Thursday, May 17, 2018

10 Facts About Black Mold That You Need to Know

Have you ever seen black mold in your home?

Were you concerned that it was the “Toxic Black Mold” that we have been hearing about in the news?

These are common questions that people are asking, and desperately looking to find the answers. 

It has been well documented that mold spores are common indoors and outside. Mold requires moisture, an organic food source, timing, and the right temperature to thrive.

Any type of mold infestation can be devastating when it invades our homes, so why is this particular Black Mold so hazardous… yet intriguing?

Here Are 10 Facts About Stachybotrys Mold That You Need to Know

1. The “Toxic Black Mold” People Are Most Concerned About Is Called Stachybotrys Chartarum or Stachybotrys Atra.
For the purposes of this article I have interchanged the names Stachybotrys, Black Mold and Stachy to mean the same thing.

Yes, exposure to this specific type has been linked to several health issues, such as headaches, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, rashes, lymphoid disorders, damaged organs, flue-like symptoms or worse.

In fact, this particular mold gained wide scale recognition as one of the most harmful fungi, especially in the United States. Back in 1993-1994, there was a serious outbreak of pulmonary hemorrhage affecting infants in Cleveland Ohio.

Research revealed that Stachybotrys Chartarum growing inside the home of the sick infants.

Since that time there have been a number of other cases involving “Toxic Black Mold” across the nation, resulting in lawsuits and problems for building owners on how to address this issue.

However, there is much debate regarding the specifics on this topic with regard to medical claims… yet the common consensus is that people get sick when they ingest or breathe the harmful mycotoxins from this fungus.

It should also be stressed that several other non-related mold types, including Aspergillus can be dangerous as well. Some of these other molds are black, as well as green, blue, pink, brown, white and yellow.

Anytime you see a moisture issue and resulting mold in your home or building, the situation must be addressed in short order. Call in a professional for best results.

2. According To The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black Mold, And All Other Mold Is Not Toxic…
The term “Toxic Mold” is apparently incorrect. Instead, it is the mycotoxins released from this fungus that are considered toxic. I have included a link at the bottom of this article for more clarification on this.

3. Black Mold May Or May Not Produce Toxins.
According to another article written in blog, there are a variety of conditions that will determine whether a mold will produce toxins. Although this mold has the ability to produce health compromising toxins, they do not always release the poisons.

It depends on a number of factors, such as the surface it is grows on, the temperature, the food source and humidity.

4. Stachybotrys Is A Wet, Sticky Mold.
Stachy spores are clumped together in a sticky coating so they do not usually travel well in air currents like many other mold types. However, if they dry out or become disturbed, they can be disbursed.

Dry mold is not really dead; it lies dormant and can still be dangerous. In the dry state it can take on the appearance of soot.

Due to its sticky make up, Stachy is best collected and tested by taking physical swab or tape surface samples. They can then be sent to a microbial lab for analysis.

Inspectors may suspect that a home has Stachybotrys, (based on visible observation) yet still choose to conduct air samples to determine if any other kinds of mold are present.

Knowing that these spores do not travel well in the air, you should be especially concerned if the only one tiny Stachybotrys clump is revealed in a lab report. This is a clear indication that thousands more are likely to be present.

5. Excessive Prolonged Moisture Leads To Stachybotrys growth.
This fungus needs to be exposed to moisture for long periods of time (1-2 weeks) before it begins to colonize.

Other mold types commonly found in a home, such as Aspergillus, Penecillium and Cladosporium, can grow within 24-48 hours.

Indoors, it grows best on organic cellular materials like insulation paper backing, drywall, ceiling tiles, cardboard, wallpaper or any other paper based materials.

6. Poisonous Toxins Released By Stachy, And Other Molds Are Called Mycotoxins.
These poisons (mycotoxins) are what make people ill when they are ingested or inhaled. Another reason this mold has been called Toxic Black Mold is due to the fact that it produces more mycotoxins than most other types of indoor mold.

7. Toxic Black Mold Is Not Always Visible.
This mold is not easily seen for a number of reasons. It needs to be sitting in moisture for at least a week to begin growing. Visible leaks are usually dealt with right away, so it wouldn’t have the time to colonize.

A small leak that develops over time can start the process when the leak is not visible. Problems begin without us knowing, as many leaks are concealed behind walls, and under carpets, floorboards above the ceiling in and areas that have been saturated for long periods of time.

At this point is it too late and people begin to experience health effects, or eventually see the signs once it has established a presence. By this time, the subsequent damage can be vast and expensive.

8. This Black Mold Has A Very Distinctive Odour.
Some would describe it as a potent, damp, stale, musty or rotting earthy wood smell. If this strong type of odour is present, yet different from other rooms in the home, then the area should be investigated for mold infestation. Consider this a priority.

9. Over Time, Stachy Will Usually Dominate Other Molds.
Through testing and analysis we know that this mold grows best when exposed to moisture for at least a week, or more. When its food source is low in nitrogen and high in cellulose, (organic materials) Stachy is happy… us and other molds, not so much.

Although different mold colonies will likely grow beforehand, once the Stachy takes form, it will dominate the environment completely.

10. Dry Mold Will Grow Again When Exposed To Moisture.
It’s true… Stachybotrys and several other mold types can sit dormant for thousands of years until it gets wet, allowing new growth to take form.

For this reason, I strongly recommend calling in a professional remediation contractor to discard all contaminated items, and or building materials.

In summary, Stachybotrys Chartarum/Atra fungi produce potent mycotoxins that are capable if making people and animals very sick, which have been documented and exposed by the media since the 1990s.

The elderly, infants and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk to illness caused by exposure to mycotoxins. However, anyone exposed to fungal poisons can develop health complications.

Although Stachybotrys has been branded as “Black Toxic Mold”, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains that this term is not accurate… but rather, the poisons released by the mold are toxic when inhaled or ingested.

Their ability to produce these toxins does not always happen as it depends on a number of environmental conditions.

Stachybotrys is different from other fungi for the following reasons:
  • It takes much longer to grow
  • Is less commonly found that other fungi types such as Aspergillus, Penecillium and Cladosporium
  • It is held together by a wet, sticky gelatinous structure
  • It produces higher mycotoxins than other molds
  • It is often difficult to detect until it establishes a firm colony
  • In appearance, it can closely resemble many other black/dark green mold types. So the only definitive way to identify it is through a microbial lab analysis.
Dry mold should be removed completely or it will regenerate when exposed to moisture.

When moisture or mold issues have been discovered it is imperative to take quick action by calling a reputable, experienced inspector and or a remediation contractor. 

Inspect it All Services is fully equipped to do mold inspections, air and tape testing and mold remediation. We send all our air and tape tests to a 3rd party labratory. We get a detailed and comprehensive report from the lab outlining the types of mold found, spore counts, toxicity and suggested remediation levels. If you have any questions or concerns don't hesitate to call us, information is free!


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

We're Hiring!

Junior Construction Manager

Inspect it All Services is a locally owned and operated business. We specialize in Disaster clean up, property restoration, construction, air quality testing and residential & commercial building inspections. We are a family owned business that is expanding and growing rapidly.

We are looking for a reliable and experienced trades person for rebuild and construction work. We want that person to be a part of our family and the right fit is important to us. We want someone that is skilled in multiple trades. We want you to be able to frame, insulate, drywall & tape and paint as well as be a skilled in carpentry work. This job will require a variety of skills and a hardworking attitude.

Applicants must meet ALL the following requirements:

  • Minimum 5 years experience in construction and or property restoration and mitigation (An asset but not required would be trades and IICRC certificates)
  • Strong work ethic / self starter
  • Ability to work flexible schedule, be on call, work out of town and work longer work days if required
  • Possess a valid driver's license and clean driver's abstract
  • Good physical condition & mechanical aptitude
  • Strong communication skills are a MUST
  • Ability to work in confined spaces
  • Ability to supervise 1-2 people
  • Criminal record check
  • Provide own hand tools

Please email your resume to or drop off your resume to the office at 1254 Cornwall Street, Regina.

No phone calls please.  

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Facts About Snow Mould

Spring is on the way! And the warmer temperatures provide the perfect conditions for melting snow on lawns and driveways.

As much as we are jumping for joy for this, hiding beneath larger piles of snow is a less than welcome sign of spring – a fungus called snow mould. Spores from the mould can cause sneezing, wheezing, itchy eyes and, in more severe cases, trouble breathing. Spores are the reproductive cells of the mould.

It’s something that comes around every year. It likes the cold. It thrives in the zero-to-seven-degrees temperature range and it likes environments where there is plenty of organic material. The trick is to get the snow to melt quickly. As soon as the snow is exposed to good temperatures, the mould doesn’t survive.

Snow mould spores are not in the snow but grow in the moist soil underneath. Once the snow melts, the mould leaves circular grey or pink patches of unhealthy looking grass. But by that point, the spores have escaped into the air.

Is snow mould preventable? You bet! The best way to prevent snow mould is to spread snowdrifts out instead of leaving them piled up. Also, not mulching the lawn in the fall, cutting the grass short and getting rid of damp leaves also helps to prevent snow mould.

If people find their yard infected by snow mould, it helps to rake the affected patches gently to loosen up matted areas and promote drying. People should wear masks while raking, as loosening the mould up may cause them to inhale it. Even when not allergic to snow mould, people should keep their house and yard clean and mould free.