With offices in Kelowna, Vernon, and Penticton staffed by certified specialists trained beyond the current industry standards: we are truly mould (and asbestos) containment, removal, and remediation experts.
Our additional experience in water damage restoration, cleaning, and fire damage repair means we are uniquely qualified to assist in determining the source or cause of the problem, preventing future contamination. Furthermore, our Certified Insurance Professionals (CIP) embody the perfect combination of restoration experience and insurance knowledge to provide you with the advice you need if you are considering filing a claim with an insurer.
Both mould and asbestos can have extremely negative effects on the health of those being exposed to them, which is why we make safety of both our clients and our restoration experts a top priority. Knowledge of how to properly contain and remove these potentially hazardous substances isn’t common, and the technology used is constantly evolving. Bringing our experts into the mix will ensure your safety is in the hands of the most qualified and capable technicians in the industry.
We work with environmental hygienists to conduct lab tests before and after remediation: confirming the safe and effective removal of asbestos or mould from your property so you can rest assured. We also work closely with WorkSafeBC to ensure top-to-bottom best practices are in place for the safety of our customers and our team.
There is no mould or asbestos removal project too large or too small for OKANAGAN Restoration Services: our experience and ability on large-scale projects means our clients can feel confident their smaller project is being handled by true professionals.
Mould exposure can be a misunderstood issue and is often overlooked by doctors and dismissed by landlords and homeowners as a minor problem. “Toxic Black Mould” can be a grave concern and should be treated with the utmost care. It has been shown to potentially lead to a range of health problems and in severe cases even death.
Moulds are organisms which are neither plant nor animal. They are part of the fungi kingdom.
Unlike plants, Moulds do not get their energy from the sun through photosynthesis. In fact the sun’s ultraviolet light inhibits Mould growth.
Moulds also digest or “eat” the material they are growing on. The role of Mould is to break down decaying organic matter such as dead plants, leaves or dead animals.
Besides oxygen and organic materials containing carbon to provide nutrients, the other main requirement mould needs to grow is moisture. You can find Mould growing almost anywhere, provided there is a large enough moisture source for it.
Mould problems cannot develop in houses unless there is a moisture problem. The moisture accumulation might be caused through humidity, condensation, or water intrusion from leaks, spills, floods, etc. Most moulds only require suitable materials be wet for 24-48 hours before they can grow on them.
Moulds that can survive using only humidity as their moisture source are called Xerophilic, whereas other Moulds require an accumulation of moisture to grow. Indoors, the best way to prevent mould growth is to limit moisture.
Besides moisture, mould also needs the temperature to be right before it can begin to grow. Mould grows best in warm temperatures, however there are some mould species that can grow in temperatures as low as 2 degrees Celsius. If a Mould colony’s environmental conditions become unfavourable, instead of dying it can become dormant. When conditions are right again it will continue to grow.
If conditions such as temperature, oxygen levels, light, and available nutrients are right, the Mould may create spores at the ends of the hyphal cells. Mould uses spores to reproduce in the same way that plants use seeds.
Once formed, the spores of Mould will begin to be released into the air and spread to create new Mould colonies. If a spore lands on a suitable material and other environmental conditions are suitable then the spore can germinate into a new hyphal cell and begin a new Mould colony. One of the main environmental requirements for the spore to grow is moisture; to grow into Mould, most spores need the surface to be damp for 24-48 hours.
Mould spores continually float through the air outdoors and indoors and it is impossible to eliminate them all inside buildings. Spores are resilient and even if they do not germinate they can last for years.
Mycotoxins produced from toxic Mould is one of the major causes of sick building syndrome. If there is a toxic Mould infestation in one part of a building the mycotoxins produced from it can quickly spread throughout the building in the air conditioning affecting everyone throughout.
Some places where Mould likes to grow in the home include carpet, paper, clothes, leather, drywall, wood, insulation and food.
A Mould colony is thought of as a single organism. The main body (called mycelium) of a Mould colony is made up of a network of connected multicellular filaments called hyphae. Visible Mould growth is always in colonies, as Mould that is not in a large colony is too small for us to see with the naked eye.
Mould digests what it is growing on using enzymes which are released from the tips of the hyphae and break down the material the Mould is living on. The hyphae then absorb these nutrients which can be passed through the mycelium and leads to the Mould colony growing.
Out of the several hundred thousand species of Moulds, there are about 16 different species which are known as toxic Moulds because they can release mycotoxins which are toxic to humans and animals. Some of the most common toxic Moulds are:
Not all Mould that appears black or dark is toxic. This is why if you find black Mould which you suspect is giving you toxic symptoms then you should have it tested to identify the species of the Mould before taking any drastic measures such as moving out or getting rid of your belongings.
Toxic Mould species have always existed of course but recently they seem to be more of a problem. One reason is because of new building construction codes which came about during the 1970s in response to the energy crisis. These codes aim for higher conservation of energy which requires new buildings to be more airtight.
This means that buildings are less ventilated, not being able to “breathe” as freely and pockets of moist air can be trapped for long periods of time, potentially leading to Mould growth. Also many of the building materials used today are very well suited for Mould growth.