Mold Testing in Richmond Hill
The work of a homeowner is never done - there’s always something new to fix, adjust or maintain to keep your home in good working order. Mold testing in Richmond Hill is one thing that the savvy homeowner is adding to their annual maintenance checks, since this unseen problem can quickly start growing out of control, causing negative health effects and damaging your home, furnishings, and heirlooms. Mold can be difficult to identify, since it can grow out of sight in attics, behind walls, or around windows. Having professional mold testing in Richmond Hill is the best way to identify areas affected by mold - the teams at MoldTech have nearly fifteen years of experience in and around the GTA performing mold removals and remediations.
Causes of Mold: Do you Need Mold Testing in Richmond Hill?
Knowing what causes mold to grow in your home is one of the best ways to prevent future problems or identify issues that may be making you and your family vulnerable. Finding mold growth is only the first part of mold testing in Richmond Hill - the second part is finding (and fixing) the cause of mold growth in the first place.
Mold needs three primary ingredients to grow: water, a stable temperature, and something to eat. The most important ingredient of the three is water, which can come from many places in your home - leaks, drips, and condensation being the most common. A stable temperature anywhere between 0º-30º celsius can be found in many indoor or semi-indoor places, and the kind of things mold likes to eat is everywhere in our homes. Mold feeds on organic matter, like:
- some types of insulation
Other things that play a role in mold growth are a lack of light and ventilation - which is why we so often find mold growing in places like the attic and basement.
How do You Know It’s Mold Growth?
Every home has a bit of mold growing in it somewhere - mold is a natural part of the earth and present in all environments. The problem arises when mold starts to grow out of control throughout the rooms of your home, causing you to feel ill or find damage. But how do you know it’s mold? When do you book mold testing in Richmond Hill?
The first thing to know is what mold looks like - which is more difficult to answer than you might think. We’re all familiar with the fuzzy grey stuff that appears on last week’s lunch, but household mold can take on many different shapes, colours, and textures.
Some things that we look for when identifying mold are:
- Whether or not it’s growing in colonies: Mold sticks together in patches, spots, or stains.
- Hairy filaments: As it’s actively growing, mold often looks like it has branching, hairy filaments that are spreading out from an initial point.
- Colour: Mold grows in many different colours, from black, brown, blue, red, purple, green, and yellow.
- Texture: Mold can be furry, damp, slimy, or soft, and might smear when touched. Dead mold may be powdery or dry.
In some homes, mold growth is very obvious, appearing out in the open and in visible patches. But in other homes, mold may be growing hidden behind walls or in the attic, spaces where it’s not as easy to get to. At MoldTech, there’s a lot that we can do to determine if mold is present, even if there are no visuals.
A typical mold assessment may look like:
1. A visual assessment of the building
This first step will take us both inside and outside of the building to assess what geographical or architectural features may be contributing or causing problems inside. A visual assessment can tell a lot to a trained eye and helps to better direct our attention to certain rooms or spaces indoors. For example - problems with the eavestroughs might signify moisture in the attic, or pooling water at the side of the house could point to a leak within.
2. Are there suitable conditions for mold growth?
Next, we’ll thoroughly go over all of the areas in your home to check for conditions that may be exacerbating or encouraging mold to grow. We may use tools or specialized equipment to measure the amount of moisture, humidity, or the temperature of each room or floor to help us determine what’s going on in your home. We’ll also want to talk with you about your concerns and to identify any changes in your home that may have caused a spike in temperature or humidity. If you’ve had a flood, leak, or roof problem, please share it with us, no matter how minor or however long ago. This kind of information can be extremely valuable in identifying areas that may have mold growth.
3. Are there signs of mold growth present?
Signs are physical evidence of mold growing in your home, and can include:
- Mold that is readily visible to the naked eye
- Discolouration or spotting on affected surfaces
- Water stains or damp materials are one sign that mold may be growing behind the walls or underneath flooring. Even if food and temperature are present, water is ALWAYS needed for mold growth, so dampness should always be looked out for.
- Surface damage like peeling flooring, wallpaper, or paint might indicate unseen moisture or mold growth.
4. Sampling, testing, and in-depth assessment
If it’s necessary, we’ll take samples of any curious growths or damaged materials and send them off to a laboratory for independent testing. This type of testing can give us useful information about how many spores are present or what type of mold is growing - all useful information that can help us determine what course of action to take. We might also pry back footings or drill small holes in the wall in the most serious cases - but the majority of our testing is non invasive and should leave few marks and no damage to your home.
The Difference Between Mold and Efflorescence
Homeowners are often deeply concerned when they notice a powdery white growth appearing on basement walls and floors - and because the basement is often damp and commonly has more problems with mold growth, they’re right to be concerned! However, it may not be mold, it may actually be something called efflorescence. Our basement walls wick moisture, and as it collects on the surface, the salts and minerals present in that water form powdery white or yellowish crystals. The best way to tell if it’s efflorescence is to put a small piece of those crystals into water - if it dissolves, you don’t have to worry about mold. But because efflorescence is caused by moisture, its presence may be a sign that mold problems could form - so make sure it bring it to our attention during a mold assessment!
The Effect of Mold on Your Health
The wide range of health effects that are felt from the growth of mold make it imperative to have mold testing in Richmond Hill any time that you suspect mold growth may be a problem in your home. Catching a cleaning up a mold infestation earlier means less damage to your home and health, and a safer, more comfortable indoor environment. We spend almost 90% of our time indoors, making the safety of our homes an important part of our health and wellness.
Mold causes a number of common allergic symptoms and reactions, many of which are similar or identical to the symptoms of the common cold or flu, which makes it tricky to identify what’s causing you to feel sick. When mold is growing out of sight, the physical symptoms you’re experiencing may be the only sign that mold is growing in your home, and there’s one easy clue that it’s mold and not just a lingering chest cold. That clue is exposure. Pay attention to where and when you feel the worst - do your symptoms get worse when you enter a particular room and lessen when you leave it? Do you feel fine at work and sick as soon as you get home? These kind of symptoms point to a problem with your indoor environment, and may be the best clue you have to determining mold growth.
Some of the most common effects of mold on your health are:
- Ongoing coughing and respiratory problems
- Dry or watery eyes
- Itchy, runny, or dry nose
- Skin inflammation or dryness
Mold can also aggravate existing conditions and increase the length and severity of colds and flus. One of the biggest concerns for us at MoldTech is the link between mold growth and childhood asthma.
Some sources say that 1 in 13 kids are now affected by childhood asthma, and research suggests that mold may play a more significant role in its development than what was previously known. While it’s not fully understood, researchers have been exploring the relationship between mold growth and asthma, and have had disturbing results that suggest that an increase in environmental mold may make a child up to 80% more likely to develop asthma. There were three types of mold that were identified with asthma development: Aspergillus ochraceus, Penicillium variabile, and Aspergillus unguis.
Asthmatics of all ages can be negatively affected by mold growth at home, school, or work, since airborne mold spores may act as the irritant which can start an attack. People living with chronic diseases and our elders may also be at an increased risk when mold is present.
Mold Testing Provides the Best Assessment for Contamination
Having mold testing in Richmond Hill can help you avoid many of the problems and health effects associated with indoor mold growth. A professionally performed assessment and test can provide you with a lot of information about your home and help you understand the scope of any problems that are present.
At MoldTech, our mold testing is performed by certified and trained technicians - we ensure that we’re up to date on contemporary research and remediation methodologies by maintaining memberships in professional organizations like the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification, which leads the way in developing industry standards. These memberships ensure that our knowledge, tools, and approach to testing and remediation are at the cutting edge and are certified to third party specifications, and is a mark of our commitment to the highest professional standards and guidelines.
The best way to solve mold growth is by looking not only at the mold but at the cause of the mold growth, and this is where a professional mold assessment and test is truly valuable. At MoldTech, we’re not just interested in cleaning up mold, but also helping you put into place solutions that prevent it from ever reappearing again.
Why Choose MoldTech
After nearly fifteen years in business, the MoldTech team is one of the top trusted mold remediation companies in southern Ontario. We’ve worked with homes big and small, businesses, companies, and even governmental organizations. This depth and breadth of experience has given us the confidence and flexibility that you need when dealing with problems like indoor mold growth, and ensures that you’re 100% satisfied with our work.
At MoldTech, our mission is to provide you with friendly, accessible services that ensure your questions and concerns are answered thoroughly before, during, and after remediation. Often people try to remove mold on their own and inadvertently spread it to other rooms in their home. When it comes to mold removal, the professional approach is not only the most thorough, it’s the most safest too, which, at the end of the day, is our primary goal.
For more information on mold testing in Richmond Hill or how you can make your home safer, get in touch with us for more information on MoldTech’s products and services. Call us at 1-866-684-7684 or visit http://www.moldtech.ca/testing for more information.
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