Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Importance of Ventilation

With the growing concern of rising energy prices, people everywhere are looking for ways to reduce their heating and cooling costs. One of the most popular DIY projects for improving energy-efficiency is by sealing air leaks around the house. Armed with weatherstrips and caulking guns, homeowners are obsessed with turning their home into an air-tight fortress.

What they do not realize is that by doing this, they have virtually eliminated natural ventilation, giving the harmful contaminants in their house no place to escape to. The average home is ten times more polluted than outdoor air, and poor indoor air quality is linked to all kinds of diseases and health problems.

Good airflow is essential in removing harmful toxins in your home, keeping your family healthy and free from allergies and respiratory infections. Ventilation is also needed to remove unwanted smells (pet odors, rotten food, etc.) and control moisture. When there is an adequate supply of fresh air moving through your home, it will prevent your floors, walls, and ceilings from accumulating excess moisture.

When there is too much moisture in your home, mold will soon follow. Mold can grow anywhere moisture is present, and is very common in homes; especially in bathrooms, basements, and ceilings with leaky roofs. Mold grows by reproducing microscopic spores, which can be inhaled and cause reactions such as sneezing, wheezing, irritated eyes and throats, fatigue, headaches, and nausea. If you have asthma, it could trigger an attack or even infect your lungs. Mold can also cause structural damage to your home by ruining your hardwood floors and weakening support beams.

Ventilation can be achieved naturally by opening your windows or doors, or through equipment installed in your home, such as exhaust fans. If you have a central air conditioning unit, it is constantly working to cycle air in and out of your home. Unfortunately, however, HVAC ductwork is a common yet unsuspecting place for mold to grow. If you have mold in your air ducts, its spores could be constantly circulating throughout your house.

If you have not had your air ducts professionally cleaned in more than three years, call the professionals at GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration. We offer duct cleaning and mold removal services to homeowners across Long Island, including Nassau and Suffolk counties. Call us today for a free quote at 631-940-8100.

Monday, August 24, 2015

How to Prevent High Moisture Levels in Your Crawlspace

For the majority of homeowners, their crawlspace is an afterthought. Although it is usually overlooked, the truth is that your crawlspace has a significant impact on your home, especially when it comes to indoor air quality and humidity levels.

If you have a crawlspace under your home, that is where up to 50% of the first floor's air supply comes from. This stat becomes particularly troubling when you realize that high moisture levels are a common problem in crawlspaces; this can lead to negative effects on the health of your family and the structural stability of your home.

Among other problems, too much moisture in your crawlspace can cause:
  • Mold and mildew growth.
  • Pest problems.
  • High humidity levels.
  • Increased cooling costs.
  • Structural damage to your hardwood floors and support beams.

So, what can you do to prevent high moisture levels in your crawlspace? Add ventilation? Install a dehumidifier?

No. Your crawl space has too much moisture for a reason, and eliminating the source of it is more effective than the band-aid approach of a dehumidifier or vent. The top sources of crawlspace moisture are pipe leaks, drainage problems, and groundwater evaporation.
  • If you have a busted pipe in your crawl space, it could be leaking water all over the ground. This water will just sit there since it has no place to go, which will promote mold growth. Fix the broken pipe immediately to solve this problem.
  • Common causes of drainage issues include your house being built on a slope and rainwater draining too close to the foundation of your home. If this is the case, you will notice large bodies of standing water in your crawl space. Your best bet would be to contact a professional contractor as soon as possible to explore your options.
  • Evaporation of the water in the ground is a common cause of high humidity in crawlspaces. The most effective solution for this is to install a crawlspace vapor barrier. When properly installed, this thin sheet of high-density polyethylene keeps groundwater in the ground and out of your home.

Have years of high humidity led to structural damage in your crawl space? Whether it has caused mold growth, warped wood, or invited critters into your foundation, call on the services of GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration. As Long Island's most trusted crawl space cleaning company, we have the tools and experience needed to get the job done right. Call us today for a free quote at (631) 940-8100.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Connect With Us! | GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration

Whether you are a regular reader of our blog or this is your first time checking us out, you know that GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration is committed to the health and safety of you and your family. That is why we constantly update this site every week with new tips and tricks to help keep your home clean and hazard-free.

For several years we have used our environmentally-friendly cleaning techniques to improve the air quality of homes across Long Island, and we have just recently expanded to social media! Connect with us to get the best cleaning, air quality, and general health tips delivered straight to your news feed. We are active on multiple social media platforms, so be sure to follow us on your favorites:

GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration offers a variety of services to keep your home free of harmful bacteria and allergens, including: air duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, crawl space cleaning, attic cleaning, mold removal, water damage repair, and more!

We utilize an “Earth-Friendly” approach company-wide which sets us apart from the rest. All of our cleaning products are environmentally-preferred and our methods are bio-friendly. Not only are these products better for the ecosystem, they are better for the health of your family too! We serve all of Nassau and Suffolk County, call us any time for a free quote at 631-940-8100.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

10 Ways to Prevent Mold From Growing in Your Home

Mold is a type of fungus usually found outdoors, but it can grow inside your home too. No one knows exactly how many types of mold exist, but estimates range from the tens of thousands to upwards of three hundred thousand. Mold reproduces and spreads by making tiny microscopic spores, which can unknowingly be inhaled.

When this happens, the exposed person can suffer a wide range of reactions. Symptoms can be minor: such as sneezing, wheezing, and irritated eyes and throat, or they can be more severe: such as fever, headaches, nausea, fatigue, and even lung infections in extreme cases.

Mold can grow wherever moisture is present, so in order to prevent it from showing up in your home, you need to limit your moisture levels. Some ways of doing this include:

  1. Run your bathroom exhaust fan for 15 minutes after every shower. This will help remove excess moisture from the air.

  2. Use a dehumidifier in problem areas, such as the basement, especially during summer months. Ideally, you want your relative humidity to be in between 30-50%. At 60%, mold can start growing.

  3. Keep windows and doors shut when the air conditioner is running. Besides letting cold air escape and wasting money, this invites humid air into the home and causes condensation.

  4. Clean up all spills and leaks immediately. Any standing water in the home invites mold. This also includes puddles that form near the washer, water heater, HVAC unit, shower, etc.

  5. Install a plastic vapor barrier on the floor of your crawl space. 

  6. Vent all moisture-generating appliances (stoves, clothes dryers, etc.) to the outside, not the attic.

  7. Regularly clean your gutters and inspect your ceiling for leaks. Mold growth is very common on ceilings because rainwater can enter through leaky roofs.

  8. If you see any mold in your home, call a professional service to remove it immediately. This will prevent it from making spores and spreading throughout your home. 

  9. Direct outside water away from your home. If water seeps into your crawl space or foundation, you can bet mold will start to grow.

  10. Clean your air ducts every 3-5 years. Condensation often forms on the inside of these vents, making it a perfect hiding spot for mold to grow.

If you live on Long Island, trust the experts at GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration to keep your home clean and mold-free. We offer professional mold removal, as well as preventative services such as air duct cleaning and crawl space cleaning. Visit our website to learn more about our company or call us for a free quote at 631-940-8100.

Friday, August 14, 2015

4 Surprising Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

We are all familiar with the dangers of breathing in polluted air, but what most people don't know is that the air inside your house is most likely more polluted than the air in even the dirtiest of cities. In fact, unless you are making a conscious effort to purify your homes air, it could be up to 10 times more polluted than the air outside!

Indoor air pollution comes from many sources; some of them, like paint and secondhand smoke, are easy to guess, but some of them are not so obvious. Check out these four surprising sources of indoor air pollution.

Air Fresheners
If your home's air is dirty, the best way to clean it is with an air freshener, right? Wrong. Despite their name, most air fresheners actually fill the air with high levels of toxins and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – even ones marked as “all natural”. If you are looking for a better way to eliminate toilet odors, try lighting a match.

New carpeting can emit harmful gasses and VOCs, and old carpeting can harbor dust mites, pet dander, and mold. This can be made even worse if you wear shoes in your home, which can drag in dirt, fungus, and even pesticides. Keep your carpet clean by regularly vacuuming and cleaning it, and implement a strict no-shoe policy for your guests.

Heating Equipment
From your stove top to your furnace, one of the main byproducts of heating equipment is carbon monoxide. If yours isn't properly vented to the outside, the odorless, colorless, toxic gas may be collecting in your home. At low doses, carbon monoxide can cause fatigue, but at high levels it causes nausea, headaches, loss of consciousness, and possibly death.

Paraffin wax – the main ingredient in most candles – is known to release carcinogens into the air as it burns, such as benzene, styrene, and acetone. To make matters worse, the wicks on many imported candles are made with lead, a well-known toxin.

Want to know another unsuspecting place in your home that is potentially full of bacteria and allergens? Your air ducts. If you haven't had yours cleaned within the past three years, chances are yours are full of dust, pollen, animal dander, and maybe even mold. If you live in Long Island, call GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration for a professional-quality duct cleaning at an affordable price. Contact us now for a free quote at (631) 940-8100.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

3 Reasons to Get Your Air Ducts Cleaned

Are you considering getting your home's air ducts cleaned, but are unsure about the benefits it provides? You are not alone. As the air duct cleaning industry continues to grow, so does the skepticism surrounding it.

Some of the apprehension is warranted, however, as there are a large number of “blow and go” companies who charge hundreds of dollars for a cleaning and do little-to-no real work. But, getting your air ducts cleaned by a professional company actually offers numerous benefits for homeowners.

Here are three reasons you should get your air ducts cleaned by GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration.

Healthier Home
The dangers of indoor air pollution are well-known, but cleaning your air ducts is a good way to fight one of the EPA's Top 5 Risks to Public Health. Contaminants such as dust, pollen, animal dander, and even mold could be hiding in your air ducts right now, circulating through your home. Exposure to these pollutants could cause allergy-like symptoms and even respiratory infections if gone untreated.

Reduced Energy Consumption
Did you know the average American household produces more than 40 pounds of dust per year? Much of this dust gets trapped on the inside of your air ducts, or settles on the coils of your HVAC system. If enough dust accumulates, your energy consumption could increase by as much as 20%.

Improved HVAC System Performance
Clogged vents leads to restricted air flow, which means your HVAC system can't properly heat or cool your house. This also puts additional wear-and-tear on the unit, which can lead to premature breakdowns and even replacement. A duct cleaning can help keep your family comfortable year-round and extend the lifespan of your HVAC system.

GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration uses environmentally-friendly products and procedures to clean your air ducts, dryer vent, attic, and crawl space. We service all of Long Island including Nassau and Suffolk counties, and we offer same day appointments. Call us today for a free quote at (631) 940-8100.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

5 Ways to Improve Your Home's Air Quality

If you haven't heard by now, indoor air pollution is nothing to sneeze at – no pun intended. The air in your home could be up to 10x worse than the air outside, and the EPA reported that 96% of homes they tested had at least one problem with their indoor air quality.

If these facts have scared you into making a change and making a conscious effort to improve the quality your household air, here are 5 ways you can do it:

Use Natural Cleaning Products
It's counterintuitive, but most commercial cleaning products aren't very clean. In fact, they are some of the most toxic products in the home – about 10% of all toxic exposures reported to the U.S. Poison Control Center involved cleaning products. Most surfaces in your home can safely be cleaned using nothing more than baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and salt.

Houseplants Help!
Adding some house plants to your d├ęcor can not only boost the appearance your home's interior, it can actually help purify your air too. In the 1980s, NASA conducted a study which found that certain houseplants – such as bamboo and English ivy – can naturally remove harmful toxins from the air.

No Smoking
The dangers of smoking are no secret. Not only are cigarettes harmful to the smoker, they can effect those exposed through secondhand smoke as well. There is also the lesser-known phenomenon of thirdhand smoke; this occurs when cigarettes are smoked inside and the toxic particles settle onto surfaces in your home, where they will remain long after the smoking has stopped.

Minimize Moisture
Mold can grow virtually anywhere is moisture present – indoors or outside. To prevent the health effects associated with mold exposure, it is important to minimize the moisture levels in your home. Use dehumidifiers in damp areas such as the basement, and run your exhaust fan for 15 minutes after every shower to remove excess moisture from your bathroom walls.

Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned
You would never know it, but the ductwork in your house is a common hiding spot for all kinds of allergens such as dust, pollen, animal dander, and mold. If your air ducts aren't professionally cleaned every few years, these pollutants can be circulated throughout your entire house and inhaled by your family, causing allergy-like symptoms and even respiratory infections.

If you are looking for a professional duct cleaning company on Long Island, look no further than GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration. Rest assured – we only use environmentally-preferred supplies and bio-friendly cleaning methods. We serve all of Nassau and Suffolk County, call us today for a free quote at 631-940-8100.