What is the Difference Between Mold Removal & Mold Remediation?

Knowing the difference between mold removal and mold remediation is essential to ensure you are hiring the right professional to correct your mold problem. Although both terms are sometimes used interchangeably when discussing a mold problem, the terms are in fact different processes.

There are mold spores everywhere – both in indoor and outdoor environments. When dormant, mold spores may not cause any issues, but humidity, moisture, flooding or other conditions may activate spores and make them viable. Some individuals are sensitive to any mold and those reactions may necessitate attention. In reality, 100% of mold cannot be removed except in a very high level “clean room”. The usual goal is to remove the active mold growth during remediation process, and return the space to a normal environment.  There are specific standards to follow for the remediation of mold, such as the IICRC S520 Standard Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation.

The mold remediation process:

Containment. The first step is to contain the work area by erecting a physical barrier so the mold spores cannot spread to other areas of your home, business or other occupied spaces (cross contamination) during the cleaning process. This is generally accomplished by using plastic sheets, duct or painters tape to cover doorways, contain spaces and close all air pressure and pathways. The work area is placed under a “negative pressure”.

Removal. Porous water damaged and/or contaminated materials are dismantled within the containment and removed from the site in a manner that prevents cross contamination.

Clean-Up. After all damaged or contaminated materials are removed and the area re-inspected, the work area will be vacuumed with a HEPA filtered vacuum, wiped with a prescribed solution and HEPA vacuumed again.

Technicians must wear personal protective Equipment and unauthorized persons must stay out of the “Contained Work Area” until the containment is disassembled.

For your mold remediation needs, please call Envirotech Clean Air, Inc. at (800) 698-1300.

Signs You Need Your Air Ducts Cleaned

We are often asked how do I know if or how often my ducts need to be cleaned.  The answers depend on a variety of issues, and here is a guide to some of them.  One rule of thumb for cleaning residential HVAC and air duct systems is every 5 years.  Many home owners have never cleaned their ducts and probably should, if only for the peace of mind knowing that the air ducts that ventilate your home are clean.  There may be other factors and things you’ll notice to help make this decision.

Having your air ducts cleaned should be done regularly to keep your ducts free of dust, debris, mold, and allergens. By keeping your air ducts clear of these, you may improve the indoor air quality in your home. There may be a few ways to notice if it’s time to get your air ducts cleaned.

Air Duct Vent

ODORS OR ALLERGIC REACTIONS

If you notice odors or have an allergic reaction when your heat or AC are turned on, you may want to have the ducts cleaned.  Air ducts carry cold and warm air throughout a home and when there is a buildup of anything that you react to, such as dust, mold and debris, the air that is pushing through these vents may also pushing this mold and debris into the air that your family breaths.

Unexplained indoor allergies may be a sign of a mold issue. If you have unexplained allergies when you’re inside, but your symptoms go away in other areas or outside, it may be wise to have your home checked for mold and have your ducts cleaned.

VISIBLE MOLD GROWTH

Mold and mildew may cause adverse health reactions as well as other structural problems within the home. If you see visible mold growth in your home, it’s important to call a professional immediately to investigate and remediate the mold.

DUST OR DEBRIS COMING OUT OF THE REGISTER

If there is dust debris or mold around your vent openings, it may be wise to clean the ventilation system. Call a professional and set a time for a cleaning. Remember, whatever is blowing out of your events into the air is being breathed in by yourself and your family and friends.

If you are experiencing any allergy symptoms in certain areas of your home or notice any of these telltale signs of needing your air ducts cleaned, call Envirotech today at (800) 698-1300.

The NADCA ACR 2013 is the industry standard for Assessment, Cleaning and Restoration oh HVAC mechanical systems.  It contains the standard procedures for cleaning and assessment.  Page 6 is titled “DETERMINING THE NEED FOR HVAC CLEANING AND RESTORATION”.  This applies to both commercial and residential settings.  For a free copy of the NADCA ACR 2013, call Envirotech and we will provide you with one.

What to Do for Mold in Your House

Mold can grow in your home if you have high humidity, moisture/dampness, or a flood.  Mold may cause damage to your home and some people are sensitive and have adverse health reactions when mold is present.  Because the spores are microscopic, mold may be difficult to detect. Education about detection, symptoms, removal and what to do if you have mold you can make a huge difference when it comes to removing mold from your home. Our mold removal experts can help.

Mold Spore

Here are some things to be aware of:

Allergy Symptoms. Mold may stimulate allergy-like symptoms or other unhealthy reactions to sensitized individuals in a home that has been effected by mold. If you notice you have allergy-like or other symptoms in your home but not when you leave, considering having a mold investigation company do an assessment in your home may be worthwhile.

Physical Qualities. Some mold can be mistaken for dirt or soot and depending on the type of mold, it can be different colors and textures. If you see or suspect physical signs of mold, Envirotech Clean Air, Inc. may recommend a testing company do a mold assessment or we may perform mold remediation to remove the contamination. Depending on the situation, testing may or may not be necessary.

Musty Odors. Some mold is odorless and sometimes mold in your home will have a musty odor. If you don’t see any physical qualities, but you smell a musty smell, it’s time to call a mold removal specialist!

Where to Look for Mold

The most important areas to check are areas that are known for having a lot of humidity or moisture – basements, attics, near sinks, toilets, bathtubs, and leaky windows. You should especially check areas that have been flooded or have high humidity.

What to Do if You Have Mold

If you suspect or know that you have mold in your home, it’s important to have it removed, and sometimes it may need to be tested first. Mold remediation is a specialized type of cleaning and should be performed by experts who follow industry standards.

Call Envirotech Clean Air, Inc. today at (781) 279-2900 for your mold removal needs.

What You Need to Know About Air Duct Cleaning

Air Duct Cleaning

Your HVAC system and duct work are very important because they controls the flow of air through your home. It’s like the heart and lungs of your building.  According to The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), an average of 40 pounds of dust, debris, and allergens build up in the air ducts of a 6-room residential house each year. This dust may be made up of unhealthy bacteria, dust and mold that may contribute to contamination in the air when your system in on.

Improved Air Quality

The build-up of dust in your air ducts may prevent air from efficiently flowing through the ventilation system and contaminants may also being released into the air. By keeping your ducts clean and free of debris, you can improving the air quality in your home and reduce the costs of having your system run.

When to Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned

The conditions in homes may vary from one to another, therefore it is impossible to tell when each individual home should have their air ducts cleaned. You should consider having our air ducts cleaned if:

  • The system is contaminated with an accumulation of particulate or particulate is visible inside of the vents and within the duct itself
  • Airflow is being restricted or compromised, especially at the cooling coil
  • You feel or know that dust, debris, odors or contaminants are being emitted into the air
  • After a renovation project or after a flood or fire event
  • Under special health considerations
  • When advised by an mold or home inspector or for peace of mind

What to Expect from the Professionals

When you a hire a professional air duct cleaner, you should expect them to follow specifics steps to ensure your ducts are cleaned properly. They should be certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association and follow the ACR 2013 Standard for Air Duct Cleaning.  Before starting the cleaning process, the professional will inspect the ducts and system as well as protect your flooring and furnishings. The professional will use HEPA filtered vacuums and other specialized equipment like brushes and compressors the go through ducts. Access panels should be re-sealed and re-insulating anyplace access doors are installed to ensure they are airtight.

Are you in need of having your air ducts cleaned? Envirotech Clean Air has more NADCA certified technicians than any other air duct cleaning company in New England. Call us today at (781) 279-2900 to set up your appointment.

Dan Greenblatt becomes Vice President of the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA).

On March 15, 2015, at IAQA’s annual convention in Grapevine, TX, Envirotech’s president, Daniel Greenblatt, was elected Vice President of the Indoor Air Quality Association.  Dan is serving his sixth year on IAQA’s Board of Directors and is also the Chair of the membership committee.  Dan expressed great excitement, about “the consolidation with ASHRAE” , the world’s largest and most influential association of ventilation, heating and refrigeration engineers, and their reach to 54,000 members and 170 chapters in over 100 countries. Also, Dan will work with opportunities to increase IAQA’s efforts and reach in investigating and solving indoor air quality issues.   “Education, chapters, IAQ Standards and membership promotion are the areas that I will work with IAQA on over the coming year of my term as Vice President”.

Envirotech Clean Air, Inc. was established in 1988 from a desire to provide clean, safe indoor air for all people. Envirotech began as an HVAC Cleaning and Restoration company, better known as air duct cleaning, and was among the first members of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA).

Today, Envirotech Clean Air, Inc. is one of the largest mold removal, specialty cleaning and HVAC Cleaning and restoration services in the Northeast. Envirotech Clean Air provides an array of clean air services.

ASHRAE

IAQA

ENVIROTECH Specializes in Sensitive Homeowners Mold Remediation

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mold-suit

Envirotech specializes in cleaning home owner’s contents and family living areas for clients who are sensitive to chemicals or cannot tolerate moldy items or surfaces.

We work with indoor environmental consultants and developed a strategy for every project. “Every client is different”, saidVice President Steven Goselin, “we employ customized strategies that work for the individual homeowner or client.”

Residential Mold Remediation for living areas and contents

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The Typical Problem: Homeowners that are very sensitive to mold and chemicals have an Indoor Environmental Consultant find elevated levels of mold or contamination. They work with the consultant to diagnose and repair the source, and then write a very specific plan for remediation that takes all of their sensitivities, circumstances and needs into account.

The Remediation: Envirotech Clean Air’s project consultants and supervisors work with the homeowner and Indoor Air Professional to plan and execute the site specific remediation. Trained professional technicians and supervisors contain contaminated areas with engineering controls and contaminated porous building materials are removed. All surfaces in the work are cleaned of mold using HEPA filtered vacuums and any designated products. Contents are handled and cleaned according to the scope of work written by the consultant and agreed to by the homeowner and Envirotech. If any new areas of concern are discovered, the homeowner and consultant are contacted. When the project is complete, a post remediation verification should be performed by the environmental consultant. Envirotech pays special attention to sensitive homeowners needs.

The Coordination: Consultants, homeowners and Envirotech work together with any other trades involved to have the stressfulness of work being completed successfully go as smoothly as possible for everyone involved, especially the homeowner.

For information about Envirotech Clean Air’s individual and specialized remediation team, call Steven Goselin or Ron Fallon and the Envirotech team at 781-279-2900.  

ENVIROTECH’S EMERGENCY MOLD REMEDIATION AT AN AREA HOSPITAL

hospitalEnvirotech Clean Air recently cleaned and restored the HVAC mechanical system and ductwork at an area hospital, after heavy mold growth was found in several areas. The project took the Envirotech team into the emergency room, ICU and several other critical care areas. Work was performed on an emergency basis over long weekends and extended several weeks, with the Envirotech team working nights and weekends.

Problem: Severe mold growth on the interior supply ductwork serving hospital surgical and ICU suites.

Remediation: The internal fiberglass lining in the ductwork removed and the sheet metal ducts were scraped, cleaned and scrubbed with a fungistat. The interior ductwork and the air were tested by an independent industrial hygiene consultant, and the exterior of the ductwork was wrapped.

Coordination: The project was performed over one weekend on an emergency basis with 24 technicians and supervisors. The project was coordinated with the HVAC Mechanical contractor, hospital facility personnel, and the independent industrial hygiene consultant.

Hospital Operating Room Supply Duct Work

Before Cleaning                                                              After Cleaning

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ENVIROTECH JOINS ASHRAE AS IAQA AND ASHRAE MERGE

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ASHRAE and the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) have agreed to join forces, combining resources to improve indoor air quality in the built environment. ASHRAE was formerly the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers.

IAQA will become a part of the ASHRAE organization while maintaining its own brand and Board of Directors. IAQA will operate independently within ASHRAE’s organizational structure. IAQA headquarters has relocated from Rockville, Md., to Atlanta, Ga., home of ASHRAE’s international headquarters. The agreement was reached between the leadership of both associations and confirmed at ASHRAE’s 2014 Annual Conference that concluded earlier this month in Seattle, Wash, and the move was completed on August 15. 2014.

“This merger is beneficial to both ASHRAE and IAQA in that it strengthens the programs and services of both organizations,” Tom Phoenix, ASHRAE president, said. “The work of IAQA complements the work of ASHRAE in its standards, research, publications and educational offerings. We now combine our resources to ensure the industry receives the best indoor air quality technical guidance and educational programs possible, which means improved indoor air quality for the world around us.”

Dan Greenblatt, President of Envirotech Clean Air, Inc. and treasurer of IAQA, was a part of the management oversight and search team which fielded proposals from Association Management and related Indoor environmental associations, to be IAQA’s new management team. “ASHRAE formed in 1894 and has over 170 chapters and 54,000 members” says Dan. “We are proud to be a part of such a world class association both nationally and at the Boston Chapter”.

Visit www.ashrae.org

Envirotech Clean Air Supports Earth Day’s Green City Initiatives

The 44th annual celebration of Earth Day takes place on April 22nd. A major focus of this year’s event is green cities and things that can be done to make a more sustainable and healthy environment for the world’s population.

Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban environments. These concentrated areas of people utilize large quantities of energy and can suffer from air quality problems due to pollution. This pollution not only can impact people while they are outdoors, but this same air enters buildings through air intakes, doors and open windows.

Earth Day also aims to focus people’s attention on ways to improve energy efficiency in their homes and buildings and to create a healthy environment. Across Massachusetts and New England, Envirotech Clean Air has been helping people achieve these goals for over 15 years.

Envirotech offers HVAC mechanical inspection and duct cleaning services to identify problems that can cause a system to work inefficiently and impact the quality of the air people breathe. HVAC systems are designed to provide filtration, heating, cooling and to control humidity. If the system is not been properly installed and maintained, it will not operate properly and can waste energy and create indoor air quality (IAQ) problems. The HVAC system will also not provide clean air or operate efficiently if the duct work is dirty and filled with debris that can collect chemical and biological contaminants.

“Earth Day is a time for all of us to think about what we can do to improve the environment we live in and try to make it a more sustainable place for us and our children,” said Daniel Greenblatt, President of Envirotech Clean Air, Inc. “At Envirotech, our staff provides clients with the peace of mind that their HVAC system is operating properly so that energy is not being wasted and that building occupants are breathing clean air. We also provide mold remediation services for those who have mold issues that are causing indoor air quality concerns.”

Healthy Schools Provide Clean Indoor Air Quality for Students & Faculty

Last week, National Healthy Schools Day was recognized and brought national attention to the indoor environment of the nation’s schools. The day of recognition began in 2002 and is coordinated by the Healthy Schools Network in partnership with other groups and organizations.

A crucial component to a healthy school is the indoor air quality (IAQ) that students, teachers and the rest of the faculty breathe. In recognition of this fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a wide range of resources to help schools improve their IAQ with their Tools for Schools Action Kit. In it, EPA states, “Most people are aware that outdoor air pollution can impact their health, but indoor air pollution can also have significant, harmful effects. EPA studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor levels of pollutants may be two to five times—and occasionally more than 100 times—higher than outdoor levels. EPA and its Science Advisory Board consistently rank indoor air pollution among the top five environmental health risks to the public.”

There are many environmental pollutants that can cause issues in a school and a common one is mold. Problems can even be caused by mechanical issues such as poor ventilation, contaminated HVAC ducts or improper building operations. All of these can directly impact a student’s ability to learn and even cause an increase in absenteeism.

“In Massachusetts and across New England, Envirotech Clean Air provides schools with services to ensure their students can focus on learning,” said Daniel Greenblatt, President of Envirotech Clean Air, Inc. “Our specialists have extensive experience in providing schools with mold remediation services, mechanical hygiene inspections and duct cleaning services. We understand the unique needs of school settings and how the HVAC system and sources of IAQ pollutants, such as mold, can impact the learning environment.”