It often starts when a Vancouver homeowner goes down to the basement and spots a bit of a black smear on one wall. Is it mold? Perhaps. Perhaps not. A few weeks later that same homeowner opens the cabinet below the kitchen sink and encounters an odour. Is it the "M" word? Maybe. Finally, a while after that, the homeowner sees a bit of a smudge along the corner of the kitchen wall. Oh my gosh! It's you-know-what!
For many the first thought is to attack the mold with a bottle of bleach and a scrub brush. Wrong. You should never attempt to do a mold clean up yourself. Here are four excellent reasons why.
1. All mold can cause harm; toxic varieties can kill. Even if you are not compromised, it can give you everything from a headache to trouble breathing. If there are babies or old people in the home, or if someone has a respiratory illness, toxic mold can cause pneumonia and death. Experts know how to handle toxins; you don't.
2. Mold abatement requires intense application of substances and a very thorough cleaning of everything from floors to heating ducts. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) sets the standards for safe removal of hazards. An IICRC certified mold remediator should be the only person to remove mold from your Vancouver home.
3. Many homeowners think they can attempt a clean up using bleach. Rather than being killed by it, many spores thrive in environments like bleach. Not only that, spores can emit chemicals which contain ammonia. Ammonia and bleach mixed together creates a very poisonous gas. So if the spores don't make you sick, the gas will.
4. Spores have a mind of their own. Removing infested wall paper, floor coverings, wall board and other materials is just as likely to spread the mold to new locations in your house as it is to stop it in its tracks. An expert knows how to keep that from happening.
Cleaning up mold is no easy task. It often requires household repairs to eliminate the cause of the infestation. At its most simple, it requires knowledge of chemicals, containment and removal practices that only a qualified expert has. Play it safe. Let the professionals get rid of the mold.