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 between 30-60%, 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 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.

    Breathe the Fullness of Life.
    Create the perfect balance at home.

    Learn More
    Dave Jones Inc.

    Healthy Humidity | Aprilaire Partners Logged In Homepages |

    Real Talk: Tips from Healthy Air Hero Brandon Engen of Dave Jones, Inc.

    4 minute read

    As we transition into the late months of summer, the air outside continues to have an impact on the air we breathe inside. You want to keep your house nice and cool for your family and pets, but you may not be paying enough attention to the humidity in your home. That’s why we interviewed Aprilaire Healthy Air Hero Brandon Engen, the Director of Service and Remodel for Madison, Wisconsin’s very own Dave Jones, Inc. Brandon is eager to share his tips on Healthy Humidity and why it’s important to keep balanced air in your home, including improved wellness, the ability to lower energy costs, and even protect your home.

    Thank you very much for helping answer some of our questions, Brandon. Can you start by telling us about your work with Dave Jones, Inc.—how long have you been with the company and what kinds of services do you provide?

    “I started my career with Dave Jones, Inc. over 25 years ago as a plumbing laborer. I quickly earned an apprenticeship, and the rest is history. I’ve been in my current role as Director of Service and Remodel for the past eight years, which has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

    Dave Jones, Inc. is one of Dane County’s largest employers with over 500 employees, but we’ve found that our real strength is the team that we’ve carefully cultivated since we began in 1977, creating an organization our team can be proud of. Our team can perform any plumbing, HVAC, fire protection, or electrical installation or service in both residential or commercial projects.”

    Congratulations on winning three Best of Madison awards—including Best Plumber, Best Heating & Cooling, and Best Electrician! Tell us why the work you do for your community helps the people in it thrive and live healthy lives and why that’s important.

    “Our work in plumbing, heating and cooling, and electrical helps our customers make their homes and businesses safe, healthy, and efficient. All communities need access to the essential services of clean water, Healthy Air, and safe electricity. It’s important for us to provide dependable and honest services, products, and expert advice for customers’ physical benefits and peace of mind.

    Being ‘healthy’ isn’t just one thing, it’s a combination of many things. Healthy Air is no exception. Our job is to identify where improvements can be made, recommend industry-leading and efficient products, and properly install them so they work optimally and last as long as possible.”

    Let’s talk about indoor air. Many homeowners are concerned about the temperature and various airborne particles in their homes. How does humidity factor in?

    “Germs, viruses, and mold all thrive when there’s too much humidity, or not enough. In Wisconsin, we have dramatic temperature and moisture fluctuations, so controlling humidity in the house with whole-home dehumidifiers and humidifiers is key in Healthy Home air. Maintaining optimal humidity not only helps to prevent an ideal environment for the things which can make us sick, it allows us to enjoy the benefits from our humidity-controlled indoor environment.”

     

    Maintaining optimal humidity not only helps to prevent an ideal environment for the things which can make us sick, it allows us to enjoy the benefits from our humidity-controlled indoor environment.

     

    Breathe the Fullness of Life.
    Create the perfect balance at home.

    Learn More

    How else can Healthy Humidity impact the way your home functions in everyday life?

    “Have you ever had a door in your home that’s harder or easier to close at a certain time of the year? That’s one example of the effect of humidity can have on the woodwork in your home. We’ve all heard the old saying: ‘it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.’ Well, it’s true! The reason why weather forecasters use terms like ‘real feel’ and ‘heat index’ is because humidity has a drastic impact on how we perceive the actual temperature and how comfortable we are.

    I’ve never heard anyone say they can’t wait for it to be hot and humid this summer or cold and clammy in the spring or fall. When it’s hot, your air conditioning system will be working at its maximum capacity to cool your home. The higher the humidity, the harder your machine needs to work to maintain that preferred ‘real feel’ temperature. When the humidity is high inside like it is outside in the summer, running your AC for days or weeks on end costs ‘real money.’ Lower the humidity and you’ll lower your operating costs.”

    At Aprilaire, we recommend that humidity in the home should be kept between 40–60%, which is optimal for human health and comfort. What do you feel is the best way to ensure this balance is easy to maintain in humid climates?

    “Dave Jones, Inc. installs Aprilaire products to solve humidity problems because they’re experts at Indoor Air Quality and offer a wide-range of products to fit specific needs. The e-series and 1800 series whole-house dehumidifiers are installed into your existing HVAC system and reduce humidity throughout the home and not just your basement. These products provide a conditioned home throughout, without the need to empty buckets of water.”

    Lastly, what advice would you give to a homeowner about protecting their air, and how can Aprilaire help them?

    “If you’re a homeowner looking for optimal air quality in your home, there are three main areas to focus on: ventilation, humidity, and filtration. According to the EPA, indoor air is approximately 90% more polluted than outdoors. Ventilation allows the circulation of fresh outdoor air in, and polluted indoor air out. Humidity control helps to reduce the growth of viruses, bacteria, and other nasties as well as protect the woodwork and other parts of your home. Filtration stops particles from circulating. These three areas will make the biggest difference in your Indoor Air Quality.”

     

    Humidity control helps to reduce the growth of viruses, bacteria, and other nasties as well as protect the woodwork and other parts of your home.

     

    Make Healthy Humidity a Priority

    Healthy Humidity plays a key role in overall air quality and personal wellness. Take it from the experts, like Brandon Engen, and get the facts. Are you ready to take the next step and learn more about the benefits of Healthy Humidity in your home? One of Aprilaire’s Healthy Air Heroes can help!

    Find a certified Aprilaire Healthy Air Professional in your area today!

    Healthy Air Is on the Way

    Find an Aprilaire professional near you.

    Finishing Your Basement

    Healthy Humidity | Aprilaire Partners Logged In Homepages |

    Finishing Your Basement – Things to Consider

    2 minute read

    Click play to listen to the Finishing Your Basement – Things to Consider article. 

    A finished basement can add value to your home, create extra living space for a growing family, and let you earn extra income by renting it out as an apartment.

    When you’ve decided to take on the exciting renovation project of finishing your lower level, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind to guarantee a space that’s comfortable and healthy for years to come.

    Air-Tight Seal

    The basement is the lowest point in your home, meaning it’s the most at risk for pooling and settling moisture. If your basement and/or crawl space are underground, make sure you have proper encapsulation and waterproofing to keep additional moisture from seeping in.

    Remove Mold

    If it’s been a few years since you’ve maintained your basement space, there may be mold present that you’ll need to remove before starting renovations. You may need to hire a mold removal specialist, or you can tackle the task yourself if the mold isn’t overwhelming.

    Identify Pests and Mites

    Termites and mites can wreak havoc on your home and its foundation, but moisture control can make all the difference. Due to their relatively thin layer of skin, mites cannot survive in 50 percent humidity. They need hot and moist air, so proper humidity control with an Aprilaire dehumidifier makes it nearly impossible for pests to survive.

    Plumbing and Wiring

    If the basement space isn’t already wired for plumbing and electricity, you’ll need a trained professional to inspect the area and install the new hardware safely. It’s also likely that you’ll need a permit to complete this work, so check with local guidelines before starting the project.

    Insulate

    The basement can be one of the largest sources of energy loss and increased utility bills in your home. It’s crucial that you insulate doors in those spaces, whether they enter directly into your home or connect to the outside. Any pipes and ducts should be insulated as well. This will help regulate the air temperature in the basement, which can help preserve a consistent environment throughout your home.

    Dehumidification

    The air in your basement can circulate throughout the entire home. This becomes an issue when the basement air is excessively humid and potentially carrying mold and mildew. An Aprilaire dehumidifier can keep air in the optimal humidity range of 40-60% to prevent the spread of unhealthy air. Consistent humidity control can also save energy usage and prevent overtaxing of your heating and cooling systems.

    Exterior Pressures

    Underground basements feel pressure from the ground on all sides, which can lead to cracks and holes that let in moisture and pests. If excess moisture is a recurring problem, you may need to redirect downspouts or regrade the earth around your home to direct moisture away from the foundation.

    Breathe the Fullness of Life.
    Create the perfect balance at home.

    Learn More
    American Lung Association

    Aprilaire Partners Logged In Homepages | News |

    Breathing Healthy Air: Interview with the American Lung Association

    4 minute read

    At Aprilaire, we encourage breathing Healthy Air because we know it benefits your overall health. The American Lung Association knows it too. That’s why Aprilaire air filters are the National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association*, playing a key role in the fight to improve lung health and prevent lung disease.

    We got to interview National Senior Vice President of Development Sally Draper about the importance of Healthy Air and how both Aprilaire and the American Lung Association are working together to help you Breathe the Fullness of Life.

    Could you introduce yourself for the readers and tell us about why you chose a career with the American Lung Association?

    “I joined the Lung Association in 2014 because I was attracted to its comprehensive mission—to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Every day we help Americans breathe easier through our efforts to fund innovative research, advocate for policies that protect our lungs, and educate patients, caregivers, providers, and the public with science-backed information. We were founded more than 115 years ago, and the needs are greater today than ever before, including the youth vaping epidemic, climate change, and COVID-19!”

    Can you tell us about the American Lung Association’s mission?

    “The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Our work is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; champion clean air for all; improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and create a tobacco-free future. Whether it’s searching for cures to lung diseases, keeping kids off tobacco, or advocating for laws that protect the air we breathe, the work of the American Lung Association helps to save lives every day.”

    How did Aprilaire and the American Lung Association come to work together in the first place? What does that relationship look like presently?

    “Aprilaire and the American Lung Association forged a new relationship in 2018. We quickly realized how much we had in common. Our partnership was developed as we saw an opportunity to educate and help more consumers improve the air in their homes to create a healthier environment.

    Since 2020, Aprilaire has been a Proud Partner of the Lung Association with its 4” residential air filters. Additionally, Aprilaire joined the Lung Association as our FY20 National Fight For Air Climb Partner For Healthy Air. The company has also supported the Lung Association’s “Stand Up For Clean Air” campaign. As part of this initiative, we are driving conversations around air quality, climate, and health. The Lung Association invited people to share their #MyCleanAirStory—knowing that when people realize climate and air quality are impacting the health of their neighbors, friends, and loved ones—they are more willing to act. Aprilaire provided prizes for the #MyCleanAirStory contest, including one grand prize of a whole-home Indoor Air Quality upgrade (the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™) and nine Aprilaire Room Air Purifiers. This year, the company stepped up once again to sponsor the Wisconsin Fight For Air Climb in Milwaukee. Also in 2021, the Lung Association welcomed Dale Philippi, President and CEO of Research Products Corporation, Aprilaire’s parent company, to the Lung Association’s Wisconsin Leadership Board of Directors.”

    Tell us about the Fight For Air Climb.

    “The American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb is the nation’s premier stair climbing challenge. At 38 events nationwide, children and adults of all ages participate in this celebratory stair-climbing adventure. Pre-pandemic, the Fight For Air Climb was held in several of our country’s most iconic skyscrapers. This year, the Lung Association invited participants outdoors for a one-of-a-kind adventure to support healthy lungs and clean air. In fact, Dale was among the company’s team of more than 50 employees that climbed the stairs at Milwaukee’s American Family Field on May 22nd, proving he puts his feet, time, and talent behind causes he supports.

    Aprilaire has been a stalwart partner in the Fight For Air Climb, promoting the event to employees, customers, trade partners, family, and friends. Through this unique vehicle, the company is engaging individuals of all ages to understand and celebrate the importance of Healthy Air.”

    Aprilaire’s air filters are a National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association. How do you feel our mission aligns with yours?

    “Our CEO, Harold Wimmer, has said, ‘Breathing should not be an uphill battle, but for many it is… no one should have to fight for air on a daily basis.’ Similarly, Dale has declared, ‘We believe everyone deserves to breathe Healthy Air.’ As a National Proud Partner, Aprilaire’s mission to enhance everyone’s health by improving the air in their homes aligns very closely with that of the American Lung Association, champion of clean air for all.”

    What are the benefits of breathing Healthy Air and what are everyday things that people can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life?

    “Clean air is essential for healthy lungs. The American Lung Association works to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and safe from harmful pollution. In fact, every year we publish our State of the Air Report, which looks at two of the most widespread and dangerous air pollutants, ozone and fine particulate matter. Our 2021 State of the Air Report found that more than 4 in 10 Americans—over 135 million people—are living in places with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution.

    One of the most important things you can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life is to keep sources of pollution out of your home. Check out these commonsense tips on Lung.org. Additionally, ventilation helps reduce indoor air pollution, but it works best if paired with keeping known sources of air pollution out of the building. For tips on how to use ventilation to protect your lung health, check out our section on Ventilation: How Buildings Breathe.”

    Fight for Healthy Air

    At Aprilaire, we believe everyone deserves to Breathe the Fullness of Life, and we’re not the only ones that feel this way. Through our Proud Partnership with the American Lung Association, we aim to fill every home with Healthy Air. Both Aprilaire and the Lung Association believe that breathing Healthy Air should be available to everyone, and maintaining healthy Indoor Air Quality is an important step for your lung health. Read more about our partnership and the efforts of the American Lung Association on their website.

    *Disclaimer: The American Lung Association does not endorse any product, device, or service.

    St. Vincent de Paul

    AA Homepage Articles | News |

    2021: Aprilaire’s Good Neighbor Values

    2 minute read

    Click the play button to listen to the post

    We take the importance of caring for others to heart at Aprilaire. We believe we have a purpose beyond the individual work we do and that being a successful company also means “Being a Good Neighbor.” It’s one of our core values, and something we put into action each year.

    We remain committed to helping our local communities in a number of ways, including financial contributions and volunteering. In the past, we’ve raised funds to provide pack-n-plays to mothers in need, volunteered at local blood drives, and held various donation drives throughout the year.

    While our partnership opportunities may look different in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re excited to continue our work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, whose mission statement reads:

    “A membership organization, the Society began working in Madison in 1925 with two parish-based groups of members serving their neighbors in need. Today, programs the Society operates in Dane County include a large customer-choice food pantry, a charitable pharmacy, storage for the goods of persons who are homeless, seven thrift stores offering direct charity, housing at Port St. Vincent de Paul and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House, and several other forms of assistance for people struggling with poverty.”

    We’ve been working with St. Vincent de Paul – Madison since 2014, giving us a number of incredible opportunities to give back and live out our mission of being Good Neighbors.

    We believe the work they’re doing to provide assistance for our community is more important than ever right now, which is why it’s our honor to be a 2021 Platinum Sponsor for St. Vincent de Paul’s 6th Annual Care Café fundraising breakfast on May, 5th 2021. The theme is “Love Made Visible.”

    They’re going virtual this year, which means they have unlimited capacity to reach their goal of $140,000. If you live in Dane County, we encourage you to attend the virtual event and support our neighbors in need through your contributions to the food pantry, free pharmacy, and housing programs.

     Click here for more information on St. Vincent de Paul – Madison to see how you can get involved.

    Or find a charity in your area that you may be able to connect with to make an impact.

    flights

    AA Homepage Articles | News |

    Experts Say Flights Can Resume, But Bring Increased Risks

    2 minute read

    Air quality experts say that it is safe to resume flying, but travelers must take advanced precautions before traveling like taking shorter flights when possible, wearing masks, and social distancing. 

    In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Joseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, makes the case that airplanes do not make you sick. In fact, airplanes have comparable levels of air filtration and fresh air ventilation to a health care facility

    Flights May Be Less Comfortable With Recommendations

    He argues that airlines should continue disinfecting high-touch areas such as armrests and tray tables, stop in-flight food service, mandate mask-wearing, and ask patrons to keep their above ventilation fan on throughout the flight. While these adjustments make flying less enjoyable, they can help reduce in-flight virus transmission. Masks are currently required on public transportation. 

    Allen is not the only one saying it is safe to resume flying. 

    ‘Safer Than Eating At A Restaurant’

    Linsey Marr, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, in a CNN article writes, “When HEPA ventilation systems are running on a plane and everyone is masked, the risk of Covid-19 is greatly reduced and makes air travel on a big jet safer than eating at a restaurant.”

    Activities Create Biggest Risks

    She and Allen argue that the biggest risks in airline travel stem from activities like the pre-flight boarding process or when a flight is delayed and people are stuck on the plane. Marr, who has been wearing an air quality monitor when she travels, said CO2 levels are elevated during these aforementioned activities and are indicative of a lack of fresh air ventilation. 

    Marr told CNN that “A CO2 (carbon dioxide) level of 3,000 ppm means that for every breath I take in, about 7% of the air is other people’s exhaled breath…like drinking someone else’s backwash!”

    The airport also presents other problems for travelers.

    Allen suggests airports create more touchless experiences, upgrade their HVAC system, and require masks. Some updates have already been implemented in some airports or will be implemented in the future. 

    Other experts suggest carrying your own personal hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and sticking to shorter flights

    Even though there are risks to flying, Marr and Allen say you are clear for takeoff this summer