When is it okay to buy chemical spray made to kill mold?

When is it okay to buy chemical spray made to kill mold?

As you may have seen in many department stores there are many different brands and types of sprays designated for killing mold. These products may not always be as they claim to be as they tend to only make the mold disappear for a short period of time but in most cases it has been reported that the mold returns. Why is this? A lot of the department store brands that you can purchase contain bleach which does what it does to your clothes – bleaches it… it doesn’t exactly kill it, but it removes the color making it seemingly impossible to see anymore but will return. The store brand sprays are typically recommended to purchase if you are wiping off mildew from your patio furniture, or pulling out a tent that wasn’t properly dried before being stored. These aren’t products that you should use in your home for large areas of mold. When it comes to your indoor environment the consumer should know what they should and shouldn’t be spraying in the air and what you may be breathing in.

There are reasons that you aren’t supposed to spray mold to begin with, When  you spray the mold… the pressure from the spray and the oxygen can release the spores from being contained to one area to multiple areas in your home. The spores are invisible to the human eye so you won’t be able to see them floating through the air but they will… in fact there is a great chance that as you sit and read this mold spores are floating near by. All homes have mold spores, you need to know that it all depends on what kind of mold is in your home and how much. If mold spores are abundant in the built environment there must be a source that needs to be removed and controlled. This is why it is important to have a serious situation evaluated by an environmental professional especially if you believe  your mold problem is causing you or anyone in your home health issues. Keep in mind, if a mold problem is not currently causing health issues long term exposure can and most likely will cause health concerns.

Ask Dr. Jackson Kung’u, Principal Microbiologist at MBL laboratories and he will inform you that dead mold spores are just as harmful to the human lung as the living and as a matter of fact the spore will still carry a toxin. To eliminate mold from growing you need to remove the source if it’s a leak, condensation or high humidity, you will continue to spray the problem but not eliminate it.

In some cases the wording on the labels of mold killing products are misleading. Consumers may have seen the same thing on food label products or cosmetic products. The chemicals render the mold colorless so they aren’t visible but keep coming back! Some consumers will continue to purchase the product thinking that they just need to apply more. If you are out to kill the mold we only recommend this for small cleanup projects like window sills and the best product to use is vinegar.

Indoor molds cause two key problems.

1. They destroy the material that they feed on, including bathroom walls, carpets, insulation, ceilings and any other cellulosic materials in the built environment.

2. Exposure to high concentrations of certain types of mold creates health problems for some individuals. 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 and fix the source.

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 as many of the mold spores as possible and completely eliminate the types of spores that aren’t typically found outside.

Some mold is toxic and can cause many health issues. In fact, some 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.

So ask yourself this… is it really worth putting the risk of your families health into an $8.99 bottle of water/bleach that will not guarantee that it will eradicate the problem? Contact a professional today!

For peace of mind we are always just a phone call away! 1-888-909-6653

Mold awareness month part 2 of 4

Mold awareness month part 2 of 4

Welcome back to our 2nd edition for mold awareness month 2015. If you missed the first issue you can read it here. In this article we would like to discuss what you should look for when buying or renting a home. Looking for these things before you buy or move into a new environment can definitely help you with your own health and the health of anyone you may have in your home.  Are you thinking about buying a home in the near future?

The busiest time in real estate sales tends to be during the spring and summer. If you are in the market for a new home, you should be aware of mold. Since mold remediation is costly, it is much better to thoroughly investigate a home before buying and inheriting a moldy mess.
Here are three clues that you should look for when you are investigating a home purchase.
WHAT’S THAT SMELL?
A bad musty smell is not a good sign because it could indicate mold growth.
Earthy, musty, mildew and even urine like smells are often an indicator of Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOC). Which are gaseous by-products produced during fungal metabolism. MVOC’S are an indicator of active and past mold growth.
WHAT’S GROWING ON THE WALLS?
If you see signs of growth on the walls, ceilings, corners of the basement, then you should be concerned. A small mold growth can easily turn into a large mold growth. It is probably a good idea to find out if the home has had any past moisture issues and if, in fact, they have been fixed.
WHY AM I SNEEZING AND WHEEZING?
Our founder, James C. Watson, is particularly susceptible to mold and in some cases can even sense that there is a mold problem when he walks into a home or office building because he begins to wheeze and can also have difficulty breathing. Keep in mind Watson’s sensitivities can sometimes be caused by smoke and or chemicals, etc. The only way to verify a mold problem is through proper inspection and testing. If you know that you are susceptible to mold and have respiratory problems when you do a walk-through, then there is a good chance that there are mold issues.
These are just three clues you should look for.  However, keep in mind, just because you do not find evidence of any of the above does not mean that there is not mold present.
The basic problem with mold is that it can be hidden. Home inspectors are not mold remediation specialists and do not have the expertise required to identify potential mold issues. Home buyers are well advised to invest in both a home inspection and mold inspection before purchasing a home, particularly if there is any indication that there are potential moisture issues. (Buyer Beware! How Reliable is Your Home Inspection?)
Since a home purchase is such a life changing event, once you have narrowed down the potential homes you are considering, it is a wise decision to invest in a mold inspection because home inspectors lack mold expertise.
Since extensive mold in a home can make it virtually unlivable, paying for a specialized mold inspection will save you thousands of dollars and your health.

If the first half of this article doesn’t apply to you because you are a renter, you may be looking at moving into a new apartment, house, condo or basement suite… Some of the same key things to look for will obviously apply to you but you should also consider your rights as a tenant as well,
In the past we have written articles about what to do if you have mold in your apartment this article also had a part two added to it for newer information and some new regulations that Canadians have rights to as tenants.

There are many things that you can do in your home or apartment to prevent mold that doesn’t necessarily need a company like got mold? to come in and remove.

1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct them. You can’t mold-proof your home, but you can make it mold-resistant. Do an audit of your home: where are the problem areas? Does the basement flood? Do you notice frequent condensation on an upstairs window? Is there a water stain on the ceiling from a persistent leak? Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters. Or it may be a matter of major excavation and waterproofing. Whatever the case, address the problem now. It might cost some money up front, but it will surely be more costly down the road if mold continues to grow unchecked.

2. Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can’t grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away. Seepage into the basement after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. If you’ve experienced a flood, remove water-damaged carpets, bedding, and furniture if they can’t be completely dried. Even everyday occurrences need attention: don’t leave wet items lying around the house, and make sure to dry the floor and walls after a shower. Don’t leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mold can spread quickly. Hang them to dry — preferably outside or in areas with good air circulation.

3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. It may be that your routine domestic activities are encouraging the growth of mold in your home. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn’t invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. Vent appliances that produce moisture — clothes dryers, stoves — to the outside (not the attic). Use AC units and dehumidifiers (especially in humid climates), but make sure they don’t produce moisture themselves by checking them periodically and cleaning them as directed by the manufacturer. Your energy-efficient home may be holding moisture inside, so open a window when cooking or washing dishes or showering, or run an exhaust fan.

4. Equip your home with mold-resistant products. Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. Traditional drywall is composed of a gypsum plaster core pressed between plies of paper. Mold-resistant drywall is paperless — the gypsum core is covered in fiberglass, making the surface highly water-resistant. Moisture-resistant drywall is especially valuable in areas prone to wetness, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and kitchens. Not only is traditional drywall more susceptible to mold than the paperless kind, but it is also difficult to rid of mold, and removal and replacement can be expensive. Mold-resistant gypsum board is also available; the core of the drywall is developed in such a way to prevent moisture absorption, and thus prevent mold growth.

5. Monitor humidity indoors. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store. You’ll also be able to detect high humidity by simply paying attention to potential problem areas in your home. Telltale signs of excessive humidity include condensation on windows, pipes, and walls. If you notice condensation, dry the surface immediately and address the source of moisture (for example, turn off a humidifier if water appears on the inside of nearby windows).

6. Direct water away from your home. If the ground around your home isn’t sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.

7. Clean or repair roof gutters. A mold problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking because of full or damaged gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.

8. Improve air flow in your home. According to the EPA, as temperatures drop, the air is able to hold less moisture. Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.

9. Keep mold off household plants. They’re beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house. Instead of getting rid of your plants, try adding a bit of Taheebo tea to the water you give to your houseplants. The oil of this tree, which withstands fungi even in rain forests, helps hinder mold growth in plant soil and can be found at natural food stores.

Finally, educate yourself on your region’s climate — be it the cold and wet Northeast, the hot and wet South, the hot and dry Southwest, or the cold and dry West — and how it responds to moisture. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to mold prevention. Knowing what works for your climate and your home is an important first step

 

Thank you for reading part two for mold awareness month. Please help us share this information with your friends and family. You never know who you could help. Stay tuned for part 3 of 4.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us anytime at 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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends. Got Mold? is grateful to our staff, vendors, and customers. We wish them all the best on this Thanksgiving Day.
Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life. -Northrup Christiane-
We can always find something to be thankful for, and there may be reasons why we ought to be thankful for even those dispensations which appear dark and frowning. -Albert Barnes-
Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving comes to us out of the prehistoric dimness, universal to all ages and all faiths. At whatever straws we must grasp, there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings. -J. Robert Moskin-
A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues. -Cicero-

PDAP Mould Remediation Guidelines For Private Claimants and First Nations Residents

PDAP Mould Remediation Guidelines For Private Claimants and First Nations Residents
Flooding in Southern Saskatchewan has had on impact on 1000s of residents. The clean up has begun, but of course with any flooding situation, mold is a concern.
According to the Government of Saskatchewan PDAP website:
It is expected that if the proper preventive measures are taken, most flood damages will not lead to the growth of mould. However, if mould is suspected after all reasonable precautionary steps have been taken, the services of a reputable mould remediation company may become necessary. The process will require an air quality test, estimates from contractors and the approval of your PDAP adjustor before the work can begin. You can read more about mould prevention and remediation in Section 3.6.4 of the PDAP Guidelines. (FAQ – Private Claimants – Including First Nations Residents)
Private Claimants can apply for assistance through PDAP. There is a dedicated section on their website devoted to this and can be found here.
When you scroll down to the bottom of their page, you will find a link, PDAP-General Guidelines. This document provides you with general claim guidelines and is very important to review if you intend to seek assistance from PDAP.
With respect to Mould Prevention and Remediation, pages 29, 30, and 31, specifically provide guidelines and information.
According to Section 3.6.4.1 mould prevention is the claimant’s responsibility. PDAP lists the precautionary steps that must be taken to protect the contents and building and assert that if such steps are taken then this should prevent the propagation of mould.
Section 3.6.4.2 states that if mould is still suspected after all the precautionary steps have been taken, the services of a reputable mould remediation company may become necessary. PDAP recommends that the steps listed below must be followed if you intend to contact Got Mold? or other restoration contractors for assistance.
1. The first step in determining if mould is indeed present in a building involves an air quality test. The claimant will need to secure a home inspector or air quality measuring service to perform this test before any remediation efforts begin.
2. If an elevated presence of mould does indeed exist, the claimant will contact a reputable mould remediation company requesting an estimate of costs to perform the recommended remediation steps needed to get clearance.
3. These estimates are to be forwarded to the claimant’s PDAP adjuster who will ensure that the scope of the repairs matches the quoted damage. With the PDAP adjuster’s approval, the mould remediation company may begin their work.
4. Claimant must get itemized invoices from mould remediation companies, outlining materials, labour, travel, mileage, hotels, meals, equipment, overtime hours and any sub-contract work. Failure to provide such documentation may result in limited assistance from PDAP.
5. Once the mould remediators have completed their work, clearance testing needs to be performed by an independent firm (not by the remediators who performed the work as this poses a conflict of interest) to determine if the required remediation was performed adequately. Clearance testing MUST be conducted while the containment materials are still up.
6. Once the clearance has been attained, containment materials may be removed and the repair process can begin.
7. If clearance cannot be given through mould analysis/testing, the contractor should not be paid until clearance can be made by further remediation methods and re-testing (and this at the contractor’s expense, not the client’s expense).
8. The claimant will then submit all applicable itemized invoices to PDAP, along with the favourable clearance test/report.
SUMMARY
If your property was affected by the most recent flooding and you believe that you took all necessary steps to prevent mold and still suspect that mould may be an issue, then PDAP can provide assistance. The Government of Saskatchewan has provided lots of information for potential claimants who want to get mould remediation done on their property, but it is important to follow the steps and procedures they stipulate. The links below should be reviewed if you intend to contact PDAP about a potential mold remediation claim:
PDAP Private Claims Process
FAQ – Private Claimants – Including First Nations Residents
PDAP-General Guidelines (Pages 29, 30, and 31 provide mould prevention and remediation guidelines)
Got Mold? Disaster Recovery Services, Inc. has been specializing in mold remediation since 2009 and has many happy clients. All of the steps listed above, we strongly recommend as well. Got Mold? prides itself on getting the job done right the first time and follows an 8-step process on all of our projects. When you are seeking the assistance of a mold remediation contractor, be sure to get YES answers to these 10 critical questions and be sure to compare apples to apples when you are making your final decision. If you have further questions or need assistance, do not hesitate to contact us. Peace of Mind is just a phone call away!