Allergy Suffers Consumers Guide

October 21, 2013

ServiceMaster Quality Services

ALLERGY SUFFERERS REPORT

By Gene Rhodes, Owner

DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU’RE SLEEPING WITH?

Many people suffer from chronic breathing illnesses such as asthma and allergies. The unknown culprit of these annoying maladies can be “biological contaminants” in your home.

BIOLOGICAL CONTAMINANTS

Biological contaminants include bacteria, molds, mildew, viruses, animal dander and cat saliva, house dust mites, cockroaches, and pollen. There are many sources of these pollutants.

Pollens originate from plants; viruses are transmitted by people and animals; bacteria are carried by people, animals, and soil and plant debris; and household pets are sources of saliva and animal dander.

RAT URINE AND & OTHER YUCKY STUFF

The protein in the urine and feces from rats and mice is a potent allergen. When it dries, it can become airborne…where you breathe it. These contaminants also land on your food, where you ultimately eat them! If you have problems with rodents in your home, we suggest calling a qualified pest control company.

Contaminated central air handling systems can become breeding grounds for mold, mildew, and other sources of biological contaminants and can then distribute these contaminants through the home.

This fact makes it essential to have your ductwork professionally cleaned and treated with a germicide at least once every 2-3 years.

CONTROLLED CONDITIONS

By controlling the relative humidity level in a home, the growth of some sources of biologicals can be minimized. A relative humidity of 30-50 percent is generally recommended for homes. Standing water, water-damaged materials, or wet surfaces also serve as a breeding ground for molds, mildews, bacteria, and insects.

House dust mites, the source of one of the most powerful biological allergens, grow in damp, warm environments.

Health Effects From Biological Contaminants

“Some biological contaminants trigger allergic reactions, including hypersensitivity pneumonitis, allergic rhinitis, and some types of asthma. Infectious illnesses, such as influenza, measles, and chicken pox are transmitted through the air. Molds and mildews release disease-causing toxins.”

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of health problems caused by biological pollutants include sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, shortness of breath, dizziness, lethargy, fever, and digestive problems.

Allergic reactions occur only after repeated exposure to a specific biological allergen. However, that reaction may occur immediately upon re-exposure or after multiple exposures over time.

As a result, people who have noticed only mild allergic reactions, or no reactions at all, may suddenly find themselves very sensitive to particular allergens.

Some diseases are associated with exposure to toxins from microorganisms that can grow in building ventilation systems. These diseases can also be traced to microorganisms that grow in home heating and cooling systems and humidifiers.

“Children, elderly people, and people with breathing problems, allergies, and lung diseases are particularly susceptible to disease-causing biological agents in the indoor air.”

SEVEN STEPS to Reducing Your Exposure to Biological Contaminants

1. Have your carpets, furniture, and mattresses cleaned thoroughly and regularly by a trained professional. ServiceMaster Quality Services has been certified by the IICRC (the industry certification board) to clean carpets, furniture, draperies, mattresses, and hard surface floors. ServiceMaster Quality Services recommends light duty cleaning more often to minimize the effects of biological contamination. We utilize specialty cleaning products that are safe for pets and children and reduce the effects of unhealthy soil. By choosing to put your home or business on a frequent regular cleaning schedule you’ll get enhanced appearance value, extended life from your furnishings, and improved indoor air quality (resulting in better overall health at home or work).

2. Install and use exhaust fans that are vented to the outdoors in kitchens and bathrooms, and vent clothes dryers outdoors. These actions can eliminate much of the moisture that builds up from everyday activities. There are exhaust fans on the market that produce little noise, an important consideration for some people. Another benefit to using kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans is that they can reduce levels of organic pollutants that vaporize from hot water used in showers and dishwashers.

3. Ventilate the attic and crawl spaces to prevent moisture build-up. Talk with a roofing contractor to have a free roof inspection and make sure your roof is ventilating properly. Most contractors are willing to do this at no charge. Call ServiceMaster Quality Services if you don’t know a reputable contractor. Keep humidity levels in these areas below 50 percent. This can prevent water condensation on building materials.

4. If using cool mist or ultrasonic humidifiers, clean appliances according to manufacturer’s instructions and refill with fresh water daily. Because these humidifiers can become breeding grounds for biological contaminants, they have the potential for causing diseases such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis and humidifier fever. Evaporation trays in air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators should also be cleaned frequently.

5. WATER DAMAGE: BEWARE! Thoroughly clean and dry water-damaged carpets and building materials (within 24 hours if possible) or consider removal and replacement. Water-damaged carpets and building materials can harbor mold and bacteria. It is very difficult to completely rid such materials of biological contaminants.

ESSENTIAL MUST-DO. If you ever have water coming into your house from ANY source, call a qualified professional such as ServiceMaster Quality Services immediately. In 48 hours even clear water becomes contaminated, in 72 hours clear water in the basement is treated the same as raw sewage due to the growth of bacteria and other biological toxins!

6. COMMIT TO A REGULAR SCHEDULE OF ONGOING CLEANING. House dust mites, pollens, animal dander, and other allergy-causing agents can be reduced, although not eliminated, through regular cleaning.

• Have your carpets and furniture professionally cleaned at least twice a year using a steam cleaning process utilizing water temperature over 200° and an anti-dust mite cleaning solution. ServiceMaster Quality Services provides this ongoing maintenance service at a very reasonable price.

• People who are allergic to these pollutants should use allergen-proof mattress encasements, wash bedding in hot (130° Fahrenheit) water, and avoid room furnishings that accumulate dust, especially if they cannot be washed in hot water.

• Allergic individuals should leave the house while it is being vacuumed because vacuuming can actually increase airborne levels of mite allergens and other biological contaminants. Using central vacuum systems that are vented to the outdoors or vacuums with high efficiency filters may also be of help.

7. Take steps to minimize biological pollutants in basements. Clean and disinfect the basement floor drain regularly. Do not finish a basement below ground level unless all water leaks are patched and outdoor ventilation and adequate heat to prevent condensation are provided. Operate a dehumidifier in the basement if needed to keep relative humidity levels between 30-50 percent.

DON’T WORRY. GET PEACE OF MIND. GET ONE ROOM CLEANED FOR FREE!

If you would like to schedule a free inspection and consultation and get a FREE demonstration of our amazing cleaning process, please call 985-872-1029. We’ll show you the best cleaning you’ve ever seen. If you like what you see, we’ll make the rest of your home or office just as good. Your satisfaction is absolutely guaranteed. Call now.

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