Testimonial From an Architect - Rebuilding After Sandy
SLOW DOWN TO SPEED UP - THE SANDY REBUILD
At this moment, we are working with well over fifty clients and their homes, with more and more showing up each and every day. These homes are relatively easy to lift, but only if we can keep the contractors in sequence on the rebuild. In other words, if we can make them stop doing interior work until we help the owner with a plan/budget on the lift; this will save everyone lots of time and wasted money.
You mean we have to stop rebuilding...? Yes. You must slow down to speed up.
More often than not, before any home can be lifted, we have to go inside these homes and prepare them for a safe lift, FIRST. Once they are lifted and sitting on a new super-structure, contractors can than begin to rebuild interiors and cosmetics like drywall and flooring. My fear for a lot of folks is that these contractors are going to town on their rebuild; spending homeowner’s limited funds on things that will have to be ripped open to secure the building for a safe lift.
Help me get the message out to everyone, please: “SLOW DOWN TO SPEED UP" this rebuild effort. Too many contractors doing interiors before the lift is going to cause owners unnecessary budget problems when they are ready to lift their home. I will continue to pound on media and my town halls in an effort to "Slow Down to Speed Up" these owners and contractors.
We do all these plans/budgets and assessments - at no charge right now - using our www.idbp.org (i.e. "Institute of Defensive Building Practices"). My goal is to try and get all these contractors certified as an approved "Defensive Contractor".
BLEACH DOES NOT KILL MOLD
Mold removal: Will bleach remove my mold?
Molds are nature’s decomposers, and are responsible for breaking down and getting rid of dead organic material. They definitely have their place in nature, but not in our homes or businesses which is why it’s important to dry out a home quickly when you’ve suffered water damage.
Mold trapped in homes is extremely dangerous, and toxic varieties can cause many problems, including severe illness and the complete destruction of property. Once mold is discovered, action should be taken immediately to prevent further issues. Unfortunately when it comes to getting rid of mold, the first thing people reach for is the bottle of bleach under the kitchen sink, but it can and does make the problem worse. Bleach can actually feed the very thing you are trying to get rid of. There are various reasons why chlorine bleach should not be used for the cleanup of mold. It’s for these reasons that chlorine bleach is not registered as a disinfectant to kill mold with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Taken from the EPA website:
"It is necessary to clean up mold contamination, not just to kill the mold. Dead mold is still allergenic, and some dead molds are potentially toxic. The use of a biocide, such as chlorine bleach, is not recommended as a routine practice during mold remediation"
- Taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:
"Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water."
Note, they specify "hard surfaces."
There are quite a few reasons why chlorine bleach is ineffective at killing mold:
- Chlorine bleach does not have the ability to cut through a dirty surface. Bleach cannot clean dirt and only masks it by bleaching it white or transparent. Any soiled surface that requires mold restoration will initially require cleaned before being disinfected with bleach. This is twice the amount of work required to get rid of mold than if the correct product was used in the first place. Additionally, the killing power of bleach is quickly deactivated by organic material.
- Full strength chlorine bleach is too diluted to get rid of mold permanently, especially on porous surfaces. The chlorine itself will not soak into porous materials such as drywall and wood, but the water making up 99% of chlorine bleach does, and feeds the mold. Mold grows its roots deep into the surface of drywall and wood and the chlorine can only kill what is on the surface, allowing the roots of the mold to remain very much alive. Mold removal of porous materials is the only safe way of getting rid of all of the mold.
- Lastly, whatever killing power chlorine bleach does possess drops rapidly even over a very short period of time. Apart from the fact that the disinfecting power of bleach is quickly deactivated once it comes into contact with organic material, chlorine bleach also has a very short shelf life. As the bleach sits on the grocery store shelf or in the cupboards in a home, the Chlorine ions continually bleed through the plastic which is why bleach smells like bleach even when the bottle is closed. It is reported that in just the first three months after being bottled, there is a 50% loss in killing power in an unopened container of bleach.
The EPA, various Departments of Health, the Wall Street Journal, and even Clorox themselves, have all stated that bleach is ineffective at killing mold on porous surfaces. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), Clorox, the EPA and OSHA, have all stated that bleach should never be used in mold remediation. Bleach appears to kill mold, but just the surface mold is affected – the hidden mold underneath the surface is alive and well – now it has been fed and is doing better than ever.
When the mold eventually grows back, and it will, it will be stronger than before. Many think bleach seems to help, but it makes the problem worse. There are ways to get rid of your unwanted houseguest, but bleach is not one of them.
Ask your Building Professional what their plans are for remediating your mold problem. You have the right to know.
EPA: Molds and Moisture
Total Utilization... Lumber = Cash
Few really understand high volume national lumber that Eco has been building on with all the supporting operations in place, and this was all in the works even before Super Storm Sandy. This high-production operation starts with mastering it in one location before you roll out into multiple locations like we plan on doing. The key to lumber is this… as it sits and weathers and twists and cups, you have to find a place for all your wood that has experienced radical shrink. I've built team here at Eco that looks at lumber as dollars bills, not just wood. So in our facilities, we have no shrink. We take long twisted lumber and cut it down to use in in cripples and the small pieces needed on every job site. This is called total utilization, and this is Eco.
Eco Red Shield inventory is now buried under this Newtown, CT snow. Lumber stored outside has a hard time maintaining its original book values for the engineers designing buildings because of rot. The problem with rot is that most framers don't know that 5% rot is equal to 80% engineering loss. This is just another reason to educate the Specifying Community about the problems that have been long over looked when it comes to framing lumber. This rot problem can even happen in places like Arizona and California from rain. It doesn't take snow to start the rot process; any type of sustained moisture exposure will catalyze the rot process.