Building You Up!

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Dangerous Drywall

You wouldn't expect your brand new home to make you sick but, according some Florida homeowners that is exactly what happened. The CPSC has received about 2,091 reports from residents in 32 states. Homeowners in Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi as well as many other states and U.S. territories that had homes built between 2006 - 2007 have complained of several health problems, itchy eyes and skin, asthma attacks, persistent cough and bloody noses. They have also complained of a "rotten egg" smell in their home, electrical wire failure, and metal fixtures and copper tubing turning black.

Drywall made in China is believed to be the source of the problem. High levels of hydrogen sulfide have been found in homes built with this particular drywall. If you believe you have contaminated drywall you should contact your state and local health department. The CPSC has not advised whether or not to take certain steps to test and remove the contaminated drywall. But warn homeowners to be cautious 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.

According to the CDC you should watch for potential electrical hazards in you 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.

For more information please go to

Pictures are from the CPSC Report

Monday, November 23, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Recycling is the act of taking something that isn't useful anymore and making it into something new. Everyone has at some-point has taken something old in their home they were just planning to throw out and transformed it into a new and viable, like a old shoe box into a keepsake box or an old window into a picture frame.

Most people are familiar with large scale recycling that takes used consumer goods and turns them back into raw materials to be made into something else. The most common things we recycle are paper, plastic, glass and aluminum. Don't forget that composing is a form of recycling too. Taking organic waist like food scraps and yard clippings and breaking them down to put back into the earth will save a lot of energy and free up space in our landfills. For information on how to start your own compost check out for some easy tips.

large scale recycling is important to the environment and economy. When we can reuse materials to make other goods it cuts back on the amount of garbage going to our landfills, the United States is home to approximately 7,000 landfills. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces about 4.4 pounds of garbage a day, 29 pounds a week and 1,600 pounds a year. Only about 20% of the garbage produced in the US is recycled, 70% of the garbage thrown out could have been recycled.

Remember those three easy words Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Just following these three words can save our precious resources and energy. Reduce what you use, buy reusable grocery totes, and choose products that come in the least amount of packaging. Reuse what you can and buy products made from recycled materials. And last of all recycle, These three word are in a certain order for a reason. Although recycling is important, it is also expensive and we need to do our part in making sure we get everything out of what we use.

Like all things there is a down side to recycling, it is expensive to run recycling programs. Most areas have curb side pick ups of recyclable goods, they then need to be sorted and cleaned, then transformed into new consumer products. Recycling causes its fair share of pollution as well. When recycling paper it needs to be bleached which brings different chemicals into the process.

Even though there are still energy costs and pollution that come with recycling, it is important to be aware of all the good it can create. Recycling teaches us to be aware of the products we use and to be more responsible with how we use them.

Utah has many recycling programs. below are links to the different county programs. Check out what is recyclable in your area and pick up schedules for your neighborhood.

"people feel that it's OK to purchase and use environmentally harmful products like bottled water or plastic diapers because they make up for it by recycling. These views point to the ultimate solution: buy less stuff. Purchasing reusable goods or simply buying fewer things we don't need is the best way to stop the garbage stream at the source." Ed Grabianowski (fun facts) (what recycle symbols and numbers mean)

Monday, November 9, 2009

New EPA lead regulations

Common restoration activities like sanding, cutting and demolition work can kick up hazardous dust into the air containing lead particles that can be harmful to you and your family. As of April 22, 2010 all restoration companies will need to be in compliance with the EPA's new Renovation, Repair and Painting rule when dealing with lead-based paints. The new rule will apply to any housing and child occupied facility that was built before 1978. The EPA's Renovation, Repair and Paining rule states that all restores be certified by the EPA to handle projects involving "renovations preformed for compensation in target housing and child occupied facilities" (40 CFR, 745.80). Each project will also be required to have a certified renovator supervising the job.

Restoration firms should already be in compliance with phase one of the EPA's new regulations, restorers should handing out a pamphlet called Renovate Right! to home owners or occupants, it teaches homeowners about the dangers of lead and how to protect their families, . Phase two needs to be complete by April 22, 2010, by then any project manager/ supervisor should be certified to handle the renovation or removal of an area greater than six square feet covered with lead based paints in a home or child occupied facility.

The new regulations for dealing with lead based paints will require stricter practices in treating an affected area. Signs will need to be posted warning occupants of the dangers of lead and to stay out of work areas, better containing work areas so not to let dust and debris move to far from the source. The use of certain high speed paint removers will be limited.

Advanced Restoration is in the process of having all our estimators certified, we are committed to stay up to date with all current laws and regulations set by the EPA. We also hold ourselves to the high standards set by the Restoration Industry Association (RIA). Our goal is to keep home owners safe while restoring their home to its original beauty. It's just another way of "building you up" . For more information on the EPA new lead regulations visit or call Advanced Restoration 888.886.1740

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