Mold May Trigger Severe Asthma

I’ve been saying for years that exposure to elevated levels of mold indoors is often ‘the straw that breaks the camels back’ for people that have pre-existing upper respiratory issues. Even though science has not yet given us exposure limit values, we are seeing increasing numbers of studies that recognize the health connection. Here’s another study.

THURSDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) — Living in a home with high levels of mold may increase the risk of severe asthma attacks in people with certain gene variants, finds a new study.

“We found that the interaction between environmental mold exposure and certain variants of chitinase genes were positively associated with severe asthma exacerbation requiring hospitalization,” lead researcher Ann Wu, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, said in an American Thoracic Society news release.

Chitinases, which break down a component in fungi called chitin, are induced during allergic inflammation. It’s known that people with asthma have higher expression of certain variants of chitinase.

Proper remediation is designed to return your home to a healthy condition. Many snake oil salesmen would have you think that you can spray their kill juice on the mold and that’s it. In fact, that creates a greater health risk as dead mould becomes airborne more easily and breaks into smaller particles. This results in sucking more into your lungs and it goes deeper into your lungs as well.

Physical removal of all mold is the ONLY accepted way to remediate contaminated buildings. Every single guideline and standard in existence concurs on this point. Anything less is negligent.

23 Aug | 1 reply

Free Tips – Prevent Bed Bug Infestations

We know those nasty little suckers are hitchhikers so what do you do to ditch em before they catch a ride home with you?

Here’s some free tips to deal with Bed Bugs in the Vancouver BC region.

  1. When traveling, don’t put your suitcase or clothing on the floor or in the drawers. Keep it in your suitcase or hang it in the closet.
  2. Keep your suitcase off the floor. Use the stand.
  3. Don’t drop or leave clothes, swimsuits, etc lying on the floor. Hang them up in the bathroom to dry or put them in a bag and back into your suitcase.

Ok, so that’s going to help stop the hitchhikers but how anal retentive do you get about sleeping in a bed that isn’t yours. Personally, I tend to take more risks than most and have yet to get bit ‘knowingly’ and I’ve traveled throughout Asia, SE Asia, India and around North America/Mexico. Having said that common sense would suggest my ‘day’ is coming. So if you are staying somewhere (away from home) and get bit then what??…

  1. Suck it up and don’t be a baby.
  2. Ok, just kidding. Besides that’s no solution so just ignore that one. I just wanted to see if you’re paying attention.
  1. If you are going home empty contents of your suitcase into a plastic bag OUTSIDE and then place all clothing into a dryer on low or medium setting (not HIGH) for 30 minutes. The internal temperature must exceed 120 F or 48 C for 10 minutes to kill bed bugs.
  2. Then wash or dryclean your clothes as per normal. Since everything is dead, you don’t need heat to clean.

If you want help or need more information to deal with a bed bug problem, call me. I’m Graham Dick, the decontamination specialist at Genesis Restorations in Vancouver BC.

16 Aug | 1 reply

Bed Bug Pandemic – What to Do in Vancouver BC?

I don’t know if you saw the story on Bed Bugs on CBC but really….. a pandemic??

http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2010/08/04/pei-bed-bug-pandemic-584.html

What I can tell you is that I’ve researched the Vancouver, BC region and found that bed bugs are a HUGE issue here. In fact there are several companies that specialize in the eradication of bed bugs.  You know what I found out? The treatment is a several step process over several weeks and the success is largely dependent on how well you PREPARE before the exterminator’s arrival. Not only that, but there is a lot of misinformation and generalities given to people about dealing with the parts that the exterminator won’t touch. WHAT???? You mean I can’t make one call and have someone deal with it all? NO you can’t. Exterminators DO NOT deal with your laundry, bedding, draperies, soft toys, or any other fabric or porous object. Just wash it in hot water and a hot dryer. Well I can tell you that almost all women and most men understand that most of what they own would be destroyed if they followed those instructions. Many people have a horror story of the time it took, the stress of sleepless nights, the cost of replacing contents and possessions that were thrown out because of lack of a viable alternative. Well, I can tell you that after much research I have discovered exactly how to solve your bed bug problem at a fraction of the cost of replacement without risk of damage and in less time than the exterminators take to rid your structure of those nasty little blood suckers. We don’t replace the Pest Control companies. We do the parts they don’t do. I’m Graham Dick, Vancouver’s decontamination specialist at Genesis Restorations Ltd.

13 Aug | 4 replies

PROPERTY INSURANCE RIGHTS – Things they don’t want you the know

Have you had a property damage insurance claim in Vancouver, BC? You need to understand something…. I just read this on the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp) website under “What To Do After A Fire

Your insurance company may suggest specific firms with which they have established relationships.  But it is not only your right to choose the best contractors and to ensure that they do the work promptly and well – it is your responsibility.

Do you see that… YOUR RIGHT …… YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!!!  Many homeowners do not realize they have the right to choose who they want to restore and repair their home.  Often the contractor chosen by the adjuster just shows up and ‘takes over’, other times the adjuster and contractor show up together.  It is interesting to note that ‘sophisticated’ property owners rarely use the company ‘chosen’ by their insurer but rather qualify and have pre-arranged service agreements with contractors that they have chosen. To see why many property managers have chosen Genesis, visit our site at www.genesisrestorations.com . I’m Graham Dick, your restoration specialist at Genesis Restorations in Vancouver, BC.

9 Aug | No replies