasion. Check out this resource from the World Health Organization and learn how we can start making a change and addressing human rights in the age of COVID-19.

Healthy Air, No Matter Where

Now that the world has continued to slowly reopen, we find ourselves back in spaces we haven’t seen in awhile. And, even now, these places are not as healthy as we expect. Though we continue to disinfect, wear masks, social distance, and make more like-minded changes, we forget a key component that we need every single day: Healthy Air. Did you know that indoor air is proven to be up to 5 times more polluted than the air outside? Fresh air is good for all of us. When we find ourselves spending more time inside, we must ensure we’re breathing air that’s safe and healthy. Here’s how:

  • Meet the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™. Designed to introduce healthy, fresh air into your home, this system is comprised of 3 components. When used together, create an environment filled with Healthy Air and effective virus protection. This system can simultaneously introduce fresh air ventilation, air filtration, and humidity control into your home.
    • Fresh air ventilation brings in fresh air while sending dirty air out. This system helps dilute and remove contaminants that linger in the air.
    • Air filtration, along with our MERV 16 air filters, provide the highest rate of effectiveness by capturing 96%* of airborne particles the size of viruses.
    • Humidity control ensures that your home’s humidity is as close to 50% as possible to minimize virus survival rates.

Together, we can make our ‘new normal’ better for all. See how an Aprilaire Healthy Air Professional in your area can help you prioritize Healthy Air wherever you are.

Disclaimer:

*Contaminants removed based on air passing through the filtering system.

Note: Aprilaire products are not intended to cure or treat any known airborne diseases. They can help in the reduction of airborne virus particles indoors.

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