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Author Archives: IMC Inc.

  1. 3 Signs Mold May Be Present in Your Facility’s Air Ducts

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    While occasional moisture is acceptable in commercial air conveyance systems and ducts, excessive dampness can lead to problems with your air quality. Instead of evaporating, the moisture can develop into droplets of water. The combination of moisture and the availability of nutrients from skin cells, dust, and dirt is the perfect environment for mold to colonize and thrive.

    Mold is hazardous no matter where it grows, but it presents a unique risk when occupying your air conveyance system. Airflow may carry the mold spores through the air ducts, spreading them throughout the facility. This blog will explain the three primary signs of microbial growth in your facility’s air ducts and the process for HVAC cleaning in commercial air ducts.

    The Presence of a Musty Odor

    Often the first sign that your air ducts contain microbial growth is a moldy, musty, or earthy odor. The scent may be subtle if the growth is contained to a small area or only be noticeable when the air conditioning, heating, or HVAC system starts. The variations in the strength of the scent can help pinpoint the location of the growth. When the ducts are not in use, the smell may become less noticeable as it settles.

    Illness and Allergy Symptoms

    The most serious risk of having mold in the air ducts is that it can cause irritation and health problems for personnel. The affected persons can experience skin, eye, and respiratory irritation when in contact with mold-contaminated air. Sneezing, coughing, headache, and fatigue are more severe symptoms of exposure and may increase over time. Those with existing allergies and sensitivities can exhibit extreme symptoms, such as nausea. It is critical to have the air ducts inspected and the mold eliminated if health problems arise for facility personnel.

    Visible Mold in Air Ducts

    The most obvious sign of microbial growth in an air conveyance system is a visible accumulation of mold in the duct, the air handling unit compartments, or at the vents. Mold typically grows within the air handling unit, but gets carried by the airflow and may settle around the vents. While mold is not visible in the air, dust and particulate matter can accumulate in patches of black, white, or green fungus on surfaces. To visually inspect for microbial growth in air ducts, open the air handling unit and blower compartment or vent and check inside with a flashlight.

    The Air Duct Mold Removal Process

    It is critical to remove mold quickly and safely when it is present in your facility’s air ducts. IMC’s commercial air duct cleaners remove mold in three steps:

    • Inspect:  We investigate areas of concern and work with the facility manager to identify possible sources of excess moisture and particulate accumulation. Other issues that may need to be resolved before starting an air duct cleaning project include possible insulation removal and replacement, insulation coatings, or other HVAC refurbishments.
    • Containment Engineering Strategies: IMC will determine a strategy to isolate the workspace from other areas of a building. Barriers and pressure differentials are common strategies to prohibit the unwanted migration of airborne particles into other areas. Depending on the usage classification of a building and the type of contaminants within the HVAC system, several different containment engineering strategies may be employed. These containment engineering strategies are specifically designed with respect to protecting the indoor environment, contractors, and personnel from HVAC and duct cleaning procedures.
    • Source Removal: IMC follows the standards set by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). We remove all visible contaminants and particulates from all components of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. We use industry approved agitation tools for our cleaning operations including air whips, air sweeps, brushes, compressed air, and HEPA-filtered vacuums, each of which is designed for effective and efficient capture of accumulated particulate.

    Air Duct Mold Cleaning From IMC

    Mold and microbial growth in your facility’s air conveyance systems can be harmful to the health of personnel and is often a sign of particulate accumulation, insufficient filtration, or damaged HVAC components. Mold in your air ducts may be the culprit if you notice a musty smell, eye and respiratory irritation, or visible growth. 

    Airborne mold spores spread quickly in HVAC systems and can create a hazardous environment for occupants. Rely on IMC’s commercial air duct cleaning to eliminate the source of potential microbial growth in your facility. We have over 30 years of experience cleaning HVAC systems and air ducts according to National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) standards. Professionally cleaning your air ducts will improve your facility’s air quality, extend the life of your HVAC equipment, increase airflow, and reduce the risk of fire.

    Contact us or request a quote to learn how our commercial air duct cleaning can improve your facility’s air quality.

  2. The Ultimate Commercial HVAC Inspection Checklist

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    Energy costs take up a huge chunk of spending for commercial businesses each year. Lowering your energy spending can generate savings that can be used to expand your business and boost income. One way to do this is by starting with your HVAC systems, as they are one of the biggest energy consumers in the average commercial facility. Properly maintaining your HVAC systems reduces energy consumption and ensures reliable equipment performance.

    Here, we provide the ultimate commercial HVAC inspection checklist. Following these best practices can lead to reduced energy consumption, prevent costly repairs or replacements, and ensure your system is running smoothly.

    The Importance of Proactive HVAC Preventative Maintenance

    Preventative maintenance plans involve inspecting your HVAC equipment and performing basic maintenance procedures (cleaning, lubricating, etc.) at scheduled intervals. HVAC preventative maintenance plans require consistent effort from a dedicated maintenance team. Although PM plans may incur routine maintenance costs, they significantly reduce costs associated with expensive repairs and replacements, making them worth it over time.

    One of the most significant advantages of preventative maintenance is that it reduces the risk of emergency repairs. A PM plan also prolongs your equipment’s service life, reduces energy consumption, and ensures your system is operating as intended. By regularly inspecting and cleaning the various components of your commercial HVAC system, you can find potential problems and solve them before they cause catastrophic failure and unexpected downtime.

    The Commercial HVAC Inspection Checklist

    The most effective maintenance programs involve inspecting your HVAC system twice yearly. This is usually done in the spring, to ensure the air conditioning is functioning properly, and in the fall, to check that the heat is working correctly. Inspecting your HVAC unit involves many steps, making it important to work with an experienced and professional maintenance company.

    Fall Inspection

    HVAC Inspection Checklist

    Click to Expand

    During the fall inspection, it’s important to perform the following tasks:

    • Inspect the duct system and clean as necessary.
    • Replace heating equipment filters
    • Inspect the condition of pulleys and belts and replace them as needed
    • Clear pans and drain lines
    • Check all electrical connections
    • Check fan and blower motor operation and adjust if needed
    • Inspect ignition and burner assembly
    • Lubricate bearings, motors, and other moving parts
    • Test safety controls
    • Inspect heat exchanger
    • Inspect thermostat and temperature controls

    Spring inspection

    The spring inspection entails the following:

    • Clean the air conditioning coils and air handling unit including blower chamber and drain pan.
    • Replace cooling equipment filters
    • Lubricate or replace belts
    • Clean evaporator and condenser coils
    • Measure the refrigerant level and recharge if necessary
    • Clear pans and drain lines
    • Check all electrical connections
    • Check fan and blower motor operation and adjust if needed
    • Lubricate bearings, motors, and other moving parts
    • Check that the thermostat and other controls are operating properly
    • Test safety controls
    • Check for adequate airflow

    HVAC Preventative Maintenance from Interior Maintenance Company

    Implementing a proper commercial HVAC preventative maintenance plan is crucial in reducing energy costs, prolonging the lifespan of equipment, and preventing costly emergency repairs. To ensure your HVAC system is inspected properly and thoroughly, it’s important to work with an experienced and reliable HVAC or Mechanical contractor with commercial and industrial experience.

    As part of our capabilities, we offer commercial duct cleaning services designed to improve indoor air quality, decrease energy consumption, extend HVAC system service life, and enhance overall safety. We are NADCA certified, meaning we stay up to date on best practices for HVAC system inspection and cleaning. Whether you are in a small or large facility, we can handle almost any air duct cleaning project.

    For more information about our air duct cleaning services, or to partner with IMC for your HVAC PM plan, contact us or request a quote today.

  3. NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) has announced updated safety standards for Combustible Dust

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    Most people are surprised by the fact that wood dust can ignite.  Combustible dust is defined as any solid material composed of distinct particles, regardless of size, shape, or chemical composition, which presents a fire or deflagration hazard when suspended in air or some other oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations.

    Recently, the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) has announced updated safety standards to provide safety measures for workers in this industry.   NFPA 652 is the Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust.  The objective is to have manufacturers evaluate the potential of fire from combustible dust.  Manufacturers who work with wood will be required to evaluate their “Dust Hazard Analysis” (DHA) and are responsible for a DHA of their facilities.   The goal is to eliminate the risk of injury or death from a combustible dust explosion. The Woodworking Network has created a comprehensive article on the details of  the new NFPA 652 standard and how to meet its requirements: Are you ready for the new wood dust requirements?  Thank you to them for sharing this important information.

    The deadline for the DHA is Sept. 7, 2020 so please act now!  We can evaluate your risk and remove combustible dust at your facility.  Please contact us for more information, call Toll Free, 1-800-220-6547 or visit our website https://imc.cc/services/combustible/

     

  4. Interior Maintenance Company Launches Its New Website

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    Interior Maintenance Company, Inc., located in Lansdowne, PA, has launched a new website www.imc.cc

    Our goal was to create a fresh look, as well as create more comprehensive information regarding our capabilities, including Air Duct Cleaning, Combustible Dust High Cleaning, Kitchen Hood & Equipment Cleaning, and Janitorial Maintenance & Disinfection Services.  You can see customer testimonials, contact information, before & after photos of our work, and get easy access to our certifications with NADCA and IKECA https://imc.cc/our-company/certifications/

    We wanted to make sure our new website is secured for our new & existing customers to send us requests for information or email with confidence.  Best of all we plan to share important updates regularly to keep us connected.  We will continue to add information about our services and update our blog/news so please check back regularly! 

  5. Interior Maintenance has Capacity for Disinfection Services

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    Interior Maintenance has Capacity for Disinfection Services

    Janitorial Maintenance

    Interior Maintenance Company, located in Lansdowne, PA, has been providing cleaning and disinfection services for nearly 50 years. We provide cleaning services for office buildings, retail, schools, hospitals, government institutions, manufacturing facilities and commercial kitchens.  While we continue to work with new and existing customers to keep their businesses clean and germ-free, we have had an increase in requests for Disinfection due to the Covid-19 Virus.   We have capacity to help you meet these requirements.

    Our services include cleaning followed by disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.  This includes but is not limited to door handles/knobs, handrails, metal chairs, tables, desks/workstations, counter tops, food carts, cash registers and other non-porous surfaces.

    To see our full capabilities for Janitorial and Disinfectant Services please click here.

    About Interior Maintenance Company:

    Founded in 1973, our family run business continues to service customers throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. Our relationship with customers over the years has created opportunity to provide not just cleaning service, but solutions to problems.   In addition to Janitorial Maintenance and Specialty Cleaning Services, Interior Maintenance provides Air Duct Cleaning, Kitchen Hood Exhaust and Kitchen Equipment Cleaning.  Please call 610-626-1300 or visit our website www.imc.cc for more information.

     

  6. 5 Fire Prevention Strategies Supported by NFPA

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    5 Fire Prevention Strategies Supported by NFPA
    Fires are a devastating reality that affect hundreds of thousands of residential and commercial structures as well as forest areas every year, leaving families and businesses with the sad aftermath of loss and devastation as a result of property and personal damage, or loss of life.

    According to the most recent NFPA Journal Fire Loss, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the US every 24 seconds, and there is a fire in a structure at the rate of one every 63 seconds. With these far too frequent fire occurrences, consider implementing these five NFPA fire prevention strategies to prevent your commercial building from being included in these staggering statistic.

    1. Up to Code
    Fire safety NFPA fire safety code compliance is key to prevent fires from destroying your business or hurt its occupants. There are numerous codes business managers must know about and in order to train their employees to implement for employee and customer safety. These codes are important safety standards everyone should know to keep fire safety measures top of mind. Make sure you have the latest codes to keep up with the updated standards.

    2. Keep Your Staff In the Know
    Businesses are tasked with the responsibility of keeping their staff up to speed with the latest information about code compliance for their jobs. This not only keeps them safe, but the customers and clients they serve as well. A properly-trained workforce that knows how to keep themselves, others, and their work environment safe is an important way to prevent fires in commercial structures.

    3. Be Ready, Just In Case
    Fire preparedness is so important in helping to mitigate property damage or loss of life, in case of a fire emergency. Be as ready as you can be with training, escape plans and emergency response readiness so your business team will know how best to respond when fire danger strikes your commercial property. Plan and post your escape plan for your staff. In addition, make sure your plan is clear and visible at all exit points for all building occupants throughout your commercial structure.

    4. Fire Safety Messaging
    We all remember Smoky the Bear as a long-standing household mascot for fire safety and prevention for how to avoid forest and household fires. Fire safety messaging keeps your employees aware of the best ways to protect themselves and their families from the risk of fire damage or death.

    5. Keep First Things First
    Fire safety measures should be a top priority for commercial business owners to protect all employees and customers from imminent or potential fire dangers. Fire hazards, such as faulty electrical wiring, can be a recipe for disaster for all building occupants, so a commitment to NFPA standards and codes in all parts of the commercial structure is a way to ensure fire protection for its occupants.

    These five NFPA-supported fire prevention strategies: code compliance, training, preparedness, messaging, and a solid investment in fire safety and prevention are solid fire protection tips to protect your team and commercial structure safety.

  7. The Easiest Way to Prevent Wasted Energy in Commercial Buildings

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    The Easiest Way to Prevent Wasted Energy in Commercial Buildings
    Commercial buildings are huge structures that utilize a great deal of energy around the clock, as heat and air conditioning units run throughout the day and night. When mechanical systems are well constructed and in good condition, they are great for cost efficiency. When commercial structures have poorly functioning ventilation ducts, energy is wasted, and your bottom line can be impacted by air that is literally going out the door. Duct cleaning is a key energy saving solution by making your air flow through your building the way it should.

    The importance of total system air duct cleaning in commercial buildings can’t be emphasized enough, because energy efficient commercial building spaces keep inhabitants comfortable when there is proper air flow. According to the EPA, a buildup of just 0.42″ of dirt on a heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease of efficiency of 21%. This can add up to a significant cost for your business. With extensive buildup of dirt and dust particulate, air conveyance systems are stressed and work harder to circulate air and heat throughout the building. This is where energy levels decrease, and costs can increase.

    Evaluate your HVAC System’s Efficiency
    Commercial HVAC systems account for a substantial percentage of a business’s energy costs, so evaluating your commercial HVAC system is a necessary first step to making sure your system works as best it could. A good, thorough evaluation of the way your system works is the best way to assess its efficiency and areas that need improvement to make it work to its maximum potential. If your business’s commercial system is bogged down by unwanted and unhealthy dust and dirt buildup, it won’t operate the way it should to circulate a healthy, effective air flow through the ducts.

    If you haven’t had your ventilation system professionally evaluated or cleaned, this is the best place to start to see if clearing out potential contaminants will produce the type of healthy airflow that your commercial HVAC unit needs for the best energy efficiency, safety and overall healthy output of your building unit.

    Give Your System a Lift
    Evaluating and cleaning your HVAC system are great ways to reduce wasted energy in commercial buildings, but not the only way. You can also reduce and possibly eliminate wasted commercial energy when you enhance your HVAC system with energy efficient features to conserve building energy. If you take energy-saving steps to improve your system, the results can dramatically improve your system’s effectiveness.

    Commercial buildings are huge energy consumers, so the key is to evaluate and clean your ducts to keep your system from underperforming. This strain on your HVAC system is costly from a financial and energy efficiency standpoint. Duct cleaning is an efficient way to stop wasting energy and start saving money for your commercial building so the air flow is strong, clean and pleasant for all.

  8. IMC Welcomes Khristian Toolan

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    KT Headshot
    Interior Maintenance Company is pleased to announce the newest addition to our Sales Team, Khristian Toolan. Khristian joined the IMC family in late March with a background spanning over 10 years in emergency cleaning and restoration services. She is a licensed Property and Casualty Insurance Agent as well as an IICRC certified Water Damage Restoration professional. Khristian is the current Executive Chair for the Ambassador Committee of the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce and was named Ambassador of the Year for 2019. She is Co-Chair of the Membership Committee for Delaware’s IFMA Chapter and a member of the Commercial Industrial Realty Council. She volunteers with Easter Seals and serves on several committees with Habitat for Humanity.

    Khristian is married with two children and has a rambunctious Boxer named Odie. She loves boating on the Chesapeake Bay and was First Lady of Sue Haven Yacht Club in 2017. She is on the Queen of the Chesapeake Pageant Committee and is a social member of Maryland Yacht Club. When she isn’t looking at a job site, you may find her out on her jet ski or on the family’s boat, the “Toolan Around”.

    Khristian is focused on providing her clients with exemplary customer service. With so many contractors competing for work, she believes that the customer experience can be lost in the mayhem. Khristian is responsive and mindful of the need as well as the value of IMC services. She stays abreast of industry information/technology and is continually building strong relationships. Khristian is proud to be part of the Interior Maintenance Company family and looks forward to many years of developing her network and client base.

  9. The Best Ways to Prevent Combustible Dust Explosions

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    Accident at a steel mill
    Combustible dust explosions are deadly and devastating to workers, businesses and communities who experience this sudden damage to property, and in several cases, loss of life. Workers in manufacturing plants around the country and even the world go to work at plants and factories every day, not realizing that the materials they handle can create dust that explodes and can hurt them, even organic material like flour and sugar. These unsuspecting substances create dust particles that can ignite and cause serious harm. Don’t let this happen to your business.

    Educate Yourself and Your Employees
    According to an alarming 2014 New York Times article, the chairman of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board reported that from 2008 to 2012, there were 50 combustible dust accidents that contributed to 29 fatalities and 161 injuries. This gripping reality shows that companies need to be informed about all aspects of “danger dust” and how to keep these tragedies from happening in the first place. A wide variety of work environments that generate dust are susceptible for these types of accidents, including tire manufacturing, plastics and fertilizers.

    To keep your employees and property safe from potential harm, make sure your manufacturing plant is “in the know” about industry best practices and requirements for handling combustible dust, such as the NFPA 652 Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust. This regulatory document will help your company take proactive measures to keep combustible dust explosions from taking place.

    Don’t Fan the Flame
    One preventative measure you can institute right away is to get rid of things in your workplace that are known to ignite combustible dust in the first place. There are certain risk factors that can increase the probability of a combustible dust explosion. You can help to escape deadly dust dangers by keeping dusty residue materials away from heat, flame and friction or any type of inflammatory source.

    The way combustible materials generate dust in your facility can be a risk factor as well. Dust-generating activities, like sieving and blasting can increase the possibility of dust buildup in your manufacturing plant. It has to go somewhere, and hopefully it’s not an excessive amount that spells danger for you and your staff.

    In addition, avoid creating a recipe for disaster by not putting all of the ingredients of dust danger together in one formula: combustible dust, heat, air, concentrated dust area and the right dust particle distribution can provide a dangerous mixture of flammable dust.

    Make Dust Inspections the Norm
    Although it’s not a cure all preventative measure, regular dust inspections can go a long way to keep your employees and facility safe from dust disasters. Surprisingly, it takes less than 1/32 of an inch of dust to cause dust combustion in your plant. Use best practice safeguards to keep a close eye on these dust levels to ensure they don’t lead to a fire hazard.

    Through education about dust danger safeguards, avoiding inflammatory dust particle conditions and regular monitoring, you’ll be on your way to avoid combustible dust explosions at your facility.

  10. What’s That Smell Coming From Your Commercial HVAC

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    What’s That Smell Coming From Your Commercial HVAC
    If you’ve noticed a lingering odor stemming from your commercial HVAC, you’re probably not the only one. Smelly HVACs produce a stale, smelly air quality that is unpleasant and uninviting. Troubling odors, such as mold or bathroom-related smells that are around all of the time can be hard for both employees and customers to get past. There are several possible reasons for your disturbing commercial HVAC smells that need to be determined so your customers don’t continue to have a negative experience when they visit your establishment.

    Getting to the source of your commercial establishment odor problems is half the battle. Once you determine the smell is coming from your commercial HVAC, which is designed to circulate good quality air in buildings, getting the odor under control has to do with the airflow. The key is to get the bad air out, and let the good quality, fresh air flow in.

    If the odor is localized in your restrooms, for instance, commercial HVACs should have an effective exhaust fan component that pulls out more of the bad air and pushes in fresh, clean air into the bathroom. This necessary negative airflow will help to keep the odor localized so the smelly air quality will not seep into other areas of your commercial space and make customers question whether they should shorten their stay or find another business to frequent.

    Commercial kitchens need a similar type of negative air pressure ventilation to keep strong food odors from spreading throughout the restaurant, school, or healthcare facility. Exhaust fans are very beneficial tools used to combat tough smells, but a good working HVAC system works to move air to where it should and should not be within commercial spaces so customers can breathe good, healthy air. Smoky kitchens with strong, lingering food smells can be a source of irritation for customers, including those who suffer with Asthma and other types of breathing problems.

    HVACs are supposed to control and neutralize odors, not create them, so these types of smells mean that your HVAC isn’t working properly, and it needs to be diagnosed and serviced by a licensed HVAC professional. If there are any blockages in the circulation system, the HVAC air will not move as it should and keep odors at bay. A commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning system needs maintenance to make sure it is operating effectively to produce the negative air flow necessary to treat stubborn odors in commercial areas that produce potent odors that you don’t want to permeate the building.

    Musty, moldy or other types of strong odors coming from your HVAC are sure indications that there is something wrong with the way your system functions. Treat your air ventilation system at the source to give your employees and customers the pleasant airflow and experience they should expect when they spend time in your commercial space.