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Asbestos Lead Mold Mold Testing

CBS TV’s Dr. Max Gomez: Hurricane Sandy Could Still Harm Your Health

CBS TV’s Dr. Max Gomez: Hurricane Sandy Could Still Harm Your Health

Almost ten months after Sandy the effects of the storm are still being felt in surprising ways. As CBS 2′s Dr. Max Gomez reported, post-hurricane health hazards could be lurking in your home. Mold stole the headlines, but not many people considered the aftermath of disturbing lead paint, asbestos, and other dangerous toxins.

RTK Environmental Group helps uncover the hidden dangers after the storm.

Healthy Home

The Post-Sandy Baby Boom Is Here! Tips for Baby-Proofing Your Home

Click on the link below to find out what you need to know about making your home safe for baby.

Tips for Baby-Proofing Your Home – Westchester Magazine – August 2013 – Westchester, NY.

Also, check out our Healthy Baby, Healthy Home site for additional tips and information.

Flooding & Water Damage Soil and Water Video

RTK Helps News 12 Investigate Sandy-Related Soil Contamination – Part 1

In October of 2012, Superstorm Sandy caused massive flooding in parts of New Jersey, and those floodwaters transported everything from sewage to petroleum products to toxic chemicals. Even when the water receded, a Kane In Your Corner investigation, with the help of RTK Environmental Group, finds some of the toxins were left behind.

Flooding & Water Damage Soil and Water

Sandy’s Floodwaters Are Gone, But Toxic Sludge Could Remain on Your Lawn

sandy toxic floodwaterThe storm surge and flooding that washed over much of the tri-state during Hurricane Sandy spread industrial toxic contaminants to residential areas miles away. The floodwaters carried an unthinkable mixture of wastewater, sludge, and toxins into people’s basements and pristine yards, and the pollutants remain today.

Hurricane Sandy “The water from Hurricane Sandy was quite different than other storms,” said Robert Weitz, a certified microbial investigator and founder of RTK Environmental Group. “As we test people’s homes and soil, we are finding that the water from Superstorm Sandy contained a toxic sludge,” he explained. “Bacteria, sewage, gasoline, PCBs, oil, feces, industrial solvents, heavy metals – you can’t even imagine some of the things we are finding left in homes and their lawns.”

Concern about post-Hurricane Sandy sludge has prompted the Environmental Protection Hurricane Sandy floodingAgency to test baseball fields in Lyndhurst, NJ for contaminants, according to NorthJersey.com. The fear is that Sandy spread waste created by decades of manufacturing pesticides and herbicides, including Agent Orange, at nearby facilities. In another instance, Rosehill Cemetery in Linden, NJ has had to remove and clean fuel-stained headstones after Sandy drenched the cemetery with an oil-rich tidal surge from a nearby refinery, The Star-Ledger reports.

Boys In DirtIf you were flooded during Hurricane Sandy, find out if your home is safe by having your property tested right away. Once spring comes, your children and pets will be playing in that soil, and the effect on their health could be devastating. For more information on water and soil contamination, click here. Call RTK today at (800) 392-6468 or click here to book an appointment.

Flooding & Water Damage Mold Video

Do You Have Black Mold Post-Hurricane Sandy?

Many people rebuilt too quickly after Hurricane Sandy – before their homes were completely dried out. Now, mold is trapped inside and behind their walls – and they may not even know it.

Robert Weitz, a Certified Microbial Investigator and founder of RTK Environmental Group shares important information on how to rebuild after a flood or hurricane, and explains the risks if you did not rebuild properly.

To find out if you have hidden black mold or toxic mold after Hurricane Sandy or any flood, click here to schedule an appointment or call us at (800) 392-6468.

Flooding & Water Damage Mold Testing vs. Remediation

Mold: Who Should I Hire Post-Sandy?

The time has come to cleanup the mess that Superstorm Sandy left. But there is a great deal of confusion about who to hire for what. Here is some helpful advice:

  • There are three types of companies. Those that only test, those that only remediate, and those that do both testing and remediation.
  • Companies that offer to test and then remediate may offer mold testing on the cheap, but then conveniently offer their own remediation services to fix the problem. This is a clear conflict-of-interest, with the result that the problem is not often remediated – if it exists at all. The consumer may be paying thousands of dollars for bloated repair estimates or an improper and ineffective remediation.
  • An independent, certified testing company, like RTK Environmental, does not do remediation, and, therefore, offers consumers an unbiased opinion about any contamination.
  • Reliable remediation companies will use a report and remediation plan from an independent testing company to perform the work.
  • Be sure that the company you hire provides you with comprehensive and accurate documentation of the work or testing performed, as well as the results.
  • Make sure a company is certified, licensed and insured.

The most important step in recovering from Hurricane Sandy is properly addressing indoor mold contamination. Be sure to have it done right the first time.

Flooding & Water Damage Mold

No Mold From Sandy? Prove It!

Homeowners Risk Lower Resale Values and Insurance Claim Denials If They Don’t Have The Papers To Prove All The Mold Is Gone

As thousands of residents of New York and New Jersey are struggling to rebuild their devastated homes after Superstorm Sandy, another problem looms on the horizon. Hasty repairs could come back to haunt them. “You need to be sure your home is free from mold before and after you repair it,” warns Robert Weitz, a certified microbial investigator and principal at RTK Environmental Group. ”You have to document that your home is mold-free after it’s been repaired or it will hurt your resale value and jeopardize future insurance claims.”

Sandy’s widespread damage means that future home buyers will be asking tough questions about whether your home was flooded or struck by falling trees. You’ll want to be able to prove that your home was properly repaired afterwards. Otherwise, it may scare off buyers and force you to accept a significantly lower sale price. There’s even the risk of a potential lawsuit from a new owner who claims you knowingly sold them a home with post-Sandy mold.

What’s more, if your home floods again and mold returns, your insurance company may question whether the mold was caused by the new event and not from Sandy. Without proof your home was mold-free after repairs were made, you may be told that the damage can’t be counted toward a new claim or that you have or met your policy limit.

To protect yourself, you should take the following actions:

  • Test for mold prior to repairs so that it is removed, and test for mold after repairs are done.
  • Make sure your mold inspector provides you with a detailed written report on its methodology and findings.
  • Hire an independent testing company that does not do remediation to avoid any conflict of interest, and be sure the company uses certified microbial investigators.

Your home is likely to be your single largest asset. Preserve its value through proper environmental inspection. Call RTK today to set up an inspection.



Flooding & Water Damage Mold

Post Sandy: Mold

When Hurricane Sandy swept through the Northeast, it flooded tens of thousands of homes.  If you had water in your home for at least two days, chances are some mold colonies are growing, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Here’s what you may not realize: mold may not be visible immediately, but its spores are growing.

Here’s what you need to know about mold:

What is the health impact of mold?

healthy risks of moldMold can cause a host of health issues. It has been known to trigger allergies that cause headaches and coughing, as well as irritate the nose, skin, and eyes. For people with asthma, mold can make breathing particularly difficult. The Huffington Post recently discussed in depth the health risks of mold.

Who should test for mold and when?

Consumers should have a certified professional test for mold, but he should not perform remediation services so as to avoid any conflict of interest.  The professional (a certified microbial inspector) will discover mold’s root causes and provide a detailed report with recommendations on how to remove the mold.  You should test for mold before you hire a remediation company, and again after work is complete to make sure the mold has been properly removed and will not grow back and resurface a few months later.

How much it will cost? Who is going to pay for it?

Mold testing starts at a few hundred dollars, and removal costs can run the gamut, from $200 for smaller removal jobs up to $30,000 for homes that have been flooded, said the Huffington Post. Unfortunately, mold remediation is generally not covered by most home insurance policies, according to FOX Business. While flooding caused by an unforeseen pipe burst will generally be covered under most homeowner policies, mold claims arising from storm flooding must be handled under a separate rider to your policy, according to Marshall McKnight, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. The costs vary according to the home’s location and the individual insurer, but $50,000 in protection will probably cost you an extra $47 a year, said Bill Wilson, a spokesperson for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America.

But whatever you do, remember to hire an independent testing company that does not also do remediation. That way, you will be assured that you are not paying for something you might not need.

Flooding & Water Damage Mold Video

Video: WCBS-TV Talks to RTK Environmental Group about Hurricane Sandy

Flooding & Water Damage Mold

Preparing Your Home for Hurricane Sandy

Preparing Your Home for Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy could land in the New York tri-state area early next week with gale-force winds, flooding, heavy rain and possibly snow.  Luckily, there are things homeowners can do to prepare for the storm and protect your home from developing a mold problem after flooding.

Tip 1: Be sure your gutters and downspouts are free from leaves and debris.

It is important to make sure your gutters and outside drains are clean before the storm. Remove any debris from gutters and downspouts, and be sure that they are adequately angled away from the house. Otherwise, water will collect at the edge of the house and leak into the foundation and basement. If you have extensions on your downspouts to direct water away from the foundation, be sure to secure them in place with rocks or stakes. With gale-force winds, they may blow off.

Tip 2: Prepare your basement.

If you think you may have flooding, there are several things you can do in advance to prepare. Check basement floor drains to be sure they are not covered. Remove anything from the floor that you do not want to get wet. If you have boxes or any other cellulose materials on the floor, place them on tables or crates to alleviate direct contact with water. Remove items from places water may get in, like below windows.

Tip 3: Be prepared to power your sump pump by an alternative method if you have a power failure.

Sump pumps only work if you have electricity. If you have a generator, make sure it is connected to the sump pump and fueled or charged. If you don’t have a generator, make sure you keep an eye on your basement for flooding. If using a generator, be sure it is well ventilated and DO NOT use indoors.

Tip 4: Anticipate leaks in advance, if you can.

Some of us know that we have trouble spots in our home. Don’t wait until leaks start – prepare now. Check every window in the house to be sure they are closed tight. Place towels and buckets on the floor in the affected areas. If you know a window leaks, secure towels in that area before the rain begins. In heavy rains, you may need to change the towels and empty the buckets several times. Most importantly, once the rain and leaking has stopped, remove the wet towels and buckets from the area immediately, or you risk mold growth, which can grow in as little as 24 – 48 hours.

Check back soon for more tips on what to do if you have flooding and mold.