Mold in Your Basement?

Basements are often an ideal location for mold growth to occur.  This is because mold requires humidity, warmth and nourishment in order to thrive and grow, all which basements usually provide.  Moisture in the basement is typically the cause of your mold problem.  It may have been from a flood, leaky pipes or a leaking foundation.  Any type of organic material is enough to promote mold growth.  Anything from dust to fabric to drywall can keep the mold healthy enough to spread.  If you find or suspect mold in your basement you should have it dealt with as quickly as possible.  Mold can grow very rapidly in the right conditions and can become a profoundly serious problem for your home and for the health of everyone in your household.  Some types of mold can be extremely dangerous due to a toxic compound they produce called mycotoxins.  These molds have the potential to make you seriously ill. 

Signs of Mold

  • A musty smell
  • Peeling wallpaper or paint
  • Colored or dark spots on the wall
  • Signs of water damage
  • Asthma becoming worse mysteriously
  • Runny nose that does not go away
  • Respiratory problems
  • Itchy skin

What to do about mold in the basement?

It is best to contact a professional mold remediation company especially if the mold infested area is large or you are experiencing symptoms of mold exposure.  If you are in the Toronto area, our specialists at Restoration Mate can effectively help you with the problem.  Mold can be exceedingly difficult to get under control and eliminate if you do not know what you are doing.  Mold most often grows in places that cannot be seen therefore making it difficult to assess the extent of the problem.  You could have mold behind walls, under the flooring or even in your HVAC system.  Also, if mold spores are not removed properly, they will not die but will go into a dormant stage and will remain that way until favorable growth conditions return.  The spores can very easily be moved around the house so dealing with the mold in your basement quickly can prevent it from spreading to other areas of your home.  

Restoration Mate’s specialists have the experience and necessary tools to carry out a proper mold inspection and remove the mold in a way that will ensure it does not come back any time soon.  We have several methods such as air quality and swab samples, particle counters, moisture readers, inner wall checks, and infrared thermal cameras to detect mold in your home.  Any swabs taken will be lab analyzed to determine the type of mold.  Restoration Mate provides many effective solutions for mold removal including containment areas, negative air pressure devices, HEPA vacuums, air scrubbers, decontamination, fumigation, disinfection, anti-fungal biocides, dry icing, cold-mist air foggers and filtrating the building’s duct/vent systems. The method used in the process will depend on the severity of the mold growth as well as the species of mold identified.  We can also give you some useful tips unique to your situation to help prevent any more mold growth from occurring in the future.

Preventing Basement Mold Growth

Here are several simple steps that you can take in order to help prevent mold growth in your basement.

  1. Ensure that your basement is dry.  This is the most important thing you can do since moisture is the leading cause of mold and basements are prone to excess moisture.  Prevent water from seeping into the basement from outside by proper grading, gutters and downspouts.  Have your basement waterproofed if needed.  Be sure to fix any leaking pipes quickly.
  2. Keep the humidity under 60%.  Regularly check the humidity level with a hygrometer.  Using a dehumidifier, keeping doors to the basement open and opening basement windows can help keep the humidity level down.
  3. Minimize condensation.  Wrap pipes with insulation to prevent condensation.
  4. Avoid carpet in the basement.
  5. Keep the basement free of clutter.  Clutter will inhibit air flow which promotes mold growth.
  6. If you must store items such as paper, fabrics and wood materials they should be kept in plastic containers as they are a food source for mold. Do not use cardboard boxes as they also provide food.
  7. Avoid having plants in the basement.  Mold loves plants so if you decide to keep them, make sure they are regularly inspected for any signs of mold growth.

By following the above, you will be greatly reducing your chances of having a mold problem in your basement.  If you still discover signs of a mold infestation you should bring in a professional to help you with the situation.  Mold is potentially dangerous to remove and unless done properly you could end up with it spreading to a larger area including other areas of your house.  Do not take chances with mold as the health of you and your family could be at risk and the financial consequences of leaving it to spread can be extreme.  If your home is suffering from mold invasion in the Toronto area, give us a call at Restoration Mate.  With our knowledge and years of experience in mold removal we guarantee a successful removal with long lasting results!

Flood Restoration

Dealing with a flood can be one of the most devastating and stressful events as a homeowner.  Whether it was due to plumbing issues or natural causes such as heavy rains or melting snow, it needs to be taken care of immediately.  The longer the water sits in your home the more damage it will cause.  Flooding can damage furnishings, do structural damage, cause electrical hazards and mold growth.  Water damage can be awfully expensive to repair and has the potential to cause serious harm to your health.  By removing the water as quickly as possible and having a proper clean up done you, will greatly reduce the repair costs and remove the chances of anyone in your home from becoming ill.

There are 3 categories of water damage that are based on the level of water contamination.

Category 1 is where the water contains no contaminates as it is from a sanitary source.   Examples could be a leaked hot water tank or a broken supply line.  This category of water damage does not pose an immediate threat as the source of water is fresh and does not contain harmful microorganisms or chemical or biological matter.

In category 2, the water is known as “gray water.”  This is because the flood water contains a significant amount of contamination.  This can include an unsafe amount of microorganisms and/or chemical or biological matter.  This gray water can be dangerous to health.  Grey water may be a result of sump pump failures, water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines or seepage from ruptured storage tanks. 

Category 3 is the most severe water damage.  This is when the water is grossly contaminated and is otherwise known as “black water.”  It may contain pathogenic or toxigenic agents or be carrying heavy metals, organic matter, pesticides or other regulated materials.  This category is extremely dangerous and can make anyone in the premises severely ill.  Some examples of this water damage category are raw sewage backup, ground surface water, or water from a rising river or stream.  Standing water can also be placed into this category.  It can become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, so it is especially important that even a category 1 or 2 is addressed as quickly as possible. 

A professional flood restoration company is your best bet in all these situations in order to decrease the chances of health issues and further damage to your property.  They will be able to efficiently do an inspection and provide the necessary mitigation plan to curb the amount of damage.  The first important step would certainly be to determine the source of the water and get that under control.  Then water extraction can begin along with removing any items that are non-salvageable and beginning treatments on items that are.  Professional companies will also have heavy duty cleaning equipment to quickly dry materials out.  Air movers, industrial dehumidifiers and air scrubbers will prove to be extremely useful in getting your home dried out as quickly as possible and removing the unpleasant musty smells from the air.  It is particularly important that everything affected is properly sanitized and the moisture level is returned to normal.  A professional would be able to accurately check this for you to ensure that the environment is not a breeding ground for mold.

With the many hazards of flood water, it is recommended that flooding be left to the professionals.  Flooding damage and restoration needs the proper equipment in order to be dealt with in a safe and effective manner.  Restoration Mate is on call 24/7 for emergencies.  With years of experience in dealing with every type of flooding, they will get your situation under control in no time.