Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | September 25, 2011

Mould is Everywhere

Mould in a home can be especially toxic if not dealt with immediately.

Often we overlook the obvious places where mould will grow or the cause which can be easily rectified, before the problem exists.

While kitchens and bathrooms are particularly prone to mould growth, experts say mould can grow in every room of a dwelling.

Jane Shipley, an advisor with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), says moisture leads to mould, which are microscopic fungi. Rooms with high humidity, such as kitchens and bathrooms, are particularly prone to mould when residents fail to turn on their bathroom fan while showering, or fail to use the fan when cooking.

If left unchecked, mould can cause health concern. “There are hundreds of different species of  mould and some are more toxic to us than others,” Shipley notes. “But if you have a mould problem, you have a moisture problem.”

If you increase humidity levels in your home by cooking or showering. Covering windows with heavy drapes and not allowing the sun in is another cause of mould growth, particularly in the corners of a room. Even placing sofas and chairs on exterior walls contributes to the formation of mould because the furniture blocks the heat from reaching the wall.

“We try to say, ‘Don’t clutter things up, let the heat get to the walls and keep all your surfaces as warm as possible so you don’t have condensation problem.” Homes with electric heat have more moisture problems than those with forced air, which aids in the circulation of air.

Ross Peace, an engineer and owner of PeaCo, says substandard renovations and a lack of repairs are the most common causes of structural problems related to mould, particularly in bathrooms. improperly installed trim around a bathtub, sink or shower stall often lead to trapped moisture problems. Plumbing fixtures that weren’t sealed properly at the time they were installed can also allow moisture to penetrate behind walls.

Insure kitchen and bathroom vans are vented to the exterior and that washers and dryers are ventilated correctly. I’ve seen a number of these which are simply blown into the attic area and the results are catastrophic. Don’t leave these situations until there is a problem, be proactive and take care of them before a problem developes.

Annual conduct maintenance inspections in the kitchen and bathroom and verification that the units are working property with no mould inside, will save you money in remedial work. Remember also, dust mites feed on moisture.

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