What Does a Safe Mold Inspection & Removal Include?
No homeowner wants to find mold growing in their home, but if you do, it’s important to have a safe mold inspection and removal as soon as possible. Mold growth in homes has been a problem ever since we started building them, and has only accelerated as our homes have become more airtight. Luckily, mold is predictable, and once found, the conditions that promoted its growth can be tackled and cleaned up safely and thoroughly.
Knowing if you have mold in your home and if you need a safe mold inspection and removal can be tricky. Mold often prefers to grow in out of the way corners of the home, like in the basement or attic. It can also grow behind closed walls or underneath difficult to move furniture or appliances. Even if you can’t visually see it, mold growth is often accompanied by a unique musty odour, and a few conditions will make mold more likely to appear, such as:
- Increased humidity
- Decreased ventilation
- Water event (such as a flood or leak)
If you spot mold growth or suspect its presence, your priority should be to have it quickly and safely removed. Mold can grow all year round and can spread very quickly, and in just a minute quantities can make you and your family feel quite ill. Some of the common symptoms of a mold allergy mimic the common cold and flu, which often makes it difficult to pinpoint mold as the culprit. Mold can cause:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Running or congested nose
A safe mold inspection and removal will not only get rid of mold growth, but also give you peace of mind and better indoor air quality. There are a number of ways to remove mold safely, but all of them involve professional help. That’s because mold is very easy to spread - it reproduces by emitting airborne spores that you can inadvertently release or spread using your cleaning products. Additionally, the cleaning products available at the local hardware store just aren’t strong enough - they may remove surface level spores and discolouration, but will never truly kill off the mold.
How do you Remove Mold Safely?
The key word when it comes to a having safe mold inspection and removal is the very first one - safety. Because of mold’s danger to your health, safety is the utmost concern at MoldTech, from inspection to removal and then cleaning, our teams are trained to third party standards and certifications that ensure your (and our) safety throughout the entire process. Some of these safety steps may include:
- Thorough inspection: before any work can begin, a thorough inspection is key. A good inspection will include a visual interior and exterior component of the entire building. Once mold is confirmed visually or by other signs, the next step is to determine the where and why.
- Air quality tests: Because mold spores are smaller than the eye can see, testing the air before, during, and after removal is key to making sure that we’ve got it all.
- Containment: During removal, containment, the process of building temporary plastic walls and air barriers, prevents any mold that’s scraped, sanded or released into the air to travel outside of the affected area.
- Third party certifications: Knowing how to safely clean up mold growth isn’t just a skill we picked up at the library - all MoldTech teams have undergone hours of safety training and skills development with organizations such as the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), the National Association of Mold Professionals (NAMP), and the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA). These memberships and certifications ensure our teams have access to the latest in research and technology when it comes to safe mold inspection and removal, as well as professional standards and codes of ethics.
- The most important part of a MoldTech remediation is cleaning. We take cleaning seriously, and choose to double the minimum requirements when it comes to removal protocols and standards to ensure that your home is clean. While there may be shortcuts and easier ways to complete a project, our attention to detail and cleanliness is what separates us from the competition.
What is the Best Product to Kill Mold?
Knowing which is the best product to kill mold growth is a difficult one to answer, since it involves:
- the type of mold
- the type of treatment
- the surface needing treatment
Some of the common products used by homeowners to tackle mold problems include:
- Bleach: Bleach can be an effective short term solution for surface mold, but in the long term it’s fairly useless. Linked to cancer and extremely toxic, bleach can cause chemical burns and stains, and is only effective on non-porous surfaces, like tiles, bathtubs, and countertops, and cannot penetrate porous materials like wood or drywall.
- Borax: A favourite of the natural-cleaning crowd, borax is an extremely useful and safe mineral used as a deodorizer, cleanser, insecticide, and fungicide. While borax won’t entirely kill mold, it’s a useful short term solution to help inhibit its growth.
- Vinegar: The same vinegar that you use for salad can be a very effective cleaning agent around the home. While it doesn’t give off dangerous fumes like bleach, vinegar is only a weak acid, and won’t effectively solve your mold problem.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Available at the drugstore, hydrogen peroxide is cheap and easy to source. It can kill mold as well as having antifungal and antibacterial properties.
- Detergent and hot water: This is probably one of the first steps many well-meaning homeowners take to get rid of mold - unfortunately, it’s the least effective product, since it kills no mold. Instead, it will transfer mold spores to your cleaning rag, buckets, and any other surface the soapy water touches.
At MoldTech, we pioneered the use of a specialized biological cleaning agent in Canada: it’s non-toxic to people and pets, cleans 99.9% of mold spores (on both the surface and deeper within the affected material), is non-staining or bleaching, and leaves no hazardous vapour or off-gas. This cleaning agent is not available commercially, but is our favourite method for mold removal and remediation.
How Much Does a Black Mold Removal Cost?
A safe mold inspection and removal can vary widely in cost for the homeowner. While it’s smart not to use the cheapest service on the market, neither does it make sense to hire the most expensive. When you’re looking to have a safe mold inspection and removal, especially when you have black mold present in your home, there are a number of factors that can affect the cost of the remediation, such as:
- Size: How big is your contamination? Is it restricted to a room, or does it affect the entire house? The size of the mold contamination always affects the final cost of the remediation, since it’s a very different project to remove mold from one room than to remove it from an entire attic.
- Where: The site of your mold growth is also an important consideration: removing mold from an attic may require us to remove all of your insulation, or the strange size or shape of the space may require more time to ensure every part of the room is clean.
- Sampling and testing: You may want to have samples tested to identify which strains of mold are present.
Other costs you might need to consider depending on the size and scale of the project are whether you need to stay elsewhere during the cleanup, or if extensive renovations will be needed after we complete our removal. These additional costs are why it’s always better to tackle a mold growth problem before it gets bigger - and more expensive - to clean up.
How Long Does Mold Removal Take?
Mold can begin to grow in your home after only 48 hours of ideal conditions being present. After those two days, a mold colony will continue to grow and spread and can quickly become a big problem in your home.
How long removal and cleaning takes depends on the breadth and severity of the contamination. Like the cost of removal, the time it takes to remove mold needs to factor in some of the same type of considerations, like size and where the problem is. Every remediation is different, but allow at least 3-7 days for most common infestations.
How Do You Kill Black Mold?
Probably one of the most infamous molds out there, Stachybotrys chartarum has been making the news in the last decade as a highly toxic and dangerous strain of mold that can grow in our homes. However, it’s important to note that toxic mold can come in many colours and that black-coloured mold are not always toxic - which is where sampling and testing can help us identify which strain of mold you have in your home.
Stachybotrys and other types of mold can produce mycotoxins that cause a range of respiratory, neurologic, and immunologic reactions in people, but they don’t always produce those toxins and it’s uncertain when and why a colony may suddenly begin to release them. This reason is why having a safe mold inspection and removal performed by a profession is key to your ongoing health and safety. If mold in your home is releasing mycotoxins, our containment and safety equipment will protect you and your family while remediation is ongoing, and thoroughly remove every trace of the mold for good.
What Should I Know Before Hiring Mold Removal Help?
If you’ve decided to have a safe mold inspection and removal by a professional team, there’s a number of things to keep in mind when calling prospective companies:
- Do I need a mold test? The answer to this question is usually no. If you can see it, you need to remove it, no further questions are required. While different kinds of molds do prefer different parts of your home, if there’s Aspergillus spores present, they’re going to grow wherever the right conditions present themselves. If a mold removal company is pressuring you to spend money on mold testing when it’s already obvious you have a problem, our advice is to be wary! At MoldTech, we recommend testing when it’s absolutely needed, such as when it comes to medical concerns or if you need hard proof for negotiation or insurance purposes.
- How expensive will it be? A good quote is an essential part of any safe mold inspection and removal, and should give you an in depth idea of what kind of work needs to happen and how long remediation will take.
- Certifications: Just like electricians and plumbers, mold remediation teams are skilled tradesmen that undergo continuing education on their field of practice, and this experience and professionalism is worth paying for. Asking after a mold removal company’s certifications can help you separate the good from the bad, and any company worth hiring will be happy to tell you more about the kinds of courses and certifications they have undergone. Working with these third party associations gives us impartial standards to follow as well as access to the latest in research about mold growth and removal.
- Safety and Education: Before any mold removal or remediation, a professional mold removal company will keep you up to date on their process and procedure, as well as being happy to answer any questions you may have about the process. At MoldTech, we understand that what seems obvious to us may not be obvious to you, so we’re happy to take the time to break down our process so that you feel confident during the entire removal process.
Safe Mold Removals in the GTA
Finding mold in your home doesn’t mean you need to hire a wrecking ball - a safe mold inspection and removal will help you identify the root of the problem and come up with concrete steps for a successful remediation. Hiring MoldTech ensures you have a safe, easy, pain free mold removal - please visit www.moldtech.ca or contact us at 866-684-7684 to learn more about our professional mold inspection and removal services.