Frequently Asked Questions

1-Crime Scene Cleanup 

Who pays for crime scene cleanup?

Who pays for crime scene cleanup varies from case to case?

 Some homeowner’s insurance policies will pay for biohazard and crime cleanup in cases of murder, attempted murder, or unattended deaths. Others do not cover biohazard and crime cleanup, and the property owner has to pay for it out of pocket. If you are unsure about whether or not crime scene cleanup is included in your policy, contact your insurance provider for more details.

Why is it important to have a crime scene professionally cleaned up?

There are many reasons why you would want to hire professionals to clean a crime scene for you. The first reason is the biohazard risks involved in cleaning a crime scene. Blood, bodily fluids, and other biohazardous materials are often present at the scene and without proper protection can pose a serious risk to the individual(s) cleaning the crime scene. A second, and equally important reason for calling professionals to do the cleaning for you is because of the emotional toll cleaning a crime scene can take on you. Our professionals are accustomed to working in environments that would cause many people serious emotional distress. Hiring a professional lets you relieve yourself of this extremely heavy burden.

What biohazards are present at a crime scene?

The most common biohazards present at crime scenes are contaminants in blood or other bodily fluids. Bodily fluids can contain bloodborne pathogens which can cause illness and disease if an individual comes into contact with them without the proper protection. These pathogens are invisible and can often be trapped throughout the environment including in the floors, walls, ceilings, items, and more. To ensure you are protected from these biohazards we recommend you hire a professional crime scene cleaning company.

What is biohazard cleaning?

Biohazard cleaning is a process by which an environment is cleaned of biohazards which might pose a risk to individuals occupying an area. Examples of biohazards include human blood, human bodily fluids, microbiological wastes, pathological waste and more. Professional biohazard cleaning will remove these biohazards, making the area once again safe. 

Where does biohazard trash go?

Biohazard waste cannot be disposed of in regular trash bins like normal garbage. Biohazard waste must first be rendered safe by decontamination before being finally disposed of. This decontamination process involves killing any bacteria or pathogens with extremely high heat. Once the biohazard trash is sterilized, it is then safe to be processed or disposed of. It is extremely important to never place biohazard waste in a normal trash bin. 

2-Coronavirus Decontamination and COVID-19 Cleaning & Training

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and the current global health emergency: Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). COVID-19 is a sometimes-severe respiratory disease (sickness) that can result from the exposure to a previously unknown coronavirus now named Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

How do I protect against COVID-19 infection?

The best step you can take to fight the spread of COVID-19 is to wash your hands – constantly, religiously and vigilantly. On top of that, you’ll want to minimize your exposure to the coronavirus by touching as few surfaces as possible when in public areas or anywhere outside your home. Social distancing is also being emphasized as a way to combat COVID-19. Currently a physical distance of at least 2m is recommended between you and other people at all times. For your home or business, regular cleaning – especially of high-touch surfaces – is another important part of the fight against COVID-19.

To protect against coronavirus, what should you wipe down areas with?

To protect against the transmission of COVID-19, there are steps you can take at home or at your office. Wiping down surfaces which are frequently touched with disinfectant chemicals is an effective means to slow the spread of the virus. Health Canada has a comprehensive list of chemicals and products which can effectively sanitize surfaces. For more in-depth cleaning, contact us to arrange a COVID-19 decontamination of your home or office.

What is coronavirus decontamination training?

Coronavirus decontamination training is a service offered by First Response Training where we educate and train employees on the proper procedures for reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Our training covers how to decontaminate surfaces, keeping employees safe, COVID-19 cleaning protocols, and more. We will help your business reopen with confidence that all appropriate COVID-19 protection steps are taken.

What is the difference between disinfection and decontamination?

Both disinfection and decontamination are processes by which microbes and viruses are killed or eliminated. Decontamination reduces the microbial contamination of materials or services and is most often accomplished using chemical disinfectants. Decontamination is done to make an environment such as an office or home safer for its occupants by dramatically reducing the presence of microbes. Disinfection is the elimination of virtually all pathogenic organisms in an area and is often impossible to achieve in living spaces and offices due to the variety of materials present. COVID-19 Decontamination for homes and offices is an effective way to reduce the risk of viral transmission.

3-Disaster Restoration

Is cleaning smoke damage possible?

If you have experienced a fire and have extensive smoke damage, you might be wondering if it will be possible to clean. In most cases, the answer is yes however it requires a deep clean. Smoke damage is serious and can be harmful to the occupants of a building however First Response Cleaning is experienced in cleaning smoke damage. We use state-of-the-art equipment to restore your smoke-damaged home. If you are unsure as to whether or not the smoke damage in your home can be cleaned, contact us today.

How does fire smoke damage a building?

Smoke can affect a wide variety of materials in many different ways. On top of the temperature damage caused by the fire, smoke can cause significant damage. Due to the ultra fine size of smoke particles, they can travel into small cracks, and crevices. While these particles might be too small to see, you will definitely smell them and they pose a hazard to your health. Smoke will also get trapped in fabrics such as upholstery, bedding, curtains, and more.

How to dry a flooded basement?

In the event of a small basement flood, you might be able to clean it yourself if you act quickly and follow these steps:

  1. Remove the water
  2. Remove your belongings
  3. Start cleaning
  4. Start drying
  5. Inspect for mold

If your basement flood is larger and these steps seem daunting for you to take on by yourself, contact us today to see how we can help.

What are the risks of not getting professional cleanup after a fire?

If you only had a very small fire in a small room in your home, you might be able to manage the cleanup yourself. If you had a medium to large sized fire in your home or office building, you run the risk of exposing you, your family, or your employees to dangerous air pollutants and contaminants. Soot is hazardous to breathe, and mold is often found in the area due to the water being used to put out the fire. Conditions such as asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, eye irritation, or more might arise. If you are unsure what to do, don’t risk it and contact us today.

What kind of toxic materials can be found in smoke and soot during fire restoration?

After a fire, many toxic materials are present at the scene. In older buildings dating from the 1950s-1980s, asbestos fibres are likely in the area, putting you at risk for mesothelioma (cancer). Other dangerous materials such as carbon monoxide, ammonia, nitrogen oxine, and tar are commonly found in areas after a fire. If PVC was burned during the fire, hydrogen chloride, dioxin, chloromethane, bromomethane, halocarbons, may be present. It is also not uncommon to find sulfurs which are detrimental to your health and smell bad. Just wood smoke alone releases over 100 chemicals also found in cigarette smoke. Don’t take any risks and make sure any fire damage is properly cleaned.

4-Mold Removal

What is the difference between black mold and white mold?

White mold (mildew) and black mold share several characteristics. They are both fungi which thrive in moist, warm environments, but there are several important differences. As the names suggest, these two kinds of molds are different in appearance. Mildew can pose some minor health issues and should be removed immediately; however black mold is much more dangerous. It can cause serious respiratory issues, heart problems, fatigue, and depression. It can also seriously damage the building. This is why it is extremely important to deal with black mold as soon as it is detected. If you suspect you have mildew or mold in your house or place of business contact us today to get it removed.

How toxic is black mold removal? How dangerous is cleaning mold?

We do not recommend you clean black mold on your own. Cleaning black mold is extremely dangerous to do without proper training and equipment. Even minimal exposure to black mold during the cleaning and removal process can lead to serious health issues for you and all those in your building. On top of the very serious health risks involved in removing mold, there is a good chance you could make the problem worse on your own. Cleaning without proper equipment or training can release spores into the air and spread the black mold further throughout yourself. If you have black mold in your house or building, don’t take any risks and contact us today.

What does black mold look like?

To untrained individuals, black mold can be hard to distinguish next to other kinds of mold. Black mold often appears as slimy and has a dark greenish-black or gray color. As the name suggests, the color of the mold is the telling sign. If you have determined that you have black mold in your home or building, contact us right away to ensure the safety of all those who occupy the space.

How to get rid of black mold in a basement?

The safest way to get rid of black mold in your basement is to call professionals who are experienced in the area of black mold removal. Black mold is dangerous and can lead to very serious health complications, especially if you disturb it by improperly cleaning. If you have found or suspect you have black mold in your basement, contact us right away.

Why is there black mold on my ceiling?

There are a few reasons as to why black mold might be on your ceiling. One reason it might grow on your ceiling is due to a water leak on an upper floor trapping moisture in your ceiling. Another very cause of mold on the ceiling is when warm, moist, air interacts with a cool ceiling. This causes condensation which creates a warm moist environment for black mold to thrive in. If you spot mold on your ceiling, contact us right away so we can eliminate it before it gets out of control.

What are the symptoms of mold sickness?

If you are suffering from mold sickness, regular exposure to mold can cause allergy symptoms, such as:

  • Wheezing/shortness of breath
  • Rashes
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Coughing
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Persistent sinusitis

Other more serious symptoms might come to be as a result of mold sickness, such as:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle cramping
  • Persistent nerve pain
  • Numbness, tingling, or tremors
  • Vertigo/dizziness
  • Frequent colds and flu
  • Fatigue and weakness

If you suspect you are suffering these symptoms because of mold poisoning, contact us today. We can remove the mold from your home.

Can dried out mold still cause problems?

Mold spores become temporarily inactive after they have dried out, however that doesn’t mean they are not a threat. Dry mold spores can still cause allergic reactions such as skin rashes, runny nose, etc. This is because dried mold spores become airborne and can enter our systems.

Dry mold spores can still travel to other places in your home and spread if they find an environment which is conducive to their growth. They can also start regrowing in the same place where they are located if the conditions (such as an increase in moisture).

Even if the mold in your home is dry, the problem runs the risk of getting worse. contact us today to get rid of the mold in your home.

How can I ensure that mold does not come back after remediation?

Once the mold is remediated from your home, you want to make sure that it does not come back. The most important thing you can do to achieve this is to control the level of moisture and humidity in your home so that it does not facilitate rapid mold growth. You can also reduce the potential for mold even more by wiping up puddles of water as soon as they form and insulate surfaces which are prone to condensation. Dehumidifiers are also good at keeping the humidity in a room below what is needed for mold growth. Make sure that you identify and isolate sources of moisture in your home to ensure that mold does not grow back.

5-Odor Removal

What is Ultra Fine Particle Cleaning (UFP Cleaning)?

Ultra-Fine Particle Cleaning (UFP Cleaning) is a process by which specialized equipment is used to remove the smallest particles which are present in your space or area. Ultra-Fine Particles are often the cause of bad or extreme odors in buildings, and UFP cleaning is an essential part of eliminating the bad smells which make you unable to enjoy your space. First Response Cleaning uses UFP cleaning to ensure complete odor removal from your space.

How to remove cat urine to smell from carpet?

If your carpet smells of ammonia from cat urine, try the following home remedy:

  1. Make a mix of 50% white vinegar and 50% water.
  2. Pour over the affected area and scrub, and then let it dry.
  3. Spread a heavy layer of baking soda over the area and leave it for 24 hours.
  4. Mix 50% water, 50% hydrogen peroxide, and a teaspoon of dish soap.
  5. Pour over the baking soda and scrub lightly.
  6. Vacuum everything up.

If after this your carpet still smells of cat urine, contact us for more heavy-duty odor removal.

How do you get rid of the smoke smell in a house?

Getting rid of the smell of smoke in a house is an extremely difficult task. If an area has been smoked in for many years, at home remedies might not be enough to completely remove the smell. Smoke consists of many ultrafine particles which can get stuck in the smallest cracks, crevices, and bind to your fabrics. These particles can be damaging to your health, and a full professional cleaning is recommended.

Why does my house smell musty? Can the smell be removed?

Musty smells are often the result of a number of things present in your home. Musty odors are more common in areas with poor ventilation and where particles build up. The particles causing these unpleasant odors are normally dust, mildew, and mold. In most cases the smell can be removed. If you can’t get rid of the musty smell in your home, contact us to see how we can help.

What is the process for professional odor removal?

At First Response our team of experts will begin the cleaning process by giving a professional assessment of the situation as well as a plan of action. Once that plan of action has been clearly laid out, our trained and certified experts will enter the space to carefully and quickly begin the professional cleaning and removing odors from your space. This includes removing your items from the space, sanitizing, disinfecting, biohazard decontamination and repairs and restoration to your space. Our team always responds rapidly and with discretion.

6-Asbestos Abatement

How much asbestos exposure is harmful?

Simply put, there is no safe amount of exposure to asbestos. Asbestos can cause cancer and chronic respiratory diseases after any amount of asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested. If your home or work area has asbestos, it is imperative that it be removed and abated as soon as possible.

 Why did they stop using asbestos in popcorn ceilings in U.S?

Asbestos was the most common material used for popcorn ceilings until it was banned in 1978. If your home was built before this and has a popcorn ceiling, it might contain asbestos. If you suspect you have asbestos in your home, contact us today to see how we can help.

How can you identify asbestos?

Identifying asbestos in your home is very difficult as it is often mixed with other budding materials. If your home was built before 1980, it is likely that at least some parts of the home contain asbestos. Since asbestos can be in so many materials, to properly identify asbestos in your home or office, you must hire a qualified testing company such as First Response Cleaning.

How dangerous is asbestos removal?

Asbestos removal is extremely dangerous and should only be done by experienced professionals with adequate protective equipment. For your health and safety it is imperative that you not attempt to remove asbestos yourself. If you need asbestos removed from your property, contact us today.

 Where can I find asbestos in my home?

Asbestos can be found in many places in your home. Until the 1980’s, asbestos was commonly mixed with other construction materials for ceilings, floor tiles, insulation, siding, and much more. If your home was built between the 1950’s and 1980, there is a good chance it contains at least some asbestos. For complete asbestos testing, contact us.

7-Hoarding Cleanup

What is the difference between hoarding and collecting?

While both collectors and hoarders will accumulate a large amount of things, there is a clear line between the two. Collectors gather things out of interest such as stamps, coins, action figures, or virtually anything else. Collectors organize and display their items, showcasing them for others to appreciate and enjoy.

Hoarders on the other hand lose their ability to organize and display their items, and they end up filling up and obstructing their home. Navigating through the space becomes difficult or downright impossible. While many hoarders consider themselves collectors, they have an intense emotional attachment to their possessions and frequently become isolated and struggle with depression and anxiety.

How does First Response Cleaning help with hoarding?

First Response Cleaning is experienced in cleaning up messes created by hoarding. We fully clean and clear your space, making sure to dispose of any waste. Once everything is removed from the house, we will disinfect and decontaminate everything to ensure the space is livable. One of the biggest issues with hoarders who wish to change is the monumental task of cleaning everything to make a first step. First Response Cleaning is here to take that first step with you.

When does hoarding become a safety issue?

Once access into and out of a building is blocked by items and trash, or pathways within the area are obstructed there are many safety issues. The most common hazards from hoarding are falling risks, fire hazards, infestations, and other dangerous living conditions such as mold.

Where to start cleaning a hoarding mess?

 The first step in cleaning a hoarding mess is to clear out the trash, junk, and unnecessary items kept in the house. Once these are removed, disinfection and reorganization can take place. But the first, most important step is to clear everything out of the space.

Is hoarding a health hazard?

Hoarding is absolutely a health hazard. Homes affected by hoarding are vulnerable to infestations from bugs and vermin, which can cause serious illnesses to those living within the area. They are also prone to developing mold, which is seriously damaging to health. In some extreme hoarding cases, the structural integrity of a building can be at risk putting the occupant’s safety in immediate danger.

8- Indoor Air Quality Testing & Treatment

How is Air Quality Testing Done?

Indoor Air Quality Testing uses specialized equipment to test the content of your air. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) tests use this specialized equipment to detect 3 types of air pollutants:

  • Biological pollutants
  • Chemical pollutants
  • Radiological pollutants

If the levels of pollutants are determined to be too high, we will determine the best possible treatment for our air quality.

How Accurate is Air Quality Testing?

Because of advances in technology, indoor air quality testing (IAQ testing) has become very accurate. IAQ testing can accurately determine the levels of the pollutants in your house. On its own, IAQ testing can not determine the source of the pollutants, that is where our experienced staff come in – we know how to identify where the pollutants come from so we can efficiently treat your air quality.

Do you do Indoor Air Quality Testing for Offices?

First Response Cleaning offers Indoor Air Quality Testing for all kinds of environments, from residential to business properties. If you would like to test your building’s indoor air quality, simply contact us today.

What does Indoor Air Quality Testing Detect?

Indoor Air Quality testing detects all kinds of biological, chemical, or radiological pollutants. These pollutants can be dust from normal living, mold from humidity, emissions from household cleaners or building materials. IAQ can be affected by gasses such as carbon monoxide, radon, or other volatile organic compounds as well as microbial contaminants such as mold or bacteria or any other mass or energy stressor that can have a negative impact on our health.

How can I test my Indoor Air Quality?

While some home test kits are available on the market to test for specific indoor air pollutants, the best way to get the most accurate indoor air quality reading is to hire experts such as First Response Cleaning to test the quality of the air for you. We use only the most technologically advanced and sensitive equipment to give you the most accurate readings.