Improper Clean Up Leads to Mold’s Unwanted Return

Improper Clean Up Leads to Mold’s Unwanted Return
High River residents will never forget the grim sight of flood-stained refuse lining the streets, but although it’s in the landfill, basements are gutted and the attention is now on rebuilding, yet another remediation company is stressing the importance of the job being done right.(Kevin Rushworth, High River Times)
Recently, the High River Times ran a story-Improper Clean Up Leads to Mold’s Unwanted Return-to explain why mold is still a problem, even after an initial clean up.
Rushworth interviewed our founder and President, James C. Watson, and the Managing Partner of Got Mold? Disaster Recovery Services (AB) Inc., James Zolkavich.
According to Watson:
You need to make sure that everything is dry, clean and free of sewage contamination before putting anything back together. If you start putting insulation, vapour barrier and drywall up (before it’s dry), then in a few months or years, there’s going to be major concerns down there.
The key is to ensure that the home is clean and dry. If a rebuild is done and there are still underlying moisture or contamination issues, then mold could come back and haunt you, resulting in further costs to remediate the mold issues.
During the flood restoration process, many companies moved into High River and began offering services and may not have ensured that the job was done correctly and professionally. This is the reason, according to Watson that:
Right now we’re receiving calls from individuals who have issues where they don’t feel their basement has been cleaned up properly.
A specific case was pointed out by Zolkavich who met with a woman who had her home remediated, but is not sure if a proper job was done. According to Zolkavich:
She still has some mold in her basement; there’s still some mud in there from sewer back up, so she has to spend another several thousand dollars to finish up her basement just so it’s done 100 per cent correct.
Both Watson and Zolkavich believe all residents should:
Have a Third Party Verify the work. In short, invest in Third Party Verification. This will save you time and money in the long run.
One of the key steps in Third Party Verification is air quality sampling. In Watson’s words:
There’s mold spores everywhere, indoors and outdoors, but the biggest thing that people should be aware of is having air quality sampling done. The only way to determine a normal fungal ecology is to compare the outdoor air to the indoor air.
Another problem Watson and Zolkavich are encountering is sewage contamination, which is a concern particularly if the homeowner’s insurance already paid a restoration contractor to clean the area.
We’re going in and we’re testing some places where they had reliable, trust worthy or suspected trust worthy insurance restoration contractors come in and do clean ups. We take swab samples for sewage contamination to find out if there’s e.coli and fecal matter on the walls and floors from an improper clean up and those test results are coming back positive for contamination.
Both Watson and Zolkavich understand residents wanting to get back into their homes, but that if it’s not been cleaned properly, there will be more hurt down the road. The key is to get the job done right in the first place to avoid further problems in the future.
Mike Holmes, Canada’s most respected contractor, believes that patience is the key to ensuring the job is done right correctly as well:
Holmes labeled three stages in which problems could and have occurred. The first was the initial flood and the second was the clean up. Finally, there’s the fall out afterwards, he noted. “The fall out is going to be big because a lot of families want to get back to normality and they’re going to push contractors to get this job done so they can get back into their home,” he said. A lot of steps are being missed, Holmes explained, stating that if your house has had mold, an air test is crucial. If mold stretches past ten square feet, residents require a professional mold abatement company. “My biggest concern and we’re going to see this and you’re going to hear about it, are the people who close up too quickly in the wrong conditions,” he said. All moisture levels must be at a maximum of 15 per cent, Holmes said. If dry walling occurs too quickly, mold could grow behind the walls again. “The concrete is going to hold the most moisture and then transfer it through to the wood,” he said. “For every single family who closes up their basement above 15 per cent moisture content, all of it will be coming down again.” After the green light is given for air testing, the moisture levels must be checked, Holmes said. He said it’s crucial to gain proper documentation that remediation companies are performing the correct steps. “As long as you’re part of that and you’re there, odds are you’re going to have a green light and know that your home is safe to start to put back together,” he noted. “You don’t have to stand there and watch the air test guy,” he said. “You want to see the paper work; you want to talk to the people who give you the right information.” Holmes said the large-scale devastation creates two problems; one, people are impatient and secondly, there’s not enough businesses who can come and clean it up. “It’s not just mold, it’s a future of problems and it all stems to one thing, patience,” Holmes said, noting that problems can be alleviated in the building phase. Holmes said everything will be safe if people follow the correct remediation protocol and have documentation that it’s been done correctly. “More than anything, it’s having the patience to do it,” he said.(Holmes stresses importance of patience in High River rebuild)

Why is Asbestos a Health Hazard?

Why is Asbestos a Health Hazard?
A story released this month in Saskatchewan is calling for a mandatory registry of buildings containing asbestos. The reason is simple: asbestos is a carcinogen and eventually leads to diseases such as asbestosis and asbestos related cancer known as mesothelioma. One of the biggest concerns brought by Hurricane Sandy was the problem of asbestos exposure caused by building destruction releasing fibers in the air and concerns that Do It Yourselfers, will unknowingly expose themselves to asbestos. Asbestos is a concern that should not be taken lightly.
To bring this issue to your attention further, below are two videos. The first shows you what asbestos does to your body when it gets in your lungs and is brought to you by Work Safe BC. The second is a public service announcement by Mike Holmes, recognized as Canada’s most trusted contractor. Finally, thanks to Pinterest, I found an excellent Infographic on Mesothelioma, that explains what this disease is and it’s impact. Enjoy!
WORK SAFE BC EXPLAINS WHAT ASBESTOS DOES TO THE BODY

MIKE HOLMES WARNS DO IT YOURSELFERS ABOUT ASBESTOS

MESOTHELIOMA INFOGRAPHIC

mesothelioma_asbestos_cancer

To learn more about asbestos, check out these links.
Why is a Shower Essential to Asbestos Abatement?
What Percentage of Lung Cancers are Caused by Asbestos?
Saskatchewan, First Canadian Province, to Create Asbestos Registry
Canadian Asbestos Regulations
How Many People Die From Asbestos Each Year?
10 Interesting Facts About Asbestos in the USA [Infographic]
Renovating? Read This Message From Our President!

10 Interesting Historical Facts About Asbestos [Infographic]
ADAO – Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
BanAsbestos.us
The Asbestos Epidemic in America
WHO | Asbestos: elimination of asbestos-related diseases
The Jig Is Up For The Asbestos Industry!
Canada’s Asbestos Industry Could End!
Elliot Lake, Ontario Residents Exposed to Asbestos Dust
Should I Be Concerned About Asbestos?
The Politics of Asbestos: Canada’s Ugly Secret
Quebec Pumps $58 Million into Certain Death
Why is Asbestos so Scary?
Got Asbestos?
Asbestos Removal and Abatement
Asbestos Is The “Ideal Carcinogen”

Mike Holmes Comments on Asbestos

Image Courtesy of the Mike Holmes Facebook Fan Page

Mike Holmes Comments on Asbestos
“If you’re renovating, don’t handle material that may contain asbestos. Leave it to licensed professionals. They know what they’re doing.” (Mike Holmes)
Recently, I saw an ad on television sponsored by the Canadian Lung Association designed to raise awareness among do-it-yourselfers and homeowners about the impact of asbestos on their lung health. The basic message is don’t mess with asbestos!
This message is delivered by Mike Holmes, recognized as Canada’s most trusted contractor. At Got Mold? we could not agree more. Thanks for raising awareness Mr. Holmes! 🙂

In light of this awareness campaign, it is rather ironic that the Canadian Government and Quebec Government want to continue the trade in asbestos, a proven cancer causing carcinogen. Apparently, asbestos is bad for Canadians, but ok for use in countries like Thailand and India. One can only hope that the efforts to ban asbestos in both Thailand and India will succeed and the use of asbestos will finally end.
Got Mold? is dedicated to raising awareness of Asbestos. In addition to our weekly Asbestos in the News articles, you may want to check out these other informative postings about this important issue:

Elliot Lake, Ontario Residents Exposed to Asbestos Dust

Should I Be Concerned About Asbestos?

The Politics of Asbestos: Canada’s Ugly Secret

Quebec Pumps $58 Million into Certain Death

The Asbestos Abatement Process

Why is Asbestos so Scary?

Got Asbestos?

Asbestos Removal and Abatement

Asbestos Is The “Ideal Carcinogen”