MacFawn's Blog

Mold Legislation Changes and What it Means

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Monday, October 19, 2015

With 2016 quickly approaching, people are asking what exactly the new Mold legislation means for them? For clients and contractors alike it means one extra step in exchange for a great deal of protection that imparts a sense of checks and balances. At MacFawn Fire and Flood Restoration, we have been using this standard for decades which calls on a third party inspector to come in and assess a remediation job for the scope of damage that will be addressed by the contractor and then later on, after he work is complete, conducts clearance testing.

Currently, the standard of practice initiates an Industrial Hygienist to go to the site that remediation work will be conducted and work through baseline testing. This includes taking air and surface samples in addition to delineating the space of the affected area(s). With the new Mold Legislation, an Assessor will also provide a value to the work that will be completed for the client to compare with the Remediator/ Contractor estimate(s). This ensures that the client is getting a fair estimate and that the work is done correctly! 

The Mold Legislation that will be in effect in January 2016 also prohibits Assessors from having any affiliation with the Remediation Company to bypass any conflicts of interest that either individual may have. The licensing and training are also tailored for each respective position. The Contractor, the Assessor AND the Service Providers (a.k.a. Workers) all are mandated to have Licensing and Certification through the Department of Labor specific to their position and scope of work. 

MacFawn Fire and Flood Restoration is currently busy getting their employees the training that is necessary to comply with the New York State Legislation and we are proud to report that we will absolutely be in full compliance with the licensing requirements set forth by New York State DOL buy the end of the year in advance of the changes! As such, you can rest assured knowing that any work we are called upon to complete will be done honestly and accurately! 

The Capital Region in the Running

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

(Albany) A Revitalization Initiative is currently in effect that some have deemed the 'Upstate Hunger Games' in which the Capital Region and the other six regions outside of Manhattan compete for funding with comprehensive plans to boost their economies. One of the plans that have been discussed, targets transportation needs amongst the counties throughout the Capital Region. The Albany Mayor has provided that Capital Region residents engage in quite a bit of commuting. As such, targeting transportation as a way to revitalize the Upstate economy, making it easier to travel throughout the region, would indeed have a profound effect on the economy. 

Recently, CDTA announced plans to introduce a contra-flow traffic system in downtown Troy in addition to constructing a major CDTA hub downtown. This would exemplify the essence of the type of transportation needs that could be met with funding as large as what is being offered to the top three candidates of this Upstate Hunger Game race for $500M in Economic Development and state funding. 

The winners will be announced in December. In the meantime, the contestants will present their plans next week to Lt. Govenor Kathy Hochel and NY Secretary of State Cesar Perales. We watch and wait! 

It is Time to Winterize

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Friday, October 09, 2015

We have had an overwhelming number of calls within the past couple of weeks as the seasons change here at MacFawn Fire and Flood Restoration and one of the most salient issues that have come into the forefront of thinking is winterization. There are a number of ways one can save on energy and heat expenses throughout the winter, but more importantly the average cost of a cracked pipe that leads to flooding is $9,000.00 USD; an expense that if you generally steer clear of claims with your homeowner's insurance at the risk of a rate increase, is not one to reckon with. 

We recommend winterizing in phases. Start with the basics. Seal your windows to reduce airflow from outside one by one. Once they are sealed, if you still feel a draft, look into window quilts that will act as a secondary barrier to the seal. Window quilts are an investment, but a good one! 

After your windows have been properly sealed, do a walkthrough and seal any other areas that are allowing air from the outside into your structure. Check the foundation for any cracks or holes and around the windows and trim for any areas that may need to be re-caulked. 

Start Phase II when you have cleared your home or business for any residual areas of airflow from the outside. The next most important task one can engage in is to insulate your pipes an plumbing. If you don't know which portions of plumbing are those which process water flow, there are great tutorials online that show you what's what in the wonderful world of plumbing. A good rule of thumb is to select the smaller pipes first. These generally are waterlines and they are usually in the walls. If they however are exposed and not protected with some kind of insulation within the wall(s), it is absolutely a good idea to insulate. There are a number of different types of plumbing insulation that will wrap around the cylindrical piping easily and protect the pipe from any residual airflow. In areas of your home or business that are not heated or are 'under-heated,' there is a much greater risk of water inside freezing, expanding and hence cracking the pipe (which will ultimately lead to flooding of the areas in close proximity. 

New York State News: A Revitalization of the NYS Fair

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Tuesday, October 06, 2015

(Syracuse)  Governor Cuomo announced in early September that the NY State Fairgrounds will be undergoing the biggest renovation in the history of the fair. An estimated $50 million in grants and funding will used in efforts to continue investing in the Upstate NY Tourism industry. Cuomo made a poignant remark about how often residents of downstate; Manhattan particularly- plan their vacations Upstate, and for this to continue, Upstate must satisfy the niche industry with attractions and aesthetics that will make people want to travel to Upstate NY.

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 2.38.28 PM

A grand entryway will welcome guests to the facilities. The entryway is planned for unveiling by August 2016

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 9.52.02 AM

Plans to reinvent the Onondaga Performing Arts Center as ‘Lakeview Amphitheater’ are underway. The development will compliment the day facilities; giving travelers, tourists and guests the opportunity to have evening plans after a day at the expo, fair, seminar or the like at the new facilities.

The primary components the construction and renovations that will soon be underway are impressive. The reinvention of the fairgrounds will include: A brand new, state-of-the art 100,000 sq. ft. expo center that will be open YEAR ROUND and hold 4500,  a WORLD CLASS equestrian center, an open RV Park with many amenities and expansion of midway from 12-16 acres. Chevy Court will be redesigned  with new seating and a new stage that will accommodate 30,000 spectators.  A ‘New York Experience,’  space which can be used for theatre productions and seminars, will also be constructed with the idea that this space will bring in events from all over the state, boosting tourism even more. A new entryway that will reflect modernization and sophistication will be constructed and seated on an attractive street-scape that will illuminate the facilities before tourists even arrive. The NY State Fair has also contracted Super Dirt Week to a long term annual return  for many years to come. The current Onandaga Amphitheater will be re-imagined as Lakeview Amphitheater, which is adjacent to the Fairgrounds with goals of bringing in tier one performers.

It is estimated that these expansion efforts will create 853 new jobs in the tourism industry. The construction is planned to start in March 2016, with many aspects of it to be completed by the opening day of the fair.

Mold Allergies and What to Look For

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mold allergies can be illusive and leave one with the impression that they are coming down with a common cold. Symptoms like: sneezing, coughing, runny nose, hives, headaches, itching/ watery eyes, rashes and wheezing are among just a few of the symptoms one might experience if they are exposed to mold growth.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 12.24.23 PMTo know with certainty what is causing symptoms such as these, without proper testing is impossible. However, if there are signs of mold visibly inhabiting your home, it is likely just the tip of the iceberg (so to speak) and there is usually more lurking. An experienced Mold Remediation professional can help! Typically an Industrial Hygenist will first assess the areas that are suspect to mold growth. An Industrial Hygenist is a scientist and/or engineer committed to protecting the health and safety of people in a workplace or community. These professionals take air samples and samples from surfaces throughout the space and externally so as to have a baseline comparison for the samples taken inside. Ideally, the air samples from inside will be lower than those taken from the outside environment. Since mold is ubiquitous to our environments, it is safe to say that some mold is ok. If however, the Industrial Hygenist finds that after evaluation, there is mold growing in levels much higher than standard acceptable values, they will coordinate with the Mold Remediation provider to draw up a remediation plan to bring those levels back down to a healthy level.

High levels of mold in the home can lead to very serious health outcomes. It is always good to keep a watchful eye on each room in your home, and if you do see visible mold growth, have your home tested. MacFawn Fire and Flood Restoration is a full service provider and can help you to coordinate all that must be carried out to safely remediate your home(s) and business(es). call today for a consultation 1-877-MACFAWN.

Mold Encapsulation: Explained

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Many people wonder how mold is remediated. There are many ways to mitigate mold and encapsulation is one method that is used when mold is located in spaces that cannot be fully removed (structural beams for example). Encapsulation of mold works the same way as encapsulation adhesive would in an electrical circuit board. A thin coating of encapsulate is applied to a surface (usually porous) in which the mold has grown. The encapsulant is a coating that subjects the microbial matter to an environment in which it cannot survive; nearly a vacuum that eliminates oxygen and additional moisture from accumulating in any given area. The sealant can generally be applied in addition to other remediation efforts in order fully account for all surfaces that are affected by mold. Sealants used for encapsulation have antimicrobial properties as well, which further advance abatement endeavors.

It is important to remember that only a specialist versed in mold remediation should perform a task such as encapsulation or mold remediation & abatement. Generally speaking, the surface preparation (cleaning, sanding, ect.) can be a hazardous maneuver for the novice. Severe respiratory problems have been well documented in those exposed to mold spores. If you are interested in having a specialist talk with you more about preventive measures that can be taken to mitigate mold or if you work in a setting in which emergency management of a crisis is in place, we would be happy to schedule a formal educational program (without charge) anytime. Please call 1-877-MACFAWN to speak with our training team.

New Mold Legislation in 2016

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Monday, September 21, 2015

(New York) Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed in new legislation on July 28th 2015 that will require all Mold assessment, remediation and abatement employees to have state mandated training and certification. The new licensure and certification program will be delineated through the State Department of Labor. The agenda on this bill has been in progress throughout the year and is finally shaping up to be a crystal clear program with crystal clear requirements.

After some review of current training programmes provided by New York State, Mold was not amongst the programs. This begs the question of whether the January 2016 deadline for cooperation will remain in effect.

The licensing programme new standards that will govern mold assessment, remediation and abatement practices by licensed professionals, including:

  • Protection against fraud by prohibiting the performance of both the assessment and remediation on the same property by the same individual;
  • Protection against fraud by requiring an independent mold assessment to define the scope of the remediation work;
  • Identification of disinfectant products, consistent with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards;
  • Provision of personal protection equipment to employees, as necessary;
  • Posted notice of the project and the contractor’s licenses; and
  • Completion of a post-remediation assessment.

Finally, violations of the law will be civil penalties in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

MacFawn Fire and Flood Restoration carries up-to-date certifications and professional network associations thereby ensuring the highest quality of service for our clients.

The Devious Effects of Mold and How it Can Effect Your Health

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Friday, September 18, 2015

New Locations092313

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Monday, September 23, 2013

MacFawn Fire and Flood Restoration is proud to announce our new service areas :  Southern Florida, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, and Upstate New York.

Tip of the day 071013

MacFawn Fire & Flood Restoration - Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Seems the basement flooding continues.  Keep an eye on your basements and call us if you need help at 518-785-6718