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.

Spring Air Duct Cleaning

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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.

Duct Cleaning Services

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How clean is the air inside your home? Even in the cleanest of homes, if heating/air conditioning vents are not clean you could be putting your family at risk.

 

Should I Have My Ducts Cleaned?

Here are some reasons for why you should have your air ducts cleaned.

Renovation: If your home has been remodeled – especially if there was asbestos abatement, lead paint removal, or significant dust – your ductwork may need to be cleaned. Ducts should be sealed off during home renovations; but if they weren’t, dangerous dust and debris may become lodged inside the ductwork.

Contaminants: If noticeable debris, pet hair, odors, or other contaminants are being released into the room through the ducts after the registers have been cleaned and vacuumed; then the ducts may need to be cleaned.

Insect/Animal Infestation:  If there’s evidence of animal infestation or nesting in your ducts or HVAC system, have the animals removed then clean the ductwork and HVAC unit.

Mold: If there is visible mold growth inside the ductwork, the ducts and HVAC system should be cleaned.

Illness: If someone in your family is suffering from an unexplained allergy-related illness, and you’ve taken every other possible step to decontaminate your home, you may want to consider having your ducts cleaned to see if the HVAC system was the culprit.

Air Quality Testing

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You take care to make sure the food you eat is free from chemicals and contaminants, why are we more blasé about the air we breathe?  There are a number of contaminants that can potentially make you or your family ill or worse.  Even if you keep a spotless house, airborn toxins can still be present in your home.

 

  1. Combustion/CO

CO is colorless and odorless, so the best way to detect it is by installing CO alarms near bedrooms and fuel-burning appliances. Those appliances should also be inspected at least once a year by a qualified technician, as should chimneys, flues and air-handling systems.

CO causes a number of symptoms from headaches and nausea to confusion and unconsciousness — and kills about 500 people in the U.S. per year. Airborne particulates can lodge in the lungs, potentially damaging tissue and even working their way into the bloodstream.

Always make sure the areas around stoves and heaters are well ventilated and always keep your CO monitors in working order.

 

  1. Asbestos

Most modern homes and offices now use alternative materials, but older buildings may still contain asbestos. Even then, the fibers only become airborne when they’re disturbed, so the most practical solution is often to simply leave asbestos alone. That’s not always an option, though — an aging home may need repairs in its asbestos-lined attic, for example, or squirrels may have kicked up the fibers while looking for a place to spend the winter.

Given the risks involved, DIY asbestos remediation is rarely a good idea. Even taking your own samples for testing isn’t recommended. If you suspect a material contains asbestos, look for signs of damage without touching it, then contact a professional inspector to learn more.  NY State law requires a licensed Asbestos Remediation contractor to perform asbestos removal.

 

  1. Mold and Mildew

The best way to fight mold is to fight moisture. Keep the relative humidity indoors below 60 percent, and use a dehumidifier or fan to dry out the air if needed.  Mold and mildew grow in dark damp places, and more often than not by the time you see mold on a wall, there is so much more behind it. Health effects vary by mold type and personal sensitivity; symptoms may include nasal stuffiness, wheezing and skin irritation. Studies have also linked indoor mold exposure to asthma development in children.

If you suspect there may be mold in your home,  contact a licensed professional to test your home for mold.

 

  1. Dust, Dander and Droppings

Many buildings are plagued by rodents, dust mites and cockroaches, two very different arthropods that both leave a trail of allergenic feces and body parts. Fumes from rodent urine and droppings can also cause breathing problems, as can pet dander and airborne proteins from cat saliva.

These contaminants often trigger allergic reactions and asthma, and symptoms can grow worse with chronic exposure. Children, elderly people and people with other breathing issues are especially at risk from biological agents in confined areas, the EPA warns.

Regular sightings of roaches, rats or their droppings point to an infestation, in which case pest control is likely the best way to clear the air. Dust mites aren’t visible to the naked eye, but we can see piles of their namesake food — and cleaning up dust may also alleviate allergies from pet dander. Beyond good housekeeping, ventilation can help keep unavoidable allergens from reaching high concentrations.

After you get rid of pests, you should do a thorough air duct cleaning to make sure the remnants of those critters are not lingering in the air long after they are gone.