What to do after a pipe burst

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Water pipes burst because the water inside them expands as is it gets close to freezing and this causes an increase in pressure inside the pipe. When the pressure gets too high for the pipe to contain it ruptures.

A burst pipe can mean anything from a sink valve blowout to a water main fracture and anything in between. The most critical aspect of dealing with a burst pipe is turning off the water supply and stopping the flow of water. If the pipe is in a crawl space or a basement the water is fairly well contained. But if the pipe that burst is in a household setting, such as a toilet feed or an under-sink supply line, drying out the area becomes a bit more complex depending upon how much water has inundated the house.

As with any water damage, time is of the essence. Mold can start to develop in as little as 24 hours after an incident. The more time that passes without treatment, the more likely those materials will continue to deteriorate and may not be salvageable, especially with carpet.

If a water leak has affected multiple rooms, traveled from an upper level to a lower level of the home, or has been left unnoticed for more than 8 hours, professional water mitigation and specialized drying equipment is necessary. If you see that water has seeped into the sub flooring or the drywall, the safest step would be to contact a professional restoration company like Moldbusters. We can help remove or restore items that would otherwise develop mold. Another thing to keep in mind is the amount of time in which porous materials in your home have been exposed to water saturation.

It’s Fall, Time to Schedule Your Air Duct Cleaning

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While it has been an unseasonably warm fall, there is no doubt about it….winter is coming. The dirt, mold, and dust that have accumulated within vents and air ducts all spring and summer are just waiting to go into the air. Poor indoor air quality can lead to illness, missed days of work, and a decreased quality of life.

Don’t wait until you turn your heat on to find out what the status of your air ducts is. The fall is a great time to check your air ducts for mold, dust, dirt, and other particles.

Air ducts only need to be inspected periodically, according to the FDA. However, when mold and other materials accumulate in your air ducts it can become dangerous to anyone living in the home. If someone in your home has allergies, eczema, or asthma, you may need more frequent air duct cleaning.

If in the past year you’ve had

  • Any work done in the house
  • Any pest infestation
  • Pets that shed in the home
  • Moisture problems or any other risk factors for mold

It might be a good idea to schedule an air duct cleaning for your home before you turn on the heat to prevent any of these particles from getting into the air, potentially making you sick.

If you do turn on your heat and notice more sniffles, breathing problems, itchy eyes, skin, and noses, it could mean your indoor air quality is not good. Schedule an air duct cleaning with Moldbusters and our experts can get you breathing easy again.

Flooding During a Hurricane

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It is hurricane season and while not entirely common for Long Island. However, because we live on an island storms that bring heavy winds and rains brings serious risk of flooding. While we can’t control the weather, there are things we can do to mitigate the damage caused by storms and flooding.

BEFORE THE STORM

-Check your storm and flood insurance policy. While you might be covered under homeowner’s insurance for a tree falling on your roof, most homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover floods. Check your flood risk and make sure your policy is up to date. Take pictures of your home and take an inventory of your household items for insurance.

-Board up windows to prevent glass from breaking.

-Make sure your sump pump is installed properly and is in good working order. Sump pumps help pump water out of your basement in case of flooding.

-Unplug electronics and make sure valuables are kept in a safe, dry place. Important documents can be kept in the dishwasher, which is watertight. Just remember to take them out before you use it!

– Make an emergency survival kit. You don’t have to prepare for the end of days, but you should have enough tools and supplies to survive without electricity or utilities for up to two weeks. This site has a great checklist of things you may need.

AFTER THE STORM

-Don’t enter your home until it is deemed safe to do so.

-Call your insurance company.

-If you have water damage call Moldbusters. The sooner you start drying out after a flood the better. Mold can start growing after 24 hours, so most likely you will need to do flood and mold remediation if you were forced to evacuate.

While a flood can be devastating, it is possible to rebuild a house and replace things. The most important thing to remember about a major storm is things can be replaced, but you can’t replace people. Despite the instinct to stay and protect your home, keep out of damaged buildings and heed any evacuation warnings.

Air Duct Cleaning After A Renovation

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Renovation; are a great way to update and add value to your house; but they are also costly, take time, and cause stress. When a renovation is finished there is a wave of relief and excitement to start living in your new updated home; however, once the contractor leaves you still are not done with the renovation!

Renovations increase dust whether they include drywall sanding, demolition, or any other interior home project. Dust and debris from renovations often travel beyond the work area, and into the ductwork of a home. Keep in mind dust goes everywhere air flows! So scheduling an Air Duct Cleaning post-renovation and cleanup is the most beneficial.

Duct Cleaning improves indoor air quality through removal of dust and debris, creating a healthy living environment for you and your family. Some construction materials can be toxic if breathed in. Most of the time workers will be using masks while working in your home, but once they leave that same potentially toxic dust is being pushed through your HVAC system and into your family’s lungs. Clogged or unclean vents can also make your HVAC system to run less efficiently and cause an increase in air conditioning and heating costs.

Air duct cleaning should be part of your planning and factored in to the cost of a renovation; but if you or your family are experiencing increased allergies, breathing problems, headaches or other signs or symptoms that can occur when indoor air quality is poor, you may need to call in a professional.

Moldbusters are experts in indoor air quality and will be able to tell you if you could benefit from an air duct cleaning.

Hiring a Mold Remediation Professional

Black mold buildup in the corner of an old house
Black mold buildup in the corner of an old house

Mold in the home is no joke. When you spot it your stomach drops because you know how mold can cause health problems for you and your family, as well as negatively affect the value of your home.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to mold. Educate yourself about the sources of moisture and on situations that cause mold in order to prevent any from ever getting a strong hold on your property.

Unfortunately, even if you check every nook and cranny with maddening constancy, scrub any moldy spots, remove or fix any sources of water mold, it can still get into the drywall and start growing colonies behind your walls.

If mold has gone airborne, or has gotten into too many of the structural elements of the house, you will need help from a pro. The first thing you will need to do is find a professional mold remediation service in your area—one that is fully certified and you feel you can trust—and have them send someone over to estimate the extent of the damage.

Certified and licensed mold remediation specialists like the ones at Moldbusters have the tools and training to get rid of mold in your home for good without taking your wallet to the cleaners.

How To Dry Out After A Flood

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A flood from a burst pipe or leak never comes at the right time. In the humid, hot summer months, however, homeowners are put on a serious time crunch to get things dried out before the mold sets in. Here are some tips to help prevent mold in your home after a pipe burst or leak.

  1. Get The Water Out Fast

Use a wet/dry vacuum to clean up as much water as soon as possible. If you do not have one at your disposal our flood remediation specialists are available 24/7 to help you get the water out.

  1. Use fans to speed up the carpet drying process

Unfortunately, even with fans running 24 hours a day it still takes a few days to get fully dry. Don’t let carpet that’s dry to the touch fool you: it is still wet!  Again, hiring a professional to dry out your home will ensure your carpet dries correctly.

 

  1. Use a dehumidifier to dry out the room

These machines remove excessive moisture, which makes the air feel cooler and limits mold and mildew growth. Any equipment that helps dry out the air and the ground will speed up the drying time for your damaged floors and coverings.

 

  1. Steam clean carpet and flooring

Steam cleaning all carpets sanitizes and deodorizes. Typically, water-damaged carpet padding must be replaced. Replacing just the padding is much less expensive than having to re-carpet your entire home.

 

  1. Sanitize walls and baseboards

Anything touched by the water should be sanitized. Clean all walls, hard-surface floors, and other household surfaces with soap and water. Sanitize them with a solution of 1.5 cups of chlorine bleach to one gallon of water. Remember to wear rubber gloves during cleanup.

 

  1. Stay Vigilant

Look for water damage and remove furniture from wet flooring. Water damage can easily be hidden underneath rugs or carpet, so be sure to give your home a thorough inspection if you suspect water damage.

 

Cleaning water-soaked carpets and floors is difficult under any conditions, but if done properly a disastrous mold situation can be avoided. Calling a flood remediation specialist to prevent a costly mold remediation.

 

With Spring Cleaning, Mold Is No Joke.

Mold is no joke. That’s what about 100 of LAPD’s finest are finding out, according to the local ABC News. Reports of mold-related illness, including respiratory issues, have been pouring in.

The police union claims that the mold that is growing in the station house is causing officers to become ill; and while the city acknowledges that there is an issue with mold, they claim it is not dangerous. Officers are pushing back, insisting on a full inspection and proper cleanup with the mold.

Many experts agree mold can have disastrous effects on a person’s health. Some of the signs/symptoms typical of toxic mold exposure are

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Headache, light sensitivity
  • Poor memory, difficulty with word finding
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Morning stiffness, joint pain
  • Unusual skin sensations, tingling and numbness
  • Shortness of breath, sinus congestion or chronic cough
  • Red eyes, blurred vision, sweats, mood swings, sharp pains
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating
  • Vertigo, feeling lightheaded

 

The common misconception about mold is that a surface can be cleaned and that will take care of the mold. THIS IS NOT TRUE! If you see mold growing on your walls you can bet there is more behind your walls, as mold likes to grow in damp, dark areas. A bad mold problem needs to be taken care of by a licensed professional.

If your employees start to exhibit symptoms of mold exposure it is important you get your building tested and treated for mold remediation.

Bait and Switch

When you call to get your ducts cleaned, do you really know who’s showing up?

 

Duct cleaning is a necessary part of home ownership. Over time, HVAC systems become a haven for dust, allergens, and even dust mites, pollen, and mold spores.

Having your ducts clean can result in an immediate improvement in air quality, and even a noticeable difference in quality of life for allergy sufferers. For some, heat and air conditioning use can even decline due to an increase in air flow.

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association recommends getting your air ducts cleaned every 3 to 5 years, but some owners may want to do it more often, depending on lifestyle habits, including indoor pets, smoking, etc.

Unfortunately, while there are many reputable, and experienced businesses, such as Moldbusters, who are certified with state licenses, and specifically, Mold Remediation Licenses, there are some businesses who prey upon an unsuspecting public, and seniors in particular.

According to the Better Business Bureau, it’s a scam called a “bait and switch,” and the BBB says it’s happening all across the country. The BBB claims that there are actually dozens of connected companies involved in the scam. These companies have been systematically ripping off homeowners for more than a decade to the tune of millions of dollars.

Over the years, the BBB has been bombarded with hundreds of similar complaints about the scam. Victims say that the service techs get in with a sweet promise:

Full house duct cleaning for only $49.99.

This should be the first red flag. While a real duct cleaning isn’t astronomically expensive, it can take over 4 hours, and will definitely cost more than $49.99. Once the technician gets inside, they will routinely mislead them into paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars for additional work. Many were told they had dangerous mold. Others had their homes unnecessarily flooded with noxious chemicals. Some said they were afraid of the workmen. All said they were duped into paying hundreds more than the promised $49.99 advertised price.

How can you know if you need your ducts cleaned? These tips can help:

A few indicators that your air ducts and/or furnace require cleaning:

  • When you constantly find dust on your furniture.
  • After cleaning, there is still dust floating around the house.
  • You find it more difficult to sleep; you experience headaches, increased tendency to snore, congestion, or sinus problems.
  • Rooms in your house have little or no air flow from the vents.
  • You are constantly getting sick or are experiencing more allergies than usual.
  • Musty or stale odor comes from the air ducts vents.

 

If you see these problems in your home, before calling a technician, remember!

  • Check them out with the BBB.
  • If you suspect mold, or are worried about it, make sure that the people who come to your home are licensed though the state for Mold Remediation.
  • A real duct cleaning company will come to your home, do an inspection, and THEN give you a price for the work.

Following these tips can help to keep your home and ducts clean, and your bank account safe from duct cleaning scammers!

Check out some of these videos to know what to look out for!

 

Are dirty vents costing you money?

dirtyvents

Even though the weather is just starting to get warm, it’s never too early to make sure your central air conditioning is running at peak efficiency. The middle of a heat wave is not the time for discovering a problem with your vents.

One of the most common problems found in HVAC systems is obstructions in the ductwork. If a duct is blocked, some rooms won’t heat or cool the way they’re supposed to. Because the rooms can’t reach the temperature you’ve set on your thermostat, your HVAC system will be working constantly to keep up.  This can cause temperature fluctuations between rooms, poor air quality and an increase in your energy bill.

Here are some of the usual causes of an obstructed HVAC system:

Blocked Vents

Dust and dirt can clog vents blocking the flow of air into the room. Make sure your vents are clean both inside and out. Clear out any debris regularly. If dust is constantly accumulating from the inside it might be time for an air duct cleaning.

 

Dirty Air Filters

Air filters should be changed regularly in order to maintain energy efficiency and good indoor air quality. If your air filters are dirty and clogged, they can impede airflow and reduce the air quality in your home. If you find yourself sneezing a lot inside, check your air filter.

 

Closed Zone Dampers

HVAC systems utilize dampers in the ductwork to control the way air flows in your home. Make sure all of the dampers in your home are completely open. Sometimes dampers can get stuck closed or can become loose and close on their own. This will completely obstruct the air in that particular duct and could affect the airflow in your entire house. If all of them are open and you’re still not feeling any air coming through, you may have another obstruction farther in the duct.

 

Physical Obstructions in the Ducts

Another common source of ductwork obstructions are physical objects inside your ducts. Dust, dirt, pieces of old air filters, and ductwork insulation that has come off are especially common culprits. You may also find debris from construction or remodeling projects, such as wood chips or insulation. Vermin or insects may find their way into your ducts and leave behind debris. You should get an air duct cleaning any time you need to hire an exterminator to clean up what was left behind.

 

Keeping your air ducts clean will improve your health and save you money. If you need to schedule an air duct cleaning, call Moldbusters.

 

Spring Air Duct Cleaning

airductcleaning

Spring is around the corner, which means it is time for spring cleaning. One often overlooked area of the home is the air ducts and vents. Air duct cleaning plays an important role in improving the indoor air quality and making it easier for those who suffer from allergies, asthma and other chronic respiratory disorders to breathe.

So how do you ensure your air ducts are clean?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recommendations for routine maintenance of the HVAC system in your home:

Maintain filters.

Use the highest efficiency air filter recommended by the manufacturer of your HVAC system and change filters regularly. If your filters become clogged, change them more often.

Minimize dust.

Dust and vacuum your home regularly, using the highest efficiency filter bags your vacuum cleaner can take – preferably HEPA bags. If you undertake dusty construction or renovation work in your home, seal off supply and return registers and do not turn your HVAC system on until you have cleaned up the dust.

Clean cooling coils and drain pans.

Cooling coils, which are designed to remove water from the air, can be a major source of moisture contamination that can lead to mold growth in your HVAC system. Make sure that the drain pans under these coils drain properly and check any nearby insulation for wet spots. If you see substantial standing water and/or debris in these pans, contact a qualified professional right away.

While these steps are good for maintenance sometimes you need a professional to come in and clean your HVAC system. If you are constantly suffering from allergies from poor quality, try an air duct cleaning service performed by Moldbusters and your family can breathe easy.