Mold Busters FAQ
- How long have you been in business? How much experience do you have? Are you certified?
- Are you listed on the BBB (Better Business Bureau)?
- Do you come to my home, or office with a marked vehicle? My neighbors like to gossip and I don’t want them to know I may have a mold problem.
- What’s the difference between a mold test and an air quality test?
- Do you have a lab in your office? If we collected some mold samples, can we bring them to you?
- Do you provide free estimates?
- Why aren’t your prices listed on the website?
- How much does mold remediation cost, on average?
- I have some samples I’d like to get tested for asbestos. Can I drop them off to you?
- Will mold make me sick?
- I’m pretty sure I have ‘black mold’ growing in my home. Is my family safe? Should we move out?
- I got some air testing done, and the company that did it told me I have elevated mold spores in the air. What are the acceptable limits for mold in the air? How do I know if it’s safe or not?
- What causes mold to grow?
- I cleaned mold, but it grew back. Now what?
- I’m confused. I had another company come in to do an air test recently. He charged me half the price, and the results were instantaneous; he didn’t have to send samples off to a lab. What did I pay for?
- How can I book Mold Busters to come speak at my event, or provide training to my office?
How long have you been in business? How much experience do you have? Are you certified?
Mold Busters, as you know it now, officially opened in Ottawa in 2005. However, we have over 30 years of experience in this field. All of our technicians are trained, certified, and experienced inspectors and remediators. When a technician comes to your house, he knows mold from the inside out. We believe in education, and we are always upgrading our knowledge by regularly attending new training and certification courses to better serve our wonderful clientèle.
Are you listed on the BBB (Better Business Bureau)?
Did you know that, as a company, we have to pay an annual fee to be listed on the Better Business Bureau? As a Canadian, family-operated, and budget-oriented company, we cannot justify the cost to simply be listed on a website. We definitely see the value in reviews, and are happy that there are more economically efficient platforms for customers to review our services!
Do you come to my home, or office with a marked vehicle? My neighbors like to gossip and I don’t want them to know I may have a mold problem.
From the very beginning, we understood the importance of discretion and anonymity when helping people deal with a mold problem. Unlike most of our competitors, we don’t have any marked, or decaled vehicles. We don’t have a moldmobile pulling up in your driveway for everyone to see. We respect you, and your privacy. We also maintain this discretion while any remediation, removal, or disinfection projects are underway. We never wear our protective suits or brandish our equipment out in the open, and we are always mindful about your personal, or corporate identity.
What’s the difference between a mold test and an air quality test?
To keep it simple, an air quality test can be a tool to test for mold in your indoor environment. There are multiple ways to conduct a mold test, whether it’s by taking a swab, tape lift, bulk, or air sample. The type of mold test we perform ultimately depends on the individual client needs, and the technician’s professional recommendation for the situation at hand.
Do you have a lab in your office? If we collected some mold samples, can we bring them to you?
We send every sample – mold, asbestos, lead, or other – to an independent laboratory for analysis. Having a third party involved in the analytical process removes any potential conflict of interest, since we also provide removal, remediation, and disinfection services. We also rarely accept samples collected from our clients for a number of reasons. It is always important to have a trained and certified technician collect the appropriate samples, and conduct an inspection of the affected area(s).
Do you provide free estimates?
We believe in providing an unbiased inspection of any suspected, or visible mold concerns. Often, we have been called to provide an estimate for a problem that was misidentified! As such, we provide a comprehensive inspection at an affordable rate. If we find that there is a mold problem substantial enough to warrant our services, and an estimate is provided, we will reimburse the initial inspection fee as part of the proposal.
Why aren’t your prices listed on the website?
Our prices vary from area to area, and from service to service. We find that it’s more beneficial to listen to our customers, understand their concerns, and recommend the best possible service for them. We also like to give people deals over the phone, especially if they’re nice to us! (wink wink, nudge nudge).
How much does mold remediation cost, on average?
This is our most frequently asked question, and the most difficult one to answer! Each individual mold problem will require an individual approach. There are many, many factors to consider, and unfortunately, it’s not a simple square footage calculation like other contractor services. We have guidelines in place which automatically place this type of work into a specialized category. Without providing an inspection to truly understand the extent of the contamination, we won’t be able to give you the cost of the solution. We need to factor in the affected building materials themselves, the type of equipment we’ll be able to bring within the affected environment, safety and containment protocols, etc. Over the phone, or through an email, these are exceptionally difficult to ascertain. There is no ‘average’ price since there is no ‘average’ mold problem; each one is unique!
I have some samples I’d like to get tested for asbestos. Can I drop them off to you?
Unless you are trained and certified to collect asbestos materials for analysis, the answer will always be NO. When it comes to asbestos sampling, it’s important that a trained and certified worker collects the samples. First, this will help to ensure your safety. Asbestos is serious stuff! You don’t want to take it lightly, even it seems like an easy thing to do. Second, each material has a required sampling methodology. The amount of the material being collected, the location, the separation of layers, are all factors that need to be considered in order to get accurate results. When it comes to vermiculite, for example, it can be quite easy to get a false negative result if the appropriate sampling process is not adhered to. There’s a reason why there are experts, like us, who spend years training and practicing these methods. Don’t risk it. Let the pros take care of it!
Will mold make me sick?
Will mold make me sick? is, without a doubt, one of the most common questions we’re asked. And rightfully so; when your health and that of your family is at risk, you’re going to want as much information as possible.
Exposure to mold can lead to illness. However, your reaction depends on a few different factors, namely the extent of exposure and your degree of sensitivity.
Some people are especially susceptible to the adverse health effects of mold exposure, including children, the elderly and people whose immune systems are weak prior to exposure. So, even if you’re not exhibiting symptoms of exposure, pay attention to whether your child or grandmother is.
The following are common symptoms of mold exposure:
- Coughing, sneezing, wheezing and trouble breathing
- Eye, throat and nose irritation
- Worsened asthma
Health Canada advises that all mold growing in your home, regardless of the amount and type, be removed. Thorough remediation helps ensure you and your family are protected against its negative effects, which become only worse with time.
I’m pretty sure I have ‘black mold’ growing in my home. Is my family safe? Should we move out?
This is a tricky question to answer. Let’s start with the easy part.
First, not every ‘discolored building material’ is fungal in nature.
Second, not every ‘black-colored mold’ is Stachybotrys Chartarum (the toxigenic species which most people are referring to when speaking about ‘black mold’).
Our philosophy is: It’s not mold until it’s tested. Simple and plain. By knowing exactly what is present in your property, we will better be able to educate you on the possible consequences. Having said that, we are not doctors, and more importantly, we are not your doctor. Every individual has a unique immune system that will react independently to mold exposure. In some cases, people can be living in an environment with a high concentration of toxigenic mold spores, and seem to be functioning normally. In other cases, moderate levels of ubiquitous mold spores can create devastating effects. It all boils down to the individual, along with their own personal medical history, and immuno-responses.
With this in mind, Mold Busters will always strive to provide you with accurate and relevant information about your indoor environmental concerns. We will always give you – and your family – the best possible recommendations.
I got some air testing done, and the company that did it told me I have elevated mold spores in the air. What are the acceptable limits for mold in the air? How do I know if it’s safe or not?
There are no current acceptable threshold values, or limits for mold spores in an indoor environment. That’s right! In fact, the numbers you’re seeing on the laboratory report (i.e., raw count, spores/c3) are not enough to draw any conclusions about the current state of your home, or office. All indoor air samples need to be compared to a proper baseline sample (typically collected outside), and need to weighed against the visual and diagnostic inspection provided by the technician at the time of the sampling. This can be tricky to understand, and we encourage you to call us for more information.
What causes mold to grow?
Mold requires three key ingredients to grow: moisture, a food source and the right temperature.
Too often people assume mold grows in strictly dirty, unkempt homes. This, however, is not true: mold grows in even the cleanest, most orderly homes.
This is because every house, regardless of its size, location and tidiness, is prone to moisture intrusion. Basements flood, plumbing fails and structural cracks develop.
If moisture accumulates on or near cellulose-rich material (think drywall) while the relative humidity exceeds 30 to 50 per cent, it’s safe to assume mold will grow sooner or later.
While you can take preventative measures—ensuring proper ventilation, controlling moisture and keeping your eyes peeled—you cannot eliminate your home’s risk of developing mold, even when it’s spick and span.
I cleaned mold, but it grew back. Now what?
Unless you are trained and equipped to remove mold, it’s neither effective nor safe that you try.
Perhaps you can’t see the extent of the problem, without an infrared camera, and you’ve scrubbed away only what you could see. In this case, mold may be still growing rapidly behind walls and underneath floors.
Perhaps you don’t have (or don’t know how to use) reliable mold removal equipment. Proper use of this equipment—sand blasting machines, dry ice blasting machines, etc— requires certification and experience. Unfortunately, many homeowners waste a great deal of their time and their energy, trying to remove mold.
What’s more, for anyone who’s not a certified remediation expert, cleaning mold can be dangerous. You risk helping spread spores to otherwise unaffected areas and increasing exposure.
There is a lot to learn about mold… too much to squeeze into one post. So, stay tuned as we continue to teach the ever-important facts about mold in the home. Again, awareness leads to prevention. And prevention is always the number one option.
We have prepared this ultimate guide on how to prevent mold in your home for you to read and educate yourself on how to prevent this ugly menace of ever showing up.
If you suspect there’s mold growing in your home, call us today.
I’m confused. I had another company come in to do an air test recently. He charged me half the price, and the results were instantaneous; he didn’t have to send samples off to a lab. What did I pay for?
Unfortunately, some companies, willingly or not, charge for a service they call ‘air quality testing’, which is, in fact, an ‘air particle count’, or a ‘particle scan’. We see this too often, and it’s a shame that people are taken advantage of. This is not an air quality test, or assessment. Basically, an air particle scan counts the amount of solid airborne particulates within a given space. This does not identify what those particles are. These particles can be anything from dust, pollen, debris, smoke, mold spores, and much more. A particle scan can be a good indicator of a potential problem, however, proper air quality samples ought to be collected for an independent laboratory to do the analysis.
How can I book Mold Busters to come speak at my event, or provide training to my office?
We absolutely love to provide educational awareness seminars, and targeted training modules. To schedule us to speak at your next event, drop us a line via email: [email protected]