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Case Study: High River mold removal issues continuing long after 2013 flood

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The flooding of 2013 in Calgary was a learning experience for the entire city. Many communities in Calgary and in High River are still experiencing the effects of the flood and issues like mold remediation are back in the news. Read the blog below for more information on how mold from the 2013 flood is still a reoccurring theme in communities.

A community in High River is finding out the hard way that resilient mold can quickly regrow to once again endanger their homes. Even after mold remediation some homeowners were given bad news when air quality tests showed that high levels of mold spores were present. The homeowners now have to make the tough decision of either demolishing their homes or attempt another remediation process. One homeowner in the affected cul-de-sac had demolished her home, saving the foundation and then rebuilding on the site. The option of rebuilding, although expensive, was successful since mold is no longer an issue in that case. It’s estimated that only a handful of homes will survive the once busy cul-de-sac.

The High River community is a unique case of mold remediation not working. The amount of water and the length of time the homes were submerged in floodwaters is the main reason why mold was able to regrow rapidly. The province had implemented a mold regrowth program, which was for homes that had water levels above the floor joists for more than two weeks. The homes in this particular case in High River, the floor joists were submerged in water closer to three weeks, which made the mold problem exponentially worse. With the excessive water for the lengthy duration, the mold had an opportunity to grow in every area of the home. It became a perfect storm scenario. Even with mold remediation, it would be near impossible to rid the moisture in the area, allowing for the slightest amount of mold to survive and regrow. In this situation, the best option for homeowners is probably to demolish their houses and rebuild.

Mold needs three key factors in order to flourish.

  • Food Source
  • Warm environment
  • Moisture

All three were in ample supply in flooded areas of Calgary and High River. Mold consists of microscopic organisms that break down organic material. Mold actually destroys the very material it needs to grow on, materials like wood. Not only does the mold break down homes structurally, the main concern is the spores released into the air are dangerous to human health. The mayor of High River is confident that the homes in this rare case will be mold free in the future, either by further mold remediation or by a complete rebuild. As assuring as the mayor is, the homeowner will have to endure big costs even with government assistance.

Bottom Line:

It seems more likely that the only course of action for the homes affected in the Hampton Hills community of High River is to proceed with demolition and rebuild. With air tests indicating high levels of mold spores and the area being submerged in water for as long as it was, only professionals can really clear the area of mold once and for all. Even with demolition and materials safely disposed, the soil should undergo tests for contaminants. The contractors at 24/7 Restoration have unfortunately seen similar scenarios like that of the community in High River and understand the sensitivity surrounding cleaning up sites overrun with mold. Remembering that the High River scenario is unique because of the duration the floor joists were under water for three weeks, majority of homes that have mold do not need to be demolished. If your home has suffered mold from flooding, it’s best to call the experts at 24/7 Restoration to get a full evaluation of the state of your home. Mold can grow in areas that seem unreachable and if your home has mold exceeding 1 meter squared, call the contractors at 24/7 Restoration to have it treated and removed permanently.

For more information on Mold Removal in Calgary or if you believe Mold is on the verge of taking over your home, contact the contractors at 24/7 Restoration today at (403) 247-4365.

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