Black Toxic Mold, Can Be Deadly to Animals, Study Says  0

Posted on July 22nd, 2012. About , Black Mold, For Sale By Owner, Home Improvement.
This article is about a report recently published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. This report shows that toxic black mold can be deadly to pets.A veterinary specialist in Marathon, Florida was performing a dental procedure on 2 cats from different homes. The vet started to notice that during the procedure there was frothy blood in the tubes used to supply the anesthesia for both cats. He immediately stopped the procedure. The one cat died the next day and the other died 2 weeks later.

Blood that had been drawn on the cats was tested and both came back showing levels of the toxin that is produced by stachybotrys chartarum, a toxic black mold.Exposure to this mold has been known to cause respiratory problems, pulmonary hemorrhage, and death. These have only been reported in humans up until now.

The two cats were considered healthy cats and recently been tested and shown to have no illnesses. The cats, however, both lived in homes that suffered water damage as a result of a hurricane in 2005. The cat owners were advised to check their homes for mold and sure enough they both discovered they had severe mold contamination from stachybotrys in their walls.

The toxin produced by stachybotrys weakens the capillaries making them very fragile and susceptible to bursting. The dental procedure was enough to make the fragile capillaries in the lungs of the cat burst. Both cats died from complications arising from pulmonary hemorrhaging.

Dr. Mader hopes that this study will spur animal owners affected by floods or hurricanes and water damage of any kind to check their houses for mold and if found, have the mold removed immediately.

Black Mold, Home Improvement, Remodeling and Repair Contractor Complaints  0

Posted on August 12th, 2008. About , Black Mold, For Sale By Owner, Home Improvement.

For the first time since the beginning of the Consumer Federation of America consumer complaints survey, this year home improvement/home construction passed auto sales and auto repair as the top generator of consumer complaints.

Contractor Tips

This news confirms a long slide in consumer confidence in the building and construction industry. It also illustrates, once again, the lack of any governing body to regulate the remodeling/construction industry. We regulate Realtors who sell the new and previously owned houses, but we don’t regulate the people who build or improve them.

For years, homeowners have been telling me how difficult it is to even find anyone to work on some of the smaller jobs we all need to do around our homes. Here’s the problem: people who don’t have a lot of experience or expertise in construction or home maintenance are out there right now trying to work on these homes across the country. As a result, homeowners are finding that the jobs are not being completed to their satisfaction. Sometimes they are even prepaying for services that don’t get done.

This does not just apply to home improvement or handypersons working on small projects. New construction and new home building is generating just as many complaints. Too many homebuyers are only worried how many square feet or how big a house they can afford and not how the home is constructed and the quality of that construction. Trust me folks, the technology and products are out there now to build a home that is both energy efficient and low maintenance if the homebuyer and builder want to spend the time and money to build it that way. The problem today is homebuyers are more worried about what color carpeting they are going to install and the color scheme of the house rather than the walls and floors themselves.

There are ways to build a quality home but it takes a little more time and effort and – yes – a little more money, too. Let’s imagine two homes constructed side-by-side. One was constructed using all of the newest products and techniques available in the industry today and is 1,800 square feet. The second home, totaling 2,000 square feet, is built using less expensive materials and services, but acceptable under the code restrictions. Both houses may be the same price, but buyers seem to opt for the extra square footage and don’t seem to worry about the quality of construction.

Personally, I believe homebuyers would worry more about the construction quality if they were educated how a home really should be built as well as the great new products and services now available. Most home builders are aware of these facts, but are hesitant to build with this type of quality or expense because they aren’t convinced homebuyers want to spend that extra money for something they cannot see. The builders are also unconvinced because the products or services don’t add any extra square footage to the home. Many believe this is a “bottom line” for homeowners. This is a shame!

The problem, then, is twofold. If homebuyers will just quit buying cheaply made homes, the builders will be stuck with them and will be forced to stop building them. If builders will just build every home as if they were going to live there themselves, then perhaps homebuyers will have confidence their home purchase will not cost them an arm and a leg to maintain and fix each year.

We have to work both sides of the fence here. Homeowners need to be educated not only on how a home should be constructed but the products to use to make their home the quality purchase they expect. Likewise, home builders need to inform the buyers as to why they are building the home a certain way and why it is going to cost a little more than the one down the street.

In the coming weeks in this column, I will discuss how a home should be built and more importantly, how to hire a contractor or builder to do those building projects around your home as well as how to protect yourself from some of the ones that just really don’t know what they are doing.

Clawfoot Tub Restoration  0

Posted on August 11th, 2008. About , Black Mold, For Sale By Owner, Home Improvement.

Clawfoot Tub Restoration From “Restoration Realities
episode DRTR-108

PHOTO
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The Dougherty home in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta.

 

Tools, materials and safety equipment:

High-volume low-pressure spray gun
Palm sander
Pipe wrenches
Screwdrivers
Channel-lock pliers
Crescent wrench
Drop cloths
Integrity Refinishing Coatings primer, EP-acrylic top coat
Paint buckets and paint stirrers
Stripper (Methylene Chloride)
Lacquer Thinner
Acid-etch cleaner for porcelain
Degreaser for porcelain
Bonding agent for porcelain
Coarse steel wool
Masking tape
Water hose and sprayer nozzle
240 grit sandpaper
Scouring pad
Plastic bags
Tape
Rags
Plumbers putty
Respirator mask with organic-vapor filters
Safety Glasses
Chemical-resistant gloves
Chemical-resistant suit

PHOTO

Reglazing a Tub

The worn surface of the Dougherties’ tub was actually painted with latex by former tenants, and the paint has begun to peel off. Aside from being unsightly and in improper surface for the tub, peeling paint presents a health-risk with small children in the home. Re-glazing the tub will involve removing the old paint, cleaning and degreasing the surface, adding a bonding primer and a gloss-finish coat of epoxy.

 

Paint removal is NOT necessary if the original manufacturers surface has not been painted over with any other type of paint.

 

  • Begin by shutting off both hot and cold water supplies (figure A).  
  • Loosen and disconnect water supply lines and drain line.  
  • Remove the tub to the garage or well vented location. Because cast-iron tubs like this typically weigh from 250 to 400 pounds, this part of the job requires several helpers (figure B).

 

 

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    Figure A

     
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    Figure B

     

    NEW – Now you can purchase Mixed Colored Kits

    PHOTO

    For reglazing a tub, a respirator mask is required.
  • With the tub moved to a suitable work space, the stripping and re-glazing process can begin. Safety Alert: Because this process involves toxic chemicals and gives off fumes, this project should only be done outside or in a well-ventilated location, and appropriate safety precautions must be followed. In this case, protective eye-wear, chemical-resistant gloves, a respirator mask and full-coverage chemical resistant suit are all essential for proper safety. Your eyes and every part of your skin must be protected from these caustic chemicals. Respirator masks with organic-vapor filters must be used to avoid breathing harmful fumes.
     
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    Figure C

     
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    Figure D

     
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    Figure E

     
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    Figure F

     
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    Figure G

     
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    Figure H

     
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    Figure I

    Important: Since the water runoff contains harmful chemicals, it’s critical that you handle and dispose of the waste water properly. Make sure there is drainage into some type of receptacle that can be carefully disposed of. Check with your local authorities on proper disposal. For our project, we fashioned a makeshift drain using a spare piece of guttering that emptied into a plastic bucket (figure I).

     

    PHOTO

    Figure J
  •     

  • The chemical cleaners and degreasers prepare the surface for a chemical bonding agent that will chemically react with the paint to form a tough, long lasting, factory finish for porcelain and tile. The first treatment in this process is application of an acid-etch cleaner. (Protective eyewear and chemical-resistant gloves are required.)  
  • Apply the acid-etch cleaner to the top edge of the tub (figure J) and allow it to run down over the surfaces.  
  • With a scouring pad or 240 grit sandpaper, scrub the tub with the acid-etch cleaner and then rinse with water.

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    PHOTO

    Figure K
    PHOTO

    Figure L
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  • You’re now ready to start the second step of the reglazing with the degreaser.  
  • Add a little water to moisten the tub surface, and pour degreaser in the tub. This cleaner actually helped clean the corrosion and dirt from the copper drain (figure K).  
  • Using another scouring pad, scrub away any residue.  
  • Rinse with water.  
  • To prepare for the next step, the adheser, cover any features of the tub that you won’t be painting. In our case, this meant covering the metal claw-feet (figure L).

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    PHOTO

    Figure M
    PHOTO

    Figure N
    PHOTO

    Figure O
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  • The adheser is a bonding agent. Spray on a light film of the chemical adheser (figure M).  
  • Allow to set up according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In our case, the set-up time was 10 to15 minutes.  
  • The next step is the primer. In our case the primer had to be mixed 1 part base to 2 parts reducer (figure N). This makes it possible to use in a paint sprayer. Mix thoroughly before placing the mixture into the sprayer.  
  • Using a paint-spray gun, prime the tub, inside and out, with three light coats of primer.  
  • Allow each coat to tack up about 15 minutes before the next coat is applied.  
  • Paint-Sprayer Tip: When spraying, continually move the gun. Never allow it to set in one place (figure O).

  •  

     

    Photo

    Figure P

     
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    Figure Q

     

     

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    Figure R

     
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    Figure S

     
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    The Grant Park neighborhood in Atlanta.

     

  • The finish coat of paint is next. In our case, to use the sprayer, we mixed together a ratio of 4 parts glossy-white base to one part catalyst and two parts reducer (or thinner). We then mixed thoroughly and poured the mixture into the spray reservoir (figure P).  
  • Again with a spray gun, apply three to four light coats of a final paint-coat (figure Q), allowing each coat to tack up about 15 minutes before the next coat is applied.
  • Once the paint is completely dry, move the tub back into the bathroom (figure R), install the tub drain and reinstall the plumbing fixtures on refinished tub. Move into position to hookup water lines.  
  • Size and cut drain pipe. Slide the connections together (figure S) and test.  
  • Mark water line size. Use the pipe bender and form the bend to the fixture.  
  • Hook up the compression fittings and test.

Additional Tips on Re-Glazing a Tub

 

  • Do not use your re-glazed tub for the specified number of days or hours recommended by the manufacturer — usually 24 hours.  
  • Do not lay objects on your newly re-glazed tub. Soap, washcloths, and shampoo bottles can ruin the finish.  
  • Avoid abrasive cleansers. Use a spray cleaner along with a soft cloth. Wiping the tub down with a cloth after each use can also help maintain the finish.  
  • Avoid bath mats with suction cups underneath.  
  • Maintain caulking around the tub.  
  • Some manufacturers recommend waxing your re-glazed tub after it has been refinished and again every four months with a urethane polish. Check manufacturer specifications.

In the segment that follows, work gets underway on the second of two projects: creating a kitchen dish-cabinet that incorporates antique leaded-glass panels that the owners had purchased previously.

Important: Always dispose of toxic chemicals responsibly. Check the directions on the products for proper disposal methods. Some home centers may have chemical reclamation stations. Your local environmental agencies can provide you with helpful information as well.

Note: This is a summary of steps included in the procedures shown in this episode of Restoration Realities. There may be variations in procedures for your particular restoration project based on the types of materials you select and the nature or extent of your particular project. Always follow proper safety precautions, and read and follow manufacturer’s guidelines, diagrams and safety notices that come with materials or products that you select.

Toxic Black Mold Victims Can Save Their Homes With the Right Knowledge  0

Posted on August 11th, 2008. About , Black Mold, For Sale By Owner, Home Improvement.

Black Mold Clean Up can be a Do It Yourself Project for those that can’t afford to hire a Professional or are avid do it yourselfers. StartRemodeling.com, the Largest Toxic Black Mold, Remodeling and Home Improvement Website on the Internet, offers Education, Protection and Permanent Solutions to Eliminate Black Molds from Your Life.

RemodelingGuy w/ Mold in his Shower

Is it toxic black mold or mold that’s black? Stachybotrys and many other strains of toxic, health threatening molds are becoming everyday household words in America that very few understand. Now the public can find informative and educational content, free mold brochures, toxic mold inspectors and remediation/abatement companies, toxic mold/tort attorneys and much more at one great location on the Internet. www.StartRemodeling.com.

Horror stories are pouring in by the thousands everyday. Families are being forced out of their homes for months on end. Some are burning them down to rid themselves of the problem. Schools and businesses are being shut down. Mr. and Mrs. John T. America are becoming seriously ill, young children and the elderly are severely sick and/or dying from this mysterious and little understood airborne toxin attacking their respiratory system.

Why? Because this epidemic, although around for millions of years, is brand new to most and just becoming public knowledge. Very few professionals, including doctors, have taken the time to study up on and train themselves about the problem at hand, much less educate the general population about the dangers that exist in their everyday lives. The simplest thing in the world and something we should all be able to take for granted has been tainted. The air we breathe inside of our homes and workplace.

Since 1997, StartRemodeling.com has been a driving force on the Internet to educate and provide quality resources to homeowners wanting to improve their homes inside and out. In the last few years, they and their sister site at www.ToxicMoldUSA.com have made it their #1 goal to inform, educate and provide life long solutions to their visitors on how to live safely inside of their homes.

StartRemodeling.com has done the research, compiled the information and is making it readily available to everyone. They provide everything from informative articles and news releases, to government and medical findings. They provide a free national search for pre-qualified and certified toxic black mold professionals to inspect for and eliminate toxic black mold, toxic tort attorneys to assist those that may be in need of their services and simple do it yourself mold kits for under $10. They also provide a free 50+ page brochure from the site that details everything from simple identification to insurance procedures, cleaning procedures and elimination. They’ve covered it all.

“This is something that I take very personally,” states Jimmy McDonald, the man who initiated the change in direction for the site. “I am a fairly new Grandfather and my Granddaughter became violently ill when she was only a couple of months old.”

“We found the problem to be an accumulation of Stachybotrys and Penicillium molds in the house she was visiting, which ended up in her lungs. The people in that house, friends of the family, were moved out of their home for the better part of a year, lost cherished valuables and life in general was turned completely upside down for them. That opened my eyes and made me want to come up with some solutions that all of us can apply to our everyday lives.”

“Our site does that and more for people now and it feels great.”

For the health of it.

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