Radon Awareness FAQ

Saskatchewan & Alberta are known hotspots in Canada for radon gas.

What is radon gas? Radon is a colourless, odourless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soils and rocks.

How does radon get into a home? Radon can enter a home through foundation cracks and similar unsealed openings in basement walls and floors. Radon levels are generally highest in cellars and basements because these areas are nearest to the source and are usually poorly ventilated.

What does it do? Although you will experience no immediate symptoms, the gas can damage lungs at the DNA level, potentially leading to cancer, when inhaled at high levels over many years.

How serious is the threat? Radon is the leading source of lung cancer after smoking. It is estimated to kill 2,000 Canadians every year. Because there is some risk at any level, homeowners may want to have their homes tested and take any steps to reduce their exposure to radon, regardless of levels tested.

What are the changes to the radon guidelines? Health Canada’s new guideline was developed in partnership with the provinces and territories. It is now 200 becquerels (“bec‐ krells”) per cubic metre, much reduced from 800 becquerels per cubic metre.

Health Canada’s guideline for radon has always been based on the best available scientific evidence of health risk and two recent, independent scientific studies in Europe and North America have shown that the lung cancer risks extend to levels of radon found in some homes.

How do I know if my home is at risk? The only way to determine the actual concentration of radon in a home is by a direct measurement. got mold? can assist in getting a test available for your building envelope. The tests can take three to six months to complete. The best time to test is between September and April, when your windows and doors are closed.

Which is at a higher risk? New or older homes? Radon can enter any home. However, remediation options available to you may differ, depending on the type of foundation you have. If building a new home, speak to your builder about construction options that may reduce your risk. Every new home should be tested for radon by the homeowner after occupancy.

What if I get an unacceptably high reading? Radon concentrations in a home can usually be lowered by: reducing the emission from the ground into the building (for example, sealing cracks in cement foundations), and increasing the ventilation in basements and other enclosed areas where radon accumulates.

Is the remediation work costly? Costs typically range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the amount and type of work needed. Please note that radon ‐ reduction mediation techniques may also result in energy savings and lower your utility bills

Will radon lower my property values? That depends on individual buyers. Some might be scared off, whereas others might feel more comfortable knowing the owner has looked for radon and, where applicable, done the remediation.

Does Saskatchewan & Alberta have radon “hot spots”? Radon levels vary not only from one geographic area to another, but from house to house. A survey conducted by Health Canada in the 1970s showed that radon levels in certain Canadian cities were higher than in others. However, these same studies showed that it is impossible to predict whether any one house will have a high level of radon. Your home may have very little radon gas, while your neighbour’s house has significant levels.

How safe are multi‐unit dwellings? Based on past experience, multi‐story apartment buildings are much less likely to have radon problems.

How safe are public facilities (hospitals and schools)? Government and Certain jurisdictions are currently testing for radon, for example they are testing school divisions that wish to have their facilities tested. Initial testing has been completed. In the case of health care facilities, officials from Saskatchewan Health will work with Regional Health Authorities and other stakeholder groups to ensure that owners/operators of these facilities have the necessary information to determine the safety of their facilities, and collectively determine if strategies to address radon need to be developed to maintain safe facilities.

Fill out the form to the right to test your home of office for Radon.

Are airborne particles linked to sleep insomnia?

Are airborne particles linked to sleep insomnia?

They say the most intelligent people have the hardest time falling asleep at night because they have lots of things on their minds. Many things go through your mind a million times a minute once your head hits the pillow, in many cases this is the time of day when you can actually think clearer about the decisions and things that happened during the day. But, for many the thoughts don’t stop and things seem to pile up and this is when people begin to become more anxious and sometimes even depressing thoughts start to kick in.

Recent studies have shown a connection between hay fever and insomnia. In the North America alone, some 50 million people suffer from allergies as a result of changing seasons.

Research indicates that hay fever victims suffer from insomnia twice as much as people without allergies. Experts say people with allergic rhinitis on average take a longer time to get to sleep and they wake up more easily during the night. They also have to take more naps during the day and they get tired more easily.

During springtime our immune systems work to repel tree pollen from oak, elm, ash, birch, hickory, maple, cypress, walnut…and the list goes on. As a result, you will sneeze, cough, drip and blow and wipe your nose until it’s red as a stop sign!

In summer, you can look forward to spores coming from weeds, grasses and outdoor mold.

Come fall, there’s ragweed, sagebrush, and thistle to clog your nose.

During winter, you figure you’ll be indoors most of the time, so no worries, right? Wrong! Welcome to dust mites, animal dander and indoor molds. Now, you can add colossal headaches to your nasal congestion. Also, if you weren’t keeping an eye on your nooks and crannies you may even have mice living in your home causing a whole other issue with respiratory issues.

All of these particles build up in your nasal passages and your lungs causing your body to react differently, everyone reacts differently to different particles they breath in from their indoor environment. So, this is why it is so hard to prove if the link between mold and insomnia is a fact, other then most patients that came into contact with mold and other indoor airborne particles lived in homes that have flooded and were not properly remediated, or still have water damage in them.

If you believe that your home may be the reason you are sleep deprived, don’t wait until it starts effecting you! There are some beginning steps you can take to give you some peace of mind.

  1. Get an Inspection done. Either a visual inspection with an environmental professional who is trained to assist people and assess the building envelope and surroundings or, if you visually see that your home has water damage in it or can see mold. Get some samples taken!
  2. Ask your professional if they they believe it could be covered under insurance.
  3. After your tests come back from sampling (if needed) or after your evaluation with a professional, book with a trusted company that’s track record proves they do the job the right way the first time! Look at customer reviews, read testimonials, and above all else make sure they are educated!
  4. Enjoy a good night sleep knowing you did the right thing and hired the right company!

 

For more information please call 1-888-909-6653

 

I’ve got mold! What is it? & What do I do?

I’ve got mold! What is it? & What do I do?
Mold is natural to the environment, It can be indoors or outdoors. The basics of learning about mold begin with knowing that is the break down procedure of dead organic matter such as trees, leaves and when the snow melts. When the problem is indoors this is where the issue becomes very important and can cause serious long term health problems for you and your family. Mold spores are naked to the human eye and travel through the air. There are many different types of mold, but none can exist without water or moisture. If you have any questions regarding Mold and mold removal you can always go online to www.gotmold.ca or gotmoldcalgary.com our brothers in mold & grime and read more about the devastating effects mold can have on your life and anyone in your home.
If you have mold, it is important to get rid of it as fast as possible. Just because winter is right around the corner and things are starting to “dry up” it doesn’t mean this problem will disappear on its own. If you choose to hire a contractor (or other professional service) to do the clean up, make sure they are properly trained to deal with the matter at hand. Got Mold? in Saskatoon & Regina. are the area experts through out Saskatchewan & Alberta because of their experience and “know how” of the industry. Some other companies are known to miss a lot of the mold and put a sheet of drywall over your patch and call it a day. Mold has the ability to assist in a number of different situations where mold can be an issue. Even if the mold damage was caused by sewage or other causes of contaminated water.
Molds will have the potential to cause serious long term health problems and sometimes even fatal if it is not properly contained. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances. The most common responses to mold are runny nose, sneezing, red eyes and rashes. Some of these symptoms can happen immediately and some of them can be prolonged. It has to do with the individual. In some cases people are very allergic to mold. The symptoms can occur with people who aren’t even diagnosed with a mold allergy.
Some contractors treat the issue like it’s just a matter of replacing the carpet, while this may be a temporary fix “out of sight out of mind” it is more likely to cost you more in the long run by just doing the “quick fix” instead of doing it properly. It may still be attached to your floor boards or walls and could have spread by not properly containing the area.
Once you have determined that mold is the issue and know where and why it’s there, experienced mold remediation companies like Got Mold? know that you need to be properly covered when cleaning and removing it. Putting up a barrier between the infected area and the rest of the house so that the spores don’t expand and go elsewhere. Remembering that mold travels through the air and is invisible to the naked eye. This key fact is that you could have mold and not even know about it. In such a case, there are tests that the experts at Got Mold? can assist you with for peace of mind.
For further assistance in booking an air sample test or to have a mold removal expert assist you with your problem don’t hesitate to call the mold experts at Got Mold.

Got Mold? at the Home and Garden Show in Calgary, Alberta

Got Mold? at the Home and Garden Show in Calgary, Alberta
Currently our founder and President, James C. Watson, is heading to Alberta to support our Calgary franchisee at the Home and Garden Show
According to Jill Kivett, Show Manager and Spokersperson:
The Calgary Home + Garden Show is the most trusted resource for every home improvement project, inside and out. With big names like HGTV’s Bryan Baeumler and Tommy Smythe, plus more than 650 exhibitors and a slew of exciting new features, there’s real advice, real inspiration and real experts at every turn.
James Zolkavich, Managing Partner, of Got Mold? Calgary, is excited about the opportunity to have a booth at the show. In his words:
It is estimated that more than 100,000 people will attend the show. We believe this show will create significant exposure for Got Mold? and most importantly enable us to offer real advice to residents who are concerned about air quality, mold, and asbestos. We are here to help!
The show starts on Thursday, February 27th and ends on Sunday, March 2nd. For further details on the show, click here.

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

  

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

  

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

  

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

  

By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae