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.

 

 

Why Should I Have a Spring Mold and Seepage Inspection?

Why Should I Have a Spring Mold and Seepage Inspection?
I can’t stress enough the importance of inspecting your house on a regular basis. Many people live in an unhealthy environment without even knowing they’re endangering not only themselves, but their pets and kids as well. (Robert Bollinger, President of Budget Waterproofing)
Spring has sprung, so to speak, and one of the major concerns at this time of year is seepage which essentially means that moisture and water from outside the home is getting inside the home. The part of the home that is most susceptible to seepage is the basement because it’s underground, and there’s almost always moisture somewhere nearby. Seepage will usually start because the foundation develops cracks allowing moisture in. If you think you already have a seepage issue, don’t hesitate to contact us, the sooner the situation is addressed, the better.
Here are some tips to prevent water intrusion into your home due to heavy rains and the spring melt off:
1. Clean your eaves-troughs and have them inspected yearly;
2. Make sure your down spouts are not clogged with leaves and debris;
3. Have your down spouts directed away from your house and if possible eight feet or more away from the house;
4. Make sure to build up any low areas in order to slope them away from your foundation, allowing water to travel away from your house; and
5. Install a sump pump!
It is also very important that you know where your water main valve is located just in case you spring a leak in your pipes. Your goal is to prevent excess moisture from entering your home which may occur because of rain and flooding and/or busted pipes from dramatic temperature changes.
The primary reason you want to prevent excess moisture and water from getting in your home is to prevent mold growth.
Mold needs four critical ingredients to grow:
1. Mold spores
2. Mold food which is almost any substance that contains carbon atoms, like wood, paper, and organic fibers.
3. The right temperature of 5 degrees to 38 degrees.
4. Finally, moisture.
Spring is a season that promotes mold growth because it provides the ideal environment for Mold’s Favorite Places in Your Home.
Since mold needs warmth, humidity, and organic matter to grow, it is important that you look for these key signs of growth:
1. Fogged windows;
2. Mold stains on windowsills, at roof line, in tile grout, under carpet and behind wallpaper;
3. Mildew or musty odors;
4. Dampness, condensation or rusting;
5. Worsened allergy symptoms or respiratory conditions.
Mold is a growing concern because some molds are toxic and can cause many health issues.

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)

Why Do Ice Dams Cause Mold?

Why Do Ice Dams Cause Mold?
Recently got mold?™ was called by a customer that is experiencing mold caused by an ice dam. The long winter in Saskatchewan and Alberta and snow accumulation on roofs is leading to significant ice damming problems which ultimately could lead to mold issues. Pictured below is a home in Calgary that will have ice damming issues…notice the icicles!

Calgary Home With Ice Dam

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)

Three Key Reasons You Should Consider Thermal Imaging

Three Key Reasons You Should Consider Thermal Imaging
Earlier this week, we discussed the problem of water stains and identifying the cause of the problem.
One method to identify potential causes of water leaks and moisture intrusion is to have a professional conduct a thermal imaging inspection.
Thermal Imaging, also known as Infrared Thermagrophy, are visual displays of the amount of infrared energy emitted, transmitted, and reflected by an object. Thermal imaging involves the use of high tech cameras that create pictures of heat rather than light. When used in a situation where there is suspected water intrusion, these cameras help find areas that are not clearly visible to the naked eye.
According to our founder, James C. Watson, thermal imaging is important for three specific reasons:

DETECTING INSUFFICIENT OR IMPROPERLY INSTALLED INSULATION
Thermal imaging can detect hot/cold spots in the wall where insulation has slouched over time, was incorrectly installed, or where insulation was never installed to begin with. This information is critical when trying to reduce your heating costs in winter and cooling costs in summer.
In addition, Watson points out that new home buyers should invest in a thermal imaging audit to determine if the insulation has been installed properly. The reason is simple: once the drywall is in place, it is not possible to see whether or not the insulation is properly installed.
MOISTURE INTRUSION / MOLD GROWTH

Thermal imaging will not detect mold, but will detect temperature variations behind a wall to assist in finding cold spots that may indicate a potential moisture or water intrusion issue. Once an area of potential concern is found, moisture meters can then be used to confirm if there is in fact moisture behind a wall. If a moisture problem is detected, then it is important to act quickly to fix the problem to prevent mold!
Detecting where moisture has entered your home will allow for quick repairs in order to stop mold from growing and causing health hazards. Thermal imaging can detect moist areas, allowing the home owner to repair certain areas instead of removing all materials and doing a major overhaul. This will reduce the cost of the repair significantly.
Identifying and removing moisture also stops your structural materials from rotting, which will maintain your home’s structural integrity, keeping your home safe for those who live in it.
LOOSE OR DAMAGED ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
Loose, damaged, or dirty connections can result in heating. As the connection degrades over time, the circuit breaker can start to trip under little apparent load, circuit breakers can fail, or worst of all, a fire can occur. Utilizing thermal imaging to inspect the various electrical connections in your home will allow you to detect these problems and remedy the fault before any damage has occurred.
In summary, thermal imaging is essential if you are considering buying a home and is well worth investing in for your existing home because thermographic imaging cameras are able to detect serious problems the naked eye can’t see, such as: plumbing leaks; air duct; leaks; moisture intrusion; inadequate or non-existent insulation; heating and cooling losses; abnormal heat from an appliance or electrical system; unwanted animals; and poor construction. All of these problems can cause extensive damage to your home.