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Advanced Mold Diagnostics, LLC is an environmental consulting company located in Broomall, Pennsylvania.

18Dec 2008

In the past 30 days, we have seen almost four inches of precipitation land in the tri-state area. If you are a building owner you may be dealing with problems associated with this heavy volume of rain. Some properties may experience water penetration issues, which may have you feeling like you are in the middle of a bad dream. Wet carpets and wall coverings, wet and/or damaged furnishings, nasty odors can wreak havoc on your holiday atmosphere. Not all buildings leak, but if they do, this is just a partial list of the calamities you’re exposed to. If you own a wet vacuum or have paid large sums of money to have a drain system installed in your basement or crawl space, you will most certainly know what I mean. Personally, I know what it’s like, been there, done that and have the t-shirt and aching back to prove it.

Other problems may be leaking windows or doors that you’re aware of or water penetrating into wall cavities from building defects your not even aware of, which may actually be worse. As I’ve discussed in the past, stucco homes built in the last thirty years are especially susceptible to moisture intrusion due to faulty construction, windows that leak and lack of quality control during the construction process.

As a property owner, did you know that the best time to check your structure is during a storm? So, the next time it rains, put on rain gear and go see how your building is performing.

Here are the top 10 things to check during or right after a storm:

1. Basements/Crawl Spaces

a. Standing or seeping water

b. Musty odor/s

c. Dampness

2. Water pooling around or near your building

3. Gutters overflowing. Could be clogged, pitched improperly or undersized.

4. Downspouts discharging too close to the structure. Should have extensions to move/direct water away.

5. Grading (should have a positive pitch – away from the building)

6. Condensation on windows

7. Mulch built up too high preventing draining of cladding (stucco, brick, stone, etc.)

8. Plantings too close to the foundation

9. Stucco not terminated properly above ground

10. Holes, openings or penetrations through the foundation that are not sealed properly

As building scientists and environmental consultants, our job is to evaluate your buildings performance and identify areas that are failing. If you were fortunate enough not to get water in your home during the recent rains, then put your feet up and enjoy a hot cup of tea. If you did experience problems, you may want to schedule an exterior cladding assessment, an indoor air quality investigation or an energy audit.

Of course, if you did get water, keep us in mind for all your water removal and structural drying needs.

Happy Holidays,

Craig Camel

Advanced Mold Diagnostics

Advanced Building Strategies

01Dec 2008

The stock market is tanking, unemployment keeps rising and the price of oil is plummeting. What does this all mean to you and me. We’re all watching our pennies right now, from brown bagging to driving less. Does that mean we can forget about watching our energy costs and carbon footprint – I don’t think so. Not when we are worried about diminishing income. Now is the time to start thinking about what and where to cut costs.

As the cold weather approaches what comes to mind for many of us is the rising cost of home heating. Taking an active role in controlling your energy costs is something to start thinking about as the temperature drops. Leaking windows, heat loss through unsealed openings, imbalanced distribution, oversized and undersized systems, can all be remedied with the right information.

Schedule your diagnostic energy audit today and we will show you do-it-yourself ways to make your home energy efficient this season at the same time reducing your carbon foot print.

Craig Camel

Advanced Mold Diagnostics

06Nov 2008

Advanced Mold Diagnostics will be at the Tri-State ASHI Seminar at the Sheraton Park Ridge Hotel and Convention Center in King of Prussia on Saturday, November 8 and Sunday, November 9.

This seminar is your best chance to get up close and in-depth knowledge on Geothermal and Solar Heating, Private Generator Equipment, Deck Construction and Fireplace Inspections.

For more information about the Seminar contact Tri-State ASHI.

Advanced Mold Diagnostics will be helping to sponsor this event and will have staff available to discuss Stucco Assessments, Indoor Air Quality Investigations, Mold Testing, Mold Remediation and Energy Audits.

27Oct 2008

A custom home builder called the other day to ask a question. “My stucco contractor wants to add anti-freeze to the mix as he’s putting on the scratch coat tomorrow and there is a frost warning.”

My first response, after picking myself up off the floor, was, “what is he nuts.” This is so typical of what we find out there today. Most of the masonry contractors as well as the general contractors do not know what their doing. The answer lies in understanding the codes. The IRC (International Residential Code) 2006 references (for the first time) the ASTM Standard C-926 and ASTM C-1063. These two standards detail exactly how hard coat stucco and lath should be applied. ASTM C-926 Section 4.5 Water states: Water used in mixing, application, and finishing of plaster shall be clean, fresh for domestic consumption and free of such amount of mineral or organic substances as would affect the set, the plaster, or any metal in the system. Obviously, adding Ethylene Glycol (anti-freeze) does not meet the requirement of “fresh for domestic consumption” unless you have a death wish.

If you are in the process of building a home with a stucco exterior or you are about to have your stucco removed and replaced because it wasn’t applied correctly the first time, give my office a call.

Craig Camel

Advanced Mold Diagnostics

1-610-328-4350

15Oct 2008

On October 2, 2008, the IAQA Philadelphia Chapter hosted a workshop at the Villanova Conference Center in Radnor. The Chapter was honored to have one of the most sought after speakers on National and International Environmental issues present at the workshop.

Herman Sabath, PhD, gave a very informative presentation on the use and abuse of biocides, a concept that is readily accepted but frequently misunderstood.

Cole Stanton, VP of National Accounts at Fiberlock Technologies, gave an educational speech on chemicals and coatings in remediation. He also spoke in detail about the revisions and changes to the IICRC-S520 that was released in September 2008.

If you are interested in learning more about the Philadelphia Chapter of the Indoor Air Quality Association, please visit http://www.iaqa.org/chapters/Philadelphia_PA.htm

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