FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Asbestos Testing and Removal
What is asbestos?
Asbestos (Greek for a-"not"; sbestos,"extinguishable"), is a strong and incombustible fiber widely used in the past for fireproofing and insulation. The small, buoyant fibers are easily inhaled or swallowed, causing a number of serious diseases including: asbestosis, a chronic disease of the lungs that makes breathing more and more difficult; cancer; and mesothelioma, a cancer (specific to asbestos exposure) of the membranes that line the chest and abdomen.
Over the last century, it is estimated that over 30 million tons of asbestos have been used over the last century in the United States alone. Approximately 3,000 products having been produced which have used asbestos in some aspect. In addition to industrial, maritime, construction, and automotive products, asbestos has been utilized in items such as household appliances and handheld hair dryers, ironing boards, and textiles.
Why is asbestos used?
Asbestos is nonflammable and a poor heat conductor which makes it a valuable material in the construction of flame retardant materials used in industrial plants and safety clothing for fire fighters. It is also used in many other building products because of its fibrous properties and its longevity as a building material.
What products may contain asbestos?
Floor tile & associated mastic, Linoleum (sheet vinyl), Sprayed on acoustical material,
Pipe lagging & insulation material, Duct seam tape, Drywall / texture / joint compound
Window & door caulking, Pool plaster, Roofing material & associated mastic, Fireproofing.
How does Bincor handle the removal of these materials?
Bincor Environmental personnel are experts in proper removal, packaging, and disposal of asbestos containing materials. Critical aspects involved in the assessment and removal of Asbestos Containing Materials are:
Bincor Environmental has the experience, personnel, and equipment to safely perform any size asbestos abatement project from a single glove-bag to an entire high-rise abatement project.
- Proper preparation of the work area, i.e. critical barriers
- Pre-cleaning and erection of "containment" areas
- Establishing "negative pressure"
- Adequate "wetting" of the material
- Proper removal of the material
- Approved packaging in "leak-tight" containers
- DOT prescribed transportation
- EPA approved disposal
Bincor Environmental takes pride in our quality assurance program, extensively trained employees and state-of-the-art equipment for safe, cost-effective abatement services. Our high quality of personalized service enables us to build an exceptional track record.
Once the asbestos-containing materials have been identified by Bincor's environmental consultant on a specific project, Bincor Environmental can make a cost effective "Project Offer" on the project along with any cost saving recommendations that we can offer.
What is Mold?
Mold (fungi) is a fuzzy, cobweb-like growth that is produced on organic matter by fungi. The terms “mold” and “mildew” are used interchangeably. Molds are simple, microscopic organisms that grow virtually everywhere - from the surface of foods to household plants and materials like plywood, drywall, or fabric. Their purpose in the ecosystem is to break down dead materials.
Microbial contamination (mold) is the result of persistent dampness caused by water damage. Microbial Contamination can take place over a long period of time - or in just a matter of days, depending on atmospheric conditions.
Is mold dangerous to my family's health?
While some molds are useful, such as those used to make antibiotics and cheese, others can be highly toxic when ingested. Toxic mold is any mold that becomes potentially hazardous to your health. The two most common toxic molds are Aspergillis and Stachybotrys C.
When allowed to flourish in the structure of your home or building, these molds can cause chronic health problems that present hay fever-like symptoms, including chest infections, throat irritations, runny nose, itchy eyes and skin rashes. Other symptoms associated with mold exposure include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints, and in extreme cases, it can even lead to death. Mold can cause bleeding lungs in infants.
People with allergies, existing respiratory conditions or suppressed immune systems are especially susceptible to health problems from mold exposure. Infants and children, pregnant women and the elderly are also susceptible to becoming ill from mold exposure.
What causes mold?
Mold develops from very tiny particles which float in the air around you. These particles are called spores. Spores float in air currents until they find a suitable place to grow. As soon as they find an area with the right conditions for growth, they establish colonies. These colonies then produce more spores, and the next thing you know, you have a major health and structural problem in your home or business.
Mold needs three things to thrive - moisture, food, and a surface on which to grow. The key to mold growth is water. Without it, molds can't get started, much less spread. When water is left to sit for as little as 24 hours, common molds can take hold. If water continues to sit and areas become completely saturated, Stachybotrys, a more lethal mold, can move in.
Indoor spaces that are wet, and have organic materials that mold can use as a food source, supports mold growth. Mold germinates and grows when the relative humidity reaches or exceeds 70-75% and remains at this level for several days. High temperatures, poor air circulation, dim light, and accumulated grime assist and accelerate the growth of mold once it has germinated.
Where can mold be found?
Sources of indoor contamination includes carpeting, wicker baskets, walls and ceilings. The bathroom, living room, and bedroom are all breeding grounds for airborne spores. Mold thrives in places that hidden from view:
I don't see any mold in my home. Do I still have to worry?
- above ceilings and behind walls (due to roof leaks)
- in bathrooms (showers, sinks, toilets)
- in kitchens (sinks, dishwashers, garbage disposal)
- in laundry rooms
- around window and door frames.
- inside ventilation systems
- in carpeting
- on wicker baskets and furniture
Large accumulations of hidden or concealed mold may be growing in an area that you cannot see, like air ducts, remote attic or basement spaces, or wall cavities. In this case, the only way to know if you have mold spores is to test the suspected areas.
Bincor Environmental Services can conduct air sampling to detect the presence of these spores in your home.
Can mold cause structural damage?
Yes! If mold becomes well-established in wood, dry rot can form if the mold dries. Dry rot causes wood to shrink and break up. It siphons moisture, which rots more wood.
When mold dries up and "dies", mold spores remain and will blossom when they become wet. The spores will also move to other areas through air currents or other disturbances.
This process repeats itself and eventually causes structural damage to your home or business.
How do I get rid of mold?
Identifying and removing the source of moisture through repairs or dehumidification is critical to preventing mold growth. Bincor Environmental Services offers trained and qualified professionals who will stop the mold growth, clean the collection, and render the affected area safe for use again.
How does Bincor Environmental handle the removal of mold?
When dealing with an environmental issue such as mold, don't rely on a roofer or other contractor to handle your mold issues. call Bincor Environmental Services.
Bincor Environmental Services has removed microbial contaminated materials from residential properties, commercial buildings, facilities such as hospitals and multi tenant high rises. Bincor follows all recommendations made by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Health & Safety Administration. Bincor strives to exceed all industry standards with regards to the training of our employees as it relates to the remediation of microbial contaminated materials.
How much does cleaning cost?
How can anyone place a value on the health of their loved ones? But beyond the peace of mind and the satisfaction of knowing that your family's exposure at home has been eliminated, there is a realistic economic consideration. A home with mold has a diminished resale value! Astute and knowledgeable homebuyers are already demanding that the mold be removed before closing on their homes. Today, more and more, home inspectors are "red-flagging" homes with mold problems. In most cases, the cost of removal is probably considerably less than you imagined.
In addition, homeowners can incur large bills for structural damage caused by water or water vapor trapped behind the walls. This is a prime location for mold to grow. That's why it's important to identify potential areas or situations where mold can grow.
Since mold is increasingly recognized as being such a widespread problem, more and more insurance companies are providing coverage for mold removal. If you do seek reimbursement from your carrier, remember to thoroughly document everything.
How should I treat mold?
First the original cause of the problem must be fixed prior to any mold "remediation". Once the problem has been fixed then the mold can be removed and the area properly cleaned. It is recommended that a professional service provider perform the remediation. This will ensure that the mold remains contained and that the affected areas will be properly remediated, the area(s) cleaned with the appropriate biocide and appropriate testing performed by a third party Consultant before the area is released back to the owner.
Is it safe to clean the mold myself?
Although bleach is sometimes recommended, it often does a superficial job cleaning only the mold that is easily visible. Bleach is a quick fix, and can actually spread the spores when sprayed. If you notice a very large segment of mold, call a professional. Mold can make you very sick, and it needs to be handled correctly. The most effective way to treat mold is to correct underlying water damage and clean or remove the affected materials.
How do I know if my home or business has been properly cleaned?
If the mold returns, it may indicate yet another underlying problem. To successfully eliminate the recurrence of mold, the underlying water problem must be fixed. If mold contamination is extensive, a professional abatement company, such as Bincor Environmental Services, should be consulted.
LEAD TESTING AND REMOVAL
Did You Know that...
Lead-Based Paint Is Hazardous To Your Health.
Too much lead in the human body can cause serious damage to the brain, kidneys, nervous system, and red blood cells. Lead-based paint is a major source of lead poisoning for children and can also affect adults.
- Historically, lead was used as a pigment and drying agent in "alkyd" oil based paint?
- About two-thirds of the homes built before 1940 and one-half of the homes built from 1940 to 1960 contain heavily-leaded paint?
- Some homes built after 1960 also contain heavily-leaded paint?
- Lead can be found on any interior or exterior surface, particularly on walls, woodwork, doors, and windows.
- In 1978, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission lowered the legal maximum lead content in most kinds of paint to 0.06% (a trace amount).
- Protect the health and welfare of your loved ones or employees and have the paint in buildings constructed before the 1980s tested for lead before renovating.
The symptoms of chronic lead poisoning include neurological problems, such as reduced cognitive abilities, or nausea, abdominal pain, irritability, insomnia, metal taste in the mouth, excessive lethargy or hyperactivity, chest pain, headache and, in extreme cases, seizure and coma. Gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, poor appetite, and weight loss, are common symptoms of acute poisoning. Other effects include anemia, kidney problems, and reproductive problems.
Lead is removed from the body extremely slowly, mostly through urination. This slow departure causes accumulation in the tissues and 95% of the ingested or inhaled lead is deposited as a lead phosphate complex in the skeletal bones.
Lead poisoning in children can cause irreversible brain damage and can impair mental functioning. It can retard mental and physical development and reduce attention spans. It can also retard fetal development even at extremely low levels. A dose of lead that would have little effect on an adult can have a big effect on a small or elderly body.
A direct link between early lead exposure and extreme learning disabilities has been confirmed by multiple researchers and child advocacy groups.
Lead exposure in adults can cause irritability, poor muscle coordination and nerve damage to the organs and nerves controlling the body. Lead poisoning may also cause problems with reproduction, such as a decreased sperm count and can increase blood pressure.
Fetuses, infants, young children, the elderly and adults with high blood pressure are the most vulnerable to the effects of lead.
How Can I Be Exposed to Lead from Paint?
Eating paint chips is one way young children are exposed to lead, but, surprisingly, it is not the most common way that people, are exposed.
Lead exposure occurs when lead dust from lead-based paint chalks, chips, or peels from deteriorated surfaces and is ingested and inhaled by your loved ones or employees. You can generate lead dust by walking on small paint chips found on the floor, opening and closing a painted frame window, sanding, scraping or heating lead-based paint. Lead dust can settle on floors, walls, and furniture and children can and do ingest lead dust from hand-to-mouth contact when playing with toys or eating food.
Settled lead dust can re-enter the air through cleaning, such as sweeping or vacuuming, or by movement of people throughout the house. Many newly-made imported plates and cups are still found to have high levels of lead. Other sources of lead include deposits that may be present in homes after years of leaded gasoline use and from nearby industrial sources, such as industrial facilities.
How Do I Get Rid of Lead Based Paint?
Lead paint should only be removed by someone who knows how to protect you from lead paint dust. However, by washing floors, window sills, carpets, upholstery and any objects children put in their mouths, you can minimize their exposure to lead.
You can temporarily reduce lead hazards by taking actions such as repairing damaged painted surfaces and planting grass to cover soil with high lead levels. Each of the common paint-removal methods (sandpaper, scrapers, chemicals, sandblasters, and torches or heat guns) can produce lead fumes or dust. Fumes or dust can become airborne and be inhaled or ingested.
Removing moldings, trim, window sills, and other painted surfaces for professional paint stripping outside the home may also create dust.
Painting over lead-based paint with non-lead paint is not a long-term solution. Even though the lead-based paint may be covered by non-lead paint, the lead-based paint may continue to loosen from the surface below and create lead dust. The new paint may also partially mix with the lead-based paint, and lead dust will be released when the new paint begins to deteriorate.
These actions, called "interim controls", are not permanent solutions and will require ongoing attention. In short, they do not make the problem go away.
To permanently remove lead hazards, you must hire a certified lead "abatement" contractor. Abatement, or permanent hazard elimination methods, includes removing, sealing, or enclosing lead-based paint with special materials.
Bincor Environmental Services employs qualified workers who follow strict safety rules set by the State of Michigan and the federal governments. We know how to do this work safely and have the proper equipment to remove the lead thoroughly. If you have lead-based paint, you should take steps, not just to reduce, but to eliminate your exposure to lead.