Mold and Health Concerns Follow Worst Floods in Alberta History
Mold and Health Concerns

As those of us in Southern Alberta, Canada, come through the worst flood disaster in history we are left with not only a massive clean-up but the health concerns that go along with it. In Calgary, High River, Canmore and other communities hard hit by the flood water, many home and business owners are contending with water and moisture that has saturated walls and foundations for many days. Perfect growing conditions for mold.

Although mold appears common as household dust, large quantities can be potentially hazardous, especially with prolonged exposure. Mold producing mycotoxins can be particularly dangerous causing neurological problems and in some cases death. The spores of black toxic mold produce one of the most toxic and resilient types of mycotoxins, trichothecene mycotoxins.  These spores do not usually spread into houses through the air but are often carried inside instead, especially through flooding.

Symptoms caused by mold exposure include:

  • watery, itchy eyes
  • a chronic cough
  • headaches or migraines
  • rash
  • difficulty breathing
  • fatigue
  • sneezing
  • sinus issues

Because mold can grow after only 24 hours of a surface being wet, flooded homes are at great risk. Material such as drywall will need to be removed once wet, to a point 30cm above the water marks. Insulation also needs to be disposed of once wet. Non-porous items which don’t absorb water can be cleaned using detergents. Porous items which cannot be dried within 24-48 hours should be thrown out, as well as any objects with mold growing on them. Any moldy items should be put in a garbage bag before being disposed of to keep mold from spreading.

Some of the products that can be used for mold removal include:

  • Bleach
  • Borax
  • Vinegar
  • Ammonia
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Detergent
  • Baking soda

Even better is using a professional disinfectant cleaner. Our company often uses Virex II 256, a broad-spectrum neutral quaternary-based disinfectant cleaner for use in hospitals and other facilities. This kills and controls mold and mildew and is used for disinfecting hard surfaces.

Mold is a complicated issue and can be a serious one. Do your homework when dealing with mold, whether you are tackling it yourself or researching trustworthy companies to help you with it.

And to the thousands of Albertans affected by the floods, our thoughts and hearts are with you.


EFS Clean Building Services is proud to be a part of our “Alberta Strong” community as Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown Commercial Cleaning Company. Our services include commercial cleaning, post-construction cleaning, quality assurance inspections, ceiling restoration and hard surface restoration. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.