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Frequently Asked Questions About Mould Detection & Removal

By the time most property owners detect the presence of mould, the problem is likely more widespread than they realize. Mould is a severe safety and health hazard that should be removed by professionals. Canstar Fire and Flood has the experience and equipment necessary to safely detect and remove mould from your property. Since 1985, countless property owners have relied on our full-service property restoration company to assist with asbestos and mould remediation. British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan residents count on us to remove mould before it affects the structural integrity of their home or business. Below, please find answers to some of our frequently asked mould remediation questions.

What Is Mould? Are There Different Types of Mould?

Mould is a fungus that reproduces via spores transmitted through the air. When mould spores land on a damp surface, they multiply. Mould can grow on just about any surface, including wood, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, sheetrock, carpet, insulation, leather, and even food. Mould thrives in areas with excess moisture or humidity. It’s estimated there are over 300,000 species of mould worldwide. Depending on where you live, you’re probably not exposed to many species of mould.

How Does Mould Differ From Mildew?

Mildew is a specific kind of mould. Identifying which is present in your home will dictate the appropriate removal method. Mildew typically grows flat, while mould has a raised appearance. Mould may appear fuzzy or slimy, while mildew usually looks powdery. Mildew is generally white or grey, while mould may be green, red, blue, white, grey, or black. Mildew may smell a bit like damp socks, while mould has a much stronger odour. Mildew may be found on a surface, while mould tends to burrow deeper. Mildew presents health risks, but mould is generally a much bigger threat. While you can remove mildew with many household cleaners, mould removal is more complicated and requires a professional.

Why Does Mould Grow in the Home?

Mould tends to thrive in moist or damp conditions. Poor indoor air quality and the presence of moisture in your home from leaky plumbing or recent flooding make it a favourable setting for mould growth. To prevent mould growth, you must maintain your home’s humidity and moisture levels. Mould can be found indoors or outdoors. Common places where it may lurk inside your home include attics, bathrooms, basements, crawlspaces, HVAC systems, drywall, subflooring, carpeting, fabrics, window frames, walls, cabinets, and furniture. Mould is found everywhere and cannot be eliminated. However, you can control it by preventing the conditions in which it thrives.

How Can You Prevent Mould Growth in Your Home?

The best way to prevent mould growth inside your home is to keep moisture at bay. Whether caused by your pipes or roof, you should repair water leaks as quickly as possible to help you control your home’s moisture levels. Canstar Fire and Flood specializes in leak detection services to help homeowners isolate and treat problems before they worsen. A dehumidifier or air conditioner can help keep your home’s humidity levels low. Ensure appliances like your dryer and stove vent outdoors and use exhaust fans when cooking or showering. Open windows whenever possible to ventilate your home.

You can use mould-killing products when cleaning moist areas like your bathroom or shower. You can add mould inhibitors to paints before painting your walls or windowsills. We also recommend keeping your attics and basements free of clutter to prevent hiding places for mould. In the event of a flood, you’ll want to clean and dry the area out immediately. We also specialize in fast, effective water damage and flood damage restoration services across British Columbia and Alberta.

How Do You Know If You Have a Mould Problem?

Because mould tends to grow in hidden areas like your drywall or subflooring, many people aren’t aware they have a mould problem until they notice signs of illness. It’s critical to clean water or flood damage as soon as possible to prevent mould growth. Most experts say water-damaged areas must be dried and dehumidified within 24-48 hours. Signs of mould you should be on the lookout for include:

  • Musty or pungent odours from your HVAC unit
  • Discolourations on walls, ceilings, tiles, or furniture
  • Warped walls (bubbling paint or wallpaper)
  • Contaminated carpets with dark, wet spots or stains
  • Frequent allergy or asthma flare-ups

What Are the Health Hazards of Mould Growth?

According to Health Canada, mould growth presents various health hazards the more often people inhale its spores. People with mould growth in their homes are more likely to have eye, nose, throat, and lung irritations, wheezing, shortness of breath, frequent headaches, phlegm buildup, asthma symptoms, and other allergic reactions. Seniors, children, and people with certain medical conditions or weakened immune systems may be more sensitive than others. Certain mould species produce something called mycotoxin, which can cause permanent neurological damage if undetected. If you suspect you’ve been exposed to mould growth that has led to health problems, contact your doctor.

How Is Mould Detected?

Mould detection is sometimes a visual process. However, hidden colonies lurking inside your walls may require mould testing. When you call Canstar Fire and Flood, we’ll perform a thorough mould inspection on your property, also seeking the source of your problem. We’ll assess the magnitude of your home or business’ mould damage before taking steps to ensure it doesn’t come back. We can assist you with indoor air quality issues and water damage restoration. Rely on our experienced team to remove mould-contaminated materials and contain the damage before it spreads to other parts of your structure.

How Is Mould Cleaned Up and Removed?

Mould remediation is the process of removing mould from an indoor environment. Mould removal requires specialized equipment and methods to ensure its success. It’s not enough to clean and remove mould. You must also eliminate your moisture problem, or the mould will just grow back. Canstar Fire and Flood has nearly 40 years of experience cleaning up and removing mould for our British Columbia and Alberta neighbours. Our comprehensive approach includes a thorough mould inspection and damage assessment followed by containment of the mould in one area while we dry the environment and remove all mould-contaminated materials.

How Long Does the Mould Remediation Process Take?

Depending on the extent of your mould growth and damage, the average mould remediation process takes one to five days. How much mould is present, where it’s been growing, and the types of contaminated surfaces involved are all factors in how long the mould removal process will take.

Can I Remove Mould Myself or Should I Hire an Expert?

While you could attempt mould damage remediation on your own, it’s best left to professionals for your safety. An experienced mould remediation company has personal protective equipment (PPE) and other specialized gear for mould detection and removal. It’s also a matter of effectiveness – the problem could be more widespread than you realize. Disturbing mould spores while attempting to remove them can create new issues if you’re not careful.

Contact Us Today for Expert Mould Removal in BC, AB or SK

Whether you live in Calgary, Coquitlam, Whistler, or Vancouver, mould removal from Canstar Fire and Flood is just a phone call away. We serve residential and commercial customers across British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Contact us today with any mould remediation questions or concerns. We’re here to help!

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