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air quality testing

5 Reasons Why You Should Do Periodic Air Quality Testing

Posted by | Home Air Quality | No Comments

There’s endless information about outdoor air pollution, but what about the air in our lounges and kitchens?

Since we spend plenty of time indoors, the quality of the air we breathe while inside has become a significant concern. From spacious houses to cozy apartments, having clean, healthy air inside our rooms can improve our overall health and wellbeing.

But how do you know if you have clean air indoors? Well, in many cases, you need advanced air quality testing technology, such as VOC testing devices and carbon monoxide detectors.

Whether you do it on your own or use a professional air quality testing service, testing the air can help you make the best decisions for your home.

In this piece, we’ll discuss the importance of indoor air quality, how it’s measured, and five reasons to test your indoor air quality.

Why is the Quality of Indoor Air Important?

Indoor air pollutants may cause a wide variety of problems ranging from instant ones like eye and nose irritation to long-term medical conditions like heart disease and cancer.

There are obvious benefits to having clean indoor air. After all, if you aren’t breathing in huge amounts of pet dander or dust, you’re unlikely to suffer from coughing or respiratory problems like COPD and asthma.

But not all air pollutants are as noticeable as dust. Some have no smell and are completely invisible. Some pollutants like asbestos or lead may have been in your house for ages. This makes it even harder to detect and remove them.

Measuring Air Quality

Now that you know why it’s essential to have a clean environment indoors, you can take smart steps to improve the air inside your house. However, you can’t get rid of the contaminants unless you know what they are. This means you must do air quality testing.

When you want to test your indoor air for various pollutants, you’ve got two options. You can test the air yourself or hire a professional.

What Are the Reasons to do Indoor Air Quality Testing?

The quality of the air in your home is vital for your health as well as comfort. Certain air pollutants may have long-term effects on your health.

Here are five main pollutants that every homeowner should know before performing an air quality test in their home.

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Allergies and Asthma
  • Mold
  • Radon
  • VOCs

Carbon Monoxide Gas

Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the biggest issues many of us face at home. From 2010 to 2015, 2, 244 people died due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. You might be inhaling this toxic gas if you’ve got a faulty gas line, blocked fireplace vent, or damaged water heater.

Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, so installing carbon monoxide alarms near fuel-burning appliances and bedrooms is the best way to uncover it.

Carbon monoxide is life-threatening because it stops oxygen from getting to the vital organs. Other symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, and nausea. At worst, you will die.

That’s why it’s critical to have an expert conduct an air quality test in your home.

VOCs

After a simple paint project or remodel, it’s necessary to conduct a test for VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Volatile organic compounds are released by building materials, aerosol cans, and paint products. They’re mostly found indoors and are a major contributor to indoor air pollution.

If you’ve got frequent throat, nose, or eye irritation in your household, testing the VOC levels in your air can be important in finding a solution.

Although air quality testing for many VOCs may be unreliable because of the lack of indoor air quality standards to interpret results, it may help detect very dangerous VOCs like formaldehyde. This toxin is found in fabrics, wood, combustion appliances, tobacco smoke, etc.

Radon

Radon is an odorless, invisible, and tasteless gas that may be present in your home. According to EPA, it’s the leading contributor to lung cancer in America.

Radon may be found outdoors and indoors, but it is most often found indoors. It occurs when uranium in the soil breaks down naturally, moving through the ground and up into the air. Buildings then trap radon inside, which is why it is a serious threat to homeowners.

When buying a house, you should always have an expert conduct a radon test. If they find above average radon levels, they can help you neutralize the problem.

Allergies and Asthma

If you or your loved ones suffer from asthma or allergies, air quality testing can help you know what to do to ease the symptoms of both conditions.

Indoor air irritants and allergens play a significant role in the intensity of an asthma attack. A residential indoor air quality testing can find out if there’s dust, pet dander, or pollen in the air.

Pet dander, dust, and mold are a significant trigger for people with allergies or asthma. Even if you own no pet, it’s still advisable to test the air and find out what could have been in your home before or if there’s a creature bringing it in.

Mold and Mildew

Apart from chemical pollutants, there are all kinds of biological pollutants to worry about, such as mold, fungus, mildew, and even viruses and bacteria.

These vicious microorganisms thrive in humid, warm air. That means you must be extra careful about reducing the humidity and taking care of any water leaks in basements and bathrooms.

Mold can cause various symptoms such as respiratory conditions (especially for those with breathing problems or asthma), as well as skin and eye irritation.

Unlike other air pollutants, mold can be detected by the eye, although some situations may require an air quality test for mold.

The Bottom Line

We all want to breathe clean, healthy air at home and not the contaminated air outside. An air quality testing will help to uncover the dangerous pollutants in your home.

To fix the quality of air in your home, be sure to talk to the specialists at CleanFirst Restoration. Contact us to set up an appointment.

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asbestos

Asbestos: Facts You Should Know About This Dangerous Substance

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You might think that asbestos exposure was more of an issue decades ago, before it was known how harmful it is to our health. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Currently, 125 million people worldwide are exposed to asbestos at their job, and millions more exposed daily.

It’s estimated that 50% of occupation-related deaths are caused by asbestos.

We’re almost positive that you’ve heard of asbestos before, but do you know exactly what it is? Or what it can do to our bodies if we’re exposed?

Since asbestos is found in many different products and involved in many occupations, it’s important to understand the serious health risks associated with it. Keep reading to learn what asbestos is, and what you can do to avoid exposure.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos isn’t just one thing. It refers to a combination of 6 mineral components that combine to form fiber bundles. These bundles have been, and still are, used in a number of industrial applications.

Where Is Asbestos Used?

Since asbestos is resistant to heat, chemicals, fire, and other harsh elements, it’s often used in places where these things are common. This includes:

  • Building/construction
  • Insulation
  • Roofing
  • Shipbuilding
  • Automotive industry
  • Plastics
  • Tiling/ceilings

These are by no means all of the places where asbestos is used. But from just these few examples, you can see how asbestos can essentially be found anywhere and permeates many aspects of our society.

While many governments now ban the use of asbestos in buildings and other applications, older buildings, cars, and products still contain asbestos.

You Can Still Be Exposed to Asbestos

Like we just said, you can still be exposed to asbestos on a day to day basis. It’s not rare, either. It’s estimated that around 240,000 Canadian homes could still contain asbestos.

Even though new homes and buildings aren’t being made with asbestos, the risk of exposure is still high.

What Can Asbestos Exposure Lead To?

For all this talk about exposure, we haven’t really gone over the dangers of asbestos. The fact is that asbestos is a carcinogen, meaning it can (and often does) cause cancer.

There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. Most carcinogens have a certain level that’s OK to be exposed to. For example, formaldehyde is a carcinogen, but it won’t cause cancer when you’re exposed at low levels.

Asbestos is always dangerous no matter how much or how long you’re exposed to it. In Canada, asbestos exposure is the number one cause of occupational death.

And while Canada does have laws regulating and banning asbestos for current day use, that doesn’t erase the fact that it’s already in many buildings and millions of Canadians have been exposed for years.

Most of the damage from asbestos will be in your lungs. When you’re exposed to asbestos, you inhale it and it goes directly to your lungs. It’s there where it will cause the most damage.

Asbestosis

Even if you don’t develop a serious illness from asbestos, you can experience a number of negative health effects. Some symptoms you could experience include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dry cough
  • Chest tightness
  • Appetite loss

If you’re exposed for a long time, you can eventually develop asbestosis. Usually, you won’t notice these and other more serious symptoms until 20-30 years after you were exposed.

If you develop asbestosis, you can also experience deformities in your nails along with enlarged fingertips.

Diagnosing asbestosis will involve a few steps taken by your doctor. First, they’ll listen to your breathing to see if they identify any abnormal breath sounds that would indicate lung damage.

They’ll want to take a chest x-ray to examine your lungs as well. They might also want to perform tests to evaluate your lung function.

In the long term, this can cause chronic lung issues, and it can lead to fatal complications. You can’t cute asbestosis, but you can take steps to make breathing easier with inhalers or oxygen masks.

Cancer Risk

Perhaps the biggest risk of asbestos exposure is the huge risk of developing cancer.

Symptoms of lung cancer or other types of cancer caused by asbestos exposure (most often mesothelioma) won’t develop until years after the initial exposure. It can take 15-40 years after initial exposure to develop an illness.

The general symptoms to look out for include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistant cough
  • Chest pain/tightness/discomfort
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Weight loss/loss of appetite
  • Chronic lung infections

These symptoms mirror those for asbestosis, so you’ll need to get a doctor’s diagnosis to be sure.

Unfortunately, these symptoms don’t arise until the cancer reaches a later stage. The best way to avoid this is to have regular screening by your doctor, especially if you know that you’ve been exposed to asbestos.

How to Protect Yourself

After all of this scary information, you might be freaked out. The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself from asbestos exposure, even after you’ve been exposed.

If you know that you’ve been exposed to asbestos, especially in large doses over a long period of time, then you should have regular screenings and check-ups with your doctor. This way, you can catch any disease or cancer early, which will give you a better chance at recovery.

If you believe your home contains asbestos, there are ways to remove it. Home and buildings built before 1986 have a high chance of having asbestos. You should look into asbestos removal to make sure your home is safe to live in.

Important Asbestos Facts: Wrapping Up

Asbestos is a dangerous carcinogen that can cause serious illness. While you won’t see or develop symptoms right away, exposure is extremely serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Hopefully this article has helped you understand the dangers of asbestos a little more so you can take steps to avoid exposure and make your home safe.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can answer any questions you have about your home, asbestos removal, and more.

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causes of mold

10 Common Causes of Mold in Homes

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One of the most common forms of mold found in many homes is known as Alternaria.

You may know exactly what it looks like, typically characterized by its velvet-like texture and dark green and brown coloring.

Alternaria mold tends to grow where ever dampness occurs, and throughout the average home, this could be a number of obvious places.

It’s a hyper-allergenic mold, meaning long-term exposure can lead to respiration problems in the upper respiratory tract, nose, and mouth.

So if you’re wondering what the exact causes of mold could be in your home, we outline it all in this blog.

Common Causes of Mold in Your Home

Mold can grow just about anywhere but is most commonly found in areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, cabinets, and near pipes or ducting areas. It only needs a few elements to grow and proliferate throughout your home, the key element being moisture.

Mold behind drywall may be one of the most common household problem areas as drywall, wood, and cotton are ideal food sources.

Ceiling mold is also highly common due to a lack of ventilation and accumulation of moisture.

If the temperature is right, there is a moisture source and enough oxygen, you can be sure mold will begin to grow and spread.

Here are 10 of the most common causes of mold in your home:

1. Persistent Humidity

If you live in an area where humidity is consistently high, you may have a problem with mold. This is only natural due to the high moisture content in the air.

This type of mold will most likely grow on walls, ceilings, in dark closets, under the kitchen sink, etc.

Mold caused by humidity is especially common if you live near the ocean or a large body of water and could also be worsened by a lack of ventilation.

Moisture build-up in the air indoors could massively increase mold growth, so make sure to ventilate your home well, especially in the warmer months.

2. Leaking Pipes in the Home

This is one of the most common causes of mold behind drywall and in under-sink cupboards.

Leaking pipes can also contribute to ceiling and wall mold, as a leak could be coming from the geyser or piping in your roof. If you notice a build-up of mold in any of these areas, the natural choice would be to check your piping for leaks!

3. A Leaking Roof

A roof which is partially damaged due to wear and tear or severe weather conditions can quickly lead to mold build-up in your home.

Over time, a slow leak can build-up a huge backlog of moisture in your ceiling or attic. This can eventually proliferate into mold that grows on walls and ceiling boards.

Make sure to check your attic or the tiles and facades of your ceiling for damage and potential leaks to avoid a mold problem in your home.

4. A Build-Up of Condensation

During the winter time, some homes may experience a build-up of condensation on cold surfaces due to the fluctuations in temperature.

Some of these cold surfaces include metal piping, concrete surfaces, floor tiles and even brick walls.

If you notice that condensation build-up is a real problem in your home, make sure to ventilate each room properly in order to remove the condensation.

Otherwise, these condensation pockets are prime real estate for mold spores and the proliferation of mold growth.

5. Poor Ventilation in Your Home

As we mentioned before, a poorly ventilated home is a magnet for the growth of mold and the spreading of mold spores.

The stagnant air throughout your home is one of the best environments for the growth of mold. So make sure to rid your home of it on a daily basis!

Steam created by appliances, cooking, and bathing creates humidity in your home, leaving surfaces damp and sticky.

Remove the moisture from your home and you’ll remove the likelihood of mold growth.

6. Wet and Damp Clothing

Picture this: you’ve just done a load of washing, taken it out of the washing machine, and set it aside to hang up later on. But you forget and the damp clothing sits for a full day, if not more.

Believe it or not, mold only needs 24 hours to grow and proliferate.

During the warm months of spring and summer, wet or damp clothing lying around your house can greatly contribute to an existing mold problem. So remember to hand your washing ASAP!

7. Home Flooding

Unfortunately, one of the realities you’ll face after you experience the drama of home flooding is mold growth.

Your home will typically take days, or even weeks, before it’s completely dried out after a flood, so this makes the ideal environment for mold to grow.

What’s more concerning is that this environment can also lead to the growth of dangerous, toxic mold known as Stachybotrys chartarum.

You will need to bring in a mold cleaning expert after your home has completely dried out for mold testing and a thorough inspection.

8. A Damp Basement

Due to the fact that they are below ground level, it’s only natural that a basement is exposed to higher levels of moisture.

They are also more likely to contain greater levels of humidity due to a lack of ventilation or poor circulation of air.

As such, this combination of both dampness and increased humidity will lead to the growth of mold.

Water leaks from your home above may also accumulate in your basement. This is why you should keep your basement well-maintained in order to prevent a dangerous mold outbreak.

9. Foundation Dampness

If the slope of your yard has been landscaped in such a way that water fails to drain away from your house, you could have a mold problem on your hands.

Rainwater and garden moisture can slowly trickle and pool around the foundations of your home, contributing to the growth of mold on walls.

A landscaping expert can help modify your yard and its slope. Alternatively, drains can be dug out to direct water away from your foundations.

10. A Leaking Air-Conditioning System

Most homes throughout the country feature an air conditioning system, which can bring with it the growth of mold known as Mucor.

This is an allergenic type of mold which grows quickly into thick, white patches below leaking air conditioning systems or due to condensation build-up.

Make sure to check your air conditioner piping, ducting and filters to ensure there are no leaks or a build-up of moisture.

Looking for Mold Removal Specialists?

With over 25 years of experience in the industry of mold removal, we are proud to say we are one of the best in the business in Toronto and GTA.

If you’re looking for a free mold inspection, information on the causes of mold or mold removal tips, we’re happy to help!

Get in touch with Clean First for unrivaled experience, professionalism and mold removal expertise.

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how to tell if you have mold

7 Signs You’re Dealing With a Mold Problem

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What IS that smell?

If you’ve ever walked into your home and been smacked in the face with a musty or damp odor, there’s a strong chance you have a mold problem somewhere.

It can be tricky knowing how to tell if you have mold because you can’t always see it. Mold can hide behind or between walls, in hidden corners of the basement, or behind furniture that lives close to a wall.

Identifying a mold problem is important, though, as left untreated it will cause serious damage to walls, wooden frames, and your interiors. It can also seriously affect your health, such as causing chronic headaches or chest problems.

If you’re not sure whether you have a mold growth problem, answer these seven questions to decide if you need a mold removal expert to help.

How to Tell if You Have Mold: 7 Warning Signs

These seven warning signs will help you determine whether you have a mold problem. Ask yourself these questions to work out if you need a mold expert to clean your home.

1. Are Your Allergies Playing Up?

Do you have a chronic stuffy nose? Is your skin breaking out in rashes?

Allergy symptoms caused by mold can range from mild to severe and can appear even when there’s no visible mold. The spores from some mold types can be airborne, which will affect your breathing, irritate your eyes, or give you a ‘stuffed up’ feeling as your sinuses become inflamed.

If your symptoms are alleviated with an over-the-counter anti-histamine it’s likely that there is something in your environment causing an allergic reaction.

There are other factors to consider, such as a dust allergy, but if you’ve never had this problem before in your home it could be an indicator that you have a mold problem.

2. Is There a Strange Musty Smell?

A musty smell isn’t always a sign that you have mold but it can be a good indicator that there is something you need to investigate.

If there is a strange smell that’s started to become more apparent in a frequently used room, it could be mold.

If your attic or basement has a strong musty smell you should get it checked out, too. These rooms are prone to hiding mold problems that go undiscovered for years.

Remember to check your attic and basement at regular intervals through the year for signs of mold. Left unchecked, you may find it spreads without your knowledge until the problem becomes much more expensive!

3. Can You See Grime or Slime?

This might sound obvious, but if you can see mold then you’ve got mold. However, it comes in different forms and what you might think is just age-old dirt or a mild case of mildew could indicate the start of a more serious mold problem.

If you’re looking how to tell if you have mold, check the corners of rooms and your windowsills for dark spots. There could even be a slight shine to a wall as some mold types feel a bit ‘slimy’ to the touch.

4. Has Your Home Ever Flooded?

If you’ve ever had a flood in your home you’re at risk of mold. Even if you thought the floor and walls of your basement or ground floor had fully dried out, mold can be slow-growing over time and thrive behind damp plasterboard or wallpaper.

If your home has flooded in the past and you’re now experiencing symptoms of mold, check your house insurance policy. You may be able to have full mold cleaning and repair covered by your insurance, so it’s always worth checking.

5. Do You Get Condensation on Your Windows?

Condensation is a sign of too much water in the internal atmosphere of a house. You’ll notice it most on cold days but you can get condensation at any time of year.

The most common place to have condensation on the windows is the bathroom. To prevent mold from growing, make sure your bathroom is always well ventilated, especially after taking a shower or bath.

You need to install a way for the steam to easily escape and encourage air flow to dry the atmosphere as fast as possible.

Too much moisture in the air creates a damp environment over time, and this leads to mold growth.

6. Have You Had a Water Leak?

If you’ve ever had a water leak, whether caused by old plumbing or frozen pipes, there’s a chance that you have a mold problem.

If you haven’t had a water leak in your home that you’re aware of, but there is a damp and musty smell around areas of water in particular – such as washers, kitchen sinks, and bathrooms – it’s best to investigate for mold.

7. Do You Have a Chronic Cough or Headaches?

Mold spores can cause a chronic cough in people who otherwise show no symptoms of allergic reactions. A chronic cough should always be checked out by your physician, but if they can’t find a good reason for your problem the issue could be mold.

Black mold is a toxic form of fungus that can also give you headaches, dizziness, or affect your behavior such as shortening your attention span and focus. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and your doctor has ruled out more obvious causes, it’s essential to have a mold expert investigate as soon as possible.

What to Do if You Have Signs of Mold

If you can see mildew or mold on your walls and it appears to only be a small amount (less than a few feet square) try a bleach solution. There are many over-the-counter cleaning products designed to tackle common mold problems in the home, and any of these will do the trick on new mold.

If your mold has taken over, or you’re still experiencing symptoms of mold despite no visible evidence left following your bleach treatment, it’s time to call the experts.

Mold removal experts are trained in the safest and most effective ways to remove mold from your home for good, which will minimize the possibility of the problem returning.

Remember: once you’ve treated your home for mold, put steps in place to prevent recurrence. Make sure areas are well ventilated and consider using a dehumidifier if your home is in a particularly damp environment such as next to a lake.

Need Help? Ask a Mold Expert

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of the warning signs on how to tell if you have mold, it’s time to ask a mold expert to help.

An expert will have access to the best mold-cleaning solutions suitable for your property so you can get your mold problem under control in no time. Contact us today to find out how we can help you get your property clean and mold-free.

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asbestos removal

When and Why You Should Get Asbestos Removal for Your Home

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Did you know that asbestos used to have the nickname “magic mineral?” After all, in its pure form, it can resist intense heat, chemicals couldn’t corrode it, and it’s a powerful insulator.

Impressive, right?

It turns out though, that its nickname should be “black magic mineral.” Because all these seemingly amazing properties come with a price:

The lives of about 2.1 individuals in every 100,000 Canadians every year. Mesothelioma, a type of asbestos-caused lung cancer, claimed the lives of 515 people in the country in 2010 alone.

These numbers show how crucial prompt asbestos removal is if the material is present in your home.

But how do you determine its presence? And why should you get professionals to remove it from your home?

Don’t worry, we’ll answer all these questions (and more). So, keep reading to learn more about asbestos abatement!

A Quick Overview of Canada’s Gold

Canada has a rich asbestos mining history. With large quantities found throughout Quebec, British Columbia, and Newfoundland, it’s no wonder why the Great White North considered it as “Canada’s Gold”.

It’s also for this reason that its use lasted up until the 1990s. Homes in the country built before the 90s feature many asbestos-containing materials, from shingles to insulation. Even other household products, like furnishings such as carpeting, also used asbestos.

The thing is, even when studies on the dangers of asbestos came out, the country continued mining the mineral and manufacturing products containing it. It was only in 2012 that the last asbestos mine in Canada closed.

After causing 1,900 cases of lung cancer and another 430 of mesothelioma in 2011, the government plans to have a complete asbestos ban in 2018.

More on the Dangers of Asbestos, According to Experts

The fact that health and medical expert organizations say that asbestos is a carcinogen should be enough for you to remove it from your home.

Carcinogens are substances that cause cancer (or supports its growth and development). According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), asbestos is one such substance. The organization classifies it as a human carcinogenic.

Aside from the above-mentioned mesothelioma, this mineral has also shown to cause cancers of the lung. It affects even the larynx and the ovaries.

Two other organizations from Canada’s neighboring nation the U.S. also categorize what was once known as The Great White North’s Gold as carcinogenic to people. These include the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Are You Exposing Yourself to Asbestos?

Everyone will have some sort of asbestos exposure at some point in their life. That’s because the air, water, and soil around us contain it. The good news is that experts say there are only low levels of it.

In other words, you won’t get sick from this exposure. So, the question is, when does it become dangerous?

The life-threatening hazards start when you receive constant exposure to the asbestos fibers. Those who have jobs involving direct contact with the material take the most brunt of its health effects.

That’s why many workers in the construction, electrical, plumbing, welding, and many other industries have succumbed to diseases associated with the mineral.

For average consumers, this may happen if their home has degraded asbestos-containing materials. For instance, walls, ceilings, or floors with asbestos in them has cracked. This may be due to natural wear and tear, but it may also be intentional, such as in the case of a renovation.

Simply put, undisturbed asbestos is safe. Once it breaks or becomes agitated, its fibers will already contaminate the air. This is when it becomes a danger to yourself and your family.

Determining When You Need Professional Asbestos Removal Services

But this banning doesn’t automatically mean your house is free of this human carcinogen. This is why you need to determine you live in a safe home free of this cancer-causing material.

There are ways for you to identify asbestos in your home. For starters, if your home’s construction dates to 1986 (or earlier), then it most likely has asbestos-containing materials. Here are a few other parts of your home that may house this deadly material:

  • Vinyl tile flooring
  • Insulation
  • Vermiculite in the attic or crawlspaces

Also, like molds in the ceiling, some Canadian homes may also have asbestos in this area. If your home features architectural decorations on the plaster ceilings, then beware. There’s a high possibility that these design effects have asbestos fibers in them.

In any case, as soon as you’ve verified you have these materials in your home, the next step is to contact asbestos remediation experts. Keep in mind that while you can look for these materials on your own, it doesn’t mean you can already remove them by yourself.

The Need for Professionals When Removing Asbestos

The steps on how to remove asbestos require specialized equipment and tools. Think masks, fiber containment systems, and personal protective equipment (PPE) just to name a few. Without these devices, you put not only yourself at risk of exposure, but the people around you too.

Although homeowners don’t have the same strict and rigid regulations when it comes to asbestos handling, the possibility of developing cancers is one risk you shouldn’t take. It’s for this reason you should never handle asbestos removal on your own.

Whether you’ve already found asbestos-containing materials in your home or you plan to renovate or remodel one that contains such materials, it’s best you leave the task of removing it to pros. This is the safest, fastest way to eliminate the cancer-causing material from your house.

Ready to Live in a Safe, Asbestos-Free Home?

Prompt and professional asbestos removal services make a huge difference in the safety of your family. Even if the materials containing this mineral are intact, you should still consider getting rid of them. Because in time, they’ll break down and expose you to their life-threatening fibers.

So, as soon as you’ve found asbestos materials in your home, contact us right away.

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mold removal services

Benefits of Mold Removal Services: Why You Shouldn’t DIY

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Do you have mold growing somewhere in your home?

It could potentially present huge health problems for you and your family.

At first, you might only have to deal with a cough, a stuffy nose, and eye irritation caused by mold. But prolonged mold exposure can eventually lead to serious complications that could cause an infection in your lungs.

It’s why it’s incredibly important for you to seek out a company that can provide you with mold removal services right away.

You might be tempted to tackle a mold problem on your own, especially if there’s only a small amount of it. But DIY is definitely not the right solution for mold growth in your home.

Check out some of the benefits of calling on the professionals for help when it comes to getting rid of mold once and for all.

Mold Removal Services Can Locate All the Mold in Your Home

The first thing that a mold removal company will do when you call on them for help is perform a mold inspection.

You might think that you know where the mold is located in your home. For example, you may have spotted it on a bathroom wall or down in a corner of your basement.

But before performing mold removal services, professionals will complete a thorough inspection to ensure that you don’t have mold growing in other places.

The mold on your bathroom wall or in the corner of your basement might just be a sign of mold elsewhere. And unless you’re able to remove all of the mold in your home, it could continue to have detrimental effects on you and your family.

You should make sure a mold inspection gets done to find any other signs of mold in your home.

They Can Remove the Mold Quickly and Clean Your Home

After a mold removal company has gone through the process of inspecting your entire house for mold, they will start mold removal and remediation.

If you only have a small amount of mold in your home, it won’t take the mold removal company very long to get rid of it. They also might not have to force you to leave the home while they treat it.

However, if you have Level II mold (mold covering 10 to 100 square feet of your home) or Level III mold (mold covering more than 100 square feet of your home), you will most likely be asked to leave your home.

Your mold removal company will then get to work as far as getting rid of your mold. Employees will wear protective gear while treating your home with specialized equipment.

After they have removed the mold, they will also work to clean your home for you.

One of the hazards of doing mold removal is that mold spores get sent everywhere in the air. While it’s impossible to eliminate all mold spores from a home, a mold removal company can get rid of most of them and leave your home as clean as it can possibly be as far as mold is concerned.

They Can Stop Mold From Spreading Throughout Your Home

The problem with mold is that, once it starts to grow inside of a home, it can spread very quickly.

This is actually why you shouldn’t ever try to DIY the mold removal process.

You could, in theory, scrape away the existing mold in your home and clean the surfaces it was on. But while doing so, you would likely kick up mold spores and encourage mold growth in other areas of your home.

A company that performs mold removal services can stop this spreading from taking place. They’ll contain the mold spores before using equipment to get rid of just about all of them.

They Can Figure Out What Caused the Mold

In addition to getting rid of mold, mold removal services will also do some digging around to find out what caused the mold to grow in the first place.

There are so many things that can cause mold inside of a home. You might get mold if:

  • You have a leaky plumbing pipe behind a wall or above a ceiling that needs to be fixed
  • You have a leaky roof that is allowing water to find its way into your home
  • You experienced a flood in your basement and didn’t have it cleaned up by professionals
  • You have a home that’s poorly ventilated, thus allowing humidity and condensation to build up in it
  • You have wet clothes or towels that are left out in your home on a regular basis

Once your mold removal company gets to the bottom of your mold problem, you’ll be able to take steps to prevent it from coming back again.

They Can Give Your Home a Clean Bill of Health

Before a mold removal company leaves your home, they should walk through and do a final inspection for mold.

They should also test the air in your home to make sure that you don’t have too many mold spores in it.

Mold spores are just about always in the air, so it’s going to prove to be impossible to rid your home of all of them. But the air quality of your home should be much improved by your mold removal specialists.

When they’re done with your home, they should give you a clean bill of health and tell you your home is safe again. They should also arrange to come back and test your home at some point in the future to ensure the mold problem doesn’t return.

Obtain Mold Removal Services Today

Did you find mold in your attic or another area in your home recently?

Rather than ignoring it, you should call on a company to provide you with mold removal services right away.

The longer you expose yourself to mold, the higher the chances of it making you sick. Mold also isn’t just going to go away on its own. You have to actively fight to remove it from your home with help from professionals.

Read our blog to find out more about the dangers of mold in your home.

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6 Easy Ways to Identify Asbestos in Your Home WITHOUT a Specialist

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1. Flooring asbestos 9×9 vinyl tile9x9 tiles

In renovated homes, you will often not see these as they are sandwiched under layers of wood subfloors and newer flooring tiles. However, in many old homes that are not yet renovated, these 9×9 tiles are exposed and are certain to contain asbestos fibers since most, if not all tiles with this size were manufactured with asbestos containing fibers. Nowadays, most tiles are made in 12×12.

Look under carpets in basement or by lifting a floor vent and inspecting how many subfloors exist and if any contain vinyl.

Most often people will not remove asbestos materials due to cost and encapsulate them my adding additional layers. This is generally not a problem if they are not disturbed.

2. Asbestos fibers on plaster ceilings.

Plaster ceilingsHomes build prior to 1986 can have architectural effects on ceiling. Most often material used on compounds have some asbestos fibers. Whilst it is safe if not disturbed, it is still something you should be aware of.

The above ceiling design is one you should definitely test for asbestos. Never renovate or remove these ceilings without having them tested for asbestos fiber content first.

3. Asbestos on insulation

Pipe Insulation with AsbestosOlder homes commonly used boiler systems that were insulated with asbestos as a heat shield.

While we rarely use this type of heating anymore, you need to be aware that some leftover asbestos containing  insulation on older pipes might still be present. While there is no danger if asbestos insulation is in good condition, it always should be removed by professional asbestos contractors.

4. Vermiculite containing asbestos on attics and crawl spaces

Attic VermiculiteWhile the attic space is not considered a living space, if it contains asbestos fibers on the insulation, it is a very big expense to get rid of.

Make sure the vermiculite is tested for asbestos containing materials. Friable asbestos materials are very dangerous and expensive to remove.

5. Asbestos lining on floor vents

Asbestos on floor ventAsbestos was commonly used as a heat shield in floor vents before 1986. Whilst it is not hazardous unless disturbed, older houses still contain asbestos hidden on the wrap of the floor ventilation.

Unless you disturb it by sanding or trying to remove yourself, it’s not a problem, however the paper is highly made of asbestos fibers up to 93% and disturbance to it can cause issues.

Always check with asbestos abatement professionals.

6. Asbestos materials on vinyl sheet flooring

Vinyl Sheet flooringIf it looks old it probably is, however you must consider if the vinyl sheet flooring contains asbestos fibers if you plan on removing it.

Vinyl sheet goods are embedded with asbestos fibers to make them stronger and fire resistant, that it is why we used asbestos fibers in so many materials. We didn’t know at the time that causes cancer and some many other Health issues. A vinyl sheet flooring that looks like the above has a high chance of asbestos.

Always test for asbestos fibers before removing any older vinyl sheeting.

TIP: if black tar is adhering to the vinyl, it is almost a 100% asbestos containing fiber product.

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wall mold

Mold on walls – drywall or plaster

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While drywall is porous, plaster is not.

This means that mold will grow on the drywall, and often times on both sides since it is an organic porous material; in fact the rich carbon paper back that holds the gypsum together is the preferred food source for Stachybotrys to grow and decompose given enough moisture.

If you have visible mold on the exterior of the drywall, is almost certain a larger amount of mold growth is present in the back of the drywall.

There are no products that can guarantee the successful cleaning of mold on the drywall due to the porosity of the material. Often times, it must be cut off and removed.

Mold on plaster walls on the other hand are cleanable since it is not a food source, and not porous. The mold is usually feeding on your paint and dust. However plaster walls can contain paper backing and if moisture penetrates the back of the plaster, the walls will need to be removed.

You must always consult with a mold remediation specialist to ensure you can determine the extent of the contamination.

Call us for a free inspection at 416-791-8020.

 

 

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ceiling mold

I have mold in the ceiling – what should I do?

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Mold in the ceiling are caused by:

  • Liquid moisture
  • Airborne moisture

Liquid moisture examples are a flood, water pipe burst, exterior failure of building components, roof leaks or anything directly associated with water penetration inside building components. In these cases often the interior of the drywall or plaster will have a much higher amount of mold than the visible exterior components.

Examples of Airborne moisture is when humidity on the interior is above 60%, and as air evaporation tries to escape through poor insulated ceilings, condensation is created by the extreme differences of temperatures. Often this results in the interior corners of the ceilings creating mold on the surface of the components.

A professional inspection can determine the cause and provide a solution and plan to remove the mold in the ceiling.

Call us for a free inspection at 416-791-8020.

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attic mold

I found mold in the attic – what should I do?

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Attic mold is caused by excessive moisture; there are many factors that can cause moisture inside of an attic.

  • Lack of ventilation
  • Improper connection of bathroom exhaust vents
  • Attic bypasses
  • Roof leaks

All attics come in different sizes, roof peaks and layouts. Mold growth can also vary in size and deterioration. It’s very important to find and correct the cause of mold in the attic. You will need a trough inspection by a qualified professional to determine the exact cause or causes and generate a plan in how to correct it permanently.

Is it safe to live inside the house since I have found attic mold?

The attic is usually NOT part of the living space unless is finished, so the answer is YES. There is no cross contamination of spores to other areas unless disturbed or spread by workers or anyone working in the attic.

What’s the cost of attic mold removal?

It really depends on the size of the mold contamination and the work that is needed to correct the moisture issue that caused the deficiency. Most attic mold removal work starts at a cost of $500 and up depending on items already mentioned above.

If you think you have attic mold,  call us for a free inspection at 416-791-8020.

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