Three reasons to get a summer mold inspection

summer humidity, summer mold

Summer heat can cause mold growth from the rising temperatures causing internal humidity to your home


Three Reasons To Have a Summer Mold Inspection
Summer is almost over, soon temperatures will begin to drop, it is the perfect opportunity for mold to start growing in your home. 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 spring, 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 air conditioning and central air units when there is mold in the basement could spread the spores throughout the home contaminating more areas.
The number one reason to get a summer mold inspection is to prevent the spread of mold into other areas of your home when you turn on your furnace for the colder days. 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, sinus infection, 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 or air flow systems, then you likely have mold spores circulating in your home.
To verify that you have mold issues, you can check the furnace or air units 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.
If you have questions, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below.

Saskatchewan and Alberta Air Quality Advisory: 2015

Fire Danger

Top areas affected by more than 100 wildfires across Canada

 

Saskatchewan and Alberta Air Quality Advisory

As many of our readers are aware, there has been high amounts of smoke and wildfires in Northern Saskatchewan & Alberta. The air quality in the outdoor environment has caused some concern for many people with respiratory issues, children & pregnant woman.

The largest fire near Weyakwin is three times the size of Yorkton. The Star Phoenix reports around 1,000 people in Saskatchewan have been forced to take shelter in other communities away from the wildfires, in schools, rec centres and hotels. However, the number of evacuees is likely to be higher, because the province’s social services ministry only tracks those in its care.
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Visibilities have been reduced to less than 2 km in many areas especially in Central and Northern Saskatchewan. Closer to the fires, air quality is poor in many areas due to the smoke,” Environment Canada says. “Smoke near the ground may cause potentially high health risk conditions. The smoke is expected to persist over the next couple of days as winds will remain from the northwest and little to no precipitation is expected to flush out the smoke and haze.”

There have been 510 fires in 2015 to date. There are nearly 50 fires that are larger than 100 hectares burning in Saskatchewan, spreading from one side of the province to the other in the north.

Travel not recommended in the La Ronge area while a fire ban remains in place for all of northern Saskatchewan. Fireworks are also prohibited.

While there is no immediate threat to La Ronge, the communities of Montreal Lake, Wadin Bay, Sucker River, English Bay, Nemeiben and Weyakwin are under evacuation.

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Montreal Lake Councillor Roger Bird said things became pretty intense when the fire came very close to the community, but with some help from provincial fire fighters they were able to save the homes.

In neighbouring Alberta, more than 130,000 hectares have burned as of June 29. Of 125 wildfires currently burning, 37 are out of control, according to a report from Monday.

The Northwest Territories are on their way to another active season, with more than 180,000 hectares burned and 166 fires burned to date. Officials are warning people in the town of Hay River to prepare to evacuation if the situation in that part of the territory worsens.

At this time we would like to remind our readers to take precaution if you need to be outdoors

  • If you have neighbors, friends or relatives that live alone, check periodically to make sure they are OK. Seniors and people with heart or lung conditions may get sick from the smoke. When doors and windows are kept closed to keep the smoke out, houses may also get very hot. This can lead to heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Use fans to move air around inside the house
  • Don’t run an air conditioner that needs to draw air in from the outdoors
  • When in your vehicle keep the air on recirculate to avoid sucking the smoke inside.
  • Keep physical activity outdoors to a minimum
  • Try and keep travel to a minimum
  • Patients with asthma or other respiratory conditions should be vigilant about avoiding smoke and continue taking their prescribed medication. These people should alsnot hesitate to take their rescue medication when they need it. People on home oxygen should not make any changes to their oxygen.
  • If you have room air cleaners with HEPA filters, turn them on.
  • If you are at work and begin to feel air quality issues in their work area, please alertyour director and or site leaders. Facilities and maintenance staff are doing what they can to mitigate the issue but it is impossible to make our buildings completely free of the smoke.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your nose and mouth hydrated to keep breathing easy
  • Be alert to Public Service Announcements and updates from the Ministries of Health and Environment and further updates from the Region.

What Should I Do If I Have Mold In My Apartment? Part 2

What Should I Do If I Have Mold In My Apartment? Part 2

MOLD IN APARTMENT

Part #2 of what you should do if you have mold in your apartment

In the past, got mold? has blogged about what you should do if you have mold in your apartment. We have received numerous calls and emails about the issues people have had with landlords and what their experiences have been with the tactics they have tried to use in order to get the work done and up to code for health issues. We understand the concerns people have that live in low income housing and having to deal with landlords that won’t take action and want to help our readers understand that there are options available to you and your loved ones, but you need to act fast and document your concerns and the actions taken in order to get the work completed and to get the work done RIGHT.

Landlords have to maintain rental premises in a good state of repair and fit for habitation.  Tenants must repair damages that they cause through their actions or neglect.  Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, you may have to request repairs.  Hopefully, your request is all that is needed to get the work done. That being said, don’t wait to contact your landlord if you have a leak in your ceiling, windows, basement, bathroom or anywhere in your home. Leaving water to sit will not only damage the property but if it sinks into your walls or flooring it becomes more of an issue then you initially started out with, and in certain cases you may be found responsible for those damages due to neglect.

In every province and state you have a landlord tenant act. This is in place for provincial / state regulations as every location has different bylaws and rules that need to be followed by every location. A law in Saskatchewan may not be a law in New York, so make sure you speak to the right directory when putting in your complaint.

Communication solves a lot of problems, when dealing with the issue at hand, it may be best to document the complaint before immediately contacting the landlord and tenant board before even asking your landlord or rentalsman to fix the issue. Dealing with issues with a calm, mature level headed request can go a long way, but when it comes to your health we understand that sometimes it is hard to remain calm while requesting such repairs. Assuming that you have already done this, the next step would be to actually contact the board and always remember to document your complaint and how long it has taken to get the work done.
This agreement should set a precedent throughout North America forcing landlords to take proper measures to reduce tenant exposure to mold, which has clearly been linked to childhood asthma as reported in this NBC Dateline documentary.

Landlords may ask the tenant to repair the problem they have, but please do not result in going to google for the most simple DIY and end up with more issues than you had to begin with.  Read up on some of the things you should know about mold before you begin your project, such as do’s and don’ts. 

Health Canada recommends that all mould, regardless of the species, be cleaned and that the underlying water or humidity problem be dealt with quickly to prevent potential health issues.

If you are currently renting and are dealing with mold issues, then the information and links above provide you with lots of information to help you address the situation with your landlord. However, if you are currently planning to rent an apartment and are concerned about mold, then Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation advises that you should consider these factors in your search:

1. Avoid basement apartments which tend to be damp and prone to mould-growth;
2. Avoid upper-floor apartments in buildings that have wet basements, since mould spores can circulate throughout the entire building;
3. Avoid apartments that do not have working kitchen or bathroom fans;
4. Avoid apartments with old carpets, or ask the landlord to change them before you move in; and
5. Avoid buildings that have a history of roof or plumbing leaks.

Mold in the News: Issue 168

Mold in the News: Issue 168
At Got Mold? our goal is to keep our followers aware of mould related news stories. Each day, we scour the internet looking for relevant information. Here are 24 stories we thought may interest you!
Please share this information so that we can continue to increase awareness of mould and mould related illnesses. Follow us on twitter because we tweet important mould news.
FEATURED STORIES (3)
Parents worried after mould found in school portables: A group of parents at a Toronto school say their children’s portables have been covered in mould for at least a year but no permanent solutions have been found.
Watch fast-food hamburgers get moldy, just because: There’s long been talk of fast-food that doesn’t age like real food. The press is bad enough for McDonald’s to push a PR campaign claiming its food does, in fact, rot. Putting that claim to the test, the people of Buzzfeed put seven hamburgers from seven different restaurants in glass jars to see what they looked like after 30 days.
State Lawmakers Examine Whether Georgia Should Create Mold Laws: Mold can cause serious health problems. But right now, there are no state laws, or even EPA regulations, to protect residents. Some state senators are looking at whether that should change. Senators created a study committee to look at mold and mildew related problems after hearing stories like Linda Porter’s. After Porter moved into an apartment in Southwest Atlanta, she discovered a blackish colored mold.
MOLD and HEALTH (3)
Damp, mouldy homes bad for allergy sufferers: Dusty, damp and mouldy conditions in many Marlborough homes are breeding dust mites and triggering chronic symptoms in allergy sufferers, an allergy specialist says.
Recent rain brings mold problems: The Tri-States has experienced a lot rain this past week and it has caused problems for some. “With the amount of rain we’ve been getting recently, in the past few years even, there has been a lot of mold crop up,” John Bertoni, owner of Quincy Home Pro, said.
Renters in Burton putting health at risk because of mould and damp: DOZENS of private renters in Burton are having their health put at risk because they are living in damp and mouldy homes, according to new research.
MOLD IN SCHOOLS (4)
Mold found in dorms causes health concerns for residents and staff: Students living in University Hall have complained about finding mold in their air vents and becoming ill.
SGA confronts East Village mold problem: John Biernbaum, the associate vice president of student services, came to the meeting to speak on behalf of the ongoing resolution of the mold problem in East Village.
Urbana Middle School gym closed as crews clean up mold: A costly clean up is currently underway at Urbana Middle School after a series of complications led to a mold problem on the gym ceiling.
Mold means closure, six-figure repair at Urbana Middle School: Urbana Middle School’s gym is off-limits to P.E. classes, basketball and all other activities until sometime in December. The culprit: mold and other issues caused by water damage from the July 12 downpour. The cost: between $190,000 and $200,000, said district Superintendent Don Owen, some of which will come from insurance; the rest from the school board’s recently approved emergency budget increase.
MOLD IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS (9)
Bradley Sheriff: Leaky Pipes Cause Problems, Mold in Jail: Leaking pipes are washing away tax dollars in Bradley County. Concrete re-enforced walls are dissolving from a water problem that the sheriff wants to get fixed.
Historical Society: Mold creating problems in courthouse: Members of the Coffee County Historical Society Bonnie Parsley and Joanna Lewis, whose office is located in the historic county courthouse on the square in Manchester, appeared before the Budget and Finance Committee Tuesday to request funding to combat a growing mold problem inside the building.
Mouldy flats ‘are threat to health’: MOULD and damp problems are making life a misery for some people living in rented flats at Townstal, Dartmouth. Among them are young families who say the situation has become so bad it is making them ill.
Landlord accused of renting out condemned house: The Mansfield City Law Director’s Office will consider filing charges against a local landlord accused of renting a condemned property filled with mold to several residents.
Carmarthenshire Archives closed following mould discovery: Carmarthenshire’s family researchers and amateur historians will be forced to take a break from digging up the past after it was announced that the county’s archives were closing to the public due to the discovery of mould in some of the storage rooms.
Local Office Closed Down, Evacuated Due to Elevated Mold Levels: Complaints from City workers led to the shutdown of one local office and an emergency evacuation due to elevated mold levels Wednesday.
Proposed shelter contains ‘hazardous’ mold: The discovery of dangerous mold in a city-owned building has thrown a new wrinkle into plans to convert the structure into an emergency homeless shelter.
New survey reveals that poor conditions such as mould and damp are commonplace for renters: One in 11 renters in the South West have suffered health problems in the last year because rouge landlords failed to deal with poor conditions in their properties.
NY1 For You: Harlem Resident Has Trouble Getting Mold Out of Apartment: Mold is not uncommon in city apartments, and as one Harlem renter found out the hard way, it’s not easy to get rid of.
LEGAL ISSUES and MOLD (2)
Radio station sued for medical complications allegedly caused by mold-infested building: A radio station and the owner of the building where it is located are being sued by a woman who claims fell ill during 2013 due to a failure to keep the building sanitized, which resulted in her exposure to toxic mold.
Mold, air-quality issues at Fla. fire stations part of labor dispute: Health and safety concerns are just one part of a prolonged labor dispute after many firefighters say the biggest danger they face is mold in their firehouses.
MISC. (3)
Prevent mycotoxins at the source: “The impact of mould on the nutrient quality of feed is often overlooked. It should be realised that as moulds propagate, they utilise the nutrients in the feed to sustain their growth. This can result in lower levels of carbohydrates, fats, amino acids and vitamins available to the animal through the feed. When the animal consumes this nutrient deficient feed, body weight gain can decrease and feed conversion efficiency is poorer,” explains Dr Richardson.
Tis the season for…mold growth: Have you ever opened a bag of feed that smells a little musty or put your hand in the feed bunk in the middle of the winter and the ration is too hot to touch? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, then there probably was a mold problem that was not addressed. In most cases, by the time most people notice they have a problem with their feed or grain; it is too late to do much about it.
Lincoln officials declare war on mold’s growth in wet homes: Lincoln authorities are asking residents with wet homes and flooded basements to try to stop mold growth.

Mold in the News: Issue 167

Mold in the News: Issue 167
At Got Mold? our goal is to keep our followers aware of mould related news stories. Each day, we scour the internet looking for relevant information. Here are 21 stories we thought may interest you!
Please share this information so that we can continue to increase awareness of mould and mould related illnesses. Follow us on twitter because we tweet important mould news.
FEATURED STORIES (2)
Little Creek-Fort Story dealing with mold problems: A military base in Virginia Beach has relocated a small number of personnel and will make renovations to its fire station after finding mold in one of its buildings.
Guelph homeowners sue builder and City of Guelph over mould problems: An east side couple with a five-year-old home is suing its builder and the City of Guelph. They claim the house does not meet the Ontario Building Code, and as a result has an excessively damp and mouldy basement. Jason Cozzarin said he has spent about $14,000, not including legal fees, trying to remedy dampness and mould problems discovered last winter at his family’s 77 Davis St. home. He said the problem is making his wife Theoni Eliopoulous sick.
MOLD and HEALTH (4)
Is your home making you ill?: We spend 90% of our time indoors, according to My Health, My Home, and the air we suck into our bodies can contain over 900 chemicals, particles and biological materials – which could harm our health.
Simply Nourish dog treats recalled because of mold concerns: Recalls involving pet foods and other consumables can occur for various reasons, and a recall issued this week by the Loving Pets Corporation is an example of one: the possibility of mold growth in a product.
Autumn’s pollen and mold can challenge those with allergies: For millions of allergy sufferers, fall is a potent time for allergy-inducing allergens, the October 2014 Harvard Health Letter reported. “The fall allergy season is usually the result of pollen from weeds. But after the first frost, it’s all about mold,” said Dr. John Dobrowski, an otolaryngologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
Exposure to mold is health risk: People with asthma, allergies or other breathing conditions may be more sensitive to mold. Those with immune suppression (such as people with HIV infection, cancer patients taking chemotherapy and people who have received an organ transplant) are more susceptible to mold infections.
MOLD IN SCHOOLS (1)
Suspected mold cleared in Suwannee County classroom: A classroom at Suwannee Intermediate School has been thoroughly cleaned after a report of an odor and allergen concern. On Sept. 19, the Suwannee County School District (District) hired an indoor environmental quality consulting firm, Air Intellect, LLC, from Tallahassee, according to a press release from Eric Althouse, President of Air Intellect.
MOLD IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS (8)
Family’s ‘dream’ home was infested with mould: Dreams of a family Christmas in their new Aldershot home still on hold as family face mould and damp ‘nightmare’.
Ambulance station project grows after mold: A mold remediation project at an Ottawa ambulance station is moving along.
Council staff dig hole to trace source of damp… and leave it there: SINGLE father Matthew Alfred asked for help tackling his home’s mould problem but said he was left with a 2ft hole in his bedroom and no answers.
Black Mold – An unwanted house guest: As many of us already know, mold, specifically Black Mold is a very hot topic among renters and landlords. As reported by nolo.com, Toxic mold while a growing problem, unfortunately hasn’t been clearly spelled out in terms of the law in most states. However, from experience as having moved from California, where Mold Laws are in place, it can be a very expensive problem for any Landlord or Management Company. This is especially true if any negligence is found. Unfortunately this appears to be the case for Liz in Ohio.
GP slams ‘unacceptable’ state of council flat after sick baby is surrounded by vermin and mould: The state of council housing in Camden has been branded by a GP as “unacceptable” after a one-year-old baby has been left suffering lung infections from mouldy walls and a mouse-infested cot.
Mold infestation evicts S.F. firefighters from station: For the past seven months, firefighters have been without a permanent fire station due to an infestation of black mold.
West Haven resident: Mold a growing problem at Morrissey Manor: For years, Connie Ballard and her boyrfriend, Bob Slattery, have had a mold problem in their Morrissey Manor apartment, which Ballard says the West Haven Housing Authority has been unwilling or unable to fix.
Morris Houses Residents Living in Apartments with Holes, Leaks, Roaches: When NYCHA workers came to Julia Saravia’s Morris Houses apartment three weeks ago to clean some mold on her bathroom ceiling, they left behind a gaping hole that has since become home for a group of spiders, she said.
LEGAL ISSUES and MOLD (1)
Mold, air quality issues at fire stations part of labor dispute going to special magistrate: The president of the local firefighters union said recent tests show poor air quality inside this building, and other county fire stations, sometimes in areas where emergency personnel sleep.
MISC. (5)
7 ways to prevent mold in your mansion: Mold is like that weird in-law. It’s easier to keep it out of your home than get it out later.
Mould-infested ads to be restored by Irish Film Institute: More than 2,000 damp and mould-infested advertisements made for Irish screens from the 1960s to the 1980s are set to be restored following the Irish Film Institute’s receipt of almost €290,000 in funding from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
Grieving widow in Clearwater devastated after movers left her stuff to mold: When her stuff got to Florida, it sat in a wet, humid truck with a leak in it, in the middle of summer. Mold grew quickly on nearly everything. Nasty spores can be seen on her couches, clothing and bedding. She documented everything with photos. She claims she was only allowed to see a few things.
HUD awards millions to 3 tribes in state, including Tohono O’odham: For the first time in fiscal year 2014, the awards will also be used through a special program to remediate and prevent mold in housing units owned or operated by tribes and tribally designated housing entities. Nine tribes will receive funding for mold remediation, including the Havasupai Tribe in Arizona, where the village is located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and mold is common due in part to frequent flooding.
How can I stop mould growing in my bathroom?: Is your bathroom ceiling forever getting covered in mould due to the condensation from your shower? If so, DIY writer Susanna Clarke has the answer.