Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mold and Your Health

~ courtesy info from the Dumpster Diva at Bin There Dump That

One tends to think of something that grows as having life and being categorized as either a plant or animal.   Mold, however, is neither plant nor animal, yet it can grow and reproduce by making spores. It has a life of its own and can negatively impact your health

It belongs in the Fungi Kingdom, and unlike a plant, mold does not get energy from the sun via photosynthesis.   The sun, in fact, inhibits the growth of mold, which sort of eats its way along, most commonly fulfilling its mission to break up decaying stuff like dead plants or animals.   Mold spores can survive severe conditions like drought where normal mold growth is not likely to occur until wetness or humidity returns.

Mildew is a form of mold, and the most common place in the house to find mildew is shower stalls and basements -- warm, humid, wet or damp, dark environments.   Surprisingly, neither the Environmental Protection Agency nor another government entity has issued standards on mold or mold spore levels, so there are no building regulations. 

Mildew forms a thin, white, gray or greenish layer while the less frequent "black mold" has a green-black hue and grows on surfaces with a high cellulose content like paper, wood, fiberboard and gypsum board, all common building materials.   While mold can do some serious damage to your home's structural elements like walls, floors, ceilings and upholstered furniture, it can really raise havoc with the health and well-being of residents in a poorly ventilated or cared-for house.

According to the Florida Department of Health, there are four kinds of health problems related to mold:
  • allergic illness
  • irritant effects
  • infection
  • toxic effects

The most vulnerable people to mold health risks include infants, children, elderly people with respiratory or lung conditions and those with weakened immune systems from ongoing treatments or recent illness.   The most common symptoms of an allergic or highly sensitive reaction to the presence of mold may or may not be linked to mold:
  • running nose and sneezing
  • coughing or wheezing
  • redness or itchy eyes
  • rash or skin irritation
  • asthma attacks
  • fever (less common)
  • breathing difficulty (less common)

There are some routine maintenance and awareness measures which can reduce the incidence of mold in your house:
  • check plumbing for leaks a few times a year
  • use A/C or a dehumidifier in hot or warm months
  • maintain good ventilation at all times
  • keep indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent max
  • refrain from installing carpets in basements and bathrooms
  • have and use an exhaust fan in every bathroom
  • clean up quickly and thoroughly after a rain or water incident
Some of the most common places for mold outside your home which might cause distress to people with a sensitivity to the odor or presence of it include, not surprisingly, antique shops and lake or oceanfront summer cottages.   Also, greenhouses and flower shops, saunas, farms and construction areas can have the kinds of conditions where mold thrives

Being educated in mold conditions and its effects on health are key to avoiding the associated illness and discomfort, as well as potentially connecting the dots should symptoms arise. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer
You'll wish that summer could always be here.

            The song peaked on the billboard in the top 10 in 1963, but the words sung by Nat King Cole, written by Charles Tobias, have stuck with every generation. We are once again in the throes of those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

            The beaches beckon, golf courses are in full swing and families are flocking to the whole state for camping, swimming, windsurfing, fishing, Disney-ing, cruising and watching the sun set into the glorious horizon throughout the Tampa Bay region. It's hot outside most days, so:

v drink plenty of water
v wear lightweight, loose-fitting, cotton clothes
v always wear a hat
v put on sunglasses
v eat light
v take showers and baths for cooling
v seek out shady outdoor venues or A/C indoor ones
v use sunscreen

            However, the long days and warm temps also are perfect for home renovation or spruce up projects. Your first stop should be Bin There Dump That for a dumpster rental. Even if you are simply power washing your house, you'll likely find some broken gutters or downspouts, branches, leaves and debris that have rested on your property from somewhere else. Summer is great for painting, roofing, staining decks, screening a porch or adding a sunroom.

            It is wise to have your air conditioning unit checked annually, and the beginning of summer, when it's likely to run the most, is the best time. A heat pump can use up to 50% more energy when it's not in optimum condition. Change your filters, switch ceiling fan rotation and check all your screens for those nights when you can sleep with fresh air wafting around inside.

            Remember that you don't need to be a tourist from afar to enjoy your own hometown. If there's a museum you haven't been to recently, a beach full of memories you haven't walked on years or a bucket list fishing excursion you always want to go on, summer break is the perfect time. Be a little lazy, hazy and crazy yourself.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Honey, I Shrunk the Household


With the wild popularity of the "tiny house movement" and "living tiny," people of all ages are downsizing. Many are shunning boatloads of possessions and big houses for cozy, small square footage and a lifestyle not defined by largess. Older folks on the other side of raising family also find, at some point, that they have too much house. Longing to reduce expenses, maintenance, stuff and time spent on upkeep, they seek to downsize. Remember the definition of "stuff" ~ something that has weight and takes up space.

            The "tiny house movement" is synonymous with "small house movement" and is attracting much attention across generations. Roughly speaking, a tiny house is less than 400 square feet, and a small home has 400 to 1,700 square feet. Most people who move to smaller digs find it quite appealing to live in less space, do less maintenance, spend less money and live more efficiently. Some opt for outdoor deck and patio living instead of maintaining a formal yard of grass, shrubs, mulch, trees, etc.

            With more than 130 senior living 55+ community lifestyle options in the Tampa Bay area and some tiny and small homes on the market as well, it's not hard to find something that suits your style and budget. If you cannot quite embrace the tiny ones, low maintenance bungalows and ranch homes abound in the Tampa Bay-Clearwater-St. Petersburg region. Townhouses, lofts and condos benefit homeowners by sharing walls, exterior maintenance costs and common spaces. Homeowner dues cover parking lots, trash pickup, roofing, exterior building maintenance and landscaping. Many singles, couples and families report a renewed closeness, not just in proximity, but emotionally, when they downsize.

            As with any project, it takes planning to pull off a successful downsize, and one can begin well before signing a contract on the new place.

  • List items that you think you cannot live without. Check off how many times you use each one over a month or two months. Be realistic.
  • If you opt for condo living or a neighborhood where a homeowner association handles landscaping, pass along your lawn mower, weed eater, hedge trimmers and garden tools.
  • Sort through clothes, shoes, linens, excess furnishings and drastically reduce the collections, keeping only what you need, use and love.
  • Envision smaller rooms similar to what you have now. Your new living room might be the size of your guest bedroom. Move furniture in there the way you want your new space to function.
  • Trade exercise equipment for a good pair of walking shoes. 
  • Measure furniture and figure room space and square footage on graph paper or an app.
  • Use this as a great opportunity to bless others with things they may want or can use in their big houses.
  • Consider closet and storage systems which maximize space utility.
  • Look into Murphy beds and clever conversion furniture.
  • If you've lived a long time in your home and/or have accumulated things that have been water damaged or become moldy, piles of newspapers or broken items, you may as well order a Bin There Dump That dumpster. It will save you all the hassle of dump or landfill trips and fees and make the whole downsizing adventure run more smoothly.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Flood Resources

There's more flooding in Florida than any other state, and the Internet if chock-full of resources for planning and preparation measures, as well as dealing with flooding at home or in the streets. is the online home of SERT, State Emergency Response Team. Its mission is "to ensure that Florida is prepared to respond to emergencies, recover from them and mitigate against their impacts." Its motto is

Semper Gumby (always flexible) and these are the Director's standing orders:

1. Take care of the needs of survivors.

2. Take care of the needs of responders.

3. When in doubt, re-read number one.

Mitigation is one of the common words used with regard to dealing with floods, and basically to mitigate means "to make less severe or intense; moderate or alleviate.   See synonyms for relieve." ( So, mitigation in play means working toward reducing or eliminating risks and relieving the bad effects of flooding.

Dozens of websites can provide you with general flood information, good reading before any flooding occurs.

  • (see fact sheets)
  • (see "Assess Your Risk")

Probably the most valuable resources in advance of and during a severe storm with lots of rain are your local municipalities. Stay tuned to the radio or television for watches and warnings, which you can also receive on mobile devices. Pay attention, and ideally, have your own preparation and evacuation (if necessary) plan in place. Also, each county has flood information on its website.

  • tampa
  • [sarasota]

The USA is one, big, giving, volunteer nation, and disasters bring out the best in people, some who come from afar to help organizations like the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Samaritan's Purse. They, in turn, can help you.   If you do not have Internet access and want to learn more about preparing for and weathering a serious storm with flood potential, ask for assistance at your local library.   They have computer access and will help you find all the information you want. You can
be well-prepared and knowledgeable about local, state and national resources whose mission it is to assist residents in the event of a flood disaster. And should you need to dispose of flooded rugs or drywall or damaged furnishing, just call the friendly, sympathetic folks at Bin There Dump That for prompt, courteous service by professionals who understand post-flood clean up and clean out.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

Only one holiday honors fallen American veterans, evokes family barbecues and marks the unofficial start of summer, and that's Memorial Day!

So from all of us at Bin There Dump That Tampa Bay, we want to wish you a safe and fun Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Water Water Everywhere ~ or in a Pond

A water feature cannot only transform your landscape, but also provide hours of enjoyment and relaxation, along with increased property value. Across the country, homeowners are installing ponds and streams where none used to be, although you are near the ocean everywhere in the Tampa Bay region, those waves do not (thankfully) crash in your backyard.

Water has a soothing, tranquil effect and can provide an emotional lift and reducing stress. Installing any water feature in your yard has a good impact on the environment by attracting birds, butterflies, dragonflies, frogs and small critters. Keeping some fish brings more entertainment and contributes positively to the cleanliness and ecological balance of a pond. Snails will help decompose organic matter that can collect on the bottom of any pond. However, Koi fish eat snails, so do your homework on which fish are best for your little water world.

More and more landscaping companies are branching into water feature designs and construction. If you are highly motivated and understand pumps and filters, it can be a do-it-yourself project. Many of the large home improvement stores have everything you need and you can browse for information, supplies and equipment at websites like:

If you are not into digging up your yard for another project to build and maintain, consider a container water garden or small fountain in a large tub or corner of your patio. It doesn't have to travel 40 feet in a stream and spill into some gigantic pond to be soothing and attractive. It can be small, sweet and special. Even a birdbath is a water feature.

One great advantage in Florida is that your pipes, pumps and filters are not likely to freeze in winter. When doing all of this, even if it’s not a DIY project you will need to have a place to dump all the junk. Get in touch with Bin There Dump That for a dumpster rental throughout your water project. You need a dumpster for the debris, dirt and gunk you will pull out of your yard to make space for the water feature, and these guys are experts at protecting your driveway and yard and honoring your timetable for delivery and pick-up.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Seawall Rodeo Inshore Fishing Tournament

Your favorite dumpster company is sponsoring the Seawall Rodeo Inshore Fishing Tournament. Bin There Dump That is excited to be a sponsor such a great event, benefiting pediatric programs and services at the hospitals of Morton Plant Mease.

Bin There Dump That is your friendly local dumpster rental company that wants to help you with all your cleaning needs. Our dumpsters range from 4 to 20 yards. Don’t know what size you need? Not a problem, give our knowledgeable office staff a call and they will talk through the options. Home cleaning, room renovation, whole house renovation or just construction. Once you order your dumpster, we will deliver it and haul it away for you when it’s full. All you have to do is call us! Bin There Dump That enjoys being able to make everyone’s life easier and maybe even a little better.

This is true in all aspects of our local neighborhoods.  Bin There Dump That is excited to be a sponsor of the Seawall Rodeo Inshore Fishing Tournament, a charity-fishing tournament that will be at Carlouel Yacht Club May 20 & 21, 2016. We are excited to be able to help such a great cause and see who will come out victorious at the tournament. Want more information about the tournament or want to become a sponsor, click the link above or below. We hope to see you all there! Seawall Rodeo Inshore Fishing Tournament

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The dumpster for all your spring cleaning projects

Can you smell that…? April showers mean spring has arrived. It might be cold and even snowing in other parts of the country but here in the Sunshine State the most we have to worry about is if we need to bring an umbrella when we step outside. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, April Showers mean it could be beautiful and sunny one day and then snowing or sleeting the next.
Spring brings about longer nights, days at the beach and time road tripping to and from the Keys yet, it also means the sometimes-tedious task of spring-cleaning. In addition to the 20 Things You Should Deep Clean This Spring, you can’t forget to clean your attic, basement, garage and other storage areas. For all the bigger items you’re throwing away you shouldn’t have to go through the hassle of hauling them to the dump, just call your local Tampa Bay Bin There Dump That.
Got a small spring-cleaning project, our 4-yard dumpster will be perfect for you! Cleaning out your mom’s attic and aunt’s shed, try going up a size and order one of our 6-yard bins. Our website has pictures, prices and can answer any questions you may have. Need some more information than what is on our website, give us a call. Our office staff is extremely knowledgeable and is happy to help with any questions you might have.
So no matter how many cleaning projects this spring brings, make sure you make your life a little easier and give Bin There Dump That a call. We’ll drop off a dumpster then haul away all the old. Because you know what they say… “Out with the old, In with the new.”

Friday, April 1, 2016

April Fools

Ha! Ha! Ha! April Fools!

            Widely accepted as the annual date to play jokes and pranks on people, April 1 used to be akin to New Year's Eve, according to one theory on the origin of April Fool's Day. Many people in Europe exchanged gifts and celebrated the New Year on April 2.  In the year 1582, the Gregorian calendar was introduced and New Year's Day moved to January 1. Without rapid communications like today, many people were slow to discover the change or adopt it, and people in the know would make fun of and play jokes on those who forgot or simply did not accept it. Others speculate is has something to do with the change of seasons.
            Though not a public holiday anywhere in the world, the day has taken on a life of its own and grown in popularity. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer references the first known recorded association between foolishness and April 1. Radio, television, newspapers and even websites are in on the action. Some of the memorable hoaxes on the public include:
Ø  1957, BBC broadcast a film of Swiss farmers picking fresh spaghetti in a Swiss Spaghetti Harvest. They were inundated with calls from people wanting to know where and how to buy a spaghetti plant. BBC Spaghetti prank
Ø  1962, Sweden's one black-and-white television station's alleged technical expert, Kjell Stensson, showed viewers how to change their picture from black and white to color by covering the screen with a nylon stocking. Transcript of broadcast
Ø  1989, Londoners reported an alien spaceship landing on the outskirts of the city. Sir Richard Branson had the hot air balloon crafted to look like a spaceship he planned to set down on April 1 in London's Hyde Park. The wind current took him off course and forced him to land one day early. One policeman ran away when the door opened and the silver-suited Branson emerged. UFO over London
Ø  2004, DJs on a Portland, Ore., radio station convinced some gullible listeners they could be fined up to $150 for not having dogs, cats or ferrets buckled in seat belts. Radio pet prank
Ø  2009, Swiss Tourism Board released a video about the Association of Swiss Mountain Cleaners that kept the Alps looking pristine day after day. Some 30,000 people went online to take the qualifying test to become a mountain cleaner. Association of Swiss Mountain Cleaners
Ø  2012, On the Medieval Manuscripts Blog, the British Library published that it found a long-lost medieval cookbook with a recipe for how to cook a unicorn. "Taketh one unicorne," began the instructions, and then marinade it in cloves and garlic before finally roasting it on a griddle. Unicorn cookbook
            And there is the ... no joke ... health benefit and stress reducer of laughter. Belly laughs and general playfulness are good for people, yet others find the day creepy, hoping they don't fall for something and be laughed at or made into a joke. In a 1950s study, folklore researchers Iona and Peter Opie found the British version of pulling pranks on others to end at mid-day or noon, and the person playing a joke in the afternoon or evening became the fool.
            There's no shortage of fools on April Fool's or All Fool's Day and some go on "fool errands" having received an invitation to a non-existent party or event. The fine folks at Bin There Dump That won't make fools of you, however. They are honest, professional, helpful and downright fun to work with when you have a serious clean-out or clean-up project. Keep that in mind as spring cleaning rounds the bend.