NYDOL Certificate

Breaking Down the Mold Program

The 2016 Mold Program is responsible for enforcing Article 32 of the New York State Labor Law. Basically, the program establishes licensing requirements and minimum standards for mold assessment and remediation throughout the state. These types of programs can be hard to understand to the average eye, so the professionals here at HNST Mold Inspections are hoping to simplify the process by breaking it down for you.

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Test your mold knowledge

Test your mold knowledge

You already know how important it is to protect and inspect your home from moisture and mold, but do you know where to look? Test your knowledge by utilizing the EPA’s Interactive Mold House Tour. The tour lets you get a look room-by-room into a home so that you can explore some of the most common mold issues and problem areas.

Put your knowledge to the test and see if you can identify all of the areas of your home that could be vulnerable to mold growth. Can you Identify all 13 problem areas? The Interactive Tour requires JavaScript in order to function. A text version of the Mold House Tour is also available.

Once you’ve completed the tour continue reading below.

Hopefully you’ve Identified all 13 problem areas, and if you missed a few, that’s OK! Now its time to put what you’ve learned to work. Go perform your own home mold tour checking the living room, bathroom, roof, kitchen, basement, laundry room, front door and drain pipe in the yard.

If you identify any moisture issues, signs of mold or areas of susceptibility, then it is time to take action. Call in a licensed mold inspector who will do a more thorough and in depth check of your home. Choose a company that is trusted and reliable such as HNST Mold Inspections which won the Angie’s List Super Service Award for many years in a row.

mold check

Easy 4 step mold check

Mold can be hiding anywhere! Here is our easy 4 step check for you to perform on your home before winter.

Step 1:

Perform a visible mold search in your home. If you have NO idea what mold looks like, please see our previous posts or google image search so that you know what you’re looking for. Check for anything furry or colorful growth on items in areas that are exposed to moisture. Specifically, investigate the bathroom, basement, attic and kitchen.

Step 2:

Engage your other senses! Do you smell mildew or a moldy smell in a certain area of your home? If it is evident upon opening the door to your basement, attic or bathroom that there is a mildew or mold smell, chances are there is.

Step 3:

Have you experienced basement flooding, recurring roof leaks or other moisture issues in your home? This is a question you’ll have to ask yourself and your family. If you have, those areas are prone to mold growth and you should have those areas investigated further.

Step 4:

Perform an at home mold test. These tests can help to identify a possible mold issue if your first three steps have given you caused to proceed further.

Performing this easy 4 step check for mold in your home can help you to identify a potential mold problem and health hazard. If any of the four steps give you cause for concern, then you should call in a Certified Mold Inspector. With proper experience and knowledge, inspectors can help to locate the mold, the cause of the mold and direct you on how to abate the problem.

As a certified Mold Inspector, HNST Mold Inspections has helped many throughout New York and New Jersey identify mold issues and assess them. Call us today at (845) 215-9258 (NY) or (201) 733-0091 (NJ) if you have any questions or need our assistance after performing your 4 step check!

Moisture causing mold in house

Mold, Moisture and your home

With the variety of issues facing the environment in 2016 from air pollution to mold many feel as though there is nothing they can do that matters enough. We can clean up all of the messes after they’ve happened, but more importantly it’s what we do to prevent them that create an impact.  Mold and Moisture continue to be one of the leading issues faced in the environment, and the key to changing this problem is prevention.

The EPA has released a guide for homeowners and renters alike which provides information on how to clean up residential mold and how to prevent mold growth. This 20 page guide is easy to read, provides pictures to refer to and provides additional resources for those who wish to learn more.  If you are a homeowner, property owner or renter, we suggest you download and read the guide here: A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home.

Prevention truly is important when dealing with mold and the more information that you know, the better!  Our blog includes past articles such as Preventing Mold in Your Attic and Controlling Mold in your Bathroom which are two areas very susceptible to mold issues.

Like all issues facing the environment, we know that taking steps to prevent them is what matters. If you do your part to prevent mold growth, you are part of the movement to help reduce the number of people affected with health related issues due to mold and decrease mold problems in homes. Get ahead of the issue now by reading the guide as well as our blog posts and then get to work!

Mold in Home

Black Mold and Insurance Claims

If you’ve ever encountered a major problem in your home, one of the first questions you’ve probably asked yourself is “does my homeowners insurance cover this?”  With Black Mold, the question is even more important for you to understand a head of time. Not only does black mold cause damage and unsightly messes in the home, but it also poses health problems. Costs can get out of control when it comes to abatement, and with inadequate or no coverage, you could be on the hook. Here is what you need to know regarding black mold and insurance claims.

  1. As black mold becomes an increasingly common problem, it’s important that any time you take on new homeowners insurance, or switch companies that you specifically ask about coverage for mold related issues.
  2. Although black mold may be covered due to the event that caused it, many insurance companies set limits or exclusions in their policies. It is important to ask your agent about any limits or exclusions set forth in the policy.
  3. If you do not have flood insurance, mold caused due to a flood may not be covered. Again, important to read and understand your policy. You may want to have flood insurance depending on your area.
  4. Mold issues due to neglected maintenance on your home may not be covered! Mold caused by leaks, seepage or poor drainage will most likely not be covered which means you need to do your due diligence and make sure those problems aren’t happening on your property.

The bottom line is that you need to know what your insurance covers and what it doesn’t. You’re your insurance company today! Ask them what mold related coverage you have, what the limits are, and what any exclusions would be. You may need to add coverage such as flood insurance in order to be completely covered. Also, review our top ten list for what you can be doing to prevent mold in your home and protect yourself now!

Immune System

Exposing young Children to bacteria

In today’s world of antibiotic use, hand sanitizing and anti-bacterial soap, is it any wonder that allergies are at an all-time high, and that children’s immune systems aren’t as strong as they used to be? We came across this great video that we’d like to share with you regarding allergies.

Mold allergies, asthma and other respiratory concerns are a big consequence of mold growing in homes. Children with low immunity can have a stronger and more impacted response tom mold and allergens inside the home. Because children are our future, and we want to see them thrive with a strong immunity, we’d like to highlight this video posted by David Wolfe, on his Facebook page we hope you enjoy it.

You can view the video here.

With over 7.6 Million views, we know that this short video will make some sort of impact on you. Even if you just learn something new in regards to auto-immune disease, immune systems, or overuse of antibiotics you will walk away a more informed individual.

Allergies to mold can look just like any other allergy symptom. That is why it’s so important to really do some investigation into your home, look for areas of moisture, and get your home inspected if you suspect mold is the culprit. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more!

Environmental Protection Agency

FREE EPA Webinar

As a mold inspector and assessor, we deal with mold and indoor air quality issues every day. One of our favorite places to go to keep up to date and for information is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Occasionally the EPA offers free webinars with discussions which are open to professionals as well as the general public, but many don’t even know about them. Today, we are sharing with you a link to an upcoming webinar on a topic related to indoor air quality issues so that you can be more informed and up to date on these and related issues.

Webinar: What Have We Learned about the Microbiomes of Indoor Environments?

Thursday, September 22, 2016 11am-12pm with Q&A from 12-12:30pm

Here is what the EPA has to say about the upcoming webinar:

“Within the built environments, in the air, water, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and on surfaces, there exist a vast number and diversity of species of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. These microbial communities or “microbiomes” are influenced by interactions with humans, animals and plants. They are also affected by factors such as air flow, temperature, humidity, chemical exposures and building materials. These factors are in turn, shaped by the design, construction, operation and use of the built environments.

 

For a better understanding of microbiomes in the built environment and their impacts on human health, the US EPA along with NASA, NIH and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation tasked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to convene a panel of experts to examine the formation and function of microbial communities in the built environment, their impact on human health, and how human occupants shape complex indoor microbes.

 

Dr. Brent Stephens, Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology, presented a well-received overview of the current state of the science on microbiomes and the built environment to NAS’s microbiome consensus study panel of experts. Dr. Stephens has agreed to reprise (with some modifications) his overview as part of this webinar.”

 

We hope you enjoy this webinar, and make sure to come back to our blog for more information regarding indoor air quality and other related subjects.

mold in attic

Preventing Mold in your Attic

Preventing mold growth and proliferation in your attic is a simple task if the proper time and effort is put into the process. There are two different things that you should check to ensure that your attic is as protected as it can be.

Roof: Check your roof for leaks; some are easy to spot with marked discoloration of the insulation and warping accompanied by discoloration of wood.  Any place that two materials meet such as roof valleys, skylights, chimneys, windows etc. are all susceptible to leaking if not properly joined or sealed. Check around the perimeter of each in your attic and look for signs of leaking. If you find any leaks, take immediate action to handle the situation.

Ventilation: Poor ventilation can cause a moisture problem especially due to two of the most common culprits: improper vapor barrier installation and insulation covering vents. As moisture travels up to the attic from normal everyday activities of cooking and taking showers, it needs to be able to escape. Proper ventilation allows the moisture to escape quickly and not settle in the attic.

Taking the time to do a thorough check of your attics roof and vents is definitely worth it in the long run. If you don’t feel comfortable checking the attic, or find signs of mold growth that you’re not sure how to handle, contact an expert. The sooner that you handle moisture issues or combat existing mold issues the better!

bleach for mold

Will Bleach solve my mold problem?

Finding mold in your home is a scary event, with knowledge that mold is “bad” it is usually first instinct to try to tackle the problem immediately with a household cleaner and remove the visible mold. Bleach is probably one of the most common household cleaners that are used for its combat activity on mold. There are a few things to keep in mind in the mold vs. bleach battle that you should know before believing that bleach has won the fight.

Bleach kills bacteria and viruses and is used for its sanitizing qualities on surfaces. It will kill surface mold on non-porous surfaces (glass, tub, tile etc.) but it cannot ever completely kill mold that grows on porous materials (drywall or wood).  Recommendations from the EPA do not include bleach for killing mold as it is a corrosive material that can be harmful if inhaled and can cause burns with exposure.

A good rule of thumb when dealing with the first sight of surface mold is to use whatever method, bleach or natural mold killing products that you are comfortable using. If after a waiting period you see the mold return, then you can be sure that the mold is deeper in the material and will only be wasting time continually using that product over again.

If you begin to realize that the visible mold that you’ve tried to combat is returning after cleaning, it’s time to contact an expert in mold inspection, assessment and remediation. These experts are trained to look for areas that are susceptible to mold and moisture, abate the problem and get you back to living life without mold. If you have found yourself in this situation in the New York/New Jersey area, call HNST Mold Inspections today, we’re waiting for your call.