Preventing mould, or if its there, getting rid of it.
Posted in Mold Removal, on March 11, 2014
Water is key to the survival of mould. Without water, mould cannot start growing, let alone reproduce and spread. The most basic way to prevent mould is to control indoor moisture, dampness, and wetness. This includes leaky pipes or conduits; humidity and condensation; and general air circulation. Keeping the home, office or building clean and dry are important first steps. Water leaks, spills and flooding should be properly cleaned up within a 24 hour period; the same goes for building materials that have become waterlogged; wet carpeting must also be dried or removed within 24 hours; and where possible, a dehumidifier can be used to reduce indoor levels of humidity.Yes – there is such a thing as a minor mould problem, and in principle, any noticeable mould should scrubbed, washed and cleaned as soon as it makes an appearance. Whoever is cleaning up the mould should be free of pre-existing symptoms, and wear protective gloves and goggles while cleaning. And yes – it’s possible to clean up small areas of mould with a commercial detergent solution, or a special mould removal concoction. Most importantly, the clean area must now be kept completely dry. Now, if the mould returns or has spread, this may no longer be a DIY endeavor, and may require the experience and expertise of a service provider who specializes in mould. In situation where mould, or mould infested materials are not readily cleaned, then its really time for a pro. Contaminated drywall, carpeting, under-padding, and even insulation, are examples of mould penetration that requires serious remediation – it means cleaning up the mould, removing the contaminated zones, and replacing damaged areas to their original state. At this stage, certified mould professionals are best positioned to remediate properly, thoroughly, and entirely – it’s the only way to fully prevent reoccurrence. Indeed, even the process of removing contaminated materials requires the attention of an expert. Government agencies, both provincial and federal, have published standards and guidelines for dealing with mould. Health Canada, as well as Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, encourage consumers to test for mould using accredited Indoor Air Quality Investigators. Health Canada has circulated a number of common-sense approaches to dealing with mould, but maintains that ALL kinds of mould, regardless of toxicity, can pose a potential risk to human health. In short, they recommend removal, and uphold a policy that there is no "safe level” of indoor mould. Choosing a professional service provider can also have its pitfalls – after all, how do you make a choice that’s right? To begin with, hire a firm with credentials – with experts who understand mould; mould growth; and mould spores. Beyond their expertise, they should be equipped with precision instruments; state-of-the-art equipment; and the required technology to thoroughly detect, test and report their findings. Many companies focus on very basic inspections, and offer a price-point that is attractive. The truth is, we get what we pay for, and when personal health is concerned, its not a time to cut corners or scrimp on budgets.