Air Duct Cleaning

What is Air Duct Cleaning?
(Provided by EPA.gov)
duct cleaning
Most people are now aware that indoor air pollution is an issue of growing concern and increased visibility. Many companies are marketing products and services intended to improve the quality of your indoor air. You have probably seen an advertisement, received a coupon in the mail, or been approached directly by a company offering to clean your air ducts as a means of improving your home’s indoor air quality. These services typically — but not always — range in cost from $450 to $1,000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climatic region, and level of contamination.

If you decide to have your heating and cooling system cleaned, it important to make sure the service provider agrees to clean all components of the system and is qualified to do so.
Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.

If not properly installed, maintained, and operated, these components may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen or other debris. If moisture is present, the potential for microbiological growth (e.g., mold) is increased and spores from such growth may be released into the home’s living space. Some of these contaminants may cause allergic reactions or other symptoms in people if they are exposed to them. If you decide to have your heating and cooling system cleaned, it is important to make sure the service provider agrees to clean all components of the system and is qualified to do so. Failure to clean a component of a contaminated system can result in re-contamination of the entire system, thus negating any potential benefits. Methods of duct cleaning vary, although standards have been established by industry associations concerned with air duct cleaning. Typically, a service provider will use specialized tools to dislodge dirt and other debris in ducts, then vacuum them out with a high-powered vacuum cleaner.

In addition, the service provider may propose applying chemical biocides, designed to kill microbiological contaminants, to the inside of the duct work and to other system components. Some service providers may also suggest applying chemical treatments (sealants or other encapsulants) to encapsulate or cover the inside surfaces of the air ducts and equipment housings because they believe it will control mold growth or prevent the release of dirt particles or fibers from ducts. These practices have yet to be fully researched and you should be fully informed before deciding to permit the use of biocides or chemical treatments in your air ducts. They should only be applied, if at all, after the system has been properly cleaned of all visible dust or debris.
Note: Use of sealants to encapsulate the inside surfaces of ducts is a different practice than sealing duct air leaks. Sealing duct air leaks can help save energy on heating and cooling bills. For more information, see EPA’s http://www.energystar.gov/ducts.

How can Servpro help?

We currently suggest that Air Duct systems are cleaned every 5-8 years depending on the frequency of usage. In a home that is prone to air contaminates such as dust and pet dander, the duct work should be cleaned more frequently then a system only used for AC.

We utilize a powerful push/pull air delivery system. A sophisticated vacuum specifically designed for air duct cleaning is connected to the main trunk lines of your ductwork. This vacuum system draws the air, while compressed air, various brushes, and a special auger which adapts to the duct shape travels throughout the duct work, dislodging and pushing the debris towards the vacuum. The debris is collected in a container, utilizing a 3-stage HEPA filtration system.

Call Servpro of Newtown at 203-743-5362 for your free duct cleaning estimate.

Mold

Mold BasicsImage

 Why is mold growing in my home?

 Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

 Can mold cause health problems?

Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins).

 Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed.

 Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold- allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold.

 Research on mold and health effects is ongoing. This brochure provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure.

 The key to mold control is moisture control.

 If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.

 It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

 For more detailed information consult a health professional. You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.

 How do I get rid of mold? Image

It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem.

  If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.

 Molds can gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.

 

 Who should do the cleanup?

 Who should do the cleanup depends on a number of factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem.

 

 If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself,

following the guidelines below.

 However:

          If there has been a lot of water damage, and/or mold growth covers more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide: Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings.

 

 

If you choose to hire a contractor (or other professional service provider) to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold. Check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in EPA’s Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial

Hygienists (ACGIH), or other guidelines from professional or government organizations.

 If you suspect that the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold (it is part of an identified moisture problem, for instance, or there is mold near the intake to the system), consult EPA’s guide Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? before taking further action. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold – it could spread mold throughout the building. Visit http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs to download a copy of the EPA guide.

 If the water and/or mold damage was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, then call in a professional who has experience cleaning and fixing buildings damaged by contaminated water.

 

 

If you have health concerns, consult a health professional before starting cleanup.

 Mold Tips and Techniques

 The tips and techniques presented in this section will help you clean up your mold problem. Professional cleaners or remediators may use methods not covered in this publication. Please note that mold may cause staining and cosmetic damage. It may not be possible to clean an item so that its original appearance is restored.

 Fix plumbing leaks and other water problems as soon as possible. Dry all items completely.

 Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely.

 Places that are often or always damp can be hard to maintain completely free of mold. If there’s some mold in the shower or elsewhere in the bathroom that seems to reappear, increasing the ventilation (running a fan or opening a window) and cleaning more frequently will usually prevent mold from recurring, or at least keep the mold to a minimum.

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For anymore information or to schedule a mold inspection please call us at 203-743-5362.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning….

Even though it is only March….It is not a bad time to start thinking about Spring Cleaning. Below is a great article about spring cleaning tips and how to get it done fast.

Spring Cleaning Tips – Get Your Spring Cleaning Done Fast!

By Meredith Maloski

It’s dirty work but someone has to do it and I’m willing to bet your the designated person (I know I am) but don’t spend more time cleaning then you have to! Follow these spring cleaning tips to get your chores done fast.

Alright, so we all know that we have to do spring cleaning on our house if we want our house to be clean and less stressful. If you are like me then some of the cleaning gets put off a bit in the winter with the rationalization the we have to be able to open the house up some to really get our house clean.

No problems. It is soon to be spring so we have to do the dirty work now. No more procrastinating. We can get fresh air in our homes and get our house clean but don’t spend more time then you need to.

So without further ado here are some spring cleaning tips to get your housework done fast.

1. The first spring cleaning tip is to make a list of what you want to accomplish. For me this makes my work go super quick.

Why you ask?

Good question!

When you make a detailed list of what you want to accomplish you will spend way less time wondering around your house doing this or that’s. You need focused effort when doing spring cleaning or it will take forever.

So how do you make your spring cleaning checklist?

Well the first thing you need to do is to walk around each room and look at what you have not cleaned in a while. This includes fans, under couches, walls, etc. Don’t forget the corners at the ceilings.

A great way to get cobwebs is simply with a broom. A broom will reach up to the top of the wall with no problem so that means no climbing for you.

Go through each room and make a checklist of what you need to accomplish that way you can systematically go through each room and get it done.

When you try to do spring cleaning without a checklist you will end up going from thing to thing without ever really finishing your first job.

2. Another tip for spring cleaning is to make sure you use the right cleaners for the job.

A common mistake made when cleaning (and I used to be guilty of this too) is that we use one or two multipurpose cleaners to clean everything in the house. As far as spring cleaning tips goes this is important because using a multi cleaner for everything means that you will be spending way to much time scrubbing when you do not need to.

So what kind of cleaners should you be using for your spring cleaning?

You want to make sure that the cleaners you are using are the appropriate ones for the job. For example, if you are cleaning the bathroom you should be using a bathroom cleaner that is made for soap scum. If you are not then you are going to be spending way to much time getting your shower clean.

If you are trying to get your floor back to it’s original color make sure you use a floor cleaner and actually use a scrub brush instead of just a mop. You will spend less time spring cleaning your kitchen floor with a scrub brush then you would trying to get it sparkling clean with a mop and it will come out nicer.

3. In the list of spring cleaning tips is painting your walls.

Technically this is not cleaning but painting your walls is an easy, inexpensive way to really make your house shine and it is perfect to do in the spring because you need to be able to have your windows open to paint.

If you would like your house to have a light airy feel to it choose a light color. If you have found a darker color that you absolutely love then paint one of your four walls with the darker color and the rest a lighter color. The contrast will be stunning.

4. The best of the spring cleaning tips is to learn how to clean your house fast.

When you have mastered how to speed clean your house then your spring cleaning chores will be done lickity split and you will have plenty of time to enjoy the spring weather instead of getting your house back up to par.

I learned how to my house fast from a great book on speed cleaning [http://speedcleaninginfo.com] so my spring cleaning chores are finished in a fraction of the time it used to take me to do them, so now I have more time to enjoy the things I love doing, not dread doing.

Not only that but since I learned the art of speed cleaning my home, I no longer have to dread unexpected guest arriving or spend all day everyday cleaning my house the rest of the year either.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Meredith_Maloski

SERVPRO Farmington, CT

overloaded circuits

A recent report from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) shows home electrical fires claim the lives of 280 Americans each year and injure 1,000 more. Many electrical fires in the home or workplace are caused by overloaded circuits ad extension cords.

December and January are the peak months for electrical fires. The USFA says fires occur more often in these months due to the increased time spent indoors, which also increases the use of lighting, heating and appliances.

Many electrical fires can be avoided if basic safety precautions are taken. Follow these safety tips to reduce your risk of an electrical fire.

  • Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.
  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately.
  • Replace any electrical tool or appliance if it overheats, shorts out, causes even small electrical shocks, or gives off smoke or sparks.
  • If an appliance has a…

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