Welcome to our website – for all the relevant information you'll need regarding indoor air quality. We are Haverkate & Associates, specialists in indoor mould testing and inspection, and your service provider in the GTA and throughout southern Ontario. We have assembled this information to help you understand the important issues involved, and to make better, more informed decisions.
Indoor mould is tricky - it can grow behind walls, above the ceiling and under floors. And although mould is a natural fungus, it can have quite serious health effects on many people. There are many types of mould, and many different symptoms that can arise on exposure: skin rashes; nosebleeds; itchy/watery eyes; breathing difficulties; even migraine headaches. In some cases, mould can be extremely toxic - such is the case with stachybotrys chartarum.
To grow and thrive, mould needs moisture and a cellulose nutrient source, like drywall, carpeting, or fabrics. If you've had a water leak or flood that wasn't properly cleaned up within 24 - 48 hours, you could have mould growth. If you have a hidden plumbing leak, excess indoor condensation, or high levels of humidity, you could have mould growth. Worst of all, mould is not always visible to the eye, or even detectable. Our experience has shown that the majority of indoor mould growth is hidden inside walls, behind wallpaper, underneath flooring or behind built-in cabinetry. In fact, mould does not always produce that musty odor that we recognize. Mould can occur without a scent and with no visible signs – it remains unnoticeable to the homeowner. That's what makes detection so problematic – and why we pride ourselves on our exhaustive assessment process.
Many companies focus on a basic, visual inspection for evidence of moisture intrusion and any visible signs of mould. But it's not enough, even with a moisture meter, that can show active moisture penetration. At Haverkate & Associates, we use the latest technology, precise instrumentation, and comprehensive laboratory sampling to expedite a thorough air quality assessment.
Unfortunately, many companies compete on PRICE alone. But for us, the quality of the assessment is key, as is the eventual benefit for each of our customers. Our assessments are systematic, thorough, and exhaustive - and we employ as many diagnostic tools as it takes to do the job – we use laser technology to determine airborne particles; we check for off-gassing levels that may cause health issues; and we use thermal imaging to locate hidden problem areas.
We also use a very unique "low-tech" approach – our Certified Mould Detection Dog. Some years ago, we made headlines with Quincy, Canada's First Certified Mould Detection Dog, and today we're using Ranger, a 5 year-old Beagle mix. Similar to conventional bomb-detection or drug-detection dogs, Ranger is professionally trained to sniff mould, making a valuable contribution to our team. So beyond our state-of-the art testing equipment and technology, our K9 "inspector" rounds out the assessment process in your home, office or facility.
Haverkate & Associates also undertakes air quality testing in marijuana grow houses and/or secret drug labs. If you're engaged in buying or selling a home of this kind, you should have it properly tested for potential mould problems and other air quality issues.
Using biocides or bleach to kill mould does not have any advantages. Dead mould is just as toxic as mould that is alive. Cleaning or removing mould without protecting the rest of the building or unaffected areas can in some cases spread the mould contamination. In some cases the mould becomes harder and more expensive to clean up. Some mould inspection companies lack the equipment or experience to properly assess you mould issue. They are cheaper...but are they worth it?