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.

 

 

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.

Mold Prevention & Information

Mold Prevention & Information

Mold is an important part of nature. It’s almost impossible to not be around mold at least once in your lifetime as mold surrounds us in our homes, offices, and outdoor environment. Outdoor mold is responsible for breaking down dead organic matter, such as fallen leaves and tree branches. However the difference is, you never want mold to grow inside your home. Keeping that in mind, every house has mold regardless of how new, how old or how clean you keep it. It’s virtually impossible to have a mold free home, even if you live in a plastic bubble there is probably a chance that a spore got in there!

There are many types of mold, but none of them can grow without moisture. One of the objectives of mold remediation professionals is to determine what type of mold is present in a property. This is important because it will help the professional and the property owner determine the relative health risk that the mold poses and how best to remediate it. Unfortunately, not all molds are the same, in fact there are over 1.5 millions species of mold in the world. However, only about 100,000 have been identified.

Mold is a fungus, as are mushrooms and yeast, and has a biologicial function as nature’s recycler consuming dead organic matter. Understanding it’s biological importance is essential to understanding why it poses health hazards. For the purposes of mold inspections and remediation, one of our goals is to identify whether or not the mold is allergenic, pathogenic, or toxigenic.

Toxic molds produce mycotoxins that will make anyone sick. Possible reactions include immune suppression and cancer. Mycotoxins are chemical toxins present within or on the surface of the mold spore, which can be inhaled, ingested, or touched. An example of this is aflatoxin, one of the most potent carcinogens known to mankind. Aflatoxin grows on peanuts and grains, and on some other foods.

In order to determine the exact species of mold, mold inspectors will usually recommend that a tape or swab sample is taken. Sometimes, air quality tests may also be recommend because air borne mold spores are not visible to the eye; such a test will enable the inspector to report back on the concentration of indoor spores. Samples are then sent to accredited laboratories who analyze them to determine the exact species. Over the years, we have received many lab reports that have identified these five most common indoor molds.

In fact, tiny mold spores are floating through the air around you right now; you just can’t see them. The spores are harmless until they land on a damp surface and begin to grow. That’s when mold colonies form and expand, damaging your indoor air quality and causing your asthma and allergies to flare up.

Use these mold prevention tips to keep that fuzzy, slimy stuff at bay.

Prevent Standing Water

Rooms with standing water are the most likely places for mold to start growing. Use these tips to keep standing water at a minimum:

  • Clean up spills quickly: Wet carpet, upholstery and blankets could harbor mold growth if you don’t act quickly to dry them. In 24 to 48 hours, damp materials become breeding grounds for mold.
  • Fix leaks without delay: If you see mold growing under the sink, behind the toilet or in the attic, it means you have a plumbing or roof leak. Clean up the mold and fix the leak to prevent the mold from coming back. Plumbing and roof leaks can go unnoticed for a very long time, so be sure to check hard-to-reach place regularly.
  • Wipe down the tub or shower: Mold growth is common in the bathroom where standing water abounds. To prevent mold growth on tub and shower tiles, wipe down wet surfaces with your towel after drying yourself. Hang the towel to dry instead of throwing it in the hamper right away to prevent mold growth on the fabric.
  • Check the slope around the home’s foundation: Your property should slope outward so rain water drains away from the foundation, not toward it. If this isn’t the case, water could collect around the foundation or enter the basement and lead to high amounts of mold growth.
  • Watch out for condensation: Condensation is most likely to occur in winter. When cold surfaces “sweat,” they become a potential location for indoor mold to grow. If moisture beads on windows, pipes or walls, act quickly to dry these wet surfaces. Then, find the source of the problem, which is most likely high humidity. Increasing ventilation, covering cold surfaces with insulation and increasing the indoor temperature are specific ways to combat condensation.

Reduce Indoor Relative 

Humidity Mold can grow indoors any time of year if the relative humidity is too high. For better mold prevention, strive to keep indoor relative humidity at around 50 percent in the summer and closer to 30 percent in the winter. To reduce indoor humidity, follow these tips:

  • Run the air conditioner in the summer: As you know, the A/C removes heat from indoor air, but it performs another function as well: removing excess humidity. This is the key to feeling cool and dry rather than cold and clammy when the air conditioner runs. A dedicated dehumidifier also removes moisture from the air. You can run this appliance separately from the air conditioner for a more comfortable, less humid interior on mild summer days.
  • Vent moisture-producing appliances properly: The clothes dryer is the most common moisture-producing appliance found in the average home. Sometimes, the dryer is improperly vented to the attic or crawlspace. Warm, humid air accumulates in these areas and encourages mold growth, which can destroy insulation and compromise your home’s structural integrity. To prevent these situations, simply make sure the dryer vents to the exterior.
  • Use exhaust fans year round: Showering and cooking are two daily activities that produce a lot of humidity. A good mold prevention tip is to run the bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to draw excess humidity outside when performing these tasks.

Mold prevention is very important for maintaining good indoor air quality. If you think you have a mold problem, please got mold? Disaster Recovery Services to learn about our mold clean up and mold remediation services.

National Dog Day – Thank you to the Mold Dogs!

National Dog Day – Thank you to the Mold Dogs!

Air sampling and related mould inspection techniques are expensive and laboratory analysis of the samples can take up to three weeks (depending on the particular test) before the results are known.

Traditional air sampling cannot pinpoint the source of mould; it merely confirms the presence of mould in the overall space where the sample was taken. The dog, on the other hand, is trained to alert to the exact location of the mold. In situations involving isolated contamination sites the Mold Dog is most often accurate within 1-2 metres of the actual source of contamination.

This means that costly air sampling can be limited to the contaminated areas and at the same time samples can be taken at the suspected contaminated site thus ensuring a higher degree of accuracy in the air samples themselves. If destructive (bulk) sampling is preferred, then the Mold Dog provides assurance that destructive testing will not be a ‘hit-or-miss’ proposition.

Another important benefit of pinpointing mould sources is that the cost of remediation (repairs) can be reduced dramatically by repairing only those areas which are actually contaminated.

(As a rough rule of thumb, a dog can inspect an average 2 storey house (2000 sq. ft.) in approximately 2 hours.)

Dogs have been used for years by military and law enforcement agencies to detect bombs and drugs, among other things. In Europe, dogs have been used to detect mold for over 20 years.

Mold frequently grows in hidden places, inside wall cavities, underneath floors and in inaccessible areas and is often not visible until the problem is more advanced. When moisture builds up from leaky pipes, roofs, basements or high humidity, conditions are ideal for mould growth. Moulds are easily disturbed and their spores can become airborne causing a possible threat to the building or the health of the occupants. Exposure to some types of molds can cause serious health effects such as respiratory infection, asthma attacks, skin rashes, eye infections, ear infections, nosebleeds and headaches. In rare cases toxic mould can cause cancer and even death.

Certified Mold Dogs detect and pinpoint exact areas of mold, which leads to lower remediation costs for homeowners and insurers.

A mold dog can get to places faster than people, and can detect mold in places that people can’t reach. Human inspectors might be in a building for four hours performing Indoor Air Quality tests and sampling and even using thermal imaging cameras before finding the mold where as a mold dog can sniff it out and represents the newest tool for consumers in North America to detect and more importantly, pinpoint mold in structures, thus lowering remediation costs.

We’ve been asked many times if its safe to expose dogs to such environments, but its been proven by vets that dogs don’t react quite as badly as humans do when being exposed to mold and spores. The reality of it is, it’s about as safe as using the dogs for bomb sniffing. Dogs are trained to be cautious and aware of the surroundings. They can identify the areas and notify the humans faster then getting test results, resulting in a faster response time. The only thing they can’t do is supply you the quote for the work.