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:
https://www.gotmold.ca/2012/09/dont-spray-mold/

Mold Awareness Month Part 3 of 4

As part of mold awareness month, got mold? wants to educate our readers on as much helpful and interesting information about mold awareness as possible. This is why we have conducted a 4 part mold awareness segment for the previous articles please read
part 1 & part 2

For this article we wanted to address the issues of what not to do when you find mold in your home. Many people do things that they will later regret because it causes contamination in the homes by doing things people tell you to do on youtube or by googling answers and not finding the right answers from a reliable source but from someone with little to no experience in the professional mold removal field of services.

There seems to be lots of mis-information on the Internet recommending that you spray chemicals on mold. This article explains why spraying mold will in fact make the situation worse.
WHAT IS MOLD?
Molds are a type of fungi and are neither plant nor animal. There are over 100,000 types of mold with at least 1,000 types found in North America and live in colonies growing on food, fabric, bathroom walls, construction materials, and soil. Mold proliferates through the release of spores into the air we breathe and are not visible to the naked eye.
Indoor molds cause two key problems.
1. They destroy the material that they feed on, including bathroom walls, carpets, insulation, and ceilings.
2. Exposure to high concentrations of certain types of mold creates health problems. For this reason, materials that are infected with mold need to be removed. In fact, mold is like a cancer, unless it is dealt with and removed, it will continue to grow. The only way to deal with mold is to eradicate it.
HOW DOES MOLD GROW?
Most homes and buildings have mold because they offer the three ingredients mold needs to grow:
1. Food, which includes materials high in cellulose content such as paper and wood. Drywall, wallpaper, carpet, ceiling tiles, dust, and dirt, are also food sources for mold.
2. Temperatures of 5 degrees to 38 degrees present the perfect environment for mold.
3. Finally, water is the key ingredient. Mold can not grow without moisture. Where there is moisture, you will find mold. This is one of the reasons that leaking pipes, roofs and ceiling, sewer backups, floods, and condensation end up causing mold issues.
Mold is a growing concern because we spend up to 90 percent of our time indoors, creating a situation ripe for health issues.
KILLING MOLD IS NOT THE ANSWER!
Getting rid of mold by applying bleach or chemicals is NOT the answer to the problem because dead mold spores are just as harmful to the human lung as live spores. You may have read or heard about the myth of the “Mummy’s Curse” in which all of the Archaeologists that discovered King Tutankhamen’s Tomb eventually died. They, in fact, died from dead aspergillus mold spores that laid dormant for centuries!
In addition, mold spores like Aspergillus and Stachybotrys (black mold) are toxic in both a live form and a dead form. The key to proper mold removal is to remove all of the mold spores.
Mold is toxic and can cause many health issues. In fact, mold produces mycotoxins that are pathogenic to animals and humans. In 2011 we posted an article on the uses of mold as a biological weapon to illustrate just how toxic mold is.

 

There seems to be a misconception that getting rid of mold by applying bleach or chemicals is the answer to the problem. This is actually not the case because dead mold spores are just as harmful to the human lung as live spores.
There is actually a historical anecdote about the toxic nature of dead mold spores. You probably have heard of the myth of the “Mummy’s Curse” in which all of the Archaeologists that discovered King Tutankhamen’s Tomb eventually died. In 1922, a team of British archeologists in Egypt found the tomb and by 1929, the eleven people associated with the tomb died of early and “unnatural” causes and this is how the myth of the “Mummy’s Curse” evolved. In reality, the actual cause of death of was the result of inhaling dead Aspergillus mold spores and this is the reason that Archaeologists today wear respirators and suits when they are on a dig site.
In addition, mold spores like Aspergillus and Stachybotrys (black mold) are toxic in both a live form and a dead form. The key to proper mold removal is to remove all of the mold spores. This is what Got Mold? does and the reason we follow an Eight Step Process on all of our projects. Our ultimate goal is to provide Health & Longevity to our clients, their friends, and family.
If you discover mold in your home, don’t take this issue lightly and review one of our earlier articles on Mold Do’s and Don’ts. We give you straight forward information to help you stay healthy and to prevent further spread of spores in your home or business.
Mold is toxic and can cause many health issues. In fact, mold produces mycotoxins that are pathogenic to animals and humans. In 2011 we posted an article on the uses of mold as a biological weapon to illustrate just how toxic mold is.

For more information or if you have any questions regarding mold removal we are always here to help! Don’t hesitate to call and book a consultation or inspection.

Where is the water coming from?

Where is the water coming from?

Mold is caused when moisture affects the walls and other surfaces in your home or office. To permanently get rid of mould you have to first find and fix the moisture source.

Water can enter a building in all sorts of strange and mysterious ways, and may result in hidden moisture in walls and ceilings.  Moisture, whether you can see it or not, can result in mould growth and this mould growth can affect the health of the people living or working in the building. You could start taking apart your rooms one by one, or you could call got mold? Disaster Recovery Services for more information on how we can help.

Using our thermal imaging equipment and moisture meters we can map the moisture in your walls, find the missing insulation in your ceiling and track that leaky underfloor pipe – quickly, efficiently and, most importantly, without creating holes in your walls and ceilings.  

If you are concerned about hidden moisture in walls and ceilings in your home or office, or have areas of mould growth that you can’t explain it may be time to take action and get the answers you need to prevent mold growth before it happens! 

Today’s energy-efficient homes are built tightly to seal out the cold weather in winter and keep in the air conditioning in summer. Because of this, it is possible that a new home can be severely damaged by lack of ventilation or by excess moisture.

It is important to remember that moisture damage caused by improper or inadequate use of your ventilation system, is not covered by the new home warranty.

What causes moisture damage?

Your home can be damaged if weather-related water is allowed to enter and remain in the structure. Water from leaking pipes or fixtures that is not immediately cleaned up, and indoor humidity levels that are not properly controlled, can have serious consequences. Sometimes this damage is easily seen, at other times the damage is hidden inside wall and roof spaces. Regardless of where it occurs, moisture damage can lead to serious problems, such as rot, mould, and even structural failure.​

How can I control moisture?

Always use your home ventilation system to control moisture. In a typical home, over 20 litres of water are added to the indoor environment every day. That’s 7,300 litres in a year, enough to fill a medium-sized swimming pool. Bathroom fans, kitchen range hoods and packaged ventilators such as heat-recovery ventilators are specifically installed in your home to help you control moisture and contaminants. Regular use of your home ventilation system will exhaust excess airborne moisture caused by bathing, showering, doing laundry and cooking.​

What else can I do to control moisture?

Here are some extra tips you can follow to help prevent moisture damage to your home.

Outside the home

  • Keep flowerbeds or landscaping at least six inches or 150 mm away from the top of the foundation. Placing soil near or above the top of the foundation allows moisture to come into direct contact with the structure of the building.
  • Ensure that land adjacent to the foundation slopes away from the home so that rainwater and snow melt will run away from the foundation.
  • Clear eavestroughs of debris regularly and extend downspouts so that water is directed away from the building. Water flow can erode the ground near the foundation and create depressions where water collects. Standing water near the foundation can force its way into the basement.
  • Fix the caulking around windows and doors and on the roof if it becomes cracked or separated.
  • Have your roof inspected regularly to ensure shingles, flashing and chimney caps are in place and sealed properly

Inside the home

  • In the winter, keep the relative humidity in your home in the range of 30-45%. Lower humidity levels may affect your health and cause things made of wood to shrink. Excess humidity can cause condensation on windows and damage the surrounding wall. When using a humidifier, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • In the summer, dehumidify the basement to avoid condensation buildup on the cool foundation walls. Relative humidity levels should not exceed 60%.
  • Repair leaky pipes and fixtures immediately. Clean and completely dry any areas that are dampened or wet within 48 hours.
  • Store organic materials such as newspapers and clothes away from cool, damp areas. Keep storage areas tidy so that air circulates freely.
  • If you are adding a hot tub to your home, or have a large collection of plants, consider the amount of moisture they will add to your indoor air and ventilate accordingly.
  • Never vent your clothes dryer inside your home. If you have a gas- or propane-fired dryer you may also be venting carbon monoxide inside your home!
  • Investigate and identify any musty smells and odours. They are often an indicator that there is a hidden moisture problem.​

 

For more information check out these helpful articles!
For basement and crawlspace maintenance
For bathroom condensation tips 
For Carpets

For more information on preventing mold and hidden moisture please contact us today!

What Causes Mold in an Attic?

What Causes Mold in an Attic?
The Link Between Ice Damming, Condensation, and Mold
Spring is finally here and temperatures are beginning to warm up. Because of the long, cold, and snowy winter, one of the key concerns we are encountering is ice damming.
One of the major problems caused by ice damming is condensation in the attic. Condensation is the result of the mixture of hot and cold air, which causes water in the air to cool and collect. In most cases, this will show up as frost in the attic.
The major concern with moisture in the attic is that it can lead to mold which could impact your health and the structural integrity of the home.
According to Calgary based Epic Roofing and Exteriors, there are four key causes of condensation:
1. Lack of air flow in the attic.
2. Insufficient insulation around ducts; this is the common reason you will notice water entering through a bathroom or exhaust fan.
3. Water or snow entering through gooseneck flashing on the roof.
4. Snow covered vents do not allow the attic to exhaust effectively.
You may have condensations issues if you notice these following signs:
1. Staining on your ceiling.
2. Condensation on your interior walls/ceiling.
3. Water entering in through a bathroom fan or kitchen/microwave hood.
If you have noticed any of these condensation signs, then the best course of action is to locate the leak and determine the cause, which may require the assistance of a professional.
How Do I Know If I Have Mold?
Once the cause is identified, then the next step is to determine if you have a mold problem. Mold is nature’s recycler and will only grow and proliferate when moisture is present. Condensation in an attic, heat and humidity from household activities (cooking, showering, etc.), and the fact that the attic provides an excellent food source for mold, provides the ideal conditions. All mold needs to grow is 24 to 48 hours and as long as the proper conditions exist, it will continue to proliferate.
The best method to determine if you have mold is to contact a professional for a mold inspection and air quality test. During the inspection, tape or swab samples of suspected mold may also be taken and sent to a micro-biology lab. Once the type of mold and spore count is determined, the Professional Remediator will provide you with a scope of work on the best way to remediate the mold.
Dry Ice Blasting: The Best Attic Mold Remediation Solution
With respect to attic mold, one of the best methods to deal with it is with Dry Ice Blasting.
The key ingredient required to dry ice blast is dry ice pellets which are created by taking liquid carbon dioxide from a pressurized storage tank and expanding it at ambient pressure to produce snow which is compressed to make hard pellets.
Dry Ice Blasting is a process in which a blasting gun fires dry ice particles, about the size of rice, at extremely high speeds to impact and clean the surface. The particles are accelerated by compressed air. When the dry ice hits the surface, it goes from a solid state to a gas state without passing through a liquid phase and cleans the surface.
Dry ice blast cleaning is a favored method of cleaning mold from an attic because it is so effective and efficient. The video below demonstrates this.
We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact us. Peace of Mind, just a phone call away! Toll Free: 1-888-909-MOLD (6653)

Best Construction Blog: Your Vote Counts!

Best Construction Blog: Your Vote Counts!
On January 21st, we announced that our blog is a finalist for Best Construction Blog of 2014. Voting has started.
Got Mold? began publishing articles in 2011. Our goal back then and still today: create awareness of mold and asbestos. Since launching our blog, we have published 591 articles and plan to continue to publish articles for our readers. In 2013, we published 211 blogs and recently cataloged the top 70 blogs to make it easier for our readers to find what they are looking for.
If you enjoy our blog and appreciate the information we publish, please vote for us.
To cast your vote, click here and vote for Got Mold?.
Your vote counts!
As a final note, we greatly appreciate it if you encourage friends and family to vote as well. Many thanks in advance. 🙂