Mouldy Toronto Home Sells For $650K

Mouldy home? No problem – at least, not for some buyers in Toronto’s crazed real estate market. A home in Scarborough, in the east end of the city, just sold for $650,000, a full $100,100 over the asking price, despite the fact that it was literally riddled with mould.

A Buyer’s Nightmare – Or Not?
Ten years ago, the story would be the stuff of a Hollywood comedy – or maybe even a horror movie – about a hapless but photogenic couple who buy a mouldy home and have to live with the consequences.

In real life, the buyers of the Scarborough property – which we’ll note is a bungalow – couldn’t even access the main floor or basement of the home. The ceiling had caved in, and the basement was a dreadful mess. We don’t know their plans, but wouldn’t be surprised if a bulldozer will be playing a major role.

The listing notes that the property needs “extensive renovations inside and out.” That’s putting it mildly. Still, it found a buyer in the GTA’s over heated market.

Mould And Neglect
We don’t know the scoop on what could have happened here, but it sounds like a case of long term neglect for whatever reason. Lack of maintenance can lead to mould infestation in many ways.

  • Mould can grow within 24 to 48 hours wherever moisture lingers.
  • A leak in plumbing, especially within a wall where it is not immediately observed, can rsults in ongoing moisture.
  • Leaks in the basement, even if the room has been dried out, can cause mould to grow in carpets and other fabrics.
  • Leaky windows and doors, or a leaky roof – all of these can result in moisture build-up that does not dry out.

Mould Is No Joke
Once mould has infected your home, the spores can reach your HVAC system, and from there, spread throughout your home. It can cause a variety of symptoms and health issues.

  • Persistent nose, throat, and eye irritation;
  • Existing asthma worsens;
  • Respiratory problems;
  • Persistent coughing;
  • Even difficulty breathing.

Don’t Take Chances
If you smell the telltale musty odour of mould in your home, let us help. Our experienced and certified mould removal technicians can help keep you and your family safe. In the Toronto area call Environmental 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.

Mould & Humidity – Prevention and Control

Summer has finally come to Toronto and the GTA, and with high temperatures inevitably come high humidity. Humidity is simply water vapour in the air, so it’s not just the discomfort when you venture outside that you need to worry about.

The Mould-Humidity Link
Indoor humidity is directly related to air quality, and can lead to mould growth. There are two ways that humidity can lead to mould growth.

  • If you have leaks in plumbing, or any other lingering water, anywhere in your home, high humidity indoors will prevent it from fully drying out. Mould only needs 24 to 48 hours to begin to take hold.
  • High humidity, by itself, can lead to mould growth. How high is too high? About 60% humidity.
  • Ideal indoor humidity levels should range between 30% and 50% at most.

If you are concerned, you can buy an inexpensive tool called a hygrometer to measure humidity levels in your home. Mould will grow where it can find food, and it loves cellulose. It can grow on a variety of materials commonly found in the home, including:

  • Drywall and plaster;
  • Wood;
  • Paper;
  • Carpeting;
  • Insulation.

What’s the answer?
Reducing humidity and making sure there is adequate ventilation in your home will reduce the risk of mould growth.

  • Air conditioning may not be enough – a dehumidifier is a good investment in indoor air quality.
  • Be sure to keep the dehumidifier clean and disinfected so that it can operate properly.

We Can Help
If you are dealing with mould in your home, we can help. You can trust the experienced mould removal experts at Green Stream Environmental to take care of your environmental issues. In the Toronto area contact Environmental 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.

Winterizing Tips: Reduce Your Exposure To Mould

We’ve been lucky enough to avoid the worst of winter weather so far here in Toronto and the GTA, but still, we all know there’s no escaping the inevitable. Winter will come, and with it, cold, damp weather that can bring on a slew of problems, including mould.

Here are some tips on what to incorporate into your home winterizing routine to avoid mould growth and the health problems it can cause.

Your Furnace
When you first start up the furnace after a nice long summer, it’s not unusual to notice a bit of a musty smell. If it lasts less than a day, it’s typically just the dust that has accumulated through the warmer season. It burns off pretty quickly, and changing the air filters will help.

  • If the must odour persists, then it may be mould. Sometimes, air conditioning systems can cause condensation to build up in the air ducts. Mould may start to grow, and then disperse throughout your home. A duct cleaning may be in order, along with mould removal procedures.

Avoid Leaks
Regularly inspecting your home and then repairing any leaks and deficiencies promptly will save you a lot of time and money getting rid of mould and its after effects later on.

  • Make sure your roof is sound – look for stained, curling, worn or missing shingles.
  • Check the eavestroughing – make sure gutters are clear and any downspouts flow away from the house.
  • Inspect any siding or other outside wall covering to ensure integrity – look for cracks or gaps in the siding material, brick or mortar.
  • Inspect windows for leaks, and fill in any gaps with VOC-free sealant.

Other Considerations:

  • Make sure your dryer is venting outside, and that the vent is kept clear;
  • Make sure attics and basements are free of leaks.

Avoiding moisture build-up is the key to avoiding mould growth.

We Can Help
If you are dealing with mould in your home, we can help. You can trust the experienced mould removal experts at Green Stream Environmental to take care of your environmental issues. In the Toronto area contact Environmental 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.

Avoiding Mould: Clean-up After A Flood

With the wet spring that we’ve had so far, basement flooding is a real risk for many homes in Toronto and the GTA. Along with damage, flooding brings another risk that can linger long after—mould.

Mould Growth
As a matter of fact, mould spores can begin to develop within 24 to 48 hours if moisture lingers and does not dry. That leads to the first, and foremost, principle when you are faced with having to clean up after a flood.

The sooner, the better!

  • You may not be able to prevent all damage from a flood, but quick action will definitely minimize the extent of it.
  • Be thorough—even if an area just feels damp, without any standing water, it can be a breeding ground for mould spores.

Remember, mould only needs moisture and a food source—such as the cellulose based materials in carpet and even drywall—to thrive. It can appear in, walls, furniture, carpets, flooring, curtains and other fabrics.

Dangers of Mould
If left to grow unchecked, or improperly cleaned up, mould can cause a host of health problems, including worsening allergies, asthma, chronic nose, throat, and eye irritation, and more. These are your first steps towards preventing mould growth.

  • Disconnect any power cords, and switch everything off;
  • Move anything you can out of the room, including furniture and electronics (the latter, if wet, are likely a write-off in any case);
  • Pull up and remove any carpeting, including underpadding—this too is likely a write-off;
  • Cut out any drywall that has gotten wet.

The next step is to remove the water. For smaller amounts and areas, old towels and buckets are the old fashioned way that still works. A wet/dry vacuum, or even a small sump pump, available at a typical hardware store, is a good choice if there is more, provided it is feasible to use electricity.

  • Once you’ve removed all the water and moisture that you can, fans and a dehumidifier will help to dry out the area more thoroughly. If you can open windows to allow for a through draft, that’s ideal—provided it has stopped raining.
  • Now, you will want to use a good disinfectant to sanitize the area, including the walls, baseboards, and any surface that came into contact with flood water.

At this point, you’ve done all you could to help prevent the spread of mould after a flood. Still, you may find that mould has developed under the floor, or behind a wall where you didn’t see it.

We Can Help
If you have mould issues in your home, you can trust the experienced mould removal experts at GreenStream Environmental to take care of it 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.

Frozen Pipes and Winter Mould Woes

Frozen water pipes caused flooding in Toronto City Hall this past week, an unenviable issue many home owners have to deal with too. Mould can’t grow at freezing temperatures, that’s a fact. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a link between freezing water pipes and mould – when pipes burst and there’s flooding, mould is a distinct possibility.

Once water is flooding the basement, mould can grow within 24 to 48 hours if the conditions are right. It loves to eat drywall and it loves the darkness, so your basement and all those nooks and crannies where water is flowing in a flood represent the ideal breeding ground for mould spores.

The Basement Flood
The most important thing to remember when you’ve had a basement flood is to act quickly. The cold air of a basement causes the moisture to linger and also condensation of any moisture in the air, adding to the problem.

  • Rule #1: Dry out as quickly as possible. Portable fans and dehumidifiers can certainly help. If good old regular mould can grow within 48 hours, wet conditions for several days can cause the development of far worse: toxic black mould caused by the bacteria Stachybotrys chartarum.
  • Open the windows if there are any – and as long as it’s stopped raining or snowing. If the air outside is very humid, then try turning on your air conditioner and/or dehumidifier to circulate air without adding more moisture.
  • Remove as much water as you can to speed up the drying process.
  • Disconnect any electrical equipment immediately.
  • Clean up. Clean every surface and area that’s been affected.
  • Mouldy items – if you’re throwing them away, seal the bag. If there is anything you want to try and keep, freezing the item kills the mould.
  • Foundations – if there’s snow, ice and/or water and puddling building up around your home, mould could be affecting the very foundations of the building and causing mould to grow into the foundation itself. Landscaping changes and grading the yard so that water flows away from the home may be necessary. Once it’s gotten into the foundation mould can actually weaken the structure of the materials used. It’s not just an unsightly spot on the wall.

Prevention Means Maintenance
Maintaining the conditions in your basement into the future is the goal. Unless you’ve made it into a family room or office, the basement is often a neglected area used only for specific purposes and avoided the rest of the time. It’s easy to overlook the kinds of issues that can end up spreading mould spores throughout your home via your HVAC system.

  • Control humidity – this is a must at all time. Some types of mould need only 55% humidity levels to begin to develop. A dehumidifier might be called for in the humid summer months and for any extended period of rain. Drying clothing indoors can also contribute to excess humidity.
  • Ventilation – adequate ventilation will ensure that moisture doesn’t linger and turn into mould. Special areas of concern include any crawlspaces which are often entirely unventilated.
  • Exhaust fans are a good solution for real problem areas like laundry rooms where there is always going to be a certain degree of humidity.
  • Insulate those pipes so you can avoid it happening again.

Get Professional Help
You need professional help to properly clean up after the devastation of a flood. Our experienced mould removal experts offer professional, certified mould removal services to help get your living space back to normal.

In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414. Contact us for a mould removal 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.

Quebec Schools Close Due to Mould

The province of Quebec has been rocked by the revelation that a number of schools may actually have to be closed and demolished due to mould issues.

Parents describe their children suffering from some of the classic symptoms of mould exposure:

  • Headaches
  • Nose and throat irritation
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach aches

Other symptoms can include:

  • Eye irritation
  • Chronic sinus inflammation
  • Coughing
  • Worsening asthma and allergies – even when medicated

The school board seems to be taking appropriate action, including mould testing and remediation work if possible – although they’re not ruling out the possibility of another school closure and rebuilding project due to mould.

Children and Mould
Mould exposure is of particular concern where children (and the elderly) are involved since they have been shown to be especially vulnerable to its adverse effects. Elsewhere in the province, support workers are demanding that the government take action on what has turned out to be a widespread issue.

Older buildings and a lack of regular maintenance are indeed a recipe for mould but don’t forget that it can appear in new buildings too – perhaps in your home. Unseen water leaks and condensation can cause moisture to linger and when conditions are right, mould growth can begin within a mere 24 to 48 hours.

Let Us Help
If you suspect the presence of mould in your home because:

  • You or a member of your family is experiencing chronic and unexplained symptoms like those described above
  • You smell that telltale musty odour
  • You suspect leaks or lingering moisture

Then let GreenStream help. Mould can be notoriously difficult to remove and there are many examples where it’s been thought to have been eradicated only to return later on. Our mould remediation technicians are certified by The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) to remove, dispose and decontaminate commercial and residential mould safely and professionally.

We provide a multi-faceted approach that involves thorough testing and mould removal along with remediation of the areas involved.

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.

The three “D’s” of eliminating toxic mould: Detect, Dry and Ditch

Who knew that winning the fight against toxic mould was simple as deploying the three “D’s” – Detecting, Drying and Ditching?

OK, so it’s not that simple. In truth, a certified mould removal company is the most effective path to eliminating mould. But the three “D’s,” recently outlined in media coverage of National Mould Awareness Month in the U.S., can help us understand the principles that best defeat mould.

Detect it!

The mould detection process is still best left to the experts but it certainly helps to understand the risk factors that foster mould growth. If we know the places mould loves to live, we can catch it early. Moist basements, particularly after floods, are the obvious culprit. But clogged drains, leaky pipes, showers and damaged roofs can also house toxic mould.  Keeping a close watch of those areas may help you spot it before it grows out of control and starts affecting your health.

Dry it!

This principle is particularly handy for all the hurricane and flood victims across North America right now. If your home has been rocked by a natural disaster – or if it’s been flooded by something man-made, like a bursting pipe – you have to eliminate the water and leftover moisture as soon as possible. Investing in a pump or shop vac may seem annoying at first but could save you the cost of a mould removal and countless other repairs.

Ditch it!

This is the hardest point of the three to hammer home. Many human beings are pack rats. We don’t like to throw away our possessions. We think things are salvageable. This mentality is the main reason why toxic mould surfaces when you think the risk is gone or after you’ve eliminated it.

Any replaceable item that is water-logged or mould-damaged – be it carpet, drywall or floor tiles – should be tossed away. Experts suggest cutting out up to a foot of the drywall above the water level of a flooded area. If you try to salvage badly damaged items, you’ll hurt yourself in the long run by giving mould a cushy place to grow.

Should you suspect the presence of toxic mould in your home or business, Contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca – Toronto’s mould removal specialists – 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, GTA and Ontario, GreenStream has over 40 combined years of experience serving clients such as the City of Toronto, the Toronto District School Board and many more. Call us today for a free estimate at 416-818-9414.

Serving homes and businesses in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and across Ontario, including Ajax-Pickering, Barrie, Brampton, Durham Region, Halton, Markham, Mississauga, Newmarket, North York, Oakville, Oshawa, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Vaughan, Woodbridge and Whitby.

Key Lake workers ready to revolt against toxic mould

As contract workers in Key Lake, Saskatchewan are showing, ignoring mould removal when it’s clearly needed doesn’t just jeopardize people’s health. If you’re the one neglecting the problem, your business can suffer too, as workers will only tolerate living with toxic mould for so long.

That’s what’s happening in Key Lake. Roughly 260 workers from a uranium processing site there are fed up with what they believe is black mould in their kitchen and living quarters. They’ve reached the point where they’re ready to walk off the job unless their parent company, Cameco, improves the conditions.

One employee said the mould is “everywhere” and that Cameco has known about the problem since January. “They did some kind of report, they took pictures, they took samples of the mould to get it figured out.”

The anonymous employee also said that Cameco, instead of hiring a mould removal company, was looking at simply revising the air duct system or, as he put it, “sweeping dirt under the rug.”

Toxic mould isn’t something to be swept under the rug. It’s been linked to countless health problems, especially lung-related ones. It causes infections and is responsible for asthma in many cases, too.

It appears Cameco is responding to the workers’ demands. Robert Gereghty, director of communications for the company, suggested that there was simply a miscommunication with the workers and that they were commencing an Occupational Health Committee-approved plan to eliminate the mould starting this month.

“Those who want to leave the site will be allowed, they’ll be accommodated, anyone who wants to stay will be put up in other rooms, and we’re also bringing in ventilation,” Gereghty said.

The issue sounds like a case of he-said, she-said, but the bottom line is that the Key Lake workers did the right thing. It’s not right for anyone to live or work surrounded 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 416-818-9414.