Covid-19

We wanted to send an informative email out to all of our valued clients to help them understand how we can help if you need assistance cleaning your house or facility. 
First, I personally believe if you don’t rent your home or own a facility – you do not need a professional company to come in a perform this service, unless you have a high-risk occupant. 
Second, just to be very clear – currently, there is NO product out on the market that can 100% guarantee it will kill the Coronavirus (Covid-19). Why do I say this…Covid-19 is NEW, so these products haven’t tested this strain. On these products the label is the LAW and if you don’t see Coronavirus Covid-19 listed, its not guaranteed to kill it. We have a product which the manufactures say they are 97% sure this All Natural Proprietary blend of products will achieve outstanding results in neutralizing the virus if applied correctly.
Third, if you own a rental house that hasn’t been occupied – you don’t need this service, but you might want to think about having it done before you come down after this season.
Forth, 98% of the products companies are using in homes are being applied with the “Fogging Method”. I agree, this is the best method to use if you are a high-risk home or facility. When these product are being applied using this method, they should be using full PPE (proper protection equipment) to protect themselves from the potential health issues from inhaling or ingesting tiny droplets, which can then kill necessary bacteria in your gut and create digestive problems
Basically, unless you can make sure no one will enter your home for about 2 hours after this service is complete and during the 1-2 hours it takes to properly perform this service, I Don’t think it is possible here on the Outer Banks during turnover.
Now, you can have Albemarle take care of this service for you and, like I said, we use a Botanical All Natural Proprietary Blended product that is safe for our staff, you, and your guests. 
If you find yourself in need of this service – here is some information to educate yourself and explain some terminology you may hear. Professionally sanitizing can reach all corners of the home or facility. By applying disinfectant using a combination of techniques—including foggingsurface wiping, and spraying—areas of the building are addressed that would otherwise be missed by ordinary cleaning.
A brief overview of these methods:
Fogging—Technique that uses a fine spray to deliver disinfectant so that it reaches all interior spaces. Can be done in interior spaces as well as in air duct systems.
Surface wiping—Wiping down all surfaces with industrial-grade disinfectant. The solution is applied wet, allowed to dwell, then wiped for maximum effectiveness.
Spraying—Applying a “wet” spray to completely coat a surface in sanitizing solution. After the solution is applied, it is allowed to dry to ensure effectiveness. You’ve probably seen footage of this on the news, as cities have been wet-spraying public spaces.
Via these techniques, every nook and cranny of the facility—from high-touch surfaces to the interior of the air duct system—can be sanitized.
Professional cleaning utilizes a different quality of sanitizing product. Off-the-shelf products can be effective at addressing coronavirus, but they will not have the efficacy of a higher-strength disinfectant.
A couple of notes about disinfecting products:
The EPA maintains a list of products for use against COVID-19—found here —that includes both professional-strength and off-the-shelf products. We are using only the products found on this list and would recommend all others do the same.
You hear products being promoted as “hospital grade” or “industrial grade.” These are purely marketing terms and don’t represent anything about the quality of the product. That said, there is a distinction between professional-strength cleaning products such as the ones that Albemarle uses and off-the-shelf products you would buy at the store.
By using a company like Albemarle that employs professional-strength cleaning products included on the EPA list to fight corona virus, you are receiving the highest-quality sanitation and maximizing your likelihood of eliminating any virus.
By not using your employees or staff to clean and disinfect the premises, you are keeping them safe and out of harm’s way. Professional crews such as ours are trained to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), if need be, and clean in such a way as to minimize risk to themselves. If you are using your own staff to wipe down and clean areas, they may not know how to properly protect themselves or how to properly wipe off areas. If they use the Spray & Wipe method, how are they using the towel or rag? 
In addition, companies such as Albemarle can schedule after-hours work to avoid contact with your occupants and eliminate any person-to-person interaction. This is much safer than having staff clean during regular business hours. (If it is not possible to schedule after-hours work—as in the case of facilities that are open 24 hours a day—companies like ours can work with you to identify a solution.)
For each of the reasons above, we believe that every essential business should be regularly conducting professional cleaningsanitizing, and disinfecting.When the time comes to have sanitizing work done, we have several recommendations.
And of course, whenever you decide to cleansanitize, and disinfect, Albemarle is here for you and happy to help.
Questions we get asked daily:
Where can I find which products to use on my house?
//www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

Should I deep clean my home?
The CDC has recommended cleaning all high touch surfaces. Albemarle has an enhanced service offering where we can apply disinfectant to reduce exposure to bacteria and viruses.
//www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/cleaning-disinfection.html
How often should I have my business and beach home treated?
Sanitizing and disinfecting now and on an ongoing basis will help keep your residents / employees safe and ease safety concerns that they may have. Even observing social distancing, we know from the CDC that the Coronavirus can last for days on surfaces. In addition, we know that many employees have indicated that they’re not comfortable reporting to work given the risk to become ill. Therefore, regularly disinfecting and sanitizing can go a long way to prevent the spread of the virus and keeping individuals healthy and working.
If you choose cleansanitize, and disinfect your facility that is still open and operating, we make the following recommendations:
Schedule the cleaning for a time when your residents / employees will not be present. This is for the safety of everyone and to ensure the building has had disinfectant applied when the work is complete. If this is not possible (as in the case of facilities that are open 24 hours a day), we can work with you to identify a solution.
Set up recurring cleaning and disinfectant. A sanitized facility will become re-infected as soon a sick individual enters the premises. Therefore, disinfecting on an ongoing basis is recommended to provide the best health and safety outcomes.
Let your residents / employees know what steps you are taking. If you follow our advice above, residents will not see or interact with our cleaning crews, so you must let them know the measures being taken to protect them. This can help put minds at ease and keep people engaged in essential activities.
What is the difference between Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting?
Cleaning does not kill bacteria, viruses, or fungi more commonly referred to as “germs”. Instead cleaning is done to remove “germs” usually by combining water, a cleaning product, and scrubbing. Though cleaning does not kill ‘germs’ it is still a vital step in the deep cleaning process as removal of dirt and debris can make way for products and methods that do kill ‘germs’ to be more efficacious.
Sanitizing & Disinfecting methods on the other hand refer to products that work by killing germs. These processes do not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. Sanitizers reduce bacteria on a surface by at least 99.9%.
Conversely, disinfectants kill a wider range of microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and mold. These methods work great on all surfaces like natural stone including marble, granite, and limestone; upholstery, fabrics, and drapes; and carpets and area rugs on hard non-porous surfaces like stainless steel and the components of your HVAC system.
What does the CDC say about Carpet Cleaning?
The CDC specifically recommends the following process for cleaning carpets. For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and treat with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning – use products with the EPA-approved emerging viral pathogen claims that are suitable for porous surfaces.
What steps are you taking to keep your clients safe?We have implemented a zero contact service appointments.Technicians are following the CDC guidelines for hand washing, using hand sanitizer and following all recommended hygiene practices.
With regard to social distancing, our technicians are maintaining a distance of 6 feet from our customers, and you do not need to be in the same room while they are deep cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting.We are frequently cleaning and disinfecting all our equipment with professional-grade, EPA-approved disinfectant.
Our technicians are wearing the CDC recommended protective gear including which currently includes gloves and booties (shoe covers) when entering homes and businesses. We are specifically avoiding using personal protective equipment (PPE) that is needed by medical professionals.
How long will the area stay disinfected?
Any areas we treat will be thoroughly disinfected when we leave. Once a sick individual enters the space, it is no longer sanitized, no matter how long has taken place.
While we have seen claims out in the world of disinfecting lasting for so many days after taking place, we have not seen anyone providing proof to substantiate such claims. We advise to be wary of any companies or products that make such claims. We would also advise that you ensure that any company you use to disinfect your home or facility is using products found on the EPA list of Disinfectants to Use Against Coronavirus, found here
Albemarle is only using industrial strength disinfectants recognized by the EPA to fight Coronavirus. That list is found here.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

5 Steps To Prevent Mold

Five Steps to Prevent Mold Growth after a Catastrophic Flood

 

The leading natural disaster in the U.S., floods can wreak havoc on a home or building that lasts long after waters recede. Over the past five years, the average paid flood insurance claim was more than $35,000, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). From damaged personal items to the growth of mold spores that can impact the health of a home and its inhabitants, taking the proper steps to restore a property after a flood can limit the extent of the damage incurred.

 

With guidance from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning Restoration and Certification (IICRC) and the Healthy House Institute (HHI), Albemarle Carpet Cleaning shares the following five steps for preventing mold growth after a catastrophic flood:

 

Step One: Check it out!

  • Once a building is flooded from a river, lake, stream, hurricane or rainstorm, inspecting and documenting damage is very important for several reasons, including insurance and tax purposes. Electrical, gas, structural and other safety hazards present must be eliminated “before” assessing physical damage to the building and contents.
  • Once health and safety hazards have been eliminated, inspect the building and all contents. Generally, the rule of thumb is that everything below the water line gets thrown out. Building materials and contents above the water line should be inspected for discoloration, odor and damage.

Step Two: Get it out!

  • Extract standing water with a pump or wet vacuum from slabs, basements, crawlspaces, heating systems and anywhere water could be sitting. Shovel or flush out remaining silt and sand with water.
  • Next, remove all wallboard material (e.g., plaster, drywall, paneling), finished flooring (e.g., carpet, hardwood, vinyl flooring), insulation and any other wet materials that are below the water line.
  • Remove contents damaged by floodwater. Keep a record of your activities before, during and after cleanup. Take photo or video recording inventory of discarded material.

Step Three: Clean it up!

  • Start with vacuuming as much loose debris and soil as possible. It is preferable to use a HEPA vacuum, but a simple wet/dry vacuum can work. When using a wet/dry vacuum, attach a hose to the exhaust and vent the exhaust air to the outside. This keeps dust, spores and other fine particles from being suspended in the air and settling back on clean surfaces.
  • Clean framing with a pressure washer or low-pressure flushing. Scrub framing with a mild detergent (e.g. dish soap) to remove embedded soils. Wipe all adjacent surfaces with a mild detergent. Rinse by low-pressure flushing or wiping with clean water. Vacuum all remaining moisture using a wet/dry vacuum.
  • If mold is visible and remains after cleaning, additional scrubbing or multiple rounds of cleaning may be necessary. If significant mold growth is present, or if occupants have immune deficiencies, are elderly, pregnant, or if there are young children present, an IICRC* Certified restorer should be contacted. To find a local IICRC Certified Firm, go to www.iicrc.org or call (360) 693-5675.
  • After all surfaces are clean, wipe surfaces with a sanitizer such as a solution of up to ¼ cup of bleach to one gallon of water. After 20 minutes, wipe surfaces using clean water. This step helps neutralize remaining or embedded contaminants.
  • For those with chemical sensitivities, perform multiple rounds of cleaning as an alternative to using bleach.

Step Four: Dry it out – quickly!

  • Mold spores are everywhere, and it is impossible to remove all spores and potential contaminants.  All spores need to grow is moisture. To inhibit future mold growth, dry affected areas as quickly as possible, preferably within 24 to 48 hours from the completion of cleaning and sanitizing.
  • The key is directing warm, dry air across wet surfaces. This directed airflow should be exhausted outside or collected using dehumidification equipment. Take care to not spread contaminants. Properly directing airflow may require putting up barriers or containing the affected areas to prevent the spread of contaminants to unaffected areas.
  • Drying a wet building correctly is an art as well as a science. IICRC trained and certified experts know how to use state-of-the-art moisture detection and monitoring equipment that identifies hidden moisture in building materials, ventilation systems, flooring and walls. Certified restorers also understand and use the equipment necessary to dry buildings, while preventing the spread of contaminants.
  • In a community-wide flood, the availability of power and rental equipment to complete structural drying can be a challenge. If drying cannot be properly initiated, contact an IICRC Certified Firm.

Step Five: Keep it dry

  • The cardinal rule for preventing mold growth is to keep surfaces dry.  Strive to ensure your home stays dry and you will be following industry best practices for preventing mold growth and protecting the health of others in your home. It’s also a way to protect the investment of your home, since excess mold growth and moisture will damage the structure. Try to keep indoor humidity below 50 percent using air conditioning or a dehumidifier.
  • Tip: Use a water-sensing alarm (battery-operated) in moisture-prone areas such as next to the washer, hot water heater, in the basement and other possible wet zones, so you are alerted to the accumulation of excess moisture.

No one wants to experience the devastation of a flood, but by keeping mold outside where it belongs, you can limit its impact on the health of your family and home.

Do You Have a Mold Problem? How to Know.

Many homeowners are concerned about having mold in their homes, but don’t know the early warning signs – or preventative measures – that could help them avoid a major problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is “always a little mold everywhere,” including in the air, and on many surfaces. Molds themselves are not toxic or poisonous, although some people talk about “toxic molds.” The hazards presented by these molds, which in reality are just molds that may produce mycotoxins, should be considered the same as the hazards presented by other common molds. There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions. But in 2004, according to the CDC, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found sufficient evidence to link indoor mold exposure with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that condition. The Institute also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children.

Mold spores can get into homes through open doorways, windows, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems that have outdoor air intakes. Spores can also attach themselves to people and animals, turning clothes, shoes, bags, and pet accessories into handy transportation. If the spores land in moist places, such as places near leaks in roofs or pipes, or in any spot where flooding has occurred, they will grow. According to CNN/Money, the National Association of Home Builders says that a moist environment and the right room temperature can lead to mold growth in just 48 hours.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers extensive information on Mold and Moisture online, and notes that the key to controlling mold is controlling moisture. Although it’s impossible to keep mold completely out of your home, in most cases (in addition to moisture control) regular home cleanings, including the Carpet Cleaning Services and Air Duct Cleaning Services, can often prevent serious mold problems from arising.

But how do you know if you have a mold problem? You can usually see or smell a large infestation (a musty smell is often a strong clue), but in some cases, according to a 2005 New York Times Article titled “How to Find and Eliminate Mold”, the first sign of a mold problem is an allergic reaction experienced by someone in the home. Jeffrey C. May, principal scientist for May Indoor Air Investigations in Cambridge, MA, told the Times, “If someone feels better when they’re away from the house, there’s probably something wrong with the house.”

If you suspect you have a problem, consider contacting a home inspector who is certified to inspect for mold. Research inspectors or environmental experts carefully, before choosing a vendor for this purpose. The CDC (L7) points out the following:
Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the building’s characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.

If it is determined that your home has a mold problem that must be addressed, a number of considerations go into the decision of who should handle the clean up. According to the EPA, if the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), homeowners can probably handle the job themselves if they follow the EPA’s guidelines (posted on the same page).

If the problem is larger, however, it’s a good idea to call in an expert. Albemarle offers Emergency Restoration and Cleaning Services for both homes and businesses. We can handle such water and moisture emergencies as broken pipes, overflowing toilets, and flooding that might lead to major mold problems. We will help guide you through the insurance claims process, while our accomplished technicians will approach the restoration process with the utmost care and concern for your property and mold issues.

If you choose to hire a contractor who specializes in mold clean-up for more extensive jobs, the EPA recommends that you check references, and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in the agency’s Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings information area, the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygenists (ACGIH), or other guidelines from professional or government organizations.

There is a great deal you can do to avoid mold problems, from avoiding a moist environment to regular air duct and home cleanings. But if a disaster occurs, such as flooding wind-driven rain or burst pipes, contact Albemarle immediately by calling 252.255.1477. And if you suspect that mold you can’t see is causing health problems, speak to qualified, licensed professionals to determine next steps.

Carpet Cleaners Exposed Outer Banks

No insurance? If the price is several hundred dollars cheaper it may sound like an attractive offer. But think about this: If he can’t afford insurance, can he afford to buy you new carpet if he ruins your carpeting? Even worse, don’t you think his family will sue you if he gets severely hurt while on your property?

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