Where and how does mould grow?
Many times, the growth occurs after a basement flood or water damage.
Mould requires the following conditions to grow:
- a food source (any organic material, i.e. wood and fabrics),
- a lack of airflow
How fast does mould grow?
It does not take much time at all for mould to grow. If the above three conditions are present, mould can grow in as little as 24-48 hours. It is for this reason that it is imperative that you hire an experienced restoration professional to extract water and dry the place out quickly and correctly if you experience any flood or water damage. Otherwise, secondary damages, including those stemming from mould, can occur. These damages may not be limited to the property itself but can start to affect the health of the building occupants.
What are the harmful effects of mould?
Some types of mould are more harmful than others. One of the more egregious moulds is Stachybotrys, otherwise known as black mould and should not be ignored in any residential or commercial space.
Mould spores can float around the air and make their way straight to your home. They can be extremely dangerous if inhaled and can lay inside the body and cause health issues and diseases. Mould spores in an indoor environment can increase in density, meaning that although spores may not be active, the air can become unhealthy. If inhaled, people’s respiratory tracks can be negatively affected, and allergies can become exacerbated.
What are mould-related health symptoms?
Mould remediation is 100% necessary if you plan to work or live in a space that has been affected by mould. If black mould is present, you could be exposing yourself to numerous toxic mould spores that could negatively impact your health. Some of the following are health symptoms from prolonged exposure to mould:
- Flu-like symptoms (i.e. chronic fatigue, muscle pains, fever, vomiting, and headaches)
- Irritations of skin, eyes, nose and throat
- Coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath
- Allergic reactions
- Severe asthma
Even more concerning, are the negative effects that mould exposure can have on the following:
- Respiratory system (i.e. difficulty breathing, coughing, nasal congestion, and sore throat,)
- Circulatory system (i.e. irregular heartbeat or heart inflammation, and bleeding)
- Mental and nervous system (i.e. dizziness, anxiety, nausea, depression, and memory loss)
- Reproductive system (i.e. impotence, infertility, and miscarriage)
- Immune system (i.e. infections)
The severity of symptoms is different depending on the extent of the mould. The following people are more vulnerable to mould-related illnesses:
- Children and infants below the age of 5
- Persons above the age of 55
- Pregnant women
- Persons with allergies to dust and mould spores
- Persons with underlying health issues and weakened immune systems
How can I tell if I have mould?
Although there are some telltale signs such as an earthy, musty smell, the only way to be sure is to have a professional perform a mould inspection. An accurate inspection is essential in determining the source of the mould, the remediation work that will be required, and, finally, the associated costs. The inspection report should include photos, lab analysis results, the scope of work and an estimate. Sometimes, a mould inspection will indicate that the mould removal process may be more challenging. For those situations, we involve a third-party hygienist.
An independent hygienist or environmentalist can be required to conduct air quality testing and determine the scope of work for the mould removal company to follow, ensuring there is no conflict of interest. The hygienist report often includes the following information:
- Levels of mould within your controlled environment (non-affected areas such as outside your property).
- Types of mould present in the affected areas
- Levels of mould found in the affected areas
- Elevated areas
- Scope of work required to remediate and remove the mould
Why Choose Us?
We advise property owners not to attempt to deal with any mould-related issue themselves because you may unknowingly cross-contaminate your property. Once mould has been disturbed, it is airborne and travels throughout other non-affected areas of your home, causing even more damage and risks. Mould inspection, testing, remediation and removal is the only service that will free your property from mould. Removal of mould should always be performed by a fully certified, licensed and insured (Pollution liability) firm. Be cautious of home inspectors and general contractors claiming to be trained for mould inspection and detection. If your inspector or contractor thinks they have found mould, contact GTA Property Service Group Inc., a professional mould removal company.