Mold Can Be a Big Problem in the Summer

The warm months of summer make the perfect breeding environment for mold. The combination of rain, humidity, and heat creates the perfect place for mold to grow. Solutions exist to slow or prevent the growth of mold inside your home.

Reduce Humidity to Avoid Mold

This means that all activities in your home that generate increased moisture in the air need to be reduced. From cooking to showering to running the dishwasher, you’ll want to properly ventilate all areas of the home that generate moisture. By keeping the air moving with fans, you can reduce the chances of moisture building in the air.

If you notice water building up on the walls or ceiling, wipe it away. This prevents mold from forming and growing.

Remove Water Sources from Around the Home

Your home should have good drainage systems in place to keep water from pooling around your residence. The foundation of your home should be higher than the surrounding ground so that groundwater formed by rain is pulled away. This means ensuring that gutters and drainage areas are in good shape.

Address Areas of High Humidity

This means places that can trap moist air, such as a crawlspace or basement, should be addressed to prevent the buildup of moisture. You can put in a dehumidifier which helps or run a sheet of polyethylene to keep the moisture from seeping through the walls or floors. Putting in fans also helps as the moving air makes it far more difficult for the mold to grow.

Fabric and Paper Goods are Indicators of Mold Growth

This means paper, cardboard, and clothing are often the first places that mold can form. This is because they provide a source of food for the mold spores along with a surface where they can cling. Chances are, the first signs of mold growth in the home will be on cardboard boxes, paper items, and your clothing. If they ever come in contact with water, be sure to dry them quickly.

How to Clean Away Mold

Without professional assistance, it can be difficult to extinguish mold. This is because the mold you see may only be a fraction of what exists in your home. If you mix detergent with water into a spray bottle, you can remove the mold you see from surfaces. However, you should call a professional company to inspect and remove the mold from your home.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you suspect that mold is growing in your home, call the professionals at Brickley Environmental. We have the knowledge, experience, and tools to identify mold growth and remove it with as little disruption as possible.

New EPA Ruling Does Not Eliminate Asbestos. How Does This Affect You?

EPA ruling asbestosThe latest ruling from the EPA, which was released on April 17, 2019, does not call for the total banning of asbestos in terms of imports for commercial use. This means that companies that wish to import or use asbestos materials in their products must be approved by the EPA before they can proceed. This new ruling leaves many angry at the EPA for not banning the substance totally.

However, there have been asbestos products that are now banned because they put the public at risk for asbestos exposure. The fibers in asbestos, when inhaled over time, may cause mesothelioma, which is a rare and aggressive form of lung cancer that has proven to be difficult to treat and quite deadly. The products listed include the following:

  • Adhesives, Roof Coatings, Extruded Sealant Tape, and Sealants
  • Electrical Paper, Acetylene Cylinder fillers, Friction Materials, and Millboard
  • Missile Liner, Arc Chutes, Pipelines, and Wrap
  • Woven and Cement Products, Roofing Felt, and Packing Materials
  • Vinyl-Asbestos Floor Tile, Reinforced Plastics, Building Products, and Separators for Batteries and Fuel Cells
  • Interestingly enough, the new ruling which puts the EPA in charge of whether asbestos is to be used was heavily criticized. This is because EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has promised in congressional testimony to completely ban the substance from any commercial use.

Bans on Asbestos Use

While the dangers of asbestos are well-known and the substance has been banned for any use in over 60 countries, some of the countries that have not fully banned it include the US, China, Russia, and India. These are some of the leading industrial countries in the world. Plus, Brazil has only recently fully banned asbestos as it was one of the leading producers of the mineral.

In addition, Mongolia, Singapore, and Ukraine were previously on the fully banned list but now have relaxed their regulations in terms of using this mineral.

The fear is that the continued use of asbestos, even in limited amounts, will increase the chances of people developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. While the vast majority of uses for asbestos has been banned, such as in building material, there are still products and certain appliances that use asbestos in limited amounts.

If you suspect that your residence, building or property has asbestos present, you will want to call a professional asbestos removal company to find out.

Why Call Brickley Environmental?

If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your residence, office, or facility, call Brickley Environmental today. The professionals at Brickley Environmental have the knowledge, training, and experience to identify and remove mold from your property. Over the years, we have developed the right techniques and use the best tools and equipment to safely remove asbestos from all types of structures.

Outdated EPA Regulations May Increase Asbestos Exposure

Earlier this year, the Office of the Inspector General announced that it believed that the Environmental Protection Agency (an agency obviously expressly created in order to protect the environment) does not have adequate policies in place to protect the public from asbestos exposure. For example, the OIG specifically noted a policy that allows companies or individuals to release water that has been contaminated by asbestos.

This regulation is part of the National Emissions Standard for Asbestos, which was first released in 1973, and does not, in general, have environmentally sound regulations for the demolition or destruction of buildings that may contain asbestos, therefore allowing asbestos to be released into the water and soil of the surrounding areas.

One of the toxicologists who helped to prepare the OIG report stated that demolitions have the ability to be very damaging to the environment and that the amount of asbestos entering the environment is likely to exceed what is legally allowed. Older buildings are very likely to contain asbestos and demolishing these buildings is also very likely to release asbestos fibers into the environment. When humans come into contact with asbestos, it has the potential for causing mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other serious issues.

The report states that it is both the demolition procedures and the materials themselves that are responsible for asbestos contamination, and recommends that because asbestos was so commonly used in buildings before 1980, the EPA needs to review its policy, determine the risk of asbestos exposure, and develop new regulatory practices to protect the public from exposure.

In response to the OIG, the EPA has said that it believes its regulations are comprehensive and that the recommendations made by OIG will not be implemented. They do admit, however, that because the document itself is so old, it could use clarification, especially as more and more older buildings are being torn down to make way for new construction. The EPA said that it is currently in the process of creating a team of experts and inspectors to investigate the risk of asbestos exposure in an area where demolition is taking place and to clarify their current regulations to make sure they are fully understood.

Five Things You Need to Know about Asbestos

After a few decades of controversy, asbestos has largely fallen out of the public spotlight. Regulations enacted in the late 1980s seemed to quell the public’s concerns about asbestos, and society has moved on to worrying about other environmental issues. The truth is, however, that asbestos is still very much a problem in this country, especially considering how frequently it was used in buildings throughout most of the last century. Here are five things you need to know about asbestos:

1. Asbestos is actually still legal.
Remember those regulations? Only two years after the EPA ordered industries that use asbestos to phase into a different material, producers and manufacturers of asbestos filed a case against the EPA. The court actually sided with Big Asbestos, overturning most of the bans that the EPA ordered. This means that most industries are still allowed to use this material.

2. Asbestos-related diseases are more prevalent and deadly than skin cancer.
In society today, we have a serious problem with skin cancer and we talk a lot about the need for better sun protection and treatments. Mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other lung cancers caused by inhaling asbestos fibers are deadlier than skin cancer, and yet they somehow get far less press.

3. There is no such thing as a safe level of asbestos exposure.
Unlike radiation, sunlight, and even things like pesticides, there is simply no level of exposure at which it is safe to be exposed to asbestos. Even a single fiber inhaled into the lungs is enough to cause cancer and other serious issues.

4. Asbestos-containing products are often imported to the US.
While more than fifty countries actually do have very real and enforceable bans on asbestos use, asbestos is still being imported to the US every day. Over eight million pounds of asbestos waste was delivered to the US in just the last ten years.

5. Asbestos is in just about everything.
That may sound paranoid and almost like a conspiracy theory, but before the EPA’s ten-year study about the dangers of this product, it was widely used in construction, appliance manufacture, and even fabric. It is a great insulator that is resistant to flame, which made it an ideal choice for insulation in buildings, stoves, as filler in cement, and in outer clothing like coats and jackets.

Facts About Mold

What Are Molds?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.

What are some of the common indoor molds?

– Cladosporium
– Penicillium
– Alternaria
– Aspergillus

How do molds affect people?

Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay.

Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.

I found mold growing in my home, how do I test and remove the mold?

Generally, it is not necessary to identify the species of mold growing in a residence, and CDC does not recommend routine sampling for molds. Current evidence indicates that allergies are the type of diseases most often associated with molds.

Since the susceptibility of individuals can vary greatly either because of the amount or type of mold, sampling and culturing are not reliable in determining your health risk. If you are susceptible to mold and mold is seen or smelled, there is a potential health risk; therefore, no matter what type of mold is present, you should arrange for its removal.

Contact Brickley Environmental for Mold Removal

At Brickley Environmental, we have 30 plus years’ experience providing environmental remediation services in Southern California, including expert mold removal and indoor air purification.

We perform thorough, safe mold remediation and cleanup; microbial and particulate decontamination of building components, HVAC systems, and other air delivery systems; and filter replacement in sensitive areas such as hospital morgues, laboratories, and cleanrooms. Our technicians are fully certified, and they receive ongoing training in mold abatement and remediation practices. In addition, our company has one of the best safety records in the industry.

Contact an expert today by calling 1.800.530.3366 or visit our contact page

Where are molds found?

Molds are found in virtually every environment and can be detected, both indoors and outdoors, year-round. Mold growth is encouraged by warm and humid conditions. Outdoors they can be found in shady, damp areas or places where leaves or other vegetation is decomposing. Indoors they can be found where humidity levels are high, such as basements or showers.

How can people decrease mold exposure?

Sensitive individuals should avoid areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas. Inside homes, mold growth can be slowed by controlling humidity levels and ventilating showers and cooking areas. If there is mold growth in your home, you should clean up the mold and fix the water problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water.

If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:

Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.

Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.

Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.

If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.

Specific Recommendations:

Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.

Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months.

Be sure the home has adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans.

Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.

Clean bathrooms with mold killing products.

Do not carpet bathrooms and basements.

Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.

What areas have high mold exposures?

– Antique shops
– Greenhouses
– Saunas
– Farms
– Mills
– Construction areas
– Flower shops
– Summer cottages

About Brickley Environmental

Brickley Environmental creates safe-and-sound schools, homes, and buildings by designing and executing safe, cost-effective containment, abatement and removal solutions. We do it right the first time — making your profits predictable while supporting your ethical standards and reputation for excellence — and have served Southern California for over 30 years.