Tuesday, April 26, 2016


            Many years ago, someone told me, in referring to a speech he was giving to students at a local high school, “when in doubt, don’t.”  I thought of that statement many times and believed in most cases it was good philosophy.  How many times have I said I wished I hadn’t done this or that?  Can the opposite philosophy also be true?  Should we sometimes say “when in doubt, do?”  The proverbial bucket list tells us things we would like to do, perhaps climbing a mountain or sky diving (not for me, thanks). 
  But what about house hunting and making an important financial decision?  How many precautions should one take?  I want to make sure the roof is in good condition, the house is solid, is big enough for my family, has a nice well-kept lawn, has no electrical problems, and the list goes on and on.  What about meth residue?  Is that a question one might ask as well?  It certainly was not one I considered when buying my house.  I’m not sure I had ever heard of it, much less had a concern.
            My dad had a saying he used quite frequently, “time brings change.”  We continue to add to our list of concerns when buying our residence or rental property.  Leaning on the side of caution is always good advice, and when buying a home perhaps talking with neighbors or checking public websites might be worth our time.  What if the possibility exists that the house has meth residue?  Call an environmental specialist; call Crisis Cleaning toll free at 1-877-260-4828.  They have a new location in Solsberry, Indiana, but still have the same great service and concern for our environmental needs.  Whether the issue is meth residue, asbestos, mold, infectious disease or death scene cleanup, Crisis Cleaning will work with you to help put your mind at ease. 
            Crisis Cleaning also has meth test kits available for purchase.  These kits are good informational tools to help with your decision making.  Whatever your environmental needs, Crisis is here to help.  When in doubt, give them a call.  They will be glad to answer your questions or concerns.

By Joan Mason

Friday, January 15, 2016


         Looking for one’s dream house can be both exciting and stressful at the same time.  After taking a new job in a new city, I remember my husband and I looking for a comfortable house in a suitable location as close to work as possible.  Finding just the right house can be difficult and time consuming.  Of course, one big consideration is price.  Although it took about six months, we finally made our decision, and were pleased with our choice.   Even though we were glad the looking was over, we did have fun touring various homes and could of course always use some decorating ideas.  Sometimes friendly pets made the tour even more fun, except for one instance of a pet snake.
Purchasing a home is a huge decision and one that cannot be taken lightly.  Considerations include public schools, flooding zones, shopping centers, location, house plan, upkeep of home, condition of roof, heating system, property taxes, lawn and the list goes on.  Perhaps one more consideration should be whether the home was used for meth consumption or a meth lab.  Disclosures may or may not include such information.  Sometimes the house may have gone through foreclosure or simply was vacant for a substantial amount of time.  In such cases, the history of the house may not be known to the realtor. If the house was rented, the owner may not be aware of any meth contamination.   Home buyers must beware of many factors when considering their purchase.  In many instances, potential home buyers require inspection as a condition of the purchase.  Perhaps it would be wise to talk with neighbors in the area to learn more about the previous home owner and the neighborhood itself.  If there is the possibility of meth contamination, the potential home buyer or the owner may wish to hire a professional to inspect/test.
Crisis Cleaning is an environmental specialist company, certified and licensed, in the areas of meth contamination, asbestos, mold, infectious disease, and death scene cleanup.  Meth test kits are available for purchase by those do-it-yourself home buyers for their information only at http://www.crisiscleaning.com/home-meth-test-kit-test-meth-residue.  Please follow instructions shown on the kit.  While the results cannot be used to clear property and negative results may be inconclusive, the meth test kit can quickly and inexpensively arm the potential home buyer with information as to possible meth contamination and therefore peace of mind.  For certified testing of meth residue, give Crisis Cleaning a call.  They are available to help with advice or service on any environmental issues.
           Call toll free at 877-260-4828 or email at info@crisiscleaning.com.  Check out their website at www.crisiscleaning.com.  Taking a little time to check out a home may mean a substantial savings down the road.

by Joan Mason

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


              Having dogs can sometimes mean being careful about how your house smells.  After I’ve been gone for a little while and come home, I notice if there’s any unpleasant odor from my two sweet but mischievous dogs.  Unpleasant household smells can be caused by various objects within the home, and when I smell anything but a pleasant odor, I am unhappy and immediately finding the cause.  Why? Because it is normal to want our homes clean and safe.  But what about safety issues we cannot smell or detect easily?  For example, how do asbestos fibers smell?  If I don’t smell anything, does it mean there’s nothing dangerous lurking in my house?  I have always been taught it is better to be safe than sorry.  If you believe there may be asbestos fibers airborne in your house, calling a specialist is important to your health and safety. 
            Just recently I was in a home where one of the bathrooms had chipped tile.  The question came up as to whether the tile might be asbestos.  One of the home’s residents has COPD.  I do not know if the tile is asbestos, but action is being taken to insure the health and safety of the home’s residents.  Asbestos that has been disturbed and has airborne fibers may have no detectible odor but the health issues are still there. 
            If you believe your home, rental property, or commercial building may have an asbestos issue, call the professionals at Crisis Cleaning.  While undisturbed, asbestos may have no harmful effects but when it is disturbed and airborne fibers are present, it’s time to make sure all is well with your home.  You might think of it like a rattlesnake in the mountains, undisturbed and causing no problems, but then when a person disturbs the snake, look out, big problem.  I don’t think Crisis Cleaning handles snake problems but when it comes to asbestos, they are certified professionals.  Remember, better to be safe than sorry.  Give Crisis Cleaning a call today toll free at 1-877-260-4828. 
By Joan Mason

Friday, November 6, 2015


            Many of us dream of a job that would allow us to be financially secure while having fun, right?  One such job might be the president/CEO of one’s own company, with all the amenities, an expensive cherry desk, full featured phone, top-of-the-line computer, fax machine (wait that’s built into the computer), and printer, while leaning back in our tall leather chair with a cup of coffee or a latte and reading the newspaper (with our feet on the desk of course).  Do we really need to read the paper?  After all, we can get all the news on our computer or cell phone.  Wow, what a life – what a job.  But such visualization is not always an accurate depiction of a president/CEO.  I know a President/CEO who is growing her company and does have an office, but she believes in hands-on experience.  Such is the case with Donetta Held, President/CEO of Crisis Cleaning.  She, along with her husband, Rick, and their entire staff, works tirelessly to please customers and contribute to a healthy and safe environment.
Both Rick and Donetta Held indicate their jobs are “never dull.”  It seems typical days are really non-typical, in that there is such a variety of situations with every job. They travel all over the State testing meth contaminated homes, talking with and educating owners and tenants on the decontamination process.  Donetta and Rick enjoy meeting the people during inspections and, since the owner or tenant responsible for cleanup may not be the same person who created the meth contamination, they many times lend an understanding and compassionate ear to personal family stories and lives.
            In the situation of asbestos contamination, asbestos can be a potential problem only when it is disturbed, at which time tiny particles may not be seen with the naked eye.
Donetta also receives calls about mold remediation.  Such remediation can be an expensive process.  A home may be left vacant for an extended period of time without heat and air and mold can form.   Donetta feels it may be more economically/financially beneficial to leave the utilities connected than to have possible expensive mold remediation later.
            Crisis Cleaning is a family-run, service-oriented, cleaning company that began in 2001, focusing on meth lab cleanup, death/crime scene cleanup, mold remediation, lead remediation, and asbestos management.  Crisis is certified and licensed and ensures their jobs are done right.  They bring a personal touch to each difficult situation, and their professional experience gives their customers the confidence they need to feel at ease and know any problems will be resolved.
            Whether it’s asbestos, meth or mold contaminating your home or rental property, you can call the professionals at Crisis Cleaning for help.  Phone toll free at 1-877-260-4828, email at info@crisiscleaning.com or visit their website at www.crisiscleaning.com

By Joan Mason

Friday, October 23, 2015


           My dad used to say one can be “insurance poor.”  While that statement may be true, we all have insurance of some type and usually many types, including homeowners, auto, health, life, cancer, and the list goes on.  We try to protect ourselves from as much financial harm as possible while protecting valuable assets.  And have you   read your insurance policies, really!  And if so, do you completely understand those policies?
            It seems when I finally understand a policy, society brings something new and different into the overall picture; for example, mold and meth issues.  Does my homeowners cover mold?  Well, now policies are specifically mentioning inclusion or exclusion of mold.  On to the subject of meth; when residential or rental homes have been used for meth labs, unbeknownst to the buyer, does  homeowner’s policies cover testing and decontamination?   My first thought is “probably not.”  As hard as it is to believe, I just may be wrong.  In many cases, property insurance covers the cost of professional decontamination. 
            Standard policies may include first-party property coverage and also liability coverage.  The policy either has “named perils” or “open perils.”  Named peril policies show exactly what is included in the dwelling coverage while open peril policies show what is excluded.  One named peril included in many policies is vandalism.  It will either be listed as a named peril or not excluded in open perils.  Smoke damage is normally a covered peril.  Just like a kitchen fire, the smoke and fumes from a meth lab leave a similar residue in the structure and on the contents, which need cleaning. 
            Liability coverage may come into play if a meth lab is busted by a law enforcement agency and condemns the property as inhabitable.  If you receive such a notice, you may want to request a coverage determination under both first-party coverage and liability.
            I could talk about insurance all day (are you kidding?  Yes), but you would probably stop reading at this point.  The important thing to remember is to promptly call your insurance and follow up with a letter, best sent certified.  Since you may have both first-party coverage and liability, one or both may cover meth cleanup.  If you are denied, you need to get the denial in writing and have coverage counsel review it. 
            Some rental property owners are hesitant to file an insurance claim due to concern they will be dropped, and it is true they could be dropped by their insurance carrier.  It is good to research other insurance carriers that will allow coverage.  Why have insurance if you cannot use it when you need it?
            My friends at Crisis Cleaning will be happy to walk you through the insurance process, taking care of the hassles associated with such claims.  Give them a call today if you need help with meth residue contamination (877) 260-4828.  You will be glad you did!
(Contribution:  The Meth Solution by Donetta J. Held)

By Joan Mason

Friday, September 4, 2015


            When I was in school, our class took a trip to Vincennes.  I know, it wasn’t the Bahamas or even King’s Island, but we had a great time.  Seeing the old, historical homes of great American patriots meant a great deal to the class.  I was so excited, but please remember that was a few (and a few more) years ago.  I still love this old, historical city that has grown and is a landmark in our State.  Historical homes are many times preserved for future posterity. 
            Sometimes, however, older homes are purchased and beautifully remodeled.  My aunt and uncle had a house built for them when they were first married.  I loved that house.  Walking in the front door and traveling to the right in a circle brought you right back to the front door.  Of course, there were bedrooms to your right and eventually a bathroom was added.  The kitchen was in the back of the house and then as you continued through the circle, there was the dining room, and then back to the living room in the front of the house.  The house had a cellar and an upstairs area over it in the middle of the circle.  After my aunt and uncle had both passed away, the property was sold and the new owners remodeled this house beautifully.  However, I will always remember the original look of the home with my aunt and uncle sitting on the long front porch waiting for us to arrive for a visit.
            Was there asbestos in their house?  I don’t know the answer, but asbestos was used in earlier years as a flame retardant.  In good condition, asbestos is harmless.  However, when damaged, asbestos can release microscopic fibers into the air that can lodge in a person’s lungs.  Long-time exposure or heavy dosages can build up and lead to lung cancer and mesothelioma, as well as asthma.   
            Back to remodeling a house that contains asbestos; if remodeling or renovating, asbestos removal may be essential, and if so, it is time to call in the professionals.  Crisis Cleaning can take the hassle and fear out of asbestos removal.  They follow local, state, and federal asbestos removal regulations.  We will discuss asbestos more in future articles, but please remember when in doubt, give Crisis Cleaning a call toll-free at (877) 260-4828 or email info@crisiscleaning.com.  Leave the worry to the professionals.

By Joan Mason        

Thursday, August 13, 2015


            Keeping bread in the refrigerator, particularly in the summer, seems like a good idea (although I’ve been told it doesn’t help).  We go grocery shopping and try to make our food supply last as long as possible.  Grocery prices keep moving upward, so if you’re like I am, you try to consume every ounce of food in some form or another.  Ground beef, for example, is great for hamburgers, meatloaf, pasta dishes, chili, meatballs, tacos, and the list goes on.  Then comes the time to clean out the refrigerator.  By now we’re sick of all the hamburger, right?  Oh, I can still make a meatloaf sandwich, one of my favorites.  But when I go to get the bread, it has turned blue/green.  While I like lots of colors, not on my bread please.  It has mold, and of course I dispose of it rather quickly at that point. 
            Just what is mold?  Can it be good or bad?  We know penicillin is a type of mold, which has saved billions of lives.  Blue cheese for example has some type of mold added, which also helps in the aging process.  So there definitely is good mold.  Now let’s look at the bad mold.  While not all mold is a reason for worry, too many mold spores in the air can produce a problem.  Typically the goal is to make sure that indoor air has about the same number of mold spores as naturally occur in the outside air.  Some types of mold, like the black mold Stachybotrys, produce deadly toxins and are not safe even in small amounts.
            Growing undetected in your basement or inside walls for years can trigger subtle physical systems and long-term health problems.  With  chronic mold exposure one can experience sinus congestion and runny nose, cough, throat irritation, skin irritation, headache and sneezing. 
            If you believe there is a problem with mold, call the certified mold remediation experts at Crisis Cleaning and take the fear and frustration out of dealing with potentially deadly mold.
Crisis Cleaning has a 24-hour emergency hotline at (877) 260-4828.  Leave your worries with the professionals.       

By Joan Mason