By Gary Lanham / The Gary Lanham Group
Bacteria, mold, allergens and water damage, what you can’t see in your home can hurt you – and the chances of selling or buying your home. Certified identification, remediation and restoration services can spot, neutralize, and restore damage behind the walls and in plain sight – even the perils of COVID-19.
During a recent appearance on Tuesdays with Gary, remediation expert Maxine Gomez of Dry Tech 24/7 [Drytech247.com] discussed the effectiveness and importance of tackling hidden perils in your home, office, yacht or plane.
The company tackles water or fire damage, mold, mildew, fungus and other biological hazards, and performs indoor air quality inspections and drywall renovations to affected homes.
These perils can be harmful, even fatal. Indoor air quality testing can reveal the presence of mold, toxins, and volatile organic compounds [VOCs], which can have short and long-term adverse health effects. Cleaning and disinfecting reduces a home’s “bioload,” which lowers chances of contamination and reinfection.
“Spraying liquid soap on a dirty surface is not considered a proper disinfection,” said Gomez, a member of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, which tackled the ebola outbreak and other global pandemics.
A host of products and solutions can help. Among her tools, Gomez uses the Clorox Total 360 sanitization system. The electrostatic sprayer delivers fast treatments on home, office, and yacht interiors to eliminate 99.9 percent of bacteria and germs, and is even eligible for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
High-quality air filters can trap allergens in the air; remember to change them at least every three months. Ozone generators can help clean a home’s air, though officials warn of the harmful effects of exposure to excessive ozone emissions. When installed in an air conditioner or furnace, ultraviolet, or UV, lighting can eliminate most bacteria and mold before it recirculates throughout the property.
In Gomez’s home, the MCI PRV24K air filtration device “scrubs,” ionizes and purifies air. Such “multi-cluster ionization technology” reduces mold, mildew, bacteria, viruses, VOCs, even pet dander and related odors.
Nothing is 100 percent effective, Gomez told me. What can you do to improve the health of your home?
Lose the shoes or don the booties
The daughter of a quantum physicist and engineer, Gomez takes off – and asks others to take off – shoes before entering the home. At Gary Lanham Group, we wear disposable booties before entering a home for a showing or walk-through. “Booties are going to be the next big thing in shoe fashion,” Gomez joked. Remember to wash your hands and stay isolated if you are exposed or exhibit symptoms.
Reduce your home’s humidity
Mold, mildew and fungus thrive in warm, damp conditions. Keep humidity between 40 and 60 percent to reduce chances of growth.
Know your air quality
Sampling your home’s air can spot the presence of harmful perils, and the possible need for remediation.
Hoarding possessions, amassing old newspapers, and not regularly dusting surfaces allows harmful dust, bacteria and other bio material to gather.
Now that hurricane season has arrived, addressing water damage is more important than ever. Whether from a storm, a roof or shower leak, or condensation from the AV, how can you see beyond the telltale signs of water stains on the ceiling or walls? Gomez’s team uses infrared devices to spot water and moisture otherwise hidden behind walls.
Think these perils can kill your home sale? Maybe not. When an inspection of an Oakland Park home, my team had successfully marketed for sale, showed mold from a shower pan leak, the deal could have been scuttled. Gomez suggested the homeowner make an insurance claim on the homeowner’s policy, and make the buyer the beneficiary. The deal was saved.
All around us, we’re returning to a new normal. The owner of my gym runs an ozone device every night, and circulates the air in the morning before the first workout starts. Gomez’s teams are disinfecting schools, offices, even the Broward Sheriff’s Office and assisted living facilities to prepare for reopening.
Whether from COVID-19 or the mold, mildew and other biological hazards and affect our daily lives, air quality inspections and remediation may help protect your home – and your health.