Showing posts with label 5 Biggest Home Repair Rip-Offs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 5 Biggest Home Repair Rip-Offs. Show all posts

Thursday

Republicans Learn the Perils of Being Politically Incorrect on Climate Change


Defeat came for Republican Rep. Bob Inglis because he slid to "Satan's side."

Green
A blog about energy and the environment.
That's how South Carolina voters perceive Inglis' newfound belief in climate change, says the outgoing lawmaker, who lost his primary bid in June to tea party candidate, and now representative-elect, Trey Gowdy.


Inglis reflected on several blasphemies he committed in the eyes of voters in a departing interview last week, held in his congressional office. They ranged from opposing President George W. Bush's troop surge in Iraq to supporting his Troubled Asset Relief Program. But none of those, Inglis said, had as strong an impact as his assertions that atmospheric warming is a scientific certainty.

"The most enduring heresy was just saying that climate change was real," he said. "That was the one that was most damaging, I'm convinced."

"For many conservatives, it became the marker that you had crossed to Satan's side -- that you had left God and gone to Satan's side on climate change," he added, "because many evangelical Christians in our district would say that it's up to God to determine the length of Earth, and therefore, you are invading the province of God."

When Inglis packs up his wind turbine, a working display, in 100 Cannon House Office Building and departs Congress next month, the House will see perhaps its most outspoken Republican climate believer leave office. Others are going, too. That's raising difficult questions, with vague answers, about how many GOP members occupying the Capitol's southern wing accept global warming.

"It really is odd to realize ... that gee, there are not many of ya. It's so weird," Inglis said, calling it a "small fraternity" of Republican believers.

One of them is Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-Mich.), a physicist who is retiring at year's end after serving eight terms in the House. Sometimes he reviews climate science with curious Republican colleagues. Usually, though, they take their cues from ideological sources.

"Of course there's no shortage of people out there who deny climate change, or any of its impacts, so they listen to those folks," Ehlers said in an interview. "They seem to respect my opinion, but when push comes to shove, they're going to go with folks who deny climate change."

Does money trump understanding of science?
 
That might rattle environmentalists. But politicians' opposition to climate change is not a political position taken for purposes of re-election in conservative districts, both Inglis and Ehlers say. Rather, it is about the money.

"How many know better and aren't saying anything?" Inglis asked of his colleagues who deny climate. "I think within the Republican conference there is a group that is inclined to place value in the science, and therefore to act on it. It's a minority in the conference. The majority, I think, view is it's not real, we don't need to do anything about it, it will harm our economy."

Liberal groups are warning of rising climate skepticism in Congress. The warnings follow midterm elections this month that rewarded a number of candidates who questioned the science behind global warming. ThinkProgress claims that half of the incoming Republican class have expressed doubt about warming, and it says 86 percent of those lawmakers are opposed to climate legislation that increases government revenue.

But others are more optimistic. David Hunter, a former climate aide to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and director of U.S. policy at the International Emissions Trading Association, believes energy and climate issues played a very small role in the elections. Inglis, with whom he and about a dozen other lawmakers traveled to Antarctica to study climate research, might be a special case.

"It may well have played a large role in Congressman Inglis' race," Hunter said. "Inglis was exceptional for his bravery in standing up for what he believes is right for climate change."
Before his two visits to Antarctica, Inglis "pooh-poohed" Al Gore and his ideas about climate change. His five children also played a large role in changing his mind, an admission that earned him criticism from constituents and talk radio.

"He was prepared to put aside any preconceptions," said Scott Heron, who studies coral health as a scientist contracted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"That was something that was a little bit different from some members of Congress that I had a chance to meet," said Heron, who met Inglis on an Australian reef expedition. "I feel like the difference that Bob shows is he has his eyes open."

'Down the road, we're going to get there'
 
As Republican climate advocates depart Congress, so, too, is the notion that legislation should be shaped around reducing greenhouse gases. The new strategy by clean energy groups is to emphasize economic growth. They hope that will resonate with the increasingly conservative -- and perhaps skeptical -- Congress.

"It is very important that this is not climate legislation," Bracken Hendricks, a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress, said this week when outlining a strategy to increase clean energy. "We're not trying to stop bad things from happening with this legislation."

Inglis, for his part, continues to press for a carbon tax. He believes a $15 charge on each ton of carbon dioxide applied now, rising to $100 by 2040, will diminish oil and coal dependence while expanding nuclear and renewable fuels.

He voted against cap and trade last year because of all the carbon allowance "freebies" that were given to "connected" industries, and because he believes it would hurt manufacturers.
"We want to take petroleum [and] break its strategic importance. That's my goal," Inglis said.

That's not considered a weird idea, even among groups with Republican streaks. The Bipartisan Policy Center released a report this week on how to slash the deficit that suggested a carbon tax beginning at $23 a ton would "increase economic efficiency."
The analysis was overseen by former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and former White House Budget Director Alice Rivlin, who served under President Clinton. The carbon tax, however, was not included in the panel's final recommendations.

Inglis, too, believes the idea might not be ripe for approval -- especially under a Congress that will soon show him the door. 

"I believe that we can get a revenue-neutral tax swap," he said, using his carefully selected name for a carbon tax. "Not out of this next Congress, and maybe not out of the next one. But down the road, we're going to get there."

More News About Republicans in Office: 


Joke of the Day- Rep J Shimkus believes god will save us from Global Warming--

When I read something like this a few things jump out at me and I really wonder what and who my Neighbors to the East, in Illinois voted for?  With Leaders such as this Governing our Nation its...

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Joke of the Day- Rep J Shimkus believes god will save us from Global Warming--

When I read something like this a few things jump out at me and I really wonder what and who my Neighbors to the East, in Illinois voted for?  With Leaders such as this Governing our Nation its...
--
Scott's Contracting
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http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com

Senate climate bill death

Anatomy of a Senate climate bill death


President Barack Obama took office with four major domestic agenda items: a plan to prevent the recession from growing worse and launch recovery; health care reform; financial reform to avoid future meltdowns; and clean energy and global warming legislation to create jobs, reduce oil use, and cut pollution. The president succeeded with the first three items. But clean energy legislation died in the Senate after passing the House.
The October 6, 2010 New Yorker has a "behind the curtain" dissection of the rise and fall of climate legislation in the Senate. It provides an interesting insider view of the always messy legislative process.

Reporter Ryan Lizza details some senators' admirable willingness to stretch beyond their comfort zones on some energy issues to cement an agreement that would establish declining limits on carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants while allowing more offshore oil drilling and subsidies for nuclear power. He also notes the critical miscommunications and different approaches by senators and the Obama administration that reduced prospects for success.

Lizza gives short shrift, however, to the real reasons Senate passage of climate legislation was impossible in 2010: the deep recession, unified and uncompromising opposition in the Senate, and big spending by oil, coal, and other energy interests. Let's take a close look at these factors.

The Great Recession took its toll

Many economists described this latest recession as the worst since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi note in the July 2010 report "How the Great Recession was Brought to an End:"
Eighteen months ago, the global financial system was on the brink of collapse and the U.S. was suffering its worst economic downturn since the 1930s. Real GDP was falling at about a 6% annual rate, and monthly job losses averaged close to 750,000. Today, the financial system is operating much more normally, real GDP is advancing at a nearly 3% pace, and job growth has resumed, albeit at an insufficient pace. [Emphasis added]

The economic decline sped up just as President Barack Obama took office. Unemployment jumped from 6.2 percent on Labor Day 2008 to 8.2 percent by President Obama's State of the Union on February 24, 2009. Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman noted in March 2009, "At first, the current recession didn't hit industrial production all that hard. But the pace accelerated dramatically last fall. At this point we're sort of experiencing half a Great Depression. That's pretty bad."

After unemployment peaked at 10.1 percent in October 2009 the jobs picture has not gotten significantly better. The Bureau of Labor Statistics just announced September 2010 unemployment rate held steady at 9.6 percent. AP reported that "The jobless rate has now topped 9.5 percent for 14 straight months, the longest stretch since the 1930s."

These and other effects of the recession significantly added to many Americans' long-term economic uncertainty or fear. And this economic environment made politicians much more susceptible to Big Oil, dirty coal, and other special interests' "tired dance, where folks inside this beltway get paid a lot of money to say things that aren't true about public health initiatives," as noted by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. This includes skewed studies funded by the oil industry that predicted that global warming pollution reductions would devastate the economy.

The terrible economy and growing unemployment made it much more difficult to pass clean energy and global warming legislation. In fact, an analysis of the unemployment rate when fundamental environmental protection laws were enacted since Earth Day 1970 found that the annual unemployment rate was 6 percent or lower most of the year of enactment. [1] (see chart)
unemployment levels when environmental laws passed
The first Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (hazardous waste disposal) were all enacted when unemployment was 6 percent or lower. Unemployment is 50 percent higher now. Only four major environmental laws were enacted with annual unemployment over 7 percent, and none with unemployment greater than 7.5 percent. Unemployment averaged 9.3 percent in 2009 and 9.7 through September 2010.

In other words, the worst unemployment in nearly 30 years made the up-hill climb to pass a global warming bill even steeper. And certainly the special interests' opposed to action on global warming played on Americans' concern about unemployment to frighten senators into opposing global warming action.

For instance, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association urged strong opposition to the APA:
The draconian carbon reduction targets and timetables in this bill would trigger destructive change in America's economic climate. This would add billions of dollars in energy costs for American families and businesses, destroy the jobs of millions of American workers, and make our nation more dependent on foreign energy sources…If senators want to increase the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States and postpone the resurgence of the American economy, then they should vote for this bill.

The American Petroleum Institute bought a series of television, radio, and print ads threatening job killing energy taxes. Its homepage headline reads, "More jobs not more taxes."

The heavily funded U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also poured money into defeating climate and clean energy action for the last several years. More recently, the Big Coal backed Faces of Coal front group staged rallies in protest of EPA's proposed global warming pollution regulations with signs reading "Coal Keeps the Lights on," and "Coal Miners 'Dig' Their Jobs."

Whatever it is, we're against it!

As if high unemployment weren't enough, Senate advocates of clean energy and global warming pollution reduction legislation had to contend with Senate rules that allow unlimited debate.

This required bill sponsors to persuade a 60-vote "supermajority" to end debate and pass their bill. With several Democrats unalterably opposed to action to reduce global warming the sponsors needed support from at least four or five Republican senators.

Lizza describes that this was difficult to achieve because opposition to global warming pollution reductions had grown in GOP ranks. What's more, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) convinced his senators that their route to the majority was a solid wall of opposition to whatever President Obama wanted to do for the nation.

Lizza reported that:
The Republican Party had grown increasingly hostile to the science of global warming and to cap-and-trade, associating the latter with a tax on energy and more government regulation. Sponsoring the bill wasn't going to help McCain defeat an opponent to his right.

By not automatically resisting everything connected to Obama, these senators risked angering Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader and architect of the strategy to oppose every part of Obama's agenda, and the Tea Party movement, which seemed to be gaining power every day.

Sens. John Kerry (D-MA), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (before he dropped out), the champions of climate legislation, could never break this wall of opposition or neutrality even among Republican senators who had previously sponsored or voted for global warming legislation.

This includes Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who sponsored multiple global warming pollution reduction bills and advocated significant reductions during his 2008 presidential campaign. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) also co-sponsored global warming bills in previous Congresses. Nearly four years ago Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) said: "It seems to me just prudent that we recognize we have climate increase and temperature change. We have CO2 loading and we need to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere."
Yet none of these senators publicly supported action or engaged in serious negotiations with key climate legislation crafters Sens. Kerry, Lieberman, or Graham in 2010.

This Republican lockstep opposition to the energy bill and other Democratic priorities is reflected in Senate floor voting patterns. Congressional Quarterly developed a "Party Unity" score based on the proportion of votes that "pitted a majority of one party against a majority of the other." Such votes reflect that each party's position was different, and a majority of the senators voted with their party.

The proportion of these party-unity votes have increased significantly over the last 20 years. (see chart) In the 101st Congress, serving from 1989-90, less than half the Senate votes were party-unity votes. Before 2009, the highest proportion of Senate party-unity votes occurred in the 104th Congress, from 1995-96. This was the so-called "Contract with America" Congress with the first Republican majority in both houses since 1953.
party unity voting trends by congressional term
Republican leaders in 2009, however, adopted a strategy of opposing President Obama on every major legislative effort to deny him victories that would enhance his popularity. Seventy-two percent of Senate votes, therefore, were party unity votes. This grew to 79 percent in 2010, which means nearly four of five votes were along party lines.

The 111th Congress also saw an increase in the proportion of Republican senators voting with their party majority. Eighty-five percent of Republicans voted with their party in 2009, while that increased to 90 percent in 2010. By comparison, there were only 3 of 10 previous Congresses when Republicans were more unified.

Congressional Quarterly describes the increased Senate polarization in 2010.
Almost four out of five roll call votes in the Senate have pitted a majority of Democrats against a majority of Republicans—the highest percentage of so-called party-unity votes seen since Congressional Quarterly began tabulating them in 1953.
Most telling, however, is the support accorded President Obama on the 51 Senate roll calls this year… where he took a position. On average, Democrats supported him 95 percent of the time, up from 92 percent in 2009. And Republicans backed away from their 50 percent average presidential support score last year to vote with Obama just 42 percent of the time so far this election year.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), a conservative Democrat and no ally of global warming legislation, noted that the Senate Republican caucus had become more unified in opposition to Democrats. She said: "This Republican Party's not the one it used to be. There were moderates that would reach out with those of us that were moderate on the other side, but that's not the direction they're going in."

The best bill money could stop

The House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act on June 26, 2009. This bill was supported by some major companies and trade associations, including the Edison Electric Institute and the Nuclear Energy Institute.

Fear of a consensus energy bill that had some industry support galvanized most big oil and coal companies to invest heavily in their efforts to oppose a Senate bill. Companies in these and other industries thus spent records amounts of money on lobbying, campaign donations, and other pressure tactics to defeat clean energy legislation in the Senate. And this spending does not include millions of dollars spent on message advertising, "astro turf" rallies (fake grass roots), and other pressure tactics that do not require public spending reports.

Opensecrets.org found that electric utilities and oil and gas companies spent more than $500 million in lobbying from January 2009 to June 2010, primarily to weaken or defeat energy legislation. A Center for American Progress Action Fund analysis found that oil companies were six of the top seven spenders on lobbying and campaign contributions during this period, with ExxonMobil number one.

Big Oil's campaign contributions are heavily tilted toward Republicans, who received 70 percent of the contributions that went to the two parties. Opensecrets.org reports that as
… debate raged in Congress about offshore drilling, energy independence, 'cap-and-trade' legislation and a shift away from fossil-fuel energy sources … congressional candidates and federal political committees nationwide have raked in more than $17 million from the oil and gas industry so far during the 2010 election cycle—a number on pace to easily exceed that of the most recent midterm election four years ago.

The recipients of the funds have remained relatively consistent over the years, with Republicans accumulating a majority of the industry's campaign contributions.

The coal industry, too, gave nearly 70 percent of its campaign cash to Republicans.

The bigger picture

The New Yorker pulled back the curtain on the admirable but frustratingly unsuccessful efforts of Sens. Kerry, Lieberman, Graham, and others to achieve Senate passage of comprehensive clean energy and global warming legislation. But Lizza pinning the blame on the White House or senators misses the larger factors behind this huge disappointment.
Al Gore spelled it out succinctly during an interview with Lizza after the legislation was dead for the year. He agreed that the economy, a unified wall of opposition in the Senate, and special interest spending were at the heart of this outcome.
I asked Al Gore why he thought climate legislation had failed. He cited several reasons, including Republican partisanship, which had prevented moderates from becoming part of the coalition in favor of the bill. The Great Recession made the effort even more difficult, he added. "The forces wedded to the old patterns still have enough influence that they were able to use the fear of the economic downturn as a way of slowing the progress toward this big transition that we have to make.

There were gale force economic, political, and special interest winds blowing against global warming legislation in 2010 that were beyond the influence of its champions. The question should not be "Why did they fail?" but "How did they get so far?"
Daniel J. Weiss is a Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy at American Progress. Special thanks to Susan Lyon, Ben Kaldunski, and Laurel Hunt.

Endnotes

[1]. This includes all of the major pollution control laws and the Endangered Species Act. These laws established public health safeguards and pollution reduction requirements for industry. This assessment does not include nonregulatory laws such as public lands protection laws. Nor does it include laws that have some pro-environment provisions as part of a broader bill, such as the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Daniel J. Weiss is a Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy at CAP.
October 12, 2010 by Joseph Romm
This is a cross post by CAP's Daniel J. Weiss.
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Monday

Warning: 5 Biggest Home Repair Rip-offs

* by Reader's Digest Magazine, on Wed May 5, 2010 12:49pm PDT Repair Scams Are On the Rise When Ron Harrison was buying his house outside Atlanta, the professor of entomology at Mercer University wanted to inspect it for termites himself. With the help of two knowledgeable colleagues, he gave the home a clean bill of health. At the closing, though, Harrison got a surprise. The house had recently been treated for termites. But he could tell that it never had termites. The seller had been ripped off for more than $1,000 -- by a pest control firm that had both inspected and treated the house. Home repair rip-offs are on the rise, up 60 percent over the past five years, according to the Council of Better Business Bureaus. And the cons could cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Here's how today's five biggest scams work, and what you can do to protect yourself. 1. Leaky Roof Wrangling The Rip-Off Water is coming through your roof. Or is it? A con artist will say water is seeping through the shingles and you need to tear off all the old layers and build a new roof, a job that typically costs $5,000 or more. The Reality Most of the time, roof leaks occur because the sealing around vent pipes has failed, the metal flashing on the chimney has deteriorated or the connections between roof sections have eroded. Replacing the sealing or flashing, simply and cheaply, will often solve the problem. Normally, an asphalt shingle roof lasts 15 to 20 years. You need to replace the roof if you see curling or missing shingles or a large amount of granular material from the shingles collecting in gutters. Don't get talked into having the bad roof torn off, at a potential 50 percent increase in costs, unless your building code demands it. Many towns will allow a second or even third asphalt roof to be installed if the home's framing can support the extra weight. And beware a roofer who says you need an entirely new deck, the wood base beneath the shingles. That will cost thousands of dollars more. In fact, a completely new deck is needed only one in 1,000 times. Usually only a portion of a deck needs to be replaced, but only if it's rotted. Scotts Contracting Offers Green and Eco Friendly Roofing Options 2. Basement Boondoggle The Rip-Off If your basement is chronically wet, unscrupulous contractors might tell you they need to dig out your entire foundation and waterproof it, for anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000. More often, though, the solution is simple and costs very little. The Reality Many basement leaks are caused by overflow from clogged gutters, misrouted downspouts, unsloped land around the house or even improperly aimed lawn sprinklers. "Think of your masonry foundation as a rigid sponge," explains waterproofing expert Richard Barako. If the water volume is above normal, water will wick through the cinder blocks. So before calling in professional help, try to reduce the moisture along the foundation by cleaning gutters, rerouting downspouts, repositioning sprinklers, or packing fresh soil six inches high against the foundation and sloping it back to level within about three feet. Damp walls may be caused by high humidity. To test, attach a piece of aluminum foil to the foundation wall; if moisture shows up on the patch in a day or two, it's just condensation. Start shopping for a dehumidifier. If water is still seeping in, repair any cracks with hydraulic cement, available at home stores, and apply a quality waterproof paint such as Latex Base Drylok Masonry Waterproofer. As a last resort, consider hiring a professional engineer, whose impartial advice would be worth the expense. Home inspectors are less expensive, but be sure they're certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors. 3. Termite Trap The Rip-Off Myths about termites abound. In a recent survey by the University of Kentucky, 60 percent of people thought termites could take a house down in six months or less. Nothing could be further from the truth, yet con artists use this fear to pressure homeowners into quickly signing on the dotted line for unnecessary or shoddy work that could cost up to $3,000. The Reality By arming yourself with a few facts, you'll be able to ask informed questions and avoid a scam. The most common termite in the United States is the subterranean, of which there are two main kinds: workers and swarmers, or winged termites. The workers hollow out the wood, while swarmers mate and create new colonies. Termites live underground and burrow through soil until they find wood or woodlike products, and water. To get into your house, they'll often build moist, earthen tunnels across foundations to your home's lower frames, a clear sign of infestation. Wood that's been damaged by termites is hollowed out along the grain, with bits of dried mud or soil lining the feeding galleries. Be wary of exterminators showing you termites on wood piles or fences unconnected to your house: This may be a scam. You have a problem only if there's evidence of termites inside the house or close to the foundation. Bugs flying in the home during the spring are another sign of infestation. These may be flying ants, however. Termites have a full waist, straight antennae and wings of equal length; ants have elbowed antennae, pinched waists and forewings longer than hindwings. There are more than 17,000 pest control companies in the United States, but bigger doesn't always mean better. You want a firm with good recommendations, lots of experience and a fair price. Question the company carefully and ask that it send an experienced technician, says Michael Potter, a professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky. And if an exterminator claims you have termites, he should show you the evidence. Some companies charge thousands for a typical job that could be done for less than $1,000, so take notes on the exact kind of treatment and compare apples and apples when getting estimates. See at least two or three companies before hiring one. And don't skip the guarantee. Pest control firms offer two types: "re-treatment," meaning the company will re-treat any area where termites show up again, and "repair," meaning it'll fix any damage caused by the pests. Such agreements tend to be complex and may be limited in coverage; read carefully before you sign. In either case, buy the guarantee that lasts at least five years. The relatively small annual fee (usually 10 percent of the original price) is well worth it. Even if the initial treatment was successful, termites could still be back within a year. 4. Chimney Sweep Swindle The Rip-Off In a classic bait and switch scam, a chimney sweep calls from a "boiler room" or comes to your door telling you he's just fixed a neighbor's chimney and is offering an inspection for the low price of $39.95. Once inside the chimney, he may claim to find problems, saying you need a new liner, for instance. Suddenly that $39.95 price tag rises thousands of dollars. The Reality There's no ques-tion fireplace chimneys can be hazardous. An oily, blackish substance called creosote accumulates inside the chimney and may catch fire if it's more than a quarter-inch thick. Occasionally, but not as often as chimney sweeps would have you believe, a blocked chimney can route carbon monoxide into your house. Experts recommend an annual inspection to check for creosote buildup and the structural soundness of the chimney. This usually costs $100 to $250 (not that ridiculous $39.95), and if cleaning is required, an additional $100 to $150. Hire only certified chimney sweeps who've been taught and tested by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Also, watch the technician as he makes his inspection. Lately, sweeps are using video cameras fed down the flue, so ask to see the video and have the technician explain it as you watch. If he balks, he's scamming you. Chimneys for oil and gas burners are far less a concern. An oil-heat system that's serviced every year before winter hardly ever causes problems, says Kevin Rooney, CEO of the Oil Heat Institute of Long Island. But before you look for a professional chimney sweep, call your local fire department; some conduct inspections for free. 5. Mold Mayhem The Rip-Off Mold is making a comeback -- not in your home, necessarily, but with con artists, especially since Hurricane Katrina. Playing up fears about disease from mold, particularly over the Internet, they try to convince you to run $300 to $600 tests to identify your mold. Then they recommend a remediation company for removing the mold -- a firm they're in cahoots with. The Reality What you need to know about mold is simple: Healthy people usually have nothing to worry about. "If you're immunosuppressed or have allergies or asthma, it can be problematic," says David B. Callahan, MD, medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Other than that, mold isn't dangerous." The CDC doesn't even recommend testing mold, because if it's a problem to the occupants, it should be removed no matter what kind it is. And you don't need a remediation company for small areas. Just clean nonporous surfaces with soap and water, followed by a solution of one cup bleach mixed with one gallon water. To control future growth, eliminate excess moisture by keeping humidity levels between 40 and 60 percent. Promptly fix leaky roofs, windows and pipes, and ventilate shower, laundry and cooking areas. The CDC (www.cdc.gov) and Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov) have plenty of good information on their sites -- for free. Information provided by: Scotty,Scott's Contracting GREEN BUILDER, St Louis "Renewable Energy" Missouri.http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com, contact scotty@stlouisrenewableenergy.com for additional information or to schedule a Free Estimate

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