Congratulations To Our Most Recently Certified Water Restoration Technicians

Congratulations To Our Most Recently Certified Water Restoration Technicians, Matt Drinkwalter  & Billy Apostal

We are very proud off all of our employees and are committed to providing them with the latest in education. We keep our team members certified and constantly learning.

The Water Damage Restoration Technician course is designed to teach restoration personnel that perform remediation work to give them a better concept of water damage, it’s effects and techniques for drying of structures. This course will give residential and commercial maintenance personnel the background to understand the procedures necessary to deal with water losses, sewer back-flows, and contamination such as mold.

There are two key questions your water damage restoration contractor must be able to answer. First, what is the category of water? Second, how much damage or destruction has the water caused? Answers to these questions enable the water damage restoration contractor to create a professional scope of work and action plan.

What are the categories of water?

According to the IICRC, there are several different levels and classes involved in liquid destruction. From the IICRC’s S-500 standards, there are three categories describing the type of liquid involved:

Category 1 Water (Clean Water)

Water that originated directly from a sanitary source and when exposed to it, either through the skin, inhaled or ingested, does not cause a great deal of harm to humans. Examples of Category 1 Water: broken water supply lines, melting ice or snow, falling rain water, and tub or sink overflows (no contaminates).

Category 2 Water (Gray Water)

Defined as water with bacteria present, but no solid waste, carrying microorganisms and nutrients for microorganisms. Category 2 water does have the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if consumed or exposed to humans. Examples of Category 2 water: discharge from dishwashers or washing machines, toilet bowl overflows (urine, no feces), seepage due to hydrostatic pressure, and sump pump failures.

Category 3 Water (Black Water)

Contains pathogenic agents and is grossly unsanitary which includes raw sewage and other contaminated water sources, such as flooding from sea water, ground surface water and rising water from rivers or streams. To learn more about Category 3, read our two part series which described some of the challenges we faced during the Calgary flood in 2013.

HOW MUCH DAMAGE OR DESTRUCTION HAS THE WATER CAUSED?

According to the IICRC there are four classes of destruction:

Class 1

The lowest and easiest to deal with, this has a slow evaporation rate. Only part of a room or area was affected, there is little or no wet carpet, and the moisture has only affected materials with a low permeance rate, such as plywood or concrete.

Class 2

With a fast evaporation rate, this level affects an entire room, carpeting, or cushioning, the wetness has wicked up the walls at least 12”, and there is moisture remaining in structural materials.

Class 3

This class has the fastest evaporation rate, and ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet and sub-floors are all saturated. The liquid may have come from overhead.

Class 4

This class is labeled as specialty drying situations, which means there has been enough liquid and time to saturate materials with very low permeance, such as hardwood, brick, or stone.

It is important to understand that when you experience water damage, the longer you wait to begin dealing with the concern, the worse it can get. You should not allow the water to sit because the risk of bio-hazard increases. In short, in 2 to 3 days, category 1 water can turn into category 2 water and eventually category 3 water as other bacteria and pathogens begin to proliferate.

Bottom line, act immediately. Call a restoration professional to assess the category of water and extent of damage. Once this is determined, the scope of work will assess structural issues based on the class of damage, outline what contents need to be removed, how to deal with and remove excess water, a drying and monitoring strategy using air movers and dehumidifers, and a sanitizing plan to ensure a healthy environment.

It is important to understand that the goal of water damage restoration is to restore the property to pre-loss condition. With this in mind, once all the work has been done we strongly advise that you hire a Third Party Environmental consultant to perform post-remediation tests, particularly, if any mold or category 2 or 3 water was present. This final step will provide further peace of mind that the water damage restoration contractor you hired did a professional job.

 

Water Damaged Buildings and Health

The long term effects of water damage in a building are something got mold?™ deals with every day. We also deal with misconceptions, skepticism, fear, anger and a whole range of other reactions so we make information sharing and education a top priority.

What we know for certain is that water damage in a building can result in fungal growth which can cause aesthetic and structural damage to a building. We also know that there are physical/health consequences. What we don’t know is why some people are affected and some seemingly are not. We also do not know for certain how serious the long term consequences are for people that are affected.  The excerpt below, is taken from a blog by Mark Filidei, D.O. and published by an American organization called Amen Clinics. We offer it as information only and believe everyone should do their own research. Fungal contamination is real, but more real for some than others.

“It is estimated that half of the buildings in United States may be “WDB”, meaning water damaged buildings. Construction techniques in United States turn out to be a feast and buffet for mold and fungal organisms. Our homes here are often built of wood and drywall rather than stone or brick as in Europe. Mold and fungi thrive on drywall, wood and other soft materials. Mold thrives in dark and moist environments, and doesn’t take much water to get the process going. A small drip from a leaky toilet, shower, or sink is all it takes. Small roof leaks are also common causes. If you see a stain on the ceiling or the wall there is very likely an associated hidden mold growth. This is not the type of mold that you see on the shower wall, but rather it is lurking behind the walls and in air ducts, crawlspaces, and attics, etc.

The toxin-producing “black mold” Stachybotrys, as well as and other neuro-toxic molds, including Aspergillus, Chaetomium, and Wallemia can have a dramatic effect on the brain and behavior. There are 2 main effects of mold exposure: the physical airway irritating effects like allergies, cough and fatigue, and the more concerning effects on the central nervous system (CNS) and the brain. CNS symptoms can include brain fog, inability to concentrate, depression, sleep disorders, anxiety, irritability, headache, and confusion. Unfortunately there is about a 99.9% chance that anyone presenting with these symptoms will never have mold considered as part of the differential diagnosis. It is simply not on the radar screen of the vast majority of physicians. When was the last time your doctor asked you if your home had a water leak? Point made.

Issues in the home are not the only problem; many workplaces are also contaminated with mold, especially older buildings. Schools have been condemned because of mold contamination, office buildings, hotels, and industrial complexes can all be a source of the problem. Many of the government buildings in Washington, DC have been found to have significant mold contamination issues. Our law makers in Washington seem to have enough trouble getting things done; the last thing we need is for them to have poorly functioning brains due to toxic mold exposure!”

Use Caution If Using Sprays to Remove Mold

 

Use Caution If Using Sprays to Remove Mold

Don’t misinterpret the mass of information available to consumers regarding mold and how to get rid of it. Mold awareness and its potential impact on indoor air quality has given rise to a growing increasing list of so-called mold remedies and mold remediation strategies.  In the last few years for example, anti-microbial sprays such as Concrobium have received attention as a good way to kill mold. The reality is, there will always be various options and opinions on what product to use and where to use it, but what is not disputed is that visible mold growth occupying an area larger than 10 square feet needs to be dealt with by either a professional or at the very least by someone following the advice of a professional. Proper remediation of mold may have less to do with the product than the technique used in conjunction with the product.
But don’t be mislead, mistakes can be made by selecting the wrong product as well. For example, when consulted about proper product and technique in a large crawlspace, Dr. Jackson Kung’u, a well respected Microbiologist had this to say:

“For removal of extensive mold growth from floor joists in the crawlspace, I would personally recommend dry ice blasting for the following reasons:

  1. Unlike use of biocides, dry ice blasting does not add moisture to the wood and it’s non-toxic and therefore poses no health risks to the operators and the occupants.
  2. Dry ice blasting does not damage the wood at all, but it removes and kills the mold at the same time.
  3. Blasting does not stain the wood.”
When consulted about proper technique in a smaller area, Dr. Kung’u said:
“If the mold growth is not extensive and deeply embedded into the wood, you may spray an anti-microbial and let it set for a few hours. After the antimicrobial kills the mold then you physically go back with HEPA vacuums, and rags, and brushes, and wipe the wood. This is a more tedious process if cleaning big areas … and may not be cost effective.”
Interestingly, even “less toxic” bio sprays need to be used with full safety considerations.  Appropriate personal protective equipment is required for application of antimicrobials, including a chemical- resistant suit, heavy gloves and full-face respirator with OVR cartridges.  Moreover, the area in which the mold is being treated requires a complete industry standard protocol of containment, air management, removal process, cleaning process, drying process and finally, post remediation, lab verified clearance testing to make sure the job was actually completed with the results intended.

Read More:
http://www.gotmold.ca/2012/09/dont-spray-mold/

We can provide lab results within 24 hours

When customers call got mold? to have a mold or asbestos inspections and sampling, we take great pride in giving our customers fast and accurate reports so they can get the work done ASAP. The health of our customers is our number one priority and we want our customers to know that your health is important to us! We thrive on having happy and healthy customers that have healthy indoor air for their families or business. When you call got mold? our environmental professionals will assist you with the best coarse of action to take when it comes to the removal process, and what should happen with the contents surrounding the effected areas.

Sometimes circumstances require that results of sampling is an urgent matter. This is why we deal with only accredited laboratories that have microbiologists analyze the samples. If there are any questions or clarification is required we are in direct contact with the Principal Microbiologist Dr. Jackson Kung’u.

The basic problem with mold is that it can be hidden. Home inspectors are not mold remediation specialists and do not have the expertise required to identify potential mold issues. Home buyers are well advised to invest in both a home inspection and mold inspection before purchasing a home, particularly if there is any indication that there are potential moisture issues.
 (Buyer Beware! How Reliable is Your Home Inspection?)
Mold occurs normally in outdoor environments, serving as nature’s recycling center and breaking down the dead organic matter from animals or plants. Humans encounter mold and even inhale mold spores every day with no ill effects whatsoever. When mold occurs in an indoor environment, however, things change. Suddenly, mold and its accompanying spores (through which it reproduces) are encountered (and inhaled) in large concentrations. When you consider the job that mold is designed to do on organic matter, it becomes easy to see how it could become a serious health hazard. (No Shame In Mold)
Since mold can cause serious health and structural issues, and even negatively impact the health of your pets, then you should invest in a mold inspection and you may even want to consider a Thermal Imaging inspection as well.
A mold inspection is vitally important if you are planning to buy a home for three key reasons:
1. REAL ESTATE AGENTS DO NOT LIKE MOLD
Real estate agents know that the presence of mold can end a real estate transaction. Since legal requirements for disclosing mold problems is not universally mandatory, then it really is up to the seller to disclose such information. If this is not done, the buyer may never know a problem even exists.
2. MOLD REMEDIATION IS COSTLY
Mold remediation is the removal of mold from a home to make it safe and liveable. This process is costlybecause the materials contaminated with mold need to be removed. You can not simply spray mold with chemicals. The cost of remediation will depend on the area that is affected and the kind of materials. In addition, mold remediation specialists take special training and follow specific procedures to prevent mold from spreading. Their goal is not only to remove the mold, but to contain it and clean it.
3. HOME INSPECTORS ARE NOT MOLD EXPERTS
The problem with mold is that it can be hidden under baseboards, beneath carpet, and under a new paint job. Home inspectors will look for visual problems with the home, but may not necessarily be able to identify a mold problem. A credible home inspector may provide you with some warning signs that conditions exist to encourage mold growth:
1. Water stains
2.  Smelly basement
3.  Water seepage
4. Leaky roof
That being said, a home inspector will not verify the existence of mold and may not specify this in their report. It is also important to understand that many home inspectors rely on referals from real estate agents, which could cause potential conflict of interest issues.
According to CMHC and Health Canada:
“Asbestos poses health risks only when fibres are in the air that people breathe. Asbestos fibres lodge in the lungs, causing scarring that can ultimately lead to severely impaired lung function (asbestosis) and cancers of the lungs or lung cavity.”
If your home or commercial building was built prior to or during the 1980s, you may need to determine if you have asbestos and/or vermiculite insulation.
The environmental and financial risks associated with asbestos abatement requires expertise and commitment.
If you have asbestos, our professional teams will remove it.
To ensure “Peace of Mind”, we will ask a third party environmental consulting firm to take air quality samples that will be sent to an independent lab for analysis.
Our job will not be complete until the environmental consultant says that the property is fully cleared of the asbestos.
Further Reading about mold removal, health concerns and the inspection processes:
Flooded…But Denied Insurance? Don’t Lose Hope!Hurricane Sandy Causes Mold Risk for Flooded AreasSandy Leaves Behind the Threat of Asbestos Exposure, Flood Alert: Key Action Steps & Information!What Should I do if I Find Mold?Attention Saskatchewan Residents: PDAP Can Help!Don’t Spray Mold!What Causes a Basement to Smell Bad?Mold, Not Just a Health Problem, But a Structural One Too!Sewer Backups Part 1: Causes and PreventionSewer Backups Part 2: Action Steps Why Do We Need Sump Pumps? Flooded…But Denied Insurance? Don’t Lose Hope!What to Expect From a Mold InspectionMold Emerges As Problem From FloodingWhy is Mold a Growing Concern?Seven Tips To Detecting MoldMold in Your BasementDo You Know Where Your Water Main Valve Is Located?What to do when you’ve identified a mold concern?The Longer You Wait…The Worse It Gets!How Does Mold Get Indoors?What’s In Your Flood Water?What causes Mold growth?
Further Reading about asbestos removal, health concerns and the inspection processes:
Mandatory Saskatchewan Registry for Asbestos PassesWhy is Asbestos a Health Hazard?Can You Get Mesothelioma from Attending School?Why is a Shower Essential to Asbestos Abatement?What Percentage of Lung Cancers are Caused by Asbestos?Canadian Asbestos RegulationsHow Many People Die From Asbestos Each Year?10 Interesting Facts About Asbestos in the USA [Infographic]Renovating? Read This Message From Our President!10 Interesting Historical Facts About Asbestos [Infographic]ADAO – Asbestos Disease Awareness OrganizationBanAsbestos.usThe Asbestos Epidemic in AmericaWHO | Asbestos: elimination of asbestos-related diseasesThe Jig Is Up For The Asbestos Industry!Canada’s Asbestos Industry Could End!Elliot Lake, Ontario Residents Exposed to Asbestos DustShould I Be Concerned About Asbestos?The Politics of Asbestos: Canada’s Ugly SecretQuebec Pumps $58 Million into Certain DeathThe Asbestos Abatement ProcessWhy is Asbestos so Scary?Got Asbestos?Asbestos Removal and AbatementAsbestos Is The “Ideal Carcinogen”
 

Are you procrastinating your water damage clean up?

Are you procrastinating your water damage clean up?

If mother nature can teach us anything is that weather can go from one extreme to another in no time at all. If you are from the Saskatchewan – Alberta area then you experienced many different weather issues this summer. From possible smoke damage from the northern communities to flooding from flash floods and heavy rain storms. Water damage can take its toll on just about any object reducing it to useless trash. The same can be said for the home. Prolonged water damage can cause a variety of problems later on including the development of severe mold infestations.

Assess the Damage and Environment Closely and in great detail – If you could have the flooded area cleaned up, Depending on how the flood occurred in the first place, there could be puddles of remaining water within walls, ceilings and floors that are the breeding grounds for mold. Without an in-depth examination and inspection of the area, you could be allowing mold spores to influence your home or business and could potentially cause health concerns for your family or co-workers. It may be worth the extra time it takes to investigate the matter further.

Make sure water is being detoured about 5 feet from your home.

Draining the Water Away – In a basement flood that is caused by appliance on the floor above, many people will take a screwdriver and poke drainage holes in the ceiling in order to alleviate some of the pools of water that could accumulate. Although this is a temporary solution during the incident, it can help you greatly when it comes time to inspect the actual damage. While it’s not a good idea to leave water-damaged drywall in the building environment, it could buy you the time you need to figure out when you are getting it replaced or having a professional take a closer examination of the area and professionally remove the materials. Wet building materials left for over 24 hours need to be removed by a professional.

Letting the water sit can cause rot! Make sure you properly clean up any water before it causes more problems.

Letting the water sit can cause rot! Make sure you properly clean up any water before it causes more problems.

Letting Water Drain Itself – In some cases, property owners have allowed a flooded basement to simply dry itself out as the water slowly drains away through sewage lines. Unfortunately, this has caused severe damage to the remaining drywall in the basement as black mold infests the area. It’s not a good idea to leave drywall in the building environment. It’s also not uncommon to see the mold itself spread on the walls where an appliance such as a dishwasher or fridge water feed line on the floor above is located. Many home owners don’t use the basement for much other then storage and a laundry area which should be checked every 24 hours, especially after heavy rain. Water can sit for days before they even realize there is an issue in the basement. If they do not have a sump pump in place the water can sit and damage the walls, flooring, appliances and any belongings they may have in the basement. Prolonged exposure to moisture can perpetuate the problem even further as the mold can easily spread to consume that moisture. Instead of spending the money and time to pump out the water and dry the area as quickly as possible, these property owners are now faced with serious damage to drywall, insulation and other building materials within the basement resale value of the property. Visually inspecting your home after major storms can save you in the long run of things. Have a professional come immediately to inspect your home if you believe you have water coming in!

Without an in-depth examination it is likely that you will be leaving pockets of water behind and this provides for perfect conditions for the growth of mold and bacteria.
We believe it would be worth a few dollars to have any water event evaluated by a professional prior to assuming that everywhere is dry. Water works in mysterious ways and wet always finds dry therefore it is always best to have a professional with the proper professional equipment come to assess the damage. Always remember it can look dry and feel dry yet still be wet.
Clean up water immediately from carpets before it traps the water in the sub flooring. Call a professional carpet cleaning company to make sure they do the job right!

Clean up water immediately from carpets before it traps the water in the sub flooring.

Carpets Can Trap Moisture – Although mold won’t form instantly if you spill a cup of water on the floor, leaving the moisture behind without cleaning and drying the area could facilitate an ideal place for it to grow. This is especially true in carpets and padding. While not every glass of liquid spilled on the floor will create mold, it does increase the probability exponentially. It is prolonged moisture that can develop mold to the point of causing physical complications – especially in asthmatics. Clean up any spills as quickly as possible in order to reduce the odds of developing molds within the carpet and padding. Large areas of carpet are obviously going to be a bit harder to clean up, especially when it has reached the point where the carpet needs to be replaced, the sub flooring will probably need to be replaced and quite possibly the surrounding areas should be assessed by a professional.

If a carpet has mold growth it also has harmful bacteria and should always be removed by a professional due to the fact that when removing a carpet that has mold damage the spores will release rapidly into the air creating an airborne contamination that will then be breathed in by building occupants.

Without an in-depth examination it is likely that you will be leaving pockets of water behind and this provides for perfect conditions for the growth of mold and bacteria. We believe it would be worth a few dollars to have any water event evaluated by a professional prior to assuming that everywhere is dry. Water works in mysterious ways and wet always finds dry therefore it is always best to have a professional with the proper professional equipment come to assess the damage. Always remember it can look dry and feel dry yet still be wet.

When your carpets have mold in them and you are in the process of replacing  them, always replace the sub flooring as well. There is no sense replacing the carpet and keeping the moisture behind. Have a professional evaluate the living areas as soon as possible so you can have your living area or business evaluated as soon as possible.