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/

Are you ready for the winter?

Are you ready for the winter?

Winter is just around the corner. With the first few snowflakes that landed this morning and melting as it hit the ground we start thinking about the last minute fixes and things we needed to get done before the winter hits. Are you and your home ready for the cold weather? Have you done any upgrades during the summer that will allow your home to hold in more heat? Upgraded from a chimney vented furnace to an energy efficient? These type of upgrades are great however, they may cause higher humidity and in turn condensation at any cold spots such as where the drywall meets the ceiling. Getting the exterior of the home ready for the cold winds, snow and ice is critical for keeping Old Man Winter out and keeping it warm and toasty inside.

Windows and Doors

  • Check and replace if necessary all the weatherstripping around windows and doorframes for leaks to prevent heat loss, condensation and frost build up.
  • Examine wooden window frames for signs of rot or decay. Repair or replace framing to maintain structural integrity. If you believe it is mold infested and has wicked into your walls contact a professional for a mold inspection – Thermal Imaging  may be necessary and the best time to detect heat loss in your home is when it is cold outside.
  • Check for drafts around windows and doors. Caulk inside and out, where necessary, to keep heat from escaping.
  • Inspect windows for cracks, broken glass, or gaps. Repair or replace, if needed.

 

Lawn, Garden, and Deck

  • Trim overgrown branches back from the house and electrical wires to prevent iced-over or wind-swept branches from causing property damage or a power problem. In some cases it could be the cities responsibility to do this and all you usually have to do is report it. .
  • Ensure rain or snow drains away from the house to avoid foundation problems. The dirt grade — around the exterior of your home — should slope away from the house. Add clay and or extra dirt to lower areas, as necessary.
  • Clean and dry patio furniture. Cover with a heavy tarp or store inside a shed or garage to protect it from water damage or rusting.
  • Clean soil from planters. Bring pots made of clay or other fragile materials indoors. Because terra cotta pots can swell and crack, lay them on their sides in a wood carton or better yet a plastic tote.
  • Remove any attached hoses and store them away for the winter to prevent cracks, preserve their shapes, and prolong their life. Wrap outside faucets with covers to prevent water damage.
  • Shut off exterior faucets. Drain water from outdoor pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads to protect against pipe bursts. Have your sprinklers professionally blown out.
  • Inspect decks for splintering, decay, or insect damage and treat, if needed, to prevent further deterioration over the winter.
  • Clean leaves, dirt, and pine needles between the boards of wooden decks to thwart mold and mildew growth.
  • Inspect outdoor lighting around the property. Good illumination will help minimize the chance of accidents on icy walkways at night.
  • Check handrails on exterior stairs to make sure they’re well secured.

 

Tools and Machinery

  • Bring all your seasonal tools inside and spray them with a coating of lightweight oil to prevent rust. Pam cooking oils work great for this.
  • Move your snow blower and shovels to the front of the garage or shed for easy access.
  • Prepare the snow blower for the first snowfall by changing the oil and replacing the spark plug.
  • Sharpen ice chopper and inspect snow shovels to make sure they’re ready for another season of work. There is nothing worse then finding out your shovel is broken when you need it most!
  • Make sure you have an ample supply of ice melt or sand on hand for steps, walkways, and the driveway. If you rent – make sure your landlord is okay with you using salt on your walkways and always make sure to keep the salt off the grass to keep the lawn nice and green in the spring.

 

Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning

  • Inspect the firebox and flue system to ensure that they’re clean of any soot or creosote and that there aren’t any cracks or voids that could cause a fire hazard.
  • Clean or replace the air filter in your furnace for maximum efficiency and improved indoor air quality. The filter should be replaced every month for best efficiency.
  • Clean any humidifiers and replace the evaporator pad.
  • Bleed valves on any hot-water radiators to increase heating efficiency by releasing air that may be trapped inside.
  • Check that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. You should replace the batteries regularly just to be safe!
  • Install foam-insulating sheets behind outlets and switch plates on exterior walls to reduce outside airflow.
  • Flush a hot water heater tank to remove sediment, and check the pressure relief valve to make sure it’s in proper working order.
  • Examine exposed ducts in the attic, basement, and crawl spaces, and use a sealant such as spray foam to plug up any leaks.
  • Check and make sure the insulation in the attic is not being compromised by mice, bats or other rodents. This is a lot more common then you think!

 

Gutters, Roof, and Drains

  • Check for missing, damaged or warped shingles and replace, as necessary before you get stuck with a leak.
  • Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, and skylights and around vent pipes. Seal joints where water could penetrate, using roofing cement and a caulking gun.
  • Rake up leaves and debris from the yard and pool storm drains to prevent blockages.
  • Check all vents and openings and make sure they are covered to prevent insects, birds, and rodents from getting inside to nest in a warm place.

 

For a mold inspection to ensure the air quality of your home is safe call us today! Peace of mind is just a phone call away! 1-888-909-6653 a friendly knowledgeable representative is always available for information and advise.

Mold Awareness Month Part 4 of 4

As the month is coming to an end and the leaves begin to change as well, we remind ourselves of all the things to prepare for with the upcoming months ahead. Having a fall inspection done should be one of the first things to consider as the winter months will make you eventually turn on your furnace possible blowing up any airborne particles that could be in the basement. You may want to start looking at the foundation of your home as well to make sure water can not enter once the upcoming snow begins to melt. Here are some helpful tips to prepare for the upcoming winter months.

Three Reasons To Have a Fall Mold Inspection
Fall is here, soon temperatures will begin to drop and you will need to turn on your furnace. Here are three reasons to have a professional mold inspection:
1. Prevent Mold Spores From Getting In Your HVAC System
In most homes, the furnace is located in the basement, usually in the storage area. The basement is also one of the most common areas for mold to thrive and grow because it is a dark, moist area. You will know you have mold issues if you smell a musty, earthy odour. This past summer, many homes were flooded and if they were not dried properly, the prevalence of mold issues is highly likely.
If mold is prevalent in the basement, one of the major concerns is to prevent air borne spores from spreading throughout the rest of the home. In other words, turning on your furnace when there is mold in the basement could spread the spores throughout the home contaminating more areas.
The number one reason to get a Fall mold inspection is to prevent the spread of mold into other areas of your home when you turn on your furnace. If the mold inspector finds mold in the basement, then potential cross contamination can be prevented with a remediation plan.
2. Better Health
Unfortunately, when Fall and Winter arrive, many blame health issues on colds and the flu. However, what most people do not realize is that mold spores can cause many of the symptoms we experience when we think we have a cold or flu:
  1. The sudden onset of allergic symptoms involving the respiratory system such as cough, congestion, sinusinfection, asthma, and bronchitis.
  2. Unexplained headaches, decrease in attention span or memory, difficulty concentrating, or dizziness.
  3. Other physical symptoms of mold could include skin rash, itchy eyes, fatigue, and a general unwell feeling that disappears when leaving the house.
Many of the symptoms above would be diagnosed as cold or flu symptoms by a Doctor. As our toxic mold survivor interviews show, this is a common occurrence simply because most Doctors are not trained to identify sickness caused by mold.
If you experience these symptoms soon after turning on your furnace, then you likely have mold spores circulating in your home.
To verify that you have mold issues, you can check the furnace for black, gray-brown, gray-green, or white-and-orange spots. The insulation, condensers, cooling coils, and drip pans of furnaces and air conditioners, as well as the ducts are all potential areas where mold growth can occur. If you get mold in your HVAC system, you can get your ducts cleaned by a professional. Duct cleaning is only recommended, however, if the core problem causing the mold issues and the primary source of the mold contamination is properly cleaned.
3. Peace of Mind
Trained mold inspectors follow a step by step protocol to determine if there is a mold problem. They will do visual inspections; ask questions to get a better idea of the building history to find out about leaks, floods, etc. any indication of past moisture issues; measure the moisture levels; and may recommend that tape, swab, or air quality tests be done to determine the type of mold and the spore count in the home.
The relative cost of a mold inspection compared to the potential health issues and eventual structural issues that mold can cause in a property is minor and should give you a significant amount of peace of mind knowing that you have had a professional inspection done.
Bottom line, if you suspect that you have any mold concerns, particularly in your basement, we strongly recommend that you have a professional examine the problem so that you can prevent the spread of the mold throughout your home when you turn on your furnace.

Another thing to watch for in the upcoming months, once freezing starts you will want to watch for Ice Damming on the sides of your home, this is a very common occurrence once the weather starts to change it begins to freeze and then thaw and then freeze again causing many hazards for your walk-ways, driveway and other areas depending on where your eavestroughs are pointing. Keeping them clear of ice can potentially keep your home safe from water leaking in the side of the home.

HOW IS AN ICE DAM CAUSED?
According to the Ice Dam Company ice dams result from the escape of heat into the attic which eventually builds up and melts snow on the roof. The ice dam is the ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof which prevents melting snow from draining as it should. The water that backs up behind the ice dam can leak into the home and cause damage to walls, floors, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. This graphic, courtesy of the Ice Dam Company, provides you with visual warning signs to look for.
Pictured below is an image of a house we inspected. Apparently this home was just renovated, but the builder failed to insulate the attic properly and the end result was a significant ice dam, which ultimately will cause problems for this homeowner. Ice dams are preventable!

icedam

WHY DO ICE DAMS CAUSE MOLD?
The key problem caused by ice dams is the water and moisture that leaks into the home. Mold thrives on moisture and grows because it feeds on the materials that most homes are made of: wood, drywall, wallpaper, carpet, ceiling tiles, etc. The final component required for mold growth is a temperature of 5 degrees to 38 degrees. As long as these three ingredients are present, mold will form and continue to grow provided it has food to feed on. This is the reason that the structural integrity of a home is compromised–mold is essentially feeding on the home.
As mentioned earlier, ice dams are caused by heat escaping into the attic. Temperature, as you know, is one of the key ingredients required for mold growth. Heat in the attic, which leads to ice dams is caused by everyday activities in the household, such as cooking, laundry, showering, washing dishes, etc. Normally, these activities should not cause problems, ie. excessive condensation and heat in the attic. However, problems will occur if the attic is not properly insulated. One of the major causes of condensation in the attic is the lack of proper ventilation in the kitchen and bathroom required to vent vapour out of the home. Another major reason excess heat may build up in the attic is a direct result of builder negligence that vent bathroom and dryer vents into attics, crawl spaces, or over hangs, and not onto the roof. This poor building practice will cause problems because moisture and heat will build up in the attic. The Ice Dam Company provides an excellent visual of why black mold begins forming in an attic…click here to view.
Here are some general tips to prevent ice dams.
1. Make sure you have proper ventilation in the attic. Keep your soffit vent clear and open. Have a roofing professional check your roof and calculate the proper ventilation requirements. A well ventilated cold roof prevents ice dams.
2. If you have gutters on the house – keep them clean and free from leaf debris.
3. Ensure that your bathroom exhaust is vented through the roof and insulated if necessary.
4. Ductwork in the attic should be well insulated and sealed from leaks.
5. Air bypass – where warm air leaks through small cracks and openings – should be sealed. Check attic access ports in closets and can lights in the ceiling as potential areas of concern.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE CONDENSATION ISSUES IN MY ATTIC?
In addition to the visual external clues of ice dams, here are some tips to help you determine if you have condensation issues.
1. Check your attic for visual mold.
2. Check all penetrations in your ceilings such as light fixtures and make sure there is no excessive gaps between the fixtures and ceiling.
3. Make certain all drywall is finished properly with no gaps or cracks for moisture to migrate through.
4. Look for visible stains such as mold on the surfaces of the ceiling, walls of the living areas, floors, carpets, attic plywood sheathing, attic sidewalls, floor joist, wet insulation.
5. Check for moisture or high relative humidity over 65% and higher.
6. Smelling unusual musty or moldy odors is an indication that you may have a problem. High relative humidity or moisture may be the culprit.
If you are concerned that you may have ice damming issues, we recommend that you hire a professional to assess the situation
We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact us. A mold inspection is a cost effective solution to determining if you have to worry about ice damming, and the potential moisture and mold issues it causes. Peace of Mind, just a phone call away! Toll Free: 1-888-909-MOLD (6653)

800th Blog – Our all time reader favourites.

800th Blog – Our all time reader favourites.

800th blog

got mold?™ takes pride in educating people with the information they need about mold and asbestos related diseases and issues happening around the world. When the company started we believed that knowledge is power and don’t intend to put fear into our readers but rather, give them the education they need to know before renovations, when buying a home and what to look for even if you aren’t a home owner and possibly a renter. This is why we have so much information available to our readers on our website so that they can read up on certain things and make educated decisions and choices before the proceed to do DIY projects at home and potentially cause a health concern.

So, for our 800th blog we would like to share with you our top 100 blogs and pages viewed online. Thank you so much for all your reading. And, hope we managed to help educate you or a family member or friend. Remember to share – you never know who you may help!

20 Interesting Facts About Mold! 13,397
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Gina Lopez 12,709
What Are The Most Common Types and Varieties of Mold? 11,491
What is Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome? 11,389
What Should I Do If I Have Mold In My Apartment? 10,809
Contact 7,382
If Santa brought you a Keurig please have caution. 7,147
A History of Mold Illness: The Kelsey Best Story 6,550
The Mummy’s Curse and Mold 6,441
Rashes Caused By Mold 6,351
Really, How Much Should Mold Remediation Cost? 5,469
Blog 5,420
Regulations & Guidelines: Indoor Air Quality & Mould 4,204
Thinking of Buying A Home, Look For These Moldy Clues 4,136
Top 3 Reasons To Have a Mold Inspection Before Buying a Home 4,026
Why Do Ice Dams Cause Mold? 3,901
Don’t Spray Mold! 3,721
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Raffaella Tassone 3,674
Asbestos Testing, Sampling, Removal & Abatement 3,292
Mold Will Eat Almost Anything But a Happy Meal! 3,100
Mold and Miscarriage, Is There a Link? 2,962
Core Services 2,816
10 Interesting Facts About Asbestos in the USA [Infographic] 2,562
Mold on the farms – Farmers Lungs and Grain bin mold removal 2,245
Does Mold Cause Multiple Sclerosis? 2,206
Top 5 Reasons Mold Is Scary! 2,190
Mold Inspection 2,173
New Does Not Mean Safe! Buyer Beware! 1,983
Air Sampling 1,925
Mold Do’s & Don’ts 1,914
Killing Mold Is Not The Answer 1,895
Does Mold Make Animals Sick? 1,884
Our 8 Step Process 1,864
Services 1,809
Sewer Backups Part 1: Causes and Prevention 1,717
Why Restoration Professionals Should Avoid Using Bleach 1,707
Who Knew this Vitamin Could Prevent Mold Allergies? 1,637
Compare Apples to Apples: 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Mold Remediation Professional! 1,594
About Us 1,542
Do People Really Get Sick From a Little Mold in Their House? 1,541
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Elaine Kelly 1,530
Why Should I have an Indoor Air Quality Test? 1,480
Testimonials / Reviews 1,448
Health Effects of Mold 1,436
How To Prevent Mold in Your Basement! 1,435
Water Damage + Neglect = Mold & Potential Health Issues 1,340
Do You Know Where Your Water Main Valve Is Located? 1,328
If Mold Can Eat Wood, What Will It Do To Your Lungs? 1,328
#7993 (loading title) 1,317
10 Interesting Historical Facts About Asbestos [Infographic] 1,289
How Many People Die From Asbestos Each Year? 1,270
Stemonitis Fusca- a weird but amazing species of slime mold 1,235
Erin Brockovich Fights Toxic Mold 1,207
Really, How Toxic is Mold? 1,187
Mold in a garage? 1,161
Why Should I Be Concerned About Newly Formed Water Stains? 1,126
Why Should I Have a Mold Inspection? 1,113
Toxic Mold Survivor Update: Gina Lopez 1,088
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Dr. Janis Bell 1,082
Seven Tips To Detecting Mold 1,070
Can Mold Cause Parkinson’s Disease? 1,058
Who Does The Work? 1,056
Does Mold Cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)? 1,016
Actress Brittany Murphy & Husband May Have Died Because Of Mold 1,014
Brittany Murphy’s Mom — The HOUSE Killed My Daughter 1,008
Mold and Illness (40 Articles) 981
Almost All Sinus Infections are Misdiagnosed and Mistreated 977
Canadian Asbestos Regulations 957
Questions & Answers 931
Is Your Christmas Tree a Source of Mold? 919
Career Opportunities 909
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Karen Dean 898
Why Choose Got Mold?…Compare Apples to Apples…10 Questions To Ask! 897
Interview With a Toxic Mold Survivor: Beatrice Latherings 889
What is the Connection Between Mold, PMS, and Depression? 850
Three Key Reasons You Should Consider Thermal Imaging 835
What Causes Mold in an Attic? 833
Why Do Ice Dams Cause Mold Problems? 806
What Causes a Basement to Smell Bad? 802
Rocker Ted Nugent’s Home Completely Destroyed By Mold! 785
Act Now! Our Government is here to help. Deadline to file a claim for flooding via PDAP is Dec. 31st 782
Subscribe To Our Blog Updates! 780
Cancer Tumors Caused by Mold? 762
Doctor Talks About How Mold Makes People Sick 759
Five Most Common Indoor Mold Varieties 758
The Three Types of Molds 758
Renovating? Be Mindful of Asbestos and Mold 732
MOLD INDOORS: Killing it is Not Enough 727
Ten Health Risks of Mold 713
How to Deal With Household Mold [INFOGRAPHIC] 704
Why is a Shower Essential to Asbestos Abatement? 698
Mold Causes Asthma! 692
Health 684
Did Mold Kill Stacy Bowman? 676
Mold Made The Voice Star, Katrina Parker, Sick! 663
What is the Link Between Mold and Cystic Fibrosis? 650
Ozone Generators and Interior Mold Remediation: A Recipe for Disaster 639
Blindsided By Mold: A True Story About A Bathroom Renovation Gone Bad 631
How Do I Prevent Mold In My Basement After a Flood? 622
Celebrities Affected By Asbestos and Mold (12 Articles) 618

Aspergillosis – The Deadly Facts

Aspergillosis – The Deadly Facts

Because aspergillosis is not a reportable infection in North America, the exact number of cases is difficult to determine. Milder, allergic forms of aspergillosis are more common than the invasive form of the infection.

Invasive aspergillosis is uncommon and occurs primarily in immunocompromised people. The first population-based incidence estimates for invasive aspergillosis were obtained from laboratory surveillance conducted in the San Francisco Bay Area during 1992-1993 and suggested a yearly rate of 1 to 2 cases of aspergillosis per 100,000 population. However, the epidemiology of invasive Aspergillus infections has likely shifted since this time due to the increasing number of solid organ and stem cell transplant recipients and newer immunosuppressive agents.

Although most cases of aspergillosis are sporadic (not part of an outbreak), outbreaks of invasive aspergillosis occasionally occur in hospitalized patients. Invasive aspergillosis outbreaks are often found to be associated with hospital construction or renovation, which can increase the amount of airborne Aspergillus, resulting in respiratory infections or surgical site infections in high-risk patients. Outbreaks of primary cutaneous aspergillosis and central nervous system aspergillosis in association with the use of contaminated medical devices have also been described. The incubation period for aspergillosis is unclear and likely varies depending on the dose of Aspergillus and the host immune response.

Allergic forms of aspergillosis such as allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) and allergic Aspergillus sinusitis are generally not life-threatening.

In contrast, although invasive aspergillosis is uncommon, it is a serious infection and can be a major cause of mortality in immunocompromised patients. For example, a large prospective study found that the one-year survival for people who had invasive aspergillosis was 59% among solid organ transplant recipients and 25% among stem cell transplant recipients.

Who gets aspergillosis?
The different types of aspergillosis affect different groups of people.

  • Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) most often occurs in people who have cystic fibrosis or asthma.
  • Aspergillomas usually affect people who have other lung diseases like tuberculosis.
  • Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis typically occurs in people who have other lung diseases, including tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or sarcoidosis.
  • Invasive aspergillosis affects people who have weakened immune systems, such as people who have had a stem cell transplant or organ transplant, are getting chemotherapy for cancer, or are taking high doses of corticosteroids.

How does someone get aspergillosis?
People can get aspergillosis by breathing in microscopic Aspergillus spores from the environment. Most people breathe in Aspergillus spores every day without getting sick. However, people with weakened immune systems or lung diseases are at a higher risk of developing health problems due to Aspergillus.

How can I prevent aspergillosis?
It’s difficult to avoid breathing in  Aspergillus spores because the fungus is common in the environment. For people who have weakened immune systems, there may be some ways to lower the chances of developing a severe Aspergillus infection.

  • Protect yourself from the environment. Try to avoid areas with a lot of dust like construction or excavation sites. If you can’t avoid these areas, wear an N95 respirator (a type of face mask) while you’re there. Click here for more information about respirators.
    • Avoid activities that involve close contact to soil or dust, such as yard work or gardening. If this isn’t possible,
      • Wear shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when doing outdoor activities such as gardening, yard work, or visiting wooded areas.
      • Wear gloves when handling materials such as soil, moss, or manure.
    • To reduce the chances of developing a skin infection, clean skin injuries well with soap and water, especially if they have been exposed to soil or dust.
      It’s important to note that although these actions are recommended, they haven’t been proven to prevent aspergillosis.
  • Antifungal medication. If you are at high risk for developing invasive aspergillosis (for example, if you’ve had an organ transplant or a stem cell transplant), your healthcare provider may prescribe medication to prevent aspergillosis. Scientists are still learning about which transplant patients are at highest risk and how to best prevent fungal infections.
  • Testing for early infection. Some high-risk patients may benefit from blood tests to detect invasive aspergillosis. Talk to your doctor to determine if this type of test is right for you.

For more information please check out the Centre of Disease Control. Information gathered is based on 2013-2010 statistical reports from the Centre of Disease Control and we give full acknowledgement to their findings and articles. got mold? recommends all of our readers to share the articles for knowledge based purposes.