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CPR Nashville Blog

Cleaning Your Air Ducts

Lower your health and safety risks by cleaning your air ducts. Here's what you as a homeowner should know.

Lower your health and safety risks by cleaning your air ducts. Here’s what you as a homeowner should know.

Studies have shown that indoor air can be anywhere from two to five times more polluted than outside air. Most disposable filters remove about 10% of these pollutants allowing 90% to enter the air system, even during the construction of a new home. The pollutants contain dust, pollen, mold spores, animal dander and much more. These materials collect in the furnace, air conditioner and duct surfaces, just as they do on the furniture and floor surfaces.

From Where does the Dirt in your Vents Come?

All inside air was once outside air, so all of the dust, chemicals, pollen, insects and mold spores in the outside air can be pulled into the air system. People shed millions of tiny dead skin cells every hour. Cooking smoke, household insect sprays, personal care products are also a source of pollutants. Many construction materials, carpets, wood products and plastics give off pollutants as well. During construction or remodeling activities, many types of dust are produced and find their way into the ductwork. If the duct components were stored outside prior to construction, they may have collected dust, rainwater and even mold before they were installed in a system.

Clean Systems Use Less Energy

Five to seven times a day, the air in your home circulates through the air ducts of your heating and cooling system, carrying with it the dust and debris of everyday living. There are three major parts to your air system:

  1. The supply and return grills;
  2. The interior surfaces of the supply and return vents;
  3. The furnace/air conditioner air handler.

All three components need to be cleaned. If only one or two of the components are cleaned, the contaminants from the third component will rapidly contaminate the ones that were cleaned. Depending on the amount of contamination and its location, energy consumption could be increased. If the fan blades, evaporator coil or other control components of the system are heavily contaminated, the system may have to run much longer to cool or heat the occupied space, thereby wasting a lot of energy in the process.

Contaminants Lead to More Problems

Your furniture and floors are cleaned regularly but the duct surfaces are hidden from view and can only be reached by specialized duct cleaning equipment. These pollutants can migrate out into the room again, or become a food source for mold and bacteria, which can thrive in this dark comfortable environment from high humidity or moisture from the air conditioner or humidifiers. Biological growth can release mold spores or toxins into the air system.

Once an air system is thoroughly cleaned, it should remain clean for three to seven years if properly maintained. A standard disposable filter only stops about 10% of the airborne contaminants, allowing 90% of the dust in the room to flow back into the air system. To maintain protection against biological growth, you should have a qualified duct cleaning professional apply an EPA-registered biocide every 6 to 12 months.

Can a Meth House Be Saved?

There are currently no national regulations on exactly how to cleanup former meth labs.  Sometimes scrubbing and painting is all that is necessary to restore a former meth lab to a safe living environment.  Sometimes, contamination is so broad and extensive that the inside of the building needs complete renovation.  The removal of meth from a home is a difficult process, as the chemicals used in the production process saturate deep into the walls, carpets, and ceilings.  The cleaning up of former meth labs ranges from minor cleaning to complete demolition of buildings.  Some meth labs require soil and/or groundwater cleanup as well, depending on the extent of how and where chemical wastes were managed.

Not all houses previously used for meth labs are equally dangerous. However, do not attempt to clean up on your us.

Not all houses previously used for meth labs are equally dangerous. However, do not attempt to clean up on your own…call us.


The chemicals used in the production of meth pose serious health risks to a home’s new inhabitants, as many of them are known carcinogens (cancer-causing agents).  Some common symptoms of exposure to these chemicals include headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, sore throat, skin and eye irritation, and respiratory (breathing) problems.  Acute (short-term) exposures to high concentrations of some of these chemicals can cause severe health problems including lung damage and burns to different parts of the body.

It’s important for potential homeowners to be aware and able to spot the indicators that a home may have been used as a meth lab.  Most home inspectors don’t test for methamphetamines; because of this, it’s important that you not rely on the inspector to alert you of any potential meth problems.  Some indicators are:

  • The smell of ammonia, acetone and/or paint thinner.
  • Windows appear to have been blacked out or frosted (but without cold temperatures, moisture or condensation).
  • Your eyes begin to water, itch and burn, or you get a metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Areas of grass an/or vegetation appear completely dead (can be due to the dumping of chemicals into the lawn).
  • Signs of burns on the countertops, floors, and/or carpets that could have been caused by fires or chemicals.
  • A red or brown discoloration on the walls, ceilings, cabinets, countertops, and/or carpets.
  • Red rings and stains in the toilet and bathtub (from pouring chemicals down the drains).

It is advised that property owners exercise caution and use the safest possible cleaning practices in dealing with a former meth lab property, as there could be residual contamination.

Since this is an emerging problem, there is currently no official guidance or mandatory national regulations on how to clean up a former meth lab property for reoccupation.  Until a former meth lab has been properly cleaned up, no one should enter the home without appropriate personal protective equipment.  The safest way to clean up a former meth lab is to hire an environmental company trained in hazardous substance removal and cleanup.  At Choice Property Restoration, we are on your side.  Call CPR      at 615-886-7989 to schedule an appointment today.  We’re the company that responds in a heartbeat!

Finding Leaks: The Right Tools Matter

Don't wait until water comes pouring in. Early leak detection can spare you from bigger problems.  Call us now and we'll do the rest!

Don’t wait until water comes pouring in. Early leak detection can spare you from bigger problems. Call us now and we’ll do the rest!

No matter how well your home or business’ structure is built, it’s always going to be susceptible in some form or another to water damage. Water tends to be tricky like that — there’s a lot you can do to halt it, but moisture has a knack for zeroing in on even the smallest weak spots and then spreading damage quickly.

That’s why it’s key, when water intrudes into your space, to quickly find the real source or sources of a leak and shore them up. Going on a hunch, when it comes to water detection, is a surefire way to end up with future headaches. At Choice Property Restoration, we specialize in leak detection, using state of the art tools that can accurately detect even the most well-hidden leaks efficiently and quickly.

The longer moisture is able to stay in your structure, the more widespread damage occurs — from ugly stains to weakened building materials and mold growth. And if you only find and fix the secondary damage, but don’t deal with the main source, you’re headed toward more damage, more headaches and more repair and restoration work. We use the tools and take the steps to do the job right.

Some Of The High-tech Leak Detection Tools Choice Property Restoration Uses

Choice Property Restoration’s experienced technicians make use of a variety of industry-leading tools to ensure that we figure out your leak quickly and completely.

Moisture Meters

We use several different types of electronic moisture meters to find water problems that aren’t readily visible. Pinless or non-invasive moisture meters use high-frequency radio waves to detect moisture in materials like drywall, wood or concrete without having to damage those materials. We also use penetrating moisture probes to detect water that may be trapped deep in highly absorbent building materials like insulation.


These help us monitor how far intruding water has spread into a space, which can tell us whether moisture is hiding under your flooring, for instance, so we can keep you from developing odors and mold and mildew.

Thermal Imaging Cameras

Thermal imaging cameras almost work like X-ray glasses for CPR technicians — we use these to scan areas with potential moisture issues, and even if that moisture is deeply hidden, it’ll show up on our cameras with a cooler temperature reading than dry building materials. Once we know where the problem is, we can start the process of repairing and restoring.

Those are just a few of the specialized tools our highly trained technicians use. Ultimately, if water is hiding in your structure, we’ll find it, and help you return your home and business to a dry and completely restored state. If you have a moisture problem – or are worried that you might – just call Choice Property Restoration. We’d be happy to help!

Mold Follows Moisture

Dealing With Mold

Mold is an issue that a lot of homeowners in the Nashville area deal with, especially those whose homes were affected by the flood in 2010. Flood damage creates the perfect environment for mold to grow and reproduce. Choice Property Restoration has the equipment and experience necessary to resolve and restore your home, including damage from mold.

Anytime moisture makes its way into your home, mold is sure to follow. Mold can cause health problems.

Anytime moisture makes its way into your home, mold is sure to follow. Mold can cause health problems.

Mold is a fungus that needs moisture and warmth in order to grow. It grows all year, and will usually affect areas in your home that are humid or moist, such as basements, kitchens, bathrooms, walls containing leaky pipes, and areas that have flooded. Mold can start to grow within 24-48 hours of water exposure, reproduce airborne mold spores, and spread quickly. It does not go away without treatment.

Molds can grow on many surfaces in the home, like ceiling tiles, drywall, wallpaper, and insulation. It also thrives in non-synthetic carpets (like wool), fabrics, and upholstery. Visible mold growth usually appears in many colors as surface discoloration, stains, or as a fuzzy growth.

There are many kinds of water damage that result in mold growth:

  • Flooding
  • Sewage back-up
  • Leaks from plumbing or roof
  • High humidity created by household appliances (dryer vents, humidifiers, etc.)
  • Overflowing sink or tub

Mold poses health risks, such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, skin rash, and respiratory issues. Since we spend a lot of time in our homes (which means a lot of exposure) this can increase risks of worsening symptoms like headaches, body aches and pains, and even memory loss.

If you have symptoms of mold exposure, you increase the risk of furthering the damage by working in areas with mold or disturbing areas with mold growth. Unless you’re dealing with a moldy shower or other small space that can be easily cleaned and disinfected, it’s best to seek professional help. We can identify the problem, solve it, and restore your home to its pre-mold condition. Give us a call at 615-866-7989 for a ready response from our experts.

After the Flood

Flood Restoration

Floods are one of the most devastating forces on the planet Earth. They can wipe away entire cities. In 2010 a flood devastated a large part of Nashville leaving thousands of people with flooded homes and shambled lives. After a disaster like this most people feel lost, confused and helpless. Thankfully there are companies that specialize in helping to get your life back to normal after a tragedy like this. Here are some of the things to expect if you find yourself in this difficult situation.

Depending on the source of the water and the extent of the damage, we work with homeowners to begin the process of restoration.

Depending on the source of the water and the extent of the damage, we work with homeowners to begin the process of restoration.

The first thing that must be determined is the category of the water involved based on contamination. Category 1 is water from a sanitary source. This includes water from fresh water pipes, toilet tanks, sinks, etc. Category 2 is water that could cause illness but is generally not thought of as life threatening. This could include instances of dishwater or washing machine overflow, or toilet overflow that does not include solid material. Category 2 water could develop into Category 3 if it is left to sit. Category 3 water is water that could cause severe illness or death. This could include raw sewage, toilet overflow with solid material, or standing water that has developed microbial growth.

The second thing to understand about flood restoration is how water damage is classified. There are 4 classes of water damage. Class 1 water damage is damage that is contained to only part of a room or areas that have materials that have absorbed only minimal amounts of water. This is the easiest cleanup process. Class 2 water damage is a large amount of water. This is when water affects an entire room and/or carpet is involved. Carpet can soak up water and breed mold. In class 2 water damage water wicks up the walls no more than 24 inches. This is for when there is moisture remaining in the structural materials. Class 3 water damage is for the largest amount of water. This is where the water line is above the 24 inch mark and may have affected everything from floor to ceiling. This is the most extensive type of water damage. Class 4 water damage has to deal with things that need special drying conditions such as low humidity. This usually involves deep pockets of saturated water. To better understand the processes involved visit us.

Once the restoration team determines the class of water damage they are dealing with they will get to work. The team will work around all the contents in the home that can be salvaged. They will attempt to dry, deodorize, and sanitize all salvageable contents. Anything that cannot be saved will be discarded. These items should be compensated by your insurance. Once the contents are dealt with the team will begin the process of drying everything else. This is usually done with a series of large drying equipment that will help pull all of the moisture out of the affected area. The team will check back to monitor the progress and equipment to make sure that everything is functioning properly and accomplishing the task. Once the process is complete the equipment will be removed and one last check will be performed to make sure there is no mold or mildew or any pockets of moisture that still exist.

No one ever wants to have to make the call to a property restoration company but when the situation arises make sure that you are dealing with a professional credited agency and you’ll be back to normal in no time.

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