April 13, 2022


Written by createape

Spring is in full bloom, and Easter is around the corner. As we enter the second quarter of the year, we are starting to see a return to life as we had once known. More people are dining out. Travel has seen an increase as people go on vacation, and retail shops see an increase in footfall. Leisure activities have increased, and most facilities have lifted mask mandates. Workers have returned to the office, or companies are now following hybrid models while still keeping employees safe. As always, though, we must err on the side of caution and be safe as we never quite know what lurks around the corner.

In this edition of the newsletter, we focus on the need for earthquake preparedness and how we should take the necessary precaution. The global asbestos awareness week runs from April 1 to April 7. Alliance Environmental sheds the spotlight on the need for this hazardous material commonly found in residential homes in the form of popcorn ceilings. Asbestos can be detrimental to one’s health and environment if disturbed, and thus there is a need for the asbestos to be professionally removed. We then move on to the need for preventative maintenance in healthcare facilities. Coast IAQ and Life Safety Services is an expert contractor addressing these needs. Next up, Mintie Product provides an excellent incentive for why you should be purchasing their mobile containment solution for your facility. Finally, Airtek Indoor Air Solutions highlights the need for duct cleaning, which is optimal for healthy indoor air quality in any commercial or industrial building.

April is National Earthquake Preparedness Month – by Alliance Environmental

California is known to have more earthquakes and aftershocks than any other state, but not many residents have earthquake insurance. The aftermath of recovering from an earthquake is harrowing for everyone involved.

Under federal programs, homeowners without earthquake insurance can qualify for $30,000 in cash aid and take out loans with low interest to fix and replace property. Those with insurance would be eligible for assistance by their insurance to pay for uncovered losses. However, many residents do not purchase earthquake insurance for financial reasons. If one can afford it, shop around to find what will benefit you in the long run and ask your insurance if it can be an add-on. We also recommend using the USGS map to check how prone your area is. If at higher risk, check what ground your home or business is built on because the type of structure plays a significant role. For instance, brick may be shaken up, while a building built in a flexible wood frame may last through a shake.

Earthquakes can be unpredictable, but there are several companies that are here to help, and we are one of them. Our demolition and cleanup division can remove any material safely, and if demolition is needed, we follow strict procedures to keep everyone around safe. The Seattle Times shares a guide to earthquake preparedness to secure your home. It is better to be prepared even if we do not know when another quake will hit than to be unprepared.

When a building gets red-tagged, it means it is unsafe for occupancy. Buildings get red-tagged for numerous reasons:

  • Debris.
  • Parts of a building may collapse.
  • Buildings around other buildings may be close to other structures that are not safe.
  • Water has settled inside mold can be found
  • Gas Leaks
  • Structural Damage

Those examples can lead a building to be red-tagged after an earthquake. If facilities are old and lead paint exists, it is dangerous because lead dust could have been present when the earthquake happened. When mold is present, mold spores can be found in the air. It is a challenging situation, but it will take day by day.

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Asbestos in the Housing Market – Popcorn Ceilings

Are you looking to do something about the popcorn ceiling in your older home? Take precautions against potential asbestos contamination – know the risks and how to confront them safely and economically.
We all grew up with that generic white bumpy surface above our heads – that white stucco-like surface on every ceiling that you would stare up at while taking a bath or falling asleep. These have come to be known as popcorn ceilings. For anybody born before about 1995, popcorn ceilings existed as a generic suburbia household default that was just part of life.

Eventually, home builders figured out how to make ceilings in new homes more aesthetically pleasing by introducing low-cost texturization methods that gave the roof a more elegant look. For many owners of existing homes, re-texturizing is an excellent low-cost way to spruce up a tired-looking space. Unfortunately, a simple texturizing upgrade can render a home inhabitable if asbestos is present in the ceiling. The good news is that there are professionals out there who can remove the toxic ceiling materials safely using a standardized asbestos removal p5 procedure.

How did popcorn ceilings become common, and why were they made with asbestos?

The use of asbestos in housing and construction goes back as far as the 1890s, when it was discovered that there was a subset of naturally occurring minerals that were highly effective at retaining heat, blocking out sound when in a fibrous state, and enhancing structural integrity. The term asbestos was adopted to refer to any one of the fibrous minerals that worked well in these applications.

After the Second World War, there was a big push in America to put up as many homes as possible, and build them as cheaply as possible, so that ordinary people could own their own homes. It turns out that asbestos-based popcorn ceilings were one of the most cost-effective quality control techniques used in mass-producing the homes of the middle class. It was not uncommon for ceiling drywall to contain many minor imperfections when installed. The easiest way to solve this problem was to coat the drywall in a white, crumbly asbestos-based membrane that covered all the drywall imperfections and effectively blocked out the noise. Hence, the dry, intricate white ceilings became known as popcorn ceilings.

This was widely used as the industry standard until all of those buildings constructed with asbestos in the 1890s started requiring more and more maintenance. Every time a pipe needed replacing, the workers would have to cut through the asbestos-laced insulation around the pipes. Instead, they began dying in large numbers because the little bits of airborne asbestos particulate that they would inhale caused acute respiratory illnesses and aggressive varieties of cancer. By the 1970s, asbestos-free insulation and drywall coatings were brought to market as a safer alternative.

Why is it so difficult to remove or modify old asbestos-based fixtures once installed?

Unfortunately, for all of those old buildings with asbestos in the walls and ceilings, the asbestos itself was almost impossible to remove without at least some of the toxic particulate being accidentally ingested by someone. However, it was often the case that it was too dangerous to perform maintenance on such buildings, so the functionality of many of these buildings was impaired. It took several decades of air quality filtration innovations, the adoption of special disposal techniques, and the harmonization of best practices and regulatory standards before asbestos could be removed and disposed of safely on a large scale.

Similar issues emerge when dealing with popcorn ceilings in private homes. When one tries to texturize a ceiling that contains asbestos, little bits of that airborne particulate go into the lungs of whoever is working under it, setting the stage for severe illness and potential lawsuits.

How calling the professionals can help.

The gold standard for safely removing asbestos is in the use of p5 procedures. These procedures use a systematic combination of HEPA air filtration devices, external air quality monitoring techniques, and standardized disposal protocols to ensure that all of that harmful airborne particulate gets removed from the air as the asbestos is being removed. In addition, the companies that offer this service in domestic homes are simply scaling down and modifying the methods that have been used in commercial buildings to make them work in the home.

As you begin your search for the right team to remove your household asbestos, keep in mind the importance of the p5 procedure. Anybody out there who claims to be an asbestos removal expert who does not provide p5 procedure-based services cannot make any guarantees that they are adhering to county-specific air quality rules and regulations and federal environmental protection standards.

If you live in an older home and think there might be asbestos in your popcorn ceiling, an excellent place to start would be an asbestos testing kit. If your ceiling contains asbestos, your days of staring up at that ugly ceiling continually do not have to persist. Instead, you have to pick up the phone and let the experts take over. After that, the possibilities for your ceiling are bound by nothing. You can texturize, paint, and add tiles, wooden panels, or even baseboards. Or, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed by all the options, you could go with a lovely classic, asbestos-free popcorn finish. It’s easy to put on yourself, and the fact that it insulates noise is practical. It seemed to work well enough for our parents.

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Preventative Maintenance is Crucial for Your Healthcare Facility – by Coast IAQ and Life Safety Services

Deferring maintenance can save money at the moment but can become more costly in the future and prevent a healthcare facility from meeting The Joint Commission’s standards. When maintenance is deferred, the efficiency and longevity of equipment are at risk, and so are the health and safety of its occupants. Clean air and working life safety equipment are critical in healthcare facilities. Repeated use of these systems and equipment – with deferred maintenance can become more costly than keeping up with routine maintenance. Coast IAQ & Life Safety Services encourages preventative maintenance. Preventative maintenance refers to regular and routine equipment maintenance to keep them running and prevent costly repairs and unexpected downtime.

Essential tasks that fall under maintenance include cleaning air systems and life safety equipment. Coast IAQ & Life Safety Services offers services to help with routine cleaning while supporting facilities to reach The Joint Commission Standards. Coast’s services include AHU & Coil Cleaning, Duct Cleaning, Kitchen Exhaust Systems & Kitchen Equipment Cleaning, Fire Damper Testing & Repair, Firewall Penetration Repairs (Firestop), and Fire Sprinkler Head Cleaning. Taking the time to clean air systems means cleaner and healthier air. Clean sprinkler heads and working fire dampers mean an extra level of safety in the case of a fire. Get Coast’s team on-site to assist in-house engineers in getting air systems and other equipment clean.

AHU, Coil, & Air Duct Cleaning
The Coast team performs in-depth air system cleaning. This service removes dust, large particles, pathogens, and biological spores that may have gotten into the system. Cleaning air systems improve the indoor air quality for everyone in the facility. In addition, the team follows proper infection control measures to ensure patients and staff are safe while the services are being performed. In addition, they create containment with a good ICRA setup to prevent dust or other contaminants from extending past the work area.

Kitchen Exhaust Systems & Equipment Cleaning
Kitchens in healthcare facilities run day to day to ensure patients and staff are well-nourished. Kitchen equipment accumulates layers of grease from regular usage and could put the kitchen at risk of a grease fire. With some elbow grease and attention to detail, Coast can get kitchen Exhaust Systems and equipment cleaned in a timely matter to keep these kitchens running smoothly. Scheduling regular kitchen hood and equipment cleaning can help prevent downtime caused by needing more extensive cleaning and repairs caused by not cleaning.

Fire Damper Testing & Repairs
Coast’s trained personnel can complete your Fire Damper testing and necessary repairs to provide the reporting and life safety maps required by TJC, per NFPA 80, 90A, and 105 standards.

Fire-Wall Penetration Repairs
Allow Coast to provide you with regularly scheduled Fire-stop services that include a survey of Fire-wall penetrations, Cable violations, and J-box violations. In addition, our trained personnel will perform the necessary penetration repairs, and those repairs comply with all state and local fire codes.

Fire Sprinkler Head Cleaning
Dust, dirt, and other particles covering a fire sprinkler head can insulate its temperature-sensitive glass bulb and compromise its performance – potentially triggering it to go off prematurely, delayed, or not. Because the glass bulbs are fragile, it is not recommended that healthcare facilities clean them independently. The dust and particles can also be homing bacteria from ill patients. However, there is a potential risk of the bacteria spreading when the sprinklers kick into action. The Coast team will perform contactless cleaning, taking extra care not to damage the heat sensor or set off the sprinkler system. They can also assist your facility by plotting all your sprinklers on a life safety map to reconcile the type and amount of each type of sprinkler in the facility.

Give Coast IAQ & Life Safety Services a call to get your routine cleaning services scheduled.

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Extend the Life of the Mintie ECU4 – by Mintie Product

Mintie, LLC offers two NEW packages that include replacement envelopes and frame parts for their award-winning modular, portable ECU4 systems.

The ECU4 is Mintie’s industry-leading environmental containment unit. From infection control during routine facility maintenance to temporary isolation during a public health emergency, this module was designed to be a simple solution for many situations. Its sturdy yet collapsible structure makes it easy to set up and close to store until the next time it is needed. The ECU4 meets and exceeds all four levels of ICRA compliance, meeting the widest variation of containment use needs with various accessories and scalable options for best containment practices. Pair the ECU4 with a negative air machine to complete level 3 and 4 containment requirements.

An ECU4 is the most versatile multipurpose unit, and to help you keep your system maintained and your crews working, Mintie is introducing two new ECU4 packages that include replacement envelopes and frame truss replacement parts.

They are now offering a 1-year and a 2-year package to add to the original warranty the ECU4 already comes with. These options include yearly replacement truss frame parts and one or two replacement envelopes (depending on the product option purchased).

Let Mintie, LLC provide everything you need to keep your ECU4 in pristine, working condition. Need a replacement envelope before your scheduled maintenance? Both packages allow you to purchase one or more throughout the year at a discounted price.

These NEW ECU4 packages help keep your cost of ownership low and your ECU4 gear maintained for years to come.

Are you interested in purchasing a new ECU4 for your facility? Contact a Mintie representative or your local distributor today!

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Keep your Ducts in a Row: Five Benefits of Commercial Duct Cleaning by Airtek Indoor Air Solutions

When it comes to commercial buildings, the ducts may be one of the absolute last things on anyone’s mind. However, they’re a vital part of the air quality system keeping occupants comfortable and healthy. As the air of all temperatures is circulated throughout the building, it carries particles including dust, allergens, and contaminants that can collect in the ductwork, especially when air temperatures rise and fall within the ducts. To keep those using interior spaces within the building healthy and happy, regularly scheduled duct cleaning commercial services provide clean, safe spaces while avoiding more extensive repairs and replacement expenses. Here are five critical benefits of creating an ideal cleaning schedule with your trusted commercial and industrial air quality solution company.

Clean air is not a luxury; it’s essential.
On top of being inefficient, dirty ducts can harbor contaminated air and continue to circulate throughout the entire building. Research shows a poorly maintained air quality system, including uncleaned ducts, can be 70 times more polluted than outdoor air, especially as it continues to recirculate. Residues including dust, smoke, mold, and fungi may be spreading for occupants to inhale. Not only will people notice unpleasant odors, but prolonged and regular exposure can make them sick. Whether on behalf of residents, workers, or visitors, scheduling frequent duct cleaning commercial services is essential in maintaining a well-maintained building.

Stop mold growth in its tracks.
Without the expertise and thorough inspection offered by professional duct cleaning commercial service providers, it’s difficult to tell what’s happening inside that ductwork extending throughout the entire building. Especially in environments where temperature fluctuations occur or moisture and condensation are present, mold may be taking up residence within the ducts. In addition to being a significant health hazard, mold quickly becomes a compounding problem when it enters the ductwork. As its growth begins to block airflow, that reduced airflow only serves to welcome multiplied mold growth. This is truly a case where having your commercial cleaning service provider create a custom cleaning schedule can catch a problem before going from bad to worse.

Health risks are unacceptable.
Dirty air ducts harbor particles that can be dangerous to the health of those inside the building. They spread these contaminants around all the interior spaces. Beyond the usual suspects like dust, allergens, and mold, poorly maintained ducts can host and spread bacteria and viruses. Allergic reactions like sneezing and coughing are at the minor end of the spectrum. More costly are employee absences and reduced productivity due to sickness. The pandemic has shown us just how critical airborne illness can be and how quickly it can spread. The remedy to all these scenarios is to ensure regular duct cleaning commercial services. Unfortunately, the risk of putting them off is not worth it.

Energy efficiency means economic and environmental sustainability.
The inefficiencies imposed upon an HVAC system with dirty ducts can mean the system uses up to 20 percent more energy. Just imagine how that extra cost compounds over months or years as the dust and other particles within the ducts go unnoticed. Regular duct cleaning commercial services allow expert technicians to quickly identify issues and keep the air quality system running to maximum efficiency and performance. That means lower energy bills, a more budget-friendly building environment, and a priority to social responsibility in reducing energy waste.

Preventative equipment maintenance pays in the long run.
Dirty ducts where dust, contaminants, and other air particles have been allowed to build up quickly cause the system to experience reduced performance, breakdowns, and complete failure. Replacing an HVAC system overworked and lost lifespan thanks to poorly maintained is a massive undertaking in terms of expense and downtime for any commercial space. By regularly turning to duct cleaning commercial service experts, not only can building owners and caretakers help keep the system’s air passageway clean and clear, but the cleaning process will also remain quick and straightforward each time. This prevents more extensive cleaning services or other costly repairs and replacements.

Every building and its use are unique. It can be challenging to know how often duct cleaning commercial services are required. By developing an ongoing relationship with a trusted company, their technicians can help create a customized cleaning and maintenance schedule that keeps ducts clean, the air quality system running optimally, and people healthy. The best way to find that trusted partner? Reach out and ask questions. Click here to learn more.

Need to have the air quality improved in your commercial or industrial building? With a regularly inspected and cleaned HVAC system, you can significantly improve indoor air quality and energy consumption. But don’t trust your property to just anyone. AirTek’s highly trained and certified duct cleaning commercial service professionals have the experience to handle complex heating, air conditioning, and ventilation system requirements, along with the unique regulations of large facilities.

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Striving for Total Client Satisfaction

Our recent experience with Alliance was positive., across the board. We chose Alliance to do the required asbestos abatement work prior to a recent HVAC upgrade in our home. We based our choice on online reviews including Yelp (Alliance generally seemed to get good marks; none of the companies that do this work seem to escape getting some terrible reviews …) and based on the price (well below an equally well-reviewed competitor).

Their estimate was generated by Alliance rep Roy Velasquez, who showed up at our house within his projected time window, having updated up when he was on his way. Roy was great to deal with, explained everything in detail, and was very responsive to further questions via text and phone. The Alliance crew was similarly predictable and easy to communicate with, very professional, and had the job done well below the quoted time. Premises were left in perfect condition. – Sarah. A


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