Ragweed and Mold – Fall Allergens

If you find you are scratching your eyes and feeling a bit more stuffy than usual, it may be because fall allergens such as  ragweed are at their peak. The other thing that is causing problems for a lot of people is mold.  All of the wet leaves on the ground have to be raked up. When you do it releases mold spores right where you are working.  Ragweed pollen and mold are the most common fall allergens for people with fall seasonal allergies

Not to take the fun away but you may want to keep the kids out of those big piles of leaves if the have allergies or asthma.

Another thing we are getting calls on is people are turning on the heaters for the first time and getting all stopped up. The problem is mold, dust, dirt, pollen, pet dander can build up on the heating coils during the summer. When you switch on the heat for the first all of that starts to burn off. Besides smelling bad, the allergens become airborne.  This is the most common of the indoor fall allergens.

Being in South Florida we would see it all the time when the first good cold snap hit. We don’t have the problem at out house because we don’t have heat.

Best thing you can do aside from having the system cleaned, is  to open a few windows when you first turn on the heating system.  Do it early in the day so anything that blows out has a chance to settle.

Wishing you the best of health
Mike Krause

800 771-2246

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Cleaning Up Mold – Mold 101

We have been getting plenty of calls from people who were flooded as a result of the recent rains on top of the deluge from Irene and Lee.

Mold in basements, mold on docks, mold on decks, in kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms…..mold is everywhere! They all want help in cleaning up mold.

Sounds like  a good time to review Mold 101.
Mold Wants Water – Stop the Water

Mold wants moisture  This is not hard to come by lately, especially if you are in the mid-Atlantic, Northeast or Deep South. The first step to cleaning any mold problem is to get rid of the moisture. If there is a leak, fit it! You are wasting your time and money if you are cleaning up mold and not stopping the source of water. The mold will just return when the water returns.

Mold Wants Food – Cut  Off the Food Supply

The second step is removing water-damaged materials.  If this includes taking down walls or removing cabinets, make sure that you set up a containment area and run a HEPA air cleaner for mold to keep from spreading the spores.  Cleaning up mold also means containing mold.  When we did mold remediation, we removed drywall in 4 foot sections.  If the furring strips and studs are in good condition, they can be HEPA vacuumed with a sealed vacuum (such as made by Nilfisk) to remove any spores.  By removing the water damaged areas, you are removing the food source for the mold.  If you are cleaning up mold and not removing the food source, you are wasting your time and energy.

Kill The Spores – Die Mold Die!

The entire area needs to be treated with an antimicrobial agent to kill any remaining mold.  We recommend Vital-Oxide antimicrobial spray over bleach. The active ingredient in Vital-Oxide is chlorine dioxide.  It will kill the mold spores without the pungent odor and corrosive properties associated with chlorine beach.  It is also much safer to use than bleach.  Vital Oxide is vital to cleaning up mold to keep it from returning.

Keep the Mold from Coming Back

Once the treated area has dried, you might want to use a sealant like SureCote if the area is going to continue to be exposed to the elements (like an outside deck or patio).  The SureCote will provide a clear, protective coating that resists mold growth.  If the area is not outside, you can skip the SureCote.  Just proceed to rebuilding.

Remember, Mold 101, first stop the moisture, then clean up, then treat with an anti-microbial.

Til Next Time!

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Vital Oxide Saves the Day (and Car)

Wow, Vital Oxide just saved the interior of my daughter’s car!  I can’t believe it.

I’ve told you before how Vital Oxide is an amazing antimicrobial spray.  Well, in this case, it saved replacing the interior of the car.

My daughter recently moved to Texas from Florida.  Just before she left, she accidentally left a window down and the interior of her car got wet.  We didn’t know this, and it just sat in the driveway in the hot sun.

Then a few days later it was towed across the country, in the heat.  The smell, when we opened the car door, was almost enough to make you vomit.  The warm, moist environment was perfect for the growth of mold.  Ewwwww.

Thank goodness it is a convertible and we were able to put the top down to help speed up the drying process.  It took over a quart of Vital Oxide, but the mold was killed and the odor was vanquished.

The car is drivable again, the new neighbors won’t think she is harboring a dead body in her trunk, and Mom and Dad didn’t have to spring for a new interior and graduate school all at once.

Vital Oxide saved the day again.  It is one amazing antimicrobial spray and mold slayer!

Til Next Time!