Leaky Windows, Mould and Potential Legal Issues

A minor leak in a window can go unnoticed or, depending on where it is, unrepaired. A small leak in a basement window, after all, only involves a few drops during a heavy rain. If the basement if unfinished, where’s the big rush to spend money on repairs or new windows?

Mould. That’s the answer.

Mould facts
The fact is that mould can begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours wherever there is moisture that doesn’t dry out. Basements are particularly prone to dampness that lingers, often unnoticed.

  • Once mould has taken hold, it can spread through the HVAC system, dispersing mould spores throughout your home.

Mould is a recognized health hazard with many potential repercussions. It can cause a variety of flu-like symptoms such as persistent cough and throat irritation among others.

  • It can worsen existing asthma and other respiratory issues;
  • Eye and nose irritation;
  • Persistent sinus congestion;
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath.

Finding the leak
Sometimes the source of the leak is easy to spot, other times not so much. With older windows, the water can simply be seeping in around the windows. In that case, they can often be resealed from the inside or outside.

  • Remember to check under carpets and if necessary, flooring. Carpeting provides the ideal environment for mould to thrive.

Once you have found the problem, windows are a relatively straightforward repair, but when it comes to mould, you’ll need professional help to clean it up.

Buying or selling?
If you are buying or selling a home, fixing leaks and dealing with mould are crucial issues. With housing prices skyrocketing in the GTA, many potential buyers are foregoing the usual home inspections and may be buying somebody else’s mould problems. Are you letting yourself in for someone else’s problems – or courting legal issues by passing them on to the buyer?

We can help
If you suspect the presence of mould in your home, you can’t afford to cut corners or “save money” while you damage your health and that of your family. You can trust the experienced mould removal experts at GreenStream Environmental to take care of the issue for you. In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a quote today.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414. You’ll be glad you did.

Spring Cleaning? Check For Mould

As any homeowner knows, vigilance is the key to maintaining a healthy indoor environment. That’s especially true when it comes to an issue like mould – so common and so difficult to keep under control in a topsy turvy, damp climate like the one we enjoy here in the GTA.

Naturally you should be on the look out for the signs of mould growth at any given time but if the improving weather’s got you in the mood for spring cleaning, then you might want to include a checklist of the places sneaky mould can grow – often undetected.

Basically, there’s only one ingredient in the recipe for mould spores: constant moisture. It follows that you’d look for mould near sources of moisture and water supply conduits, including:

  • under the sink where even a pinhole leak or constant drip from condensation
  • inside front loading washing machines – remember to leave the door open to thoroughly dry it out after use to prevent mould
  • the furnace cabinet – cold air from outside meets warm air inside to create condensation
  • a dripping humidifier

Given the nature of mould, bathrooms and kitchens overall top the list of places where you’re likely to find mould.

Mould Prevention Tip: ventilation plays a huge role in controlling and hindering mould growth – consider a bathroom fan and over the stove hood fan to avoid moisture build up.

If You Find Mould
Even if you don’t see mould (it may be growing inside a wall for example) you might notice the telltale signs:

  • a persistent musty odour
  • worsening allergies
  • persistent cough or other respiratory symptoms
  • irritated eyes, nose, throat

Mould is notoriously hard to remove on your own. That’s where GreenStream’s seasoned mould removal experts come in. We are certified by The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) to remove, dispose and decontaminate commercial and residential mould safely and professionally.

Our professional mould removal services involve a multi-faceted approach from start to finish from assessment of the contamination area to mould removal and remediation procedures.

Get peace of mind from GreenStream Environmental – call us for professional mould removal services.  You’ll be glad you did!

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414.  You’ll be glad you did.

Government Employees Evacuated Due To Mould

Fifty employees were evacuated from a Nova Scotia government building in downtown Halifax after the discovery of mould.Apparently air quality has been an issue for some time at the provincial government building but recent air tests indicated that the problem was getting worse. At this point, officials aren’t certain if they will ever actually return to the historic building.

Mould was discovered on one of the upper floors of the 7-story structure that was built in 1860 and then remodelled after a fire in 1912. It’s an old story that highlights the difficulties often faced when trying to preserve architectural history in the modern era.

The dangers of mould to human health were not on anyone’s radar a century ago and the structures and systems of older buildings were not designed to combat it. For example, old buildings most often relied heavily on the use of wood, which can hold moisture, and overall ventilation was not much taken into account.

Old Homes = Old Problems
Many of the GTA’s most attractive neighbourhoods feature tree-lined streets – and older homes which may be facing similar issues. Many factors can contribute to creating an environment where mould can thrive, among them:

· Faulty or patchy maintenance – particularly roofs, windows and other areas where moisture can get in and linger

· Do-it-yourself renovations – over the years, previous owners may have made many changes that affect ventilation and other issues

· Basement ‘dungeons’ – old, unfinished basements that are seldom used can often be the site of undetected leaks and lingering moisture

Take Mould Seriously
The Nova Scotia government takes the health risks of mould seriously, and so should you. Exposure to mould can lead to a range of symptoms including:

  • Chronic eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Difficulty breathing

Once it’s entered your HVAC system, mould spores can travel throughout your home.

Don’t take the risk!
Get peace of mind from GreenStream Environmental – call us for a quote today.

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414.  You’ll be glad you did.

A Movie Set with Familiar Issues: Asbestos & Mould

Built to withstand a four-megaton nuclear bomb, a former military facility deep underground in Northern Ontario is now home to a movie shoot – and some familiar old problems.

Known as The Colony, the compound was the twin of an American base at Colorado Springs, and was the command and control centre for the North American Air Defence Command for more than four decades. The bunker was located 68 storeys below the rocky terrain of the North Bay area of Ontario. Decommissioned in 2006 when it was replaced by a newer – and above ground – facility, the complex is still owned by the DND (Department of National Defence) and while not in use, is currently the set for a feature film starring actors Bill Paxton and Laurence Fishburne.

A Futuristic Set with Old Problems

The film has a futuristic plot about survival in a “new ice age” but the building itself, according to a DND brochure, has a lot of old problems, including:

  • Asbestos in pipe insulation. Asbestos was often used to insulate steam pipes, boilers and furnace ductwork in the form of an asbestos blanket or asbestos tape. The material can become released in the air where it can be inhaled and therefore dangerous if the material is damaged, or if it’s disturbed or removed during renovations
  • Mould in the walls of one of the rooms, which has been sealed off. Water leaks from a roof or around windows is a very common source of mould growth inside walls. The trouble with this type of mould growth is that you’ll seldom know about it until it’s already taken hold.

Vigilance is the Answer

An aging high tech facility, or your lovely older home – with the same common hazards. The only way to know about these often hidden sources of unwelcome contamination in your home and get peace of mind is to call in the professionals for an inspection.

In between professional inspections, you’ll want to inspect your home yourself on a regular basis, keeping an eye out for sources of moisture and condensation, accumulation of little black spots on walls and floors, and an overall musty odour – these are your clues to mould growth.

Keep an eye on your pipe and furnace insulation. As long as it’s entirely intact, it’s not considered dangerous, but once it starts to crumble, don’t fool around – call in the experts right away for abatement or removal.

At GreenStream Environmental, we’ve got the solution for your “old home” issues, including:

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite and mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA (North York, Mississauga, Markham, Brampton, Scarborough, Ajax, Oshawa, and beyond) GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9414.  You’ll be glad you did.

Wet spring weather leads to mouldy basements

The wet weather in the Greater Toronto Area this spring doesn’t just ruin golf games and picnics; it creates a breeding ground for toxic mould.

A study posted in The Globe and Mail two weeks ago chronicles the troubles of Carole Blackburn, a mother of two in Scarborough, Ontario. Repeated rain has ravaged her home, which has “weeping” tiles and poor foundation. Her basement floods every year.

Ms. Blackburn is just one of many GTA residents experiencing the havoc of major water damage at home at this time of year. The simple cost of property damage is a major threat – but the accumulation of toxic mould that accompanies the moist conditions is even more dangerous.

Without proper mold removal, a soggy basement can become a breeding ground. The mould can lead to breathing difficulties and cause countless other health problems.

There are steps you can take to combat mould if your house has taken damage from flooding and allowed it to grow. You can hire a Toronto mould removal company to eliminate the problem. You can also, of course, get the jump by ensuring your basement doesn’t flood in the first place.

Potential solutions include installing a backwater valve in your basement; extending your downspouts so that they route water away from your home instead of close to basement windows; regularly cleaning debris from your eavestroughs; keeping snow away from your basement windows and doors during the winter; or even raising or building up the ground around your house so that water drains away from it instead of toward it.

Making the proper preparations to combat flooding can save you from crippling property damage. Better yet, it can protect you from the health problems caused by toxic mould.

Featured in Mike Holmes’ magazine, HGTV’s Income Properties, W Network’s Love It Or List It and chosen by Homestars.com as “Best Toronto Asbestos Removal Company” based on customer ratings and reviews, GreenStream Environmental Services are fully-certified, trusted and insured professionals in the removal and disposal of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential asbestos, vermiculite, mould (hazardous and non-hazardous). Providing emergency service 24/7/365 for all of Toronto and the GTA, GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. For a free estimate in Toronto, the GTA and Southern Ontario, call today at 416-818-9314.

Mould threats don’t disappear once the temperature drops in the GTA

Seasonal allergies tend to take a break in the winter, because weeds, grasses and pollens are either killed off or dormant for the season. Outside, the threat of snow mould remains.  

What is Snow Mould?

Snow mould is a type of fungi that affects nearly all grasses growing in Canada, including residential lawns that are covered in snow for much of the year. If snow melts during the winter during warmer temperatures, this snow mould can present allergy issues.  Those allergic to mould might still experience allergies or respiratory problems indoors throughout the winter months because moulds are not killed by snow or frost and tend to thrive in your home because of the warmth.  Likewise, mould thrives on the dead organic matter that is killed off during the winter months, leading to mould growth “bouncing back” in the spring. 

Inside the home there are risks of mould infestations because just like in the summer, the home is sealed up to prevent expensive heated air from escaping, which traps mould spores inside.   Condensation also builds up in the winter, affecting poorly-insulated or older windows, floors, roofs, pipes and exterior walls.

Excessive condensation  on windows can also contribute to humidity in the home and if this is the case, homeowners should undergo a mould inspection to make sure that this excessive humidity isn’t causing hidden mould growth.  

The long-range weather forecast  in Toronto is calling for a much wetter and warmer winter than normal until January, which means that mould-causing moisture intrusion might be an issue for some homeowners in the coming months. Ensure that this winter is worry-free with a mould inspection.

Should you suspect the presence of vermiculite or asbestos in your home or business, Contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca – Toronto’s asbestos removal specialists – at (416) 818-9414.

Vermiculite and Asbestos Removal Services in Toronto, Ajax, Brampton, Etobicoke, Markham, Mississauga, North York, Oshawa, Peel Region, Pickering,  Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Woodbridge ,Vaughan and York

Reducing Household Mould Increases Health

Most Canadians are aware that the flu and other seasonal ailments can cause significant problems in children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. These groups are often encouraged to get any recommended vaccines early, and are often warned to be extra cautious in dealing with health risks that might not necessarily be as dangerous for healthy adults.

But what exactly are compromised immune systems? Typically, the phrase refers to certain immunodeficiencies like AIDS, various forms of cancer, hepatitis or other chronic and serious circumstances. But what if an individual is unaffected by these conditions but is always suffering from respiratory issues, sinus problems or has aggravated allergies or asthma for unknown reasons?

According to recent studies by both Harvard University and the Mayo Clinic, the increased rate of asthma, allergies and nearly all sinus issues can be directly related to household mould that is found in half of North American homes.  Mould doesn’t discriminate between older buildings and brand new homes, and can be found nearly anywhere.  

Moisture is the main reason that indoor mould occurs. They key to eliminating this mould is drying up particularly moist areas by using a dehumidifier and keeping the humidity in your home at a constant 30% – 45%. Any leaks or water damage in the home should be inspected as a potential source of mould, and remediated as soon as possible.

Maintaining your indoor air quality by utilizing HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters and ensuring proper ventilation of moist bathrooms can also prevent the travel of mould spores, as well as using proper mould-removing cleaners instead of bleach, which only kills the mould on the surface and not the roots.

Everyone can be vulnerable to toxic mould that enters the body and degrades the immune system while posing significant respiratory health problems, but eliminating household mould problems is one of the best ways to enter cold and flu season with a fighting chance. 

Should you suspect the presence of mould in your home or business, Contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca – Toronto’s mould removal specialists – at (416) 818-9414. We can help.

Mould Removal in Toronto, Ajax, Brampton, Etobicoke, Markham, Mississauga, North York, Oshawa, Peel Region, Pickering,  Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Woodbridge ,Vaughan and York Region Ontario.