Certified experts the best choice for proper mould remediation in your home
Imagine returning home from an extended visit to family in western Canada to find your basement flooded and mould growing on the walls and furniture. This is just what happened to Ottawa residents, Gordon and Janet Walker, in September.
“We had arranged for a company to check the house every 24 hours,” said Walker, referring to the requirement that vacant dwellings should be inspected regularly to maintain insurance coverage. However, he added, it was only in the last few days before their return, that a friend who was also checking the house, became concerned at the evidence of moisture on the main floor.
As soon as the Walkers returned, they contacted their home insurance provider to report the problem. “They sent someone over right away, but he was there for maybe 20 minutes and didn’t really explain what had to be done. He just said his company had dealt with mould jobs before and the place would look like new when the work was finished,” said Walker. “That just left me with a sinking feeling. That’s why I wanted a second opinion.
“I know that it is the consumer’s right to choose any contractor they want. So I looked online and chose Enviropure because all their certifications gave me confidence,” he added, pointing to qualifications that include certification through such international organizations as the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) and the American Bio-recovery Association (ABRA).
Walker says he was further impressed by the way Richard Sticklee, Enviropure Home Services vice president of operations, handled the initial inspection.
“He brought all kinds of equipment with him, including a moisture meter and a special camera and spent well over an hour doing tests and going behind the drywall in the basement,” said Walker. “He told me that the problem was much bigger than we had originally thought and explained how the company was going to solve it in a way that made sense.”
“We found 16 things that the other company had missed,” said Sticklee. “It’s so important to be extremely thorough when doing mould remediation. You have to understand how and where mould grows and how quickly it spreads, what has to be removed and what can be saved.
“At Enviropure, we understand the importance of thorough mould treatment and we’ve cleaned up all levels of mould contamination,” he said. “We are so detailoriented and thorough in our mould remediation that, after we have completed the job and done post-air quality testing, we actually give a safedwelling certificate to let the client know that the building is completely safe to inhabit.”
Sticklee also stressed that mould remediation is a process, not a product. “Sprays that promise to remove mould instantly don’t work,” he said. “Mould has to be removed or you do not solve the problem.”
Bleach, he added, is as ineffective as the commercial sprays. “The problem with using bleach is that it has to be the perfect mixture of nine parts water to one part bleach and left for 10 minutes to create a chemical reaction to get rid of mould. But bleach evaporates faster than water. So, in effect, people are putting water on the mould, which helps it to grow.”
He pointed out that mould, which starts to grow whenever water remains on a surface for 72 hours or more, can cause various health issues. “Anything under five microns that goes into your lungs never comes out. Mould spores are just two microns. Once there is enough mould in your lungs, it builds into all kinds of respiratory problems, like asthma and bronchitis or even fatal diseases in some cases.”
The answer in mould remediation, said Sticklee, is HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) vacuuming, followed by source containment and the disposal of defective materials. “You can’t get mould out of certain materials, such as drywall. You need specialized ways of getting rid of it. That’s why it should be done by certified experts.”
“Our home has been completely remediated and the problem entirely solved,” said Walker. “We were even able to live in the rest of the house while the team was working. We are simply ecstatic that we dealt with the right company.”
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