Mold Exposure Archives - CleanFirst Restoration
mold remediation company

The Top 7 Most Important Questions to Ask a Mold Remediation Company

Posted by | home mold, Mold Exposure | No Comments

People who live in Toronto and GTA are constantly being exposed to mold without knowing.

Apartment and condo buildings in the inner city are large and crowded, large amounts of concrete and paved roads do not disburse water into soil like in more rural areas and instead  strain city sewer systems and foundations. This makes it difficult to spot excess moisture or leaks that encourage mold growth until it is often too late.

Even newer buildings are susceptible to mold problems thanks to improperly installed plumbing and defective installations of windows, doors, balconies and interior flooding.

While mold itself is not inherently dangerous, the spores can cause serious health problems. The elderly, young children and those with compromised immune systems can fall victim to mycotoxin exposure.

To protect your family, you will need to bring in a mold remediation company. Below are some helpful questions you should ask before signing a contract.

Why Do You Need Mold Remediation?

Areas with mold growth (+10sqfeet) need professional help in dealing with due to the large amount of spores that can be disturbed.

Traditional cleaning methods only remove the surface mold on porous surfaces and often return within 30 days.

Bleach, in particular, has been found to make the problem worse. While the chlorine in bleach does indeed kill surface mold, the water in it seeps into wood or plaster, feeding the hidden mold.

Cleaning mold on the surface might make your home look better, but it won’t make your family safer and the solution permanently.

Hidden and visible mold sources will need to be cut out and removed. This is far beyond the capabilities of the common homeowner, especially if the mold is attached to load-bearing wooden supports.

To begin the remediation process, you need to contact a Toronto mold remediation company to inspect, identify the source, come up with a remediation plan and determine a solution to fix the problem permanently.

7 Vital Questions to Ask Your Mold Remediation Company

1. Do you give a warranty and a Remediation Plan? Can you provide referrals?

In Toronto and most GTA all remediation companies offer some kind of warranty,however warranties have always strings attached, make sure you know up front of their conditions. A remediation plan should always be in written format.

Always ask for referrals, good work always passes good referrals so ask and follow up.

2. Do Your Employees Have the Proper Mold Removal Training and Certifications?

Because mold can potentially cause serious harm to your family, you need to make sure the technicians working in your home have been trained to do the job right.

Look for remediation companies that are willing to prove their employees have been trained by accredited certification programs.

Some of these programs include American Indoor Air Quality Council, Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, Eaco and other Canadian organizations that offer accredited training.

3. Do You Contain the Contaminated Areas to Prevent Cross-Contamination?

Most situations, the mold problem hasn’t spread across your home. To ensure it remains that way, the mold removal company needs to quarantine the affected portion of the home while they work.

Mold spores in the air spread quickly. If the area isn’t contained off with plastic sheeting and negative pressure, the spores displaced by the removal process will move to a new area of your home. Should the spores spread, you will need to spend more money for removal of the cross contamination.

The removal company should also use a negative air machine (air scrubber) while working in your home. The Negative pressure removes contaminated air from the affected area, filters it through a HEPA filter, and exhausts it outside.

4. What Is Your Process for Treating Mold Contamination?

Honesty is a sign of a trustworthy mold remediation company.

They should be ready and willing to walk you through each step of the process and explain why it happen and how to correct it.

It usually involves first locating the mold and source of moisture causing the problem. Then technicians will seal off the affected room and remove the mold from that area.

In Toronto and throughout Canada we have mold remediation guidelines, ensure those are followed and adhere by the remediation company.

5. Will You Offer to Show Documentation of Your Work?

Sometimes the mold removal process requires major renovation, and that makes homeowners nervous.

If you are concerned about the amount of work technicians are going to do to things like wall supports and bathroom fixtures, ask the company to take pictures of the process.

Honest removal companies should have nothing to hide and will provide the pictures without hassle.

6. Do Your Employees Wear Protective Gear?

Anyone who enters the mold-affected area should wear protective gear. This is for their personal safety and to prevent cross-contamination.

The amount of personal protective equipment depends on the size of the job at hand.

Most mold removal jobs will require:

  • Disposable overalls
  • Shoe covers
  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Half-face respirator with a HEPA filter
  • Containment
  • Hepa air scrubbers
  • hepa vaccums

7. How Do You Dispose of Materials After Remediation?

Proper disposal procedures need to be observed to prevent the building materials the company has removed from contaminating other parts of your home.

Any materials removed from the affected area should never be allowed to remain in the home or carried throughout the house, without any precaution, to avoid cross contamination to other clean areas.

These materials are to be double-bagged to prevent leakage, hepa vacuumed and sanitized before taken out of the containment area.

Under no circumstances should moldy materials be thrown out windows. This will cause the bags to tear and send mold spores into the air around your home.

Finding a Trusted Mold Remediation Company

The first step to making sure you’ve found the right mold remediation company is to do a little research.

Do they show their certificates online? Have they provided an easy-to-understand explanation of their remediation process? Will they guarantee their work? How long have they been in business?

CleanFirst has proudly served the Toronto area for over 30 years. We only employ highly trained and certified mold removal specialists, they make our name proud and are like family to us, they are happy professional and courteous, they love what they do and it shows on their work, personality and dealings with our clients all over the GTA. CleanFirst guarantees all their work with no strings attached, we have been helping clients in Toronto and all GTA for over 30 years.

Need help removing mold from your home? Contact us today for a free mold inspection.

mold in the home

Mold in the Home: Why is It So Dangerous?

Posted by | Blog, Mold Exposure | No Comments

In the wet months of the year, nothing is more annoying to a homeowner than household mold. When it’s cold and wet outside, all we want to do is curl up with the heat cranked on and hibernate the day away. But these conditions can lead to mold in the house in no time.

It can feel like nothing is safe from mold. What starts out as a tiny spot can turn into a microbial wildfire in no time, forcing you to put your prized possessions in the garbage.

But is mold more than just an annoyance? Is it something that could potentially cause health hazards that could be detrimental to your whole family?

Read on to learn more about what to do when there is mold in the home.

What You Need to Know About Mold

Mold is a fungus made up of tiny organisms. These organisms are a crucial part of nature, as they work to break down dead things and turn them into usable energy for the earth. It thrives on moisture and creates tiny spores that move through the air.

There’s no escaping mold. It’s everywhere, and that’s a good thing. But when mold starts to creep into your house and reproduce, you could have a problem.

Mold is also adaptable. It can grow on tons of surfaces, like clothing, wood, and paper. And the way it looks changes depending on the type of mold growth in your home.

Some common appearances of molds can be colors like yellow, white, or blue. They can look rough or soft and fuzzy, depending on the type of mold and where it’s growing.

How Does Mold Get Into the Home?

Mold is sneaky. It’s had to adapt in order to survive all this time! We can’t see the tiny spores, but as we mentioned earlier, they’re everywhere.

All it takes for mold to sneak into your home is for a few spores to attach on someone or something entering your home. If you keep your windows or doors open, that’s another way for mold to creep in. We can say the same for ventilation systems.

But mold can only grow if the spores land in just the right spot. That is– places with lots of moisture and the right balance of heat and darkness. A few things for the growing spores to feed off of won’t hurt either.

Once mold starts to grow, it’s hard to miss unless it’s hidden away. On top of the changing appearance of your home, you’ll notice a musty smell.

So it sounds like mold is inescapable. So… is it really such a bad thing?

The Health Effects of Mold

While you’re not wrong in wanting a home clear of mold, that’s not to say that it all causes health problems. The average person with healthy lungs isn’t likely to experience any major health issues stemming from mold inhalation.

But mold does produce a few things that can hurt people with sensitivities. Mold creates allergens, irritants, and substances that can be toxic.

Mold can be an irritant for anything from your eyes to your throat, even if you’re not allergic to mold.

People with mold allergies can experience things liked runny or stuffy noses, itchy throats, sneezing, and watery eyes.

Another thing to consider when it comes to the level of danger surrounding mold is the lung health of the people in your family. If someone has asthma, their chances of having an asthmatic episode increase when mold is around. This is especially true if they’ve got a mold allergy.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t consider mold exposure to always be a health problem, the World Health Organization has a different take on the matter.

To the WHO, mold should be considered dangerous at all times because the environment that mold thrives in can create chemical and biological changes that pollute the air. According to the WHO, they consider people who are in contact with mold at risk for respiratory health issues.

How to Protect the Home From Mold

Whether or not two of the world’s leading health organizations can agree on the dangers associated with mold, it’s important to take care of it right away.

The best way to fight against mold is to stop it before it starts to grow in your house. And while you can’t stop the spores from attaching to your clothing or sneaking in through an open window, you can eliminate the environment that mold likes to grow in.

Make sure that your home doesn’t have a ton of wet areas or places that stay damp for a long time. Ventilate your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. Also, you should do whatever you can to make sure that outdoor water stays outdoors.

What to Do if You Find Mold in the Home

If you think you might have an issue of mold in the home, you can probably take care of it yourself. Spray an antimicrobial agent onto the mold and scrub it thoroughly with a brush. It’s a good idea to wear protective gear while you do this, just in case.

When you’re done, make sure you wash your clothes so the mold spores don’t follow you to other areas of your house.

If your mold issue is too big for you to handle alone, you can always call a professional for help.

The Truth About Household Mold

The growth of mold in the home is never a pleasant sight. No one likes walking into their home knowing that the air is musty and that there’s an unsightly patch of mold growing somewhere. However, just because it’s ugly doesn’t mean it’s going to pose a threat to your health.

You should always take care of any mold issues as soon as they arise, regardless of whether you’re allergic to it.

For more information about restoring a damaged area of your home, give us a call today!

The Top 7 Most Important Questions to Ask a Mold Remediation Company 1654 category/mold-exposure

The Top 7 Most Important Questions to Ask a Mold Remediation Company 1654 category/mold-exposure