How Much Mold Exposure is Harmful?

Mold exists virtually everywhere, both indoors and outdoors, and has a large variety of species. While mold has many beneficial functions, such as breaking down waste products and organic matter that includes garbage, dead trees, and leaves, exposure to mold also has a big downside in residences and buildings that have moisture. This can create a perfect breeding ground for mold in unwanted environments. 

Exposure to mold can be problematic for people, although it affects everyone differently. While many people may not even be aware that mold is around them, others can easily get sick by breathing it in. Understanding the dangers, identifying who is the most vulnerable, and offering solutions can help keep you protected from mold exposure. 

Exposure to Mold

Mold needs both a food and moisture source to start growing. Under the proper conditions, mold can grow rapidly, releasing spores along with VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that may cause some people to feel ill. While mold spores are mostly inhaled, they can also be absorbed through the skin or consumed if present on food. 

  • Outdoors: Mold is virtually everywhere outdoors however, concentrations of mold are quite limited. The mold growing outdoors does not produce enough sports to be extremely dangerous for those who are vulnerable.
  • Indoors: Mold growing indoors is far more problematic due to a lack of airflow within the confined space. There are also more opportunities for it to locate moist areas within food sources, leading to them multiplying. This is especially true after a flooding event. 

There are different varieties of mold, including black mold which may or may not cause serious health issues. Regardless, exposure to mold of any type can be problematic, especially for those who have underlying health issues and are more susceptible to illness.

Symptoms Associated with Mold Exposure

For those with a mold allergy, this can represent a significant respiratory issue. Those with underlying health issues such as respiratory illness, asthma, lung disease, COPD, and immune suppression are particularly vulnerable to mold exposure. 

Exposure to mold may cause a variety of conditions ranging from coughing and sneezing to itchy skin, headaches, and even dizziness. While such symptoms may be the sign of other illnesses or types of infection, those who experience such symptoms should inform their doctor and request getting checked for mold infection. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you are concerned that mold may be present in your home or workplace, contact the experts at Brickley Environmental for assistance today. The trained technicians at Brickley Environmental have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to remove the mold from your property. 

For more information on mold exposure, click here to visit the CDC website.

Runoff-Induced Erosion

Water runoff can cause soil to erode and wash away. While erosion is a natural process, when it occurs on land that is occupied by humans it can become problematic. The urbanization of the landscape, particularly the soil compaction that occurs under buildings, sidewalks, parking lots, etc. has the potential to increase the threat of erosion. 

Four Erosion Types

Of the different types of runoff-induced erosion, there are four that are considered the most prominent.

  • Sheet: This is one of the most common forms of erosion with sheets of water moving across the surface. This can result in the transportation of the soil by raindrops. The sheet effect may also cause the soil particles to become loose due to the movement of other soil particles because of the rain intensity. 

 

  • Rill: A rill is a narrow, long depression or incision in the soil that has a depth of less than 75mm. In essence, this is a micro-channel that when found along hill slopes may allow for a greater flow of water caused by precipitation. 

 

  • Gully: These form as a result of rills that get deeper than 75mm. When the water flows into a gully, it can start to remove the sediment at a faster rate. This is especially true if the gullies are located on a slope. The water flows through a gully at a faster rate compared to flowing over the soil. The result is a dramatic increase in the erosion rate of the soil.

 

  • Channel: This occurs along the banks and beds of stream channels. When the water flow increases, erosion may occur at a greater rate. Such increases in water flow in channels may happen because of soil compaction due to the presence of sidewalks, parking lots, and other hard surfaces that only accelerate the water into streams.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

The erosion process from sheet to channel is not an inevitable one and is dependent upon several different factors. When left untreated, these may progress over time and become harmful to your environment. Depending on if the property in question is occupied or not will determine the strategy of remediation. Having a great strategy is imperative to find a solution to your soil erosion problem.

For specific recommendations and procedures required to manage your soil contamination and remediation issues, the best solution is to call Brickley Environmental who are the experts and more importantly have the expertise for soil remediation issues throughout all of Southern California.

For more information on soil remediation, visit the Natural Resources Defense Council website here.

Protect Your Family from Exposure to Asbestos

Asbestos is not easy to identify to the untrained eye. Unless it is labeled, it will normally take a trained specialist to identify whether the substance is asbestos. If you believe there has been exposure, it is advisable to call for an inspection of your home to be completely sure. 

A trained and accredited asbestos professional has the knowledge and tools to identify whether a substance is asbestos or not. If your home was built before 1978, it is possible that asbestos is present. Therefore, if you are planning on remodeling your old home or have noticed drywall or insulation that is falling apart, you should consider getting your home inspected for the presence of asbestos. 

Dangers of Asbestos Exposure

Over time, exposure to asbestos fibers in the air may cause the development of asbestos-related diseases. The most notable is mesothelioma, a vicious form of cancer that can only be caused by asbestos exposure. 

Asbestosis and lung cancer are two other potential diseases that are caused by asbestos exposure. However, it should be noted that asbestos can also be ingested which may cause issues in the throat, stomach, and even the colon. 

However, such exposure can only occur if the asbestos is compromised. Asbestos that is still tightly wrapped and in good condition poses no risk to anyone living inside the home. Only when this material is exposed to the open air should you be concerned about exposure.

What to Do

A home inspection is a good idea whether you intend on selling, remodeling, or not. Knowing what is in your home will help you make the best-informed decision. 

If you suspect that an area may contain asbestos, the best policy is to leave it alone. If such areas can be sealed off, then do so. Do not dust, sweep, or vacuum such areas as that can potentially increase the asbestos fibers and make them airborne. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If your home was built before 1978, it is possible that asbestos is present. While the chances of asbestos being in the home are much lower compared to a facility, you should call the experts at Brickley Environmental for further guidance. 

Brickley Environmental has the knowledge, experience, and equipment to properly identify and remove asbestos from your home. If you suspect asbestos is present give us a call today. 

For more info on asbestos, visit the EPA website here.

 

Mold Prevention

mold

In outdoor, dry environments mold is an annoying allergen that may cause a few sneezes but is essentially harmless. However, when it finds its way inside a residence, building, or facility and lands on an organic surface, it can become a costly danger. This is especially true if the location is subject to moisture or humidity that allows the mold to reproduce rapidly. 

Left unchecked, the mold will spread and consume organic materials such as wood. The spores created will also cause health issues to arise for those who live or work inside. However, if it is not treated early, it may cost thousands of dollars in terms of damage and replacement. In some cases, homes and buildings have been condemned because of the infestation. 

The key is prevention which means taking the appropriate steps to ensure that it never grows inside your home or building. What follows are a few tips that can help you prevent infestation. 

Check for Leaks: Water leaking from your water pipes, water heater, or drains can cause mold to form and grow. Check over your pipes and eliminate small leaks before they become large problems due to infestation. 

Improve Ventilation: The key to keeping it from reproducing is to reduce the moisture or humidity levels in the air. That means installing proper ventilation in rooms that generate humidity such as the kitchen and bathroom. 

Mold-Resistant Paint & Drywall: When repainting or adding new drywall to areas of your home, particularly the kitchen and bathroom, use mold-resistant materials. Such materials will help keep it in check if it should find its way to the surface. 

Waterproof the Home: Simple techniques such as adding French drains to the foundation or kick-out flashing to the roof can prevent water from getting inside the home. 

But even if you perform all the prevention techniques, there is still the possibility of flooding. 

Flooding

One of the most common ways for mold to reproduce in your home is after a flooding event. Whether caused by precipitation, a break in a pipe, an outside body of water entering the home, or a backup in the drain, it creates the proper conditions to grow. 

It becomes vital to clean up the water and contaminants that have entered. Once the water has been removed, the home must be well ventilated and dried using fans to ensure that any mildew that has not been removed does not have the moisture to grow and reproduce. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

Call Brickley Environmental today and find out more about their mold removal services. They can provide the guidance you need to make the best-informed decisions about how to prevent or remove mold from your home, office, or facility. 

For more information on mold, click here to visit the CDC’s website.

To learn more about mold from Brickley environmental, click here.

Lead Hazard

If you live in a home that was originally painted with lead paint, some of the lead may still be around underneath layers of new paint. When exposed, it may cause lead-poisoning issues that mostly affect children but can affect adults as well. 

Where to Look for Lead

Most lead paint was used in the following areas. 

  • Bathrooms, Kitchens, and Floors
  • Baseboards, Stairs, and Windows
  • Porches, Exteriors, Woodwork and Trim 

Such areas are often painted over numerous times over the years, so the paint may still be trapped under the surface. However, if the area is subject to impacts, friction, or deterioration, then the underlying paint may be exposed. 

How to Maintain the Condition of Your Paint

If you suspect that lead paint is present in your home, then you can create a strong barrier to help ensure that it never gets exposed to the surface. A good place to start is by keeping the layers of protection over old paint by touching up from time to time areas that may be deteriorating. 

Baseboards: You can fully remove the baseboards and replace with new ones. Also, you can cover the baseboards with contact paper, duct tape, or paint over them again. 

Doors: Use felt bumpers on the edges of the doors. Or, you can use duct tape to cover the edges which are at most risk of exposure. If you suspect that lead paint may be underneath, consider removing the door entirely and replacing with a new one. 

Floors & Stairs: Rugs and carpet can reduce, if not eliminate the friction caused by foot traffic. Adding a runner to the stairs can also reduce the possibility of creating lead dust. 

Windows: Use contact paper to cover window trims and surfaces that may have contaminated paint. You can also use duct tape as well. Try to minimize the opening and closing of windows as much as possible to reduce impact. 

This means identifying areas subject to moisture which may cause the paint to fall apart. And, do not remove any paint which might create dust which contains lead. 

You will need a professional removal service to eliminate the product from your home. That is where Brickley Environmental can be of service. 

Let Brickley Environmental Help

You can get peace of mind when calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental. If you believe that lead may be present on your property or if it is coming in from another area, Brickley Environmental can find out thanks to their expert services. 

For more information on lead poisoning, visit the CDC’s website here.

Another article about the dangers of lead from BrickleyEnv can be found here.