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FAQs

1- How can I tell if I have mold in my house?
2- What should I do if I have mold in my house, or if I suspect that I do?
3- What should I do if I have allergies and am sensitive to mold?

4- How can I determine if I have an asbestos hazard in my home?
5- How do I properly take care of asbestos in a building I am renovating or where demolition of interior walls is occurring?
6- What constitutes a lead hazard in my home?
7- If I have loose or peeling exterior paint on my building, do I have to remove it?

How can I tell if I have mold in my house?

Molds, also known as fungi, are microscopic organisms that can be found virtually everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. In the presence of excess moisture, mold can grow rapidly to produce adverse conditions.  In some cases mold growth is visible, in other cases mold could be present but hidden.  If you detect a musty or mildew odor, there might be an underlying mold problem. 

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What should I do if I have mold in my house, or if I suspect that I do?

The presence of mold and the type of mold (when it is present) needs to be professionally determined.  In cases where mold is visible, we recommend surface sampling; in cases where mold is not visible but a musty or mildew odor is present, we recommend bio-aerosol monitoring and sampling (both indoor and outdoor) for comparison results. 

In both cases, samples are sent to an American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) accredited lab for analysis.  We follow up with a specific plan for appropriate handling according to the lab results.

Toxic mold must be addressed by licensed mold abatement contractors who require the above testing and lab work in order to determine the proper clean-up procedures.
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What should I do if I have allergies and am sensitive to mold?

In general, common molds are not a concern to someone who is healthy.  However if you have allergies, asthma, or suffer from an immune suppression, you may be at increased risk for infections from molds. If you or your family members have health problems you suspect are caused by exposure to mold, you should consult your physician.

The above detailed procedure may be used to determine if toxic mold is present, and if so, removal by trained professionals is highly recommended.
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How can I determine if I have an asbestos hazard in my home?

Prior to 1974, asbestos was used in a variety of building products such as sprayed-on acoustical ceiling textures, thermal systems insulation (TSI), wallboards joint compound, and miscellaneous material such as vinyl floor tiles, linoleum, and mastic. Although it became illegal to use ACM after 1975, a provision in the law allowed the depletion of material inventories subsequent to formal promulgation.

If asbestos-containing materials become disturbed, fibers may become airborne and breathed into the lungs.  Prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer.

If you suspect that you have asbestos containing material, we recommend that you not disturb it.  However, if materials in the home containing asbestos are known to have been disturbed, contact us to conduct air sampling and monitoring to determine whether or not asbestos fibers are present.  Laboratory results from sampling are compared to EPA and OSHA levels for asbestos fibers and appropriate recommendations are made based on those results in a report format.

We also recommend the removal of suspect materials.  Such removal must be conducted by licensed asbestos abatement contractors.
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How do I properly take care of asbestos in a building I am renovating or where demolition of interior walls is occurring?

Call Envirosurvey, Inc. and we will send a State-certified technician out to perform a pre-demolition survey for suspect asbestos containing materials to determine the location, type and quantities of asbestos if present. 

Asbestos containing material identified through the survey must be removed and properly disposed of by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor following proper Cal-OSHA classified work procedures. This is a requirement by the local air quality management district and waste disposal regulations.
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What constitutes a lead hazard in my home?

"Lead hazard" refers to deteriorated lead-based paint, lead contaminated dust, lead contaminated soil, disturbed lead-based paint or presumed lead-based paint without containment, or any other nuisance which may result in persistent and quantifiable lead exposure.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Health Services (DHS), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) define dust lead hazard as 40 micrograms/square foot on floors, 250 micrograms/square foot on window sills, and 400 micrograms/square foot on window troughs.
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If I have loose or peeling exterior paint on my building, do I have to remove it?

Yes.  Regulatory agencies require containment and removal of loose or peeling paint that contains high concentrations of lead.  High concentrations of lead in paint are defined as 5,000 ppm or 0.5% of lead or higher.

Lead-based paint that is in good condition is usually not a hazard unless it is disturbed during remodeling or repainting, in which case lead dust can form when the paint is dry scraped or dry sanded.

If loose or peeling exterior paint is present, before any remodeling or repainting of the surfaces involved, paint chip samples from various surfaces must be collected and analyzed for lead content. If the results indicate the presence of lead-based paint, a lead abatement plan must be prepared with proper recommendations that satisfy federal, state, and local regulatory agencies.

It is important to note that certain precautions must be taken when removing lead-based paints including proper storage and discard of such materials.  This work should be performed by professionals familiar with the necessary safety precautions.
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