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Healthy Home

Is Your Home Healthy or Making You Sick?

Different Types of Home Foundations

Basement Mold and Mildew

The New Jersey area offers a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. It’s one of the worst areas in the country for healthy homes but unfortunately, the state does not have the building codes or required inspections needed to keep a home healthy.

It’s important for New Jersey residents to understand how this humidity adversely affects their health. Your runny nose or sudden sneezing could be a direct result of the mold infestation growing in your basement or crawl space. These symptoms can be mild and annoying, like a slight cold, or they can actually be dangerous. This is especially the case when an infestation grows unnoticed or symptoms ignored. Mold infestation can be deadly for the elderly and small children.

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My name is Nick Scaldino and I know mold well. I’m the owner of Scaldino Basement Solutions and we regularly do battle with this invisible but obnoxious enemy. Mold is a silent killer, silent because most people never know that it’s growing in their basement or behind their walls and making them sick.

How Do You Know If Your Home Is Infested?

  • Musty, moldy odors in certain areas of the house are almost always a tell-tale sign that you have mold. The basement is an especially problem area.
  • If there has been any standing water anywhere in the house, this is an excellent spot for mold growth. Your home is especially at risk after a heavy storm.
  • Drafts can bring moisture from outside into the house, even though you may open windows with the purpose of airing the house out.
  • Open drainage trenches or sump pits raise the home’s moisture just like standing water somewhere in the house.
  • Organic materials such as wood, carpet, sheetrock or paneling, shouldn’t be used in the basement of homes in humid areas like New Jersey. If your basement uses these materials, you’re at high risk of mold infestation.

If there is any area of the house with a humidity level higher than 50%, I can guarantee that mold is growing somewhere.

The Symptoms of Mold Exposure

  • Cold-like symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, sore throat and runny nose
  • Colds that take forever to heal
  • Catching colds often due to lowered immune system
  • An allergy but you don’t know what it’s from
  • Foggy feeling, headaches, forgetfulness and irritability
  • Excessively dry eyes and crust around the eyes
  • Feeling of fatigue, sleepiness or low energy
  • Cravings for sugary foods and food high in mold (the mold in your body actually craves more mold in its effort for survival)
  • Adverse reaction to antibiotics
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Iron Bacteria – Fixing Basement Rust Issues

What Is Iron Bacteria?

Iron Bacteria – Fixing Basement Rust Issues

When high levels of iron or manganese in the ground interact with oxygen, it creates a naturally occurring organism called iron bacteria. Iron bacteria looks like rust-colored slime or flakes that build up and clog drainage pipes, stone, pumps and other material that it comes into contact with.

Iron bacteria is found often in New York and New Jersey and even though its health effects are minimal, it can wreak havoc on your water system, causing clogs and deterioration. It can destroy a weak water drainage system in just a few short years and unfortunately isn’t covered under most warrantees. Plus, it’s a smelly nuisance.

Scaldino Basement Solutions can help you beat iron bacteria. Since iron bacteria is caused and nourished by organic material, we use only inorganic material for basement waterproofing, sump pump insulation, foundation repair and so on. We use plastics wherever possible. This is also why we use Grate Products. Grate’s drain piping for under-slab drainage is antimicrobial, which makes it hard for iron bacteria to take hold and easy to remove it if it appears.

Antimicrobial materials and dual chamber design holds up against the worst iron bacteria.

The Risks of Radon

The Risks of Radon

The dangers of radon gas are frightening and real. Radon enters the home through pores in your basement concrete. There, it travels up through the house by what is called the stack effect. Through the stack effect, 40% of the air in your basement ends up in the living space of your home. This is why radon is a very real threat.

How Dangerous Is Radon?

When uranium naturally breaks down into simpler elements called byproducts, the energy it loses in the process is radon gas. This energy is released in three different forms and one of these three is particularly dangerous.

This dangerous form is called the alpha particle. The alpha particle is a high-speed atom with two protons and two neutrons. It moves so fast that when it collides with human tissue, it affects the atomic structure of the tissue. While the body can take small doses of radon, heavy doses or doses over a prolonged period can cause cancer.

Taking on Radon

Radon levels are measured in picocuries. If the radon level inside a home is 4 picocuries, the EPA requires you to remediate it. The difference between 1 and 4 picocuries is dramatic. 4 picocuries means 4 times the risk of cancer than 1 picocurie. However, even at a number lower than 4 picocuries, you’re still at high risk. Just because the government doesn’t force you to remediate doesn’t mean it’s safe. This is why it’s Scaldino Basement Solutions’ goal to get your home’s radon level as low as possible.

Scaldino Basement Solutions offers foundation repair services that keep radon out of your home. Since concrete is too porous to stop radon, we can prevent it from entering your home through under-slab ventilation and vapor barriers for the exterior walls. We recommend this foundation repair service whenever finishing basements or when a high level of radon is detected in the home.

If you have an open drainage system, a sealed water system is a better alternative for preventing radon from entering the house. Our system is also easy to retrofit to vent under-slab air outside. Our goal is to offer a one-stop shop for getting rid of radon in your home.