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mold on carpet

I found mold in my carpet – what should I do?

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Most carpets manufactured today are made of nylon fibers (polypropylene).

Polypropylene is a type of thermoplastic polymer resin (plastic), and therefore a non organic and not a food source for mold or bacteria to decompose. We use the same material in many other household products like, food containers, toys, microwaves, etc.

Mold on the carpet is usually on the dust accumulation on top of the carpet or in the backing of where glue is binding the fibers together and can be a organic source of food.

Typically if water damage to the carpet is attended rapidly and comes from a clean water source, and not sewage or other grey waters, the carpet can be salvageable and only the under pad needs to be removed and replaced.

We recommend consulting with a carpet cleaner to ensure it can be disinfected on both sides of carpet. You can also use benefect to remove mold in your carpet: http://www.benefect.com/US/mold.php

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I found mold on my wood floors – what should I do?

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wood floor mold

Wood floors require large amounts of moisture present for several days before mold can grow. After small water damage most people attempt to dry the wood floor and assume all is well; however after a few days discoloration or visible mold will appear and grow on the edges of the flooring.

Mold on wood floors is always worse than what you can see visually. Wood floors retain moisture underneath between flooring, underlay and substrate creating large amounts of humidity and fungal growth. The longer it is undetected, the larger the mold growth on the wood floor.

Do not attempt to remove the mold on the flooring yourself before consulting with a professional. We can detect the extent with simple moisture readings or thermal imaging.

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mold on concrete

I found mold on the concrete of my basement – what should I do?

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Here’s the good news – Mold does not decompose concrete, so in this type of situation black mold is growing on the dust in the concrete. Efflorescence is more likely the culprit. Efflorescence simply stated, is when concrete inside a foundation gets excessive moisture, minerals and calcium deposits form a white powdery substance as it dries (sometimes confused for mold). Mold can and will decompose the minerals and salts and the added dust and humidity will activate further mold growth.

If large amounts are found do call a mold remediation contractor to ensure you do not spread the spores or contaminate other areas while attempting to remove the mold.

However small amounts of mold in the concrete can be removed by you by using a concrete cleaner.

If you’re unsure if it’s efflorescence (white fuzzy powder), see the following image:efflorescence

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Mold on insulation

I found mold on my insulation – What should I do?

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Unless you have paper backed, or wool insulation, mould does not decompose fiberglass insulation.

Most often mould is found on the dust in the insulation, sometimes like the picture above the dark areas are dust caused by thermal bridging (air infiltration) and not mold.

It’s always safe to discard the insulation to prevent the dust to develop fungal growth if moisture develops.

Tip: If the darkness looks fuzzy, slimy or smears when pressed, it is mold and you SHOULD discard it. Large amounts of mold in the insulation require professional remediation and should not be removed without proper precautions to ensure safety

If that sounds like you, call us for a free inspection at 416-791-8020.

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Mold on Drywall

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

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If you find mold that is less than 10 Sq. Ft, on your basement drywall, this can typically be remedied by yourself without having to call a remediation company. However, it is always best at minimum to consult with a mold specialist, because like the picture above shows, sometimes the small amount of mold visible on the exterior of the drywall is much larger on the inside of the drywall. Without experience and the proper equipment, you cannot make the right decisions on how to proceed.

Example: the amount of mold found in the above image located in the customers’ basement was the initial complaint.

As you can see, the amount of mold found in the basement was much larger (see image below). In fact in this case it extended to the perimeter of entire basement and the moisture was traveling for a long period of time eluding the owners. So always call a mould remediation company to ensure safety.

 

What not to do:

  • Attempt to clean the mold in the drywall by using bleach or vinegar; not only you are feeding the problem but mold will return stronger.
  • Paint over the mold, same reasons as above
  • Not doing anything will compound the problem and allow the mold in the drywall to multiply.
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Grout mold

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

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Mold found on tiles or grout in the bathroom often indicate a more serious mold contamination issue behind the visible area. If the mold is on the caulking, then read this article. If you’re not sure of the difference between grout and caulk, grout is used to fill in the spaces between tiles, whereas caulk is used on the edge of the tiles perpendicular to the tub/floor

Porous grout, missing grout and damaged tiles are all contributors to moisture penetration to the drywall behind. Often large amounts of mold are found behind the drywall and can pose a serious health hazard by attempting to do with yourself without proper equipment and precautions.

Mold found on the ceilings or walls of the bathroom indicate excessive moisture most often due to the lack of ventilation and the rise of interior humidity.

It is always best to contact a mold remediation professional to inspect and test moisture readings and thermal imaging for a proper assessment. Call us for a free inspection at 416-791-8020.

As this is a more serious issue as compared to finding mold on the window or along the caulking, here are things to be mindful of when mold is on the grout:

  • Attempt to remove the mold without using proper precautions. This will not only make it a possible health hazard, but you can easily spread the spores to other areas.
  • Continue to clean the mold making the underline problem worse and more expensive

As always, NOT doing anything will usually lead to increased mold growth and make the issue worse.

If in doubt, call us for a free inspection at 416-791-8020.

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Mold Shower

I found mold in the shower caulking – what should I do?

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I found mold in the shower/bathtub caulking – what should I do?

If mold is visible on the caulking in the shower or bath tub, then that immediately tells us that the wrong type of caulking was used.

Caulking is for baseboards and interior doors – not for bathrooms or kitchens where moisture is present.

Bathrooms and showers will always have moisture due to their nature, and therefore require 100% silicone to be used instead of caulking. Silicone is not organic and therefore is not a food source for mold. Caulking on the other hand is a food source for mold.

Silicone is mold and mildew proof and most manufacturers guarantee it. Here is one product we recommend.

So what is the solution?

We recommend removing the caulking and replacing it with silicone. This is a relatively simple process and we do not recommend hiring a mold removal company to do this. In fact, here is a simple step-by-step guide that will show you how to do this:

What you should not do

  • Paint over it- giving more moisture and food for mold to grow
  • Bleach it- does not kill embedded mold just discolours the surface of it
  • Use vinegar- does not kill just discolour it
  • Not do anything- this is the worst option of them all! Mold will continue to grow and possibly spread to other areas of the bathroom.
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Mold Windows

I found Mold on my windows – what should I do?

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I found Mold on my windows – what should I do?

This is a common question we get. Unless you have wood windows, mold does not grow on vinyl or fiberglass windows. Mold is growing on the dust and fed by moisture. Condensation (sweating) of the windows due to the extreme difference of temperatures (-10°C outside versus +18°C inside), paired with the lack of ventilation and humidity inside is usually the cause of the mold growth on the windows.

To prevent moisture and mold from developing on the windows, you must ensure that:

  1. Your humidity inside the house is below 50% and clean the dust regularly. You can measure the humidity using a hygrometer.
  2. You must ensure that the window is getting enough ventilation from the HVAC registers. Do not completely cover the windows or block the HVAC registers to ensure proper air flow – especially on the very cold days.

How do I remove the mold from the windows?

Since this is a relatively minor issue, you can remove the mold by yourself using a product called Concrobium Mold Control. It is available at many big box chains such as Home Depot and Canadian Tire. Make sure you follow the manufacturer instructions (read the label). Concrobium will leave a residue that does not allow mold to grow and that is the main reason we recommend it versus many other products.

If you have wood windows you must sand the affected areas to completely remove it.

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Indoor-Air-Quality

What are the Health Consequences of Living in a House With Poor Air Quality?

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What are the Health Consequences of Living in a House With Poor Air Quality?

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the air quality inside your home is usually two times to five times worse than it always is outside. Activities including painting, floor removal among other things make the air inside your house more polluted. The reason behind this is because of the off-gassing of the volatile organic compounds that are used in manufacturing paint, adhesives as well as other objects in your home.

Exposure to poor indoor air quality can bring about short term eye infections, throat and nose irritations, headaches dizziness as well as fatigue. It can as well exacerbate the effects of asthma especially in children. Exposure to poor air quality can bring about respiratory conditions, cancer including even cancer.

There are numerous consequences that can affect you and your family if you are living in a house with poor air quality. Among those mentioned above, the following are some additional sources that can lead to poor air quality in your home:

  1. Deteriorating or damaged insulation as well as fireproofing is a good source of asbestos indoors. Asbestos are known to cause cancer. After long periods of inhaling these fibers you are at risk of getting cancer and Mesothelioma- a deadly cancer that affects the thin lining between the lungs and other organ.
  2. Bacteria and viruses are living organisms that can bring about a disease called influenza. Without proper ventilation this bacteria and viruses will be packed in your house traveling through the air and constantly infecting you and your family with common cold.
  3. New construction or remodeling products are a source of fumes as well as dust that can endanger health. Older building materials are also a source of pollutants when exposed to any disturbance of any kind. These dust and fumes can cause allergic reactions as well as asthma.
  4. Carbon monoxide gas is a colorless, odorless but very dangerous gas. This gas has numerous sources that are found within your house including burning fuel, gasoline natural gas, wood or charcoal. Proper ventilation will prevent you from inhaling high doses of CO which can cause Anxiety or depression, confusion, vomiting, impaired vision, sleepiness, Nausea, Disorientation and Death.
  5. Cleaning supplies are essential in protecting our health but pose as health hazards especially in a house with poor or no HVAC system. Some of these chemicals are corrosive and flammable. Aerosol sprays, chlorine bleach, rug and upholstery cleaners are some of the sources of irritants which leads to respiratory conditions as well as house fires in the case of the flammable substances.
  6. Second hand smoke is the main health hazard that leads to more than 41,000 deaths every year. It has damaging health effects in children as well as adults. This pollutant causes lung cancer, respiratory infections and asthma. Poor air conditioning and ventilation can accumulate this pollutant in your house thus posing more challenges for your family.
  7. Mold and dampness is common in every indoor space. Moisture accumulation in your home will nurture growth of molds. Spore from the mold are the common indoor pollutants. Exposure to these spores can trigger allergic reactions as well as asthma attacks. You can as well be affected by lower and upper respiratory problems including irritation of eyes, nose, skin, throat and the lungs.
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