Mold Inspection in Toronto
Whenever you suspect mold is growing in your home, the key step to ensuring you and your family’s safety is to schedule a mold inspection in Toronto and the GTA with the certified air quality inspection team at SafeAir. Mold can cause serious damage to your home and can be difficult to spot and nearly impossible to remove on your own, making a mold inspection in Toronto the only way of accurately identifying mold growth in your home. SafeAir is one of the GTA’s leading indoor air quality and air inspection companies providing mold inspection in Toronto and indoor air quality testing and analysis.
Signs You May Have a Mold Problem
With over a 150 different types of mold (or fungus) affecting our indoor environment, unchecked growth can be a serious troublemaker in our homes. Mold growth in an office or residence can cause structural damage, property or merchandise destruction, and serious health effects that can land vulnerable people in the hospital. Having a mold inspection in Toronto & the GTA if you suspect mold may be growing in your home can help to identify what is happening and the best method to fix it.
Mold can take many forms: it can appear as a 3D fuzz or as a discolouration or stain. Mold can be growing behind walls or in hard to reach places, or even inside soft furnishings. Rooms that have active mold growth generally smell musty, and quite often provoke allergic reactions in healthy people. Mold is a living thing and it wants to spread, so having any strange smells or growths checked out by a professional will help you get a head start if they turn out to be mold.
Types of Mold Detected in Toronto Properties
With so much variation in colour, texture, and species, it’s sometimes easier to understand mold growth by slotting it into three common types.
- Allergenic molds are often the least harmful molds, causing generalized effects. They are often the quickest and easiest to clean up.
- Pathogenic molds stick around and have more severe health effects. They cause the most damage to our homes and bodies and need more active professional remediation.
- Toxic molds are harmful and dangerous. These molds may produce toxins affecting the brain and body enough to require medical treatment. They need immediate professional remediation.
Mold Can Have Toxic Health Affects
At SafeAir, our primary concern is good indoor air quality for our clients. Mold can be one of the biggest causes of poor indoor air quality, which is why we offer mold inspections. Mold spreads by releasing spores which then travel through the air to a new surface. While airborne, these spores can be breathed in or can land in sensitive organs, like the the eyes or nose. For healthy people, an allergic reaction can be a headache or persistent sneezing. For a young person, someone with a chronic illness like asthma, or an elder, mold spores can mean more frequent trips to the doctor or even hospital, and a worsening of symptoms. These serious concerns are why we recommend mold testing in Toronto & the GTA for clients reporting common mold allergy symptoms.
Where Do You Need Indoor Mold Inspections
Mold growth is often found in the same rooms of your home for a good reason - they provide the trifecta of food, temperature and moisture. The most common places that we find colonies during a mold inspection in Toronto are the basement and the attic. These spaces provide a food source, stable temperature, and moisture. Mold can begin to grow within 48 hours of exposure to moisture, so it’s important to seal leaky pipes or check after a big storm.
Beyond the basement and attic, where else does mold like to grow? While any room is susceptible to mold growth, the SafeAir team tends to find elevated spore counts during mold testing in Toronto in:
- The basement, where poor airflow, darkness, and the potential for water from leaks and floods is higher.
- The crawlspace, which in some homes still has dirt floors.
- The bathroom, where tub leaks, piping issues, and increased humidity can create the ideal conditions.
- The attic, after hot and humid air rises and becomes trapped — especially if there is poor ventilation.
What Happens During a SafeAir Mold Inspection
If you’ve contacted us at SafeAir for a mold testing in Toronto, it’s likely because you have a concern about some area of your home, whether it be from a recent water leak, because of a funny smell, or from visual evidence of mold growth. When we arrive to perform a mold inspection, we like to know about these areas, but we’ll check your whole building regardless.
A typical air test begins with a visual assessment for water damage and mold growth. Using specialized tools, a qualified SafeAir technician can then perform more in-depth tests, such as a laser particle count, which helps to identify problematic particles in your indoor air quality. We also take readings for carbon monoxide and dioxide, temperature, relative humidity, and dew points - rooms with radically low or high readings may have unseen problems. Other tools that we may use include thermal imaging to detect hidden moisture, air sampling for mold spores, and readings for sewer gasses or other chemicals. After your inspection, we provide our clients with a complete report that outlines any air quality issues, as well as detailed recommendations for remediation.
Indoor Air Quality Test
An indoor air quality test can make a huge difference when mold growth is suspected but no visible signs of growth are present. Mold releases tiny spores into the air to attach to carriers, but typically float through the air until they find a new home to colonize, thereby affecting air quality, and making an air test your best line of defense against continued mold growth.
When it comes to mold, the more information you know, the better able you are to deal with the problem. A professional mold inspection and air test will help you not only confirm the presence of these spores, but also pinpoint the type and amount of spores present. This not only helps us design an efficient remediation plan, but it also helps you feel confident and safe in your home.
What Causes Mold to Infest Your Property
Moisture issues and lack of ventilation are two common causes for mold growth, but are easily fixable to improve the health of your home and family.
Moisture Problems: High humidity and moisture are often the main trigger for mold problems. Moisture and water damage due to floods and leaks are the single most common cause for mold growth in the GTA. Mold spores can remain inactive for years - until they are exposed to water or moisture in the form of humidity or condensation, which can then restart its growth. Mold and moisture can damage the structure of your home and lead to expensive renovations and remediation. Reducing the amount of moisture in your home by installing ventilation, running dehumidifiers, airing out after a flood, and promptly fixing leaks can all make a huge difference in preventing mold growth. Places that commonly suffer from excess moisture in GTA homes are basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and attics.
- Lack of ventilation: Mold thrives in areas with minimal ventilation and limited air cycling, trapping mold spores in one location where they reproduce and colonies. Some common rooms prone to mold growth with limited ventilation includes basements and attics. The basement is a classic problem area for mold growth - staying cool all year round, it is suscepitble moisture problems due to leaks or floods, and has reduced traffic and ventilation. Opening windows or installing additional ventilation can make a big difference in keeping the basement dry, and dehumidifiers can greatly benefit homeowners with older properties. Bathrooms also commonly suffer from mold growth due to a lack of ventilation. The water in sinks, bathtubs, showers and toilets create the potential for steam and leaks. Installing an exhaust fan can help whisk moisture-laden air out, and bring fresh air into small areas like the bathroom.
The Relationship Between Water Damage and Mold
After any evidence of a flood, leaks, drips, or condensation in your properties, SafeAir recommends booking mold inspections in Toronto. Water is the single most important cause of mold growth in homes and businesses, and it’s imperative to have mold testing in Toronto ASAP to avoid costly remediation.
You don’t need to be a pro to look out for the signs of water damage, which include:
- Staining on walls, floors, or ceilings.
- Walls and floors with soft, spongy areas.
- Paint or wallpaper that is chipping, bubbling or peeling off.
- Outlines or puddle-like shapes where water has flowed and dried.
Another thing we like to keep our eyes on at SafeAir is indoor humidity — vaporized water. Once airborne, water particles can travel far from their origin point, condense on other surfaces or collect in areas without good ventilation. This is why humidity measurements are part of every SafeAir mold inspection in Toronto. Humidity is so important that we recommend our clients purchase inexpensive humidity monitors from the hardware store to keep a real-time eye on the changes their homes experience throughout the year.
Water and humidity are not the only causes of mold infestations. Other factors like airflow, ventilation, insulation, air sealing, and use can all affect your need for mold testing in Toronto. Besides strong visual evidence of mold, a mold test is often the only way to know there’s a problem in your home because mold growth often grows hidden behind walls, furniture, or in hard-to-reach corners of your home.
Mold Detection & Indoor Air Quality Enhancement
Many common household materials or products that off-gas or release harmful chemicals, and it may seem difficult to improve indoor air quality - but it’s actually quite easy to make simple changes that have immediate positive effects. Some of the best ways to improve your indoor air quality include:
- Change your furnace filters: The filter on your furnace is there for a good reason: it catches any pollens, dust, and other particles before they enter your furnace and HVAC system. It’s recommended that you change your furnace filter every three months to keep you (and your furnace) happy and healthy.
- Mold removal and cleanup: It may seem obvious, but a clean house is a healthy house. Sweeping up reduces dust and pet dander as well as helping to prevent dust mites. Vacuuming followed by a damp mop can have a huge effect on the accumulation of particles lurking in your home.
- Clean your air ducts: Air ducts shuttle conditioned air from your furnace throughout your home, but they can easily collect dust and air pollutants and help to recirculate them around your home, especially during renovations. Having a professional duct cleaning can give you a fresh start and will help your furnace to run better too!
- Circulate fresh air: Ventilation is the best way to keep your home smelling fresh - opening the windows, even in the colder months, helps to move stale air along. If there are rooms in your home that lack ventilation, consider getting a fan to help bring fresh air in.
Signs of Mold Exposure & When to Schedule Inspections
Health problems caused by indoor air quality issues have a huge range of symptoms that can make them difficult to diagnose based on symptoms alone. An indoor air quality test for your office or home is a valuable tool in getting back to wellness and pinpointing various pollutants and allergens that may be affecting you and your family. Some of the common health problems our customers report include:
- Headaches: If you’re experiencing headaches that come-and-go depending on where you are in your home, it could be related to problems like ventilation, VOCs off-gassing, mold, and more.
- Skin problems: Rashes, infections, irritation, dryness, and redness can all be caused by problems with indoor air quality. Our skin is our largest organ and can be disproportionately affected by airborne toxins.
- Lung problems: Next to our skin, our respiratory system is often the second most-commonly affected organ to suffer from air pollution. Problems may be acute or chronic, and can come and go depending on a variety of factors like outdoor air quality, pollution, weather, and humidity. Mold, bacteria, poor ventilation, VOCs, dust, and more can all have serious effects on even the healthiest of lungs; people suffering from chronic conditions like asthma and lung diseases are at an even greater risk.
- Fatigue: It’s not just a busy week at the office that can cause fatigue; exposure to common indoor air quality issues like mold may be affecting the quality or length of your sleep. Never-ending colds and flus: If it seems like your cold or flu always lasts longer than anyone else’s, it may not actually be the flu - it could instead be a reaction to something in your indoor air quality. Allergies and reactions to common household problems like mold growth often closely mimic the common cold and flu, which can make it difficult to diagnose and treat the problem. An air quality test can help determine if there’s anything else floating around your indoor air that could be causing you to feel ill.
Benefits of Professional Mold Inspections and Testing
Why get a mold inspection in Toronto? Professional mold testing helps ensure that:
- All the mold in your home is located — not just the tip of the iceberg.
- Your safety is maintained before, during, and after the inspection, using materials and techniques that prevent cross-contamination.
- The best in cutting-edge technology is used to monitor and test humidity, air-flow, and other factors that contribute to mold growth.
- The treatment is tailored to the conditions and needs of your mold infestation — not one-size-fits-all.
Why Choose SafeAir?
SafeAir has been one of the best companies offering mold testing in Toronto for over a decade because of our friendly, reliable, and trustworthy services. We’ve stayed up to date on the latest science in mold inspection and safe indoor air quality so that we can pass on this knowledge to our customers — making you and your home and healthier and safer place to live and play.