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A PLUS GEMINI DEVELOPMENT

From a Custom Home, to any style or type of addition, simple steel building or small warehouse, or the most sophisticated manufacturing facility. Along the way, the company has aggressively embraced advancements in technology, implementing computer systems, software applications, even the Internet, to enhance their responsiveness, precision and quality of service. Our team is comprised of the industry's top professionals and leaders, carefully selected for their knowledge, experience and customer-focused approach to doing business.

With that blend of skills and technology, the company is able to manage virtually any project. They can deliver from a Custom Home, to any stile of type of addition, simple steel building or small warehouse, or the most sophisticated manufacturing facility with exacting security or clean-room requirements.

Developers who work with A Plus Gemini Development for one project come back again and again; as a result, over half the company's business each year comes from existing clients. When experienced developers need a general contractor they can trust, they return to A Plus Gemini Development because they know the company has delivered quality construction projects on time and in budget for almost 20 years.

We pride ourselves on our professionalism, standard of excellence, and personal service. Starting out building new homes and remodeling properties specializing in mold / water damage we started getting involved with the importance of having a completely dry structure.

We now specialize in all phases of restoration returning your home to the original state after a water, mold or fire loss. From new construction, remodeling, enhanced cleanings or restoration after a loss from a storm, fire or a water leak in your home or office. We strive to provide the highest level of customer service and to have you completely satisfied with our service so that you may feel comfortable in referring your friends and families to us.

Services

CONSTRUCTION SERVICES

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Construction

A Plus Gemini Development, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor, CBC05705, is a competitive, goal-oriented and quality-minded full-service general contracting company, fully insured and bondable, located in Miami Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We have successfully completed projects worth millions of dollars in the residential, commercial and institutional fields, on time and within budget.

A Plus Gemini Development. is a diverse company that specializes in general contracting, comprehensive design-build and construction management contract delivery systems. We also provide owner representation for construction administration and project management, project value engineering, cost estimating and change order and construction claims analysis. We employ a competent staff of trained and licensed construction professionals whose primary focus is to perform work from an owner’s perspective.

A Plus Gemini Development. has a firm commitment to complete projects on time, within budget and, above all, with quality workmanship. Our technology, architects, engineers, masons, carpenters and other craftspeople who are committed to uphold our tradition of excellence. This greatly underscores our ability to self-perform much of a project ourselves, including concrete construction, masonry, steel erection, carpentry and interior finishes.

You’ll find our field supervisors are unrivaled in their expertise. Especially when it comes to ensuring your job goes ahead smoothly. Or that everything is built to your exacting specifications. In fact, a total quality program gets incorporated into all A Plus Gemini Development projects. And our years of experience enable us to bring in the best subcontractors and synchronize their work to build the lasting impression of quality you expect and deserve.

LEED GREEN BUILDING

Green Building strategy

The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) is a third-party organization that provides independent oversight of professional credentialing and project certification programs related to green building. GBCI is committed to ensuring precision in the design, development, and implementation of measurement processes for green building performance (through project certification) and green building practice (through professional credentials and certificates).Established in 2008 to administer certifications and professional designations within the framework of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Green Building Rating Systems™, GBCI continues to develop new programs and offer the marketplace validation that building certifications and professional designations have met specific, rigorous criteria.Professional CredentialingGBCI develops and administers the LEED Professional Credential exams, which include the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP with specialty credentials, as well as the LEED for Homes Green Rater and LEED Project Reviewer professional certificates.GBCI also oversees the Credential Maintenance Program (CMP) for LEED Professionals. This continuing education requirement keeps LEED professionals at the forefront of the rapidly evolving green building industry, driving ongoing excellence in the marketplace and ensuring that LEED professionals are the most qualified in the field.Project CertificationGBCI administers the LEED certification program, performing third-party technical reviews and verification of registered projects to determine if they have met the standards set forth by the LEED rating system. Dedicated technical experts ensure building certification meets the highest levels of quality and integrity. To date, the total footprint of LEED-certified projects surpasses one billion square feet. Another six billion square feet are registered with GBCI for certification

Why Build Green

Green Building strategy


In the United States, buildings account for:
*39 percent of total energy use
*12 percent of the total water consumption
*68 percent of total electricity consumption
*38 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions

The built environment has a vast impact on the natural environment, human health, and the economy. By adopting green building strategies, we can maximize both economic and environmental performance. Green construction methods can be integrated into buildings at any stage, from design and construction, to renovation and deconstruction. However, the most significant benefits can be obtained if the design and construction team takes an integrated approach from the earliest stages of a building project. Potential benefits of green building can include:

Environmental benefits

Economic benefits

Social benefits

DEFINITION OF GREEN BUILDING

Green Building


Definition of Green Building

Green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Green building is also known as a sustainable or high performance building.Impacts of the built environment:

Aspects of Built Environment:Consumption:Environmental Effects:Ultimate Effects :


Loss of Resources

Green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by:

For example, green buildings may incorporate sustainable materials in their construction (e.g., reused, recycled-content, or made from renewable resources); create healthy indoor environments with minimal pollutants (e.g., reduced product emissions); and/or feature landscaping that reduces water usage (e.g., by using native plants that survive without extra watering).Green Building History in the U.S.Some practices, such as using local and renewable materials or passive solar design, date back millennial – the Anasazi in the Southwest built entire villages so that all the homes received solar heat in the winter. The contemporary green building movement arose out of the need and desire for more energy efficient and environmentally friendly building practices. The oil price increases of the 1970s spurred significant research and activity to improve energy efficiency and find renewable energy sources. This, combined with the environmental movement of the 1960s and 1970s, led to the earliest experiments with contemporary green building.

Green Building Research

Green building research is being done by national laboratories, private companies, universities, and industry. According to a USGBC report published in 2006, over 70 percent of the green building research is focused on energy and atmosphere research. The next largest category of research is materials and resources. Indoor environmental quality, including issues pertaining to air, is also being studied. Green Building and EPA Programs EPA has a number of programs that provide resources to help you learn more about the components of green building and how to incorporate these green building concepts into different types of buildings.Green Building Work group EPA's Green Building Work group was formed in July 2003 to bring together the many programs across the Agency that work with the building and development sectors to improve their environmental performance. The Work group seeks to build effective EPA leadership in the green building movement by jointly informing, coordinating, and guiding the development of Agency policies, programs, partnerships, communications, and operations that influence building and development.Greening EPA Buildings To ensure that EPA's buildings and practices reflect the mission of protecting human health and the environment, EPA continuously works to reduce the environmental impact of its facilities and operations, from building new, environmentally sustainable structures to improving the energy efficiency of older buildings.

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Additions

Stress-Free Room Additions and House Extensions Adding to your existing home can be exciting and stressful all at the same time. You want to make a smart investment with a home addition that blends in seamlessly and enhances your home, not add an extra structure that screams œaddition

Building a Home Addition: A Seamless Blend of Original and ADDITIONS 4 LESS has mastered the art of blending new construction with your original architecture. We are South Florida leading specialist in historically accurate renovations and additions so you can feel comfortable whether your home is 50 years old or one. In fact, the greatest compliment of our well-executed design and construction is that people wont even notice your new addition unless you tell them!

Developers who work with A Plus Gemini Development for one project come back again and again; as a result, over half the company's business each year comes from existing clients. When experienced developers need a general contractor they can trust, they return to A Plus Gemini Development because they know the company has delivered quality construction projects on time and in budget for almost 20 years.

ADDITIONS 4 LESS is equipped to design and build additions of every size, style and shape to provide you with a quality home renovation.

We specialize in all aspects of remodeling and additions, and offer the following services as a part of this.

Services

Minimal Disruption to Your Life Equally as important is your need to carry on with your life while your home addition is being built. We are professionals in every sense of the word and are accustomed to working on your home while you are there. Our disruption to your family will be as minimal as possible and you'll find our work area left clean and tidy every day

One Source Home Renovation Contractors for Planning, Design & Construction If you are still considering whether a home addition is right for you, we can give you some straightforward and useful advice on what to expect and how to proceed. Careful planning is the key to any successful project, especially an addition. Additions 4 Less gives you the advantage of working with one contractor firm by offering you a complete source for full architectural design services as well as construction.

Contact us today! To see just how amazing your new space could look, You might also want to view a showcase of our professional design talent in our Design Build Gallery. Please contact us today! 754-2247945

DESIGN BUILDING HOME ADDITIONS

Complete Solutions for your New Home Addition 4 Less offers a complete design-build solution for your addition or remodeling project. One of the major benefits we provide our clients is a deep knowledge and understanding of the construction process. This allows you to receive detailed and accurate job cost estimates early in the planning stage.

When you want to keep your project practical, yet maximize your investment, we’ll put our years of experience to work for you. With a history of successful additions to homes of all ages and construction types, we have a trained eye for the details that result in a seamless integration of your design for a nearly undetectable addition. Often, we will remove the most troubled areas of a home and build the new addition around them, adding new windows or additional insulation.

Please take a look at our Design Build Gallery to see a sampling of our designs and how we transformed these homes for some very satisfied customers. Contact us today! 754-2247945

LEED GREEN BUILDING

Green Building strategy

The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) is a third-party organization that provides independent oversight of professional credentialing and project certification programs related to green building. GBCI is committed to ensuring precision in the design, development, and implementation of measurement processes for green building performance (through project certification) and green building practice (through professional credentials and certificates).Established in 2008 to administer certifications and professional designations within the framework of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Green Building Rating Systems™, GBCI continues to develop new programs and offer the marketplace validation that building certifications and professional designations have met specific, rigorous criteria.Professional CredentialingGBCI develops and administers the LEED Professional Credential exams, which include the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP with specialty credentials, as well as the LEED for Homes Green Rater and LEED Project Reviewer professional certificates.GBCI also oversees the Credential Maintenance Program (CMP) for LEED Professionals. This continuing education requirement keeps LEED professionals at the forefront of the rapidly evolving green building industry, driving ongoing excellence in the marketplace and ensuring that LEED professionals are the most qualified in the field.Project CertificationGBCI administers the LEED certification program, performing third-party technical reviews and verification of registered projects to determine if they have met the standards set forth by the LEED rating system. Dedicated technical experts ensure building certification meets the highest levels of quality and integrity. To date, the total footprint of LEED-certified projects surpasses one billion square feet. Another six billion square feet are registered with GBCI for certification

Why Build Green

Green Building strategy


In the United States, buildings account for:
*39 percent of total energy use
*12 percent of the total water consumption
*68 percent of total electricity consumption
*38 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions

The built environment has a vast impact on the natural environment, human health, and the economy. By adopting green building strategies, we can maximize both economic and environmental performance. Green construction methods can be integrated into buildings at any stage, from design and construction, to renovation and deconstruction. However, the most significant benefits can be obtained if the design and construction team takes an integrated approach from the earliest stages of a building project. Potential benefits of green building can include:

Environmental benefits

Economic benefits

Social benefits

DEFINITION OF GREEN BUILDING

Green Building


Definition of Green Building

Green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Green building is also known as a sustainable or high performance building.Impacts of the built environment:

Aspects of Built Environment:Consumption:Environmental Effects:Ultimate Effects :


Loss of Resources

Green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by:

For example, green buildings may incorporate sustainable materials in their construction (e.g., reused, recycled-content, or made from renewable resources); create healthy indoor environments with minimal pollutants (e.g., reduced product emissions); and/or feature landscaping that reduces water usage (e.g., by using native plants that survive without extra watering).Green Building History in the U.S.Some practices, such as using local and renewable materials or passive solar design, date back millennial in the Southwest built entire villages so that all the homes received solar heat in the winter. The contemporary green building movement arose out of the need and desire for more energy efficient and environmentally friendly building practices. The oil price increases of the 1970s spurred significant research and activity to improve energy efficiency and find renewable energy sources. This, combined with the environmental movement of the 1960s and 1970s, led to the earliest experiments with contemporary green building.

Green Building Research

Green building research is being done by national laboratories, private companies, universities, and industry. According to a USGBC report published in 2006, over 70 percent of the green building research is focused on energy and atmosphere research. The next largest category of research is materials and resources. Indoor environmental quality, including issues pertaining to air, is also being studied. Green Building and EPA Programs EPA has a number of programs that provide resources to help you learn more about the components of green building and how to incorporate these green building concepts into different types of buildings.Green Building Work group EPA's Green Building Work group was formed in July 2003 to bring together the many programs across the Agency that work with the building and development sectors to improve their environmental performance. The Work group seeks to build effective EPA leadership in the green building movement by jointly informing, coordinating, and guiding the development of Agency policies, programs, partnerships, communications, and operations that influence building and development.Greening EPA Buildings To ensure that EPA's buildings and practices reflect the mission of protecting human health and the environment, EPA continuously works to reduce the environmental impact of its facilities and operations, from building new, environmentally sustainable structures to improving the energy efficiency of older buildings.

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A Plus Gemini Building Restoration

We are a single source building restoration and general construction company. Our team is extensively experienced in project assessment, regulatory & historic review submission, restoration scope prioritization and full trade implementation. We are highly knowledgeable in the full spectrum of restoration repair methods for all building envelope assemblies; foundations, flashings, wall assemblies and roof structures of all material configurations. All of our staff are OSHA certified; safety is of supreme priority on every project. The team is not simply comprised of managers, we also have the full spectrum of restoration trade mechanics as integral members of Restoration crew, ready to skillfully address any aging building's needs.

A Plus Gemini Construction team is capable of delivering any design project on time and on budget with the highest level of design, planning and construction management services. The A Plus Gemini crew specializes in custom fit-out restaurant, residential and commercial fit-out projects. Our carpenters, glaziers, steel fabricators and custom millworkers are supremely suited to fully service your needs.

Services

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Building Restoration

We are a single source building restoration and general construction company. Our team is extensively experienced in project assessment, regulatory & historic review submission, restoration scope prioritization and full trade implementation. We are highly knowledgeable in the full spectrum of restoration repair methods for all building envelope assemblies; foundations, flashings, wall assemblies and roof structures of all material configurations. All of our staff are OSHA certified; safety is of supreme priority on every project. The team is not simply comprised of managers, we also have the full spectrum of restoration trade mechanics as integral members of Restoration crew, ready to skillfully address any aging building's needs.

A Plus Gemini Construction team is capable of delivering any design project on time and on budget with the highest level of design, planning and construction management services. The A Plus Gemini crew specializes in custom fit-out restaurant, residential and commercial fit-out projects. Our carpenters, glaziers, steel fabricators and custom millworkers are supremely suited to fully service your needs.

Services

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FIRE RESTORATION

Fire and smoke damage is a devastating and horrible experience for any individual, family, or business.
Often, people are forced out of their homes for an extended period of time while repairs are underway. There are additional situations where smoke and/or soot has coated an entire living space which makes it impossible to live your life enjoying your daily routine.
The events that follow a fire are critical in limiting loss. It is also the responsibility of the homeowner to act promptly in accordance with their insurance policy guidelines.

The initial step in securing the dwelling may be boarding up windows and doors or tarping the roof. The second step, if necessary, is to drain the water from the home if there is no heat in order to prevent pipe breaks. A Plus Gemini is available to assist in both steps if you require help. After the home has been secured, we work in conjunction with your Insurance Company to address the scope of damages whether they include cleaning, deodorizing, or construction.

A Plus Gemini recognizes the importance of addressing personal property. All property ranging from antiques to everyday items such as upholstery, hard furniture, electronics, and collectibles will be treated with the utmost respect and care. In most cases personal property will be addressed on the premises. If severe damage has occurred furniture and contents will be removed from the home and cleaned in our facility.

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WATER RESTORATION

Unfortunately, water damage can occur in a home or business within mere minutes causing severe damage and long periods of disruption in your everyday routine of life. The length of disruption time has been proven to be a direct result in the time it takes for a customer to react. Your reaction should be to call our offices immediately, do not wait. We are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
This simple call will ensure the drying process is expedited and will prevent further damage from occurring. Secondly, the customer should contact their insurance company, report their claim, and make them fully aware of the situation. Upon Mold Xterminators arrival, we will begin the water removal process and start dehumidification. This process is extremely important, and done for the prevention of secondary damage. Once the water removal process is complete, our state-of-the-art drying equipment will be placed onsite and antimicrobial chemical treatment to prevent the growth of mold. Should any repairs be needed we will be able to address these needs once the drying process is complete.
Thus begins the process of restoring your home into pre-claim condition. It is also our promise that throughout the process we will work closely with your insurance adjuster, and because of this, we guarantee working within your policy coverage, and therefore allows you to settle your claim in a timely manner.

Categories of water damage include:

Both clean and gray water if addressed properly do not pose a health threat. Black water can pose potential health threats due to contamination with pathogenic agents.
All three categories when treated promptly and correctly result in minimal, if any, health threats. Our goal is to eliminate secondary damage, and in addition to mold and mildew growth, high humidity levels in the air can cause warping and delamination to the dwelling and/or personal property.

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Services

From a Custom Home, to any style or type of addition, simple steel building or small warehouse, or the most sophisticated manufacturing facility. Along the way, the company has aggressively embraced advancements in technology, implementing computer systems, software applications, even the Internet, to enhance their responsiveness, precision and quality of service. Our team is comprised of the industry's top professionals and leaders, carefully selected for their knowledge, experience and customer-focused approach to doing business.

With that blend of skills and technology, the company is able to manage virtually any project. They can deliver from a Custom Home, to any stile of type of addition, simple steel building or small warehouse, or the most sophisticated manufacturing facility with exacting security or clean-room requirements.

Developers who work with A Plus Gemini Development for one project come back again and again; as a result, over half the company's business each year comes from existing clients. When experienced developers need a general contractor they can trust, they return to A Plus Gemini Development because they know the company has delivered quality construction projects on time and in budget for almost 20 years.

We pride ourselves on our professionalism, standard of excellence, and personal service. Starting out building new homes and remodeling properties specializing in mold / water damage we started getting involved with the importance of having a completely dry structure.

We now specialize in all phases of restoration returning your home to the original state after a water, mold or fire loss. From new construction, remodeling, enhanced cleanings or restoration after a loss from a storm, fire or a water leak in your home or office. We strive to provide the highest level of customer service and to have you completely satisfied with our service so that you may feel comfortable in referring your friends and families to us.

Services

CONSTRUCTION SERVICES

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Services

From a Custom Home, to any style or type of addition, simple steel building or small warehouse, or the most sophisticated manufacturing facility. Along the way, the company has aggressively embraced advancements in technology, implementing computer systems, software applications, even the Internet, to enhance their responsiveness, precision and quality of service. Our team is comprised of the industry's top professionals and leaders, carefully selected for their knowledge, experience and customer-focused approach to doing business.

With that blend of skills and technology, the company is able to manage virtually any project. They can deliver from a Custom Home, to any stile of type of addition, simple steel building or small warehouse, or the most sophisticated manufacturing facility with exacting security or clean-room requirements.

Developers who work with A Plus Gemini Development for one project come back again and again; as a result, over half the company's business each year comes from existing clients. When experienced developers need a general contractor they can trust, they return to A Plus Gemini Development because they know the company has delivered quality construction projects on time and in budget for almost 20 years.

We pride ourselves on our professionalism, standard of excellence, and personal service. Starting out building new homes and remodeling properties specializing in mold / water damage we started getting involved with the importance of having a completely dry structure.

We now specialize in all phases of restoration returning your home to the original state after a water, mold or fire loss. From new construction, remodeling, enhanced cleanings or restoration after a loss from a storm, fire or a water leak in your home or office. We strive to provide the highest level of customer service and to have you completely satisfied with our service so that you may feel comfortable in referring your friends and families to us.

Services

CONSTRUCTION SERVICES

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Drywall Services

A PLUS GEMINI DEVELOPMENT

A Plus Gemini is a full-service Residential and Commercial Drywall Contractor located in Miami and Fort Lauderdale that offers drywall installation and finishing, texturing, light gauge metal stud framing, and acoustical ceilings. We have been serving South Florida and surrounding areas for 20 years and are licensed and insured Building Contractor

A Plus Gemini Drywall provides services for: Residential Drywall, Commercial Drywall Projects, New Home Construction, Basements, Remodels, New and Existing Home Additions, Custom Drywall Textures, Grid Ceilings, and Metal Stud Framing.

A Plus Gemini Drywall is committed to providing quality workmanship, industry expertise, outstanding customer service, and a finished product that is second-to-none.

Please Contact Us to submit your plans for a free estimate, or if your construction framing is complete we can come out and field measure and provide an exact price.

We provide services for:

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STUCCO

As experts in all stucco applications and services, we have the experience and expertise to get the job done right the first time. Our skilled professionals use only the finest tools and materials to complete your project, whether you require new stucco application, repair or restoration, Stucco Master provides personalized service and competitive rates. Your satisfaction is our priority.

Our company specializes in concrete & stucco repairs.

Water penetration will also deteriorate the plywood substrate causing even more cracking. This damage is very costly to repair since we 1st remove the cracked stucco, remove the wire mesh, remove the plywood substrate and then we have to replace all of it and paint.

EIFS, Synthetic Stucco

EIFS stands for Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems or Outsulation. The product is also called synthetic stucco, and refers to a multi-layered exterior finish that's been used in European stucco construction since shortly after World War II, when contractors found it to be a good repair choice for buildings damaged during the war. The majority of repairs to European buildings were to structures constructed of stone, concrete, brick, or other similar, durable materials.

EIFS can reduce air infiltration by as much as 52% compared to conventional stucco, standard brick or wood construction. EIFS adds to the "R-value" of a building (R-value is the measurement of the resistance to heat flow); the higher the R-value number the better the insulating value. Most EIFS use an installation board with an R-value, R-4.0 + R - 5.9 per inch. When the EIFS insulation board is combined with the standard wall equity insulation, it raises the R-value of the wall insulation from R-11 to R-18 or more.

The elegant look of EIFS resembles traditional stucco, but EIFS are far more versatile then masonry stucco because it comes in a limitless number of colors and a wide variety of design textures. Special accents or trim (keystones, arches, quoins and moldings) are just a few examples of the flexible design capabilities that are usually cost prohibitive using conventional stucco systems.

There are three layers to EIFS

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Chinese Drywall

CHINESE DRYWALL
US. Consumer Product Safety Commission
www.cpsc.gov

U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
www.hud.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2011
Release #11-176CPSC Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908
HUD Media Contact: (202) 708-0685

CPSC and HUD Issue Updated Remediation Protocol for Homes with Problem DrywallWASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are issuing an updated remediation protocol for homes with problem drywall. A study conducted on behalf of CPSC by Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, finds no evidence of a safety hazard to home electrical systems. Sandia simulated long-term exposure of wiring and other electrical components to hydrogen sulfide gas, which is associated with problem drywall.Based on this study, CPSC and HUD staff, representing the Interagency Task Force on Problem Drywall, are no longer recommending the removal of all electrical wiring in homes with problem drywall. This change in the government's protocol may reduce the cost of remediation for many homes.After simulating more than 40 years of corrosive conditions that could exist in problem drywall homes, Sandia staff did not observe any acute or long-term electrical safety events, such as smoking or fire. Corrosion and blackening of the exposed electrical components did occur and was observed to be consistent with the characteristic corrosion reported to CPSC by thousands of consumers. Based on this study, it is the belief of the staffs of CPSC, HUD and Sandia that long-term exposure of wiring and other electrical components to hydrogen sulfide gases does not indicate a safety hazard to a home's electrical systems.With these changes, the remediation guidance for homes with problem drywall calls for the replacement of all:

CPSC and HUD staffs are also issuing an updated identification guidance, which broadens the range of installation years of affected homes to include homes where drywall was installed as late as 2009. Importantly, the drywall installed in 2009 had been previously imported during the years 2006-2007 and does not represent any new importation of problem drywall.The staffs of CPSC and HUD believe that following the updated identification and remediation protocols will enable homeowners to correctly identify homes containing problem drywall and comprehensively remediate those homes to address any potential health and safety issues associated with the problem drywall. CPSC is in the final stages of completing its scientific investigation into problem drywall. For additional findings from the Interagency Drywall Task Force's investigation, visit www.DrywallResponse.gov The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction.
The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054. To join a CPSC e-mail subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain recall and general safety information by logging on to CPSC's Web site at www.cpsc.gov HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov CHINESE DRYWALLCPSC has received about 3,810 reports from residents in 42 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico, who believe their health symptoms or the corrosion of certain metal components in their homes are related to problem drywall. State and local authorities have also received similar reports.electrical fixtures, appliances, plumbing and air conditioner coils. Homeowners report corrosion or blackening of metal in or on Consumers largely report that their homes were built in 2006 to 2007, when an unprecedented increase in new construction occurred in part due to the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005.

Defective Imported Drywall: Dont Get Nailed by Bogus Tests and Treatments

Some U.S. homes built between 2003 and 2008 contain imported drywall, known in the press as Chinese drywall. Some consumers who live in these homes have reported problems, including a strong sulfur smell, like rotten eggs; health issues, like irritated and itchy eyes and skin, difficulty breathing, a persistent cough and headaches; and premature corrosion or deterioration of certain metal components in their homes, like air conditioner coils and wiring behind electrical outlets and inside electrical panel boxes.The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the lead federal agency investigating damage to homes blamed on imported drywall. The effort to identify the causes of the damage also involves the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Other federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nations consumer protection agency, and state law enforcement and health authorities are investigating the issue, as well.The Federal Interagency Task Force has performed significant testing of drywall and homes, and found a strong association between the problem drywall, the hydrogen sulfide levels in homes with that drywall, and corrosion in those homes.The FTC says homeowners should be on the alert for anyone trying to sell test kits, inspections, and quick fixes for tainted drywall. The Federal Interagency Task Force is studying testing and remediation protocols for affected homes, but no federally-approved testing kits or remediation methods currently exist.You can learn more about the federal governments drywall investigation, and sign up for email alerts, at www.drywallresponse.gov. To file a complaint, visit the CPSC at www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/drywall.aspx, call toll-free, 1-800-638-2772 or email, info@cpsc.gov.The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.The InvestigationOur investigation is proceeding simultaneously on three tracks:
1. evaluation of the relationship between the drywall and the reported health symptoms;
2. evaluation of the relationship between the drywall and electrical and fire safety issues in the home; and
3. the tracing of the origin and distribution of the drywall.

This investigation includes field work focusing on a number of issues. The staff is contacting some consumers to discuss their particular drywall issues and exploring their experiences in more detail. Some of these inquiries will be in person and some will be by telephone. We have field investigators permanently stationed in the affected States (with the exception of Wyoming) and we are shifting additional staff to those areas to assist in the investigation. Staff members are collecting samples of various drywall and degraded electrical components, and working to identify the links from foreign manufacturers to the U.S. consumers. One challenge has been figuring out how much problem drywall there is in any house, given that it is already installed, likely painted and may not be clearly marked. The drywall could fill the home or be just a few sheets.

Health Investigation

The most frequently reported symptoms are irritated and itchy eyes and skin, difficulty in breathing, persistent cough, bloody noses, runny noses, recurrent headaches, sinus infection, and asthma attacks. Since many consumers report that their symptoms lessen or go away when they are away from their home, but return upon re-entry, it appears that these symptoms are short-term and related to something within the home. Some of these symptoms are similar to colds, allergies or reactions to other pollutants sometimes found in homes. As such, it is important to carefully determine if the reported symptoms are related to the drywall and not any other environmental factors or pollutants in the home.We are aggressively investigating whether scientific evidence exists linking chemical emissions from the drywall to the reported health complaints. At this time, however, any such relationship or long-term health effects are unknown.We are undertaking a multi-tracked testing approach to assess the impact on human health. The data collected will form the basis for a health risk assessment.

Electrical and Fire Safety Investigation

Consumers have reported blackened and corroded metal in their homes. Particularly, consumers have reported failures of certain components such as: (1) premature failures of central air conditioning evaporator coils located indoors as part of the central air conditioning unit air handler; and (2) intermittent operation or failure of appliances, such as refrigerators and dishwashers, and electronic devices such as televisions and video game systems.To date, CPSC has not received any reports of fire, electric shock or fire pre-cursor incidents (such as discolored, overheated/burned out, or smoking components) related to problem drywall.Visual examination of electrical wiring within affected homes by CPSC staff showed varying levels of corrosion on the exposed portions of copper wires, in particular ground wires, since they are not insulated. The presence and extent of corrosion within a house, or even within a room, however, appeared inconsistent.We are investigating the electrical and fire safety issues in the home, including the corrosion of components such as fuel gas piping and fire safety devices, and any immediate or long-term fire and safety concerns. Particular areas of focus for this investigation include:

  • Electrical components including residential wiring, receptacles, switches, circuit breakers, panel boards, ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs).
  • Possible concerns with electrical components include:

    For smoke alarms, potential concerns include damage to electronic circuitry and degradation of the sensor. Either condition could result in an inoperable smoke alarm. For fire sprinklers that use metallic fusible elements, potential concerns are that corrosion may adversely affect activation temperatures. Failures of these devices can put consumers at risk. The investigation into electrical and fire safety issues is a two-part engineering component test program:
    (1) metallurgical analysis of various components collected from affected residences to characterize the type and extent of any damage; and
    (2) exposure of new components to elevated levels of gases, identified in the drywall chamber studies, as part of an accelerated corrosion test program to determine long-term exposure safety implications.
    A metallurgical analysis of the accelerated corrosion will enable comparison with the actual collected samples from homes.(This document was prepared by CPSC staff, has not been reviewed or approved by, and may not necessarily reflect the views of, the Commission.)Answer: Please see our most recent guidance (pdf) on identification of homes with corrosion from problem drywall. We are currently not aware of any definitive test to determine if a home has problem drywall. Nevertheless, you might consider contacting your homebuilder to ask about the materials used in construction.Consumers raising concerns about drywall have typically identified a "rotten egg" smell within their house, several health symptoms while in the home, and corrosion or blackening of certain metal items. Consumers have also reported frequent failures of copper piping in air conditioning units.The back-side of this drywall (not normally visible to the resident) is labeled as "MADE IN CHINA."

    The smaller sample (slightly gray in color) was taken from drywall which was removed from the home and replaced with new wallboard (white in color).
    The ground wire connected to the green screw is blackened and corroded.
    This wire should be copper-colored.
    Answer: We recommend four steps:
    1. The most important issue is your health and safety. If you are suffering from the health symptoms described as common to the reports of exposure to problem drywall, please consult your physician as soon as possible. If you experience any of the electrical or fire safety concerns described as common to the reports of exposure to problem drywall, please consult your local gas or electric supplier and a licensed electrician or building inspector as soon as possible.
    2. You should contact your State and local authorities to report your concerns and get direction on any help or resources in your area.
    3. You should also report your concerns to us using the form at www.SaferProducts.gov
    4. You should also consider contacting your insurance company and homebuilder to report your concerns.

    To date, the CPSC has received about 3,838 reports from residents in 42 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico who believe their health symptoms or the corrosion of certain metal components in their homes are related to the presence of drywall produced in China. State and local authorities have also received similar reports. We received our first incident report from a consumer on December 22, 2008. The majority of the reports to the CPSC have come from consumers residing in the State of Florida while others have come from consumers in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico.Consumers largely report that their homes were built in 2006 to 2007, when an unprecedented increase in new construction occurred in part due to the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005.Common features of the reports submitted to the CPSC from homes believed to contain problem drywall have been:

    Question: What are the health symptoms and risks?

    Answer: The most frequently reported symptoms are irritated and itchy eyes and skin, difficulty in breathing, persistent cough, bloody noses, runny noses, recurrent headaches, sinus infection, and asthma attacks. Since many consumers report that their symptoms lessen or go away when they are away from their home, but return upon re-entry, it appears that these symptoms are short-term and related to something within the home.The staff of the CPSC and CDC agree that the levels of sulfur gases detected in the affected homes in the fifty-one home study were at concentrations below the known irritant levels in the available scientific literature; however, it is possible that the additive or synergistic effects of these and other compounds in the subject homes could potentially cause irritant effects to consumers.Question: What should I do if I have any of the symptoms described as common to exposure to problem drywall?Answer: Please consult your physician as soon as possible.Question: Should I hire an air quality tester or a firm to remove and replace the drywall?Answer: We cannot advise whether or not to take such steps. We are still investigating the problem.Please be cautious, however, of persons or businesses advertising testing and remediation services - there may be unqualified or dishonest individuals seeking to take advantage of consumers struggling to address this issue. You should consult your State and local authorities if you have any questions or concerns about contractors or testing companies promising solutions to these drywall matters.Question: What are the electrical or fire safety concerns and what I should I watch for in my house?Answer: Consumers have reported blackened and corroded metal in their homes. Particularly, consumers have reported failures of certain components such as: (1) premature failures of central air conditioning evaporator coils located indoors as part of the central air conditioning unit air handler; and (2) intermittent operation or failure of appliances, such as refrigerators and dishwashers, and electronic devices such as televisions and video game systems.Please see the FAQ below if you have questions about gas service.You should generally watch for the following potential electrical hazards in your home:Power outages - a circuit breaker which needs resetting frequently without any apparent cause; especially if a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) or arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) trips frequently. Arc-fault circuit interrupters are a special kind of circuit breaker that is designed to detect arcing conditions in the electrical wiring.Dim/flickering lights - lights dim often without any specific cause, such as the air conditioner or the refrigerator turning on.Arcs/sparks - bright flashes or showers of sparks anywhere in your electrical system.Sizzles/buzzes - unusual sounds from electrical system devices.Overheating - parts of your electrical system, such as switch plates, dimmer switches, receptacle outlet covers, cords and plugs may be warm as a normal consequence of their operation but should not be discolored from heat or painful to touch.Odors - pungent smells such as strong fumes from overheating plastic or electrical insulation materials.Electrical shocks - any shock, even a mild tingle.Multiple symptoms would be a stronger indication of problems.Question: What should I do if I suspect the corrosion has affected my gas service?Answer: If you suspect corrosion has affected your gas service, please consult your gas supplier immediately.However, if you suspect a gas leak in or outside your home:

    Question: What should I do if I experience any of the electrical or fire safety concerns common to exposure to problem drywall?

    Answer: Please consult your local gas or electric supplier and a licensed electrician or building inspector, as soon as possible.Please see the FAQ above if you have questions about gas service.Question: Can you visit my home to test the air and to tell me if I have a problem with my drywall?Answer: During our investigation, a number of homes will be visited to conduct tests and gather samples, but we cannot visit every potential house and conduct a screening.Question: What builders used the drywall in question?Answer: We are still investigating the scope of the drywall problem. We are working to identify the links from foreign manufacturers to the U.S. consumers in consultation with the Chinese government and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.Question: Why doesn't the CPSC just recall the drywall?Answer: CPSC cannot order someone to conduct a recall without a trial. Our case on behalf of consumers will have to be driven by scientific proof linking the drywall and the health problems or the electrical and fire safety issues, which we are aggressively pursuing.Question: Why didn't the CPSC catch this problem drywall before it was installed in homes?Answer: CPSC does not have the legal authority to perform pre-market testing and approval of products. In addition, this is a unique situation given that drywall has not presented problems such as these in the past.Question: What has been the response of the Chinese government?Answer: CPSC is in contact with the Chinese government, which is cooperating with our investigation. The Chinese authorities have offered to arrange for a Chinese official to travel to the United States in support of our investigation.Question: When will we know the results of the investigation?Answer: Although we have urgently committed significant resources to this problem, gathering evidence and conducting the necessary tests will take time. It could be months before we can confidently address the scientific relationships between the problem drywall and the health and safety concerns raised by consumers. Be assured that, as our investigation progresses, we are committed to updating consumers regularly with as much information as possible.This document was prepared by CPSC staff, has not been reviewed or approved by, and may not necessarily reflect the views of, the Commission.)This bathroom lighting fixture is pitted and corroded.The copper coils on this air conditioner unit are blackened and corroded. This copper pipe is blackened.(This document was prepared by CPSC staff, has not been reviewed or approved by, and may not necessarily reflect the views of, the Commission.)

    Home Additions that Increase Home Values

    Adding square footage onto a home is a guaranteed way to increase its value. There are specifically additions that prove more cost-effective than others. If looking to compete in the growing Fort Lauderdale market, consider these three add-ons.

    1. An extra bathroom is a welcomed surprise for house hunters. Adding on even a half bath can increase the value of a home, especially if there is currently only one restroom.
    2. Decks are a great outdoor space, especially for homeowners looking to entertain. Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report of 2013 states that homeowners can expect a 77 percent regain from adding on a wooden deck.
    3. Extra bedrooms are great for widening the market for potential homebuyers. Number of bedrooms is a top priority, which means that adding on an additional bedroom can land a home on the search pages of house hunters who would otherwise not come across it.

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    Asbestos Services

    At A Plus Gemini Development. We perform all types of asbestos removal and abatement. First, it’s vital to understand there are two types of asbestos – Friable and Non-Friable. Friable becomes airborne when it’s disturbed. Many types of friable asbestos can be found in old furnaces, boilers, stoves, walls, ceilings and pipe insulation. By comparison, non-friable asbestos is usually bonded with another material and less likely to be airborne until it is cut. Most often non-friable asbestos is found in flooring, roofing, shingles and siding. In short, friable and non-friable asbestos can be found in a wide range of areas, and regardless of the location, we can professionally remove it for you.

    Our skilled asbestos technicians are professionally trained and licensed.This means they can quickly and effectively execute an asbestos removal with the minimal exposure possible, which is important in keeping you safe.

    Asbestos exposure can be extremely hazardous to your health. So it’s important you find a professional team who’s experienced and trained properly. In addition, when you do a removal with us, we exceed the requirements and you receive a full report of the project once we’re done.

    Which do you need help with?

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    REMODEL SERVICES

    Remodeling is a way to enhance your home's decor, as well as the overall value and appeal of your home.

    Whatever remodeling project you're considering, make sure the new renovation is truly a good investment. Interior Design Many of our clients find that their home doesn't function well for them, whether it's a closed off kitchen, an out dated bathroom or a small master suite.

    Remodeling is the time to make your home look and feel great. Many people can create beautiful designs, but we can make your home attractive and functional. We understand that every family functions differently and so we do not come to the table with a cookie cutter design that's one size fits all. We want to design a layout for your space that makes sense in your daily life, and not anyone else's. So when you hear form versus function, we say why not have both?

    Kitchen Remodeling

    WE will remodel your kitchen, design your kitchen, or expand your kitchen to create the kitchen of your Or redesign and enlarge your existing kitchen to achieve the look of spacious new homes. Bathroom Remodeling whether you are remodeling your existing bathroom, creating a new master bathroom or adding an additional custom bathroom, A Plus Gemini can build your dream bathroom from the beginning design phase all the way through the construction phase of your bathroom remodel. We can also add a new master bathroom suite to your home or remodel or expand your existing bathroom suite.

    INTERIOR REMODEL

    Interior remodeling is a way to enhance your home's decor, as well as the overall value and appeal of your home. Whatever remodeling project you're considering, make sure the new renovation is truly a good investment. Interior Design

    Many of our clients find that their home doesn't function well for them, whether it's a closed off kitchen, an out dated bathroom or a small master suite. Remodeling is the time to make your home look and feel great. Many people can create beautiful designs, but we can make your home attractive and functional. We understand that every family functions differently and so we do not come to the table with a cookie cutter design that's one size fits all. We want to design a layout for your space that makes sense in your daily life, and not anyone else's. So when you hear form versus function, we say why not have both?

    Design Built Remodeling Services

    Remodeling Services Design/Build is a one stop shopping approach to remodeling and new construction where the architectural designer and building contractor are one and the same.

    Services

    Our successes is what keep our clients coming back to us time and time again. We know the best way to ensure a successful end result is to carefully plan a detailed, proven path from the very first consultation. We take great pride in our process. We believe it has something to do with our decades of experience...but also in our proprietary planning software which allows us to accurately and efficiently plan every project. We believe in working hand-in-hand with you to finalize a plan that meets your design and budget goals. Our process is our promise to successfully deliver quality craftsmanship that's completed on-time, and on-budget.

    How our Process Makes it Perfect:

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    MOLD SERVICES

    Mold growth is seemingly one of the most persistent problems every household faces. Fortunately, there is a broad array of solutions for your molds problems ranging from do-it-yourself solutions products to hiring experts. Certainly, the mold removal solutions will depend on how widespread the mold growth is. If the mold growth is already significant, hiring professionals is your safest option. Worry no more especially for people living in, Miami Dade, Fort Lauderdale, Weston,Davie,Miami,Pembroke Pines,Miami Beach,Plantation,Pompano Beach,Hollywood,Boca Raton,Coral Springs,Dania Beach,Dade,Broward,Palm Beach,Monroe. A Plus Gemini Development is already here to provide you with expert Fire Water Mold Restorationand remediation services.

    Finding Mold and Moisture

    Where to look for mold contamination - building investigation Moisture meter, showing high moisture content in gypsum board behind tile. Mold can grow in wet or damp spots in a building, or where humidity is high. Therefore, it is important to look for indoor areas where moisture is a concern.A number of factors that may contribute to indoor humidity and moisture problems. Reports of any of these problems should be investigated.

    If there has been a leaking pipe in the basement, for example, items such as carpets, paneling, and drywall there should be checked for water damage or mold growth. It is important to dry items quickly to prevent mold growth; in most cases, items dried within 24-48 hours will not become moldy.

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    Mold Inspection

    Do you think mold might be growing somewhere in your home? If so then you should have a mold inspection performed.

    Goals of a Mold Inspection There are two goals of a mold inspection. The first is to find if and where mold is growing in your home. The second is to find the water problem which caused the mold to grow in the first place. Why You Should Have A Mold Inspection: The obvious reason to have a mold inspection is if you think you have a mold problem in your home. Even if you already know where mold is growing in your home it is a good idea to perform a mold inspection since visible mold growth often means there is more mold growing somewhere out of view.

    Signs of Mold:

    Hiring a Professional Mold Inspector:

    It's always best to hire a professional mold inspector to do the mold inspection for you. Thanks to mold inspectors' experience and their knowledge of spots where mold most often hides, you can be sure that if there's any mold in your home that they will find it. Mold inspectors also use special equipment like moisture meters and fiber optics. This allows them to find hot spots where mold is most likely growing and look into hidden areas such as behind walls. This way they can find any and all hidden mold while barely disturbing your home.

    History of Water Problems

    It's important to think of recent water problems you've had in your home when it comes to preparing for a mold inspection. If you hire a professional mold inspector it's a good idea to let them know about any leaks, floods or any other moisture problems you've had in your home. If you are performing the mold inspection yourself then knowing about places which had water problems in the past will give you clues about where the mold is most likely growing.

    There might have even been water problems in the past which you never found out about. By looking for signs of moisture like warped surfaces, water stains or peeling paint you might find recent water problems which have lead to mold growth. You should also identify areas which have the potential for water problems such as where pipes run, air conditioner leaks, possible leaking roofs or where water collects after flooding.

    Finding Mold During the Inspection

    If you decide to do the mold inspection yourself then you need to thoroughly search for mold in every room of your house including the attic and the BASEMENT. Special attention should be paid to areas around water sources such as near the shower or bathtub, sinks or pipes. You should check especially carefully the areas which have had any history of moisture problems in the past. During your search for mold if you do find any water leaks this can then lead you to where mold is growing. Some common places where mold often grows is on substances high in cellulose such as drywall, under carpets, in insulation or in ventilation ducts.

    Hidden Mold

    If you cannot see mold in a room it doesn't mean there is none there. Mold can often grow hidden from view behind walls, above ceilings, under floors or in air conditioning ducts. If you find small spots of mold on a surface it could mean there is a much larger mold colony growing hidden away on the other side.

    Besides using your eyes pay attention to any odors. The smell of a mold colony can help you to narrow down where mold is hiding. Any health issues you notice which occur when you're in certain areas of your home can also alert you to the presence of nearby mold. Symptoms such as sneezing and sore or water eyes can be tell tale signs of mold growth nearby.

    Don't Disturb Mold

    If you do find large areas of mold during the inspection be careful not to disturb it if possible as this can spread spores or even MICROTOXINS throughout your home. Large mold colonies should only be disturbed once you have set up the proper containment during remediation.

    Recognizing Mold

    Sometimes you might find what you think is mold but what might actually be dark soot or just dirty spots. Look closely to be sure that what you have found is mold, disturbing it minimally if you need to examine it physically. If you are unsure you can always use a mold test kit to verify. Testing can also be helpful if for some reason you want to identify the species of mold you have found in your home.

    Finding Water Problems

    The second stage of mold inspection after finding mold growth is to find the water problem that caused the mold in the first place. There is no point going to the trouble of finding and removing mold in your home if the water problem that caused it is not fixed and then soon causes the mold to return.

    You should search your home for any water leaks or evidence of leaks. Besides stopping the leak or other water source you will need to take action to make sure it doesn't reoccur in the future. Once you have found the cause of the mold in your home you will first need to fix it and then clean up any remaining moisture.

    After Finding Mold

    After you have found the mold in your home you need to determine the size and extent of the mold colony before you can begin to remove it. If the mold looks like it might be toxic you should think about having it tested to determine its species so you'll know whether you can remove it yourself or whether you should hire a professional.

    In either case you should not disturb any large mold colonies you find yet since proper containment should be set up before mold removal to prevent spores spreading throughout your home.

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    Mold Testing

    After the mold inspection you might feel mold testing is warranted if you couldn't find any mold. Mold testing can either rule out the presence of mold or help track down its location if it's hidden.

    After the mold inspection you might feel mold testing is warranted if you couldn't find any mold. Mold testing can either rule out the presence of mold or help track down its location if it's hidden. If mold was found and you decide you want to test the mold to find out its species, eg in case it's toxic or to confirm it really is mold, then testing will also tell you what you want to know.

    Professional Mold Testing

    Ideally you should have mold testing performed for you by a qualified mold professional. Hiring a professional mold tester who is experienced in collecting mold samples and analyzing the tests will always give you the most accurate results.

    Mold Test Kits

    There are companies who offer mold test kits which you can use to collect samples yourself. This is a less expensive option than having a mold tester come out to test your house. The samples you collect with a mold test kit are sent away to a professional mold testing laboratory who will get back to you with the results.

    Why You Should Test for Mold

    The main reason you'd want to test for mold is, of course, to find out if you have a mold problem. So what are the clues that you could have a mold problem?

    A Mold Smell

    The first is a mold smell. If you notice a moldy smell in your home there's a good chance you could have mold hidden somewhere.

    Mold Testing to Find Mold

    Not only can mold testing tell you if you have a mold problem somewhere in your home, but it can also help you to find it. Mold often grows hidden away behind walls and other places. Mold tests can help you narrow down the location of hidden mold by telling you the places in your home with the highest amount of mold spores.

    Mold Testing for Indoor Air Quality

    You can have mold testing done to tell you the amount of mold spores in the air. Sometimes you can be suffering the symptoms of mold allergies even if there is no mold growing in your home. This can be because of mold spores blowing into the home from outdoor mold or because there used to be mold growing in your home which left behind a build up of spores. By testing for mold you can tell if there is an unhealthy level of spores in your house and find out if any allergies you might have are from mold or something else.

    Mold Testing after Removing Mold

    Mold testing can be useful after you've had mold removed from your home. Through testing you can make sure that the mold removal was a success. Surface sampling can show whether an area has been properly cleaned of mold. Having air testing some time after the mold removal can also confirm that mold spores in your home's air have been reduced to a safe level.

    Multiple Mold Tests

    A mold test gives you a snapshot of the amount of mold particles in a certain area at a certain time. But the amount of mold spores fluctuates over time and from place to place. Because of this it's a good idea to test at several different times and in different locations in your home. This way you will get a more complete and accurate picture of the mold problem in your home. < /p>

    Types of Mold Tests

    The three main types of mold tests are: < br/>

    Ideally you should use all three types of tests since each have their own strengths and weaknesses.

    Air Testing for Mold

    Air sampling tests the concentration of mold spores in your home's air. Samples are taken from the air and are later examined under a microscope. Air tests can tell you if you have a mold problem even if you cannot find the mold growth. However the amount of mold spores in the air can change drastically in a small amount of time, giving varying results at different times.

    Surface Testing for Mold

    Surface testing takes samples from household surfaces to find the amount of mold growth and spores deposited around the home. Samples are collected by swabbing, tape lifting or other methods. The sample is then examined in a laboratory. Like with air testing the results can vary because mold growth and spores aren't spread evenly across surfaces in the home and can change over time. Unlike air testing though, surface tests can't identify the exact concentration of mold spores in the air.

    Bulk Testing for Mold

    Bulk testing involves collecting pieces of material from the home. The material is then taken to a laboratory where mold particles on the material can then be examined under a microscope. Bulk tests can tell you if you have a mold problem and give you an idea of the concentration of mold particles in your home.

    Culture Tests for Mold

    Culture tests are where mold particles in a sample from the home are grown into larger mold colonies in a lab. This way culture tests identify the species of molds in houses. Only mold particles that are still alive can be grown. However dead mold particles in the home still cause allergies and health problems. Other tests can detect both living and non-living mold in a home but can't always identify the species of molds. Mold Inspection before Testing

    Before you turn to mold testing you should have a thorough MOLD INSPECTION of your home done. If the inspection turns up mold then usually you don't need to do any mold testing. Instead you can move onto the mold removal stage. But if you couldn't find any mold but still think you have a mold problem, or if you found some mold but think there is more hidden or that it could be toxic, then it's time to turn to mold testing.

    Signs of Mold in House

    Below are some common signs to watch out for that could indicate you have mold growing in your house. Allergic Symptoms from Mold If you are having a problem with allergies then there's a good chance there could be mold growing somewhere in your home. Common allergic reactions to mold include sneezing, sore eyes and a runny nose or nasal congestion. Do you notice your allergic reactions are worse when you're at home but you feel better when you go out? If so then it's especially likely you could have mold. If you find that your allergies are worse in some other building, like your workplace, then there could be mold growing there instead.

    Smelling a Mold Odor

    When you have mold growing hidden away in your house, often a moldy smell might be the only clue that it's there. Don't ignore mold odors if you can't see any mold. You should thoroughly inspect your home before any mold problems get worse.

    Seeing Signs of Mold Growth

    Visible mold growth might seem like an obvious sign of mold. However many people don't notice small amounts of mold growth or they think it's just soot or dirt. Sometimes people simply ignore visible mold in their house. If you can see mold growth, even if it's only small, you should take action immediately. Small mold patches can spread and the fact that there is any mold shows that the conditions in your home are right for mold to grow. If you don't take care of mold it will soon become a bigger problem.

    Visible mold growth could also be a sign that there is a much larger mold colony growing hidden away from view. Sometimes you might not realize there is mold in your house, especially if it is unusual looking mold. Some mold growth looks white and thread-like. Other mold appears as clusters of small black spots. Mold can be black, gray-brown, gray-green or white in color. Mold growing behind wallpaper made of vinyl can even appear orange, pink or purple.

    Signs of Water Problems

    If you have had any long term moisture problems in your house it's usually inevitable they will lead to mold beginning to grow. So if you know you've had some water problems in your home then it's a pretty good sign you could have mold. Some signs that you have a moisture problem include water stains or discoloration on walls, floors or ceilings in your house. Seeing these could be a clue that there is mold growing within or behind the material. Another sign of a moisture problem is surface abnormalities like peeling, bubbling or cracking of the paint or wallpaper. If your walls are bowed, bulging or warped it probably means moisture has gotten into them. Another clue is if the surface of walls or other materials feel damp.

    Water Leaks

    The above signs of water problems in homes are usually created by leaks. However if you already know that you have had a water leak (such as leaking pipes or a leaking ceiling) then just that knowledge by itself, even if you don't see signs of water damage, is a good sign that you might have mold growing in your house around the area where the leak was. Mold growth from leaks can often be hidden. If the leak was behind a wall or other surface then any mold will probably be hidden behind the surface too. Even if the leak was not behind a surface there could still be mold hidden out of view behind a wall or other surface from water which seeped through.

    Where mold grows describes how to find mold in your home and lists places mold often grows, including hidden mold. Past Flooding. If your house has been flooded in the past then it's likely that mold would've started to grow. Any mold would probably be growing in places where flood water remained the longest such as in the BASEMENT. Floods can often create mold growing out of view behind walls or under floors.

    Condensation

    If you see a lot of condensation in your home then it's a sign that you have a high amount of moisture and hence a sign that you could have a mold problem. Condensation will occur on surfaces such as glass windows or metal pipes. Mold could be growing where the condensation builds up and collects. Rusting indoor pipes are a sign that you could have a lot of condensation in your house. Besides the fact that condensation creates a buildup of moisture for mold to grow on, condensation can also be a sign that you have a humidity problem in your home. A high humidity level can feed mold and it is another sign that you might have a potential mold problem. MOLD CAUSES talks about condensation and the other main causes of mold in houses.

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    Mold Removal/Mold Remediation

    Once mold has begun to grow in your home it's not enough to just take away the mold's moisture source. Mold that runs out of moisture can lie dormant for a long time without dying. So if you already have mold growth in your home you need to take steps to have it removed.

    Remediation

    Mold Food Sources & Cleaning to Prevent Mold Mold grows and feeds on organic substances such as wood or cotton. Mold should not grow on surfaces like plastic, metal or glass unless there is a layer of grease or some other organic substance which it can feed on. Some materials mold commonly grows on in the home include wood, carpet, food, paper, insulation, wallpaper, paint, wallpaper glue, plasterboard, fabrics, cotton, books, leather, chipboard, furniture, dust, ceiling tiles, inside air conditioners and almost any other organic material.

    You should clean regularly to reduce dirt and grime which mold can live on. Dust and vacuum often, ideally with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtered vacuum cleaner to remove dust and other substances that mold can grow off of. It has been found that 80% of mold grows on dust.

    Minimizing Mold Spores to Prevent Mold

    Mold spores are everywhere in the air outside. They float through buildings all the time and there is no practical way to remove all mold spores indoors. However if the concentration of mold spores inside is significantly higher than outside then it can start to cause health issues. A higher amount of mold spores also increases the potential for mold problems to start. Mold spores enter homes through windows, doors, air ducts, etc.

    They can also be transported inside attached to skin, clothing, hair, pets, etc. Although you cannot eliminate all mold spores inside your home or prevent all mold spores from entering, minimizing the amount of spores will prevent you from suffering mold related health problems and lessen the chance of mold beginning to grow in your home. To minimize mold spores clean and dust often. Also vacuum your home regularly, preferably with a HEPA vacuum cleaner to remove mold spores. HEPA air filters in your home also help remove mold spores from the air.

    Sunlight to Prevent Mold

    Mold loves dark spaces indoors to grow in. Allowing sunlight in will reduce the chances of mold growing so open the curtains in rooms during the day to let natural light in.

    Warmth & Preventing Mold

    Mold generally does not grow in cold environments. Warm, humid conditions are ideal for mold growth. Most molds need temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) or more to grow. Air conditioners to regulate the temperature of your house can help prevent mold growth.

    Black Mold Remediation

    You can find a lot of kinds of mold all over. Some are dangerous and some aren't. Most of them you will never discover in anyway. The signals of mold will often be huge black spots on the walls, floors and ceilings, and it scents awful. A great aspect for the mold growth is connected mostly to the humidity level around. Probably the most unsafe class of mold is the black mold. Black mold, if not resolved on-time, might lead to significant health problems that in many scenarios cause fatality. Nowadays, the key reason for children' death is the black mold.

    Black mold triggers a sincere lung dysfunction, painful breathing difficulties and symptoms of asthma. The actual physical damage may be spotted as skin allergy, and eyes irritation. Yet, it�s possible to maintain away from the danger in lots of ways; one of the tactics is cleanup your area.

    Mold Remediation

    Dry Quickly Dry items before mold grows, if possible. In most cases, mold will not grow if wet or damp items are dried within 24-48 hours.

    Dry Quickly Dry items before mold grows, if possible. In most cases, mold will not grow if wet or damp items are dried within 24-48 hours. To dry carpet and backing within 48 hours, remove water with a wet vacuum, pull the carpet and pad off the floor, and dry them using a fan to blow air over them.

    A dehumidifier can be used to reduce the humidity in the room where the carpet and backing are drying, while fans can be used to accelerate the drying process. Water can be removed from concrete or cinder block surfaces with a water-extraction vacuum.

    The drying also can be accelerated by using dehumidifiers, fans, and heaters. Hard surface flooring (such as linoleum, ceramic tile, and vinyl) should be vacuumed or damp wiped with a mild detergent and allowed to dry. They should be scrubbed clean, if necessary.

    If the under-flooring is wet, it should be dried using a vacuum or by exposing it to the air. Non-porous, hard surfaces such as plastics and metals should be vacuumed or damp wiped with water and mild detergent, then allowed to dry. Scrubbing may be necessary to thoroughly clean the surfaces. Water should be removed from upholstered furniture with a water-extraction vacuum. Fans, dehumidifiers, and heaters may be used to accelerate the drying process. Completely drying upholstered furniture within 48 hours may be difficult, so if the piece is valuable, you may consider consulting a restoration or water-damage Professional who specializes in furniture.

    Drywall, also known as gypsum board or gypsum wallboard, may be dried in place if there is no obvious swelling and the seams are intact. Otherwise, removal is necessary. The wall cavity is the most Difficult area to dry, and it should be ventilated if drywall is left to dry in place. (Drywall is not made out of boards of wood; traditionally, drywall is made of the mineral gypsum with a layer of heavy paper on the outside and inside. Commercial gypsum boards and drywall are also available with a variety of outside layers and coatings. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a typical new home contains more than 7 metric tons of gypsum.)To clean water-damaged window drapes, follow the manufacturer's laundering or cleaning instructions.

    To clean wooden surfaces, remove moisture immediately and use dehumidifiers, fans, and gentle heat to dry them. (Be very careful when applying heat to hardwood floors.) Treated or finished wood surfaces can be cleaned with mild detergent and clean water, then allowed to dry. Wet paneling should be pried from the wall for drying. Some water-Damaged items, including ceiling tiles, cellulose and fiberglass insulation, drywall and gypsum board, and books and papers, may have to be discarded. If valuable or important books, documents, or other items are moldy or water damaged, you may wish to consult a restoration, water damage, or remediation expert. Mold Inspections Services

    Mold grows and feeds on organic substances such as wood or cotton. Mold should not grow on surfaces like plastic, metal or glass unless there is a layer of grease or some other organic substance which it can feed on. Some materials mold commonly grows on in the home include wood, carpet, food, paper, insulation, wallpaper, paint, wallpaper glue, plasterboard, fabrics, cotton, books, leather, chipboard, furniture, dust, ceiling tiles, inside air conditioners and almost any other organic material.

    You should clean regularly to reduce dirt and grime which mold can live on. Dust and vacuum often, ideally with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtered vacuum cleaner to remove dust and other substances that mold can grow off of. It has been found that 80% of mold grows on dust.

    Minimizing Mold Spores to Prevent Mold

    Mold spores are everywhere in the air outside. They float through buildings all the time and there is no practical way to remove all mold spores indoors. However if the concentration of mold spores inside is significantly higher than outside then it can start to cause health issues. A higher amount of mold spores also increases the potential for mold problems to start. Mold spores enter homes through windows, doors, air ducts, etc.

    They can also be transported inside attached to skin, clothing, hair, pets, etc. Although you cannot eliminate all mold spores inside your home or prevent all mold spores from entering, minimizing the amount of spores will prevent you from suffering mold related health problems and lessen the chance of mold beginning to grow in your home. To minimize mold spores clean and dust often. Also vacuum your home regularly, preferably with a HEPA vacuum cleaner to remove mold spores. HEPA air filters in your home also help remove mold spores from the air.

    Sunlight to Prevent Mold

    Mold loves dark spaces indoors to grow in. Allowing sunlight in will reduce the chances of mold growing so open the curtains in rooms during the day to let natural light in.

    Warmth & Preventing Mold

    Mold generally does not grow in cold environments. Warm, humid conditions are ideal for mold growth. Most molds need temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) or more to grow. Air conditioners to regulate the temperature of your house can help prevent mold growth.

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    Black mold treatment and cleaning

    If you think you have found toxic black mold growing in your home but are unsure then you should have it professionally tested. This is so you can be certain that it is actually mycotoxin-producing toxic mold (eg Stachybotrys or some other toxic mold species).

    Once you've confirmed the mold is toxic you should talk to a professional mold removal service as soon as possible. If the mold is not toxic then you can remove it yourself if you wish.

    Toxic Black Mold Inspection

    If you think you might have toxic black mold in your home but haven't found the toxic black mold colony then you may want to have a toxic black mold inspection performed. Some reasons to think you could have a toxic black mold problem are described in the next section. Of course it's best to hire a professional mold inspector to perform the toxic black mold inspection for you. Mold inspectors use both their experience and sophisticated equipment to find any and all hidden mold, with minimal disturbance to your home. This way you can be sure that if there is mold in your home it will be found. If you choose to do the inspection yourself you need to look into hidden areas like inside of wall cavities. Toxic black mold needs a lot of water to grow so especially check spots where there could have been water leaks.

    Signs of Toxic Black Mold

    One of the best clues you could have toxic black mold is if you are suffering toxic symptoms. The symptoms from toxic black mold are much more severe than the ALLERGIC REACTIONS caused by common non-toxic mold. Toxic black mold also needs materials to be very wet for at least a week before it can begin to grow. So if you've had a flood or a large water leak that went unnoticed then there is an increased likelihood that toxic black mold could be in your home.

    Mycotoxins

    Mycotoxins are toxins produced by some species of mold (myco means fungal). These mycotoxins are some of the most toxic substances in existence.

    Mycotoxin Types

    Some of the different types of mycotoxins are:

    Killing Mycotoxins

    Mycotoxins aren't actually alive like mold spores. So when we talk about "killing mycotoxins" it really means breaking down mycotoxins and their toxicity so they are no longer dangerous to humans. Bleach with 5% sodium hypochlorite kills trichothecene mycotoxins as well as other mycotoxins including aflatoxin. It takes fire at 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius) for half an hour or fire at 900 degrees Fahrenheit (482 degrees Celsius) for 10 minutes to destroy trichothecene mycotoxins.
    Ozone is supposed to kill most or all mycotoxins. However the level of ozone you need to kill mycotoxins is not safe for humans. So if you use an ozone generator there must be no one in the house. HEPA air filters are not effective at removing mycotoxins. Activated carbon filters can remove mycotoxins from the air however. Mycotoxins do eventually break down and lose their toxicity after some time. Some types of mycotoxins can take several years though, for example trichothecene mycotoxins which are among the most resilient.

    How Small are Mycotoxins?

    Like mold spores, mycotoxins are too small for us to see with the naked eye. Mycotoxins are as small as 0.1 microns. Mold spores are between 1 and 20 microns. Human hair, for comparison, is about 100 microns thick. How do Mycotoxins Enter the Human Body?
    When people are around toxic mold they are usually exposed to airborne mycotoxins by breathing them in. These mycotoxins end up in the lungs and cause breathing problems and other severe symptoms. Mycotoxins in the air can also enter through a person's eyes. Trichothecene mycotoxins can be absorbed through the skin as well. Another way mycotoxins get into a person's body is by the person eating food with mycotoxins in it. This can happen if toxic mold has been growing on crops. Many mycotoxins, for example trichothecene, remain toxic even after being cooked.
    This is one reason why mycotoxins are a big problem in agriculture. A binding agent is used on crops such as grain after harvesting to remove mycotoxins. During 2004 in Kenya, 125 people died after eating maize contaminated with aflatoxin mycotoxins. There have been many cases of pets dying from eating pet food with mycotoxins in it as well.

    How Long are Mycotoxins Toxic?

    According to experts, trichothecene mycotoxins can remain toxic for several years. Trichothecenes are probably the most long lasting mycotoxin. Things like ultraviolet light or freezing temperatures do not have much effect on trichothecene mycotoxins. Stephen Vesper of the Environmental Protection Agency says: "The trichothecene toxins are very stable. Again the environment matters, if stored dry, there is little loss of activity for a year."

    Mycotoxin Treatment & Decontamination

    Bioterrorism experts advise that a person exposed to mycotoxins should shower for a long period of time, washing himself thoroughly with soap and water. The person should also shampoo their hair as often as possible since hair can hold a large amount of mycotoxins. Ideally the person should cut their hair, the shorter the better.Of course before you do these things you need to remove yourself from the environment where you were exposed to mycotoxins (eg. move from the house where toxic black mold is growing) and not return unless the problem has been remediated.

    What are Safe Levels of Mycotoxins?

    In the United States the government has not yet set maximum levels for mycotoxins in the air of buildings, however some European countries have set limits. Also the health issues that mold and toxic molds can cause are not yet officially recognized everywhere medically and many doctors are unaware of the symptoms mold can cause. However the Environmental Protection Agency has acknowledged that mold growing in homes is harmful to humans and that it should be removed.

    Removing Mycotoxins from Carpet

    Most mycotoxins from toxic mold in houses usually end up embedded in the carpet. When you walk on the carpet you stir up many of the mycotoxin particles into the air, along with other spores and allergens. There is no way to remove all mycotoxins from carpet and the only option is for the carpet to be removed and replaced. Vacuuming the carpet, even with a HEPA filtered vacuum, will not suck up all of the mycotoxins embedded in the carpet.
    And even though HEPA vacuum cleaners can trap mold spores, the smaller mycotoxins will pass through the vacuum cleaner and out the exhaust, increasing the amount of mycotoxins in the air and hence worsening your toxic reaction. Central vacuuming systems may help to remove some mycotoxins if the air from the vacuum is exhausted outside the home, but again it will still not be able to pick up all the mycotoxins embedded in the carpet.

    Trichothecene Mycotoxins

    Trichothecene is a type of MYCOTOXIN produced by toxic molds. Trichothecene is one of the most notorious mycotoxins because trichothecenes are extremely toxic and because they are so difficult to destroy. Trichothecene and Toxic Mold
    One reason why trichothecene is such a well known mycotoxin is because it is produced by (STACHYBOTRYS CHARTARUM) (also called toxic black mold or just black mold). This species of toxic mold has caused many problems in homes and has frequently been mentioned in the media.The toxic mold Fusarium also produces trichothecenes. People can end up ingesting trichothecene mycotoxins when Fusarium grows on grains such as maize, oats and wheat. The toxic molds Verticimonosporium, Trichoderma, Trichothecium, Cephalosporium and Myrothecium also produce trichothecene mycotoxins.

    Trichothecene Types

    There are 60 known types of trichothecene mycotoxins. Some of them are:

    Trichothecene Toxicity

    Trichothecene is amongst the most toxic types of mycotoxins. The LD50 rate (the dosage level that caused 50% of the group to die) for laboratory mice given trichothecene mycotoxins is between 1 and 7 mg/kg depending on the specific type of trichothecene and the method of exposure.

    Destroying Trichothecene Mycotoxins

    Trichothecene mycotoxins can remain toxic for years in a normal environment. Ultraviolet light does not destroy trichothecenes and they are not soluble in water. Trichothecenes can also withstand freezing. Temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes is needed to destroy them. A solution of 5% sodium hydrochlorite, the active ingredient in bleach, can destroy trichothecene mycotoxins

    T-2 Trichothecene Mycotoxins in Biological Warfare

    T-2 trichothecene mycotoxins are the only mycotoxins that have been used in biological weapons. These trichothecene mycotoxins have the advantages of being highly stable in the air, not degrading under ultraviolet light and being able to withstand heat. They are also used because they can be produced relatively easily and cheaply and they are extremely toxic with no antidote or vaccine available. T-2 mycotoxins are also the only substances used in biological warfare that can be absorbed through a person's skin.
    The United States military is reportedly doing 90% of its current biological weapons research in T-2 mycotoxins. The Yellow Rain biological attacks used in Vietnam and Afghanistan were concentrated T-2 mycotoxins and Gulf War syndrome is believed to be caused by American soldiers' exposure to T-2 mycotoxins during biological attacks in Desert Storm.

    Toxic Black Mold Spores and Mycotoxins

    Like other molds, toxic black mold (STACHYBOTRYS CHARTARUM)reproduces by spreading its spores. And also like other mold, the spores of toxic black mold are allergenic. Unlike most mold spores though, Stachybotrys spores are also toxic since they carry mycotoxins.

    Toxic Black Mold Spores

    In a toxic black mold colony the spores are kept within a slimy, gelatinous mass. Toxic black mold spores are a brownish color although they can't be seen with the naked eye of course. Under the microscope toxic black mold spores that are still attached to the mold colony look similar to a dandelion with clusters of spores growing at the end of a "stem" called hyphae.

    How Toxic Black Mold Spores Spread

    The wet coating of a toxic black mold colony usually prevents its spores from becoming airborne. If its moisture source runs out though, a toxic black mold colony can dry out and release many of its spores into the air. When toxic black mold is dry it looks gray and powdery. Other things like changes in humidity can also trigger the release of toxic black mold spores. Disturbing toxic black mold can also cause a lot of toxic spores to enter the air. This is why you should never disturb or try to remove toxic black mold if you find it in your home.
    Removing toxic black mold is much more dangerous than removing ordinary mold and it should only be done by a professional. Toxic black mold spores are heavy compared to other mold spores and so they do not remain in the air for very long. If toxic black spores do not land on a suitable surface to grow on then they die soon after being released. The dead spores are still just as toxic to humans though.

    Toxic Black Mold Mycotoxins

    It is the mycotoxins that make toxic black mold and its spores toxic to humans. These mycotoxins can be found throughout all parts of toxic black mold.

    Trichothecene Mycotoxins

    Toxic black mold produces a group of mycotoxins called trichothecenes. Trichothecene mycotoxins are extremely toxic. The trichothecene types below are found in toxic black mold: < /p>

    Toxic Black Mold Mycotoxin Production

    Although toxic black mold can produce mycotoxins it doesn't do so all the time. Factors affecting whether toxic black mold produces mycotoxins include the material toxic black mold is growing on, temperature, humidity and perhaps other unknown conditions. Environmental conditions which are suitable for toxic black mold to produce mycotoxins are 55% or higher humidity along with fluctuating temperatures. Stress may also cause toxic black mold to produce mycotoxins. When it is growing on certain materials toxic black mold might not produce mycotoxins.

    Toxic Black Mold Mycotoxin Exposure

    A person might suffer toxic symptoms from toxic black mold mycotoxin exposure by ingestion of mycotoxin contaminated food. Toxic black mold can contaminate crops such as grains and can survive cooking. However crops are treated to remove mycotoxins after harvest. Besides through ingestion, people can also be poisoned by toxic black mold mycotoxins through inhalation. In tests on animals toxic black mold mycotoxins have been found to be 40 times more toxic when inhaled compared to when ingested.
    A person might suffer toxic symptoms by breathing in airborne toxic black mold spores which contain mycotoxins or breathing in fragments of the mold which can also become airborne and also contain mycotoxins. When toxic black mold is growing inside houses the occupants are of course affected primarily through breathing in the mycotoxins. Toxic black mold mycotoxins can also enter into a person's body through the skin.

    Toxic Black Mold Mycotoxins in Agriculture

    Besides in buildings, toxic black mold mycotoxins have also been a problem outdoors in agriculture. In the 1930s and 40s there was an outbreak of stachybotryotoxicosis in farm animals in Eastern Europe. Since then much of the toxicity and effects of ingesting toxic black mold mycotoxins have been observed in animals. Horses in particular are affected by mycotoxins and reportedly a horse will die from ingesting as little as 1mg of trichothecene mycotoxins. Toxic black mold mycotoxins contaminating harvests such as grains, corn, coffee and soy are also a problem for agriculture. However crops are treated after harvest to remove mycotoxins and minimize human mycotoxin exposure through ingestion.

    Aflatoxin Mycotoxins

    Aflatoxin is a type of mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus molds. Aflatoxin is probably the most well known mycotoxin, besides trichothecene, and the most researched. This is because aflatoxins are very toxic and highly carcinogenic. Aflatoxin Symptoms. How badly a person is affected by aflatoxin mycotoxins depends on things like the person's age, gender, level of exposure, duration of exposure, health, strength of their immune system, diet and environmental factors. There are two main ways people are usually exposed to aflatoxins. The first is when someone takes in a high amount of aflatoxins in a very short time. This can cause:

    The other way people suffer aflatoxin poisoning is by taking in small amounts of aflatoxins at a time, but over a long period. This might happen if a person's diet has a small amount of aflatoxins, for example. When this happens it can cause:

    Aflatoxin Toxicity

    Aflatoxin mycotoxins are toxic to humans and even more toxic to animals. They also cause cancer in humans and animals.It is believed that eating vegetables like carrots and celery reduces the carcinogenic effects of aflatoxins. The aflatoxin LD50 rate (the dosage level that causes 50% of a group to die) for animals is between 0.5 and 10 mg/kg of the animal's weight

    Aflatoxicosis - Aflatoxin Poisoning

    The technical term for poisoning by aflatoxin mycotoxins is aflatoxicosis. This usually occurs from eating food contaminated with aflatoxin mycotoxins. Aflatoxicosis is not contagious and drugs and antibiotics do little to help. Aflatoxicosis damages the liver more than any other organ. Aflatoxin mycotoxins also suppress the immune system.

    Aflatoxin Types

    There are three main types of aflatoxin mycotoxins:

    Aspergillus & Aflatoxin Production

    Aflatoxin mycotoxins are produced by the Aspergillus species of molds. Aspergillus molds grow mostly on crops, such as grains and nuts. Under the right conditions, Aspergillus often grows on grain before it is harvested. But it can also grow on harvested grain if the grain is stored damp. Aspergillus also grows on substances like soil, hay and decaying vegetation. The best conditions for Aspergillus to grow on organic materials is when the temperature is warm and when the material has a high level of moisture (7% or more).

    Aflatoxin in Food

    The American Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 25% of the food crops in the world are affected by mycotoxins. Of these mycotoxins, aflatoxins are the biggest problem. Corn, cottonseed and peanuts are the crops most at risk of being contaminated by aflatoxins. Aspergillus also commonly grows on beans, rice, tree nuts and wheat. It grows less often on other grains and nuts. If animals are given feed contaminated with aflatoxins then aflatoxin mycotoxins can end up in milk, eggs and meat. Aflatoxin M1 and M, which are often found in cow's milk, are metabolites produced by animals which have eaten Aflatoxins.

    Aflatoxin Levels in Food

    Aflatoxins are found all over the world. However they are much more of a problem in undeveloped or developing nations than they are in developed countries. Developed countries prohibit high levels of aflatoxin mycotoxins in foods. For example, the United States limits the level of Aflatoxins to under 20 parts per billion in food and specifies that the aflatoxins M must be below 0.5 parts per billion in milk. Chemical processes are used to remove Aflatoxins in foods such as nuts, corn, grains and milk. Most foods do still contain very small amounts of Aflatoxins though. Although the aflatoxin levels are usually far below the safety limits, this has raised concern about the effects on humans of the long term intake of small amounts of Aflatoxins.

    Aflatoxin in Pet Food

    Pets have died from eating pet foods contaminated with aflatoxin mycotoxins. Between late 2005 and early 2006, 23 or more dogs died from eating Diamond Pet Foods dog food contaminated with aflatoxins.

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