1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

December 24, 2008

:359 Cold Surface Condensation

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:359 EcoTip: The dew point occurs when temperatures on a surface are cold enough to cause condensation to form. If this happens on the outside of a can of soda – its not such a big deal – but if it happens on or inside wall or building cavities – the condensed water can result in damage and mold growth.

184-missing-insulation-ir1

***********************************

 Additional Information:

The blue area in the thermal image shown above is missing insulation. If the indoor temperature is 68 degrees F, and the humidity is 50% condensation will develop if the surface temperature hits approximately 50 degrees or less. The condensed moisture can result in water damage and mold growth.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

Advertisements

November 23, 2008

:328 Check Supply Registers

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:328 EcoTip: The vanes on supply registers (the registers that blow the air into the room) should be installed to blow the air toward the middle of the room – not at cold exterior walls. In winter cold spots on walls may result in condensation forming when warm air is directed at them. The warm air hits a cold surface that’s temperature is below the dew point – condensation will form. Walls with condensation are more likely to grow mold. By blowing the air away from walls it can mix with the room air making condensation on the wall where the air hits it less likely.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :301, :302

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

September 21, 2008

:265 Preventing Mold

Filed under: :265 Preventing Mold — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:45 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:265 EcoTip: There are no magic chemicals or treatments that will prevent mold growth. The secrete is keep it dry.

The victims of hurricane Ike are now being let back into their areas to begin recovery. Unfortunately enough time has passed that mold prevention won’t be possible so a lot of mold remediation will be needed. Just as with every other disaster of this nature – there will be a lot of claims about various treatments and coatings that can be used to prevent future problems. Unfortunately the claims don’t hold up to scrutiny. Health problems have been linked with dampness in buildings. Mold is only one of many issues that develop when buildings are damp. Using a chemical treatment and ignoring the underlying moisture simply doesn’t work. Keeping the environment dry always prevents organisms from growing – so why waste the money on chemical treatments that may introduce their own problems.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :256, :257, :258, :259, :260, :261, :262, :263, :264

This is the tenth in a series of EcoTips about protecting oneself when remodeling and working around buildings when participating in disaster recovery such as occurred with hurricane Katrina and is going on now with Ike. This information is timely since 2008 is the most active hurricane season since 2005 and many buildings are being damaged.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

September 20, 2008

:264 Paperless Gypsum Board

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:264 EcoTip: DensArmor Plus is a paperless gypsum board product by US Gypsum that will hold up better to residual levels of moisture better than the gypsum board coated with paper. Its coated with fiberglass – so some care during installation needs to be taken, but when it comes to not providing nutrients for mold – this product may be a good choice. Many people think using green board will protect them from mold growth – but it won’t. I’ve seen plenty of mold growing on the surface of green board.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :256, :257, :258, :259, :260, :261, :262, :263

This is the ninth in a series of EcoTips about protecting oneself when remodeling and working around buildings when participating in disaster recovery such as occurred with hurricane Katrina and is going on now with Ike. This information is timely since 2008 is the most active hurricane season since 2005 and many buildings are being damaged.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

September 17, 2008

:261 Physically Removing Mold

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:261 EcoTip: There has been a lot of confusion about using biocide to kill mold after it has grown in buildings. In part this is because there are many chemicals being marketed for mold. The key consideration is the material on which the mold has grown. If you have mold in the bathroom tile grout or other hard non-porous surfaces – then mold cleaners can be effective (although frequently quite toxic). If mold has grown on gypsum wall board, insulation or other porous surfaces – the use of biocide is a waste of time and money, and may make things worse by providing a false sense of security and making the environment more toxic.

For cleaning hard non-porous surfaces with mold – I like H2 Orange2 cleaner. It is hydrogen peroxide based and has a Green Seal certification as an environmentally responsible cleaning product. 

For porous materials they should be physically removed. The IICRC(see EcoTip :259) has published the S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remedaition. This is the standard of care for the mold remediation industry.

EPA also has excellent information at www.epa.gov/iaq/molds

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :256, :257, :258, :259, :260

This is the sixth in a series of EcoTips about protecting oneself when remodeling and working around buildings when participating in disaster recovery such as occurred with hurricane Katrina and is going on now with Ike. This information is timely since 2008 is the most active hurricane season since 2005 and many buildings are being damaged.

According to the EPA in Mold Remedaition in Schools and Commercial Buildings

The purpose of mold remediation is to remove the mold to prevent human exposure and damage to building materials and furnishings. It is necessary to clean up mold contamination, not just to kill the mold. Dead mold is still allergenic, and some dead molds are potentially toxic. The use of a biocide, such as chlorine bleach, is not recommended as a routine practice during mold remediation

 

 

 

 

So why do the Red Cross and FEMA advocate the use of chlorine bleach after flood losses? Its for the bacteria – and that is perfectly appropriate. The problem is people assume it will help with the mold -but as stated above the goal with mold isn’t killing it – its physical removal.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

September 13, 2008

:257 Mold Respiratory Protection

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:257 EcoTip: According to the EPA – the minimum respiratory protection that should be worn when working around or disturbing mold is an N-95 disposable face piece respirator. After hurricane Katrina, CDC found that about one out of three recovery and aid workers were not able to identify what a proper filter type respirator was by looking at pictures. In addition according to a study published in the Journal Emerging Infectious Disease only 24% (129 of 538) wore the N95 respirator devices properly. The most common errors were not tightening the nose clip (71%), incorrectly placing the straps (52%), and wearing the respirator upside down (22%).

For extensive work around mold – EPA recommends more effective respiratory protection – which will be the topic of tomorrow’s post.

 N95 disposable face piece respirator is only effective if worn properly.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :256

This is the second in a series of EcoTips about protecting oneself when remodeling and working around buildings when participating in disaster recovery such as occurred with hurricane Katrina and is going on now with Ike. This information is timely since 2008 is the most active hurricane season since 2005 and many buildings are being damaged.

According to the CDC study:

Of 159 residents interviewed, 82 (51.6%) were male; the overall mean age was 51 years (range: 18–81 years). Nearly all (96.2%) residents responded affirmatively to the question, “Do you think mold can make people sick?” One hundred eight (67.9%) correctly identified particulate-filter respirators as appropriate respiratory protection for cleaning of mold. Sixty-seven (42.1%) had cleaned up mold; of these, 46 (68.7%) did not always use appropriate respirators.

Basic mold awareness training and training regarding cleaning small areas of mold is available on-line at http://www.restcon.com/training.restcon.com/MAT/index.php

On-line respirator training is available at http://www.restcon.com/training.restcon.com/WRPA/index.php

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

September 12, 2008

:256 Mold and Water Damage

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:256 EcoTip: With the United States being pummeled by more hurricanes this year than since 2005 – the year of Katrina – it is time to look at some of the lessons learned. A January 20, 2006 CDC report examined the knowledge recovery workers had regarding personal protective equipment and mold. The paper cites evidence that exposure to mold and damp buildings can have adverse health complications.

Over the next several days my tips will focus on this and other lessons learned from Katrina that can be used during any construction activities whether it be due to catastrophic damage such as from tornadoes or hurricanes or a routine home upgrade or repair.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

This is the first in a series of EcoTips about protecting oneself when remodeling and working around buildings when participating in disaster recovery such as occurred with hurricane Katrina and is going on now with Ike. This information is timely since 2008 is the most active hurricane season since 2005 and many buildings are being damaged.

According to CDC:

In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reviewed the literature regarding health outcomes related to damp indoor spaces (4). In addition to the risk for opportunistic fungal infections in immunocompromised persons, IOM found sufficient evidence for an association between both damp indoor spaces and mold and upper respiratory symptoms (nasal congestion and throat irritation) and lower respiratory symptoms (cough, wheeze, and exacerbation of asthma).

Basic mold awareness training and training regarding cleaning small areas of mold is available on-line at http://www.restcon.com/training.restcon.com/MAT/index.php

For more information about how to protect your home – check out my book – Extreme Weather Hits Home

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

May 28, 2008

:149 Smelly Air

Filed under: :149 Smelly Air — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 2:55 am

1:5:10:149 Tip: Room air fresheners can cover-up or mask odors. This may be a bad idea. If your house smells bad, it may be an early warning signal of something being wrong. It is best to search-out and correct the odor problem not cover it up. This is especially true of musty odors, which may be an early indicator of a moisture, decay, rot or mold problem. 

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

 

May 16, 2008

:137 Plant Stand

Filed under: :137 Plant Stand — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:12 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:137 Tip: Using a plant stand to lift your houseplants above the floor allows air circulation and can help prevent ruining your floors or carpet and keep them from developing mold.

  www.hammertimeforge.com/plant_stands.htm

  www.bredonforge.co.uk/Gardeniron.html

  Down Under Plant Stand

***********************************

I am pleased to announce that the third edition of my co-authored book Prescriptions for a Healthy House: A Practical Guide for Architects, Builders and Homeowners has just been released!

Modern culture has many benefits but all too frequently convenience and costs are exchanged for health. It’s true for food and it is every bit as true for our shelter. The authors have compiled the most authoritative reference in the field of how to build your home or office to maximize its benefit for your health. I have used this book in the construction of my home and office and highly recommend it. – Dr. Mercola, Founder www.mercola.com world’s most visited natural health site

**********************

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

 

May 3, 2008

:124 Window Leaks

Filed under: :124 Window Leaks — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:25 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:124 Tip: Windows can leak in ways that aren’t obvious. Today’s tip is to temporarily block those weep holes I talked about yesterday with some soft putty and fill the bottom track with water. Watch to see if the water visibly leaks out or the water level drops. If so – then fix the leaks. Don’t forget to unblock the weep holes when you are finished with the test. Plan on letting the water stand in the track for about an hour. If you can see the water level dropping then stop the test early by opening up the weep holes and letting the track drain. Long term water leaking into wall cavities through window leaks can cause mold growth in the wall cavity. So these types of problems need to be discovered and fixed early. The amount of water that might go into the wall from the test is small enough that it shouldn’t cause a problem by itself – but depending on how long the leak has been present – there may have already been enough water entry to cause a mold problem. When in doubt – its best to call in a professional to confirm the nature of the leaks and make repairs.

***********************************

 Additional Information

Suggested Review – 123

 Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.