Monthly Archives: January 2014

Moisture Damage in Buidlings



When materials in a building get wet then complications begin to rise. Moisture damage in a building can cause adverse health effects that include nasal and throat symptoms, coughing and asthma symptoms. In order for individuals to not feel these symptoms, sometimes the moisture in a building needs to be monitored. A building does not completely have to be dry but dry enough so that there are no health affects and no damage to a building. When a area in a building gets wet and moisture accumulates mold can begin to grow and damages several parts of a building.The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Moisture Control Guidance for Building Design, Construction and Maintenance lists several components of a building that can be damaged by moisture:

  • Prolonged damp conditions can lead to the colonization of building materials and HVAC systems by molds, bacteria, wood-decaying molds and insect pests.
  • Water soluble building materials can return to solution.
  • Chemical reactions with building materials and components can cause, for example, structural fasteners, wiring, metal roofing and conditioning coils to corrode and flooring or roofing adhesive to fail.
  • Wooden materials can warp,swell or rot.
  • Paints and varnishes can be damaged.
  • The insulating value of thermal insulation can be reduced.

These are all examples of was moisture damage can do to a building. When there is damage on any building it can be costly and water damage can be expensive depending how big the area is affected. The key is to diagnose the moisture problem and fix it quickly so no more damage is done to the building. Once the moisture problem is fixed monitoring and controlling the moisture of a building will prevent any damage to the building and any health concerns to individuals.

Look for us today in Oakland at the CACM Law Seminar and Expo

CACM cover

We are spending today and tomorrow with the California Association of Community Managers in Oakland, our first Expo of 2014! The CACM Law Seminar is always replete with interesting and important information.

We hope if you are attending, you will stop by our booth and say hello!

This year’s Seminar features sessions as diverse as:

  • Basic and Advanced Ethics for Community Managers
  • New legislation affecting Community Managers
  • Safety, Security and Privacy
  • A Voyage Through the Claims Process
  • Enforcement and Discipline
  • Renovations

There will also be small group brainstorming on:

  • ADR & IDR
  • Assessment Collection
  • Elections & Meetings
  • Email & Social Media
  • Facilities Maintenance & Reserves
  • Fair Housing & ADA
  • Hierarchy of Rules & Governing Documents
  • Illegal Board Activities & Lawsuits
  • Insurance & Managing Risk
  • Neighbors, Pets & Parking

Doesn’t it sound interesting? Hope to see you there!

Bacteria Sampling



If you work for the Indoor Air Quality Industry you might have had many encounters with areas infected with mold. You might also know how to test an area for mold as well. However, many areas can also be affected by bacteria.Bacteria can clearly be found in any environment and when testing should be done, it is important to clear why the testing has to be done. There can be several types of bacteria testing that may include air samples, surface samples and water samples. Sampling certain areas can also determine whether certain particles are affecting and irritating individuals. Sampling the environment can also help locate where the bacteria can be found and facilitate an effective remediation plan.

If you would like more information on bacteria sampling, the Indoor Air Quality Association will be hosting a webinar on “Sampling for Bacteria.” The webinar illustrate several situations where bacteria sampling can be useful and also show different scenarios where bacteria sampling is necessary. The webinar will also show how to take air sampling for bacteria. Important and additional information to learn more about the industry and train employees on this subject. Below is video with information on bacteria sampling.



Dinner With Friends Video and Update

We have a lot more information about the Dinner With Friends today, but first, a video:

If you weren’t reading fast enough:

Beverages will be provided by Lightning Brewery

Appetizers and dinner will be provided by Moto Restaurants and The Verant Group

Custom desserts will be provided by Popcakery

Guests will receive a tour of the Ronald McDonald House of San Diego and participate in a wine grab and live and silent auctions, as well as get a firsthand look at what the Ronald McDonald House does for their families.

If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, CLICK HERE! If you would like to be a Matching Sponsor, read more HERE.

The Ronald McDonald House provides a home-away-from-home for the families of critically ill children so that they can be together during a terribly stressful time for any family. Won’t you help? All proceeds from the Dinner With Friends go directly to fund the daily operations of Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego.

Thank you for your support!

Prevent Germs from Spreading in the Office

Green Message2


In previous blogs, we have talked about office environments and how different sources may help the air quality in the office. We have also blogged about how different materials that are found in a office environment can affect the indoor air quality. In a recent study done by The University of Arizona, germs spread fast in a office environment. There are thousands of individuals who work in a office environment and when someone comes to the office sick you know someone will end up being sick. If not one person then everyone takes turns getting sick. Right?

The study that was done at the University was really interesting because individuals sometimes forget that doing a regular regime can prevent someone from getting sick. They’re were eighty participants who were part of a study and one person received a droplet that contained artificial viruses that mimic the cold and the flu. After those participants went back to their daily routine at the office and those participants touched several surfaces, more than fifty percent of surfaces and employees were infected with the virus. An associate part of this study states, “We put more people in bigger facilities, so we have more opportunities for trading germs than ever before.” This is all preventable in the office and in any work environment. The same is with air quality in public places. Maintaing the HVAC system can prevent a comfortable environment and help those who have allergic reactions to common pollutants, we can prevent moisture and mold from building up and we can help improve the air quality indoors with the proper information and education. Preventing germs from spreading in the office will not only help individuals from getting sick but also create a healthier comfortable environment.


Pollution in the Bay Area

san fran pollution


It has been very windy and dusty in the San Joaquin Valley. Wildfires in Southern California was affecting the air not too long ago and recently the Bay area’s weather has been dry and hazy. Overall, pollution in these areas have been greatly affected. The Bay area’s winter has not been a great one. Starting this year there has been around eight Spare the Air alerts in the Bay Area. However, the total of Spare the Air alerts beginning November first and last week, has been a total of twenty seven alerts. This means that it is illegal to burn wood or fire logs. Residents in the Bay area need to refrain from burning wood to help the air. It is a matter of trying to help residents who have respiratory issues feel better when they go out. Cyclists, runners and anyone who is doing outdoor activities need to be more cautious when they’re Spare the Air alerts.

When there is rain, most of the time the rain will draw pollutants out and help the environment but last year and this year has been the driest. As a result, a drought may occur and water restrictions might be recommended. Many are concern of not only the pollution that is outside but also the air quality indoors. Indoor air pollution is the fourth is a health factor and that is why many who live in the Bay area need to understand that lighting up a fire place when there is a Spare the Air alert will not only affect the environment around you but your neighbor who may have respiratory problems or heart problems.At Air-tek we are always concern of the indoor air quality and outdoor air quality of any environment. We offer indoor air services through out California. You may contact your local office by visiting us HERE.;

VIDEO: Indoor Air Quality and Your Health

We love the tips in this short video from the medical professionals at Sutter Health about indoor air quality!

Of course, the weather here in California almost always lets us open the windows for part of the day, but if you live in a more traditionally wintery climate, you need to be especially aware of what you bring into your indoor air.

Minimize Volatile Organic Compounds as much as possible by buying and using unscented and no- or low-VOC products for home improvements and cleaning.

Resist air fresheners that just add chemicals to your indoor air.

Only use hand-sanitizers when soap and water is not available.

Consider beeswax candles rather than chemical-laden scented options.

Keep your home well ventilated when installing new flooring or furniture to allow the chemicals which are off-gassing to escape outside instead of staying in your indoor air. If you can leave new furniture unwrapped outside for a few days, do so, but definitely keep the windows open as much as possible when you have new furnishings.

Vacuum often to reduce dust and dust mites, but if you or a member of your family is sensitive, allergic or asthmatic, use a high-quality vacuum that doesn’t let particles escape back into the air.

Change your air filters frequently and follow a maintenance schedule for your vents and ducts.

Get some indoor plants–not only do they increase the oxygen and reduce the carbon dioxide in your indoor air, they can also remove chemicals like formaldehyde.

Time to go open a window!

Learn about Radon and Test Your Home for Radon

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 11.45.50 AM

We are approaching the end of National Radon Action Month but there are several resources that one can use to learn more about radon. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has a section on their website that shows radon zones in the U.S and many more resources with useful information. Radon is found throughout California and each section has different levels of radon and checking your home for radon varies. You may check your radon levels by zip code as well. Since radon is found in every state and in this case anywhere in California, whether you live in California or anywhere else in the country, it is important to test your home for radon.

When uranium and radium decays it causes radon to be produced. This most commonly happens with granite. The gas can enter the home through cracks in the foundation, water lines, and other small entrances. Even if you think your home is free of radon could be sneaking into your home and causing more harm than you might imagine. And since, radon can seep through cracks and water lines in a home, any home is at risk of high levels of radon. An alarming fact by states, “14% of the 300,000 Annual Lung Cancer Cases in the US are attributable to radon.”

As a result, The California Department of Public Health and the Radon Program is offering short term test kits. It is never too late to test for radon and this time of the year is the best time to test for radon because we tend to keep our homes sealed more than during the summer. Radon levels tend to build up during indoors. There are so many resources from interactive radon zone maps to webinars to successful stories of radon action events that took place in previous years.



Our 300th Post: Seeking Sponsors for the Dinner With Friends

Ronald McDonald House San Diego

Ronald McDonald House of San Diego

The Dinner With Friends in support of the Ronald McDonald House of San Diego is rapidly approaching and we don’t want you to miss a great opportunity to sponsor this event!

Here’s some information about last year’s Dinner:

Matt and Carlos have let us know that the totals amount to over $19,000–a 132% increase over the money raised last year–and our CEO Joe McLean has let me know that next year will be BIGGER THAN EVER!

Would you like to help us make that prediction come true?

Here are some of the many rewards our Matching Sponsors will receive:

  • Promotion for your company on the Ronald McDonald House website
  • Promotion for your company on our social media outlets
  • Promotion for your company in the Alliance Environmental Group and AirTek Weekly Newsletters and Blogs
  • Your Logo displayed in the dining room and on the silent auction patio
  • Verbal mention prior to and during the raffle prize announcements during the event
  • You can provide collateral for guests in goodie bags or samples of product at the event
  • A link to your website and your logo on all Thank You post-event materials
  • Two complimentary tickets for the event
  • Company credit in all post-event media (social and print)
  • Receipt of tax-deductible donation
  • Logo on raffle seller buttons

That’s a lot! Plus there is the great satisfaction of having helped raise money for an exceptional organization that does amazing and necessary work. Doesn’t that sound great?

For more information or a copy of the Sponsorship Agreement, email Carlos Sanguinetti at carlossanguinetti (at) alliance-enviro (dot) com

We hope you are saving March 1st for this incredible and worthwhile event!

Scents,Odors and Indoor Air Quality


Scents and Odors can affect the indoor air quality in your home or where you work. Try to find the source if you have unpleasant indoor odors. These odors might be caused by cleaning products, paints, or office equipment in your work.In addition, sources like garbage disposal and pest infestation can also contribute to bad odors in your environment. If there is a musty smell, check the moisture levels in your surroundings because mold might be growing in places that are either visible or not. In order to control scents and odors is to find the source that is causing unpleasant odors and remove it. Until the source is removed, opening windows and using fans will increase fresh air ventilation in the home, which will help reduce odors. Your environment has to be fully open and ventilated in order for fresh air ventilation.

Some people choose to add odors to their indoor space, such as air fresheners or scented candles. These scented products only mask or cover up other odors by adding more chemicals into the indoor air. They do not get to the source of the odor problem and could be irritating or cause allergic reactions for sensitive people. For instance, places like nail salons have a strong scent of nail lacquer but these places need to be ventilated because nail polishes contain chemicals that can affect the indoor environment. You may read more about this issue in a recent blog post by Wendy. These scents and odors can affect the indoor air quality but individuals who are sensitive for instance to fragrances can have a different allergic reaction than those who are not that sensitive. If you have mold or your HVAC system is not working to properly ventilate your environment, Air-Tek can be of assistance and provide you indoor air quality services. You may contact your local Air-Tek office for more information.

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