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Healthy Home Environment Health Mold senior Senior Living

Home Hunting: What Every Senior Should Look For

Home Hunting: What Every Senior Should Look For

Entering your golden years signifies a pivotal chapter where comfort, safety, and accessibility in your living space become paramount. The quest for a forever home that caters to the evolving needs of senior living can be both exciting and challenging. This comprehensive guide aims to simplify this journey by highlighting eight critical features aging homebuyers should prioritize. These considerations promise to transform a house into a nurturing haven, offering both functionality and peace of mind.

Emphasizing Single-Level Living

The allure of a single-story home is undeniable for aging individuals. Stairs can become a significant hindrance as mobility changes, so a one-level layout is a smart choice. It offers ease of movement, reduces the risk of falls, and enhances the overall comfort of daily living. Furthermore, this design facilitates the installation of mobility aids, if necessary, making it a future-proof investment for your senior years.

Securing Peace with a Home Warranty

A robust home warranty can be a game-changer, offering protection against unforeseen repair costs. This investment covers crucial home systems like heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing, alongside appliance repairs. The assurance of financial coverage for potential breakdowns can provide significant relief, allowing you to enjoy your retirement without the worry of unexpected repair expenses. For more insights, continue reading about how a home warranty can safeguard your peace of mind.

Prioritizing a Healthy Environment

Environmental testing is a crucial step in ensuring your new home is safe and free from hazards like mold, asbestos, and lead.  When it comes to mold, seniors are more susceptible to its effects because they often have weaker immune systems, poorer lung function, and take medications for other health problems that can make them more vulnerable.  Identifying and addressing these hazards is not just about immediate safety, but also about long-term health. Taking proactive measures to test and remediate any environmental hazards reflects a commitment to a healthy, worry-free living environment in your later years. Looking for expert mold testing or indoor air quality services? Schedule an appointment with RTK Environmental and ensure your home is safe and healthy.

Proximity to Quality Senior Care

Location matters, especially when it involves easy access to reputable senior care facilities. In the event of health changes, having quality care options nearby is invaluable. Conduct thorough online research to understand facility offerings, pricing, and reviews from other families. This proactive approach ensures that you are well-prepared and informed, making your home choice not just about comfort, but also about practical access to essential health services.

Accessibility with Wide Doorways

Wide doorways are more than a design choice; they are a nod to future-proofing your home. Ensuring doorways can accommodate mobility aids such as wheelchairs and walkers is crucial. This feature enhances accessibility and ensures that your home remains a comfortable and functional space, regardless of mobility changes that might occur with age.

Illuminating with Ample Lighting

Good lighting is essential, particularly as vision changes with age. A well-lit home, combining natural and artificial light sources, minimizes the risk of accidents and improves overall well-being. This feature is not just about brightness; it’s about creating a warm, inviting atmosphere that is both safe and visually appealing.

Embracing Low-Maintenance Exteriors

As one ages, home maintenance can become a daunting task. Opting for a home with low-maintenance exteriors like durable siding and simple landscaping can significantly reduce the burden. This choice allows more time to enjoy retirement activities rather than worrying about extensive home upkeep.

Ensuring Access with Wheelchair Ramps

If mobility is or becomes a concern, planning for wheelchair ramps is essential. These modifications ensure that your home remains accessible and welcoming, regardless of mobility levels. It’s about creating an inclusive environment that adapts to your needs over time.

Choosing a home for your golden years is a decision that extends beyond aesthetic appeal. It’s about creating a space that embodies comfort, safety, and convenience. By focusing on strategies like purchasing a home warranty and making senior-friendly updates, you’re not just buying a house; you’re investing in a home that will support and enhance your quality of life as you age. This guide is your compass to finding a haven that meets your needs today and anticipates those of tomorrow, allowing you to age gracefully and with dignity.

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Mold Healthy Home

Ten Alarming Truths About Mold Every Renter Should Know

Ten Alarming Truths About Mold Every Renter Should Know

Renters: It’s not just that the “rent is too high;” your landlord may be ignoring an issue that may be festering, one that could affect your health: mold. Data bears this out.

In 2023, a concerning 3.8 million households identified mold in their homes. Considering that 45.2 million housing units in the country are renter-occupied, this equates to a significant percentage that contain mold – at least that we’re aware of. There may be more.

Why is this significant? Mold is an environmental hazard, and one that demands urgent attention as exposure to mold can lead to a range of problems from mild respiratory issues and allergic responses to more severe conditions, impacting those with asthma. Mold can also cause fatigue, depression, and headaches. Heightened awareness and proactive measures in rental housing are needed to safeguard resident health.

Health Risks of Mold Exposure:

Specifically, mold exposure can cause respiratory problems (coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath), allergic reactions, nasal and sinus congestion, eye irritation, throat irritation, skin rashes, and headaches.

There are various types of molds, with black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) being notorious for causing health problems. However, all molds can cause health issues and should be treated with caution.

Mold thrives in damp, humid, and poorly ventilated areas. Common spots for growth include bathrooms, kitchens, basements, areas around windows, and places prone to water leaks.

Legal Aspects of Renting Concerning Mold:

Landlords are primarily responsible for addressing environmental issues like mold in their rental properties. However, their legal obligations can vary based on local regulations. That said, tenants also play a crucial role in preventing mold and managing indoor allergens. Negligence on their part can lead to liability for certain environmental hazards.

Tenant Tips for Preventing Mold:

  • Before moving in: Inspect the apartment for mold before signing the lease, looking for signs like musty odors, dampness near water fixtures, and peeling wallpaper.
  • Notify the landlord of any mold you see or musty odors you detect in the unit, and request remediation before occupying the space.
  • Ensure the HVAC system functions properly to prevent mold growth.
  • Once you move in: Maintain a clean environment. Regular cleaning and keeping the space dry are key to preventing mold.
  • Report issues: Tenants should immediately report any plumbing leaks or leaks from other sources, as mold can develop within 24-48 hours of water exposure.

Mold in rental properties is not just a cosmetic issue; it’s a serious health and safety concern that necessitates awareness, preventative measures, and timely action. Both landlords and tenants have vital roles in ensuring a safe living environment.

 

Categories
Healthy Home Lead Mold Mold Testing VOCs

Essential Tips to Sidestep Holiday Hazards

 

‘Tis the season to be jolly but ignoring household hazards could just be sheer folly. So, we’ve compiled some valuable tips to keep you and yours healthy during the holiday season.

 

Live Christmas Trees Can Produce Mold

This is something you’ve probably never thought about. Yet, the festive charm of a live Christmas tree might mask its ability – potential – to aggravate asthma and allergies. That’s because somewhere, hidden in those fragrant green boughs, there may be mold spores and allergens. To keep this problem at bay, keep the tree indoors for a shorter period of time, wear protective clothing while handling it, and consider spraying it with water before bringing it inside and carrying it out for disposal. Be certain to keep it a good distance from the fireplace and keep it well watered to prevent it from drying out. Air purifiers can also help in reducing airborne allergens.

Artificial Trees Can Also Pose Problems

Though you won’t be plagued by needles shed by live trees, artificial Christmas trees can introduce another hazard: toxic lead dust because of how they are manufactured. The older those trees are, the greater the risk that they will release harmful lead dust, which can lead to lead poisoning. When shopping for an artificial tree, opt for those made in the USA and check for labels indicating they are made from safer materials like polyethylene plastic (PE).

Christmas Lights May Have a Lead Problem

It’s common for Christmas lights to contain trace amounts of lead, that are used in making wires more pliable. While this doesn’t mean you should forego the festive glow, it’s wise to wash your hands after handling the lights and to clean the surrounding areas in order to prevent the spread of any lead-containing dust.

Vintage Tableware: Beautiful but with an Ugly Fact

Grandma’s crystal and china might add elegance to your holiday table, but these older pieces often contain lead. Use them cautiously, especially around children and pregnant women. If you do use them don’t leave any food or liquid in them for any extended period of time, the lead will leach into the liquid or food and be absorbed into the blood stream when they are consumed.

Indoor Air Quality and Scented Products Can Pose Risks, Too

The delightful scents of holiday candles and air fresheners come with a downside: they may be releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These can cause health issues ranging from headaches to respiratory problems. Check labels and choose non-toxic scented candles made from natural ingredients; avoid paraffin wax and artificial fragrances.

Heavy Metals Contained in Menorahs

Vintage menorahs, especially those made of brass or ceramic glazed, may contain lead and cadmium. If you’re using a family heirloom, minimize the risk by cleaning it thoroughly each season and washing your hands after handling it.

Dirty Decoration Storage: A Mold Hotspot

Holiday decorations stored in damp conditions can become a breeding ground for mold. Check storage boxes for signs of moisture or mold before bringing them into your living areas. In case of mold, clean the items and consider having your storage areas inspected for water damage.

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Indoor Air Pollution and Its’ Sources

With the arrival of colder weather, when windows and doors remain shut, the risk of indoor air pollution increases. This pollution can come from burning candles, holiday cooking, and chemicals in household products. To counter this, ventilate your home regularly, use natural air fresheners, and choose green cleaning products.

Wood-Burning Fireplaces and Stoves: A Cozy but Polluting Tradition

Warmth and light emanating from wood-burning fireplaces and stoves may be enjoyable, but they also impact indoor air quality and contribute to various health issues. If wood burning is essential, use well-dried wood and consider installing a HEPA filter that will help to filter smaller particulate. Where possible, explore cleaner heating alternatives and create a cozy ambiance with a fireplace video and holiday music instead.

By taking these simple precautions, you can enjoy a festive and healthy holiday season. Remember, your health and safety are paramount. Stay informed, stay safe, and have a wonderful holiday!

Categories
Flooding & Water Damage Mold

Quick Guide to Clean Up a Flooded Basement

Quick Guide to Clean Up a

Flooded Basement

More heavy rain is causing problems for home and business owners throughout the Tri-State area. Flooded basements are everywhere.

With the torrential rains, flooding is rampant because the ground cannot handle the volume of water due to a high water table. The pools of water in your yard and close to your home’s foundation could indicate that water may be seeping into your basement. Once your basement gets wet, it becomes a prime area for mold growth, which can emerge within 24 – 48 hours, and even spread throughout your home.

Mold causes serious health issues, including asthma, allergies, headaches, fatigue, and coughing. Exposure to toxic black mold causes more severe health consequences, including chronic bronchitis, heart problems, learning disabilities, mental deficiencies, and multiple sclerosis. Here are steps you can take to prevent mold growth.

Top 4 tips to prevent mold growth in your flooded basement:

1. Make sure the drain in your basement floor is free from debris and the sump pump is working.

This will help the water drain properly. Also, make sure your sump pump is working, if you have one. Sometimes after the power goes out, your sump pump may need to be reset before it kicks on.

2. Remove anything from the floor that is wet.

Boxes, toys, carpeting, and any other cellulose materials are very susceptible to mold growth. Get them out of the water and to an area that they can dry out in. If they can’t be dried within 24 hours, they may become infested with mold and need to be discarded.

3. Pump or vacuum the water from the area quickly.

You can also mop it out. Remember, the soil outside is already saturated, so be careful not to pump out the area too fast. The water still has nowhere to go, and the pressure of the water on the outside of your home could damage your basement wall, or even collapse it.

4. Use fans, a dehumidifier, and ventilate the area well.

After the flooding has stopped and the bulk of the water has been removed, you need to dry the rest of the area with fans, including concrete floors, drywall, wood, and more. Then, use a dehumidifier, set to no higher than 50%, to combat residual moisture, which causes higher humidity, and provides an idea environment for mold to grow. Mold in your home can cause health issues and make asthma symptoms worse.

If you are unable to take these steps quickly or are unsure as to whether you already have a mold problem, the best thing to do for the health of your family and your home is to call in a professional, like RTK, to conduct a mold test.

Categories
Healthy Home Mold

Fall into Winter Home Prep: 4 Tips to Keep Your Home Cozy, Healthy and Safe

Fall into Winter Home Prep: 4 Tips to Keep Your Home Cozy, Healthy and Safe 

Winter is coming…so take advantage of these last temperate days to winterize your home.  Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, you can avoid costly repairs during the winter months with the following tasks: 

Check your attic. 

Mold and poor indoor air quality issues often stem from your attic. Ever heard of the “Stack Effect?” It’s when heat and air rise to the highest point in a dwelling. Since houses naturally have to breathe, the air starts at the bottom and works its way up through the exterior walls into the attic. Ideally, this air should exit through gable vents or ridge vents. However, if those vents are blocked or inadequate, moisture and heat can build up in the attic creating the perfect environment for mold to grow. 

Prior to the winter season, it’s essential to inspect your attic to ensure proper ventilation. If you happen to see mold, schedule a test with an independent testing company like RTK. They can determine the extent of the issue, and what, if anything, needs to be remediated.  

Clean your gutters. 

Prioritizing regular gutter maintenance is crucial, particularly before the onset of colder weather. This pre-emptive action serves as a vital defense against the formation of ice dams, a common winter woe. Ice dams occur when melted snow accumulates and subsequently freezes along the edges and eaves of your roof. This ice ridge then acts as a barricade, preventing the efficient drainage of water originating from the melting snow. With nowhere else to go, this water can infiltrate your home, causing significant harm to your walls, ceilings, and insulation. Unfortunately, where there’s water damage, mold is often not far behind.  

Regardless of the season, clogged gutters, burdened with fallen leaves, have the potential to pull away from your home’s structure. This detachment can result in leaks that not only damage your residence but also foster the growth of mold.  

Additionally, it’s essential to ensure that your downspouts are correctly angled away from your home, as this simple measure can effectively ward off basement leaks. 

Check your roof for leaks. 

You certainly don’t want to start your winter off with a leaky roof. Begin by inspecting your ceilings for any signs of trouble, such as water spots, mold, or stains. If you spot them, before you call in a roofer, have a professional mold inspector test your home for potential mold growth. This proactive step will provide you with a clear understanding of exactly what needs to be repaired or replaced so the mold doesn’t come back. You may have small stains or dark spots now, but once the heavy snow sets in, the problem could get much worse, and you could wind up with a full-blown mold infestation.   

Set the thermostat. 

It may seem incongruous to turn on the heat as it is still warm outside, but in a few months when the temperature drops below freezing, a heated house, even at 50 degrees, will prevent your pipes from freezing and keep your home dry through the winter. Most experts recommend keeping the thermostat between 60 and 68 degrees. The heat won’t kick in until the indoor temperature drops below the thermostat’s temperature setting. But, if you are concerned, you can subscribe to an Internet-based system with equipment that monitors the inside air temperature and alerts you to freezing temperatures. 

To prepare for the impending winter, taking action now to safeguard your family’s well-being is of the utmost importance. The steps outlined above offer a comprehensive approach to ensure that your home remains safe and healthy during the colder months. Prioritizing these tasks not only shields your home from costly repairs but also ensures a healthier environment throughout the winter season. Your proactive approach today can make all the difference in the comfort and safety of your home tomorrow. Contact RTK today. 

 

 

 

Categories
Healthy Home Indoor Air Quality & Radon Mold

Appliance Maintenance to Prevent Mold

Appliance Maintenance to Prevent Mold

Here’s what you should do and how often to prevent mold growth in your home.

Dehumidifiers, bathroom exhaust fans, and kitchen range hoods can vastly improve the air you breathe indoors, but they also have a downside: if not maintained properly, they can become little mold-producing factories.

Consumer Reports says that neglecting to thoroughly clean a bathroom fan or dehumidifier, for example, allows dirt to accumulate and this, plus a little moisture, creates the perfect environment in which mold can grow. Another place you are likely to find mold growth is in a front load washing machines.

mold dehumidifierCleaning dehumidifiers once a month is recommended.  Yet, according to the article, 60% of the dehumidifiers found in today’s households are not cleaned frequently enough and may be fostering mold growth. Bathroom exhaust fans are another source of mold but only 16% are cleaned every few months as recommended.

Failure to clean these appliances rigorously can also result in the growth of fungi and bacteria that cause lung inflammation.

kitchen fan moldHere are the recommended cleaning schedules for household appliances:

So, if you’re the culprit and neglected to clean household appliances regularly, check them carefully for mold. Mold can spread from these devices to other parts of your home, and that can be detrimental to your health – let alone your wallet.

Contact RTK to schedule a mold or indoor air quality test today!

Categories
Mold Health Indoor Air Quality & Radon

Parents: Is There Mold In Your Child’s School?

Is There Mold In Your Child’s School?

Mold in school is becoming a more common problem. The damage to classrooms from the heat and humidity from the summer months have many parents concerned about the indoor air quality in schools. And worse, mold has proliferated in dozens of schools in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, with the latest reports of mold in classrooms coming from the Hartford area.

As a parent, this is disturbing news. There are few things more important than the safety of our children in schools or daycare programs. We’ve created this guide to inform you what you need to know about mold, and alert you to the symptoms and signs of mold in schools or any other buildings.

Where is mold in schools found?

Classrooms, hallways, offices, and building corridors often harbor mold spores and dust mites, as do ventilation systems.

If your child has allergies, especially to mold, you should find out how often the school cleans its building vents, and if it uses high-efficiency air filters to remove mold, pollen, and other particles from the air. This may help to alleviate some of a child’s mold allergy symptoms.

Libraries, art rooms, and gym locker rooms are also very common areas for mold to grow because they harbor moisture.

Mold and children

All mold, toxic or not, is a health hazard. While toxic mold is the most harmful to a child’s health, all mold and mildew can cause health issues—especially for those who suffer from allergies. The younger a child is, the less developed his or her lungs and other organs are; this puts the child at special risk, whether at school or home. Although children are particularly vulnerable to mold contaminants, there is no law requiring schools to protect students (or staff) from mold contamination.

Is it a cold or a mold allergy?

How do you know if your child has a cold, the flu, seasonal allergies, or a mold allergy? It’s not always easy to determine, as many of the symptoms are the same. Signs of a mold allergy and symptoms of mold exposure include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy eyes, nose and throat
  • Cough and postnasal drip
  • Watery eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Brain Fog

If you child is fine in the morning, but returns from school with any of these symptoms, there is a good chance that there’s an irritant at the school, especially if the symptoms subside when the child is at home.

Symptoms of Toxic Mold Exposure

Toxic mold exposure can also cause:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • A tingling or numbing sensation on skin
  • Headaches and sensitivity to light
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Poor memory or difficulty finding words
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple chemical sensitivity, which causes varying symptoms due to low-level exposures to commonly used chemicals

Mold and asthma

If your child is allergic to mold and also has asthma, his or her asthma symptoms may be triggered by exposure to mold spores and can sometimes be severe. In addition to the usual symptoms, your child may experience acute coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

To reduce asthma attacks caused by mold, ask your school to test for mold and air quality to see if the school’s indoor environment is the cause. Also, speak with your doctor about managing your child’s condition.

What else can you do?

  • Ask other parents or the PTA if they have noticed any signs of mold at the school or symptoms in their children.
  • Ask if they are aware of any unusual or musty odors in the school.
  • If the answers are in the affirmative, and if your child is experiencing health issues, request that mold testing be done.
  • If mold is discovered, there are remediation protocols that should be followed. Those include post-remediation clearance testing to ensure the remediation was done properly and there is no longer a health hazard.

If you have questions about mold in schools, please feel free to call us at 800.392.6468. We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Categories
Health Mold

Mold Allergy? Don’t Eat That!

Mold Allergy? Don’t Eat That!

If you have a mold allergy, removing mold from your walls might not be enough. You also have to take it off your plate (literally) as you may be ingesting the mold directly. Many common foods contain some amount of mold, which can exacerbate a mold allergy.

Try to avoid these big offenders:

Dairy Products

mold foodMost dairy products, like cheese, sour cream and buttermilk, contain mold because they’ve undergone fermentation. Baked goods may also contain dairy products that underwent fermentation. Check labels before you eat.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms, a fungus, contain mold. Whether cooked or raw, in a soup or on a salad, they can trigger sneezing, wheezing and other uncomfortable symptoms.

Meat and Fish

Any type of meat or fish that has been smoked, pickled or cured has a good chance of containing mold. Meat and fish that is more than 24-hours-old may also have mold growth on it, including lunch meat, hot dogs, sausage, and pre-packaged meat.

Alcohol & Fermented Foods

foods with moldBeer, wine and many types of liquor that have been fermented or contain yeast may aggravate a mold allergy. Sour breads, such as pumpernickel and sourdough, can also be irritants.

Condiments & Dressings

Foods containing vinegar, such as salad dressing, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, commercial salsa, and pickles often contain mold. Also watch out for soy sauce, sauerkraut, olives, miso, and tofu.

Fruit

dried fruit moldDried fruits such as dates, prunes, figs and raisins are known to contain mold. Melons can also cause a mold-induced reaction, especially when they are overripe.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, you can reduce your risk of a reaction by choosing your foods carefully. They suggest checking all foods for signs of mold before eating it, and avoiding foods that are more likely to contain fungi or mold.

If you have a mold allergy, be aware that these foods could make it worse. If you change your diet and are still plagued by a mold allergy, consider that your home or office may not be as mold-free as you thought. Mold can grow under carpets and inside walls. The only way to be sure is to have a certified microbial investigator test your surroundings. Contact RTK at 800.392.6468 or click here to learn more.

Categories
Mold Healthy Home

Summer Mold Hotspots

Summer Mold Hotspots

 

summer mold Summer is in full swing, and we’re in the habit of dropping wet towels from the pool on the floor, blasting the AC, and taking longer showers after a day in the sun. These seemingly innocent acts can serve as an invitation for mold growth. Mold thrives in a humid, damp climate. So before running off to that summer rental or hosting the barbeque of the season, ensure you aren’t harming yourself or others. Let’s look at the top hotspots mold grows in during the Summer.

Top Spaces Mold Tends to Grow

  1. Kitchen and Bathrooms

Spaces individuals use the most are prime targets for mold to grow due to moisture accumulation in these areas. Cooking, doing the dishes, and taking a hot shower all generate moisture that leads to a humid environment conducive to mold. Specific areas in these spaces include on or behind walls, sinks, toilets, on the floor, showers/baths, refrigerators, behind or under dishwashers, windowsills, and behind the stove or microwave.

  1. bathroom humidity causes moldBasements / Crawl Spaces

Basements and crawl spaces are notorious for dampness, as they are often in close contact with the ground. Moisture seepage, inadequate insulation, outright flooding, or poor ventilation can create a perfect storm for mold growth.

  1. Attics / Roofs

Attics and Roofs are susceptible to mold growth due to poor ventilation and potential leaks.

  1. Air Conditioners

Air Conditioners provide relief from summer heat but can also contribute to the inhabitation of mold if not properly maintained. Moisture can easily accumulate. In AC units, this occurs most often in the condensate drain and evaporator coils.

  1. Laundry Rooms

washing machine moldLaundry Rooms often have high humidity levels due to washing machines and dryers. Proper ventilation and regular maintenance of these appliances are crucial in preventing mold growth.

Any appliances that use water have the potential to harbor mold.

What to Do

In order to avoid your everyday routine being interrupted by mold, ensure you are doing the following preventative measures.

  • Proper ventilation by using exhaust fans or opening windows during and after engaging in activities that conduct steam and humidity. Use the fan during bath or shower and keep it on for at least 30 minutes after.
  • Regularly clean and dry countertops, stovetops, microwave, and refrigerator.
  • Repair any leaks or plumbing issues that may cause moisture buildup.
  • Don’t let dirty dishes pile up in the sink.
  • Use dehumidifiers to maintain optimal humidity levels.
  • Run fans while cooking or showering.
  • Insulate pipes to prevent condensation and fix any leaks or cracks in the foundation.
  • Provide proper air flow in attics with soffit and ridge vents, gable vents, fans, opening windows, etc.
  • Have your roof checked periodically by a professional for defects or leaks.
  • Clean and change air filters in AC and HVAC units regularly.
  • Clean dryer vents regularly to remove lint buildup and ensure that they vent outdoors.
  • Avoid keeping wet clothes in your washing or dryer and be sure to keep the washer door cracked open for ventilation.

causes of bathroom moldIf you do get to the point where you encounter mold in these hotspots, don’t panic. That’s when RTK professionals can come in to help you plan the next steps.

  • RTK provides comprehensive indoor air quality and mold testing, which can help you to pinpoint the problem.
  • Once the source and contaminated areas are identified, RTK provides a blueprint for mold removal, which you provide to a mold remediation contractor of your choice.
  • Since we only test and never remediate, we have no conflict of interest.
  • Once removal is complete, RTK can come in to ensure the mold was removed properly, and that you don’t risk a future mold outbreak because of sloppy work.

Mold Health Concerns

mold health symptomsThe fact is mold causes health issues. Aside from the damage to one’s home, there are several harmful factors to an individual’s health. Symptoms of mold exposure include headaches, trouble breathing, rashes, brain fog, dizziness, fatigue, asthma, and allergy-like symptoms.

If you are concerned about mold in your home or workplace, contact RTK at 800.392.6468 or click here.

Categories
Mold Testing vs. Remediation

Why DIY Mold Test Kits Don’t Work

Why DIY Mold Test Kits Don’t Work

Often, homeowners use DIY test kits to detect the presence of mold. But home-test kit results are unreliable and often misleading. Here’s why:

Mold is naturally occurring and present in almost every environment.

  • Home mold test kits that use ‘settle plate applications’ (set the dish out for 24 – 48 hours and spores are supposed to fall into the dish) generally do not measure airborne particles accurately.
  • mold test kitSpores vary in size, shape, and most importantly weight. Heavier mold spores will fall out of the air more quickly, and therefore are represented in greater numbers in a home-test kit dish. Since most environments contains some amount of mold, it’s difficult to determine whether the mold spores you collect are from a dangerous indoor colony or just part of the outside environment.

Do-it-yourself mold test kits often cause people to make uninformed decisions.

  • The levels of spores that are analyzed by the lab are not accurate and they cannot detect hidden mold, so the homeowner cannot properly assess the situation. People often do either too little or too much based on these results.  Just because you have mold does not mean you will need costly remediation.
  • When a professional takes a sample of spores, they forcefully draw air into a spore trap. Home-test kits rely on air currents in a room over a 24 – 48 hour period. Property owners need to be sure of the situation, and these home-test kits do not provide certainty.

The bottom line is if you think you may have mold, contact a professional testing service – preferably one with a Certified Microbial Investigator (as certified by the American Council for Accredited Certification). With a professional environmental testing service, you will get interpretation and analysis of the mold, allowing you to make informed choices.

Your decision can make all the difference between potential health problems for you, your family or your tenants, and a very messy and expensive cleanup – let alone a potential lawsuit. The wisest course is to have the job handled professionally, properly, and quickly. Contact RTK at 800.392.6468 or click here.