Friday, October 30, 2015

Health Effects of Mold

Mold is more than just a gross fungus that grows on your old food. In fact, it can grow virtually anywhere that moisture is present – indoors or out. Mold can pose a threat to the structural integrity of your home, as well as to your family's health.

No one knows just how many types of mold exist, but estimates range from about five thousand to over three hundred thousand. One thing is for sure; mold grows by reproducing microscopic spores, which spread throughout the air. These spores can survive dry, harsh conditions, but won't develop into a fungus unless there is moisture present.

Common places you may find mold growing in your home include the bathroom, basement, and washing machine seals – all places with excess moisture. The key to preventing mold is by limiting moisture in your home through the use exhaust fans, dehumidifiers, ventilation systems, etc.

You should make a conscious to prevent mold from growing in your home, and seek professional help immediately if you do notice it. Besides the structural damage it can cause to your support beams, exposure mold can also cause a wide array of side effects, including:
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Irritated skin, eyes, throat
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Respiratory infections

If you spot mold growing in your Long Island home, call the mold removal experts at GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration. We will make your home safe again using our effective and environmentally-friendly removal process. Visit our website for more information or call us at (631) 940-8100.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fall HVAC Maintenance Tips

Autumn is in the air. The leaves are falling, the temperature is dropping, and pumpkin-flavored food and beverages are everywhere. When the weather gets cold, there is almost nothing more important than your home's furnace. Use these tips to protect your heating system from breakdowns and keep it running efficiently for years to come.

Change your air filter.

When was the last time (if ever) that you changed the air filter on your furnace? Most models require their filter to be replaced or cleaned every couple of months, but few people are aware of this. A clean filter helps reduce energy costs and improve your air quality, refer to your owner's manual for instructions.

Get a professional tune up.

Now is a good time of the year to call in a professional HVAC service for a heating system tune up. The technician should clean, lubricate, and test the various components of your furnace. This will not only help to heat your home more efficiently, it can prevent future breakdowns and extend your unit's lifespan.

Invest in a humidifier.

Humidity has a bad reputation, but it is actually very important during this time of the year. When the temperature drops, humidity levels fall until the air becomes uncomfortably dry, and our heating systems only make things worse. A humidifier can help make your home feel warmer, and prevent your nose, throat, and eyes from drying out.

Have your air ducts cleaned.

The average three-bedroom home generates more than 40 pounds of dust in a year, much of which collects in your air ducts. This can not only affect those with allergies, it hurts the efficiency of your HVAC system. Having your air ducts professionally cleaned offers many benefits, learn about them here.

Looking for a duct cleaning company on Long Island? Unlike other “blow and go” companies who offer unreasonably low rates and do little-to-no real work, GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration delivers results you can see! We serve all of Nassau County and Suffolk County, call us today for a free quote at (631) 940-8100.

Monday, October 26, 2015

5 Signs That Your Dryer Vent Needs To Be Cleaned

You know that lint screen that you are supposed to clear before you dry your clothes? Have you ever gone a few loads without cleaning it? Have you seen how quickly it can fill up with loose lint?

Well, this pales in comparison to what lurks inside of your exhaust vent. The winding, aluminum tube that connects to the back of your dryer is responsible for releasing excess heat to the outside, but some of this lint can make its way into this tube and begin to accumulate.

When your exhaust vent becomes clogged with lint, your dryer cannot properly vent its heat. Not only does this spike your energy consumption, it presents a fire hazard. In fact, clothes dryers start more house fires each year than chimneys, and this flammable lint is the leading cause.

Here are five signs that your dryer vent needs to be cleaned:
  • Your clothes are taking longer to dry. If your clothes suddenly take two, or even three loads to dry, a clogged exhaust vent could be to blame.
  • The outside of the dryer feels hot to the touch. It is normal for your dryer to be a little warm while running, but if it is uncomfortably hot, something is wrong.
  • Your laundry room gets warm while the dryer is on. Is your laundry room starting to feel like a sauna? This extra heat should be vented to the outside, not into your house.
  • You notice lint around the dryer vent. Look behind your dryer; do you notice a collection of lint surrounding the vent attachment? If so, the inside is probably way worse.
  • It's been more than a year since you've last cleaned it. To maximize energy efficiency and minimize your risk of fire, experts recommend having your dryer vent professionally cleaned once every year.

Cleaning your dryer vent isn't as easy as you may think, and requires special tools and equipment. If you live on Long Island, GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration would be more than happy to come to your home and do it for you. We serve all of Nassau and Suffolk counties, give us a call for a free quote at (631) 940-8100.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

4 Common Problems to Find in Your Attic

For most homeowners, the attic is just a dark, creepy place to keep the stuff that you will probably never use again. It is nothing more than an afterthought... until there is a problem that is. For something that receives so little attention, attics have the potential to open the door to a lot of issues in the home.

Here are four of the most common problems you might run into in your attic:

1. Mold Growth

If you think back to your middle school science class, you will remember that warm air rises. You will also recall that warm air holds more moisture than cold air does. The warm, moist air in your home generated from cooking, showering, and even breathing rises to your attic, where it invites mold to grow. Mold can cause structural damage to your home and even affect the health of your family.

2. Animal Infestation

The question often isn't “are there pests in my attic?”, it's “what kind of pests are in my attic?”. It is not uncommon for a variety of critters to infest your living space and make it their own. Some animals commonly found in residential attics include squirrels, raccoons, mice, rats, bats, birds, and bugs.

3. Poor Insulation

The attic is one of the primary sources of heat loss during the winter months. Warm air rises to the top of your home, and if it isn't properly insulated, all that money you spend on heating is going right out the window – err, roof.

4. Insufficient Ventilation

If you don't have a source of ventilation in your attic, you are doing a disservice to your home and family. A well-ventilated attic can eliminate excess moisture to prevent mold, keep your cooling costs down during the summer by removing hot air, and improve your indoor air quality.

Are you experiencing any of these problems in your Long Island home? Call the attic cleaning experts at GreenPro Cleaning &Restoration! Whether you have mold, pests, extra junk, or anything else you need to get rid of, we can do it in a quick, safe, environmentally-friendly manner. We serve all of Nassau County and Suffolk County, give us a call today at (631) 940-8100.

How to Maintain Your Air Ducts in Between Cleanings

Did you know that your air ducts (or rather, what is hiding in them) could be polluting the air in your home? Properly cleaning these ducts requires industrial-sized equipment, which is why experts recommend having them professionally cleaned every 3-5 years.

A duct cleaning from a legitimate company will probably set you back a couple hundred dollars, so you want to keep them as clean as possible in between visits. Follow the tips below to do just that.

Dust Regularly

The average three-bedroom household produces more than 40 pounds of dust every year. Much of this winds up settling in your HVAC ducts, where it can be recirculated throughout the house. Limit this by dusting your home at least once per week using a microfiber cloth – traditional feather dusters don't actually collect dust, they just spread it in the air.

Replace Your Air Filters

When was the last time you replaced the air filter on your HVAC system? An afterthought for most homeowners, these filters require regular changing; some as often as once per month. A new filter will catch pollutants before they enter your air ducts, leaving them cleaner for longer.

Clean Internal Components

The individual components of your HVAC system need to be cleaned as well; this includes the coils, blower motor, and drip pan. The coils tend to accumulate dust and other debris, which can reduce your efficiency and increase your risk of a breakdown. Leaving the drip pan uncleaned can also invite mold to grow and spread throughout your home.

Has it been more than three years since your last duct cleaning? If you live in Nassau or Suffolk County, Long Island, call the professionals at GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration. We offer high-quality cleanings at an affordable rate, plus we are completely eco-friendly! Visit our website for more information or call us for a free quote at (631) 940-8100.

Monday, October 19, 2015

About Our Visual Water Damage Survey

Water damage can come from a variety of places – inside the home or out. Common causes of water damage include heavy rainstorms, clogged gutters, overflown toilets, burst pipes, and even long-term humidity problems.

If you suspect there is water damage in your home, DON'T touch damaged items with your bare hands and DON'T breathe in the damp air. You may think to yourself, “oh, it's just water,” but the effects it can have on your health are just as disastrous as the effects it can have on your home.

Exposure to water damage can cause illnesses and symptoms such as sneezing, wheezing, headaches, fever, and respiratory infections. If your home has suffered from water damage, contact a licensed professional to fix the problem immediately.

If you live in Nassau County or Suffolk County, Long Island, you can depend on GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration to provide fast and effective water damage remediation services. If you suspect a problem, we will perform a thorough visual survey to inspect for fungi and other potential issues. The survey takes 30-45 minutes and includes the following:

  1. Walking around the suspected problem area(s).  
  2. Walking through and to the areas of concern.
  3. Viewing the area with a flashlight to highlight the suspected water damaged area.
  4. Taking moisture readings of the structure such as walls, floors, and/or ceiling surfaces to detect moisture intrusion.
  5. Taking temperature and relative humidity readings to determine if they fall within ASHRAE recommendations.
  6. Providing an estimate for remediation by industry standards.

The quicker you call, the better – for the sake of your health and your home! So what are you waiting for? If you suspect water damage in your Long Island house, call the experts at GreenPro Cleaning & Remediation at (631) 940-8100.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

What You Need to Know About Pet Dander

Have your loving pets been making life hard on your allergies lately? While our furry friends bring us infinite happiness, they can also bring us sneezing, coughing, congestion, runny noses, and rashes.

If you are experiencing these side effects when you are cuddling with your companion, it is probably because you are allergic to them, or more specifically, their dander.

What is pet dander?

According to the American Lung Association, pet dander is tiny flakes of skin shed by virtually any pet with fur or feathers – this includes cats, dogs, rodents, and even birds. Although they are unseen by the naked eye, that doesn't stop these microscopic allergens from making their way into our lungs and throat.

Because of their size and unique, jagged shape, pet allergens pose more of a threat than allergens from cockroaches and dust mites. They can remain suspended in the air for a long time, and easily stick to surfaces such as furniture, bedding, and clothing. It is not uncommon for pet dander to be found in homes or buildings without pets.

Who is allergic to pet dander?

It is estimated that as much as 30% of people with allergies are allergic to animals. Cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies. Because it is the dander we are allergic to, it does not matter if it is a short-haired or a long-haired breed, the effect will be the same.

How can I rid my home of pet dander?

The most effective way to get rid of pet dander is by getting rid of your pet – but we understand that isn't always an option. Even once your pet is gone, it may still take several months before your home is dander-free anyways. If you want to keep your pet, but reduce dander levels in your home, here are some things you can do:
  • Remove carpeting from your home. Dander doesn't stick nearly as well to hardwood floors.
  • If you must have carpet, choose a low one and steam-clean it regularly.
  • Routinely vacuum the furniture and bedding in your home.
  • Add an air purifier with a HEPA filter.
  • Get your air ducts cleaned.

Yes, pet dander can even make it's way into your HVAC ducts, where it can be recirculated anywhere throughout the entire house. If you are looking for a professional duct cleaning company on Long Island, look no further than GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration. All of our cleaning methods are completely eco-friendly, and we serve both Nassau and Suffolk counties. Call us today for a free quote at (631) 940-8100.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How to Protect Your Home From Water Damage

You've probably heard the old expression, April showers bring May flowers, but spring is not the only time you will experience heavy rain. In fact, hurricane season runs through November 30th on the East Coast, and it is very possible that Long Island will experience its fair share of thunderstorms before the season ends.

Water damage can come from excess rain, or it could come from leaks and burst pipes within your house. It is not uncommon for water to cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to a household, so as a homeowner it should be something you are making a conscious effort to prevent.

Use these tips to protect your home from water damage this fall and winter:
  • Clean your gutters. With all the leaves falling from the trees, your gutters can easily get clogged if you don't clean them during the autumn months. When they are clogged, rainwater has no place to drain, so it can begin to enter your home through your roof.
  • Inspect your home's pipes. As previously mentioned, not all water damage comes from the outside. Prevent a pipe from bursting in your home by periodically inspecting all pipes including those going to your washing machine and dishwasher. If you notice wear and tear or any cracks, replace the pipe immediately.
  • Leave your thermostat on at least 65° F. Many of us will be going away for long vacations over the winter, and turning our thermostats off to save money. When this happens, the pipes in your home can freeze and burst, so make sure to always leave your thermostat set to at least 65°.
  • Keep valuable items off the basement floor. This won't prevent water damage per se, but it will help minimize it. Since your basement is the lowest area in your home, it is the most prone to flooding. In the event that something does happen, you don't want all of your valuables to be vulnerable.
  • Go gentle on your drains. Treat your sink, shower, and toilet drains with extreme caution. Never pour grease down your drains and in the event of a clog, turn to plungers and plumbing snakes instead of chemical solutions such as Draino.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, accidents do happen. If you experience water damage in your home, don't touch wet items with your hands and don't breathe in the damp air. In these situations, it is best to call in the professionals. GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration serves all of Nassau and Suffolk County and can help repair any water damage in your home. Call us today for a free quote at (631) 940-8100.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Why Does Mold Grow in HVAC Ducts?

Mold is a type of fungus that can grow virtually anywhere – indoors or out. Mold serves a very important purpose in nature, and we can even make medicine from it (ever hear of penicillin?), but it's not something you want to find growing on your walls.

Exposure to mold spores can cause allergic reactions, headaches, nausea, and fever. Long-term exposure can lead to more serious problems such as infections in your lungs. Mold is commonly found growing in areas around the home such as bathrooms, basements, attics, crawl spaces, and even your HVAC ductwork. But why?

Mold needs two things to survive and spread: moisture and a source of food. Let's take your air ducts for example: during the warm summer months, your air ducts get cold because of the cooled air flowing through them. As the warm air in your home comes in contact with these ducts, condensation occurs. If there is a high humidity level, this water will not evaporate, it will just continue to collect.

Now about the nourishment. As previously mentioned, mold also needs a source of food. The average three-bedroom home generates more than 40 pounds of dust each year, much of which accumulates in your air ducts. Add that to the pollen being drawn in from the outside air supply, and you can see that your ductwork is full of organic materials for mold to feed on.

If you suspect there is mold in your HVAC ducts, don't try to handle it yourself. Call the professionals at GreenPro Cleaning &Restoration and we will remove all contaminants from your ducts in a safe, efficient manner. We serve all of Long Island including Nassau County and Suffolk County – call us today for a free quote at (631) 940-8100.