What Kind of Problem Do I Have???
Often, peoole call Douglas Environmental confused, worried, even scared about what is going on in their property. Sometimes shocking discoveries of black mold growth are found lurking in a rarely used part of a property. Sometimes new owners of a home are surprised to find some strange smells after moving in. Maybe there has been a flood, plumbing leak or some other "water incident" and the owner calls wondering what to do next. Perhaps the insurance company cleaned up a flood, but now there's a musty or even a chemical odour presence and you need to know what's going on….
Often, some or all people in a property are battling unexplainable illnesses, dealing with chronic coughs, headaches, increased use of inhalers or just plain "don't feel right." Many people come to us at the request of their doctor or naturopath – if symptoms can't be explained by any illness, often environmental factors are the root cause.
Sometimes, people are looking to just cross something off their list of possible causes. You may notice odd odours that you just can't explain and are tired of covering them up with sprays, air fresheners or filters. The easiest first step is to call our office and discuss the situation. We can assess over the phone, usually in just a few short minutes, what is the best course of action. We offer two inspection programs that we can use to diagnose over 90% of properties. Depending upon the level of severity of the problem, the amount you know about it, and the things you do or don't know about the property, we can determine if the best fit for you is our:
A) Indoor Air Quality Management Program
This program is used by approximately 90% of our clients. It is an inexpensive way to determine if air qualityfactors may be causing issues your home or office. This program looks at a minimum of two areas in the property – ideally one where an issue is suspected, one where no problems are known or anticipated. We collect air and surface samples from each area, send them to an independent, 3rd Party Lab and get a report back detailing levels of mold, yeast, bacteria and common air allergens. The two areas are compared with each other, as well as to the "Normal to Expected" range for occupied properties. We can then see how your home stacks up – by comparing one area to another, we can see what air quality factors appear to be problematic, whether they are isolated or have spread, as well as show you exactly how your home's air quality compares to homes that have no issues. This sampling is less than half the price of a standard inspection, offering a lot of information and a tremendous value.
B) Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Mold Inspection Program
This program is designed and intended for properties that have known issues, but aren't sure the extent of contamination or the root cause of the problem. There are three phases to the inspection process:
- Assessment Interview: We sit down with clients to discuss their experiences in the property, what has been observed and any known history as it relates to the issues at hand. We also learn more about any specific health concerns occupants may have and learn about specific challenges being faced.
- Inspection: A thorough walk-through of the building is performed. Much like a typical home inspector would investigate all areas of a property, the IAQ Mold Insptector looks at the building as a whole, looks for places where mold and germs are likely to start developing and details all the information as it may relate to air quality.
- Sampling: Using the information gained from both the Interview and the Inspection steps, the trained Inspector will assess the number and type of samples required, determine the locations to collect the samples, and perform the actual sampling process. The collected samples are then submitted to a NORMI Approved Lab where they are evaluated and processed under the careful supervision of a trained Microbiologist. The labs Douglas Environmental uses specialize in the incubation and assessment of molds, germs and allergens – they do not work with blood or water analysis, they are entirely focused and specialized in this kind of work leading to accurate information and timely processing of the samples.
- Reporting: Once the results are back from the lab, the "real work" begins. A report is compiled establishing an IAQ profile for the property. Each room is discussed, any concerns are described and recommendations for resolving issues are presented in detail. By following the recommendations in this report, correcting any moisture issues and performing the necessary post screenings, properties are eligible for the NORMI Certificate of Sanitization Program – a documentation step performed by an independent, non-profit 3rd Party that reviews all the information relating to the property, steps taken to correct the problems and evaluation of the results of the corrective action.
Once everything has been evaluated and verified, documentation certifying the property as "Mold-Free" is issued to the owner – this documentation can be used in any subsequent property transactions to assure prospective owners the building has been inspected, any deficiencies identified and corrected, and a healthy, safe environment is being offered for sale – including up to Lifetime transferrable warranty against recurrance.
This process is unique to NORMI and the main reason we have been certified to offer their programs in Canada since 2006.
Do I need Sanitization or Remediation?
If this is the first time you've looked at this process, this may seem an odd or even a nonsensical question – most people simply want their problem solved. That makes sense – and in working with a professional organization, one that offers options, not cookie cutter solutions, one that commits to ongoing Continuing Education programs (minimum 90 hours per year) and learning about new developments as they occur, you are assured you and your property will be treated properly and with the respect deserved. Once we have all the information, we can then work with you to provide property-specific options to treat only what is actually wrong, usually saving thousands of dollars in demolition and reconstruction costs and saving weeks and months of time in the process.
The first step to that is performing an Assessment. Depending upon the situation, this can be using either our Indoor Air Quality Management Program, or by performing a full Mold Inspection. Once we know what you're up against, we can make very specific recommendations for treatment of areas, entire properties, or remediation services, as required.
Douglas Environmental uses NORMI-Approved products. Our solutions to mold and other environmental problems are specifically chosen so we're not fixing one problem by introducing another – namely "harmful chemical" treatments. Our biocides and surface protectants are natural, enzyme and water-based products. Our air systems replicate natures processes indoors to eliminate microbial contamination, odours and chemicals from your indoor environments.
Our customers see the value in our protocols and processes. There is a better way than the costly methods traditionally used in mold inspection and removal. NORMI's processes give more data, provide for greater accuracy and the opportunity to salvage more construction materials – taking less time and saving our clients thousands of dollars.
Sometimes remediation is required, and that's why we need to have such a thorough inspection. For your safety and to protect the integrity of your building, we gather as much data as possible, so you may make an informed decision to best handle any given situation.
For many years people have known that our indoor air quality is getting worse, but only recently has there been a resource like NORMI where you have the opportunity to hire a trained professional who can evaluate and assess your IAQ/Mold problem.
Our Sanitization and Remdiation services include:
- Chemical Application of Biocides and Surface Protectants
- Active Air Purification
- Implementation of Filtration Options
- Adjustments to Humidity
- Structural Work: Foundation Repair, Windows, Insulation, etc.
- Monitoring and Warranty Programs
Douglas Environmental uses NORMI-Approved products. Our solutions to mold and other environmental problems are specifically chosen so we're not fixing one problem by introducing another – namely "harmful chemical" treatments. Our biocides and surface protectants are natural, enzyme and water-based products that offer immediate improvements to air quality and provide lasting protection against recontamination.
Certifications Held by Douglas Environmental
- Certified IAQ Mold Inspector (CMI) – Training on the proper application of NORMI Inspection Protocols to inspect properties for mold and other IAQ Factors. Required for Licensing and Insurance to work in this profession.
- Certified IAQ Mold Assessor – Advanced Training on assessment of environments to provide a complete assessment of the property, any or all of the seven factors that relate to air quality and which areas, if any, requre improvement for a given property. This is optional training and additional certification to further develop solution providing and better service our client base.
- Certified Biocide Applicator (CBA) – Training on determining the right type of cleaners, biocides, surface protectants and other chemical-type products may be needed to solve a given problem. How to select the products, which combinations to use, and how to physically apply them. This training is required to perform Sanitization Protocols necessary to allow Certificate of Sanitization projects and warranty activation.
- Advanced Oxidation Specilist – Training on using Active Technologies instead of or in conjunction with air filtration to sanitize air and surfaces, protect environments and ensure clean, allergy-friendly rooms to live, work and play. This training is required to purchase and properly recommend and install advanced active air purification. Without these solutions, warranty situations would be very limited.
- FRAP Trainer – First Responders Awareness Program – Ability to work with first responders to educate them on maintaining an awareness of environmental concerns which may be present when responding to emergency situations. Protection for the responders and their families.
- Advanced Anabec Applicator (AAA) – Training on how to select appropriate biocide products specific to Anabec solutions. This certification allows the administion and activation of manufacturer warranty that may be applicable to a given project.
- Certified Service Technician (CST) – Training on the Certificate of Sanitization Protocols; the ability to take a project from inspection through assessment, solution provision, post screening and ongoing warranty situations for properties under our care.
- Continuing Education (CE) Training – Weekly ongoing training on best practices, new developments in air quality industry – better ways to provide services and solutions for clients. Requirement to maintain "Active" status as a NORMI Trained Professional.