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Hoboken Takes On New Ordinance Regulating Mold!

Hoboken is the FIRST in New Jersey

Being the first municipality in the state to ‘regulate’ mold, Mayor Bhalla and his administration have taken many complaints from their City’s tenants very seriously. In an effort to protect Hoboken residents from this major public health concern, Mayor Bhalla asked the City’s Department of Health and Human Services to create such legislation. The City Council passed this ordinance unanimously. This provides its residents with a pathway to have their concerns address.

“We want to make sure every resident is safe in their own home, especially children, and the new regulation will give the City the ability to regulate the unhealthy growth of mold,” said Mayor Bhalla. “This will allow any concerned resident to contact our Health Office, which can now help ensure tenants have mold-free living conditions.”

Mold is HARMFUL

Although some people may view mold as a harmless concern, this environmental hazard should never be ignored. Mold strives in damp, humid, and warm places, primarily in places like bathrooms, basements, and especially attics with poor ventilation. Fungi (mold) can be caused by many things, some more common examples are from plumbing leaks, foundation cracks, water pooling near the foundation, and roof leaks. Mold can grow ANYWHERE and is able to affect ANYONE!

Take Action!

Taking precautionary measures prior to renting or buying a home is always a smart approach. It’s difficult for any tenant/homeowner to know if mold is present unless you can physically see it, or smell it, which is why opting for a Mold Inspection is another optimal choice. Hiring professionals who have the proper tools and equipment to find hidden mold could save you from living in an unsafe home.

Hoboken residents who need to report a substantial mold issue that is not remediated by a landlord or property owner can request an inspection by calling 1800-908-6679. For more information about our business please visit us at www.irislaboratories.com and for Franchise Opportunities CLICK HERE!

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Real Estate Transaction Fail

Real Estate Agents – Are You Prepared?!

Real estate agents know better than anyone that if a bump along the way can happen, it probably will. However, there are some things real estate agents can do to better prepare themselves and their clients for curveballs like asbestos, mold, and lead, which could turn into expensive and time-consuming headaches if you’re not careful.

If you’re looking for ways to make your real estate transactions smooth and seamless, one of the best places to start is knowing how to handle issues with environmental hazards as quickly and effectively as possible.

Why Asbestos, Mold, and Lead Can Be Major Setbacks

Today, evaluating a home for environmental hazards like asbestos, mold, and lead is often a standard practice before a sale or purchase can go through. Sellers will need to disclose this information to all potential buyers in their seller disclosure statement. However, if asbestos, mold, or lead is found in the home, it may be necessary to remediate the situation prior to closing.

If you’ve ever run into this situation as a real estate agent, you know how time-consuming this process can be if left until the last minute. Not only can these environmental health hazards scare off potential buyers, but it could also cause a sale to fall through if they’re not taken care of properly and in a timely fashion.

How to Give Your Clients Peace of Mind

While there’s no way to completely predict or prevent problems with asbestos, mold, and lead, you can help to give your clients peace of mind by being well-educated about what these substances are, where they’re most commonly found, and how to have a home inspected, tested, and remediated if need be. The more information about asbestos and mold testing that you can provide your sellers upfront, the less of a hassle you both will have to deal with if these problems are left to surface right before closing.

At IRIS Environmental Laboratories, we provide presentations at your real estate office at no cost to help inform realtors of the possible headaches and setbacks that can crop up during a sale when asbestos, mold, and lead show up.

What to Do When Tight Deadlines Matter

Obviously, the ideal situation is to not have to deal with environmental hazards at all. But the fact of the matter is that many homes, especially those built before 1980, still contain materials like asbestos and lead, and mold could be lurking behind walls, under flooring, or within ceiling tiles.

Whether you’re planning ahead of time or are zeroing in on your closing date, arranging for professional asbestos or mold testing as quickly as possible is crucial for a smooth, seamless real estate transaction. Even if you’re getting down to the wire on your closing date, IRIS Environmental Laboratories can help. With one of the quickest turnaround times for test samples available, IRIS can get you your final report in lightening speed.

Get in Touch with IRIS Environmental Laboratories

Don’t let asbestos, mold, or lead get in the way of your real estate transaction. Give IRIS Environmental Laboratories a call today at 1(800) 908-6679 or email support@irislaboratories.com to get the environmental hazard testing process started so you can have happy (and healthy!) sellers and buyers.

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Understanding the Health Effects of Lead Paint

Understanding the Health Effects of Lead Paint

Lead is a naturally-occurring heavy metal that can be found in soil, water, and even air. However, the most common cause of lead poisoning is still exposure to lead-based paints and other building materials that pre-date regulations that disallow lead to be used in these types of products. Unfortunately, lead poisoning is still a very real health threat, especially to young children.

Take a look at some of the health effects of lead paint and what you can do to make sure you and your family are not unknowingly exposed to this harmful substance when buying or selling a home.

Dangers in Lead-Based Paint

Prior to 1978, lead paint was frequently used in homes, schools, furniture, and even children’s toys. Even though there is now a ban in place that prohibits the use of lead-based paint for these purposes, if you are buying or selling an older home, lead paint exposure could be a serious problem that you’ll have to deal with before you can move forward with the buying or selling process.

Exposure to lead paint has been shown to cause the following symptoms and even death if not caught and treated early enough:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Stomach pain, cramping, and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Miscarriage or premature birth

The biggest risks for lead exposure are during demolition and remodeling projects, as any lead dust or particles that are released into the air can be dangerous to your health. For this reason, home inspectors will look for signs of lead-based paint and other materials within a home before a sale can go through. If he or she suspects that lead may be present, the homeowner may need to have the space tested for lead by a third-party.

Your  Lead Testing Questions Answered

If your home needs to be inspected for lead before selling or buying, don’t get discouraged. Although this can temporarily pause the process, professional lead testing doesn’t have to be a hassle. First, make sure you’re working with an accredited environmental Inspector that will send certified experts to evaluate the space and collect samples. Next, those samples will be sent off to the lab for lead testing. An air quality test can also be performed to determine if any lead particles are already present in the air in the home.

If lead is detected, homeowners can choose to hire a team of professionals to remove lead-based paint from the walls. Otherwise, they will need to take special precautions if electing to do the work themselves in order to minimize the risk of lead exposure and the health effects that can come along with it. Keep in mind that children and pregnant women should never be involved in lead removal. If you do have kids, the safest choice may be to have a professional come in and remove the paint for you.

If you still have questions about how to get your home tested for lead or how the process works, please contact us online or give us a call at (908) 206-0073. We would be happy to help!

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How Does Mold Affect Allergies

How Does Mold Affect Allergies

How Does Mold Affect AllergiesAllergies are a very common problem amongst many families all over. Most often seasonal changes can bring on symptoms of coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes etc. Environmental surroundings can also play a part, but did you know that mold can also affect allergies. Household issues like mold can contribute to a person’s symptoms and they might not even know it. Read this article to learn more about how mold affects allergies.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a term used to refer to fungi that grow in the form of multicellular thread-like structures called hyphae. There are different kinds of mold and it can grow in many different areas, but one thing that’s the same is that mold requires moisture to grow.

The sources of moisture could be washing, cooking, air humidifiers, condensation or leaks from plumbing or from the outside. Poor ventilation contributes to higher humidity levels and leads to condensation, which also allows mold growth.

A person might buy an older home, doing renovations, skimping on the home inspection, and then start having symptoms of a cold or allergies. They might not realize that they have mold in their home and it’s causing them health problems.

Mold Allergy Symptoms

Mold allergy symptoms can be similar to those of other respiratory allergies:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Irritated eyes
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy throat

Because mold allergies have similar symptoms as common cold or seasonal allergies it can  sometimes go unnoticed. It’s important not to ignore these signs especially if you suspect your home might have mold. If you have infants, children, and elderly living with you they  can develop symptoms sooner and be more at risk.  Some indoor mold can  produce toxins that are absorbed through your body and have serious side effects causing harm to your health.

Controlling Mold In Your Home

If you think you might have mold in your home, it’s a good idea to contact an expert. Have them assess the area and let you know if there is in fact mold. If you feel like you’re having health related symptoms to mold be sure to contact your physician and speak to them about your situation.

Controlling the mold is very important. Depending on the kind of mold you have in your home, you might need professional care to remove it. However, there are a few things you can do to help prevent it in the future.

  • Use dehumidifiers or exhaust fans — or crack open a window — to help reduce moisture and humidity in bathrooms or other rooms in your home.
  • Regularly clean garbage cans and refrigerator drip pans.
  • Regularly clear your gutters, and ensure that drainage flows away from your home’s foundation.

Be sure to contact a professional to learn more about what steps need to be followed for mold removal.

Have More Questions About Mold?

Check out our FAQ page or feel free contact us directly to learn more about how we might be able to help with your mold problem.

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Asbestos Testing Prior to Commercial Demolition

Asbestos Testing Prior to Commercial Demolition

Asbestos Testing Prior to Commercial DemolitionWhether you are a commercial building owner or a contractor who will be demolishing a building or performing an internal demo, you’ll need to first safely remove any asbestos containing materials (ACMs) prior to beginning the project.

This can be a frustrating process, however, as there are a number of state and federal regulations that need to be adhered to when removing ACMs and testing for clean air to ensure the safety of you and your workers before any demolition can start. Here are some of the considerations to keep in mind before taking on a demolition project, as well as some tips for working with an asbestos testing lab.

EPA Regulations

Under the Clean Air Act, all commercial demolition and renovation projects need to follow a specific set of asbestos safety guidelines. First, the owner of the building will need to notify their state agency prior to starting any demolition or renovation so that a thorough third-party inspection can take place. The inspector will then check for any asbestos containing materials that may be present in the building, which will require professional asbestos removal before the demo project can move forward.

It’s important to note that there are also a set of regulations for removing ACMs from a commercial building, so building owners will need to bring in an asbestos removal company in order to comply with these regulations. Additionally, because asbestos particles are too small to be seen with the naked eye, working with a professional asbestos testing company is the only way to know for sure if all ACMs have been properly removed.

Keeping Your Workers Safe

All asbestos removal contractors and their employees demoing or renovating schools or public and commercial buildings need to be accredited and trained in proper asbestos handling and removal under programs that follow the standards set by the EPA’s Model Accreditation Plan (MAP). On top of this requirement, there may be additional state or local regulations that you’ll need to make sure you meet before, during and after asbestos abatement.

In addition to following local, state and federal asbestos removal regulations, there are steps you can take to make sure your workers are safe while handing ACMs. One of the most important aspects of asbestos abatement worker safety is to provide the right protective clothing and equipment and ensure that all workers know and understand how to properly utilize them. These items may include:

  • Approved safety gear, such as coveralls, gloves, masks and respirators
  • HEPA certified vacuums and other asbestos removal equipment
  • Posters or signs notifying workers of asbestos containing materials
  • Proper OSHA training

Working with an Asbestos Testing Lab

Once asbestos removal companies have taken the necessary precautions and properly removed all known ACMs from the site, the next step is to work with an asbestos testing lab to perform post-remediation testing. This final test will determine whether or not all traces of asbestos fibers have been removed so that demolition or renovations can safely begin. In the event that asbestos is still detected in the air based on the lab sample results, your asbestos testing company can work with you until lab samples show that all asbestos fibers are gone.

What Else Do You Need To Know About Asbestos Testing?

If you still have questions about how asbestos testing works and what the process entails, take a look at our FAQ page for more information. If you still can’t find the answers you’re looking for, feel free to contact us online or give us a call at (908) 206-0073 and one of our friendly team members would be happy to help you.

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