Why Animal Feces Removal Is Dangerous

Cleaning up after our pets each day poses very little threat to our health. But when conducting animal feces removal from a hoarder’s home or where animals may have been abandoned, the situation can become dangerous. Read below to learn how animal feces removal and urine removal can impose a risk to your health and the health of others.

Animal Feces Removal

Having canines comes with the job of cleaning up poop from time to time—it’s just a fact of life. Some might even say that it’s a small price to pay in comparison to the joy dogs bring to our lives. But when canine owners leave dog feces sitting for an extended period of time to accumulate, the situation can become a health risk to pets and the people who take care of them.

Diseases People Can Contract From Dog Feces

1. Campylobacteriosis

Ever heard of Campylobacteriosis? Campylobacteriosis is a bacterial disease humans can contract from dog poop, and it’s anything but pretty. This nasty disease includes symptoms like diarrhea, fever, extreme cramps, and pain in the abdominals. 

Campylobacteriosis generally lasts for a week, but for those with weaker immune systems, campylobacteriosis can last for much longer. Immunocompromised individuals can experience life-threatening infections if this bacterial disease makes its way to their bloodstream

2. E. coli

Much like campylobacteriosis, E. coli is a very real and potentially life-threatening bacteria that can cause mayhem in the body. Symptoms are synonymous with what one would experience with campylobacteriosis: nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and fever. However, E. coli poses an even more serious infection for weakened immune systems and can end in death.

3. Salmonellosis

Did you know you can contract Salmonellosis from dog poop? Salmonella is not just a bacterial disease humans can contract from undercooked food. This nasty infection can be transmitted through animal feces as well, specifically dog poop.

4. Yersiniosis

Yersiniosis is another bacterial infection that is usually detected in the water. Never swim in water where animal feces may have contaminated the space. 

Unfortunately, it gets worse.

Tapeworm

Parasites

Among an array of especially disturbing parasites, tapeworms and roundworms are the most common cause for concern when it comes to dog poop. Roundworm makes its way into the human body where larvae can travel to the brain, heart, eyes, lungs, and kidneys. Roundworm larvae can also cause a person to lose their vision. 

While tapeworms won’t bring about blindness or infect your heart, they can still do an insurmountable amount of damage. Tapeworms like to seep into the human body through the skin, infecting their victims through the pores. Tapeworms like to attach to a person’s intestines and suck the nutrients from the tissues.

Cat Urine

If you have a cat, know a cat, or have ever spent time with a cat, you probably know that their urine smells foul. That foul-smelling odor is ammonia, which is a toxic gas that can make someone sick pretty quickly. When cat urine is not cleaned up, it solidifies, making the concentration of ammonia higher. That’s why cleaning up cat urine, especially urine that has sat for a long time is considered dangerous to your health. 

Cats are able to transmit a bacterial disease called Toxoplasma Gondii, which can cause severe to life-threatening health risks—especially for pregnant women. 

People who are not pregnant and do not have compromised immune systems usually experience Toxoplasma Gondii like they would the flu. Sore muscles, a headache, and swollen lymph nodes can last for weeks to months. Those with weaker immune systems, like pregnant women, endure much more serious and life-threatening symptoms. Pregnant women may experience miscarriages. Babies exposed to Toxoplasma can be born stillborn or with abnormally large or small heads.

When To Call Us

It’s important to know when you need the help of a professional and when you can take on the issue by yourself. If you consider cleaning up a hoarder’s home, or a place where animals have been left inside for long periods of time, don’t risk your health doing so. 

Without proper protection, removing animal feces and urine can cause life-threatening illnesses that don’t go away overnight. These bacterial diseases can diminish a person’s quality of life for a long time, or even potentially take a person’s life, depending on the exposure.

If you’re unsure of the right way to handle your animal waste problem, we invite you to give us a call. The BIOClean Team happily serves Southern California and Las Vegas.

 

 

When To Hire a Biohazard Cleanup Company

First Off, What Is a Biohazard Cleanup Company?

A biohazard cleanup company is an organization that removes biohazardous waste from commercial, industrial, and residential spaces. Biohazardous waste includes human body fluids, microbiological waste, sharps, pathological waste, and animal waste.

These types of waste are dangerous to people, animals, and the environment, which is why it’s important to know when you can clean up a situation on your own or when you need to hire a professional cleanup company. 

Biohazard Cleanup companies are trained and licensed professionals who understand different types of waste and what exactly to do with each kind of waste. The cleanup crew will enter the site of the space in protective gear, armed with the tools necessary to disinfect and clean the area affected. These individuals follow state rules and regulations in order to keep people safe and healthy.

Can You Clean up Animal Waste By Yourself?

We’ve all cleaned up after our pets at home, but when does animal waste become dangerous? In most instances, animal waste becomes dangerous in hoarder/animal hoarder situations and with poorly managed livestock.

When urine and feces accumulate in a hoarder’s home, they emit ammonia, bacteria, and viruses that can become airborne—making them unsafe to handle without the help of a biohazard cleanup crew.

In some extreme hoarding situations, dead animals can get lost in the home and those carcasses attract insects and rodents that carry diseases. Cleaning a hoarder’s home poses health risks on its own, and shouldn’t be done without the help of a professional cleanup team. However, if you’re cleaning a hoarder’s home and notice animal waste or animal body parts, you should call a licensed cleanup company immediately to handle the situation instead. 

Cat urine is especially dangerous.

Chances are that you’ve smelt the strong odor of cat pee before. This smell is a chemical called ammonia, and when cat urine sits for a long time, this chemical becomes concentrated. All feces and urine can transmit bacterial infections to humans, but cat urine is the culprit of Toxoplasma Gondii; a nasty disease that can cause pregnant women to experience miscarriages or give birth to stillborn babies. 

In short: if there are animal body parts, carcasses, an excessive accumulation of feces and urine, or contaminated animal bedding, you should call a cleanup company to do the dirty work for you!

Cleaning Up Blood And Bodily Fluids

It’s important to know when it’s safe to clean up blood and bodily fluids and when it’s not. If you’ve scratched your knee or cut your finger, you’re probably just fine to clean up the blood on your own. But things change when there is a traumatic accident to clean up. Traumatic accidents happen anywhere and everywhere humans are, which can make cleanup especially tricky. 

Blood is a biohazard because it may contain pathogens that can spread disease if not disinfected immediately, and correctly. When serious accidents take place, including anything from a crime scene to suicide, the blood left behind becomes a threat to public safety. 

Do not clean up traumatic events that include blood, human tissue, or body fluids by yourself. There is a life-threatening difference between cleaning up a scraped arm and cleaning up human remains and blood. Biohazard cleanup teams are trained and licensed through the state to do this kind of work for you.

This ensures others are safe from pathogen exposure, disease, and airborne illnesses.

When Mold Becomes Dangerous

Depending on where you live, mold can be common. But how do you know when it’s time to bring an expert in? Generally, if the moldy spot is 3 square feet or smaller, you can potentially take care of it yourself. If the mold is growing past those dimensions, though, it’s time to call in a biohazardous clean-up company.

Mold happens for a myriad of reasons, but one of those reasons can be a leak in your waterline somewhere. A water restoration company might be able to remedy the issue for you, but if not taken care of right away, the situation can grow into a very serious threat to your health. 

Symptoms from exposure to mold can take time to develop. Common symptoms range anywhere from asthma attacks to headaches, to difficulty breathing. Some side effects can last for a long time and can greatly affect your quality of life. 

If you see mold in your home, call a professional immediately to figure out what actions need to be taken. An expert will help you to decide what to do next, but in most cases, do not try to clean up mold on your own. It’s simply not worth the risk.

We’re the Biohazard Cleanup Team You Need

We pride ourselves on being the team you can call to handle the worst days of your life — and the most challenging tasks you’ve ever faced.  From traumatic accidents to sewage leaks, we’re the folks you can trust to get the job done. 

Contact us today for questions, concerns, and more information about your waste needs and how we can help. We’re here to help 24/7, 7 days a week.

Here at The BIOClean Team, we operate by one simple rule: service first. 

How To Get Blood Out Of Carpet – Everything To Know and Do

Blood stains aren’t as rare as we might hope. Whether it’s a paper cut at our desk or too deep a slice in the kitchen blood has a way of finding itself on tables, counters, and yes carpet. But don’t fret, you don’t need to call in a heavy-duty cleaning crew for every spot and spill. This time on the BIOClean Team blog, we’re going to walk you through how to get blood out of carpet.

 

How to Get Blood Out of Carpet When It’s Fresh, Dry, and Everything In Between

 

Your first priority when a cut happens should always be first aid. Once you’ve seen to whatever wound was causing the blood loss, who knows how long has passed. Follow these steps and your carpet will be clean again in no time.

 

Before You Start

Before you get to work, know a few things. The longer the blood has had to sit on the carpet the longer it has had to set. When it comes to cleaning blood out of carpet, use cold water as hot water will speed up the blood stain setting. So keep the heat out of this when you can. 

 

Know the Carpet

Different types of carpet will have different cleaning needs. Make sure you understand what your floors are so you can adjust the process accordingly. Similarly, make sure you’re reading the instructions carefully on whatever cleaning agent you are using, and test it on out of sight spots to be sure you’re getting the right effect.

 

Here is a quick rundown of what you may need to know based on your type of carpet.

 

Polyester

Good news! Polyester is a synthetic material that is stain resistant, making it one of the easiest types of carpets to clean with simple blotting. Nice!

 

Wool

Wool is a sensitive material and it holds onto moisture. That means to clean it you need to go for gentle blotting motions and be careful to use only the amount of water you need to treat the stain. 

 

Acrylic 

Acrylic carpet material shows stains faster than others. The special requirements for these? Get to them fast! 

 

Nylon

Carpet made of nylon is more susceptible to fading and being discolored, both by stains and cleaning solutions. IThis means doing a test patch is absolutely necessary to ensure you’re not going to damage the carpet. You also want to avoid scrubbing the carpet as it can ruin the pile.

 

OK, with those first thoughts out of the way, now let’s gather up the needed cleaning supplies before we get to work.

Cleaning Supplies Needed

  • Disposable gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Carpet cleaner/stain remover (more on this later) 
  • Clean Rag
  • Cold water
  • Bowl or Bucket
  • Brush
  • Vacuum

 

How to Choose the Right Blood Stain Remover for Your Carpet

Blood stains want to stick to carpet fibers tightly. This is thanks to the hemoglobin in the blood, which holds onto those fibers like there’s no tomorrow. This makes it difficult to remove from carpets, but not impossible! You just need to use the right remover for your particular scenario (stain + carpet type). Here are a few options.

 

Dishwashing Liquid

Simple and effective, dishwashing liquid is a popular stain remover for fresh or dry blood. Mix with cold water (2 cups water to 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid) for best results.

 

Ammonia

When soap just won’t do, some folks turn to ammonia. Mixing a half a cup of lukewarm water with a tablespoon of ammonia. Treat the stain, then blog with a cloth and cold water. Don’t use on wool!

 

Hydrogen Peroxide 

Hydrogen peroxide is another option. It works by breaking the chemical bonds present in blood, which also undoes the color. When it comes to using hydrogen peroxide though it can take several treatments to work through the stains, so don’t get discouraged.

 

These are just a few of the potential cleaning solutions you can use. Pick your favorite and let’s move on. With the tools gathered and the right cleaning agent prepared now we can get down to brass tacks.

 

How to Get Fresh Blood Stain From Carpet

If the blood stain is fresh, then you’re going to have a better chance of cleaning it fast and efficiently, without leaving any lasting stain.

 

Step 1 – Blot

Glove up and take a paper towel and gently blot at the stain to remove excess blood. Do not rub or scrub. That can spread the blood around and make the stain worse. Avoid that.

 

Step  2 – Prep the Stain Remover

Whatever you decided to go with for the stain remover now is the time to prep your mix. Whether it’s cold water and dish soap, ammonia, or hydrogen peroxide, now is the time to get it ready. Start with a less is more approach, and test the area you’re going to be using.

 

Step 3 – Blot the Stain, Again

With the stain remover of choice prepared, take your clean cloth, dip it in the solution and begin to blot the top of the stain, gently. Remember, no rub, no scrub. If you’re using a clean white rag this can help as the transfer of stain from carpet to rag will be easier to spot, showing you it’s working. Keep wetting the cloth, blotting, and rinsing until all of the blood stain is removed. This may take several passes.

 

Step 4 – Blot with Dry Towels

With dry cloth or paper towels, blot the spot to remove any water lingering in the carpet. If the area is large, grab a fan and set it up to help dry it quickly.

 

But what if the stain is set?

 

How to Remove Set Blood Stains from Carpet

Acting fast is the best way to make sure your carpet doesn’t get stained but that’s not always possible of course. When it comes to removing set stains it will be more difficult, but it’s not impossible – usually.

 

Step 1 – Break Up the Dried Blood

Remember that brush in the tools list? Now is it’s time to shine. Use the brush to break up the dried blood stain without damaging the carpet fibers. Work from the edge of the stain toward the middle. If fibers are stuck together because of the blood you can use a plastic knife to help loosen things up.

 

Step 2 – Vacuum

With the stain thoroughly brushed and loosened you can now bring out the vacuum to pull up solid, dried flecks. This will make the stain removal process so much easier so make sure you follow it, even if it’s just a once over. 

 

Step 3 – Stain Remover Time

Apply the stain remover to the carpet, first in a hidden place so you can see how it will work on the carpet. Give it time, after all, since the blood stain is already set, you’re not in any rush. If after a day the carpet hasn’t discolored then you know you’re good to go! Apply the remover to the stain, just enough to get the stain moist – soaking the spot can damage the carpet and the flooring below it.

 

Let the stain remover work for about five minutes, soaking into the fibers properly, and getting into the stain. The stain has had time to bond to the carpet fibers, let the remover have time to bind to the stain too.

 

Step 4 – Blot, Blot, Blot

After letting the carpet cleaner/stain remover work its magic, it’s time to blot the stain with a wet cloth and cold water. Blot, repeatedly to remove as much of the stain as possible, then let it dry, and repeat the process. Bring in a fan to help the drying process if necessary. If the stain is still visible after completely drying, start again back at Step 1 – some stains will need a few passes to completely remove them, or at least make them small enough not to be noticeable.

Once you’ve completed the cleaning, toss away the gloves, and make sure everything is safely cleaned and sanitized. Hopefully, with this guide you can get your own carpets back to where you need them to be. For some jobs the mess is too great or there’s a real concern about biohazardous waste and bloodborne pathogens. In those instances, you need to call in the professionals, call in The BIOClean Team.

What to Avoid When Trying to Help a Hoarder

Last time on the blog we talked about how to help a loved one who is struggling with a hoarding disorder. Through recognizing the signs, empathizing and encouraging them to seek out help, and celebrating their victories you can help your loved one overcome their struggles. But just as there are things you can do to help, there are definitely things you should avoid! This time on the BIOClean blog, what to avoid when trying to help a hoarder.

 

Don’t Touch Things Without Permission

People who are fighting a hoarding desire have strong emotional attachments and compulsions with their belongings. It might not be clear and obvious to you, but they’re there and there’s not necessarily obvious reasons behind it. You want to be careful not to cause them any excess distress or make the problem worse by touching things without their permission. Their anxiety around belongings often has roots in not having something they fear is needed or having it taken away from them. That’s why throwing things away without the person hoarding it expressing their permission is a recipe for disaster. It will make the person upset, angry at you for doing it and they’re less likely to seek out further help from you or anyone else.

Don’t Judge Them

If we encourage you to empathize with them, the opposite is also true: don’t judge them. The anxiety and associated problems with hoarding disorder predisposes the hoarder to feeling less than, afraid of being judged. So if you truly want to help, do your best to avoid casting any judgments on them or their behavior yes it may be difficult, but they need you to be empathetic and caring, not another voice of judgment that they already know or fear. 

Temper Expectations

If the hoarder in your life agrees to clean up or change, don’t expect it to happen over night. They didn’t accumulate a house full of stuff over night, it will take them longer than that to clear it out. Having that expectation will only cause frustrations in them and you. And hoarding isn’t just about gathering stuff it’s about the emotional baggage that comes along with it. Reckoning with that is more than an overnight job.

And don’t expect perfection in this change either! It’s going to be incredibly difficult for them to make this change, even with support and professional help. Don’t try and make them feel like they have do it immediately, perfectly, first try. That’s not sustainable and just leads to frustration. Gradual changes are more likely and effective. 

Don’t Enable or Encourage Hoarding Behavior

Of course you’d never think to encourage hoarding behavior, but you might not realize that some of the things you’re doing could be enabling it. For instance – what do you do for your loved one’s birthday? Do you give them a gift, a physical object? Do you go shopping with them? Do you hold on to or store anything for them? You see how even the best intentions of some of these could enable or encourage hoarding behavior.

Cleaning up after them is another way of enabling their behavior. Having someone else take care of their messes can remove one more reason for them to see that they need to get help and change things. You can help them go through things and organize them, but you can’t take care of something and expect to get to root problem.

 

And when it comes time to clear out those hoarding spaces when they have grappled with their troubles? Call in a professional hoarding clean-up services like BIOClean Team to help take care of it! 

Compassionate, Trusted, and Professional

How to Help A Hoarder

Here at The BIOClean Team, we talk a lot about hoarding cleanup services. But what if the person in your life who is struggling isn’t ready for a cleanup yet? Or what if they are just starting to struggle with hoarding and you can see it happening early? This time on the BIOClean Team blog, we’re going to talk about how to help a hoarder.

To put it briefly to help a hoarder you need to:

  • Recognize!
  • Empathize!
  • Encourage!
  • Volunteer!
  • Celebrate!

How to Help a Hoarder

Recognize the Signs

Recognizing the signs of hoarding is a huge first step.  Hoarding creates an unlivable, and potentially dangerous living space and the sooner someone gets help the better. The signs of hoarding include:

  • Difficulty, or inability to throw or give away possessions, regardless of value
  • Experiencing negative emotions and distress when trying to throw or give away possessions
  • Living area filled with stuff, areas blocked and unusable.
  • Feelings of safety when surrounded by things

If any of these sound familiar? Yeah you might have a hoarder on your hands. And these behaviors are rarely present in a vacuum. Frequently, people with hoarding disorder have other issues that are associated with hoarding, many of which may also be undiagnosed. An example. Someone who has struggles hoarding may also have other troubles with indecision, an inability to concentrate and avoid distractions, as well as dealing with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders.

Empathize with Them

Chances are this isn’t how the person would like to be living. They’re feeling trapped, anxious, upset, over a wide number of things and issues in life. This behavior can also isolate the person, causing them to drop out of social life and experience. It can cause problems with relationships. The person experiencing the disorder may avoid loved ones and friends for fear of being judged. Show that you empathize with them, that you will listen and help prevent that spiral. 

Understand that hoarding disorder isn’t necessarily about the “stuff.” It’s often about much more, and there are underlying causes. Realize that your focus as you’re working to help your friend shouldn’t necessarily be the objects, but those factors that are contributing to the behaviors.

Encourage Them To Seek Professional Help

Many folks with hoarding troubles know there is an issue, but, as you might expect, their difficulties can make the prospect of getting help overwhelming. Support services and treatment are out there for hoarders and while you can’t make someone get care, by encouraging them and helping them overcome those perceived difficulties it can make the process so much easier for the hoarder to get help. You can even research options for them and present the info to them. If they’re ready, and you’ve proven an empathetic ally, they just might make the leap.

Volunteer to Help

Whether it’s around the house in the cleanup, or with any other hurdle that is causing them troubles, getting outside help from an empathetic and encouraging friend can mean all the difference between getting stuck and failing, and seeing it through to completion. Helping get them to meetings, clear out rooms, or just help them take their mind off the problem, there are plenty of ways for an empathetic friend or family member to be the support they need.

Celebrate Their Victories

Celebrate the victories, no matter how small with your friend. For one, they did something incredibly difficult for them, and are attempting to change their lives for the better, that should be celebrated! It also will help positively reinforce the behavior changes and help offset the anxiety and nerves they’re experiencing as they seek help or clear out spaces. Even the smallest step in the right direction is worth celebrating!

These are just a few of the steps you can take to help and support your friend or family member fighting a hoarding disorder. Recognize their struggles, empathize with them, encourage them to seek help, volunteer that help, and celebrate their victories with them! All of that together can go a long way to help your loved one overcome their troubles.

And when it comes time to clear out those hoarding spaces? Call in a professional hoarding clean-up service like BIOClean Team to help take care of it! 

Compassionate, Trusted, and Professional

March is Mold Month Part 2 – Preventing and Handling Mold

April showers bring May flowers, but do you know what else can come with the increased moisture? Right! Mold. Somebody has been following our blog this month! To get ahead of any potential mold trouble, this time on the BIOClean Team blog we’re talking mold prevention and how to handle it when it does creep up! Without further preamble let’s get into it.

How to Prevent Mold Contamination and Growth?

Mold can grow just about everywhere so long as there is a little bit of moisture present. Even in deserts after a bad storm mold can crop up. With that in mind then the best way to prevent mold is to limit the amount of moisture in the air.

First – Find the source of the moisture in your home or building and get rid of it. If there’s a leak, fix it, if it’s pooling water from rain look at finding some drainage solutions.

Now keep the humidity between 30-50% using the following methods:

  • Vent showers, laundry rooms, and other sources of moisture to the outside.
  • Use air conditioners or dehumidifiers to control humidity
  • Use your exhaust fans when cooking, cleaning, or laundering food to send moisture outdoors
  • Insulate cold surfaces to prevent condensation build up
  • Make sure the HVAC system is well maintained
  • Any floods or spills should be cleaned up immediately to prevent the moisture from spreading
  • Reduce how much water is used when carpet cleaning
  • Avoid installing carpet close to water fixtures or near areas prone to leaks, condensation or flooding

To stay even further on top of it, there are devices you can purchase that measure and monitor the moisture levels of things such as drywall and wood. 

Ok, so you know how to prevent it – now what about cleaning it up?

 

How to Clean Up Mold?

When it comes time to clean up the mold, the first step is to find out why the mold is present/why the moisture was so high. Once you have identified this, FIX IT FIRST. If you let a leak continue any cleanup efforts will be fighting an uphill battle as the moisture will just keep supporting the mold growth. That’s no good!

 

When mold has been spotted, any porous material (drywall, ceiling tiles, books, paper, cardboard, fabrics) needs to be thrown out and replaced. It may even be necessary to toss carpets, cushions, mattresses, furniture, etc. because spores can live inside these materials and come back down the line.

Ok, with that out of the way how to clean up the mold: Hire a Trained, Certified Cleaner! Even small patches of mold require the proper equipment and training to clean and sanitize safely!

Now, when it comes down to how to clean up the mold it really does depend on the extent of the damage.  

Homeowners can clean a small area themselves with soap and water, if it reappears after you’ve cleaned it, then something isn’t quite right and you need a professional.

Here are some general steps to dealing with a single small isolated area (no larger than a couple of square feet).

  • Use a mask/respiratory protection such as an N-95 disposable respirator
  • Use rubber gloves and eye protection
  • Remove any materials that will be difficult to clean and/or seal with plastic sheeting and tape to prevent any spread of mold or dust
  • Clean the surfaces with soap or detergent solution
  • Don’t get your drywall too wet
  • Avoid kicking up dust
  • While cleaning the area, make sure it is only used by those cleaning it with proper protection on 

For anything much larger than that it is crucial that you call an expert who can do the job safely and correctly. The BIOClean Team is here to help!

 

March is Mold Month Part 1 – Mold Factsheet

For the most part, you don’t have to worry about biohazards cropping up in your home gradually – these are usually abrupt accidents or events that create a dangerous conditions. Mold however is another beast entirely. This month on the BIOClean Team Blog, we’re looking at Mold and fungi, indoor air quality, and everything you need to know about how it grows, why it’s dangerous, and next time how to prevent and handle mold contaminations!

 

Why Does Mold Grow In Homes and Buildings?

It’s rude isn’t it? Our homes and buildings are meant to shelter us from the weather and nature and yet mold and fungi find their ways inside and make the space dangerous. Mold and fungi serve a necessary purpose out in nature of course, breaking down organic material like wood, leaves, and other plant matter. But when they come into a home it’s downright nasty. Typically the micro-organisms that mold and fungi begin as will get into a building carried on the air. They’ll find a spot of wood, drywall, fabric, upholster, wallpaper, drapes, even carpeting and take hold. Then with moisture the fungi and molds can grow. In areas of homes that get more moist than others, like basements, bathrooms, or kitchens, the ideal conditions are met for mold to grow.

 

What other reasons are there for mold to grow indoors? Mold growth can be the result of:

 

  • Flooding
  • Leaks in the roof
  • Leaks in the plumbing
  • Buildings that are sealed up tight and prevent moisture from escaping
  • Sources such as cooking facilities, showers, bathtubs, etc.
  • Excessive humidity

What Kinds of Mold Are There?

Some of the more common types of mold found in buildings include:

  • Aspergillus sp.
  • Alternaria sp.
  • Cladosporum sp.
  • Fusarium sp.
  • Memnoniella sp.
  • Penicillium sp.
  • Stachybotrys chartarum (a.k.a. Stachybotrys atra, or black mold)
  • Trichoderma sp.

 

Now here’s the thing – you don’t need to try and identify what kind of mold is growing in your home or building. The CDC says all mold should be treated the same with equal risks to health. You see mold you get a professional to clear it out!

What Health Problems Do Molds Cause?

So if the CDC says all molds should be treated as if they cause the same harm – what harm can they cause? Let’s get intot hat. The presence of mold doesn’t always guarantee that health problems will happen but some people can develop serious health problems when breathing in mold or spores. Many molds also create mycotoxins, by-products that are toxic to people.

The most commonly reported symptoms include:

 

  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Cough or congestion
  • Aggravation of asthma
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Exacerbate allergies

 

Those who are immuno-compromised, or revering from a surgery or procedure are more susceptible to health problems caused by molds.

How to Spot Mold Troubles

Wondering if you have mold problems? Doing an inspection of a potential new property? The most common and reliable method of spotting mold troubles is simple – use your eyes! Look for water damage and staining, molds will look like dark spots, patches, or stains. 

Specifically, look at:

  • Ceiling tiles
  • Walls (plaster, wallpaper, and condition of drywall)
  • Cardboard or paper
  • Floors
  • Window sills
  • Insulation
  • Carpet
  • Furniture (condition of fabric, upholstery, etc.).

 

If you’re able, look behind any ductwork and walls. Check for standing water, any spots where puddles of water around or under sinks, tubs, etc. These can contribute to moisture and help mold grow.

We’ll put a pin in this here for now as our next blog will dive fully into preventing mold and handling it when it crops up. If you’re currently dealing with a full-blown mold catastrophe give us a call and The BIOClean Team can help!

Is The Fridge a Biohazard? Probably Not – But It Sure Does Smell!

Did a gallon of milk get left in the fridge over vacation? Someones leftover burgers no longer food? Not sure what is causing that smell? Don’t sweat it. This time on the BIOClean Team blog we’re going to help you get through this awful smelling bit of Spring Cleaning. 

The real difficulty with odors is how they linger – throwing away the waste is a good step one but it isn’t always the complete solution needed. Here’s what you need to know and do to get your fridge back in tip top shape!

First get your gear together – you’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Sponge or microfiber cloth
  • Dish soap

Got it? Ok let’s go.

3 Steps to A Smell-Free Fridge

Step 1 – Clear The Fridge

Alright, if you haven’t already done this it’s time. Remove absolutely everything from the fridge. Throw away anything that has expired, spoiled, or is otherwise contaminated or just plain off. Any containers that have food on the outside of them (a messy jam jar for instance) needs to be wiped clean too! Now take out any moveable surfaces in your fridge – the shelves, racks, drawers.

Step 2 – Time To Clean

Alright, with all that stuff removed it’s time to get cleaning! First take the shelves, racks, and drawers and let them soak in hot water and dish soap in the sink. While those are getting some spa time, turn back to the fridge.

While some may recommend using cleaning sprays – and they can certainly help – for this first pass using more natural products like baking soda and vinegar are your best bet for two reasons! As any elementary science project can tell you, when you combine baking soda and vinegar they bubble and fizz. Using that combo on your fridge’s stains will help agitate and lift the particles stuck on. They also act as natural odor absorbers – and isn’t that what we’re after in the first place?

Start by using the sponge or cloth toe wipe down everything. If your fridge has a lot of smaller cracks and spaces you can use a toothbrush or a thin rag to wipe down. Apply a bit of vinegar and baking soda to your materials and then wipe, clean, and scrub. Start at the top of the fridge and work your way down, anything that breaks free and falls from the surfaces you’ll scoop up as you go. Make sure you clean the side walls, the top of the fridge, the doors, etc.

Grab the shelves, drawers, etc. you have soaking in the sink and turn to them. It’s time to give thema  good scrubbing. Once those are clean set them aside to dry.

Rinse your sponge or cloth, then wipe away any baking soda and vinegar residue that may be left behind.

Step 3 – Put It Back Together

Take the drawers and shelves and put them back. Chances are while you had the fridge door open the internal temp raised a bit. Before you refill your fridge with food items, close the door and let the fridge chill a bit to get the temperature back down. Once your fridge is at the right temperature (usually around 40 degrees Fahrenheit) you can restock it.

You now have a clean fridge! Now, how about you work to prevent those odors in the first place?

How to Keep The Fridge From Smelling

Here are a few quick tips to keep your fridge smelling fresh and clean!

  • Use airtight containers for leftovers and meal prep.
  • Keep your fridge at the right temperature to prevent any growth of bacteria.
  • Label, date, and toss leftovers as they go bad.
  • Check for food spoiling every week. The sooner you catch it the less chance to smell!
  • Use natural deodorizers like baking soda to capture odors.

 

With that taken care of your fridge should be clean and fresh, and as long as you stay on top of it, for a long time to come. Now, if your fridge is actually a biohazard (something has died in it, there’s been blood spilled in it, etc.) well then you should call a professional!

The BIOClean Team is here to help!

Clearing Your Home of Mice

Spring is just around the corner and that means Spring Cleaning is on everyone’s to-do list. But what happens when you encounter something you didn’t expect – like mice! This time on the BIOClean Team blog we’re going to give you some actionable intel you can follow right now to get your home clear of mice.

With the cold winter months wrapping up, you start cleaning out the corners of your crawlspaces and there they are – a family of furry guests hanging out in the corner making themselves quite at home. Yikes! Rodents in the home might not always be a big deal, but they certainly pose a health risk, especially in certain circumstances such as around children, the elderly and immunocompromised, and pets. They can chew through electronics, leave hazardous waste, and contaminate food and other things.

Thankfully – you can usually deal with it on your own!  There are four clear paths to victory when it comes to tackling a rodent infestation: Block Entry Points, Place Traps, Keep a Tidy Home, and Employ Predators

Block Entry Points

First thing first, you need to figure out how the mice have been poking their way into your home and put a stop to that! Mice can squeeze their way through holes as small as a dime. The best options are using caulk or concrete. Here are a few tactics to take:

  • Check your foundation, walls, and basement, plugging or repairing cracks as needed.
  • Look for cracks and gaps around doors and window frames. Seal those with caulk.
  • Any pipes that lead to appliances may have holes in the wall they move through. Seal those.
  • Look for cable, electrical, or internet lines that lead through your walls. Seal them as needed.

Place Traps

There are a few different kinds of traps available, all available at your local hardware store. Rat poison is available and it certainly is effective in killing the pests, it is also dangerous to have around while children and pets are present. Follow the instructions on the trap packaging for them to be as effective as possible. There are humane/live traps available as well! Don’t fear you have to kill the mice, these will have some extra work but if you have a soft heart and don’t want to cause unnecessary suffering there’s a way to do it!

Keep a Tidy Home

Believe it or not, keeping a clean and tidy home will go a long way to preventing mice from taking up residence in your yours. Animals want to live where they have easy access to shelter and food. If you don’t provide one of those, they’ll move on to somewhere more hospitable to what they’re looking for. You don’t have to hire professional maid services to keep it clean, just follow these key steps:

  • Clean and clear any common areas – stoves, fridges, cabinets, and trash cans.
  • Clean and disinfect counter tops after preparing food.
  • Keep all pet food sealed in airtight containers.
  • Put away leftovers.
  • Get rid of any food waste right away.
  • Use garbage cans with secure lids both inside and outside.

Employ Predators

Ok that might sound a bit more drastic than it needs to be but here’s what we mean: get a cat! The most powerful way to clear out mice and keep them out is using their natural predators. Even just the lingering smel of a cat or ferret can send a potential squatter on their way with bags packed – they don’t want to deal with their predators. And bonus! You get a furry friend!

Follow these four steps and you’ll be clearing out and discouraging future mice infestations in no time. Struggling to make it work – well hey you can always call professional pest control services! They know how to handle it. And if the situation is that bad, chances are you are going to need professional, full-scale disinfection – The BIOClean Team has you covered!

Give us a call today and we’ll have your home ‘Spring Cleaned’ in no time!

Fentanyl Overdoses – How To Protect Yourself And Your Employees From Exposure

Fentanyl use and overdose is on the rise everywhere, especially here in California. With this drug becoming an epidemic problem what can you do to take care of yourself and your employee? This time on the BIOClean Team blog – how to protect your employees and yourself from fentanyl exposure!

What is Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid, at something like 80-100 times stronger than morphine. It was developed for pain management for cancer patients, usually through a patch on the skin. Because of this potency, it is added to heroin to increase its effect, but most users have no idea they’re taking something that has been mixed with fentanyl – which results in overdoses and deaths.

How is Fentanyl Used?

As mentioned, the illegal use of fentanyl is most commonly associated with heroin users not being aware of what they have bought. Following that, the most common vehicle of fentanyl use is through the typical heroin use methods.

How Fentanyl Affects the Body

Fentanyl affects the body in the same ways as other opioids. Produces effects like relaxation, euphoria, pain relief, dizziness, nausea, confusion, drowsiness, vomiting, respiratory distress and more.

You can find out more from the DEA Factsheet here.

So how do you protect your employees from exposure?

First responders are most likely to encounter running into fentanyl. Emergency medical services, law enforcement, and the like, but there is a chance that anyone could come across it. So how do you handle it? First, understand the signs and symptoms of a suspected overdose.

Signs & Symptoms of a Suspected Fentanyl Overdose

Fentanyl overdoses produce creates the same set of opioid overdose signs and symptoms.

  • Slowed breathing and respiratory distress
  • Lack of response to stimulation
  • Constricted pupils

These symptoms can hit in 5 minutes or less so a response needs to happen quickly to help out the person affected. 

Call California Poison Control System who can assist in the management of a suspected fentanyl overdose. Call them at 1-800-222-1222.

White Powder at the Scene

If you come upon a suspected overdose and see white powder at the scene, the state of the powder is crucial to understand the risks at play. If the white powder is undisturbed and on the ground or other surface, inhalation risk is unlikely, but if the particles are in the air, an N95 respirator is necessary.

Skin Transmission of Fentanyl

The way fentanyl is delivered in medical environments is through skin patches, so the concern for exposure to the skin is a reasonable one. Thankfully, it is highly unlikely to experience toxicity from skin contact with the drug as it is not found in specially designed dermal patches that are manufactured specifically to deliver the drug through absorption. To be extra safe and avoid any potential exposure, washing the area that came into contact with fentanyl with soap and water should keep things safe.

So – All of that Together, How to Protect Yourself and Your Employees From Fentanyl Exposure

So with all that said, here are the three biggest things you can do to protect yourself and your team from fentanyl exposure:

  • Keep protective gear stocked and available such as gloves and masks
  • Provide easy access to a handwashing station, again stocked and available with soap
  • Provide training on
    • Potential exposure routes for illicit fentanyl.
    • How to recognize the signs and symptoms of opioid exposure.
    • How to recognize potential illicit fentanyl contamination.
    • Proper use of PPE

Thankfully, most businesses won’t have to deal with this – but there are some where the risk is increased dramatically over others. It still doesn’t hurt to have the proper training and tools to address it should it occur!