Hantavirus Cleaning Severity & Precautions

Hantavirus Cleaning: Severity & Precautions

Hantavirus Cleaning: Severity & Precautions

The hantavirus is a virus typically carried by rodents. It is found in the white-footed mouse, cotton rat, rice rat and deer mouse. Of these, the deer mouse is perhaps the most common carrier of hantavirus. Deer mice excrete hantavirus in their droppings, urine, and saliva and people most usually contract the virus when these materials are stirred up, making it airborne.

Persons can get exposed to hantavirus by breathing contaminated dust post cleaning or disturbing rodent droppings and nests. They can also contract the virus by working and living in rodent-infested settings. It commonly leads to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). HPS is essentially an infectious disease with flu-like symptoms that can advance rapidly to potentially severe breathing problems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report gives us reason to worry. As of January 2017, there were a total of 728 cases of Hantavirus infection reported in the United States. It included people with medically confirmed hantavirus infection with either HPS or non-pulmonary hantavirus infection. Out of these statistics, from 1993 onward, 697 cases occurred after the first identification of HPS. The remaining 31 cases were identified retrospectively. Notably, 36% of all reported HPS cases claimed lives.

As a resident of Colorado, you want to especially look out as the diagnosis of a Denver resident with hantavirus was reported on March 6, 2018 in The Denver Post. Though the disease is usually found in rural and suburban regions, this person got infected in Denver itself. As the individual did not leave the county, investigators were certain that the virus was picked up somewhere in Denver. Such an occurrence is rare, but it also rings an alarm for people in Colorado.

Methods of Hantavirus Transmission

  • Inhalation

Hantaviruses are primarily transmitted to people via the aerosolization of viruses shed in the excreted matter of infected rodents. For instance, a broom used to clean up mouse droppings in the attic may usher into the air tiny particles of stool containing hantaviruses, which you can then unknowingly inhale.

Once you breathe in hantaviruses, they reach your lungs and begin invading tiny blood vessels named capillaries, eventually causing them to leak. Your lungs then tend to flood with fluid, which can spark any of the respiratory problems related to HPS.

  • Person-to-person transmission

At present, people infected by the North American strain of HPS are not really contagious to others. However, certain outbreaks in South America have witnessed transmission from person to person.

How Can You Prevent Contraction of Hantavirus?

You want to keep out rodents from your home and workplace. Always remember to take precautions when cleaning, trapping, and sealing rodent-infested areas. Try the following tips for preventing the intrusion of deer mice:

  1. Clog all Means of Access

As mice can squeeze through spaces and holes which are as wide as 1/4 inch or 6mm, you want to block all holes with cement, metal, or wire screening.

  1. Reduce Any Availability of Food

Keeping the place free of food is an excellent way to keep out deer mice, as they mostly intrude seeking food. You want to maintain clean floors and counters which are devoid of food crumbs. Also, wash your dishes promptly and make it a point to store your food, including that of pets, in tight, rodent-proof containers. Garbage cans also need to have tight lids that cannot be easily moved by mice.

  1. Decrease Accumulation of Nesting Material

You want to clear grass, brush, and all junk and unnecessary material from the building’s foundation. When there is lack of material for mice to nest and breed, there will be lesser chances of them infesting the premises.

  1. Set Up Traps

If you suspect deer mice to have already been frequenting the premises, setting up traps is a great way to do away with the menace. You can lay spring-operated traps along baseboards. Poison-bait traps can also be used. However, it has to be done cautiously as poison has the possibility of harming people and pets as well.

Safe Hantavirus Cleaning Process

You want to wet down the dead mice and the areas where they have been with household disinfectants, alcohol, or bleach. This kills the virus and effectively prevents infected dust from being stirred up into the air. When everything is wet, use a damp towel to lift the contaminated material. Then, sponge or mop the area thoroughly with disinfectant.

On cleaning after rodents, you want to take the following measures to avoid contraction of the hantavirus:

  • Don’t vacuum but instead, air out enclosed spaces.
  • Wear gloves and a face mask covering the nose when cleaning.
  • While cleaning the affected area, soak it with disinfectant and water.
  • Use paper towels to thoroughly wipe the affected areas before disinfecting again.
  • Disinfect gloves after using them.
  • Rinse your hands with soap and warm water after you are done cleaning.

By inactivating hantaviruses in the environment, the risk of HPS can be significantly reduced. By developing an awareness of the dangers and adopting the necessary precautions, you can keep this virus at bay.

 

Source Links:

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/deer-mice-cute-but-potentially-deadly/
https://www.medicinenet.com/hantavirus_pulmonary_syndrome/article.htm
https://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/hps/index.html
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hantavirus-pulmonary-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351838
https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/Hantavirus
https://www.denverpost.com/2018/03/06/hantavirus-denver/

Bed Bug Bites

Bed Bug Bites

Bed Bug Bites:  Call ECOS on 888-990-5067 to get rid of these pests immediately.  Most homeowners dread one pest problem in particular – bed bugs which can become a highly expensive problem if they are allowed to spread through out your property.  Bed bug bites can impose serious health threats if they are not removed quickly and safely.  Bed bugs have evolved to become perfect parasites that can cause immense harm to humans and damage property likewise. They stick around for long periods of time because they often go unnoticed.

What Are Bed Bugs? 

These insects belong to the genus Cimex and they feed on human blood. They are small and parasitic insects that consume animal blood by biting their skin. These insects spread by crawling and through hosts. Even though there are no signs of infectious diseases that are transmitted through bed bug bites, it can still lead to several skin complications in humans. Bed bugs are found across the globe. They have evolved to become the perfect parasite because they can live up to 70 days without feeding. Bed bugs have also started growing resistance to pesticides.

The bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and can hide in cracks, bed frames, box springs, headboards, and crevices of beds. Bed bugs can usually be found in objects in and around the bed. Hotels, hospitals, and homeless shelters are the most common places for encountering bed bugs. They usually have a reddish-colored body texture.

 

Types of Bed Bugs

There are two profound species of bed bugs that survive on human blood. These insects are called:

  1. Cimex lectularius (Common bed bug)
  2. Cimex hemipterus – a tropical breed

Bed bugs spend their time in the dark and usually crawl out during the night-time to feed on human and animal blood.

 

Bed Bug Detection 

There are two simple ways to find out if your home is infested with bed bugs:

  • Check for bed bug bites on your body
  • Check for bed bugs
  • Bloodstains on pillows and bedsheets
  • Rusty spots on mattresses
  • Offensive and musty odor released from the bugs’ glands

If there are bed bugs present in the home, your family is likely to have bed bug bites on your skin. These bites easily catch itchy welts and appear in a zigzag pattern. Often, a cluster of 3-5 zigzag bite patterns appears on the skin. Bed bugs can be seldom seen mostly because they never come out of their hiding place, unlike most insects.

 

Bed Bug Bite Symptoms 

It is difficult to distinguish a bed bug bite from bites of other insects such as spiders, mosquitoes, or fleas. Sometimes people mistakenly confuse bed bug bites with other skin conditions such as hives, chickenpox, or other itchy rashes. However, here are some signs to detect a bed bug bite from the rest of the conditions:

  • Redness, often with a dark red spot in the middle of the bite
  • Arranged in a zigzag pattern and clustered in proximity
  • Can be located on the neck, hands, face, and arms

While there are people who have no reaction to these bites, there are others who face severe allergic reactions including persistent itchiness and blisters.

Causes 

An infestation of bed bugs can be linked with:

  • Changes in environmental conditions and pest control practices
  • Increased resistance to pesticides and mutation
  • Increased traveling of the host

Bed Bug Spots 

Bed bugs usually manifest in objects close to where people sleep. It makes it easier for the insects to crawl out and conveniently feed on human blood while the subject is deep asleep. Some of the spots to locate bed bugs include:

  • Under loose, hanging wallpapers and peeling paints on the wall
  • Box springs and mattresses
  • Objects cluttered on or around the bed
  • Bed frames and upholstered furniture seams

Risk Factors 

Bed bugs can multiply irrespective of weather conditions. They live in the dark, need a warm host to travel and feed on, and a lot of hiding places. The cleanliness of the surrounding plays no factor in the manifestation of bed bugs. They can thrive in the cleanest of rooms. Bed bugs can easily travel rooms and compartments by crawling. These insects are more common in areas of high density such as apartment complexes, refugee camps, hotels, dorm rooms, trains, and buses. Bed bug bites can cause serious infectious conditions in its host and impose other risk factors as well. Here are some of the most common risk factors including a bed bug bite:

  1. Infection – These bites can be very itchy leading to an urge to continually scratch the bed bug bite spot until it goes away. Scratching vehemently can lead to allergies and flesh wounds. These wounds are small, but they are open in nature. It allows other germs and bacteria to enter these wounds and cause fatal infections if left unattended. Increasing redness around the wound and tender bumps are some of its symptoms. These wounds can lead to skin infections like Impetigo, cellulitis, and boils.
  2. Allergic Reactions – Bed bug bites can have an allergic reaction on some people imposing serious health risks. Life-threatening situations arise in people having severe allergic reactions after being bitten by bed bugs. Hosts that are hypersensitive to insect bites can undergo anaphylactic shock when bitten. This condition causes wheezing, tightness of the chest, itchy tongue or lips, and tightness in the throat of the host. Such conditions need immediate medical attention.
  3. Stress – Living in a household manifested by bed bugs is stressful. Also, the increasing resistance of bed bugs towards pesticides and their ability to survive without food for a long time invites a lot of problems. The house may need to be cleaned multiple times which becomes costly due to the bed bugs’ dominant nature. Bed bugs invite stress because they cannot be removed easily, are expensive to get rid of, causes harm to the body, and damages property as well. These are quite a few reasons for stressing out leading to a weak immune system.

The home and the workplace must be kept tidy to keep unwanted intruders at bay. Bed bugs are a growing problem globally and bed bug bites can cause serious infections and skin diseases. Home is where you want to rest peacefully and not stress about being bitten by bed bugs waking up to skin rashes.

Are you suspecting bed bug manifestation in your home? Are you tired of being bitten by bed bugs regularly? Cannot get proper sleep because you are afraid of being bitten? Try our services for bed bug treatment.

Call ECOS at 888-990-5067 today! We are committed to providing reliable assistance to make your life safer, easier, and better. Above, we gave you some important information on removing bed bugs from your property and thus addressing any bed bug bites you are facing

Why Choose ECOS?

  •  We have a live operator on call 24/7 to schedule your project (Monday through Sunday)
  •  Our services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
  •  We give topmost priority to the health and safety of our clients suffering from bed bug bites
  •  Our modern equipment is safe for people, animals, and sensitive materials.
  •  Our technicians are friendly and helpful.
  •  We have years of professional experience in the industry and are experts.
  •  We have no hidden charges and offer competitive pricing.
Mold Mitigation Denver

Mold Mitigation Denver

Mold Mitigation Denver, Colorado:

If and When You Have Mold Mitigation Denver Concerns:  Call ECOS on 888-990-5067 for fast response time which addresses any and all mold indoor air quality concerns.  Mold can grow rapidly in the right conditions, so please call ECOS For Safe & Reliable Mold Mitigation Denver Service. Our Company Has Been Removing Mold For Over 16 Years!  Why Choose ECOS?

  • We have a live operator on call 24/7 to schedule your project (Monday through Sunday)
  • ECOS works extremely well with all insurance companies
  • Our services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
  • We give topmost priority to the health and safety of our clients.
  • Our modern equipment is safe for people, animals, and sensitive materials.
  • Our technicians are friendly and helpful.
  • We have years of professional experience in the industry and are experts.
  • We have no hidden charges and offer competitive pricing.

Did you know that your property is susceptible to mold, irrespective of the weather conditions? That’s right. The cold damp winter or the harsh humid summer can both cause the appearance of mold, both in the interiors and exteriors of your home or business. Several activities can result in the formation of mold due to the presence of moisture in the surrounding air.

In Denver, which is the most populous city of Colorado and the hub of economic activity, the occurrence of mold has been a growing problem in recent years. Businesses often suffer much adverse impact and according to reports, mold formation has increased by 80% in three years, causing a lot of harm to properties. In spite of Colorado’s majorly high-desert climate, mold is turning into an expensive problem for locals, if not tackled in time.

What is Mold Mitigation Denver, Colorado? 

Mold is a form of fungus that can literally grow anywhere. Some of the most visible options include books, walls, clothes, tables, chairs, accessories, and more. It not only degrades valuable belongings and makes them unfit for use but can also cause severe health hazards. Molds can release spores that are easily spread through the air. These spores can persist in conditions where mold cannot grow, and come to fruition later. These fungus thrive in environmental conditions that are usually warm and moist. They soon begin to harvest and can multiply quickly upon landing on damp surfaces. Mold can grow on a wide range of surfaces and can spoil them in the course of growing.

 

Types of Mold 

There are different types of molds that can grow both indoors and outdoors. There are nearly 300,000 different types of mold fungus existing at present. Molds can appear in a variety of textures and colors such as green, black, white, blue, and yellow. Here are some of the most commonly recognized molds that generally form indoors:

  • Aspergillus –  This type of fungus grows on dry items such as dust, drywall, and powdered materials.
  • Alternaria – Damp places like the shower, the underside of leaky sinks, and other similar places encourage growth of this kind of mold.
  • Penicillium – It has a blue-green appearance and grows on areas damaged due to water.
  • Cladosporium – This fungus type can conveniently grow in both warm or cool areas. The favorite target of this mold type includes wood surfaces and fabric.

Causes of Mold Formation 

There are multiple factors that come into play in the formation of mold. Nevertheless, there are six specific elements that molds require to flourish and they are:

  • Spores – Spores help the fungi reproduce and establish mold colonies in suitable places both indoors or outdoors, depending on their nature. They can exist in the air and are invisible to the naked eye. They start thriving upon landing on damp surfaces.
  • Moisture – Water is the key to all forms of life, and mold is no exception. The blend of all existing elements such as air, water, and moisture is essential for mold to grow. The wetter the conditions, the easier it is for mold to grow.
  • Oxygen – Oxygen, again, is vital for molds to survive. In fact, mold cannot grow in the absence of oxygen. Cell division and reproduction are not possible for molds without oxygen.
  • Absence of Sunlight – The ultraviolet rays of the sun are harmful to the cellular structure of the mold. In fact, mold cannot survive when exposed. However, it is noteworthy that mold can grow in spaces with artificial lighting such as the interior of a home.
  • Temperature – Mold cannot survive in extreme temperature conditions. No wonder there is no mold in the Sahara Desert or the Arctic Circle. Dark and damp locations are ideal for this fungus to manifest and it usually exists between 22 degrees centigrade and  27 degrees centigrade.
  • Source of Food – Mold needs food to exist and reproduce. There are limitless sources of food when outdoors like vegetation, organic materials, and more. Mold can exist on rocks as well. It can feed on clothes, dust remains, wood, carpets, cardboards, and more.

Adverse Effects of Mold 

Mold can impose a serious threat to the health and well-being of inmates. It is dangerous for people with a weak immune system, respiratory problems, and allergies. Mold affects the nose and throat, creating breathing problems. Here are some of the common ill-effects of mold:

  1. Allergy – People who are prone to mold-related allergies are susceptible to hay fever and other similar allergies. These allergies can affect the upper respiratory tract. Some of the symptoms include an itchy nose and throat, watery eyes, sneezing as well as a runny nose. Higher dust intensity triggers allergic reactions.
  2. Breathing Problems – As molds keep growing in the surrounding air, they can produce allergens and mycotoxins that are toxic in nature. Since dampness encourages the particles to break down, breathing problems can significantly increase. Such conditions are dangerous for people with chronic lung conditions.
  3. Aspergillosis – Aspergillus, a specific type of mold causes the health condition aspergillosis. People who breathe in the spores of molds develop this condition. There are four types of Aspergillosis. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis affects the lungs, allergic aspergillus sinusitis affects the nose, aspergilloma causes cough and breathing problems, while chronic pulmonary aspergillosis causes weight loss along with coughing.
  4. Other Effects – Evidence from the World Health Organization shows that people who spend considerable time in a mold-prevalent environment have signs of skin and eye irritations, wheezing, fatigue, insomnia, headache, fever, and more. The amount of mold and the individual’s immune system are two primary factors for susceptibility to such conditions.
  5. Damage of Property – Dark spots on the ceiling, moisture tracks down the wall, and musty smell indicates the existence of mold. This fungus can degrade the structure of the building and weaken it from within. Valuable objects, priceless antiques, walls, ceilings, and even buildings can crumble and turn to dust because of mold. The dangers of damage to property may not be immediately visible but mold can wear down the longevity of your space at a steady pace.

Your home or workplace needs to be a safe place, not just from intruders but also any kind of unwanted and damaging growth. It is, after all, a space where people frequent and spend much of their time. A clean, hygienic environment is what they deserve.

Do you suspect mold growth on your walls, basement, attic, or any other area and need Mold Mitigation Denver help? Use this mold testing link. Are you looking for a solution for mold remediation? Our prompt, expert services are at your disposal.  Call ECOS at 888-507-3260 today!  We are committed to providing reliable assistance to make your life safer, easier, and better.

***

Mold Mitigation Denver Source links: 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288651#prevention

https://www.poison.org/articles/2011-oct/mold-101-effects-on-human-health

https://www.mrrooter.com/greater-syracuse/about-us/blog/2017/may/causes-of-mold-in-your-home-and-how-to-prevent-i/

Top 7 Causes of House Fires

Top 7 Causes Of House Fires

Top 7 Reasons for A House Fire: A fire in any property can occur out of nowhere. Our blog post is focused on the various reasons for a house fire to educate homeowners on precautions they can take to prevent them. House fires are unpredictable, can escalate in a matter of seconds, destroy precious property, and in alarming cases harm individuals as well. The mental scars left behind by a house fire can often last for years.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are 350,000 house fires that occur each year across the United States. There are multiple ways in which your home can catch fire. However, there are only two broadly defined ways in which fire accidents happen. The two categories – fire caused due to heat igniting combustible objects and tools, and fire outbreak due to a chemical reaction.

There are many ways in which your home can catch fire. Accidental fires can wreak havoc. Your home has tools and appliances that are combustible under certain conditions. These things are regular essentials that you cannot do without. Hence, it makes your home more susceptible to accidental fires.

Here are the Top 7 Causes Of House Fires:

1. Cooking is the #1 reason on our list of Top 7 Causes Of House Fires and represents 40% of the total pie

Cooking remains the highest cause of an accidental house fire. About 40% of house fires are a result of cooking mishaps. The overheating of pots and pans or other cooking equipment can easily lead to a fire within seconds. Most fire accidents begin in the kitchen due to negligence or when uncontrollable factors come into play. Leaving the kitchen unattended while cooking, forgetting to turn off the gas or oven, cooking at high temperatures, and using oil can cause a fire. Grease is a highly combustible element. It can burn spontaneously above a certain temperature even without direct contact of flame. Portable cooking electrical appliances are another addition to the list. Unattended, they can deal heavy damage.

2. Heating Appliances is the #2 reason on our list of Top 7 Causes Of House Fires and represents 18% of the total pie

Second, on the list, heating appliances lead to 18% of house fires. Home space heaters, automatic and manual fireplaces, chimneys, and other heating appliances contain the deadly carbon monoxide gas that can catch fire and spread rapidly. Given the combustible nature of this gas and its potential to burn objects like towels, furniture, curtains, and even you, it can rapidly spread indoors. Heaters requiring kerosene to fuel them up for burning are more dangerous. An electrical fault in wiring or cabling of the heating appliances can also result in a house fire.

3. Electrical Malfunctioning is the #3 reason on our list of Top 7 Causes Of House Fires and represents 17% of the total pie

Different types of electrical faults in home-wiring can lead to the breakout of fire. Typically, most electrical fires arise due to short circuits in the wiring system of the appliances or the switchboard. When a short circuit takes place, it causes sparking that ignites the building materials. This can also happen when the circuits are overloaded with the current. This causes overheating of the wires. Electrical fires are deadly because most of the time, they ignite in hidden locations. They turn into major fires before you are even aware of it. It can build up while the occupants are sleeping, which could be fatal. When electronic devices fail and batteries overheat, they can catch fire too.

4. Arson unfortunately is the #4 reason for a house fire

Any burning, substantial discoloration, damage due to smoke, alligator patterns, charring, the destruction caused by explosives, and the ruining of objects and spaces due to excessive heating, all meet the criteria of arson. This is one of those reasons that is so unprecedented that you might never see it coming. There are a number of other reasons behind an arson which include criminal mischief, reckless burning and exploding, voluntarily setting a property to fire, and unauthorized use of a fire hydrant to cause trouble. Arson makes up for the fourth most common reason for accidental house fires in the US.

5. Careless Smoking unfortunately is the #5 reason for a house fire but falls to 5% of the total pie

Smoking cigarettes is not only hazardous to your health, but it is one of the most common reasons for starting a fire too. Cigarettes have a high potential of igniting fire when the buds are carelessly or drowsily dropped or thrown on carpets, furniture, and other flammable objects. This happens when the cigarette buds haven’t been put out properly and may still be burning. Smoking in the bedroom and on the bed is very dangerous, as it may be the easiest place to catch fire. A single bud of the lighted cigarette is enough to ignite a towel, blanket, mattress, and other clothing objects.

6. Candle Fire #6 reason for a house fire but falls to 3% of the total pie

As calming as candles are when burning in the dark, they can be the reason behind deadly fires as well. In fact, candles are an underrated cause of starting a house fire. They are pretty, delicate objects that can easily make a cloth, carpet, curtains, and blankets catch fire. If the item to catch fire is in close proximity to other inflammable things, the fire spreads quickly. Matches and lighters that are used to light candles can be dangerous tools when they are in the hands of children. New Year and Christmas is the time when candle fire accidents are noted frequently. Burning candles can pose a fire threat when left unattended.

7. Other Causes #7 reason for a house fire but falls to 2% of the total pie

There are many other ways that can cause a house fire or act as catalysts to it. The storage of flammable liquids in inadequate circumstances, holding barbeque parties indoors, the use of modern construction materials like polystyrene insulation and timber frames, and hazardous lighting are some of these. Sometimes things as innocuous as mirrors can also lead to fire, by reflecting direct sunlight onto an inflammable object. So, the positioning of mirrors plays an important role too. Irrespective of all these reasons combined, the end result remains the same. It all leads to accidental house fires.

The home is a place to feel and live safely. A house fire can not only cause damage and disrupt the dynamics but cause emotional trauma on the residents. The more you are aware of the ways and causes, the better equipped you are to deal with them to prevent the same.

Have you experienced fire damage or smoke damage in the recent past? Or perhaps the damage has occurred quite some time back and you haven’t had the chance to look into it due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Opt for an immediate cleanup to restore your property and ensure safe living.

Call ECOS at 888-496-3153 today!

We are committed to providing reliable services to make your life safer, easier, and better, so please visit these internal links:

Fire Damage Cleaning
Smoke Damage Cleaning

Why Choose ECOS?

• We have a live operator on call 24/7 to schedule your project (Monday through Sunday).
• Our services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
• We give topmost priority to the health and safety of our clients.
• Our modern equipment is safe for people, animals, and sensitive materials.
• Our technicians are friendly and helpful.
• We have 16+ years of professional experience in the industry and are experts.
• We have no hidden charges and work well with insurance carriers

Source links:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/social-sciences/arson/
https://www.thespruce.com/causes-of-house-fires-1835107/
https://www.realinsurance.com.au/home-insurance/home-safety/the-most-common-causes-of-house-fires/

The Most Common Places That Fires Occur in the Home

COVID19 Cleaning & Wiping EPA Disinfectant

COVID19 Cleaning & Fogging

COVID19 Cleaning & Fogging Disinfectant: 

ECOS professionals are actively doing COVID19 Cleaning & Fogging an EPA registered Disinfectant as a preventative measure through out Colorado. Call ECOS on 303-442-3267 to hire our COVID19 technicians, project managers, and supervisors. ECOS is an essential business open 24/7 for COVID19 Cleaning in commercial and residential structures. Our professionals are actively wiping, spraying, fogging, and applying an EPA registered disinfectant using CDC protocols. ECOS has over 15 years experience cleaning biological contaminants (viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc.). Our well trained experts wear full face respirators & PPE to preserve the health and safety of our team & your environment. Health & Safety is our #1 priority on every COVID19 Cleaning project we complete. Simply put, we clean and apply an EPA registered disinfectant to your property to reduce illnesses, cross contamination, and downtime in your operations. As a 24/7 business, ECOS is performing COVID19 Cleaning from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am.  Once again, call ECOS on 303-442-3267 to speak with a live manager to hire our COVID19 professionals through out Colorado.

 

Understanding COVID-19

As the coronavirus spreads faster than fire, everyday a new medical term is entering the glossary. Understanding the transmission and analyzing the statistics of the growth, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) has confirmed this disease as a pandemic. So, how does an epidemic and pandemic differ? Coronavirus being highly contagious, health officials recommend patients “social distancing” and “self-quarantining”. But what do they mean? This blog will take you through clinical words and phrases essential to understand COVID-19 and its latest developments.

Epidemic and Pandemic

According to the World Health Organization (W.H.O), an epidemic is an illness that outbreaks in a region unexpectedly. Unlike normal diseases, epidemics spread without any warning and effects a set of population above normal expectations. COVID-19 started as an epidemic from the city of Wuhan, China but was declared as a pandemic as it spread across more than 100 countries worldwide. A disease which spreads worldwide is regarded as a pandemic. According to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the W.H.O, the organization took time to coin this disease as pandemic as they didn’t want to use the term carelessly.

What is COVID-19?

The clinical term for this Coronavirus disease is SARS-CoV-2. It is a respiratory disease caused by virus and is commonly known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19. The name has been crafted after the crown like spikes of the disease-causing virus, that look like the sun’s corona. Coronaviruses are referred to a group of viruses that are present in both human and animals. However, the new virus that has caused SARS-CoV-2, originated in China and is believed to have spread from bats.

Antibiotics don’t work against viruses. As viruses cannot be killed, researchers are trying to figure out antidots that could distort their proteins and cease infection.

Flattening the Curve

As the COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, a chart has gone viral that can make people understand the speed and scale of the pandemic. Known as “Flattening the Curve”, the curve sheds light on the wave of the cases expected to hit. When the curve is high, it means the virus is spreading rapidly. It also portrays the increasing number of deaths and lack of medical care. On the other hand, a low wave represents slow development. When it is low, it means medical teams have both time and resources to treat and save more lives.

Illustrated by Rosamund Pearce, the visual data journalist, the “Flattening the Curve” also comes with a flatter slope that indicates a gradual increase of infection over a certain period of time.

State of Emergency Been Declared

Now that the disease has spread over most continents, a state of emergency has been declared over most of the infected countries. So, when does a state call of an emergency? – when a natural disaster, epidemic or any other health emergency hits a state. With increasing number of COVID-19 cases, dozens of states in the USA have declared a state of emergency, including Michigan, New Jersey and New York. The have called for emergency as an initiative to take preventive measures and protect the public from infection. These states are putting up emergency regulations and reallocating funds to diminish the spread of the disease.

Incubation Period of COVID-19

Before talking about the incubation period of COVID-19. Let’s first learn what the term ‘incubation’ means. The incubation period is referred to the time for symptoms to appear as a person gets infected with a disease. Clinically, this period is very critical for prevention and control. If an individual has symptoms, it allows the health officials to put that person under observation or quarantine.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) the incubation period for COVID-19 can be from 2 to 14 days. In most of the cases, the symptoms started appearing from the fifth day of infection. During the incubation period, even if the infected people are not exhibiting any symptom, it is possible that they shed the virus particles wherever they go. This makes the situation very challenging as it becomes almost impossible to identify and isolate the people who got infected from the virus.

Ways to Skip COVID-19

The two most effective ways to avoid this communicable disease are social-distancing and self-quarantine.

So, let’s first talk about social-distancing and its importance to prevent this pandemic. The COVID-19 virus has the ability to spread rapidly in crowded or dense places. Whether it is a packed subway or a crowded concert, public gatherings are considered to be the primary points from which this diseases spreads.

To fight this disease effectively, the very first step people should consider is social distancing. The more the proximity between people decreases, the spread of virus will get reduced. Thus, administrations are encouraging cancellation or postponing of mass gatherings and to fight it hard, closing the educational institutes and promoting the concept of work from home. Apart from that, while meeting or greeting a person, one should also try to keep a proximity of 6-feet to minimize the spread of this disease.

Now, let’s discuss self-quarantine, as it is the key that stops virus from escalation. Self-quarantine along with social distancing and self-disciplinary measures like sanitizing hands and using masks are really effective at keeping the coronavirus at bay.

Sometimes quarantine is also associated with isolation. However, there’s a difference between the two terms. While isolation is all about separating a diseased person from healthy people, quarantine is referred to the limitation of movement of the individuals exposed to the infection. It is a process of clinical observation to check if they fall sick.

So, what are your thoughts about self-quarantine? According to the C.D.C., people who have visited the area infected with COVID-19 must self-quarantine. They should consult health departments and stay separate at home for at least 14 days.

Fatality Rate of COVID-19

What is fatality rate? It is calculated by dividing the total number of deaths by the total number of affected people. With the widespread of COVID-19, scientists have come up with a new term infection fatality rate that calculates the death rate from the infected virus. According to the World Health Organization (W.H.O), the total death rate of COVID-19 is 3%. However, the experts believe that in actual the percentage is 1%.

R-Naught of Coronavirus

Want to know how contagious coronavirus is and why we recommend COVID19 Cleaning? R0 or R-naught might help you to understand that. It is a metric used to find how much infectious a disease is. Also known as reproduction number, the metrics are used to measure the rate at which an infection spread.

As said by Dr. Adam Kucharski (mathematician at the London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), the reproductive number of the coronavirus can help people understand the seriousness of the pandemic. If the R-Naught scores above one, the probability of infection is one in every other person and it means the infection is spreading speedily. On the other hand, if the number is less than 1, it is less contagious. The research on R-naught of coronavirus is at a very early stage. However, experts believe that a person carrying COVID-19 can infect between two-four people on average.

How to Control COVID-19?

Coronavirus has a high transmission rate which is why ECOS recommends COVID19 Cleaning. This characteristic has made it tough to control its outbreak. According to Dr. Adam Ratner (the director at NYU Langone Health for division of pediatric infectious diseases), containment of the infection fully depends upon the tools and facilities available to minimize the transmission of it.

In the very early stage, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the USA, the government had stopped the entrance of the foreign nationals from China. However, the rule was not applicable for the American citizens who had travelled to China. Though the step helped the administration to prepare for the emergency, the lack of observation or testing centers made the situation adverse. Early stage of observation plays the key role in such cases and would have made containment much easier.

Containment of coronavirus in particular is very challenging. It is a highly transmissible disease and many of the carriers even don’t exhibit any symptoms, but still pass on the infection to others. The speed at which the pandemic is grasping the whole world, it can be easily stated that the world is extremely interconnected, and every country should unite to fight this pandemic strongly.

Five Precautions To Take If You Live In A Fire Danger Period

Five Precautions To Take If You Live In A Fire Danger Period

If you live in an area prone to fires, it’s important to be aware of the risk and take steps to mitigate it. From knowing the USDA fire danger levels to making sure you’re covered if a fire does impact your home, here are five precautions to take if you live in a fire danger period.

1. Know The Fire Danger Levels

The USDA classifies fire danger into five levels. You’ve probably seen the signs featuring Smokey Bear when visiting public lands. It’s a good idea to pay attention to the fire danger level and adjust your activities accordingly.

When fire danger is low or moderate, fires do not ignite easily, and they are easy to control. Once the fire danger level reaches high, fires can ignite easily and spread rapidly. As the danger level increases, fires become more difficult to control and last longer.

If you live in an area with a high fire level or above, campfires and brush fires can easily escape and become dangerous wildfires.

2. Prepare Your Home

Maintaining your home with the possibility of wildfire in mind can help protect it. Keep your roof and gutters clean. Debris such as pine needles or leaves can easily ignite. Make sure your shingles are in good shape and replace any that are loose or missing. That way, embers won’t be as likely to get through. Use wire mesh on attic vents and below patios and decks to prevent embers from entering. Finally, remove all items stored beneath decks and anything flammable from the walls.

3. Think About Your Landscaping

Colorado State University recommends making use of defensible space and planting native species within it. They define defensible space as room for firefighters to do their jobs. In fact, firefighters may pass by houses that do not have adequate defensible space in consideration of the danger to them and the likelihood of being able to save the structure.

Plants near your home should be lower and more widely spaced than those that grow farther away. Using decorative gravel or stone can slow the spread of fire and should be used for the first three to five feet from the house. Use mulch to conserve moisture and prioritize which plants will be saved in a drought. Keep your grass mowed and consider using ground cover plants.

If you plant wildflowers, make sure there is a wide space between the beds. Similarly, any shrubs used in landscaping should be low-growing and non-resinous. Space them apart from one another and away from trees, where they could become ladder fuels. Do not plant trees near structures. Sticking to native species is best. Aspen or narrow-leaf cottonwood are good choices, but it’s important to pick up leaves when they fall to reduce available fuel.

4. Consult With Professionals

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends contacting local professionals like the forestry office and fire department for information about local laws, building codes, and protection measures.

It’s important to make sure your house is as fire resistant as possible. Consult with a professional about replacing materials that are not suitable. Roofs should be made with non-combustible material, like slate, metal, or fiberglass. Siding should be similarly fire resistant. Consider making use of metal, brick, concrete, and rock. Windows should have dual or triple-pane thermal glass, and any shutters or drapes should also be fire resistant.

If you have a chimney, make sure a spark arrestor is in place. Eaves, porches, and sundecks should all be enclosed to prevent trapping heat and embers. Even your patio furniture should be non-combustible. When in doubt, consult with a professional so you can be sure your home is as fire resistant as it can be.

5. Know Your Policy

If you live in an area prone to wildfires, make sure you know what your policy covers. Standard insurance policies will pay to repair or rebuild your home, replace your belongings, and reimburse you for living expenses like hotel rooms or meals out. However, coverage amounts vary. Make sure you have enough insurance to protect you, keep an up-to-date inventory of your possessions, and keep copies of important papers off site.

Being prepared ahead of time can set your mind at ease. If the worst does happen and your home is damaged by fire or smoke, call ECOS immediately. We work well with all insurance companies and take pictures to document the damage and repairs.

Does Your Insurer Impact The Coverage You Need

Does Your Insurer Impact The Coverage You Need?

Imagine you come home one day to see a raccoon climb out of your attic vent and scurry down a tree. You hurry inside to investigate and find that the raccoon has done considerable damage to your attic. Will your homeowner’s insurance pay to fix it? Coverage varies.

What’s Covered?

Homeowner’s insurance generally covers damage to the structure of your home from things like fires and storms. If lightning strikes your home, the damage will be covered. Similarly, if a tree falls on your roof, your insurance will pay to fix it.

When you get beyond the basics, though, coverage varies. Insurers may cover different amounts of damage. They may also offer additional coverage that can be added to your policy. Often, homeowners don’t realize some damage isn’t covered until after it has already occurred.

Floods and Sewage

Most areas of the country are prone to storms. Although lightning damage is covered by standard policies, if the same storm causes your basement to flood, the damage to your basement will not be covered.

Along the same lines, if flooding causes your sump pump to fail or sewage to back up into your house, that’s usually not covered by standard policies either.

If you live in an area where flooding occurs, even infrequently, it’s a good idea to purchase flood insurance. Many insurers also offer coverage for sewer backup. Paying a small fee now helps you avoid footing the entire bill for cleanup later.

Earthquakes

Like floods, earthquakes are often left out of standard homeowner’s policies. If earthquakes are a concern where you live, it’s smart to purchase coverage that will allow you to repair damage or rebuild your home if necessary.

Mold

Mold is a serious problem that can damage the structural integrity of your home. It also poses a health hazard to you and your family. Unfortunately, the coverage provided by insurers varies widely.

Some insurers only cover mold if it is caused by specific perils listed in your policy. Others offer more broad coverage that pays for mold damage unless the cause is explicitly excluded.

Coverage for mold is often confusing, and many insurers attempt to exclude it altogether. It’s wise to ask your agent about specific scenarios to get an idea of what is covered under the policy you’re considering.

Animals

If we return to the scenario this post opened with, the good news is because it was a raccoon, there’s a good chance the damage is covered. However, there are exceptions. If your insurer finds that the raccoon was nesting in your attic for a prolonged period of time and you made no attempts to block its access, you may not be covered.

Unlike damage from raccoons, rodent damage is virtually never covered. If you have a rat, mouse, or squirrel problem, odds are you’re on your own. In contrast, if a deer crashes into your bay window or a bear pulls your door open and raids your cabinets, you’re probably covered.

When it comes to damage from animals, the damage usually needs to have happened in a single event. If it happened over time, your insurer may say you could have taken steps to prevent the damage.

If you live in a wooded area, where wildlife is plentiful, we recommend talking to your insurance agent to see what types of animal damage are covered by your policy.

ECOS has over a decade of experience working with insurance companies to get our clients covered. Whether you’re experiencing damage from water, animals, mold, or fire, we are happy to help you navigate the often-confusing process of getting insurance claims approved.

In the event that damage is not covered by your insurer, ECOS will work with you on the most cost-effective method of cleaning and restoring your home to a healthy environment. If your home has been damaged, don’t wait for problems to get worse. Call ECOS today.

Common Water Damage to Homes

The Most Common Damage Done To Homes With Water

Your home is your sanctuary, and it’s also a significant investment. Water is a constant threat that has the potential to do profound damage to your home. Below, we discuss the most common ways water damages homes and how to avoid four common plumbing issues that lead to them.

1. Broken Or Clogged Pipes

Plumbing is necessary for us to live healthy and comfortable lives, but when pipes break or become clogged, thousands of gallons of water could leak into your home. According to one report of the most expensive insurance claims made by homeowners, water damage from plumbing and appliances made up 19% of all claims.

The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors recommends regularly checking your pipes to make sure they aren’t leaking, dripping, or clogged. Additionally, make sure you know where your shut-off valves are. Labeling them can help you use them quickly to minimize water damage if a leak occurs.

2. Frozen Water Lines

Plumbing issues aren’t limited to leaky pipes and clogged drains. The weather presents its own set of issues, particularly in the winter. Water expands as it freezes, and that means your pipes may burst.

It’s wise to take steps to prevent your pipes from freezing. The American Red Cross recommends adding insulation to unheated spaces, removing and draining outdoor hoses, and draining swimming pool and sprinkler lines before winter.

Once cold weather arrives, leave cabinet doors open to allow warm air to enter spaces around pipes. Leaving the cold water dripping also helps keep pipes from freezing. It’s also a good idea to leave your heat on while you’re away and keep it turned up at night.

If your pipes do freeze, thaw them with a hair dryer or heating pad. Do not attempt to use propane, kerosene, blow torches, or similar devices. These pose fire and carbon monoxide risks to you and your family.

3. Appliance Failures

Many of the appliances in our homes use or produce water, including the refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher, air conditioner, and hot water heater. If these appliances fail, water can leak into your home.

The Insurance Information Institute suggests checking the hoses leading to your appliances on an annual basis. Replace any that are cracked, and get new hoses every five to seven years.

4. Sump Pump Failure

Homes with basements often have a sump pump. Sump pumps are designed to move water out of your basement and away from your foundation. However, if your sump pump fails, your basement can become flooded.

Since sump pumps run on electricity, a power outage is a common reason for failure. Having a generator can help get you through a power outage.

Sump pumps may also fail if they are the wrong size. Have a professional inspect your sump pump to make sure it can adequately address your home’s needs.

Dirt and debris can also clog your pump. Your sump pump should be serviced every six months to ensure it is working properly.

Getting Help With Water Damage

As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We always recommend taking steps to prevent water damage. However, emergencies happen, and if you experience a leak, we are here to help.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can clean up and repair the damage yourself. It only takes 24-48 hours for mold to colonize, putting you and your family at risk. Additionally, if sewage is a problem, bacteria and other pathogens become an immediate concern.

ECOS is here to help. We are on call 24-hours a day and seven days a week. If you are experiencing a leak or suspect water damage, give us a call. We’ll work quickly to minimize the damage done to your home and restore it to a healthy and safe environment.

Bad Air Quality Health Risks

Bad Air Quality – How To Evaluate The Health Risks

If you’ve had headaches, itchy eyes, or sinus congestion, you probably just chalked it up to a cold or allergies. That could be the case. However, people often fail to consider air quality as a possible cause. Read on to see how the air in your home could be making you sick.

What Causes Bad Air Quality?

According to one article, people spend an estimated 90% of their time indoors. That means it’s crucial that the air we breathe when we’re indoors is clean.

There are many factors that change the air quality in our homes and other buildings. Pet dander, mold spores, and dust mites can build up, especially in the winter. Outdoor pollution can enter through ventilation systems, and moisture can find its way inside.

The things we use to clean and heat our homes can harm indoor air quality, too. The habits and behaviors of occupants also matter. For example, it’s well known that smoking creates a health hazard inside.

How Do I Know If Bad Air Quality Is Making Me Sick?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you may experience symptoms after just one exposure to bad indoor air. Your eyes, nose, and throat may feel irritated. You might feel dizzy or fatigued, and you may have a headache.

Clearly, the symptoms listed above are vague and can be caused by a variety of illnesses. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to when they happen. If you feel better after leaving the building, there’s a good chance your symptoms are caused by bad indoor air quality.

Long-Term Problems

Sometimes, bad indoor air quality causes health problems years after the fact. Repeated exposure to bad air quality over a long period of time also leads to serious health problems for some.

Respiratory diseases, cancer, and heart disease can all be caused by bad indoor air. Since these diseases are often fatal, it’s important to address indoor air quality issues as soon as possible.

What Can You Do About Bad Indoor Air Quality?

There are some easy steps you can take to improve indoor air quality. First, keep your home clean. Vacuuming, clearing clutter, and washing bedding and drapery all cut down on allergens.

Choosing to install hard flooring rather than carpeting can also be helpful. If you do have a carpet, make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter, and use it several times a week.

Change filters in heating and cooling systems regularly and let fresh air in whenever possible. Consider purchasing an air purifier to help clean the air and a dehumidifier if damp areas are a problem.

Other Considerations

Bad indoor air quality impacts some people more severely than others. Vulnerable people like children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible.

Many times, the source of bad indoor air quality is invisible. Radon is a gas that can be a problem in some areas. Carbon monoxide is emitted by gas heaters and stoves, leaking chimneys, furnaces, and tobacco products.

Construction materials and furnishings can also pose a danger. If your home was built before the 1980s, it may contain asbestos. Formaldehyde is used in furnishings, building materials, and household products. There are often higher concentrations of formaldehyde indoors. Both formaldehyde and asbestos can cause serious health problems, including cancer.

Seeking Help From A Professional

It’s a good idea to have your home checked by a professional, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms consistent with bad indoor air quality. Professionals have the knowledge and equipment to deal with dangerous contaminants like asbestos and radon.

If you need help identifying the source of your bad indoor air quality or in remedying the problem, give ECOS a call. We have a live operator available 24/7, and our equipment is safe for the people and pets in your home.

Hoarder Cleanup

Six Things You Can Get Help With When Cleaning Up Hoarding

If you are faced with the task of cleaning up a hoarding situation, the sheer volume of objects in the home can be overwhelming. The good news is help is available to you. Below, we discuss six things you can get help with when cleaning up hoarding.

1. Therapy

One thing that’s important to recognize is that people who hoard are suffering from a recognized mental disorder. As such, getting appropriate therapy is crucial. Simply removing all their possessions will not fix the problem and may subject them to a great deal of emotional stress.

Here at ECOS, we work with the family and the therapist to ensure people are treated with respect throughout the process of returning their home to a healthy environment. If you or someone you love suffers from hoarding, reach out to a licensed therapist for help.

2. Cleaning Up With Respect To Feelings

When cleanup begins, it’s important to remember that the person suffering from hoarding experiences anxiety over parting with their possessions, even things that seem meaningless or like trash to others. Cleaning up after hoarding requires a specific process that respects that anxiety yet still restores the home to cleanliness.

At ECOS, we have over 12 years of experience cleaning up hoarding. We work with professionals and ensure that everyone is treated with respect and sensitivity throughout the process.

3. Sorting

While someone from outside the situation may look at a hoarded home as a giant pile of trash, for the person who hoards, it is all valuable in some way. As a result, necessary documentation, family heirlooms, and the like can be mixed in with other items or even trash.

Sorting through the items in the home is important so that items that are truly valuable are saved. Additionally, remember that the person who has hoarded must be involved in the process and able to make decisions. Forcefully removing a person’s possessions will cause emotional distress.

When you are ready to begin the process, having a professional cleaning company help will ease the burden and speed up the process of restoring the home.

4. Safety

An important consideration of cleaning up hoarding is the safety of everyone involved. Hoarding may mask structural problems, leaks, or dangerous mold. Additionally, there can be pathogens from large amounts of bacteria in the home.

A professional cleaning company has the equipment to handle the job safely. They will also recognize any problems that need to be addressed. Once the home is clean, any necessary repairs can be made by appropriate professionals.

5. Trash Removal

Often, there is a huge amount of trash in a home that has been hoarded. It’s far beyond what you can set out on the curb for pickup.

Getting help from a cleaning company keeps you from being overwhelmed with all the trash that has to be thrown away. A cleaning company can bag, remove, and haul all the trash away for you.

6. Repairs

Heavy furniture, piles of books, magazines, etc. can weaken a home’s structural integrity. Spills and leaks may cause beams and floors to rot. There can be pest invasions, as well. These are things beyond the average homeowner’s experience.

After cleaning, it’s important to restore the home to safety. For structural repairs, call a licensed contractor. If pests are a problem, reach out to a pest removal company for assistance.

Hoarding creates a daunting situation for both the people who hoard and their loved ones. Embarrassment may prevent people from calling for help, but help is available. If you or your loved one need help cleaning up after hoarding, consider giving ECOS a call.

You can learn more about our hoarding cleanup service here. Rest assured we will treat you and your loved ones with dignity.